About Me

My name is Meredith, and I am the mother of two awesome boys; the wife of a fantastic husband; the band director for 100 students in grades 5 - 12 in a small community in Maine; and a follower of Christ. This blog is a place for me to reflect on what the Lord is teaching me.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Exciting news... but --

There has been an exciting announcement of sorts on my NEW BLOG.

Click on over to find out what has been happening in our lives since I last checked in over here.  :)

Hope to see you over there,


Thursday, August 4, 2011

I have wrestled with this decision for MONTHS.

But it just felt like the time was right.

I have merged my two blogs- this one and Run is the New Walk to a new blog.

My word?
You know...


I may have tried every single word/phrase combination that I could think of before I finally found one that is perfect, that was availalble.

And now....

My new blog:

I sure hope that you update your readers, and follow me over to my new blog.
I am so excited about this!!

Oh-- and you can still expect to see Thankful posts, and Blogging through the Bible in 90 Days posts...
as well as a whole lot of my life in general. :)

Hope to see you over there!!

Reflections on #B90Days: Day 25

Reading and reflecting through the Bible in 90 Days, along with hundreds of others taking part in the Challenge, hosted at Mom's Toolbox.

Day 25 Reading: 1 Kings 7: 38 -  1 Kings 16: 1 - 20


and he said: “Lord God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts. 1 Kings 8:23

then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk
1 Kings 8:36A

“Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses.
1 Kings 8: 56  (emphasis mine)

These passages were all a part of the beautiful prayer that Solomon prayed to the Lord, after the Temple was completed.  I just love the reminders of the promises that the Lord gave to His people.  The reminders of how Holy He is.

David longed to build a Temple for God.  But, David was a King during wartime. Because of the valor of his leadership, his son Solomon took the throne in times of peace.  And Solomon was allowed to bring the Temple to a reality.

Solomon accomplished so much good for the Kingdom of God.

But, because he did not heed the warnings of His Lord about taking foreign wives, (He had 700 wives. And that is not counting princesses and concubines) what was warned about of course became reality. Solomon's wives turned his heart away from the True God, and Solomon even built the high places for the gods of his wives.

The most famed celebrated King, in wisdom, and honor was the one who ultimately tore the Kingdom of Israel apart. After he died, Jeroboam, Solomon's servant, was made King of all of Israel, with the exception of the one tribe of Judah, which was being kept for David's people, according to the promise the Lord made with him.   Solomon's son, Rehoboam, ruled in Judah.

Solomon was given great wisdom, fame, riches and honor from the Lord.
But it wasn't enough to keep him faithful throughout all his days.

Lesson to learn?
When God warns about something specific, take it seriously.

If Solomon can fall, and cause the Kingdom of Israel to be ripped apart, then how much more might we fall?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Giving thanks, 176 - 190, #1000gifts

Multitudes on Monday

176 -  Laura Story's song "Blessings" -- it makes me cry every single time I hear it, or sing it....
177 - Friends who support and build up
178 - A delicious dinner that the littlest boy loved, and could be modified so the oldest boy loved it too...
179 - dishes mostly done within minutes of being finished
180 - the warmth of the sun on my arms
181 - wonderful time of prayer and fellowship last night
182 - being certain of the Lord's call
183-  new clothes in my size at the thrift shop in our town!!
184 - a quiet dishwasher that works beautifully
185 - ugly/beautiful : disrespectful, disobedient five year old/ a picture of God's amazing grace because how often have we acted the same ways?
186 - friends home from China for just long enough for me to give them a detailed prayer request that would be very difficult to translate into "code".
187 - a truly repentant heart
188 - 16 month old laughter, smiles
189 - the beauty of God's creation  --- rolling green hills along a river,  forests of trees on the other side
190 - a weekend that seemed to last forever...  <3

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Crying Out to other Believers....

Some big things are happening here....
We don't know what the Lord is trying to tell us.

Please, if you are reading this, we are desperately pleading for discernment from God.

We would covet your prayers.

a.  It has to do with the church plant
b. we are all fine, the kids are fine, we are fine
c. we need to know if the feelings we are having are spiritual attack, or if they are from God to accomplish a pretty big change 


----  Meredith

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blogging through the #B90Days: Day 18, Reflections on Gideon (Judges 6:36)

Reading through the Bible 90 Days as part of the Challenge hosted at Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:  Judges 3: 28 - 15: 12

Scripture:  Judges 6: 36 - 40

36 So Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said— 37 look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.” 38 And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.” 40 And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground.


