Thursday, March 31, 2011

simple woman's daybook 3.31.11

for today:

outside my window... beautiful blue skies.  i think it is supposed to be 86 today.  hail and freezing cold last week, 86 today.  i guess we don't mess around.

i am thinking... that when i am upset and feeling the swirl of emotions, that i should just restrain from opening my mouth.  what i want to do in the moment most of all is just let it flow and get it all out verbally, but it never really helps anything at all and usually just hardens my heart a little more.  i know taming the tongue is right, but it is not easy.  how painful it is to keep my mouth closed and just let the tears flow!  i am so not good at this. 

i am thankful... for a husband that reminds me of how i want to live instead of telling me that my reactions are justified.  i am also thankful that he is gentle in the way he reminds me.  i want to be encouraged towards the Lord, not towards more of my flesh.

remembering... His mercies are new every morning.  He is so faithful, even when i feel like my world is a mess.   

from the learning rooms... i feel like my sister is my all things creative teacher/coach.  i come from every conversation with her inspired to make something new. 

from the kitchen... my husband accidentally bought kidney beans instead of pinto beans and i am not a fan.  so, i found a recipe online to try and find a way i would eat kidney beans.  oh my goodness!  this red kidney bean dip from food network was amazing!  we will get use out of those beans after all!
i am wearing... jammies.  it seems i always write these in my jams.

i am creating... lots of fun items for my etsy shop.  what do you think of this crocheted flower headband?

i am having a great time creating for the daughter i never had.  (don't you love my model?!  ha!)

i am going... to a piano student's talent show tonight.  we have worked on a piece for it for the past 6 weeks - he is going to do amazing!

i am reading... the book of isaiah in my Bible reading challenge.  it is amazing how much of the prophesies of isaiah have yet to be fulfilled.  it feels like such an important book for the time we are living in.

i am hoping... our new idea for getting our #3 son to stay dry while sleeping is a success!

my sister made this amazing game board for kids.  she uses it for her girls with chores.  we already do a chore chart, so i thought i would use it here to help david remember to keep his diaper dry during nap and night time.  he has been potty trained during the day for a year, but is a deep sleeper.  every time he shows me a dry diaper after waking up, all three of the older boys (simeon isn't participating yet!) get to move their magnet forward a space.

there are treat spaces and when we reach the finish line we will take them all to chuck e cheese and david will get to sleep in undies!  the game reminds me a bit of candy land and she did all the graphic design for it - bright and colorful and kid friendly!

so far it has the older boys cheering him on.  you can buy your own game board at her etsy store.  she sold 4 within the first 24 hours of having them up (i got mine for free - that is what you get when you have a creative teacher/coach for a younger sister)!  if you decide you want one too, but in the purchase notes that you heard about it here on my blog!  thanks.
i am hearing... sweet baby talk from a sweet baby next to me.

around the house... we are doing a demo of a structure in our backyard.  it was a little building we had high hopes for when we first bought our house, but later found out was pretty much condemned by the city.  bummer.  well, now we are taking it down and instead going to have extra space in the yard and put some raised bed gardens in that area, since it is the only part of the yard that gets sun. 
one of my favorite things...watching my #3 son make the baby boy laugh and laugh.  i can tell they are going to be friends for life.

pondering... faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God.  a. w. tozer

a few plans for the rest of the week: well, hopefully the backyard demo will be finished.  i have to take #1 man-child to a dentist appointment today for another filling!  poor guy.  he was so nervous last time.  poor mama's wallet!  i get to watch a piano student perform for his talent show tonight.  not really sure about the weekend plans, but if the weather stays nice i am sure we will be outside soaking in the vitamin d.  how about you?

picture for the day:

here is the backyard demo after the guys pulled down the car port section with our jeep.  i think they are having too much fun with this.

here is where i am linked up for the simple woman's daybook.  


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a late thanks

i am getting this up a bit late this week - i had a surprise visit from a stomach bug on sunday.  sunday is the night i usually write this post as a reflection on my week.  as i lay on my couch with motrin, a puke bowl next to me, and an achy feverish body, my kids were at my parents' house.  i guess my oldest made a surprise announcement that i had a baby in my belly to be funny.  i started getting inquiries and congrats over ichat which baffled me.  congrats for feeling miserable?! 

when i later asked him why he decided to trick them all, he said he thought it was funny.  he also said if i just started having a few contractions i could have been having a baby.  my funny 7 year old - if only have a baby were so simple.

no announcement.  feeling much better in these parts and no baby anytime soon.  we are good with 4 boys right now - they keep us plenty busy!

my thankful list for this past week


35. hot showers.

36. juicy hand-picked meyer lemons from my grandma's tree.

37. bright yellow daffodils peeking up announcing the arrival of spring, though the weather does not seem to agree.

