Thursday, November 26, 2009

therefore i have hope

i was in the watch of the Lord prayer room this week, with no kids may i add because my wonderful husband kept them home so i could go spend time with the Lord by myself, and i had an urging to read the book of lamentations.  just the title of the book sounds depressing, right?  to lament is to grieve.  maybe that is why i have subconsciously avoided reading this book the past several years. 

the book of lamentations was mostly likely written by the prophet jeremiah during the fall of jerusalem in 586bc.  some of what was happening that was recorded is seemingly unbelievable, yet very true of the current state of the people in jerusalem.  it is amazing that in a book like this that accounts such a sad time in israel's history that i would find such encouragement.  this seems to be the way of the bible, and the way of the Lord.  in the darkest times the light shines the brightest.  in the midst of the opportunity for despair, there is the same opportunity for overwhelming hope. 

i was pleased to find that this following passage from lamentations was the inspiration for thomas chisholm when he wrote the words of the well known hymn great is thy faithfulness.  in the midst of great darkness and trials, the character of God shines forth brightly bringing hope and comfort.

though i usually quote the bible in the nasb version, i felt so connected to this passage when i read it in the niv, so here it will be such:

i remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 
i well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.  
yet this i call to mind and therefore i have hope:
because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.
they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 
i say to myself, "the Lord is my portion; therefore i will wait for Him." 
the Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him;  
it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
it is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.  
let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him. 
let him bury his face in the dust-- there may yet be hope.  
let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace. 
for men are not cast off by the Lord forever.
though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love.
for He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men. 
                                                                       lamentations 3:19-33

what a God we serve!  His steadfast character remains regardless of the circumstances around us.  so great is His faithfulness.  it is in Him we have hope.


Friday, November 20, 2009


tomorrow is the first thanksgiving for our family.  well, not exactly true.  we had one thanksgiving meal today in asher's kindergarten class with all the fixings.  we also had thanksgiving in october with my husband's family while his parents were in town visiting before moving back to guatemala after being in the states for the past 12 years.  so, i guess in a way, this is our third of four thanksgivings this year.

a family tradition around our parts, and i am sure around many of yours, is to share something we are thankful for.  there are many things that come to mind, but i would say that the one that jumps out and grabs me right now is how thankful i am for hope.  it doesn't matter how much may be going on in life, good, bad, or just busy, with hope it all is put into perspective.  hope isn't something that has always come easy for me.  sometimes it is quite the battle to hold on and not be afraid of disappointment.  but the apostle paul said in romans 5:3-5:
and not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

i do not always, (okay honestly pretty much never), like going through the tribulations of life, but i long for that hope that does not disappoint.   so though i have been going through it and at times it has been a struggle in both my heart and mind, i am thankful most of all for hope.

i want to leave you with my favorite verse of my favorite hymn of all times, great is Thy faithfulness.  my cousin leah mari valenzuela recently released a cd of all hymns called all i have needed with great is Thy faithfulness being the closer song and the title track.   i was privileged to be one of the many family members singing the background choir for her on my favorite hymn.  so, though i love all three verses, here is the one that always brings me to tears because it is my prayer and promise for which i am most thankful: hope.

pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
blessing all mine with ten thousand beside

great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness
morning by morning new mercies i see
all i have needed Thy hand hath provided
great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me
what are you thankful for this year?


Saturday, November 14, 2009

lacking inspiration

sometimes i think that i need to be really inspired before i can post on my blog.  but not every moment is one of great inspiration.  we all have great moments of inspiration in life, but a lot of life is the mundane journey from the mountaintop to the next mountaintop.   i am someone who oftentimes overlooks the value of just the journey, especially when i am not particularly "feeling it."  but to even allow myself to dwell in the moments on no revelation, no inspiration, and no motivation, i am allowing myself to experience life.

it is a beautiful fall day.  fall is my favorite season of the year because i love all the colors, smells, and changes that fall encompasses.  fall also feels like the start of new things - the beginning of the year.  i should be outside enjoying the crisp fall weather, but i am not sure if i can muster up the motivation to just get out there to enjoy it.  maybe i will just end my blog today right here and go soak up some of the best season of the year. 


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

good news

there has been so much going on lately that i haven't been able to post some really good news here on my blog.  but here it is:  we are expecting our 4th baby! 

we are so excited.  i am not very far along yet, but thankfully have had very little nausea so far.  i have had so much other hard stuff going on unrelated to being pregnant that i am very thankful that i haven't had that on top of it all.  here is hoping that this will be my easiest pregnancy.  i have been sick quite a bit in the past pregnancies, so i am really really hoping that this is totally different, since the more kids i have to keep up with the harder it is to just feel terrible. 

since i am crossing the threshold of what i consider to be a large family, there will be many changes.  i welcome them.  i know God will continue to provide and make room for this little blessing.


Monday, November 9, 2009

i believe

it has been a tough season for our family and we are right in the thick of it presently.  i once heard bob jones say, "when you are walking through hell, don't stop.  keep walking."  those words have come back to my mind several times over the past couple weeks.

no matter how big the darkness around us may seem, i believe the God we serve is so much bigger.  in Him we have hope, we have peace, and we have life.  we do not have to walk through the dark times alone because He promised to never leave us or forsake us. 

the Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall i fear?
the Lord is the stronghold of my life;
whom shall i be afraid?...
i would have despaired unless i had believed
that i would see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
wait for the Lord;
be strong and let your heart take courage;
yes, wait for the Lord.
psalm 27:1, 13-14

i believe.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

my dad's blog

i am filled with an awareness of the presence of God.  my heart feels warm and overwhelms the thoughts and worries of my head.  i am so thankful that God is good all the time.  Even when i struggle to see clearly i can always look back over my life and see the evidence of His goodness all over my life. 

my dad just started blogging.  it is really good.  he is both an very well educated professor, with a background in counseling, and a man of God who set a great foundation for me by his honesty, tenacity, and example in the faith.  (he is an amazing dad all around!)  he is an amazing writer.  he is the one who would edit all of my papers growing up and help me develop my own writing style.  he is full of wisdom and really a thinker who has a lot to share. 

i have told him for the past couple years i really think he should be writing because others should be able to benefit from what he has to share which i have benefited from all my life.  i want him to eventually write a book, but for now he started blogging and that makes me happy.  i encourage everyone to check his blog out.  i just read his recent entry on the peace that passes understanding.  there is no way i could write better on this subject.  take a couple minutes and go read it and let me know what you think.  i trust you be encouraged as well.  click here on

happy november!

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