Thursday, April 28, 2011

Praying the Psalms- Psalm 67

Jenny is on a journey of praying her way through the Psalms.  I was fortunate enough to join at the start.  Each weekend, we pray through one psalm and post our prayer and/or meditations on that psalm as the Lord leads. Check out her journey and join us in Praying the Psalms.

Psalm 67
"May the peoples praise you, O God;
   may all the peoples praise you.
 Then the land will yield its harvest,
   and God, our God, will bless us.
God will bless us,
   and all the ends of the earth will fear him."   Psalm 67: 5-7
It's true that there are many ugly things about this day and age.  Many things to repulse us, many things to fear.  And yes, God tell us in His Word that the worst is yet to come!  But then, also, the best is yet to come, no?  There will come a day when all the peoples will praise Him.  This corruptible earth will give way to a new, fruitful, blessed place.  God will bless us!  All the ends of the earth will give Him the glory He is due- every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!

Father, as I look around me and see the consequences of sin in creation and in the lives of all of us here on this earth, may I remember how the story ends.  All the peoples will praise You.  Your incorruptible creation will be our home.  And You will bless us!  Thank You for your perfect plan, O God.  In Jesus' name, amen. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Multitude Monday

I guess I took an unintended break from blogging last week.  While I missed writing (and reading, too!), I suppose the reprieve from the screen was needed!  Thank you for all the kind comments on last Monday's post, I hope to visit all your blogs this week.  It was Spring Break for us and we had lots of fun plans, so many things to for which to be thankful:   

1141.  A free pass for indoor swimming at the Y

1142.  Booking a family getaway for Memorial Day Weekend with friends from church

1143.  A playdate with good friends
1144.  Little boys intent on playing outside, undeterred by the relentless drizzle
1145.  Little girls content to play family for hours
1146.  All giving the moms a chance to catch up with one another

1147.  An opportunity to get to know some of the homeschooling moms a little better

1148.  A playdate with friends from church
1149.  Rain holding off for the Easter Egg hunt
1150.  Kids making homemade pizza together- yummy and fun!
1151.  A cul de sac street with basketball hoops for energetic boys

1152.  Reading through the Gospel of Mark in community one evening

1153.  Tooth fairy fun
1154.  Gap toothed, seven-year-old smiles
1155.  Target run for Easter goodies
1156.  My dad watching the kids for me while I shopped
1157.  Then taking us all to lunch afterwards

1158.  Messianic Seder Service on Good Friday
1159.  The kids listening and seeming to understand some (especially the oldest)
1160.  The kids tasting some of the Seder meal elements

1161.  A rainy Saturday gave us an entire day, uninterrupted by sports, together

1162.  He lives!
1163.  Hosting the family for Easter dinner
1164.  Surprise guests arriving for dessert!

1165.  Monday Matinee (Rio) with the kids
1166.  Spending the rest of the afternoon outside- so good to see the sun again

1167.  Playing Hide and Seek with the kids

1168.  The joy written on the faces of friends when we gifted them all our unopened, unwanted LEGO sets

You can read why I got started counting the gifts here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Multitude Monday

Here are some of the things I was thankful for this week:
1124.  The Easter Tree Devotional
1125.  T home early enough (or us running late enough) for him to lead our devotional time
1126.  Playing American Idol on the Wii with the boys
1127.  Lunch with friends
1128.  A beautiful, warm, sunny, breezy Spring day
1129.  Spur of the moment decision to watch a nearby college baseball game after school
1130.  Reading all day- caught up in the story of The Help 
1131.  Telling our principal about our decision
1132.  His reaction- the perfect mix of how they will miss us with support and understanding
1133.  Telling friends and family, too
1134.  Their wonderful, and often enthusiastic, response and support
1135.  Hearing loud, hearty laughter from the boys' room
1136.  Learning to see the Messy Beautiful

1137.  Kids Eat Free at IHOP

1138.  Two very excited little leaguers on Saturday morning- opening day!
1139.  The luxury of free time for recreation
1140.  Spring break

You can read why I got started counting the gifts here.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Praying the Psalms- Psalm 66

Jenny is on a journey of praying her way through the Psalms.  I was fortunate enough to join at the start.  Each weekend, we pray through one psalm and post our prayer and/or meditations on that psalm as the Lord leads. Check out her journey and join us in Praying the Psalms.

***You must go read Jenny's reflection on Psalm 66 today.   What encouragement and hope and inspiration for praise to our God!***

Psalm 66
"For you, O God, tested us; 
   you refined us like silver. 
You brought us into prison 
   and laid burdens on our backs. 
You let men ride over our heads; 
   we went through fire and water, 
   but you brought us to a place of abundance."  Psalm 66: 10-12
God Himself is sometimes the author of our painful circumstances.  He will not only allow others to abuse us, allow devastating circumstances in our lives.  It's not always the Enemy who is the root cause of our imprisonment, our burdens, our suffering.  Sometimes it is our Father.  He knows that unless He brings this pain, these circumstances, we will not be transformed into the image of His Son.  Certain impurities can only be removed through a painful refining process.  Whether He is working in a way that seems "good" to us or not, He is good.  Everything He does to us or allows in our life is for good- to bring us to a place of abundance.  

