The crazy journey of our family living this beautiful life for our awesome God!
"...Whatsoever you do, do ALL to the glory of GOD." 1 Cor. 10:31

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Real Love, Part V

Wow...it has been a while since I've posted, I'm sorry!  I didn't post at all last week because of the holiday and now it's tricky getting back in the hang of normal life.  Vacation is always wonderful but on Sunday the hubs and I were both dreading starting another Monday.  So I basically just survived my day yesterday and now I'm getting back into the routine of normal life today. :)

I hope you haven't forgotten that I've been writing about "real" love...and I've definitely still got more characteristics to go.   It helped me to go back through and read the other posts on love to have a coherent flow of what I've been studying so...perhaps it would help you to do the same.

We are called to love in a radical way, we've already seen that from all over in God's word.  But I've also mentioned that the reason we can even love that way in the first place is because God first loved us and as His people we have the ability to let Him love others through us, so it is His love working in us to do what He has called us to do.  I gained an even better understanding of God's love this past week as I was reading and studying....let me share. :)

I know that when I have gone through some really difficult, tear my soul up, times, like the battle Luke and I had with infertility for a few years, I had times where I struggled to grasp how something like that could come into my life from a God who loves me.  It sure didn't "feel" loving to be left with an empty hole in my heart and a barren womb and sit in my room, sobbing over the heartache of empty arms.  I remember asking, "If God loves me, how could He allow me to feel so much pain?"  I wrestled with that from time to time but decided to fight my "feelings" with the truth and choose to accept to believe that God says He loves me in His word and THAT is truth, so I chose to accept what He said, even though it didn't always feel like that in my life.

Recently I have learned a bit more about His love that has turned a few more pages in my limited understanding of love and put a new perspective on what I was feeling back during that time, and other times of pain.  As fallen human beings, what we consider "love" is not perfect and the way we show love is not perfect.  We tend to see love as doing nice things for another person and giving them things and taking care of them.  And those are very loving acts.  But, God's love is much deeper and more involved than that.  His love is infinite and holy and beyond what we can fully comprehend.  And His love is not of the "human" kind...it is His perfect, holy love.

God created us for His glory and to enjoy Him fully.  And in His infinitely perfect knowledge He knows what is best for us and what the most loving thing for us is.  He knows that we will find the most joy in glorifying Him through our lives, because that is what we were created for.  You cannot separate the two...we are to glorify God, but at the same time, glorifying Him brings us the most joy.  So for God to show His love would be to do things that allow us to glorify Him most and therefore bring us the most joy because we are fulfilling our purpose here.  So when something painful, something that rips at your heart, something that makes you bleed inside and leaves you feeling like a million pieces, comes into your life....it is through God's sovereign, all-wise, all-knowing, loving hands because He knows that it is going to allow you to glorify Him most, bringing you the most JOY possible.

I know this first hand, because after all was said and done, and I was able to look back at the years that we fought and wrestled with life, pain and reality and was able to say "Thank you."  Thank you God for what you have done in my life...I would never wish that pain on anyone but I see now how God used it to mold my heart and be the potter in my life and I'm thankful for everything I learned and experienced.  My life is richer, fuller and better because of what I experienced.  I see now, God knew best and He knew what would bring me the most joy, through glorifying Him to the fullest....He was loving on me....He was wrapping my heart in His hands, making it all that He wanted it to be and it was perfect.

So...perhaps that will be an encouragement to you today as you think on love and how you can love more fully and more "real."  Here's the next few characteristics.....

Love.....


Thinks No Evil- I don’t dwell on others' wrongs.  I quickly forgive when wronged and don't hold a grudge.  I don't stay bitter or upset at someone when they've hurt me.  I don't jump to conclusions about their motives or assume the worst.  I don't wish wrong on others.  Also...my mind is pure and thinks on what is lovely, pure, honest, noble, right and admirable so I think these types of thoughts about others.  My mind is filled with thoughts of others that align with these characteristics.  

