Wednesday, January 29, 2014

simple woman's daybook 1.29.14

this season has been so busy - i am enjoying returning to the simple woman's daybook here in this space. i hope you enjoy my simple thoughts and activities. it is a season this blog is in and i think it is a good one.

for today:

outside my window... we have rain today! we need the rain, so i am giving thanks!!

i am thinking... about chapter 39 in isaiah. go read it right now! it is so sobering - how, after hezekiah saw the great mercy of God toward him and a great sign of God moving the shadow backwards on his staircase to confirm His promises to hezekiah, he could turn to attempt an alliance with babylon and trust in the might of men instead of in the faithfulness of God. it is sobering how he didn't cry out for God's mercy after he had already seen God's heart turn to his cries for mercy before. it is sobering to think that any of us, after walking in faith and seeing God move powerfully and personally in our lives, could turn to reliance on the might of man and to self-preservation instead of leaning into the Lord. if it could happen to hezekiah, it could happen to me. oh God, have mercy! faith must be continual, not an experience or a one-time (or even many time) decision. it must continue until the end. we need the grace of the Holy Spirit for this to be true in each of our lives.

i am thankful... for my sweet uriah jaden who is 8 years old today. he is such a gift. he is my psalm 27 boy and he lives that psalm. he is a mama's boy - always has been and always will be. he holds such a special place in my heart. he says he is never getting married but living with mommy forever and making me breakfast and tea every morning. i could live with that - though i think he will win some amazing woman's heart with his sweetness one day.

remembering... that God is faithful. so many times i doubt Him, even after He has come through again and again and has shown is mercy and compassion toward me. i do not want to make the mistake of hezekiah, but i want to be found faithful until the end. Lord, help me remember the ways You have been good to me, that my heart would be stirred to continually trust You.

from the learning rooms... we are about to embark on one of the perks of homeschooling - traveling while doing school! i am excited to see how our upcoming ministry trip will shape our kids. i know they will learn a ton, and not just from the math books i am going to cram into their suitcase!

from the kitchen... uriah wants a pumpkin pie for his birthday dessert, so we are roasting the pumpkin and i will be attempting my 1st gluten free pie crust. we will see how this goes. i am not very experienced in pies. 
 
i am wearing... jeans, a shirt that shows off my belly bump, a gray hoodie with silver stripes, and my charcoal felted toms. picture below minus the hoodie.

i am creating...a couple knit things that i contracted to sell with a couple people who have seen my latest creations on facebook. i have done terrible at keeping my etsy shop stocked, but i am having fun doing these local projects.

i am going... to guatemala in 2 weeks. eek! so much to do before we leave! we are taking 5 kids out of the country while i am pregnant - am i crazy?!! it will be memories for sure.

i am reading... more in my isaiah study. just finished chapter 39 right now. i feel like isaiah has shaped my world view so deeply. i don't know if any other single book of the bible has affected me this way. i have slowly dug deep in it over the past 3 years. i am sure if i didn't have a cackle of children i could have gone through it faster, but it feels like a slow marinade... like it is sinking in deeper and deeper because of the slow way i move through it. i think it is good evidence that no matter what season you are in, you can do a deep bible study. it may take you a long time, maybe years, like me. but it is so worth it to dig deep into the Word. i do my normal bible reading as well - right now i am going through the new testament again. this isaiah thing is in addition to that and is a great compliment.

i am hoping... i pass my glucose test with flying colors and that my iron levels come back good as well. i hate that drink. i don't know why they can't find a less tummy offensive way of checking blood sugar levels while pregnant.

i am hearing... the kansas city prayer room in my ear buds.

around the house... still working on little projects to get the house rent ready. i also finally cleaned out the fridge, like really good, and switched out hosea's clothes. his whole dresser was full of clothes that were too small. i am so thankful for having saved boy clothes from his older brothers. the poor house has not had the tlc it needs.
  
one of my favorite things... is telling my kids about their birth stories at their birthday dinners. they look forward to it now! even though i told uriah his story last night, he told me that he might forget so i need to tell him again tonight at dinner.

pondering... what it looks like and what it takes to maintain a steady life of faith til the very end of my days.