Will I trust that this is true?  That He is good, regardless of the circumstances and regardless of who caused them?  Will I accept everything in this life as a gift from His hand?  Will I hunt for beauty in the messes of life?  Will I look forward, past the pain, to the abundant life He has promised?

Father, You are good.  All the time.  In times of joy and peace.  In times of trouble and pain.  Help me to remember this truth when I am in the midst of the waters or the fire.  Help me to be thankful, to see the beauty, to look past circumstances toward the abundant life You promised.  Thank You for this reminder that while, yes, I have a powerful Enemy, it is You who is in control.  It is You who hold my life in Your hands.  In Jesus' name, amen.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Messy Beautiful

Almost a year ago, I read a blog post I will probably never forget.  What the writer had to say was so similar to my own feelings but her response so different that it left an impression on me.  I'm sure I even linked to it here back then, too.  In her post, Aimee describes how she had been responding to the mess in her home in irritation and frustration until she began to snap photos of the mess while intentionally looking for the beauty and thanking God- choosing joy and thankfulness!

It's gotten a little messy here lately.  The five of us passed around the stomach virus.  Then two of the three kids had strep throat.  We had to cut back on our Friday babysitter who doubled as house tidier and laundry queen extraordinaire.  I was out at a conference most of one weekend and then away for all of the next.  One evening, the husband of a friend from church stopped by to pick something up and deliver it to church as a favor for me.  When the front door opened, the surprise in his eyes as they scanned the living room was not be missed, though he quickly tried to hide it :)

I don't tolerate mess well.  I can overlook dust with no problem.  But clutter, piles, disorganized messes?  Not so much.   I have found myself irritable, frustrated and just plain cranky with the state of our home as of late.  So I did what any sane woman would do- I photographed the "messy beautiful" and posted it to my public blog :)

And guess what?  I found what Aimee did!  From behind the lens, with an eye disciplined to look beyond the mess to see the beautiful; with a tongue no longer permitted to moan and complain but allowed only to give thanks for the messy beautiful, I found peace.  I saw grace.  I experienced mercy.  I touched beauty.

Linking up (late- how appropriate) with hill at Capturing Motherhood:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Multitude Monday

Here are some of the things I was thankful for this week:
1108.  Trying out Priscilla Shirer's 5 P's of Personal Bible study in my Quiet Time

1109.  My big boy got sick after his 10th birthday festivities
1110.  Minute Clinic at CVS while we waited for our new insurance cards to arrive
1111. Antibiotics

1112.  Kids home sick= slower routine for mom
1113.  Slower routine for mom= finishing Life Together

1114.  The opportunity to share my ideas for our Women's Ministry

1115.  Answered prayer for our Pastor's Wife's surgery
1116.  Answered prayer for my cousin's husband's surgery
1117.  Answered prayer for a precious unborn family member
1118.  The gift of prayer and the invitation to go boldly before the throne of grace

1119.  A babysitter I trust and my kids adore

1120.  A weekend away with my college roommates
1121.  Lots of laughter and reminiscing
1122.  Sleeping in!
1123.  Coming home to my family

You can read why I got started counting the gifts here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Praying the Psalms- Psalm 65

Jenny is on a journey of praying her way through the Psalms.  I was fortunate enough to join at the start.  Each weekend, we pray through one psalm and post our prayer and/or meditations on that psalm as the Lord leads. Check out her journey and join us in Praying the Psalms.

Psalm 65
"O you who hear prayer,
   to you all men will come."  Psalm 65:2
"You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,
   O God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
   and of the farthest seas"  Psalm 65: 5
Lord, I am so thankful today that You hear our prayers.  Thank You for the awesome deeds of righteousness You have performed among Your people, my loved ones.  You answered many of our prayers for healing already this week, O God.  As we wait for two more answers right now, O God our Savior, I remember that You are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.  Show Yourself mighty and strong in our situations and in us as we wait, Father God.  In Jesus' name, amen.
"Only in the whole Christ does the whole Psalter become a reality,  a whole which the individual can never fully comprehend and call his own.  That is why the prayer of the psalms belongs in a peculiar way to the fellowship.  Even if a verse or a psalm is not one's own prayer, it is nevertheless the prayer of another member of the fellowship; so it is quite certainly the prayer of the true Man Jesus Christ and His Body on earth."   Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, p. 47, emphasis added 

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Saturday was my big boy's turn for a birthday.  And it was a big one- TEN!