Does not rejoice in unrighteousness- I encourage others spiritually.  I don't take pleasure in someone else's sin and am not happy to see others screw up because of their sin.  I don't encourage or cheer on sinful behavior.  I don't enjoy seeing others fall or make unwise decisions.  I don't take pleasure in sinful things.  Like iron sharpens iron, I am a spiritual challenge and encouragement to those around me...my spouse, my kids, my family, my friends, my church, strangers, etc. 

Rejoices in the truth- I am honest, and seek honesty in everything.  I rejoice in God's Word because it is truth.   I cherish His word above all and regard it for the holy, perfect Word that it is.  Because I rejoice in truth, I know that the most loving thing I can do is share Truth with others so I look for ways to share God with those around me, whether stranger or friend.  

Whew...today's are definitely a challenge to me.  My toes are getting stepped stomped on! :)  I have got some praying and learning and growing to do.  I hope this has been a challenge and encouragement to you as well! 

Happy Tuesday!  




Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday...Kind of

Sorry I've been MIA this week.  I've been taking the week off and not doing any posting this week.  But I didn't want to skip being thankful for thankful Thursday, especially since this week is Thanksgiving!  I'm not going to write tomorrow since it's Thanksgiving, I don't want to spend time on the computer, so I thought I could just write something really quick tonight.

It's not in typical Thankful Thursday form...but I just want to remind everyone to truly count your blessings.  We are so blessed and I feel so grateful for all the Lord has done for us.  If the only thing He did for me was die on that cross that would be more than enough...but He has graciously chosen to bless me with so much more.  I am thankful for the life I have in Him..not just my life here on earth, but the spiritual life He has given me.  I am so grateful for my salvation and my relationship with Him.  There is hope and purpose in life because of Him.  And I'm grateful we have a day that reminds us to be thankful.  But I pray that it isn't just something we do on this one time a year...but something that is a habit in our lives on a daily basis.

So I hope you are enjoying this holiday week and spending lots of time being thankful!  Enjoy the yummy food tomorrow! I can't wait! :)


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Brrrr.....it's yucky outside today!! But, I kinda like days that force me inside to enjoy the warmth of my home.  Makes me wanna curl up on the couch with a coffee or a chai and read a good book next to the fireplace..sounds dreamy, huh?  :)  A dream is about as far as it's getting today 'cause there's not a whole lot of "curling" up on the couch to be done when you're chasing around a busy, crazy little boy.  But it's still a nice thought, right? ;)
 
Hopefully your week is going well and as always, hopefully you've got lots to be thankful for!  Here's my list for this week.....

1. My family (as in the whole shebang....mom, dad, brothers, sisters, in-laws)....we had to spend a good portion of our Saturday together for some business things and even though the reason we were getting together wasn't too fun, it was still fun because I love the way my family interacts and hangs out together.  We have a lot of sarcasm and joking around and there is always lots of laughter.  I love seeing my family laugh. :)

2.  Volleyball...this is definitely one of my "releases."  I love playing volleyball and it's such a good way for me to de-stress. (usually, unless we're playing city league in the upper league and having a rough night..then it's another story! ;) ) We bowed out of the city league team this year to take a break but I got asked to sub this week and it was so fun to be back on the court again with my friends.  Good times.

3.  Friends.... I am talking about the kind you can pick up where you left off with. The kind who pray for you, and don't just say they will. The kind who understand and forgive you for not being there when you should have been. The kind who know you well enough not to say anything or to speak up. You know the friends I am talking about and you know who you are in my life. :)


4. Grace, forgiveness & not passing judgement.... We never know what another person is going through. I am thankful I have been given grace when I fail and I hope I learn to do the same.  I am a work in progress and I'm so thankful for the grace and forgiveness that is continually extended to me.  I'm still learning to be quick to forgive and give grace.


5.  Flowers...aren't these one of the most beautiful, creative displays of God's handiwork?  I think they are.  They are so varied, full of different colors, shapes and sizes and each one is beautiful!  My sweet hubs brought me some home this week and they are always good to pick me up on a day when I feel at war with the world.  


6.  My crockpot!...I've been cooking in this thing all week and I LOVE it!  I love not having to cook at the end of a long day and just being able to pull out whatever has been stewing all day.  Plus it smells so yummy to have the aroma of dinner wafting through the house all day! A great website for crockpot recipes is A Year of Slow Cooking...check it out...seriously.  


