Thursday, June 30, 2011


One of the ways God speaks to me is by repeating himself.  Some times I am completely overwhelmed by how much he loves me.  That he doesn't just show it but he repeats it.  In some cases, the first mention stands out and the second just confirms it.  Other times the second reference makes the first mention light up in my mind and heart.  As if God is saying, "I don't want you to miss this so I am going to say it again".  When I see the same passage of scripture several times in a matter of days I am totally amazed.  God is so big and so good.  When you listen, he speaks.

*The other morning, I woke up in a total funk.  Enough said.  My Love and I read separately.  I was completely humbled when I read Proverbs 15:1 (meant for May 11th...yes we are WAY behind), "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger".  When my Love was finished, I asked him quietly if anything stood out to him in his reading for the day.  "The verse in Proverbs," he said smiling.  We both heard the message loud and clear.  The next day I was reading a book for pleasure (three chapters behind the rest of the book club) and the author referenced the same verse "...a soft answer turns away wrath".  Um.  OK Lord.  Work on my default responses.  Got it.

*Last week I looked up on the wall and saw this
  As if God was literally shining a light on a truth he wanted me to know, "With God all things are possible!"  Thank you Jesus.  This morning I opened up my God Calling devotional and read "I am Powerful enough to do everything,...that no miracle is impossible with me ("With God all things are possible" and "I and my Father are one")".  Wow.  Okay God.  I hear you.  All things are possible.

*Last night I was reading about peace, a timely topic for me.  Both Sunday morning and this particular chapter in my book mentioned what it means if you aren't able to sleep well.  My mind is always going.  Am I letting the gift of peace that has already been given to me keep me...well...peaceful despite my circumstances?  What is my mind really focused on?  In The Fitting Room, Kelly Minter writes:

"I was reading the often-quoted passage in Philippians 4 the other morning: "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think about such things."  I realized that peace is the culmination of these words found in the following verse: "Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-- put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you."

"Paul encourages the Philippians to learn, receive, hear, see, and most poignant, put into practice the truths and lifestyle he lived as a result of Jesus Christ: a way of life that promotes inward peace. 

"This is a compelling charge for us to have our thoughts consumed with all that is right and true, an unspoken call for us to lay aside whatever is not of those things."

This morning I opened up my awesome friend's blog to find Philippians 4:4-9 quoted with no explanation.  Wow!  Think about such things.  Put it into practice.  The God of peace will be with me.  Yes!

Sometimes I go crazy repeating instructions to my three year old son.  For some reason I think if he clearly heard me the first time, I shouldn't need to repeat myself [insert smiles from every parent reader].  Oh how thankful I am that my Father practices repetition.  I would miss out on a whole lot of instruction if I didn't hear it a second, third, or fourth time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

in the AF

Tonight it just occurred to me that he is we are in the Air Force.  Is that strange?  I mean, we have lived this life for nine years now.  We have moved houses three times, overseas and on both coasts.  Every transition has seemed natural and easy.  No stress involved just excitement about the next chapter.  

We have been spoiled though.  We have been given great assignments in ideal locations.  We have stayed at our first two bases for over three years each.  Life has been an adventure and we have enjoyed the process of moving around and meeting new people.  But the reality is, we are he is in the Air Force.  Decisions are made for us.  Changes could happen at any time.  To an extent, my Love can see what might be around the next corner of his career but nothing is certain.  Plans can always be interrupted.

Our landlord called today.  He inquired about signing a new year lease.  We are less than 60 days from our current contract expiration.

No official decision has been made yet but a plan seems to be falling into place, natural and easy.  The reality is the decision we make today could be changed for us in a year or two.  There will be short term assignments and deployments down the road.  He is in the Air Force.  This is our life.  A life the Lord wrote for us.  And even though we both feel strongly that their is not a clear "right" answer in this particular situation, we do know the Lord will be with us wherever we go.  And maybe that is the answer.  The Air Force might make plans for us, but our Father directs our paths. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

growing into a man

What is with his obsession with growing up?  He eats a meal, takes a nap, accomplishes a new task, reaches the sink without a step-up and then scurries off to the yellow wall to measure his growth by penciled tally marks in our borrowed home.  As a joke he stands on his tip toes and I gasp for breath believing for a brief moment that a month just slipped from my memory.  An inch over night?  

He is growing though.  His legs are undeniably lanky.  His arms dangle down my back as I carry him up the stairs to bed (my own age weighing heavy on my knees with my child in my arms).  

Where has the time gone?  Nearly 3 1/2 years have flashed before my eyes.  Evidence of the days behind me is measured on a wall in the family room that I wish I could take with us.