38. on going conversations with my sister via ichat all day long, all week long, all month long... here and there, thoughts, ideas, questions, funny happenings... feels like we are in the same room though under two different rooms.  i have the luxury of talking to her whenever i think of something to say.

39. the green of seedlings peeking up from the dirt... hope for the future.

40. good conversation over dinner with friends.

41. the anticipation and excitement of children over an upcoming "surprise."

42. giggles, shouts, and "i knew it!" when they discover what the surprise was.

43. cuddled on the couch with 4 little boys, reading about the adventures in narnia and remembering being cuddled next to my dad when i was their age listening to him read about the same adventures to me and my siblings.

44. a quiet house on a sick sunday morning because my husband took all the kids to church with him by himself.

45. the sunshine after the storm.

46. getting to eat again after having a stomach bug and it feeling ok inside.

47. nights when time seems to stand still because the little ones wake up so much... 3 out of 4 for probably a cumulative of 20 times.

48. one really good sleeper for a child.

won't you go to a holy experience to link up and join in if you too are a blogger?  let me know in a comment below that you are taking part and i will visit your blog.

if you don't blog, would you leave a comment and let me know a couple things you are thankful for today. 


Friday, March 25, 2011

He is trying to get our attention.

for the past month or so, the Lord has had me on my own personal journey of repentance.  i have had a shaking in my heart... i really do mean a shaking.  i have had my eyes opened to areas of darkness and compromise in my own heart, and tasted of the actual fear of the Lord in a small measure perhaps for the first time in my life.  i am sober.  i am searching the Word of God looking for what He would have me to do.  i have been looking to see what is the consistent message of the Word - both the written and the Word made Flesh who dwelt among us...


this is the word that i cannot get away from.  over and over again, whether it was a shaking in the natural or the shaking in the heart of man, the Bible is consist on the fruit all shaking is to produce: repentance.

some would say that our repentance started and ended at the initial salvation experience.  as good as it sounds, the apostles on the 1st church would disagree.  they said to repent.  repent of dead works.  repent of compromise.  repent of lawlessness and love of the world's systems. 

in the book of acts after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the 40 in the upper room, peter says in his famous sermon: 
therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient times. 
i long for Him to return.  i am reminded to put my hope in His coming, not in the present hour.  i ponder what the restoration of all things means.  i consider that He promised to come for a bride who had made herself ready. 

what does it look like to make myself ready?

i look out my window as i type and hail the size of chickpeas falls heavy on my front lawn as both strange and unseasonal weather for the area in which i live.  it has been hailing for the past week, at some point, almost daily.

some may say, global warming. 

others may say, a strange natural phenomenon or weather pattern. 

i can't help but ask myself, over and over again like a thought that just will not go away, "is He trying to get my attention?  is He trying to get our attention?"  

and if He is, what is it that He is trying to say?  the God whose name is Yahweh, Always, who never changes and is consistent from eternity past, to present, to eternity future, has always had the same message for His creation that He loves.

repent.  return to the Lord.  return to Your Maker.   

how long will it take my dull hard heart to get the simple message?

as an intercessory missionary and a part of the house of prayer i believe the promise in 2 chronicles 7:14 to solomon upon the dedication of the temple is for us as His people even today:
...and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 
i have heard this verse quoted over and over again in isolation.  i have quoted and prayed this verse myself over and over again in isolation.  but the rule of Bible interpretation is in the context.  we forget about the verse before (or that even the Bible wasn't written in chapter and verse) and the 1st half of the very same sentence! why would His people do these things in the first place?

if I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people,
He is trying to get our attention. 

i would love to find a way to say that these things are not from God.  it may simply be normalcy bias, (if you aren't familiar with that term, it is fascinating), but just like everyone else, i just wish these things would go away and i could go on with life as usual.  i wish the questions weren't there.   i resist my heart being affected.  for my own heart gets offended at the thought that the One who heals could also be the One who wounds:

the Lord will strike egypt, striking but healing; 
so they will return to the Lord
and He will respond to them and will heal them.  
                                                     isaiah 19:22

i am not writing to argue about whether God sends earthquakes or judgments on the earth, if it is the result of sin in the world, or if it is simply a natural phenomenon that God is completely disconnected from.  (or probably several other options and combinations of the above in differing degrees).

however, as much as i search it out, there is not one place in the Word that i can find that says anything but that He consistently takes credit for using nature to get the attention of people - to draw out repentance.

if my people...

humble themselves,


seek My face,

repent from their wicked ways...

He who is mighty to heal is the One who is calling me to repent.

He is calling us to repent.

for He loves mercy.  He longs to forgive.  He longs to heals.


let him who has ears hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.

may my ears be open. 

may my eyes see. 

may my heart not be dull. 

may my spirit not sleep.

because we know You are a God of mercy far greater than our own capacity for mercy, we turn to you - i turn to you - and repent. 