7.  Christmas music...yes, it's already been playing in our house. :)  And even better...the hubs might just like listening to it more than me so we get to listen to it ALL day.  It makes me feel so warm and cozy and happy.  I love the sound of it filling my home.  


The whole "shebang" of the gang....I love my family. :) 
(left to right...Luke, Grahm, Me, Dane, Lindsey, Tyler, Annalise, Mom, Dad, Austin, Lainey, Victoria, Palmer, Tiffany, Kennedy, Ken, Hunter)




There ya go!  Please share yours...I love reading them.  


Happy Thursday!





Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Real Love, Part IV

In all this "loving" we shouldn't forget that the first part of Jesus' commandment in Mark 12:30-31 is that we are to love God above all else.  Jesus says, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."  You can't get much more consuming than that.  He includes everything in this verse.  We are to love God with absolutely everything that we are, say and do.  Our entire essence and being is to be about loving God.

Our heart and soul is the lifeblood of who we are.  His word says that everything flows from our heart....all our thoughts and the innermost parts of "us" flow from our heart.  So way down into the very depths of us we are to love God.

Our mind controls what we think, say and do...so our thoughts, actions and words will reflect a love for God.  The very words we speak and the thoughts we think and whatever we do will show others that we love God.

And loving with all of our strength shows the "how" of loving God.  We are to love Him with all of our might...our best effort should go into loving God and living for Him.

For me, this is really intimidating.  I feel completely worthless and incapable of loving God like this.  How in the world am I supposed to do this?  Remember what I mentioned in the 2nd post on real love....we can love because God first loved us and His love is in us if we are His children.  It isn't within our own power to be able to love this way, but God created us for this purpose and through His power we can love like this.

How does this look practically?  Well, Jesus tells us in John 14:15 that if we love God we are to keep His commandments.  It's pretty simple...obey His Word.  Does your life line up with what He says in His word? Are you living for His glory?  Part of that includes loving others the way 1 Corinthians 13 describes.  So here are the next couple of characteristics......

Love...


Is not selfish- I do all things for others' best interest.  I don't seek my own things or put myself first.  I don't try to get my own way and I always put others first and seek their best interest above mine.  I am sacrificial with my money, my time, my talents, my plans and my body.  I don't resent my kids for "infringing" on "my" time when they interrupt me or  need my help.    I don't get frustrated when someone needs my help and it takes away from my plans.  I accept these things as "divine appointments."  

Is not easily provoked-I am patient, not upset easily.  I let a multitude of wrongs go and don't get irritate or annoyed with others.  I am slow to speak and slow to anger.  I don't react in frustration, fury or resentment when I am wronged.  I don't not get upset when others don't meet my expectations or they say mean things about me or they do something frustrating.  I am quick to let things roll of my back.  

Well...I hope these thoughts leave you with something to think about for a couple days.  Don't forget that in loving others, we are showing our love for God because it is something He has called us to do.  

Happy (late) Wednesday!




Monday, November 14, 2011

Real Love, Part III

This love stuff doesn't sound too bad when we are thinking about the people in our lives who are easy to love.  Although, if you are anything like me, I've already been convicted by how I'm lacking in loving the ones close to me with a biblical love.  It's true we tend to treat those we love worse than complete strangers.  But there are people in our lives who we really feel are impossible or very hard to love....the unloveables.  How are we doing when it comes to loving our enemies, the people we disagree with, the people who treat us unkindly, the people who even hate us for who we are, the people who make our skin crawl, the people who hurt us?  Now it gets REALLY hard, at least for me it does.  But, Jesus cuts right to the heart of things, like always, when He tells us in Luke how we are to treat those who we may think are "unloveable"....

