Is today somehow holy?

17 Nov

On a particularly long day I wrote this in my journal…

This…this fixing meals and correcting anger and cleaning rooms…it’s holy work. I don’t want it to be.

It seems holy work should be visible work. I want others to recognize what I do. I need them to declare it’s holy.

But Jesus’ years on earth turned that upside down. His holy work-the most holy-was laying down His crown, serving the broken, loving sinners, sacrificing His life. That’s holy work. That’s what He did for me.

Can’t I be content here? Tired maybe but content? Can’t I look into those little faces and believe that this, even this, in this place we call home, this is holy work?

God, help me to see what You see and long only for Your well done.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

photo 1 (6) Ready for a cold morning of soccer

photo 2 (6) This unruly blonde head of hair greets me every morning

photo 3 (3) Here’s to homeschool (and crazy boys)

When the Moon becomes the Sun

6 Nov

We rode the bridge over the lake. It was dark. I expected to see nothing. Strained my eyes in the darkness.

But there was a reflection. The trees outlined the sides of the water in dark shadows. I could follow their pattern. The moon was doing the sun’s work.

And I realized afresh that He’s always there. Like shadows at night. Proclaiming His glory. Reminding me He’s in control. In the sunlight type days. In the midnight type ones.

Because God forsook His Son on the cross, He will never forsake me.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

photo (1) (And this is how packing goes in our house…my boxes are being re-purposed!)

The Unnecessary…

3 Nov

I’m sitting down to type this after eating Halloween candy for lunch. Bless. Since my last post about pulling away, I’ve had several people stop and ask me for clarification. To each one I had no answer. I just knew God was calling me to step away. To give a little more space during this busy time.

I expected God to put His finger on the usual: Facebook, Blogging, Certain foods. That’s how it worked before Esther came. But this time the decision to pull away came before the clarification. So I waited. Kept eating candy. Kept checking Facebook. Kept thinking about this blog. And kept reading the “One Thousand Gifts devotional” which I referenced last week.

Here’s what I recently read:

Devotion 9-“What if instead of discounting the current moment, the uncontrollable, the simply given-what if I counted it- and on the God who controls it all? What if all our running around is only our trying to run away from God-the great I AM, present in the present moment?”

Devotion 10-“Calm. Haste makes waste. Life is not an emergency. Life is brief and it is fleeting, but it is not an emergency.”

And verses like these:

Psalm 131:2-“Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me.”

I Corinthians 7:29,31-“What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short…For this world in its present form is passing away.”

Not to mention I’ve been plodding through Karen Ehman’s “Let It Go: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith” for months now.

I’m a realist who understands there are tons of things to get done every day and tons more that get pushed on til tomorrow. I’m the one who didn’t have time to fix lunch for myself today and instead ate candy after candy after candy.

But I’m equally confident that God is telling me to pull away from the unnecessary right now. (That word itself is so vague and changes from person to person. I’m sure my list would look way different than yours.)

Bottom line-I want my soul to be quiet, resting in Him during the next couple months. I want the boys to see Mom worship while working to get things packed. I want to experience Him in more intimate ways.

So I’m making lists and crossing things off. Not things I’ve done but things I’m just not gonna do. Things I will be brave enough to say no to when “people pleasing me” would rather say yes. And pray for wisdom to know what those things are.

Let’s run hard after Him by stilling ourselves in His love. By resting in the peace the cross offers. He really will prove to be enough.

And these are some of my “NECESSARIES”:

photo 3 She always smiles like this after finishing her bottle.

photo 4 Yes homemade yeast rolls!

photo 2 (1) Bedtime reading with Daddy

photo 1 (1) Roaming the woods with their friend.

Sometimes You Gotta Pull Away…

23 Oct

As soon as I shut the car door the tears fell. Uncontrollably. At Pizza Hut with Jeremy for lunch it happened again. Whoa pregnant woman…slow down…get control. But I couldn’t. Still barely can’t hours later. There’s a lot going on. Good stuff. And well, I haven’t had much time alone recently.

The latest-We’ve sold our house in Durham. We feel so blessed that God brought along the perfect buyer. This was part necessity/ part desire. With 4 little boys running around (and a spunky little girl), they need more space…outside space. So we’re praying and looking and making plans for our family’s future. All exciting-really! But some days a little overwhelming (grace can do that).

I am quick to hit emotional walls like the one I’m in now where I just have to pull away. Jeremy said it at lunch before I did.  The 2 months before Esther came I did the same thing. Silenced this outlet and that. Started this personal study and that. Shut the door on things so I could breathe more deeply. So I could be established in the only thing that’s really established.

So here we go again…indefinitely. And I share for 1 reason…There may be others who need to pull away. Maybe no one else knows it but you. Be encouraged. You’re not alone. We are all huge messes in need of huge grace. Praise be we serve a faithful Father. Farewell…for now!=)

My chosen study for this go round…Ann Voskamp’s devotional “One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces.” Maybe I’ve already done it once.=) But it helps me focus on Him, and the Gospel, and all the things I forget when life gets crazy.

And this…just because:
photo (6)

“And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.” (Matthew 14:23)

On Having 5 Kids…

15 Oct

February 5 will be here soon, and we’ll officially welcome child #5 into our family. Holy cow! I never dreamed I’d type those words. But God has always been writing a story and often it seems way different than mine.

I’m learning, though, that although the term “5 kids” can embarrass me a little (if I’m totally honest), that I’m not going to have “5 kids.” I’m going to have the following…

Stephen Andrew
photo 1 (2)

Caleb Joshua
photo 4 (1)

Jonathan Seth
photo 2 (2)

Esther Grace
photo 3 (1)

Kenan Samuel

And each of those babies are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” They were each “knit together in their mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13,14)

Because 5 isn’t a number anymore. It’s become a name. It’s a representation of all that is and all that I pray God will do. In them. Through them. And in me.

Pure grace.

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” (Psalm 139:17-18)

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