You who never change, You declared Your name to moses (exodus 34) and i take comfort in Your name.

then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "the Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations."  moses made haste to bow low toward the earth and worship.
i too repent.  i bow low.  i worship Him who alone is Mighty to Save.  He alone is good.  He alone can be trusted.


Monday, March 21, 2011

gifts and surprises

                                                                            photo credit

i was met with such a wonderful surprise this week on one rainy afternoon.  i ran out to get the mail as i headed out the door to drive to pick up my son from school and there were two boxes.  one box contained the business cards i ordered for my new etsy shop and the other contained a gift.  for me!

a blogger friend of mine, actually the very one who encouraged me to link up with multitude on mondays, sent me the book one thousand gifts because she knew that i hadn't read it yet.  i was so surprised to find such a great gift among the bills and junk mail that i normally sort through.  i had thought about getting it one day, but knew it wasn't on our priority list of what we needed to do with money right now.  it is amazing that God knows our small desires and not just our needs.  it wasn't anything i ever prayed about or even verbalized desiring, but as i drove to pick up my son from school i told the Lord, thank you.  thank you for knowing me and wanting to not only provide for me, as He is so amazing at doing (as if that wasn't enough!), but surprise me and delight me and use others to do it!  i was smiling the rest of the afternoon.

i am so blessed that she thought of me because i have already read the first three chapters and am having my paradigms shifted big time.  oh, how good this is going to be for my heart!

i thought myself to already be a thankful person, but i am being so challenged to go past what i had considered living life of thanksgiving and to take it to a whole new level.  i have ideas for a future blog post swirling inside my head, but that is for a later time.  stay tuned however!  you will want to read that post when i write it.  God is doing some deep stuff in me and fitting together so many different puzzle pieces.  don't you love when He does that?!

today is mostly a post for starting off my week right.  i mentioned last week that i have had a long history of dreading mondays.  dread mondays no more!  i may write these things down from now on during the week and then share them on mondays because there is just too much that escapes me that i notice in the moment and would be encouraging to go back over before starting the next week.

the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy, right?!  (revelation 19:10)


21. singing at church about the cross - remembering the ultimate sacrifice of love for me

22. sitting in the biting cold wind and sleet to watch my number 1 son's very first soccer game. he scored a goal and his team won 3-0.

23. learning how to make homemade yogurt and the delight of the boys as they ate it and deemed it to be the best they had ever had!

24. warm smells of burning home fragrance oils

25. the 4 walls of my cozy warm home as the loud wind howls just beyond them.

26. the peaceful slumber of my sleeping baby in my arms and the feeling of triumph of getting him to fall asleep when he was fighting it.

27. facing some deep fears, feeling the paralysis of what "might" be, and surrendering into God's hands.

28. receiving the book one thousand gifts in the mail as a surprise from a fellow blogger.

29. celebrating the birth of a new niece... new babies have such a hope and a peace to them.

30. making girlie gifts for nieces and friends having girls... remembering once again i am a female and i enjoy female things like flowers and ribbons and buttons.

31. the soft glow and flicker of candle light.

32. conversation and connection with my dad about the topic of prayer - one of the best people to talk with about real things.

33. going to sleep listening to the prayer room at the international house of prayer in kansas city and having my last thoughts of the night be thought about worshiping and praising Him.  nothing like it.

34. a clean house right before bed... and my kids who create the mess in the morning.

won't you go to a holy experience to link up and join in if you too are a blogger.  let me know in a comment below that you are taking part and i will visit your blog.

if you don't blog, would you leave a comment and let me know a couple things you are thankful for today.  sharing what we are thankful for is contagious...


Thursday, March 17, 2011

proverbs: how to become a fool

update on my challenge

i have just finished up the book of proverbs in my Bible reading challenge.  back in august i encouraged readers to join me in making a personal plan to get into the Word more.  several responded with different plans - reading through the new testament, the entire Bible in chronological order, or reading a proverb a day.  i decided to read through my Bible cover to cover from august 25, 2010- august 25, 2011, approximately 3 chapters a day, using you version to track my reading and unlocking the bible by david pawson to be my companion book.  (if you want it too, purchasing it from the link on this page will help support my blog).  any others who dove into their own Bible reading challenge still with me?  any who made plans in january still going strong? 

i am here to report that i have had many days where i miss my reading or only get to part of my reading.  i warned you and myself back in august that i can get pretty discouraged if i don't do something "all the way," and can get tempted to just quit.  i think the biggest help in overcoming this has been using you version.  simply checking the little box to say i completed the chapter has helped me see when i get behind or feel accomplished when i do read.  also, having the app on my iphone has made it extremely helpful to play catch up when i get behind by reading my chapters on my phone in the dark in bed, while i am waiting in line or in a waiting room or pretty much wherever, and has made me have no excuse for being able to catch up and try to keep up.  so if you are behind in whatever your goal was, it is not too late!  pick up where you left off today and keep on going.  no one is perfect at this, but as we discipline ourselves to actually read the Word and not just rely on a sermon on sunday morning or our favorite podcast to feed us, we will feel so much more alive! 


