Monday, April 25, 2011
I often find myself at a lack of words when I so desire to express what I am thinking or feeling. At the same time I so long to be able to speak of the joy that I do feel when I am in a state of worship of my Lord. At the same time there are times when I might be in a dark place feeling very low and empty and I equally have trouble expressing what I feel. I find myself getting frustrated with this, and realize that this is a problem that I see in men so often. We grow up thinking that emotion is a bad thing, and that a true man should be like a rock, not allowing himself to go up to high or down to low on the scale. As a result we turn cold, and lack a great deal of intimacy that we are designed to have with God. Of course there is a right way and a wrong way to express emotion. We often forget how full of emotion the Psalms really are. It is there that we are given a perfect example of how to explore the "inner life" before God. It cannot not stop between just me and God, however. As we are called into community by the gospel, we must be open and exposed. As men we must be willing to weep with those who are weeping. To have joy with those who have joy. To raise your hands in worship of God. To abandon the cultural norms of what it mean to be a man, and enter into what it means to be a man after God's own heart.
I realize that this was somewhat of a rabbit trail, and not exactly what Mr. Singh was describing, but it was a take away for me from his writing. We are all finite and can never exhaust the experience of the inner life when we are in Christ, but we should still strive for it.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
"When we slow down to pray, we are immediately confronted with how unspritual we are, with how difficult it is to concentrate on God. We don't know how bad we are until we try to be good. Nothing exposes our selfishness and spiritual powerlessness like prayer."
"The criteria for coming to Jesus is weariness. Come overwhelmed with life. Come with your wandering mind. Come messy."
"...power in prayer comes from being in touch with your weakenss. To teach us how to pray, Jesus told stories of weak people who knew they couldn't do life on their own.... Learned desperation is at the heart of a praying life."
And lastly, one that really hits me...
"If you are going to enter this divine dance we call prayer, you have to surrender your desire to be in control, to figure out how prayer works."
"Until you are convinced you can't change your child's heart, you will not take prayer seriously."
So, go get the book. Or if you are in St. Louis, I have a copy you can borrow.
Next on the list is up to Michael. I have told him that I will read one of his choices next. I will let you know though. He really has read some good stuff and I hope he has time in between classes in May to share some of his learnings from the semester. Right now he is in crunch time though. I think there are about 3 weeks left in the semester where he has to get a big paper done, which he has I think 8-9 sources for, a timeline, another smaller 5 page paper, and some other little things, and finals. Whew. That makes me tired just looking at all that he has to accomplish. Then comes Greek this summer. He is really enjoying this school thing though, which is good, cause he has 3 more years of it :) Ok, enough jabbering. Maybe everyone will decide to get up soon. SK is cuddling in the bed with her Daddy. Maybe I will go back and join them. I wish I could sleep in like those 2 can. Oh well.
Friday, April 22, 2011
So how do we handle not doing this whole bunny thing. We don't really have that all figured out. Suggestions welcomed. We are planning to teach SK about Santa and the Easter Bunny just like Winny the Pooh or Dora. They are good stories and fun. Some people believe them to be more than that and that is ok. We are still praying through how to teach Sk about it in a way that glorifies God and points her to Him.
We want SK to look foward to Easter Sunday because we get to celebrate with the body of Christ what an incredible Savior we have and we get to call Father/Daddy. How awesome is that. I want her to hunger for Him and seek His face instead of being so focussed on what she can get in her basket Sunday morning.
Once again, don't get irritated with me if you do different. Or if you do, I am sorry. We don't claim to think our way is best. We are messed up sinners who are just trying to keep our eyes on Christ and pray for God to be glorified through us. As messed up as we are.
We do have fun plans tomorrow night. We have made a family tradition with SK making resurrection cookies on Sat. night. I will post pics hopefully tomorrow from doing that. If you haven't heard of them, check out this website. SK had so much fun helping last year and I am sure will enjoy it this year. She loves to help in the kitchen.
We have been looking at Philippians on Wed. nights. It has been so awesome to just rest in Christ on Wed. nights. So I will leave you with this:
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."--Philippians 2:12-14
The prize is in front of us and we are to press on. So press on friends.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
"That's not a good idea." or "You think that's a good idea? Yeah." When likes or dislikes what Momma or Daddy says we are going to do.SK also got a surprise in the mail from Mimi today. She was most excited about the "Lemon m's". The new shoes came in a close second :) Child loves her some shoes and chocolate. Girl after my own heart I must say! Thanks, Mimi for the fun package!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
So 2 years ago this May, Michael and I suffered a miscarriage. Most of you know this. Hardest thing I have ever been through in my entire life. I have never hurt so bad. Well, a week after having found out we lost our baby, I got a phone call. No need to know who, I am not here to speak poorly of anyone, and the person that called, I love very much. So back to the phone call. (And just in case this person might actually read this blog and know who you are--not likely--I do love you, but I am here to say you were wrong). This person called and asked how the pregnancy was going, to which I replied that we had lost the baby. He was sorry that it had happened, but then proceeded to tell me that hopefully I would figure out what the sin was in my life so that I would be able to get pregnant again and don't have to deal with more punishment.
Yep. If you need to reread that sentance, go ahead. Let that sink in for a sec.
So I was told that due to my sin, I was punished. That I would not be given the blessing of more cihldren until I paid the dues for my sin and corrected myself. I knew the gospel, but this really made me question a lot. I highly respected this person and a Godly person, so this was hard to take and just say that it was wrong and throw it aside or call the person out on it. I have grown since then. I can say that I know more now than I knew then. And I knew in my heart then that something was wrong with that statement, but having months of infertility after that it made me question whether maybe this person was right.