  “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you29“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.30“Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them33“If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34“If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:27-36
Man...those are tough words to swallow.  They cut straight to my heart and convict me so deeply. Take a moment to just read and re-read those verse...eat them, chew them up, swallow them, spit them out and chew them back up again.....really digest what Jesus is telling us here.  There is a lot of "heavy" truth in these verses. Jesus is telling us to do what is so unnatural to us and completely against what the "cultural norm" is...He's telling us to be radical in our love.  And when I read this verses I can see how the world would be able to tell there is something different about me if I loved like this.  
You know what my favorite part of these verses is?  It's at the end of verse 35 and verse 36..."He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men....your Father is merciful."  God is the perfect example of this radical love because He Himself loves us and all mankind like this.  And like I noted last time...we can't love this way on our own, but because we are His, we have His love in us and He can love others through us in the way that He loves others.  
So maybe we should take some time today to really think about how we are applying the truths of real love to the "unloveables."  Like I said...they are tough words to swallow, but they are truth.  Here are the next couple of characteristics of real love....
Love....
Is not proud- I don’t put myself above others.  I'm not concerned with how good I look and I don't have to be the best.  I'm ok with asking for help.  I do not consider myself better than others or have a "holier than thou" type of attitude.  I am always willing to humble myself to meet others needs right where they're at, even if it may mean it's uncomfortable for me.  I am willing to get dirty, low, humble and sacrificial with myself in order to show love to others.

Does not behave unbecomingly-I honor others, speak lovingly, am meek and don't act rudely or ugly.  I don't throw a fit, slam doors (yes, I've been known to slam a door or two ;) ) or give the cold shoulder.  My actions point others to the One who's love is in me.  I am gracious, thoughtful and sweet in my actions and attitudes towards others.  Others can always see Christ in me by the way I treat them.  I don't treat strangers rudely, ie. I don't get upset with the waitress who did things wrong or the teller who is slow or the person in front of me at the grocery store who is taking forever or the driver who cuts me off or is driving really slow.  My spirit is of a sweet and gentle manner.

Oh boy...again, these are tough for me!  But I love the truth of God's word and I love the promises that He gives.   I love that the whole reason we can even attempt to love in this way is because God loves us this way.  That is incredible.  We have a holy, perfect example in our Father.

I hope your week is starting off well!  Happy Monday!





Friday, November 11, 2011

Real Love, Part II

Did you ever sing the song "They'll Know We are Christians by Our Love"?  It was one of our favorite songs to sing in chapel when I was in high school.  We would put the hymnals on our laps and pound on them with our hands while we sang the song...almost felt like we were Indians in a tribal song and it was actually really cool to listen to.  We loved the song cause it was fun to sing, but are the words true in our lives?  Can the world tell we are Christians because of the love that we have for our God and for others?  John 13:35 says "By this men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another."  Our love comes from God and the world cannot love the way we do because the love of God is not in them.  So our love should be distinct, different and radical.  The way 1 Corinthians describes it, it is a pretty radical love, compared to what most of us are practicing.  I know I've got some work to do and these verse in 1 Corinthians are definitely speaking to my heart.
     Here are the next couple of characteristics from 1 Cor. 13............


Love.....

Is Not Jealous-I am happy for others' activities, I should not be upset when others have or do things that I want. I should rejoice in the success and happiness of others.  I am happy for my husband when he gets to do fun things, even if I am at home taking care of kids.  I am happy for others, even when I wish I could have what they have or live like they live.  I don't harbor bitter thoughts towards others because of who they are or what they have or what they look like.  I show others that I am happy for their happiness.

Doesn’t brag-I don’t put myself above others.  I don't make a point of letting others know what I've done or what I have.  It's ok working in the shadows.  I don't seek to be the center of attention or get the glory for something I have done.  If I have worked hard at something or sacrificed for something, it is ok if someone else gets the glory or if I go completely unnoticed.  I don't flaunt my accomplishments or successes, no matter what they are.  


My boys. :)  The objects of my love. 

How's your real love looking today?  I know my pales in comparison to the way it is described in these verses.  But I also know I have the power of the Almighty God of the Universe to help me have this kind of love in my life...that is an awesome thought.  



Happy Friday everyone!  Enjoy your weekend!




       

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I hope this Thursday finds you all doing well and feeling thankful!