so you may be wondering about my title to this post:  proverbs: how to become a fool.  there is so much in the book of proverbs on what wisdom looks like, but there is also so much on what folly looks like.  most scholars agree that king solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, wrote and compiled this book of proverbs largely to instruct his son about how to live and what will come of choosing wisdom or choosing folly.  some believe that he wrote this book in the middle age years of his life and was warning his son to not follow in his footsteps on some of his own poor choices.  though the proverbs aren't promises that we can "name and claim," they are general truths about what the outcome is of how we live our lives.  they are true in the majority of situations.

so, since everyone usually approaches this book with wanting to gain wisdom, i wanted to do something a little different and focus on what it looks like to not have wisdom.  part of wisdom is knowing what wisdom is not!

how to become a fool 101 - the book of proverbs

1. talk a lot.  say whatever comes to mind.  hold nothing back.  for the sake of conversation or being "real," have no filter.  make sure to dominate most, if not all, conversation with talking about yourself, what you think, how you feel, and especially about how others have wronged you and how you are better than them.  and then keep on talking.  have no restraint.  just let it flow.

2. go after the adulteress.  disregard her spouse and your spouse.  be discontent with the wife (or husband) you decided to marry and lust after someone else.  when tempted to lust and to cheat, just go ahead and give in.  don't worry about the repercussions because it is all about the moment.

3. have no fear of the Lord.  it is all good.  anything goes.  do what you please.  do not seek out to know Him more, only worry about knowing yourself.  oh yeah... and what others think about you.

4. be unteachable.  be uncorrectable.  be untouchable.  when someone comes to point out weakness or sin in your life, lash out and call them the fool.  make sure they feel really bad about what they said, so they won't try that again. also, be super disrespectful of your parents.  what do they know, right?

5. pride is actually a good thing.  make yourself look like either the hero or the victim in every situation.  make every possible way to think about how cool you are and make sure everyone else knows just how cool you really are.  if someone treats you wrong, you don't have to take that!  stand up for yourself and let them know how valuable you really are.  humility is weakness, right?  it means people will just walk all over you.  pride and proving yourself will get you where you want to go.

6. get as much as you can.  accumulate lots and lots of money and lots and lots of stuff and make sure you don't share it.  when you see the poor, make sure you look the other way and ignore them.  you are better and deserve what you have, right?  don't look or listen because they will weaken you and you might just feel bad and give them something that they will probably use poorly.  that is why they are poor, right?  live the american dream of more and more for yourself and let everyone else figure out how to get ahead for themselves.  survival of the fittest. 

that hurts!

if you are reading through these and feel an ouch in your spirit and suddenly are thinking hmmm... maybe i should try to get some wisdom, you are not alone!  i am seeing so much foolishness in my heart that i was trying to pretend was wisdom and am realizing i don't really know true wisdom like i thought i did.  or even if i knew what was right, i have often hardened my heart and lived how i have felt like living. 

maybe i need a good dose of the fear of the Lord.  solomon said that was a good place to start.

what do you think?

any other ways to become a fool you can think of from this wonderful "how to" book?  i would love to hear them in the comments below.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

simple woman's daybook 3.16.11

for today:

outside my window... birds singing blue skies, sunlight... i thought it was supposed to rain today?!

i am thinking... about the houses of prayer in japan.  safety.  protection.  opportunity.  courage.

"and now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus."  and when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. acts 4

i am thankful... that God is doing a huge thing in my heart right now.  my heart hasn't been this tender for a long time.  the season of repentance is painful but so freeing to my heart.  it is like the dust is lifting for the first time in some of the dark corners i never thought could be cleansed.  

remembering... to turn my heart to Him first thing in the morning.  

from the learning rooms... i am wanting to work with david on recognizing his letters.  i was more purposeful with the first two, but as we add on babies my mind becomes more muddled and time flies more quickly!  

from the kitchen... being creative with what we have right now!  i am sure several of you can track with me on this one.  i am putting an order together with azure standard to stock back up on a lot of our basics that we have depleted.  we get things like lentils, rice, coconut oil, coconut milk, bread flour, pastry flour, rapadura sugar, apples, rolled oats, organic beef, and such in bulk from them.  they are a great food coop and we have been customers for the past year.  they are a christian run company out of oregon and deliver all over the country, so check them out.
i am wearing... jammies.  i promise, i will get dressed when i am done with this.

i am creating... an etsy site!  you can grab my etsy button on my right sidebar or click on the button to go check it out!  i only have a couple things listed so far, but i am having fun with it.  if you are an etsy community member, would you consider adding my shop to your favorites? i would love it!

blog button

i am going... to help in my number 1 son's class today.  so fun!