Here is what I believe though. I believe in Scripture. And according to Gal. 3:13, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us-for it is written." And I believe Romans 8:1 when it says, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of livfe has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." Now God might be using this miscarriage to shape me and disciple me, but not to discipline me. If we say that I have to pay consequences for my sin, doesn't that take away for the work of Christ? Saying that what he did on the cross just wasn't good enough? Looking more at Scripture, I see in John 9:1-3, "As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him." As hard as I don't want to be in this place and thought I had better plans for my life, I do pray that the works of God might be displayed in me. If things had gone according to my life, I would tend to puff up my chest and say, look at what I have done with my life. That doesn't give God anything. So many times we have to go through the desert to grow and see that we need Christ. Desperately need. I know I do. So while I really didn't appreciate that phone call that day, it did something good for me. It made me look at what I believe. It made me see that Christ was enough and is good. While this whole journey has been incredibly hard, I know God has something good in store, and if we had been blessed with the good right off, we wouldn't have given Him the glory He deserves and therefore been able to testify "Look what God has done!" "To GOD be the glory!"
Friday, April 8, 2011
The weather has been lovely here and I am enjoying it very much. Have I mentioned that I am really over the cold and snowy weather. Bring on Summer. Bring on shorts and t-shirts. Bring on icecream. I am ready!
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
By the way, this better be the only way we can make a snowman for then next several months!
Friday, April 1, 2011
- 1. My awesome, incredible, most amazing husband. He has been such a help to me and really tries with the time that he does have. Granted he has a lot with school going on, so I know he has a lot on him, but he still tries to encourage me and be there for me. For instance, he knows that I really enjoy having our bed made, but I leave at 6 in the morning, with him still in it. He gets up and makes the bed each morning and then reminds SK to make hers. He and SK are in charge of unloading the dishwasher and it is such a help to me.
- Knowing how to sew. I am thankful for Maja Clayton and how she ministered so much to me (and continues to from a distance..). She taught me so much not just in sewing, but in life. It amazed me how she openned up her home once a week to a bunch of crazy ladies with even more crazy kids and nurtured us. I am thankful that I can now take what she has shared with me and spread that. I am excited to get to teach other ladies here about sewing and open up my home to have some good fellowship.
- An encouraging phone call this week. I can't remember how much I have shared about how we have talked to a couple of adoption agencies, but I talked to another this week. We had been a bit discouraged about the financial aspect of us not making enough to be approved, but the phone call this week, gave us hope. According to them, we should be able to qualify with what are income is. We are still planning to take our time and wait until Michael hopefully finds an internship or something that he thinks he will stick with during the rest of seminary. You can pray for that. The job at Chick-fil-A has been such a blessing, but it is hard. He never knows his schedule each week and he works every Sat. This week he is working today till 7 then tomorrow till 7. I don't like that schedule, but will be thankful for a job right now. Back to adoption. We are taking time right now to study up on adoption and just learn everything we can and mainly praying about it. I am so encouraged though that this could happen sooner than we were thinking (meaning not having to wait till we are done with seminary).
- Sunshine. We have had way too many overcast grey skies since being here. Today, I sit looking out our front windows and see glorious sunshine. It's cold kinda, but at least the sun is out.
- Sk is napping today. Enough said.
- The Lord's provisions. It has been awesome to see how the Lord has provided for us and we are only a few months into this seminary thing. I love to see not only Him working in and through my husband but using this time to grow me.
- Peaceful mornings. I have to be at work in the mornings at 6:15. Yeah, a little early, which I knew might be a bit of an adjustment, but I am a morning person anyways, just maybe not that early. But I have seen how the Lord is giving me such an awesome opportunity to have quiet and rest. I have had a hard time since SK was born to find time to get into the word and spend good time in prayer and just sit at Jesus' feet. Now I get that most mornings. Molly tends to get up soon before or after I arrive, but goes back down within 30-45 minutes and I have a quiet house till Sk gets there around 8. Since I am not at my own house, I don't have the option to go do laundry or dishes or piddle on the computer. Thank you Father for that. It is so incredible. I can pray and read or I can knit or smock. It is lovely and I am very thankful for that.
- Leftover Papa John's pizza. That's what I am snacking on now :) then I think I will have to wash that down with a White Chocolate Chocolate chip cookie. Yesterday was nice to order a pizza. I haven't ordered one since living in Alabama and I love me some Papa John's. Pizza here is different. Most St. Louis people I have found like the really thin almost like a saltine cracker with cheese on top kindof pizza. Me, I like Papa Johns.
- Sk's heart. We had an incident yesterday where she refused to go potty when mommy recommended and then proceeded to tee-tee all over an ABC puzzle. I was upset, not only from that but it seemed to be the icing on the cake for the day and she knew mommy wasn't happy. But, she came to me on the couch about 15 minutes later and wanted to pray for forgiveness and pray for "Mommy's heart" and "SK's heart". Her prayer was precious. I wish I could have recorded it. What I have learned from that child is beyond me. She has taught me so much and I love her so much.
- Movie night with my husband. He doesn't know it yet, but he is gonna watch a movie with his wife tonight after SK goes to bed. I haven't consulted his papers that are due or the books he has to get read, but they will just have to wait. I'm cutting in on tonight. At least for a couple of hours to rest and wind down from a crazy week.
I should do this more often. I so often get caught up in the bad of the day and don't sit back and see how much good there is all around me and how blessed I truly am.