Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Deep Thoughts ....

Handsome hubby and I are taking a class right now at church called “Experiencing God Through the Feasts of Israel.” This weeks’ class focused on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and, because God’s just like this, the class was on the day of Yom Kippur. Unlike the other Jewish feasts, this is not a feast or celebration, but a fast. It is a day of dealing with the issue of sin. I won’t go into all the details because, for starters, I am not qualified. But, it is my understanding that on this day, even today, there are five times the Jewish people meet. One of these meetings is called the Minhah. It is an afternoon service that includes the reading of the book of Jonah. Why Jonah? Well, because …

  • Jonah is a story about repentance and forgiveness.
  • God’s compassion in Jonah is meant to be a model for us to copy.
  • It is a great reminder that we cannot flee the service of God … as our teacher stated, God is a good chaser!

You see, Jonah didn’t want to go to Ninevah because he knew God was merciful and he knew the people were likely to repent and he didn’t want them to recieve God's mercy, he wanted them to receive God's wrath. Jonah even said, "I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity." Thank goodness we serve a God who is merciful! Jonah thought he would flee to Tarshish (opposite of Ninevah) thus thwarting God's plan, but God’s plan prevailed … as it always does. And sadly, even after God showed Jonah mercy by releasing him from the big fish, Jonah's heart didn't change. He remained unhappy that the Ninevites repented and sought the Lord.

How sad is that? And, how convicting! How many times is that me, acting just like Jonah? Deciding who "deserves" mercy and who doesn't instead of having God's heart for His people? What is God's heart? "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9.

Who are MY Ninevites? Who am I needing a heart change over? Serious questions that require serious prayer and truthful answers. We were encouraged in class to ask the Lord who we need to forgive and who we need to ask for forgiveness from. Deep thoughts … deep truth.

So, who are your Ninevites?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thousand Gifts ...

I am reminded again of what I already knew … not actively noticing (because they are always there) the gifts our Father lavishes on us blocks my blessings, clouds my vision and steals my joy … particularly in times of trial and fatigue. So, I am returning to what I know, the JOY OF THE LORD is my strength, and He is simply amazing. So many gifts, so much to be thankful for …

Lazy Sunday Gifts …

626. Perusing cooking magazines for nifty new recipes.

627. Taking the challenge to try a new recipe.

628. Cooking with Grannie.

629. Scrabble with precious daughter.

630. Tinkering in the garage.

631. Playing hangman with Daddy … even upside down.

632. Naps for momma’s growing babies.

633. Fingerprints in puffy dough.

634. The fingerprints of the Almighty God all over our lives.
635. Homemade rolls with butter … delicious!

636. Peace.
637. Cool weather.
638. Heads on shoulders.

And still more gifts …

639. Ghiradelli Double Fudge Brownies (with no trans-fat)!
640. Accomplishing something … anything when I am tired!
641. Finally organizing the girls bedrooms and playrooms.
642. Borrowing a crib … amazing there is a little person on the way to sleep in it!
643. Our precious friends adopting a sister and brother from Ethiopia … can’t wait to squeeze their little selves!
644. African pen pals … daughters given the opportunity to share a friendship across the miles with children in the Village of Hope.
645. When God miraculously shows things up that were missing ... big things ... in His perfect timing to fit His perfect plan.
646. Because with God, there is nothing missing, nothing lacking.
647. Reading!

648. Faith, in spite of what my eyes can see.
649. George Mueller.
650. Holy Spirit driven ability to “capture every thought and make it captive” to the truth.
651. Answered prayers … over and over and over again.
652. The unbelievable women God has blessed me with in this life … simply boggles my mind. Thank you, Lord!
653. Our daughters, sweet sisters sitting out on the porch swing reading books together.
654. Grandmothers who don’t mind getting a “new do.”

655. Grace and the ability, with His help, to forgive and move on.
656. Have I mentioned … baby girl kicking me! So cool!
657. Red flowers on the window sill in my bathroom.

658. Starbucks with Jerri!
659. The “Alpha” men’s ministry at church. AWESOME!
660. Obedience to the Lord and the awesome rewards and peace that come with it.
661. Harvest!
662. Sleeping babes …

663. Provision … miraculous and amazing provision.
664. Our new homeschool p.e. group and the friends we are making there.
665. Awesome classes and awesome men and women of God who speak His truth in those classes.
666. Learning about the Jewish feasts and how they apply to my life as an adoptive daughter ... grafted in by God's amazing grace.
667. That our daughters are heart-seekers … God’s love in Frosted Flakes and shredded cheese.