i am reading... the book of proverbs now in my Bible reading challenge. i am feeling so convicted and challenged by all the rich wisdom in the book of proverbs.  i am realizing once again how i talk way too much and how much it gets me in trouble!  i am realizing that controlling my mouth is the number one hardest thing i could ever do, but that i can't give up!  it is a must.

i am hoping... to get a raised garden bed in our back yard this year.  i am planting seeds inside in preparation, but we need to demo the back building first.  otherwise, i will have to make a way to do my veggies in pots this year.  

i am hearing... the sweet noises of my 8 month old crawling around on the floor in front of me playing.  right now he is stuck under the coffee table.  should i help him get out? 

around the house... so, remember how i was inspired a while back to tackle a catch all hall closet, and then was totally unmotivated to finish it for weeks?  well, we did it!  with the help of my husband, it actually has order to it and stuff has been thrown away, put in right places, and some is being currently listed and sold on craig's list and ebay.  woohoo!
one of my favorite things... dates with my hubby!  we have so much fun together and finally get to talk without being interrupted every couple minutes. 

pondering... "there is something better than being right... being free (from anger's hold on me)!" - allen hood, teaching called growing through mistreatment this is a big one for me as an oldest child!  ouch, and yet so right on.  this may be the most paradigm shifting teaching i have ever listened to, and one of the few i have ever listened to multiple times.  i am not a teaching junkie, so if i am willing to listen to it more than once that means it is the real thing!

a few plans for the rest of the week: lots of stuff, though this week feels less busy than the past few.  we have a harp and bowl training with our house of prayer staff tomorrow night (that is basically a training in how to intertwine worship, singing and prayer).  we start a corporate 40 fast with our house of prayer community thursday as well (still haven't decided exactly what i am fasting or how i am working it).  asher has his very 1st soccer game saturday!  we had practice monday night and he is really good!  i can't wait to cheer him on!  i have a baby shower for my newest niece sunday afternoon.

we also will be on our 3rd week of a sunday school our house of prayer is offering at bethel church.  i am so enjoying attending it (no responsibilities for me this time!)  it is awesome that my kids can be in their sunday school classes and i only have the baby with me, so i can actually focus and learn a bit!  anyone who is local is welcome to join us.  email me for more info!

picture for the day:

i can't get enough of this cute boy's face!  can you see why i named him beloved?


Monday, March 14, 2011

do you dread mondays?

am i the only one who dreads mondays?  i think it has been so engrained into me that mondays are bad news... first day of the work week for many people or first day of the school week when you are a student.  but for me as a stay at home mom with my four boys, there is no reason that i should still dread monday morning like i did in high school.  yet, i do!

i have a solution!  (we will see how it works.)  to change my bad attitude about mondays, i am going to try to purpose my heart sunday night to think about all that i am thankful for instead of all of my "to-do" list for the following week.  sound like a good plan?  we will see.

in light of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant meltdowns this past week in japan, i really do realize i have so much to be thankful for.  there is so much i take for granted every single day as if life is somehow owed to me.  i have an entitlement mentality and in reality every single breath is a gift from God.  i wish that it didn't take something like this past week to realign my thinking. 

last week i shared the first 10 things i am thankful for of a list of hopefully 1000 things i am compiling.  i am keeping track on mine here on my blog, but one of you suggested in the comments last week that it would be a good idea to buy a journal and do it with your kids.  i love it!  i am thinking it would be fun to do that at our house as well.  i already try to talk to my kids regularly about cultivating a thankful heart and we share what we are thankful for, but to have a record that we could look back at as a family would be such a treasure! it would also serve as a powerful reminder of the testimony of God's activity in our family in times when we need that reminder to stir up our faith.

keep sharing ideas in the comments below - i think the discussion and ideas help us all so much.  also, don't be shy to reply to others comments if you have something to add or ask - i have the comments set up so it is easy to facilitate discussion and reply to specific people.


11. the miracles happening every day over in japan in the midst of crisis.  one of you shared in the comments of my post a prayer for japan and for us that a man was rescued who was swept out to sea in the tsunami after two days of clinging to the roof of his house!  wow!
12. a friend of mine was raised as a missionary in japan and his parents and two brothers are still there.  they are safe!  they have a cabin in minamisoma where the tsunami hit and would have most likely been there if it had happened during the summertime.  so thankful for protection.

13. saturday night my husband and i had a great date for our 9th wedding anniversary!

14. quick answers to prayer.  on thursday last week we had no gas in the car for me to drive across town to a meeting i had to be at, as well as no gas to finish out the week.  we sat down to pray and literally in the middle of praying my phone rang with someone wanting to buy something i had listed on craig's list over and over again for several months with no success of selling.  he came by 20 minutes later to buy it.  that seriously made my week!

15. our new refrigerator that my in laws bought us... the one we have had has been dying a slow death over the past 7.5 years of owning it (we inherited it with the purchase of our house).

