"I am guiding you in the way of wisdom, and I am leading you on the right path." proverbs 4:11

Courage and Harvesting Ice.

Written by:admin
Published on October 23rd, 2012 @ 01:38:00 pm , using 1106 words, 964 views

  Recently we had church directory pictures taken.  I wanted us to take a goofy picture, with unmatched clothes and making faces.  I wanted it to be a picture that anytime someone looked at it they would laugh out loud-thus spreading Joy and fun for the sake of fun all amongst the congregation.

 But we lacked the courage to follow through.  We ended up all wearing black-which was fine.  At least 4 times i quietly mentioned wanting a funny photo-finally the photographer (who was quite a professional i might add) gathered us to take one.  But when it came time to pick for the directory, this photo wasn?t given as an option.  When I mustered up the courage to ask if it could be used-the answer was no-it was taken horizontally and a vertical photo was needed. 

 Why could i not be more bold and direct and clear about what we wanted-even though it was so foreign an idea to the photographer?s frame of reference?

 Even more recently, I wanted to miss something so that i could take the particular evening for a time of prayer.  Our house is very small, and my husband works from home.  There is just something about the freedom of being actually alone to sing and pray and just talk to God without having someone say ?uh... mom?....who are you talking to??  but i quietly mentioned the possibility of not being there (without saying why)-and the response... i interpreted it within and quietly ?recovered from my moment of madness? declaring that ?never mind, i don?t know what i was saying, yes in fact i would attend.?

 Why could i not be more bold and just say-not quietly-but assertively; ?Sorry, I will not be attending ________night.? and not leave any door open implying I?m asking permission, or just toying with the idea.  Just put it out there straight and walk away and deal with the emotions later....during the precious alone time i would have had?????

 Then there is the inward struggle with the way school has gone for the last few weeks.  One child is homeschooled.  We are in the middle of a family project-that would have been completed before school started if there had not been fire in the mountains -causing evacuations and delays at the beginning of the summer.  Thus, his school currently consists of.....do i even have the courage to share what it actually consists of? 

 i was reminded of Farmer Boy by Laura Ingals Wilder.  It?s the story of Almonzo as a boy (before he became Laura?s husband).  a quote that i latched onto early on in my homeschooling ?career? was this:

?Almonzo did not go to school that day.  He did not have to go to school when there were more important things to do.?  (p.50) 

i remember that one of those ?more important things? was harvesting ice for the ice-box.  It wouldn?t have required courage for them to miss school for harvesting ice-for everyone knew how important it was for their survival, and everyone knew that when the conditions were right for it-you did it.  the conditions were outside of their control-they had to work within the weather. but of course back then, everyone knew that.  it was part of their culture.

 I do believe with all my heart that school is important. I also believe with all my heart, there are more important things than school.  So, while the others are off at school, my youngest?s education is consisting of other things than the 3 r?s.  working alongside your dad-that is priceless education isn?t it?

 so why is it that i cannot with confidence say-D-?s school right now is carpentry, and how to respond to frustration and discouragement (the former from his father, the latter from his mother :)).  Why do i so quickly let the fear seep in and take over my thoughts?  or if i?ve conquered it within-why do i not speak of it boldly without? 

 it all boils down to a lack of courage to live out what the Lord has placed within.  How the spirit has directed and led.  regardless of culture.  regardless of whatever!  There?s this idol of other?s opinions on the matter that seem to overtake my heart i think.  and there is this quiet way about me-that i have prayed and prayed and prayed to be replaced with boldness. 

 i have encouraged myself with stories of others? who trudge a new and different path contrary to the desires and acceptance of those near them;

  ?No, I replied to their suggestions, ?God is leading this way, and this way I go.? p.34 of ?To a Different Drum? by Pauline Hamilton

 ?Many difficulties have risen in my mind, they seem very great, the ?crooked places? seem very crooked, but it seems to me that all He asks is that we should take the one step He shows us, and in simplest, most practical trust leave all results to Him.  Mother, I know that very few of our friends will think I am right.  Those who don?t know the Shepherd?s voice themselves will be quite sure i am very wrong adn mistaken, but He has said, ?Walk before Me, and be thou perfect.?  He knows, and He won?t let me dishonour Him by making a mistake and following my own fancy instead of Him.  if it is so, He will show it to me, but if it is His will, I must do it....?  Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur by Frank L. Houghton p.45

 sigh-to be so couragous.  to trust His leading.  in just the little things-starting with the little things.  It?s something i so long to learn......

 i am reminded of Jesus words to the disciples in the boat:

?Take Courage, it is I?