668. Memorizing scripture … the sword of the Spirit.
669. It's okay to have a messy house ... yep! It's okay.
670. How AWESOME it is the changes God has made in our marriage ... night and day!
671. Tenderness.
672. Our singer, making up songs.

673. Studying American heroes and being amazed all over at their fortitude, sacrifice and character.
674. The joy our girls have learning the "motions" and singing Jesus songs for us.
675. College football and cheering on our favorite Tre' Newton at University of Texas.

Oh the AMAZING joy of gratitude!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Few Thoughts ...

I am 28 weeks pregnant today ... third trimester ... 12 (likely less) weeks to go. Completely boggles my mind. Baby girl is moving and kicking and making herself known, which is one of the most miraculous things to me about pregnancy. So amazing! And, we are kicking around names ... actually, the girls and I have one and are trying to convince Daddy to come around to it! :) The girls are beyond excited ... Madison kisses my tummy and Peyton daily says she can't wait for her sister to come out. Fun!

Sweet Peyton lost her 8th tooth yesterday, thank goodness! It was in one of those awkward positions that made it look like a fang. I have to say I was quite impressed with her bravery in letting Daddy yank that baby out!

Before ...

After ...

We are waiting on the Lord ... He is faithful and He is providing and we sense a major breakthrough is coming. It's exciting ... and to be honest, somewhat nerve-wracking, too. Why is it that waiting on the Lord, standing in faith and believing His word can be so hard. Aggrevates me entirely! More flesh to have cut away. More opportunity for miraculous things to happen and eyes to see them. More of His breakthrough. It is all about HIM!

My friend, Jerri, and I were talking and she was sharing a conversation she had had with someone who was making excuses and not fully believing God and she said this ...

Am I believing God or calling Him a liar?

Wow! That struck me to the very core. Let me say it a second time ... Am I believing God or calling Him a liar? It's as simple as that. Am I looking with my earthly eyes and listening to satan spew his nonsense or am I believing the Words of the Almighty, who is in control of ALL things, who has said He means good for me and blessing and life to the full. Yep, I wrote that question poster-size and posted it in my kitchen. We are in a spiritual battle in our household and that is the question that puts it all in focus for me. Yes, I can assure you WE ARE BELIEVING GOD and because of it, I know that breakthrough is happening even as I type this!

So, that is us.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Friday night we set out on an impromtu camping trip with the girls and one of our neighbor friends, Kelsi (who had never camped before). I suppose I should mention that it was raining some on the way to our campsite, in the grasslands out by Decatur, and that it was forcasted to rain for the next couple of days. However, the campsite was dry when we arrived and got set up. It was a wonderful, cool evening and the girls has a great time ... what with discovering "ant lions," shooting slingshots, exploring nature trails and roasting marshmellows. It was about 11:00 p.m. when the rain started. Dad was asleep in his hammock. Peyton and I were in the suburban ... come on, a pregnant Mama can get more comfy in a suburban than in a tent with wiggly girls on the ground ... and Kelsi and Madison were in the tent. It started to pour! Dad moved the big girls into the suburban with us. We were were stacked in like puzzle pieces, but happy to be dry and the girls fell right back to sleep. Come about 12:15 a.m., Daddy joined us as the lightening began because, in his words, he didn't want to be struck and turned into beef jerky. I wholeheartedly agree with sentiment! Needless to say, about 7:00 a.m. it lightened up enough to wake up, pack up and go home. In spite of the rain, a great time was had by all and it was wonderful to be hanging out in and enjoying the land that God has created for us. Simply breath-taking!

Putting up the tent ...

A group effort!
The camping "glamour girls" ...

The man with the outdoor plan ...

Sweet sisters!

I tried to take over the hammock, but there's just no real comfy spot for the "baby bump" in it. :)

Fierce warrior women and their sling-shots ...

Watching as "Bear Gryllis" lights a fire ...

Warming up a little ...

It isn't camping without the s'mores!

Here, you want one?

The camp "chaperones!"

Monday, September 7, 2009