16.  my mommy.  she is amazing. i aspire to be a mom like her.  today is her birthday.  happy birthday mom! 

17. the watch of the Lord - our house of prayer we oversee here in redding.  i am so blessed to be an intercessory missionary and be a part of a community of believers dedicated to persevere in prayer.

18. my bed.  we got a new mattress for christmas... it is a dream to sleep on after our first mattress we bought at an auction when we got married for $60.  this is like a 1000 times upgrade!

19. my minivan.  i never wanted to be a minivan driver, but i have the best minivan imaginable.  seriously.  now i just need to figure out how to keep it picked up from all the boys stuff they like to leave in it!

20. my four boys.  i have the best kids imaginable.  they keep me hopping, keep me laughing, and keep me thankful.

go to a holy experience to link up and join in!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

a prayer for japan and for us

a prayer for japan and for us:

Lord, You alone are able to make sense of all that has transpired the last 48 hours to our japanese brothers and sisters.  You who hold the world together by the Word of Your power are the God who is Mighty to save them, to save us!  oh God!  i ask that You save them!  i ask that in the midst of such overwhelming devastation that miracles abound.  may the lost literally be found... those trapped in buildings and rubble and darkness be set free... may those hurt, sick, and dying be healed... may the dead be raised back to life whole and with a message!  Lord, send Your angels to guide the rescue workers to find those who are still alive and lost, alone, crying out for help.  may help come quickly!  may lives be preserved.  show Your power and may we hear testimonies of people finding God and having face to face encounters while trapped and crying out for help.   

God, You alone are Mighty to save!

Father God, even more, i ask that heart turn to You!  let real revival break out in the streets of japan.  cause Your Spirit to be demonstrated in power, in signs and wonders, in radical salvation and transformed lives.  i ask that above all else, the hearts of the japanese turn to You and that this is the time of the greatest outpouring of Your Spirit in that country.  may repentance sweep over the nation.  in times like these we realize how short life is and how long eternity will be with You or in eternal separation.  Lord, let no more japanese souls be lost!  while we long for signs and wonders in the here and now, we long for more than a quick fix for this life alone... may live be forever snatched from the lake of fire and brought into the Kingdom of God!

i ask for souls!  i ask that japan would belong to Your Son!  i ask that japan would step out as a leader among gentile nations in calling on the name of Jesus and coming to You!  God, there is no other answer.  send laborers into the harvest.  may hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands of japanese come into the Kingdom in the next days and weeks... show Your glory Lord!

Lord, i ask that a Spirit of repentance would come over Your church, Your people, those of us who are seeking to follow Jesus.  wake us from our slumber.  shake us from our lukewarmness.  set us free from our lust for money, security, power, and everything else that keeps us from turning to You.  let us not be cold and disconnected thinking, well, it wasn't us.  shake us Lord!  wake us!  may we turn to You in prayer, in fasting, in repentance.  turn our hearts.  soften our hearts.  tenderize our hearts.  when all else is shaken, only You remain.  

grip us with the reality that these are birth pains.  this is all meant to grip us with the reality that You are coming soon.  let our hearts not be deceived.  let our eyes be opened.  things are not okay as they are.  we cannot be moved for a moment or two and then back to life as normal.  may our lives no longer be marked by normal.   may i be gripped with the reality that You are really really coming again and this is Your mercy that life would be shaken to show me the only place to put my hope and trust:  You.  may Your church be filled with desire for You. 

wake us Lord.  shake us Lord.  Jesus, may Your name alone be glorified.  in my life.  in the nations of the earth.  in japan.  

have mercy on us Lord.  let us turn to You now.  may our hearts not be hard.  we are in need.

Jesus, have mercy.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

what has He done for you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                 photo credit

i am linking up with some other bloggers (though a day late!) at a holy experience on sharing what we are thankful for - thanks barbie for urging me to join in!  i love to read and hear what other people are thankful for because it stirs up my heart to thanksgiving as well.  do you find this to happen to you as well?

as you know if you have been reading this blog for very long, i love thankful lists!  i am excited to join in and purpose my heart to give thanks in all circumstances and to seek out the things He has done for me and acknowledge them with  my lips (or fingers in this case).  i always think of this verse:

be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication  
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
                                                                      philippians 4:6

i personally struggle with the anxious part, so you will find me going back to what i am thankful for over and over again... and then trying the best i can to bring the rest to God in prayer.

i also have been walking around singing the chorus to one of brian johnson's songs on the bethel music newest cd be lifted high:

i remind myself of all that You've done,
and the life i have because of Your Son...
love came down and rescued me
love came down and set me free
i am Yours, i am forever Yours

sometimes i lose vision of all He has done for me and just the fact that i have salvation alone should keep me thankful all day long every day, but i, like every human out there, have to refocus my heart towards thanksgiving over and over and over again.

i think the goal of this challenge is to get to 1000 things we are thankful for... from that new book one thousand gifts (that i haven't read yet, but keep hearing great things about).  so here is the start of my list:

1. eternal life paid by the blood of Jesus for me!