a few plans for the rest of the week: we are celebrating uriah tonight, and then in 6 days we will be celebrating david. there is so much more going on between now and then including co-op, basketball games, birthday parties, church, holding that new niece of mine that was born this week, homeschooling, managing my bursting household, a potluck with some of our house of prayer people, and prepping for our upcoming trip.

picture for the day:




i am linked up with other lovely ladies at the simple woman's daybook.  

charis

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

simple woman's daybook 1.15.14

 
for today:

outside my window... it is january and it is still amazing weather. i am sure that we need more rain, but i am enjoying the warm afternoons. today it is forecast to be 79. believe me, we will be going to the park for sure! i love sunshine and warmth.

i am thinking... about how it feels like so much has changed for me in the past couple months. for one, i am pregnant with our 6th baby, our 1st baby girl! this pregnancy brought so much as far as unlocking my emotions that were stuck in a numb state after my dad's death, that i feel like a completely different person in some ways. i am smack in the middle of processing but, with homeschooling for the 1st time and 5 little active boys, i don't really have much time for processing. so it is kind of a draw out process. but my whole outlook, my whole view of the world, the way i feel like i interact with people and with God feels altered. not necessarily in a bad way, but in a way that makes it difficult for me to write here in this space and not just in my paper journal that allows me the space to be okay with my change and my process. i do want to keep this space up, but just because of the season of life i am in i can't really write here as regularly as i have in the past.

i am thankful... for my wednesday mornings when my husband takes a shift teaching the kids, and lets me get away for a bit. the time he has freed up for me these mornings has forced me to process with God the pain and struggles of my heart. i hope it is bearing fruit of me being a better wife and mom when i am home in the trenches the other 165 hours a week.

remembering... to be patient with myself. i feel like i am so behind in life and don't have the energy to catch up. trying to be okay with what i get done each day, and to try to enjoy the day and not just view it as an overwhelming amount of stuff to accomplish.

from the learning rooms... we are halfway through our homeschooling year and praying about direction for next year. there have been things i have liked about it and things that i feel are lacking. this could be due largely to me being pregnant and feeling like i am just treading water at life right now. the boys love math and are flying through their curriculum. we are going to guatemala next month for a ministry trip, so bill is teaching them spanish. david is a full blown reader and it is so much fun to hear him read.

from the kitchen... i just started going into my kitchen again. yes, i said going into it. haha!! i started cooking a couple meals a week (bill has been cooking for us for the past 3 months or so) and my kids started cheering and commenting in utter disbelief that mommy was cooking again. it is so strange that being someone who loves to create in the kitchen, i become a totally different person who wants nothing to do with food prep when i am pregnant. good thing i have taught my hubby to cook!
 
i am wearing... jeans (my staple), a black shirt, and my charcoal felted toms. 

i am creating...baby girl stuff!! my niece who is soon to be born had a baby shower this week, and i have my own little one to create for. it really doesn't feel real yet, so i keep wondering if i should wait til they take one more look before i create too much! the sono tech got a great look, and looked 4 times for us because i was so in disbelief. it is just so strange after being used to having boys all the time. so many fun cute things you can make for a girl! good thing i have had 15 nieces to practice making things for. :)

i am going... to guatemala in a month! so crazy to think we are taking our whole tribe down there. i am so excited. we are buying the tickets later today. God has really provided for this trip. i haven't been out of the country for 10 years. my kids have never been out of the country. my husband grew up outside of the country! this trip is way overdue, and yet the exact perfect timing. most of them will remember it, and i think that is so awesome. 

i am reading... a book from one the series by my favorite author bodie thoene. it has been a while since i read some good historical fiction. i love how she writes about the times of Jesus and how it makes the bible just come alive that they are real people who had real experiences and emotions and back stories.

i am hoping... that all the things that need to be done in the next couple months get done in the perfect timing. it feels like so much of our life is a jigsaw puzzle right now, and timing is everything! i know the Lord can work out timing, so that is my main prayer. 

i am hearing... the kansas city prayer room in my ear buds.

around the house... we are trying to get our house ready to rent out, so we can find something a little bigger for our expanding family that we could rent. that means a lot of little fixes here and there and hopefully some organizing so it isn't a wreck when we show it. we are definitely using every square foot of it to the max.
  