 He offers the courage for me to take.  He doesn?t say? ?Have courage, be courageous?  (tho He does say that elsewhere-like to Joshua.) no in these cases it's: "Take!"  which means it's something i don't have already. 

i don?t know how to be courageous.  Nevertheless, i do have hope that i can learn how to take courage from the One whom i so long to follow where He is currently leading. 

 because learning comes with practice and repetition.  and if the Lord would grant that plea for boldness to just be so....natural;

 well then, what would i need Him for?

 He has said; ?blessed are the poor in spirit?

which means that joy, once again, will not be found with an instant personality change.  but with having received courage to harvest the ice. And i will instantly know where the Glory goes-to my Strength who has come to my aid....again.  And I will thank Him.

Socks and other hard things.

Written by:admin
Published on October 10th, 2012 @ 09:30:00 pm , using 706 words, 872 views

 O Lord, the king rejoices in your strength.
    How great is his joy in the victories you give! (psalm 21)

my youngest needs confidence.  his own experiences.  to find his own way, the path meant for him.  he?s 7, but young.  Recently he had his first day of Thursday school.  He is homeschooled, but on Thursdays he goes to school for art, science, spanish, etc...  This is his first year with this particular program.  He will have to change rooms and even buildings for each class. No one else has had this experience.  It seems like a grownup thing and he?s a little guy.  It will be hard for him, and my heart aches with that momma ache for him.  Driving away i fumble out a prayer-the Lord knows how to translate into the words i can?t find.  He knows that my desire for my boy is that he would experience the Lord?s help personally-but that means needing the Lord?s help.  That he would grow in confidence and courage-experiencing the joy of ?i did it!  i made it thru!?  but that means something difficult to do or to make through.   i wait in anticipation for that moment when i pick him up and he grins ear to ear.  Then i will know the Lord has once more granted victory for my son.  i just know it may not happen today-it is a journey after all. 

 my middle boy has known Jesus? help countless times.  he needed it on his first day to get shoes on that he had not been able to wear since the fires.  the Lord granted him victory that day.  today he?s tired.  today the socks aren?t working.  he snapped at his brother who was talking through what was before him with ?i don?t care about that-i have to get socks on right now.?  ugh.  That was a tough one.  But i did side with the younger one this time-his needs are important too.  All the while praying-we need to leave now, please Lord help this pair to work.  This boy has seen victory over and over and over again.  It?s a daily need for him in this world.  He got them on, and-we did make it to morning recess-vital for success for him at school each day.  but still as he sauntered off to the play ground-i called out ?i love you? and my heart felt that momma ache.  How will this rough start play out for him today?  i fumbled out a prayer for him-thankful again that the Lord translates these words i can?t find.

 That momma ache comes for my oldest girl interspersed more now.  Going off to school doesn?t bring it up so much anymore.  When we?ve had a fight and she?s sleeping-i ache to communicate to her how much i love her in a way she can receive it-i keep failing at that.  Now it?s things like trips far away without us (New York, Washington state) Or a school dance, or advocating for herself to an adult, or a sleepover with a new friend.  Next year it may come the first day of high school i suppose.  As usual, we will do that hard thing, and i will fumble through a prayer.

 i?ve heard it said (and maybe i?ve said it already here) as a parent i can prepare the road for my child, or prepare my child for the road.  my approach is the latter.  it?s a big big world out there.  and i?ve no illusion of control over anything.  and the only thing that is constant in this approach is that the preparation is different for each child-and only Jesus knows them intimately enough to know the path they need.  so we pray and follow and face these hard things......ultimately because these hard things have never failed to prove our God faithful.  not faithful to change them or make them easier.  no, He is faithful to strengthen us, to reveal Himself in a new way, to remain constant in His love for us, it?s not a tame love, but a good love...oh such a good love. 

 Oh Lord, this mom finds joy in Your strength, how i greatly i rejoice in the victories You give.  These daily victories You give. 

Trembling and Triumph in these days of ours

Written by:admin
Published on September 30th, 2012 @ 03:21:00 pm , using 466 words, 550 views
Posted in Journal Entry, Prayer

I was recently encouraged to pray for my nation. It?s hard to find the words for the complexities of these things.  So i borrow from another....

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. According to Shigionoth.

 

Lord, I have heard the report about You;
Lord, I stand in awe of Your deeds.
Revive Your work in these years;
make it known in these years.
In Your wrath remember mercy!

God comes from Teman,
the Holy One from Mount Paran.Selah
His splendor covers the heavens,
and the earth is full of His praise.
His brilliance is like light;
rays are flashing from His hand.
This is where His power is hidden.
Plague goes before Him,
and pestilence follows in His steps.
He stands and shakes the earth;
He looks and startles the nations.
The age-old mountains break apart;
the ancient hills sink down.
His pathways are ancient.

