Faithfulness

Breaking Down to Stay Alive

I remember hearing Dr. James Dobson say many years ago that Satan’s number one attack on our nation is the breakdown of the family.

Maybe I didn’t believe it then. Maybe I was “in love,” without kids, and thinking the “breakdown of the family” was a far-fetched idea for my perfect ideals.

But a mere 15 years into being a wife, and I believe Dr. Dobson was right.

It’s hard to stay committed in marriage. It’s hard because I’m a sinner. And Jeremy’s a sinner. And Heaven help us, we have birthed little sinners.

And I’d really like things to be calm around here. I’d like to weigh what I did on our wedding day. I’d like to feel loved like I was 18. And blissfully oblivious like I just birthed our first kid.

But so is life. And so is Satan. And his rampage goes on and on.

And we keep fighting.

Not because we want to win, but because we can’t lose. Lives are at stake. Futures hang in the balance.

And the cross tells me grace is the only way to win. Love is worth dying for.

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Didn’t we just celebrate Easter?

He is making all things new but only after we’re willing to die. He stretched out His arms so I can open mine. And He embraces me so I can embrace.

Yes…We stay alive in marriage and family and friendship…by breaking down.

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When 2017’s already spiraled…

It’s been a little over 3 weeks since Christmas. 3 weeks since celebrating His birth. And already…I’ve shut myself in the bathroom. Hid. Begged God to come right now.

We have friends hurting. We have friends moving. We have friends fighting battles no one saw coming.

And as long as we’re here…these battles will continue.

Sin will consume us. Threaten our very lives. Steal our joy. Force us into locked bathrooms. And that “roaring lion” will keep scratching on the door. Telling us over and over again…it’s just too hard.

“And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5)

But Jesus is the Lion who will devour the devourer.

Where Satan comes to destroy, Christ comes to do battle.

In wherever you’ve found yourself in 2017. Death. Suffering. Sorrow. Questions.

He. Is. There.

To keep fighting for you.

” All the tomorrows of our life have to pass Him before they can get to us.” (F. B. M.)

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Y’all…He met our need!!

Before I disappear for Advent you need to know this.

After everything was totaled we owed $368 for the Dominican trip we took last month.

Do you remember this, though?

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That was in August when Kenan busted his head, and we got 11 stitches in the ER. That was also when we wrote Duke hospital an enormous check.

Last week Duke realized we had over payed them so they sent us a reimbursement check.

Guess how much it was for?

$365.

Y’all, He provided. Almost the exact amount. Only God.

Thank you to everyone who supported us. Clearly, you were part of God’s plan.

God is faithful. He meets needs. That’s what this upcoming season is all about. Christ came as a baby. He came to live perfectly where we had messed up. He came to die humbly so we wouldn’t have to.

He met our greatest need then. And His grace continues to surprise me.

Merry (early) Christmas!!!

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Philippians 4:19,20)

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)

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When you can’t even change yourself…

The thing is you don’t see life change. It’s gradual. But we all change. Through circumstances. Through life experience. Through others.

I’d prefer to see it. Watch it unfold like a good movie. But in grace He works silently. Maybe slowly.

Could today be any more beautiful? White beaches, clear water, our boys throwing ball with Compassion kids. The hurting collide with the hurting and there enters grace.

Yes, let’s take away the poverty. Let’s take away the filth. Let’s take away all this pain. What if the world didn’t have hungry children who were counting on our measly $38 a month? What if they were all well fed, well clothed, well housed? What if every child was safe?

But they aren’t. And we can’t fix it all. Is that an excuse not to try?

I’ve been wrestling with the fact that our personal giving affected our ability to pay for our trip. It made me come to you. To ask the body for help.

Could it be that our giving opened up a chance for more giving? For more reliance on our part? For the body to become more of the body?

I can’t change the world. I can’t even change myself.

But God forbid we use the too big excuse not to try. Not to open our hands and say, Okay, God.

I’ve got no answers. Only a confidence that Christ came to love and serve. How can I call myself a Christian-a “little Christ” if I’m not doing the same?

Make me more and more and more willing, Father!

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:32-34)

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(Post written in the Dominican)

We are home!

We got back home around 10:30 last night. I immediately crawled in bed with Esther for a few, very missed snuggles. She never woke up!

Today I’ve unpacked and washed…all while reminding myself how stinkin’ blessed I am.

I’ve also been thinking about how thankful I am for my parents. Esther loved on me this morning for about 5 minutes then said, “I want to see Maw-Maw.”

To backtrack, our last day in the DR was spent in Santo Domingo learning about Dominican culture. The boys also did a little shopping.

Our flights were easy. Did you know how awesome it is to flush your toilet paper and have good water pressure?=)

We take lots and lots for granted.

The missionaries told us that we can send them a check with our final payment in the next couple days. I think about $700 of the $1200 has come in. Wow! Thank you!!

I’ve got lots of raw posts on my phone notes that I hope to share in the weeks ahead. God really did speak.

Thanks for praying for us this past week! We don’t take a piece of it for granted!

“Then you shall take delight in the Lordand I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 58:14)

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