little irritations

Monday, January 31, 2011

About a week ago, there were three interactions that I had with other Christians that really got me riled up.  One of the things had some (small) level of significance, but the other two things were inconsequential.  Since the two insignificant things had followed the interaction with the (small) level of significance, however, I got unduly irritated.

I had gone for a walk and was praying in regards to these things.  I was crying out to the Lord to take care of these problems (that had become so large in my mind).

The Lord simply said, "Little irritations break down the body."

Oh friends, isn't it amazing how one word from the Lord can change your whole perspective?
"Little irritations break down the body."
It is so ture.
 How quickly pride can get in the way of true love for my brothers and sisters, in Christ.
How easily I can sacrifice unity for the sake of my emotions.

Dear ones, the very next day the Lord was so kind to give me another word.  It was Sunday, and our pastor spoke about how praise and thanksgiving breaks down the cloud of our often inflated emotions.
(hmmm...guess you're telling me something, Lord!)
Then this Sunday, our pastor spoke about humility and giving true favor to one another.
(geee...I think that you're talking to me, Father!)

Friends, I have completely forgotten about the two little irritations that came up (truly, I can't even remember what they were!).  And as I have praised the Lord for His goodness over this past week, and as I have blessed the sister who I felt offended by, He has been so very faithful to change my emotions.  It has been a work, it is true.  But what wonderful work He gives to us!

"Little irritations break down the body."
Friends, lets forgive today.
Let's love one another.
We have the perfect example in Jesus.
He is so good.

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lots of babies...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Yesterday, we went on a field trip to a local sheep farm.
It's lambing season and they had more than 20 new lambs!

These lambs were only 9 hours old!

And these ones were two weeks old.

There were also horses (Yana was in heaven!).

Grace (who used to be terrified of horses) suddenly became very brave.

Caleb is the sweetest boy.

Caleb's mama (and my best friend), Meredith.

Wow!  This cow is definitely pregnant!

The main photographer of the day.

I didn't think that Jadon and his friend, Alexander, were paying too much attention to the baby animals.
They were doing much more of this sort of nine-year-old boy stuff.

But, actually, when we were driving away, Jadon commented, "Mom, isn't it cool how God made us?!"

I guess that he was paying more attention than I thought.

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savoring the days...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I am so very grateful for these special days with my littlest treasure.  Since the other kids started school this fall, and Grace is only there half days, I have lots of one-on-one time with my sweet girl.

We've enjoyed outside-time, even in January, with our mild winter, thus far.

Grace loves to get a little bit silly!

 We've been baking muffins, cookies and other snacks for the kid's lunches and for after school treats.

Coloring is always a hit with Grace. 

Maple, our (thought-she-was-so-calm, but is really kinda crazy) puppy is cute and playful!  There's rarely a dull moment with Maple around.  We take Rosemary and Maple for walks every day (except on the days that Maple goes to work with Daddy--which they both love).

Of course, eating Ramen noodles is always on the agenda for Grace.

(Disclaimer:  I limit Ramen noodles to one time per week!)

We do a lot of snuggling, reading, dancing, singing, praying for various people who come to mind, and playing with Grace's doll house these days, as well.

And our favorite thing to do is to steal the brothers and sisters away from school for lunch or for the afternoon (which uh...we do quite a lot).
This mama can't stand to be away from her other treasures too much!

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

A couple of days ago, our whole family was at the library.  Adam pulled a book off the shelf and with a little burst of excitement, handed the book to me. "Here's a good one, Mom.  You love this book."

The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark

Ah...he was right.  The Yellow Star:  The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark.  There's a bit of controversy around this book, as some of the story centers around what it's title suggests (legend), but nevertheless, it's one of my favorite books.  We checked it out (for perhaps the eighth or tenth time) and brought it home with us.

Christian X was king of Denmark during WWII.  And though the details of the book may be legend, one thing is certainly true--King Christian cared about his people...all of his people.  He was a good king.

Friends, that just gets me...he was a good king.  In a world where there are so many examples of greedy rulers and selfish kings, King Christian gets into my heart...and apparently he got into the heart of his people, as well.  This part of the story is true:

"Every morning, their king rode alone and unarmed along the streets of Denmark's capital, Copenhagen.
'Who's that?' a curious visitor once asked.
'Why, that's our King Christian!' his Danish host responded.
'Without a bodyguard?' asked the astonished guest.
'My friend,' came the proud reply, 'a king so loved needs no bodyguard.  We Danes would all stand together in defense of our king.'"

I cry every time I read that.  The people loved him because he was so good...our world is so desperate for goodness.

"For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help, The afflicted also, and him who has no helper.  He will have compassion on the poor and needy, and the lives of the needy he will save.  He will rescue their life from oppression and violence; and their blood will be precious in his sight."  Psalm 72:12-14

Friends, that just gets me...Jesus is such a good King.  Our world is so desperate for goodness... 

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husbands, wives, Christ and the Church

Friday, January 21, 2011

I've had a number of women, recently, ask for adivce/help with their marriages.  As I was pondering how to respond to one such request yesterday, I realized how ridiculous it was for me to give advice...


Because without the love of my incredible husband, I'm afraid I wouldn't be a very good wife.
Because, if David weren't a servant-leader, I don't think that I'd be a very good follower.
Because, if David didn't love me as Christ loves the Church (albeit not perfectly), I think that our marriage would be a wreck.

So my advice?
 Marry the right kind of who is a servant-leader, one who leads you to the cross, one who loves you like Christ loves the Church. 

hmmm..not such great advice for those who are already married (but really good advice if you're still single!).