I see the tents of Cushan in distress;
the tent curtains of the land of Midian tremble.
Are You angry at the rivers, Lord?
Is Your wrath against the rivers?
Or is Your rage against the sea
when You ride on Your horses,
Your victorious chariot?
You took the sheath from Your bow;
the arrows are ready to be used with an oath.

 

Selah.

You split the earth with rivers.
The mountains see You and shudder;
a downpour of water sweeps by.
The deep roars with its voice
and lifts its waves high.
Sun and moon stand still in their lofty residence,
at the flash of Your flying arrows,
at the brightness of Your shining spear.
You march across the earth with indignation;
You trample down the nations in wrath.

You come out to save Your people,
to save Your anointed.
You crush the leader of the house of the wicked
and strip him from foot to neck.Selah
You pierce his head
with his own spears;
his warriors storm out to scatter us,
gloating as if ready to secretly devour the weak.
You tread the sea with Your horses,
stirring up the great waters.

I heard, and I trembled within;
my lips quivered at the sound.
Rottenness entered my bones;
I trembled where I stood.
Now I must quietly wait for the day of distress
to come against the people invading us.


Though the fig tree does not bud
and there is no fruit on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will triumph in Yahweh;
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!
Yahweh my Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like those of a deer
and enables me to walk on mountain heights!

 (Habakkuk 3-emphasis mine)

 

Though.....yet i will.... may it be so, Lord; may it be so with my own heart.  i know full well how unrealistic and unlikely it is that i would respond in this way.  that i respond in this way with the small things of today!  But You are my strength and You will enable these feet and this heart and i will thank You for that!  amen.

 

Failure and Blessing

Written by:admin
Published on September 23rd, 2012 @ 03:41:00 pm , using 634 words, 833 views

You ever have those conversations when you are speaking to someone else, but really you are speaking to yourself?

 

i was given the gift of a child to rear.  to show the way thru life.  unfortunately i?m still learning to find my own way, so i?ve not been the best teacher.  as i watch her struggle...i grieve.  i grieve because i know the struggle intimately.  i?ve not been able to spare her this struggle.  in fact, in some ways i?ve taught her this struggle, i?ve been the source of the struggle.

 

 ?do you ever wish i just wasn?t part of this family?  i?m such a horrible person.?

 

and the words come up from within-somewhere deep-words that i heard just a couple of weeks ago, they aren?t my words, but they are mine to share....with her and with me.

 

?and what did Jesus declare about horrible people, what did He do for them??

?He died for their sins.?

 

 it?s that mumbled rote Sunday School answer.   it comes out as a low mumble, with no feeling, automatic and unimpacting.  that?s so often how it comes up from within me too.  it?s that ?blah blah blah, don?t preach me a sermon-you?re not answering my question.?

 

and she?s right, that?s not the answer that?s being mined for tonight.

 

?well, yes, that?s part of it.  but what i?m asking, is what did He declare to be true about horrible people?? (of which i?m one of them too you know)

 

blank stare, ?i don?t know?

 

and me neither, not in the depth of my being-a knowing that really knows.  but i?m learning to know it.  and the answer comes out anyway-the answer i?m learning to know;

 

?he declared them worth it....wanted, treasured.?

 

we talk further into the night.  the reason we are talking is because of sin-and the Spirit gives me more words for us-for both of us. 

but the big take away is that we?ve been declared worth it, wanted, treasured.

 

i who have played my own part in the sin committed.  that ugly dividing wretched sin.  i who have not loved well, who have not communicated love well.  i have failed time and time and time again.  the parenting books out there-well meaning and well-principled as they are-cannot offer anything here.  There is no solution for me to attempt; to answer..... what both of our hearts are asking. in our failure (which is inevitable while in this body of flesh) are we still wanted?   How many times have i thought to myself, ?boy, if only God had given them that mom, they would have all those benefits.? 

 

i know my failures full well.  and it?s no use arguing them away.  i sin against my children and wound their hearts in the process. i hate it-these ones that i love so dearly.  and the Spirit does give me victory and wisdom and insight so often as i call out  ?help, how do i respond to this!?!?  He did that for me in this case as well.  The beautiful thing in this case, is that as we went our separate ways, those words whispered to my heart as well.  i pray that the Spirit will work this truth into her heart, into all of their hearts.  that in the midst of our failure, we are blessed.  We are wanted, worth it, treasured.  By the One who spoke the universe into existence-and who has all things.  Yet He wants me!  me!  even me!

 

sigh. 

 

?You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.?  Romans 5:6-8

Traveling Joy

Written by:admin
Published on August 26th, 2012 @ 04:28:00 pm , using 44 words, 728 views

"If i say my, "my foot is slipping," Your faithful love will support me, Lord.  when i am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy."  Psalm 94:18-19

 

Selah

 (i like the definition i once read that this word meant to pause and think about.)

<< 1 ... 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 >>