1.  My friend Mel Sjostrom....this girl is someone worth knowing and having in your life.  She is so sweet and her heart for the Lord is so evident and I love when I can see that in a real way in people's lives.  I love the chats we have and wish we had more opportunities to enjoy "coffee dates" together.  Plus, she's my lil' guy's girlfriend and she's one of my resident babysitters....gotta love that! :)

2.  Being a mom....I know I've wrote that I'm thankful for my son, but I'm thankful I get to be a mom, period.  Every once in a while the reality of how special it is that I get to be a mom hits me hard and last night it hit me hard....while I was putting laundry in the washer of all things!  I know that it is not my "right" to be a mom and that it is a blessing the Lord graciously chose to bestow upon me and I hope I never take it for granted.

3.  My brother Tyler....he is an awesome guy (I wanna say kid since he's my little bro but he's over 20 now so he's not a kid anymore! ah!) He is such a sweet guy and I love his laid back, relaxed personality.  He is one of those people that is "calming" to be around cause he's not one to get all caught up in stress, drama or hype.  He's very thoughtful and a genuinely nice guy.  Oh..and girls...he's single. :)  AND....he told me he actually reads my blog!  That made me feel so special that my brother would care to read what I have to say..he's a cool kid guy!

4.  My brother Dane...(yes, there's a "brother" theme today)...I love how our relationship has changed as we've become adults.  We are friends now and we hang out together and it's such a blessing.  He is one of the hardest workers I know (he must get it from our dad) and I love his quiet strength.  Plus..he's got an awesome, sweet spirit to him as well.  He loves to lavish people with gifts and is very generous.

5.  My brother Austin...I love watching my little brothers grow up and become "men" and it's true with Austin as well.  He is another crazy, hard worker and is always so nice to help me out when I need it, even if it isn't convenient for him.  He may not like me saying it, but he also has a soft spot inside of him...he is amazing with little babies and kids.  I love watching how he loves on them and plays with them, he is very sweet with them and it's fun to watch. Oh...and he's single too, ladies.  ;)

6.  My brother Hunter...this kid cracks me up.  He has an incredible energy level and I wouldn't be surprised if he was involved in pro basketball somehow someday.  The kid LOVES his basketball (he loves all sports, but especially basketball)...if you need any stat...Hunter will know.  He is fun and goofy and makes me laugh and I love his energy.  And he's thoughtful...he cares about people and shows it.

7.  Pinterest...yeah, this is kind of a goofy one, but I LOVE this website!  It has helped me keep track of things I love and actually be able to do them and use them instead of just saying, 'oh, that's cool' and moving on and forgetting about it.  If you don't have a Pinterest account...you should check it out, it's pretty awesome.


Aww...my brothers and Dad.  (Dane, Tyler, Austin and Hunter)  I love these guys!


Alright...there's my list for the week.  I hope you've found some things to be grateful for...we have much to give thanks for.

Happy Thursday!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Real Love

I've been studying 1 Corinthians 13 and I've really been trying to think about it in a new and different way.  We've all read and heard this famous Bible passage on love.  It's read at many a wedding, taught to young children, used in art and is just a very popular passage.  I think we like it because it makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside because it talks about how nice love is.  But that's really all the further we go with it sometimes.  It's just a nice, "make you feel gooeey" inside kind of verse.  BUT...this is Bible truth...so shouldn't it be more in the lives of Christians?
 
Ok..maybe we should start with why we should even listen to it in the first place.  Obviously, it's God's Word, so we should listen to and obey God's word if we call ourselves by His name.  But what makes it more than a nice description of love?  Well, primarily because Jesus commands us to love...in multiple places in His Word.

Matthew 22:36-40-  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Luke 10:27-  "He answered, “ 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.' "


1 John 4:20 - " If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen."


Romans 13:9b-10a - "Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor."


I Corinthians 13:1-3 - "Whatever I do, if I don't have love, it is in vain, worthless. I could give away everything I have to others, or have immense faith or spiritual knowledge, but if I don't do it in love, it means nothing-it's worthless" (My own summary of these verses)


It's pretty obvious to me from these verses that we are supposed to be loving in a big way.  We are to love our God with all our being and we are to love others deeply.  I get really convicted when I realize I am supposed to be loving ALL others, not just the people I find easy to love, in this way.  It's usually easy to love those that I find lovable, but I found that I'm not even loving those people according to God's Word, let alone the people that I don't find as lovable.  Eeek....I've got some work to do....really, I need God's work in my heart.