I cannot fault Gideon.
On paper, and in my head,  I know that God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.
But when the foolish thing He wants to use is you, and the wise that need confounding are a really big army, or dark city that needs hope?

Questions are normal.
Questions are expected.

Now.... Gideon probably should have accepted that God really and truly was intending to use him, the smallest member of the weakest clan in all of Manasseh, after the FIRST test of the fleece...  But God is gracious, and was patient with him.

I adore the story of Gideon, because my husband and I are in the waiting stage.  We are testing every thing that sounds like it could  be the Lord's will, so that we do not make a move outside of His timing.
Gideon's story reassures me that He will not be upset with us being careful to obey HIM, and not acting out of our own ambition, and ascribing it to Him.

And, God's patience with Gideon during the fleece tests just makes my heart sing.
The God who created the World, who could smite the enemies of His chosen people with one thought, chose to reveal Himself to the weakest of them all, and use an unlikely vessel to bring about HIS GLORY.

If I can wrap my head around the God assesses character, it changes the way I see people.

What is He looking for?

1. Usability.
A heart not filled with pride that trusts Him.

2. Humility.
Accurately seeing ourselves compared to His greatness.

3. Obedience.
He needs people that are going to do what He asks, even if it does not make sense.

My most sincere prayer is that we would find all three, in me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Blogging through the Bible in 90 Days: Day 17. Faith by osmosis....

#B90Days, Day 17.  Judges 2:10.

Reading:  Joshua 15: 1 - Judges 3 : 27

Scripture:  Judges 2 : 10

 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.


Joshua died, and when everyone who was alive at the time of the crossing of the Jordan passed away, they remembered the Lord no more.

All of a sudden the repetition in Deuteronomy urging them to love and serve God with all their mind, soul, heart and strength, and to diligently teach their children all the time, make sense.

Deuteronomy 6:7 says:

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

Something went wrong.

Maybe the glory of the Lord was so obvious to that generation that they took it for granted that the children would understand the magnitude of what He had done for them.   The adults at the time reveled in the Glory of God, and the young children watched as their parents served.  Perhaps the instruction, and talking about the laws never happened, because the adults didn't need the reminders.

When the adults passed on, and the children were grown, all of a sudden there is a generation of people that had been riding on the faith of their parents.  If they had heard, and learned, they would have made it their own.  But faith by osmosis cannot stand in the day of trials.  Faith by osmosis is not faith at all.

So the grandchildren of the ones that crossed the Jordan grew up barely hearing mention of God.

And God knew it would happen.  That's why He warned them over, and over again.... Don't forget.  Don't become complacent.  Remember all that I have done, and pass it along to your children.

But as it happened, a generation was raised that "knew neither the LORD, nor what He had done for Israel."


Faith is a personal journey.  I could not bring my mother to the kingdom through my prayers for her.  She had to find it on her own. And she did.  And the faith of all of us cannot pray my sister into heaven. She has to find it on her own.  She can pick up the details by osmosis.... and learn a little Christianese... but the bottom line is a relationship with our Creator and Savior.

My faith in God has to be lived out, every single day.  It has to be in my words, and my actions.
My sons cannot hear my internal praying.   I have to bring it all out in the open, for them, so that they can see faith in action.

We need to talk about the God that loves us, all the time.  At the dinner table.  When we are walking down the road.  When we are driving in the car.

They need to see that trusting in the Lord is normal.
They need to see that making time to get up early to be in the WORD, to hear from Him is normal.

But more than seeing it....
They have to understand it, and choose it for themselves.
It needs to become their own.


 Father God,
What a wake up call.

Thank you so much for my sweet son, who every morning comes down and asks me, "Mommy?  Is your pray time with Jesus done?"  Thank you for helping me to establish the pattern of getting up early to meet with you during the school year, and then providing the discipline and motivation to continue it on through the summer time!

Help us, as parents, to live our faith out loud to our children.  Discussing You with them, all the time.
And help us to handle the boundary testing that is happening now with grace, and love...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Giving Thanks, 160 - 175

So much for #1000gifts today....