2. the overwhelming response on here and facebook to two of my most recent posts that were two of the most difficult for me to write - the Lord has made me happy and there must be more than this.  thank you!

3. my sister for redesigning my blog!  didn't she do an amazing job?

4. my husband of 9 years tomorrow!  God brought me the perfect balance - one who bring calm to my storms, laughter to my moodiness, leadership and covering in godliness to my family of 4 boys, and the best witness to my life that i could have asked for.

5. my family - immediate and extended.  i realize i often take for granted that i have so much in riches in them and their pursuit of the Lord in their lives, their encouragement in mine, and the amazing heritage of the reality of the verse "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" handed down to me for free.

6. the Holy Spirit's constant activity in my heart.

7. a warm cup of tea on a cold morning - pg tips, of course, with honey and milk.

8. hot showers.  by myself, preferably.

9. the ability to play the piano - thank you mom and dad for investing in lessons for me so i could have this great go to when i need to connect with God or just allow my heart to overflow onto the keys.

10. my iphone.  i never thought i would like a smart phone, as i am not much of a technology kind of gal, but my husband gave it to me last year on our anniversary and i have actually enjoyed being so spoiled to have it over the past year.

if you want to join in and link up, click on the link above and follow her instructions on how to join.

what are you thankful for today?  please share in the comment section and let's all encourage each other towards remembering all He has done for us!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

there must be more than this

every once in a while I need a major wake up call that my everyday normal life isn't all there is.

i am not complaining for one moment about being a mom to 4 boys.  though i have had that ache inside at some point to explore other things as well, i don't have any particular itch right now to do anything differently off the top of my head (other than pay our bills on time and have enough money to keep up with the sky-rocketing gas prices!  can i hear an amen on that?!).

i wrestled for several months about my current season and i now really feel a peace and contentment about exactly where i am and what i am focusing on - my family.   let me me be perfectly honest, i have had many seasons when i didn't have this assurance that i was in the right place at the right time doing what i was meant to do.  though i struggled to find the peace, i just felt discontent.  right now isn't one of those times for me.  but even in this place of my life, in fact possibly especially in this place of my life, i must live with the constant awareness of the reality that there must be more than this.

there is so much on my heart that i would like to do someday.  i have dreams, goals, fleeting ideas of places i would go, things i would try, songs i would write, instruments i would learn to play, languages i would learn to speak.

i have always wanted to live in another country.

i have always wanted to run a marathon.

i have always wanted to write a book.

and yet, let's say every single one of these dreams inside are fulfilled one day (or even if they are possibly not), there still must be more than this. 

i get so wrapped up in the present life that so many many times i lose vision of the so much more there is and how very little understanding or awareness i have of it.  so much of my life passes by, moment by moment, day by day, and i fail to realize that at some point every single thing will be laid bare for all to see.   all the big things, all the little things, all the choices of what i said or didn't say, all the inner motives if my heart... they will all be seen.  they will be out on display and i don't know at this moment if it shakes me up more that you all will really know the inner workings of me or that i will look Him who created me in the eye and realize that He has always known it all along- the good, the bad, and the ugly.

and i think for me at least, when i get so focused on making sure there are clean socks, or dry diapers, or anointed worship sets, or prompt mortgage payments, or inspired blog posts i lose vision for what this life is all about.   i lose hope that even my heart can be sanctified; that the personality weaknesses that i have struggled with all of my life can be transformed; that i, even i, could be meek and humble instead of selfish and people pleasing.

when i start to think of this life as all there is, i lose vision for fullness in my own heart. suddenly the dreams to see the world, or be financially secure, or well liked and accepted become so much bigger than the dream of possessing my own soul.

where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, 
but happy is he who keeps the law.
proverbs 29:18

i have once again become acutely aware of the darkness hiding in the depths of my heart and i am grieved at what i see.  i am still spending time in prayer, in the Word, and even in public ministry... but there are areas of sin i had lost vision of ever overcoming.  there are areas i did not acknowledge as even being sin, but simply a part of my personality.  i am deeply grieved that if i were to stand before Jesus today, i would have to give an account before Him and before you for losing vision for possessing my own heart and failing to present to Him what i could have if i had only believed it to be possible to finally be whole.

you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin...
hebrews 12:4

grace is given that we (i) can have the means to finally be free.  not free to sin, but free to actually have the ability to obey and to love Him with a whole heart... something i have talked a lot about with little actual understanding of what it looked like in my own life.  

there must be more than this.

the fact that my eyes are once again open to the vision of this as a real possibility for me is bigger than any dream i could have for my life on this side of eternity.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

simple woman's daybook 3.2.11

for today:

outside my is raining.  i am sitting in starbucks, just finished up with my isaiah study, and looking at the rain come down.  we need it.  even as much as i don't like getting wet, we need it.  thank you Lord for your blessing upon us in sending the rain.