"I'm going to grow up to be a man!" he announces with anticipation.  And even though that day will come soon enough, I choose to be thankful for today.  Not thinking about the pencil marks that remembered a shorter him.  For I was present in those moments too. Not looking up toward the ceiling knowing the marks will soon reach the sky.  Not squeezing him (too hard) today.  But letting him grow.  Taller and bigger and happier every day into the man God has created him to be.  Thankful for every inch that marks a memory, in fact a gift.  And taking a mental photograph of the particular shade of red his hair is maturing into and the sprawling number of freckles spotting his cheeks and nose.

He is no longer a baby.  Not even a toddler.  He is a boy.  A boy who is a hop, skip, and jump from growing into a man.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

knuckes white, fingers peeled back

Today I am thankful for a lone Scrabble tile.  The one accidentally left out here while played with during our June Home Fellowship on Friday night.  The single tile that Babydoll later found and carried with her in one hand as she crawled around the house--still not walking.  

A treasure all her own.  

Once I discovered she had the tile in her grasp, I tried to retrieve it from her.  She instinctively clinched her fist.  Knuckles white.  Holding on with all her will to prevent me from taking it from her.  It made her happy.  She found it.  It was all hers.

I am thankful that I am stronger than my one year old daughter.  That even though I had to peel back one finger at a time, I was successful to take the tile from her.  Not because I wanted to be mean and prevent her from having fun.  But because I knew that if I let her keep holding the tile she would probably put it in her mouth and choke on it.

After I had the tile out of her reach, she immediately laid herself out and kicked and screamed.  She was sad.  She wanted the tile.  She tried her hardest to keep it.  But ultimately I was stronger.  She gave up.  After a good pout, she picked herself up and moved forward with her life.

Today I am thankful that the Lord is stronger than me.  That even though I see him coming and I think I trust him, I still clinch tight, knuckles white, not wanting him to take from me what I think brings me happiness.

I am thankful for the terrible funk I was in this morning.  I am thankful that he patiently peeled back each finger I held so tight.  I am thankful for the "kicking, screaming" fit I had so he could lay me out flat. 

I am thankful for the hard tears that fell in the second row of church today.  I am thankful for a message from my Father that was prepared exactly for me to hear on this day during this moment of my life.  

I am thankful that he doesn't let me remain in human-minded happiness as I treasure the things of the earth.  That he lifts my hands up for me with my palms open, letting him use what I have how he wills.  That he sees what I don't see and faithfully rips it from my hand if need be.  He loves me so much!  For the joy and pleasure that comes with the letting go (sometimes after a good screaming fit) overflows to overwhelming.

Thank the Father.

Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

5:45 comes early

As expected we are having to adjust our daily lives around here.  The alarm clock goes off pretty early and our day gets off to a bleary-eyed start.  Thank you Lord for a coffee pot that brews to a timer before we get out of bed.  

Because my Love is getting home later in the evenings than we have been used to, the kiddos have been going to bed later which makes them sleep in later in the morning.  So...I have had an extra hour at the start of my day all to myself.  What a gift!  Yesterday morning after my Love and I read and prayed together, I made his lunch, cooked a hot breakfast, and cleaned out most of the refrigerator before Babydoll even woke up.  

Adjusting.  That is what we are all doing.  And praying.  Will you keep praying with us?  The time to make a decision about moving our family closer to my Love's job is quickly approaching.  I am excited to see what the Lord does.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

day two

I am thankful for the twenty minutes of silence that greeted me after my Love left my side on the couch to get ready for work.  Bundle Brother was up before 7am and I was ready and happy to see his sweet face peek out from behind the hallway.  What are you thankful for as you consider how this Wednesday morning started?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

new job start

Thank you for your prayers this week as we adjust to my Love's new job location.  Today was his first full day at the office.  The morning started early for us (before 6am), but we still managed to start our day together praying and reading God's word (with a cup of coffee in hand).  Praise God!  

My Love was out the door before the kids woke up.  His drive went smooth and was a brisk 50-minute commute one way.  So thank you for your prayers.  We feel them.  It has been nice to have my parents here to keep us busy as we transition into this new life.  My Love will be off Thursday and Friday so he can join in on Adventures with PopBob and Grammie.  

Keep the prayers coming.  It feels strange to realize he is so far away from home.  I am eager to share more about all God is teaching me through this process when the time is right.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

divine patience

A funny thing happens when you seek the Lord.  I mean really seek Him.  Not just ask for a neon sign from the heavens (which He could do).  But sit in communion with Him.  Pray, listen, read His Word, fellowship with other believers.  A funny thing happens.  He answers you.  And maybe not in the way you might think.  Maybe not in the words you are expecting to hear.  He is poised and ready to speak to you in a still small voice if only you would sit still (and quiet) enough to hear it.