So, though I feel pretty limited when giving advice to married women, I have to ponder what all of this means for the Church...

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
(Ephesians 5)

Do you know that it is easy to respond positively to my husband when his heart is set on love and service?
Really easy.

Dear friends,
Christ's heart is always set on service.
His love is perfect all of the time.
So, what's wrong with the Church?

Oh, my heart breaks when I think of it.
We are like a wayward wife,
who despite the love of a wonderful husband,
still chooses to turn her back on him.
He has made it so easy for us.
He has given us all that we need
He has given His life out of love for His body--the Church.

Dear ones, I am going to say something now that might be a bit shocking...
God is not primarily concerned about our individual rights.
He is not even primarily concerned about us as individuals.

Friends, Christ gave Himself up for the Church--for His beautiful bride.
Friends, He gave you gifts for the beautifying of His Church.
Friends, He is coming back one day--for His Church.

Why aren't we ruined over this?
Why aren't we crying out to God day and night, repenting of our individualistic ways, imploring Him to do what He would love to do most--make His Church radiant?
(please know that I am asking myself the same questions)

Friends, we are supposed to be a light on a hill!
People are supposed to be drawn to us because of our love,
and we should be learning to live a life of love
through the Church.

I am willing and grateful to give my life away for this end.
(Lord, thank you for forgiving me when I fail in this.)


Because Christ gave away His life for the same end.
And it's easy to follow such a loving, servant-leader.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.

Mother Teresa

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How He Loves Us

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The night that Jeremiah died, I kept waking up, singing this song.  I knew that it was significant, but I didn't know why.  In the morning, we found out that our friend was in the presence of the Lord. He loves us...

He is jealous for me

Love's like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me.
Oh, how He loves us so

Oh, how He loves us
How He loves us so.
Yeah, He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves.
So we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean we're all sinking
So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way

That he loves us,
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves
He loves us,
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves
Well, I thought about You the day Stephen died and You met me between my breaking
I know that I still love You, God, despite the agony
...they want to tell me You're cruel
But if Stephen could sing, he'd say it's not true, cause...

Cause He loves us,
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves
Yeah, He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves

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I've heard of teddy bears and blankies...

Friday, January 14, 2011

But I've never heard of snuggling with a
lego sorter!

Oh Jadon, you're too cute!

He actually arranges all this stuff every night...

 and then sleeps right in the middle of it!

Sweet dreams little man.
I love you...
stuff and everything.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Some people came to Calcutta, and before leaving, they begged me:  "Tell us something that will help us to live our lives better."  And I said:  "Smile at each other; smile at your children, smile at each other--it doesn't matter who it is--and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other."  And then one of them asked me:  "Are you married?" and I said:  "Yes, and I find it difficult sometimes to smile at Jesus."  And it is true, Jesus can be very demanding also, and it is at those times when he is so demanding that to give him a big smile is very beautiful.

Mother Theresa


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Bring on the peanut butter cups!

Friday, January 7, 2011

'cuz this boy (who has had severe reactions to miniscule amounts of peanut in the past)
had a negative skin test!

We'll get the results of his blood test early next week,
and if that's clear we'll do an oral challenge in his doctor's office.

Isn't our God so very good?!
It's absolutely, positively a miracle of the Lord!

A few months ago, we were at a Randy Clarke conference and Adam told us that he knew that he had been healed of his peanut allergy.  He went up to the front and shared this with everyone at the conference.  I've got to tell you--I'm so proud of this boy!  He's been pressing into the Lord for healing--asking and believing.
Adam just doesn't back down, no matter the set-back.

For those parents who have children with severe allergies, you know how BIG this is!
No more carrying around an epi-pen.
No more worrying when he's eating away from home.
No more peanut-free environment.

Praise be to God from whom all good things come!

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making plans...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I overheard this conversation between my boys.

Jadon:  Adam, what do you want to do when you grow up?  I'm going to be a Bible smuggler.
Adam:  (with great excitement in his voice)  We could work together!  I'll translate Bibles and then you can take them to the people who need them.

They went on..talking and making plans...where they should live, which language/people group they would serve, how the Bibles could be smuggled...
Precious boys.
True brothers in the Lord.

May all your plans for love and service come true.

(and just because I LOVE this old photo...)

Thank you so much, to all of those who have been praying for Jeremiah's family.  Please continue to pray that God would be very present to them in the midst of their pain.  Pray that their hearts would be at peace, knowing that their beloved husband/father is safe in the hands of our precious Lord--that they could truly say, "Death has no sting!"

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A precious friend died last night, after a long battle with cancer.  Please pray for his wife, and their two young daughters (ages 4--her birthday is today, and 6).  David was blessed to spend Thursday night with J. (a number of the men from our church family were blessed with this opportunity to love), and the strength of his loving wife, S., absolutely amazed David.  Our church family is so very sad today.  Though we know that J. is with Jesus, we are grieving for his beautiful family.

So very grateful for this life.  Hug your little ones (and your husbands) closely tonight.

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I believe in love and compassion.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It is still remembered in Canada how, appearing on a TV program with Jacques Monod and Jean Vanier, she (Mother Theresa) sat with her head seemingly bowed in prayer while the famous French molecular biologist and Nobel prize-winner animadverted upon how the whole future destiny of the human race is inexorably locked up in our genes.  When pressed by the compere for her views, she simply lifted up her head and remarked:  "I believe in love and compassion," then resumed her devotions.  Her intervention, reinforcing Jean Vanier's powerful Christian testimony, was somehow decisive, and Professor Monod was afterwards heard saying that a little more of the same treatment and his sound atheistic position might be jeopardized.

A Gift For God, p. 3

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