If I want to grow in love, the way Scripture commands, I must saturate my mind with Scripture so it will transform me.  Then, I need to pray for the Holy Spirit to apply His word to my head and life.  Third, I must actually obey the Scripture in what love dictates....
                            -Meet other's needs
                            -Do no harm to others
                            -Forgive other's wrongs
                            -Put others' interests before mine
                            -Reach out and embrace others in Christ
   .........and so much more!

So, I decided to go through the verses in I Corinthians 13:4-7 and make them personal, apply them in a practical way to my life.  I think I will share them over a course of several posts.  Perhaps I will do a couple per post and that will give me, and maybe you, the chance to think on them and meditate on them and put them into practice each day.  So this will be a sort of "series" on love.  I hope that what I came up with will be an encouragement and a challenge to you as it is to me.  Here are the first ones....

Love....


Suffers long- I am patient, in any situation, ALWAYS.  I should not get upset when others aren't on time or aren't meeting my expectations the way I'd like.  I am understanding and patient when others are slow to understand or slow to act.  I hold my tongue and am calm in the midst of unfavorable situations.  I am patient with my husband if he doesn't do what I expect him to do or is slower than I would like.  I am patient and loving when my children act out, are noisy, don't sleep, or are naughty.  I do not see meeting others' needs, whether my own family or others, as an infringement upon my time.  I am sacrificial with my time. 


Is Kind- I  do nice things for others, help others, write a special note, bake a special meal.  I use kind words ALWAYS.  I speak with love and my tone of voice is pleasant and shows others my love for them.  I don't look down on others or treat them in a mean way.  I act in a way that puts others first and shows them love in a real, practical way.  I let others go first, I don't get "road-ragey" while I'm driving.  

Try and put your name in place of the "I's" and see how you can love in a more real, biblical way.  Make these verses more than just a "nice" exposition on love...make them real in your life.  Let God's word work in your heart!

Happy Tuesday and Happy lovin'! :)








Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I almost forgot it was Thursday and therefore almost forgot to put my gratitude list up today!  Yeah...it's been that kind of day. The hubs is hunting and I've been chasing the wee one around, hauling him to the quick care doctor, running errands and up to my elbows in cake pops.  Making cake pops with an 11 mo. old pulling at your pants and getting into everything he's not supposed to because your hands are covered in batter and chocolate so you can't stop him is really quite a chaotic event!  It was the kind of day that ended with Grahm going to bed at 7:30! because he decided naps aren't cool today and me eating microwave chicken nuggets and cheetos (haha...that is such a pathetic meal that it makes me laugh to even admit that is what I ate..yeah, I was tired and desperate by that point, no cooking for me) at 9:30 because that was when I finally finished everything and had time to sit down and eat.  But...I made it and here's my list for this week...

1.  God's protection...we had some scary stuff going on in our neighborhood that made me pretty nervous but God protected us and our house wasn't hit and I'm so thankful for that.

2.  Early bedtimes, for the wee one :)...ahhh...they are seriously a life saver when you have a kiddo who thinks naps are lame despite every effort you make to give him the best opportunity possible to take them.

3.  God's sovereignty...it is such a comfort to me to know that nothing comes into my life, or the lives of my family members, without first being filtered through God's loving, gracious, wise, just, holy hands.  Whatever happens in my life, whether good or bad, confusing or frustrating, I can know that God has ordained it for me and He knows best.

4.  Weekend getaways...the hubs and I had a chance to spend a night away, just the two of us, this last weekend and it was such a refreshing, relaxing treat.  So grateful to Grandma and Auntie Lainey for taking care of Grahm while we went away....it was awesome!

5.  Cloth Diapers...Ok, I know this is a weird one, but I LOVE Grahm's cloth diapers!  And this week I was made very aware of that because we've had to use disposables for a few days cause he's having to use some medicine that he can't have cloth diapers with and I've really missed the cloth diapers!  I think they are waaay easier than disposable and they're waay cuter too (not to mention how much cheaper they are)! :)  I miss them.  (yes, I'm a nerd and I miss my son's cloth diapers)

6.  My dad...he is one seriously incredible guy.  He works so hard for his family (including digging beets until 11:30 at night to get them in before the snow hits!...crazy farmer) and he is such a source of comfort, love, support and wisdom for me.  I love how his love for his family is so real and evident that I know without a doubt that it is unconditional and forever.