Every day that I open God Calling, I am blessed.  There is always a truth or nugget I can think upon and most days it is quite timely.

And then there are days like today when I open up the journal to read the entry written for June 4 and I lose my breath.  Every line, every word, every thought penned like it was chosen just for me to read on this day during this chapter of my life.  It feels like a direct conversation with God.  I post the devotion here for myself.  I know I will share more about all that God is doing in a few months, but it just doesn't seem appropriate to publish the process right here.  I don't want to forget though.  I want to remember that on this day, God spoke directly to my heart.  He knew my thoughts.  He knew my struggles.  He knew my desires.  And I heard his voice.  Enjoy!  

"Molding, My children, means cutting and chiseling.  It means sacrifice of the personal and to conform to type.  It is not only My work but yours.

The swift recognition of the selfish in your desires and motives, actions, words and thoughts, and the instant appeal to Me for help to eradicate that.

It is a work that requires cooperation--Mine and yours.  It is a work that brings much sense of failure and discouragement too, at times, because, as the word proceeds, you see more and more clearly all that yet remains to be done.  

Shortcomings you had hardly recognized or at least for which you had had no sense of sorrow, now cause you trouble and dismay.

Courage.  That is in itself a sign of progress.

As you see the slow progress upward made by you, in spite of your longing and struggle, you will gain a divine patience with others whose imperfections trouble you.

So on and up.  Forward.  Patience--Perseverance--Struggle.  Remember that I am beside you, your Captain and your Helper.  So tender, so patient, so strong.

Yes, we cooperate and as I share your troubles, failures, difficulties, heartaches, so, as My friends, you share My patience, and My strength--beloved."

I have no idea how that entry could possibly apply to anyone else on this June 4, 2011 (my sister Justine's 26th birthday), but it spoke right to my soul.

Thank you Lord for seeing me, for knowing my heart, and for answering my prayers.

Friday, June 3, 2011

more growth

Remember when I saw something growing from nothing?

Look at all the growth God has done in such a short time! 

a thrill of joy

Last night my Love picked up my copy of One Thousand Gifts and read the first chapter aloud.  

This morning, I opened up God Calling and read this...  It was a good reminder of the joy that comes from a grateful heart even if you don't always feel like saying thank you.  Enjoy!

"Praise is the acknowledgment of that which I have sent you.  Few men would send a further gift of payment until they had received the acknowledgment of the previous one.  So praise, acknowledging, as it does, that My gift and blessing leaves the way open for Me to shower yet more on the thankful heart.

"Learn as a child learns to say "Thank you" as a courtesy, with perhaps no real sense of gratitude at all.  Do this until at last a thrill of joy, of thankful awe, will accompany the spoken word."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

sacrifice it to him

We are blessed to be in a good place right now.  A place that requires us to seek God and wait on his answer.  I am not sure we have ever been through this exact situation.  Often decisions are made for us within my Love's career and we trust God is leading us.  He says go, we go.  This decision feels all together different and we don't want to start down the wrong path.  We don't want to make the easiest most comfortable decision for our family because frankly there isn't one.  We don't want to just make the choice that makes the most sense.  We don't want to be lured by the things of this world.  We just want to follow Jesus.  If God says move, we'll move (sowing in tears).  We want to clearly hear His voice first before we move forward at all.

So that is where we are at right now.  Waiting, praying, seeking, listening.  In a good place.  I asked my Love if we could commit to praying about it for a month before we started all the what-ifs and possibilities.  This is huge, people.  Whatever the outcome God WILL do big things in our marriage as we wait on Him together.  My biggest prayer is that my Love and I would come away hearing the same answer.  Ultimately the decision is his but either way (whether we move or not), life will change.

Please pray for us.

As we commit this to prayer for the next few weeks, I can't help but think about Abraham as I studied the names of God.  Am I hiking up the mountain with my Isaac in hand completely willing to give it to the Lord to do with it what He will?  Or am I telling God I trust you and I will be obedient but still looking all along the path for Him to intervene at any time?  When seeking His face I have to be willing to hear His answer.  I have to accept it (no matter how hard) and He doesn't even have to explain to me the reasons why.

The LORD will provide, Jehovah-jireh.   

I choose to hike up that mountain with my "Isaac" knowing full well God has asked me to sacrifice it to Him.  My God is called El Roi, He foresees what I do not.

My Love's new position starts on Monday.  Our family will have two months to experience his commute before our lease is up.  What a gift God has given us!  We have time to wait on the Lord.

Proverbs 3:5-6

 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
      do not depend on your own understanding.
 6 Seek his will in all you do,
      and he will show you which path to take.