Wednesday, August 31, 2011

in awe

Why would I doubt such a good God? He has always proven Himself faithful. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for He is with me, His rod and His staff, they comfort me. He even prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Who would imagine this? I didn't know that was possible. Is God really that big and powerful? Is He really that daring? That dangerous? He is not safe, but He is good.

I know that goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. My cup overflows. I am in awe. I have suffered, yes, but it is not one ounce the suffering that Jesus did on the cross. The insane part is that I actually deserved my suffering. He didn't even deserve it. Lord, I'm sure that I will stay in awe of what You do, what You have done, what You will do for the rest of my life. Please don't allow me to stray from Your presence. You are so gracious and compassionate, but every place that I have found outside of your presence has been empty and void, it is striving and striving for nothing but hopelessness.

You fill my spirit. You give peace and comfort and rest, even in the worst of circumstances, even in the best.

Thank You. Thank You.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 8

I'm 21 weeks. Wow. I'm more than halfway done. Maybe it is going by quickly...

We are thinking about a name and I'm totally excited about it. Ben thought of it in a really unexpected way. I'll reveal it later :)

I just got back from a walk, as I was going I was thinking, "This was so much easier when I didn't have to push a stroller." Why can I never be content? I don't know. I am going to be thankful for the beautiful weather though. It was somewhat cool, maybe 75 degrees, amazing. I'm sort of figuring out the sleeping thing. Still taking an ambien every other night, so every other day I have more energy. On the off nights I am sleeping in the guest bed, it helps me to use more pillows and to be able to stretch out. Also, I'm not waking up every time Ben shifts in the bed (not cool) therefore I don't wake up angry at him. That's always stupid to start out the day annoyed and angry at your husband. So in order to avoid that I sleep in a different room... who'd have thought? I don't know what we are going to do when we have more kids... we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Yoga helps on days when I don't feel like walking or it's raining ... I usually just do the warm up which is like 15 minutes and maybe some of the other poses. It helps with my posture and flexibility. I'm hoping just to stay strong and flexible and that will help me with the birthing process. I also feel like the deep breathing will be a help too. 19 weeks to go... that's a little more than four months for those of you who don't keep track of weeks. :)

I can't wait to be holding her in my arms. Sigh.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

100th post.

So this is my 100th post. I feel like it should be epic. Maybe not.

I'm sitting outside, watching Levi put leaves into our trash can, telling him "good job!" He loves affirmation and praise. Yesterday I decided to do yoga when he was awake. He was fascinated by the pregnant ladies sitting on the floor and moving their arms  up and down. So he sat in front of me and did the same. It was hilarious, totally broke my concentration and breathing, but totally worth it. I'm seeing that as an oldest child he is wanting to do everything that we do, wanting to be "big" I know I should be treasuring this time, but sometimes it's really annoying to have a little shadow following you around all day, hanging onto your legs while you are cooking dinner, climbing on you while you are sitting on the couch and just being right there.

What was I going to post about originally? I forgot.

Something I was thinking about the other day was how thankful I am for things like a microwave, a washing machine, a dishwasher... I was thinking about my sister in law who lives in Africa and doesn't have any of these conveniences and how different my life would be without them. Oh yeah, did I mention AC? She doesn't have that either, I think they just have fans... yikes. I was listening to people complain about the heat on the radio and it occurred to me that people live in this kind of heat all the time and they don't even have AC. I wonder what they complain about. :)

God has been slowly but surely moving in my life. Places of shame are being removed, a hunger for His Word is slowly being restored, grace is being spoken anew... I still feel like I have a long way to go and I don't know what the path looks like from here, but I definitely want a restored passion for Him in my life.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 7

So I ordered a prenatal yoga DVD the other day and since it came I haven't been able to stop using it. (That is totally an exaggeration). I have loved practicing yoga ever since I was fifteen, been in multiple classes and I'm just really familiar with it. I wish I could join a class right now, but with the expense ($100 class vs $20 DVD) and that I can do the video on my own time, this is perfect. I was doing yoga last night before bedtime and after a while Ben was like, "I'm going to bed, this music and her voice is making me so relaxed." Granted, it had been a long day, but still, I'm hoping this will help me with my sleep issues.

One thing I realized though as I was practicing and thinking about it later, I realized that they tell you to "release all your cares and worries" but I'm wondering, to what? To the abyss? To the earth? But what can those things do about our problems? Jesus says to cast your burdens upon him. "Come to Me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest, take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light, for I am gentle and humble in heart. And you shall find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:28-29

So really yoga and relaxation and meditation is perfect for the believer. I think all too often in western culture we don't know how to be still and know that He is God. We often don't know how not to worry. Who struggles with worrying? Yeah, me too. But Jesus tells us we don't need to worry, some scripture I want to memorize to help me with that struggle is Matthew 6:25-34

Why is it that women think it's their job to worry? Why is it so socially acceptable? I feel like if I'm not worried about something, then something is wrong with me.