7.  Radical, the book....I'll have to do a series of posts on this book, but it is seriously rocking the foundation of who I am and why I do what I do.  It is a pretty convicting, thought-provoking book that has got me thinking about a lot of things.  Read it...I dare you.

My sweet, sweet Dad

My funny little lion on Halloween this week. Yeah, it's a pretty bad pic, but of course, my camera died and so this is the best I've got!  He was an adorable lion though and we had fun going with friends to a church festival!


Alright...there's mine!  I hope your week has been going well....please share what's got you feeling thankful! I'd love to hear.

Happy Thursday!



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Epic Fail

If you are perfect then this post probably isn't for you.  Or, maybe it is because you enjoy seeing that other people aren't perfect. ha! This is all about IMPERFECTION and how FULL I am of it.  So if you want to hear about how much I fail....then read on! Ha!  Really, I hope this will be an encouragement to some of you who maybe struggle with some of the same discouragement that I struggle with.

Do you ever get tired of failing?  Ok, that's assuming you fail.  Well, I fail a lot and I get so frustrated and tired of failing sometimes! This last weekend I was venting to Luke about my ump-teenth failure and how frustrating it is sometimes to always feel like I'm struggling with this or that.  I feel like I'm trying so hard and I'm really praying that the Lord will help me to conquer whatever it is that I'm battling, but then I fall flat on my face again and it gets me to wondering why I should even get back up again.  Why can't I just "arrive."  Why can't I just conquer this and move one? 

I hate failing.  Truth is, I may be kinda, sorta, just a little bit, a teensy-weensy bit of a perfectionist.  There it is, the secret's out....I'm a tad bit of a perfectionist. :)  So when I can't get something right, or I fail at something, it is so defeating sometimes.  It really bothers me when I continually struggle with something.  I want to conquer and succeed.  But time after time I get my feet kicked out from under me and I find myself on my knees again, praying, pleading, even crying "why am I here again?"  I feel like I've become one big Epic Fail. 

But this is the Christian walk and this is exactly where God wants me.  He wants me on my knees continually, depending on Him for everything.  He wants me to realize it is not by my strength, but by His, that I walk and live.  Of course the point is not to wallow in a pit of self-pity and discouragement...that would be what happens on the bad days when I lose sight of my purpose and forget to focus on the One who is working in me.  I must remember there is purpose and beauty in my weakness.  Herein lies the beauty of this verse....

"And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Cor. 12:

Did you hear that? Christ's strength is perfect in our weakness...therefore we should rejoice in our imperfection because through our imperfection we will see, feel and know Christ in us...and not only that, but others will see Christ and His glory.  If we are strong, succeeding and never failing then we have no need for Christ and His work in us.  We become self-sufficient and forget to rely on Him on a daily basis.  But that is not how we are supposed to live.  It is God who does the work in us and since our purpose is to glorify Him with our lives then we need to be vessels that allow Him to work through us.  I love this verse because it encourages me that there is purpose in my failures...there is beauty in my failures because through my failures, God is made big.  I get smaller and He gets bigger.

In addition, that is the purpose and process of sanctification.  We aren't ever supposed to "arrive" at a certain place of success or perfection.  God is continually working in us to make us more like Him.  It isn't a one time act.  We will fail, we will fall flat on our face...but where we look when that happens is the point.  Do our eyes turn upwards to the One who IS strong, the One who IS perfect?  God promises that He will complete the work that He has started in us.  He won't give up on us and He is working in us through every situation we go through.  Philippians 1:6 promises us of this.  We can be confident, knowing for sure, without fail, that God will continue to work in us and He will continue to sanctify us and He will be strong in our weaknesses.

So, if you're having an Epic Fail kind of day, week, month or even year (hey, it happens!), just remember, God wants to work through your failures.  He will be strong in your weaknesses if you let Him work.  So lift your eyes out of the dirt, look up to the One who is always faithful and trust Him to pick you up and glorify Himself through you. 

Have a happy Tuesday!



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