one of my favorite things... is hearing the boys talk about their new baby sister who is coming. they are already so excited and so protective. asher has forbidden 2 piece bathing suits and simeon is concerned that we get enough skirts for his sister to wear. they are all much more enthralled with the color pink than i am.

pondering... how fast time is going to go by these next couple months. life is so full, i have a feeling it will fly by.

a few plans for the rest of the week: we are going to get away for a little date time. it has been over a month since our last coffee date, so i think it is due. we are spending time at the park. we have homeschool co-op, which always feels so hard to get to, but then the kids enjoy it so much and are in great moods when we leave. we have our first basketball game this weekend for the older two. being a sports mom is fun. i enjoyed the break from sports this fall, but i am ready for it to start up again.

picture for the day:



i am linked up with other lovely ladies at the simple woman's daybook.  

charis

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

advent

this year we are trying a new thing as a family and celebrating advent with candles and all. now, we don't have a wreath, but we have pretty homemade candles the boys made me last year for christmas, and we light them as we are going through a family advent plan once a week leading up to christmas eve.

i have done advent bible reading plans for each day of december in the past, and got a lot out of it centering my heart on Jesus during a time that could either be full of worship for His coming and anticipation of His second coming or full of stress and pressure. this year i wanted to do something that involved the kids in centering our hearts as a family.


advent simply means coming or waiting. we celebrate Jesus' first coming. we wait for Jesus' second coming. if christmas becomes about gifts, or traditions, or stuff (either in the having or the lack), we have really missed the point.

with all that i have been through this past year, i wait and eagerly anticipate His second coming more than ever. this is not escapism. this is what Jesus told the apostles to preach to all the world - that there is forgiveness for sin with repentance, and to have faith in the day when He will come again and make all things right. so, i set my gaze and my hopes this christmas on true hope - His return.

bless you and your family this season!

oh come, oh come Emmanuel!

charis

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

what is hope?


i hear a lot of talk these days about hope. our president ran on the theme of "hope" and "change." the church has picked up the baton, not to be outdone by the political rhetoric, and shouts out, "there is hope in Jesus! you can have hope!"

the only problem is, both the world and the church seem to promise that this hope is anchored in our circumstances changing and somehow life getting better, easier, and more secure now, or at least very soon.

i like the sound of this as much as anyone else. i have had a hard year and a half, quite possibly the hardest of my entire life. there were prayers that i prayed that weren't answered the way i had hoped. and if i am not careful, i could easily slip into accusation against God for being the One to cause "hope deferred that makes the heart sick." i had wanted horrible circumstances to change now, and had even come to the Lord asking for that change.

but the danger of the message that hope is anchored in change of circumstances, and linking that to hope in God, is when things don't change, when the worst possible outcome of a terrible situation comes true, our faith is left shaken.

true biblical Hope is so different than the insecure ground of just desiring our circumstances to change.

praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! in His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. in this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. these have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 peter 1:3-9

our Hope is always to be anchored in the return of our Lord Jesus the Messiah. our living Hope is not that things will change now, but that He is resurrected and will resurrect our bodies too and give us an inheritance that will never be taken away. sometimes circumstances do get better. sometimes miracles do happen. these are meant to point us to the day when He restores all things that were lost or taken, and that day is when He returns. these wonderful answers to prayer are never to anchor our hope in now. the bible is clear that all our Hope is to be placed in our beautiful Savior coming for us. maybe our misplaced hope is the reason why the Spirit and the bride are not calling out in a unified cry, "come!"

so if you are battling fear right now, if you feel like your hands are not cut out for the task before you, and your knees maybe giving out from under you from all the pressure and pain in your life, listen carefully to what i have to say:

be strong.

do not fear.

your God will come.

He will come with vengeance.