Another subject, did I mention I have been feeling this baby kick? Just sweet little flutters. I think she is going to be gentler than Levi. I'm trying to think of sweet little girl names, but it's hard. I've thought about the name Peace, but I just don't know. Oh well, we've got several more months.

Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Monday, August 15, 2011


The Lord has been so faithful. Even faithful to keep me from my sin. I don't know how He did it, but He has prevented my path from my usual sins. Thank You Lord. I can only imagine that it is in answer to many prayers, it is His pursuance of me in my life and it has been some of the conscious decisions to look for Him and pray for Him instead of engaging in my sin pattern.

I have renewal this morning. I don't know how it came, maybe it was from last night's sleep, maybe it was from listening to this podcast last night, hearing how the Duggars so immerse themselves in the Word and genuinely walk with the Lord.

This morning I was reading in my Bible from John. Jesus was saying "I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." 8:12 Whoa, that's a pretty hefty statement. He is calling Himself THE light, saying if you don't want to be stumbling around, you need to follow me. Scriptures like this one grab my attention, Christ is the only way. He is the only truth, He is the only life. Jesus wasn't just some good man, He made audacious statements like that. I wonder what it was like to be a Jewish leader and listen to this son of a fisherman make these claims. I bet it was angering, frustrating. And then Jesus had to go do stuff like make a blind man see or raise a little girl from the dead with hundreds of witnesses. Not only were His miracles undeniable but His teaching was astounding. What confusion He created.

I'm thankful that I have the privilege to see the whole picture. Well, at least the whole about Jesus. I get to see all these things in light of the cross and the resurrection and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I still wrestle with Jesus about things that happen in my life, over some of His teachings, but I know that He is the One who paid the penalty for all of my sin. His sacrifice on the cross gave me new life. He is the soon coming King and He will bring the world into judgement someday, no one knows the day or the hour, but He will come... and I am astounded by this.

So the Lord gave me a new passion for memorization today. Nope, I'm not going to try to memorize a book of the Bible, someday I will do that again I hope. But for now I'm going for individual verses and I think I'm going to follow the lead of Robert J Morgan in the book 100 Bible Verses everyone should know by heart.

Lord, I cannot do this without You. Renewal comes from You. You drop things into my heart without me even knowing them. I know this task will come with great opposition from the Enemy and I pray that You would thwart him. Please protect me from his lies. Please surround me with Your angels. I give Your Holy Spirit control over my steps today, over my purposes. Please lead me. So often I want to take over, I think I can steer the car a lot better than You can, but that is wrong Jesus, that is a lie. I surrender to You today, help me to surrender for the rest of my life. Thank You for my husband, for my son, for this precious daughter inside of me. Help me to be the best wife and mother I can be for them. Please renew my friendships with other believers today, give me fellowship today, please let me not be discouraged in this area.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 6

I just wanted to update today to say that my energy is completely changed! I'm going to attribute that to a good night's sleep. I only woke up once at 430 when Ben was sneezing. He scared me so bad and I was like, "Why did you sneeze in my face!" He was like, "I didn't." It was just that loud. When I got up at 6 I actually wanted to get out of bed, I actually wanted to have a quiet time and read the Word, I actually wanted to go for a walk, I actually wanted to eat breakfast. I'm sure I have so much energy I'm using now that I will crash come the afternoon, but I don't even care.  Life is good, I can dance around the kitchen with Levi and not dread the day.

Lord, I wish every day was like this. Maybe I wouldn't appreciate today as much if every day was this good. Help me to thank You for the days when I just have to depend on You. Help me to do what is needed and rest when I need to rest, to discipline Levi with a heart of wisdom and peace... My need for You is so profound in every part of my life. Only You can sustain me.

Thank You for today. Thank You for the sunshine and the energy, thank You for the ability to walk, thank You for this precious little girl growing inside of me. Help me to put her needs above my own pleasures, above my own wants. Lord, being a mom is not about just having kids and getting to nurture and all the beauty, but You also made it about sacrifice. You know all about sacrifice, You have made the ultimate sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus, I know that mine pales in comparison. Help me to obey You as I am teaching Levi to obey. You know what is best for me even when I can't see the big picture just as I know what is best for him when he can't see the big picture.

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us REJOICE and be glad in it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pregnancy again. :) part 5

This one could probably also go under "Struggles with Sleep" ... but I think it more applies to just being prego. Oh yes, I almost forgot... we are having a:


I was completely surprised to find this out, for some reason I totally had it in my head that we would have another boy. I'm really starting to get used to the idea and having a sweet little baby girl to cuddle with and nurture when she arrives. Maybe she will be a calming presence in the household. :) Who knows?