I tell my children every year that I don't want them to turn a year older but stay the same age as the year before.  Every year, they defy me by growing older.  And now I have a child in the double digits!  How did this happen?!?  They didn't even let Mom in for the classroom cupcakes this year :(  *sigh*

We celebrated with our family dinner out at the Mexican Restaurant on Saturday night.
And a pool party on Sunday afternoon with twelve 10 year old boys plus 6 cousins.  Oh, they had a blast!  The best part?  Daddy went in with them so I could stay dry :)

This boy of mine.  Mothering him has stretched me, challenged me and sent me running to Jesus time and again for wisdom and strength.  It has been exciting, hard, joyous and painful.  And I would not trade a moment of it!

Happy 10th birthday, my little man!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Praying the Psalms- Psalm 64

Jenny is on a journey of praying her way through the Psalms.  I was fortunate enough to join at the start.  Each weekend, we pray through one psalm and post our prayer and/or meditations on that psalm as the Lord leads. Check out her journey and join us in Praying the Psalms.

Psalm 64  

Making my way through Google Reader today, I came across this post of Melissa's.  And though I had not yet read and meditated on Psalm 64 yet, I was convicted anew of my own careless misuse of words.  
"They sharpen their tongues like swords
   and aim their words like deadly arrows.
They shoot from ambush at the innocent man;
   they shoot at him suddenly, without fear."  Psalm 64: 3-4

When I allow my anger to fester and rise up, I sharpen my tongue like a sword.  My words take aim at the hearts of those most precious to me.  And, when I allow my flesh to quench the Spirit, I fire those deadly arrows and ambush the innocent in my path.  

Only you, O God, can rescue me from this body of death.  Only you can bring freedom for this captive.  I lay it all down before You and ask the strength and self-control that only You can give.  In Jesus' name, amen.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Linky Love on a Tuesday

I've got a few links to share.  They are not related in any way but I love them all for different reasons.  I hope you do, too :)

Trisha wrote two follow up posts to her post about fighting bitterness in parenting.  They are both so good.  I have printed both and plan to go back to them again and again.

Ann, oh Ann.  How does she do it every day?  Write posts about the messy in such beautiful prose?  I'm still trying to figure out how to let the pressure do its work in me- quick and good.  

Whoa, this is the awesomest (is that a word?) dinner prep organization idea I've ever seen!  How is organization NOT Angie's strong suit???  I wish I had the discipline to do something like this ahead of time.

This guest post by Katie on Inspired to Action really, really ministered to me.  Sanctification, it's not a straight line.  "If you are His, He is working."  Ah, grace!

Mary reminded me how everything is a gift.  Tears are a wonder, a gift.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Multitude Monday

Here are some of the things I was thankful for this week:
1084.  Court side seat at my seven-year-old's imaginary basketball tournaments

1085.  A very full night of homework and not one complaint!

1086.  T arriving home safely from a business trip
1087.  Safety and peace while he was away (we're not used to him traveling)

1088.  My mom arriving home safely (and rested) from her trip

1089.  Reading confirmation of the importance of gratitude in the life of a believer in Power of a Positive Mom 

1090.  More hours of daylight equals more time for the kids to play outdoors

1091.  Seeing and warning my 10 year old before he closed the trunk door on his hand

1092.  The privilege of an ongoing relationship with and opportunities to minister to her in His name

1093.  Seeing Watoto in concert again

1094.  Watching old videos of the kids on Facebook

1095.  A surprise late afternoon phone call from T to see if we wanted to go out to dinner (um, yes!)

1096.  Birds providing beautiful background music for my Quiet Time

1098.  Seeing what my flesh is still capable of under pressure
1099.  GRACE
1100.  Hosting the Going Beyond: Life Interrupted Simulcast at church
1101.  Hearing from God there

1102.  My big boy's 10th birthday
1103.  Going out to celebrate with our birthday dinner tradition
1104.  And a fun pool party with lots of friends and family

1105.  Sitting in service on Sunday the whole time
1106.  The message- Acts 2
1107.  A vision for application in ministry

You can read why I got started counting the gifts here.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Most of what I want to say about my Bible in 90 Days journey can be found in this post.  I finished on April 1st- the 89th Day.  As I read the last several chapters of Revelation during my morning quiet time yesterday, my heart was soaring.  Tears welled in my eyes as I read the final chapter of the Bible and imagined what God has in store in eternity for those who believe!

I saw this beautiful video a few days ago and knew it had to go into my Bible in 90 Days wrap up post.  Be blessed!  And remember Amy starts up a new B90Days group on July 11th- go sign up, you will never regret it.

Lord, thank You for this experience.  Thank You for enabling me to read the entire counsel of Your Word in 89 days.  Thank You for the promise that it will never return void.  Thank you for Amy, your servant, and her faithful service to You and Your daughters.  Thank You for Andrea and her prayers and accountability throughout this journey.  May I bear fruit and bring You glory as a result of reading the Bible in 90 Days.  In Jesus' name, amen.


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