With divine retribution He will come to save you.
(isaiah 35:4-5)

this you can count on.

in this world we will suffer great tribulations. we will be wronged by other people, we will experience grief and heartache, and we will feel loss in the deepest sense of the word.

right now, you may be experiencing more pain that you even thought possible, crying more tears than you thought humanly possible to cry. He will not leave you as an orphan. He promised He would come back and make the wrong things right, and He will. not only will be return all that was stolen, but He will even raise up the bodies that sickness, disease, and death sought to destroy. every wrong will be made right. 

we cry out for God to do the miracles now, and rejoice when they do come. but regardless of if they come now or not, we keep our Hope set on His return.

and He. will. come.

charis

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

simple woman's daybook 10.9.13

 
for today:

outside my window... it is a beautiful fall day. the trees are just starting to turn their warm red and golden tones, but still have patches of green intermingled. the wind is biting though. i had a dream last night that the wind was going to stay. let's hope that isn't a God dream.

i am thinking... about so many things. i haven't blogged for so long. i am sorry friends. it has been one of those seasons when i just needed to step back and be silent. i needed to write in the paper journal sitting by my bed. i needed to process without any friends reading over my shoulder. i have missed this space though.

i am thankful... for the Lord's faithful provision towards us. we had a very hard couple months - some of our hardest since we started living on missionary support 4 years ago. i have to say that i had very hard days when i wanted to doubt the Lord's ability to provide for us. so immature of me. He still came through, even with my threatening doubts, and has been so merciful and kind to even take care of the things on my heart. i am so thankful today that His goodness has nothing to do with me. He is who He is and i get to benefit from that reality.

remembering... my dad. i have been remembering him a lot. so much of him that i am missing right now.

from the learning rooms... we have survived our 1st month of homeschooling. it has been quite the adventure. with 5 kids, i just have the littlest 2 along for the ride without doing any specific activities for them besides their own drawing pads. i just can't plan and manage one more thing right now. we are making it. i have so much more in my heart i wish we could do, but i think we are at least learning and becoming closer to each other, which is good.

from the kitchen... even though this is my favorite season for the kitchen, i haven't been motivated to cook or bake much. i have made granola for an easy breakfast lately. i love honey, maple syrup, molasses, good butter, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and big chunks of coconut in mine.
 
i am wearing... a light grey short sleeved turtleneck chunky sweater, dark jeans, gray sweater boots, and my hair up in a back knot.

i am creating... some christmas gifts. if i am going to do homemade, i better get started or it just won't get done.

i am going... to go on a date with my hubby tonight. i love time with him one on one. i am such a quality time person, even more now with 5 kids than i was before kids. i am sure glad that i still like him as a friend even after being married 11.5 years.

i am reading... through isaiah again, and picked back up my intense isaiah study. i was about halfway through, so i am about done reviewing what i had done before and about to start in on going deep in the rest of the book. i just love this book. so rich. so deep. so full of hope.

i am hoping... that i can participate in the annual turkey trot here. i got out of the rhythm of running for several reasons, and am trying to get back into it with the cooler weather.

i am hearing... matt gilman's last set at the international house of prayer. did you know you can download your favorite sets now? i am so happy about that. this set is on july 3rd, 2013 if you want to look it up and listen to it yourself. so full of hope.

around the house...we are trying to switch out clothing sizes and seasons for the boys. one thing i am thankful for is i have been able to hold onto clothes that the older boys have grown out of to pass on. just a lot of work to go through the closets for 5 little boys to see what fits and what is the right season.
  
one of my favorite things... is the color of the trees during autumn. just gets me every year.

pondering... eternity. i mean, really, i am. i think the more i experience the pain of this age, the more i want to anchor my heart in the time when He wipes every tear away. there is so much that is so hard to understand right now. there is so much injustice that happens. there is so much loss and grief. i don't think it is escapism to long for Jesus' return even more when bad things happen. He is the Promised Seed that will reverse the curse of death forever, and take away all grief and pain.

a few plans for the rest of the week: we have a homeschool co-op we are part of on thursdays. it feels like a lot of work, since i have to mobilize all the troops to get there are also teach writing to a class full of kindergarteners and 1st graders. but my kids really enjoy it, so we do it. it has been worth it so far.


picture for the day:



go here to 5 minutes for faith to read a post i wrote a couple months ago and haven't been about to share here yet. it is on my thoughts on heaven anchoring my heart right now.

i am linked up with other lovely ladies at the simple woman's daybook.  

charis
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