I guess I was just going to post about how a good nights sleep makes ALL the difference. Why in the world does it have to become harder to sleep when you get pregnant? I can never seem to get enough room in the bed (wishing we had a king size right now!) laying on my stomach is out of the question, most the time I end up on my side and I always want a pillow to support me. Ben complains about how the pillow takes up too much room, then I tell him, okay, I'll go sleep in the guest room. Never mind, the pillow doesn't take up that much room. I have always taken up more than my fair share of the bed anyways, poor guy. On top of that, I take a sleeping pill, with which I still wake up in the middle of the night to pee, on off nights I take melatonin. I've been taking 3 tablets which is six miligrams. THREE. I think I'm going to have to bump it up to four soon because I am still not waking up feeling rested.  I know I need to go for a walk, I know I need to... this morning I went and I could barely put one foot in front of the other. It's not always like this. Usually it's just bad when I haven't slept well. It makes a HUGE difference when I can actually get sleep.

I'm thankful Levi is still napping, but I don't know what I'm going to do when my kids are older and I'm pregnant. Maybe I'll just be cranky all the time. Literally, I am so cranky and angry at the world when I don't sleep enough. Ben made a comment to me this morning and I kind of gave him this angry, knee jerk reaction, it was so stupid. I got Levi up and just sat on the couch with him, staring out like a zombie.

I keep thinking about how I need to call this person or do this thing, but honestly, I don't want to interact right now, I know that I NEED to, but I don't want to. Makes no sense. I need to just keep talking to people and being in real life so I don't fall into depression. But how do you do that when you don't want to call anyone? I'm so not making any sense right now. I'm going to lay down on the couch right now...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Scripture is speaking to me

Last night I had the privilege of going to our weekly church prayer meeting. I think I am more full at those sometimes than I am coming on a Sunday morning.  I have been struggling lately with just a lot of junk. I don't know if it's hormones or loneliness or just being tired... Anyways, if you all could lift me up in prayer, I would be so grateful.

It's been difficult to open the Word lately.  I used to be able to open the Word and immediately felt the hand of God leading me could hear Him speaking. But as of late, He seems to be silent.  He has still been faithful. He is still speaking in unexpected ways.

Last night this scripture kept coming to mind. This morning I read through it. Sometimes I think the most real, most beautiful poetry can be found in the Psalms. They meet me right where I am and they weep with me as my soul weeps. There is no holding back as they tell my story.

Psalm 42

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"
These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go with the multitude,
leading the procession to the house of God,
with shouts of joy and thanksgiving
among the festive throng.

Why are you so downcast O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet again praise Him,
my Savior ad my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember You
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon - from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of Your waterfalls;
all Your waves and breakers
have swept over me,

By day the Lord directs His love,
at night His sng is with me -
a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock,
Why have You forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?
My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is you God?"

Why are you so downcast O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet again praise Him,
My Savior and my God.

I keep walking around saying, "I will yet again praise Him, I will yet again praise Him..." Deep calls out to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls, all of His waves and breakers have swept over me. Could this statement not be more true? I feel swept away sometimes as God is refining me in His depths. I remember the times when I was standing in His sunshine and feeling His blessing. I remember the times when I was leading others in the sanctuary with shouts of joy and thanksgiving... I know that God is faithful, but why is this happening? Why do I feel this way? Why am I struggling like this?  Lord, help me to walk in broken dependence on You. Give me strength to praise You. This is the day that You have made, let me rejoice and be glad in it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Back from vacation

Well, we are back. Our vacations are always with extended family. This is how my husband grew up going on vacation and so did I. Did I ever go to Disney World or Six Flags? Nope. We had trips to the Lake of the Ozarks at my grandparents cabin (it was a tiny place and my grandma and grandpa had a sweet pontoon boat... it was basically awesome.) Or we would go to Colorado with my parents ministry organization and stay at the KOA Kampgrounds.

This vacation was at Ben's cousins lake house on Smith Lake in AL. We slept on air mattresses and Levi slept in the upstairs bathroom. We had twelve kids and twelve adults... I think, I'm counting in my head right now and my brain isn't working all the way. You know that feeling after you get after you get back and you are totally zapped. The week was exhausting, but so good. Basically it was mass chaos with little kids running around, most of them ages 3-7 as well as Levi and his cousin Anna who are 20 and 22 months.

What am I even writing about? I don't even know.

Things that made me laugh:
 -In the car Levi would say an emphatic "Wow" every time we passed a semi truck. He was overcome. Then he would mutter brrrrm brrrm brrrm to himself. 
-Levi's sweet dance moves when I got out my guitar and played and sang for the kids
-The most chaotic water games I have ever played. Basically every single game just sort of dissipated, I don't think there were ever any winners, just lots of water being thrown around
-Watching uncle Ken get into a tipsy kayak on the lake. It took him about 4 times and that was just off the dock, that's not counting the times he got tipped over and had to get in it from the middle of the lake.

Anyways, it's good to be back. Good to be home.