i am thinking...the faithfulness of God.  i am so thankful His faithfulness is not contingent on the faithfulness or faithlessness of people.  He is faithful because that is who He is!  what a solid place to put my faith.

i am thankful for... supernatural provision.  we had a tough month last month financially (just being rather transparent with all of you, more than i often feel comfortable doing).  we prayed and prayed and prayed for provision.  even on the other side of it i am amazed at how we even got through.  it wasn't easy.  it wasn't instantaneous.  it was painful and slow and exposing of all the cracks in my faith that the Lord wants to fill with Himself and His goodness and care for me.  i am left feeling broken and poor in spirit (matthew 5), but so very thankful that, i said before, His faithfulness isn't up to something inside of me. 

in the midst of a very hard month we had about $600 of unexpected cash gifts from people - some were anonymous and we don't even know who to thank.  if that isn't humbling, i don't know what is.  i don't know if it is harder to know who it is who makes sacrifices to give to us or to not know.  either way i am so extremely thankful to all who were obedient to the leading of the Lord to give so generously to us, not even knowing what a tough time it has been because we are not super quick to share about it. 

besides this, we had someone (bill's parents who are missionaries themselves in guatemala) buy us a brand new refrigerator.  the one we have had the past 7.5 years was left in the house we bought and on its way out even then.  in the midst of such a trying month, we were so blessed and God is reminding me again and again that mere man is not my providerHe alone is my Provider. 

remembering... to start each day in thankfulness - it changes so much to just simply change my perspective and where i am focusing my attention.  

from the learning rooms... well, we are still in the throws of making the decision of where to send our #2 son to school.  part of me wants him at the school he is at right now, parts wonders it at home would be a better option for this year.  we are seeking the Lord for His direction for this year and trusting He will lead us to make the best choice for him for this season.

from the kitchen... i made a big pot of beef stew last night and i have to say it was the best beef stew i have ever made.  what was the difference you ask?  well, i seasoned the meat with steak seasoning as i browned it, then dry sauted the mushrooms adding white wine when they lost their juices and sooo yummy!  we have enough left to have it again tonight!

i am wearing... my skinny jeans, cute red shoes that i got for christmas, a chunky gray sweater that has a big cowl neck, and a plaid red coat that is honestly my favorite.  i love red as an accent color!

i am creating... this amazing knit scarf... i decided to use big fat needles and skinny little angora/wool yarn.  the effect is a loopy delicate scarf that would be perfect as an accent to any outfit. 

i am going... on a little date tonight.  woohoo!  fun little coffee date with my babe of almost 9 years! 

i am reading... psalms still in my Bible reading challenge.  i must say that as much as i love it, i have been falling behind again because the way you version set up the reading for each day, they assigned like 6 psalms most days and that gets to be a bit more than i can do right now.  when i divided the chapters of the Bible by 365, i got that most days i should be reading 3 chapters to stay on track.  so, that makes me ask, are they only going to have me read 1 chapter at a time when i get to the book of isaiah?! 

i am hoping... to have a good tax appointment tomorrow.  are you all done with your taxes already?  anyone last minute about it?  i am glad our accountant sets up the next year's appointment on the same date as the current appointment or i know i would totally forget and procrastinate until the very last moment.

i am hearing... the sounds of starbucks music and conversation all around me.  it is busy here today.

around the house... i am so needing the motivation i had a couple weeks ago for organizing.  i dug into a dreaded hall closet that had become a catch all, and i am about half done with a box of things now sitting in the hall that need a permanent home.  unfortunately, i have been lacking both time and motivation to find it for them.  for some reason i would rather things out of sight and out of mind than sitting there in the hallway reminding me that i haven't finished what i started.  i am resisting the temptation to just shove them back into the closet and forget about them.
one of my favorite things... is a warm meal on a cold day. 

pondering... this quote from a Bible scholar by the name of grogan from the isaiah study i am doing:
it is a strange paradox that nothing makes a being less like God than the urge to be His equal, for He who was God stepped down from the throne of his glory to display to the wondering eyes of men the humility of God (Phil 2:5-8).

a few plans for the rest of the week:  tomorrow is the dreaded tax appointment.  for some reason i always dread it, but always feel such relief when it is over.  i had a new niece born yesterday, so i hope to see her at some point later this week.  i am watching another niece for my sister on friday.  have i ever mentioned that i have 12 nieces and 3 nephews.  is something a bit strange about this picture?  12 nieces! (including 2 in utero)... yet i only have boys.  crazy!

picture for the day:

here is the outfit i wore today so you can get a look.  are you a fan of skinny jeans?  i wasn't until i wore them.  yes, i know... i am such a follower.  hahaha! 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...