160 - Ugly/beautiful: Dead car battery/ Time with a dear friend as she tried to give it a jump start -- failed, but still she waited with my until my husband came home from work.
161 - Ugly/beautiful:  Needing a new battery, not in the budget / Able to afford it because of the lessons that I taught yesterday.
162 - Giving my sweet five year old a keepsake of mine so that he could keep me close while at VBS this morning.  It helped him to be brave.
163 - When reunited, seeing smiles on his face, and hearing good reports.
164 - Yummy lunch at the seasonal favorite, Bet's Fish Fry.  A 1/2 fish and chips fed both of the boys and I to full.  Mhhhm.
165 - Sort of picnics, on the stairs down by the parking lot at the elementary school.
166 - the rain holding off, so that Mommy could keep her promise
167 - watching Soccer Boy get braver and braver on his new bike
168 - Seeing a favorite student (who am I kidding, they are all favorites) practicing soccer down on the lower field, and having a chance to see her before she goes away for Fall Semester.
169 - Living and being and loving here in the town that I teach in.
170 - Blessedly cool days after the scorchers of last week.
171 - My inhaler really helping with my cough.... I might kick this cold yet!
172 - The promise of Vietnamese food this evening.... maybe. :)
173 - Looking at my two boys and seeing similar behaviors, but completely different looks to them.  They are each a blend of the two of us, but in very different ways.
174 - Kindle on my phone. Kindle on my computer.  Kindle on my iPod.
175 - My sweet son telling me that he thinks I am beautiful.

I took a big step....

For a long time I have been wrestling with an issue.

Whether to merge the two blogs that I have into one blog, or how to successfully incorporate a more authentic, complete version of myself into my other blog, which I always thought of as my health and fitness blog.

However, lately I have been reading a lot of blog posts asking the readers what they want to see.

You know what?
I don't have a lot of readers.  And I am totally okay with that.  (usually.)

And the blog?
It is for me. To document my journey. My life.

My other blog is Run is the New Walk.  I created it when my truly "life in general" blog became blocked at school, because it was a wordpress blog.  So I joined the blogger revolution.  And because when I started it, I was very into running, and my training, it made sense to have a themed blog.  But, I let the the theme take over.  How silly.

So this morning, I solved the problem.

Some of my favorite scriptures in the Bible talk about running the race, running with endurance... (Hebrews 12 : 1 and 1 Corinthians 9 : 24.

And with the application of those two verses, I have the new them of my Run is the New Walk blog.  I am thrilled!

I would love it if you would check out my first "race report" over there.  :)

Have a great day!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Giving thanks, 141 - 159

I started my own "thankfulness" journey, after being inspired by several bloggers.  I saw many "blogfriends" posting their "Multitudes on Mondays."   Then, I saw a link to a blogpost of a real life friend posting her blessings.  When I read Val's blog, she talked about being radically changed by Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully, Right Where You Are.  (Right now it is only $2.99 for the Kindle version.)    I took advantage of the sale, and completely understand what Val meant.
My life is changing because of the truths that I am reading in her book.

141.  Freedom to share the truth, OUT LOUD, over the internet, over the telephone, and speaking freely with friends home from the mission field, where our usual communications are in code
142.  a beloved aunt and uncle visiting, and watching my boys fall in love with them
143.  Answered prayers ----  the joy of praying in alignment with God's will
144. My aunt's chocolate chip cookies
145. My sister's patient coaching, and a little boy finally beginning to swim
146. A comfortable evening after a heatwave
147.  The beautiful green hillsides, and farm lands we pass on our way to church
148. An unexpected detour leading to a different way home with spectacular ocean views that I have missed
149.  A few hours without coughing, then end to the summer cold in sight?
150. Trader Joe's Italian Roast Coffee....  mmmmmhhhmmmm
151. Sharing the excitement with a very pregnant friend who was able to get her wedding rings back on when the weather cooled.... the bond of motherhood
152. Spontaneous prayer time after kids worship yesterday morning....
153.  Conversation with my five year old about how much Jesus loves us.... I think that he is REALLY starting to understand it....
154. A VBS program for him right down the road, starting this morning!!
155. Middle of the night snuggles with the littlest one...
156. The birds chirping happily outdoors.
157. The cool smell in the air
158.  The amazing flavors for Chipotle Mexican Grill, where we went for lunch on Saturday
159. A family and friend filled weekend, leaving us exhausted by happy.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blogging through the #B90Days: Day 14 - It's not all that different.

Reading (and semi-regularly blogging) through the Bible in 90 Days, through the challenge hosted at Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:  Deuteronomy 8:1 - Deuteronomy 23:11

Scripture:  Deuteronomy 10: 12 (13)

12 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, ( 13 and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? )


Verse 12 is very familiar. We hear it all throughout the New Testament.  Serve/Love God with our whole hearts, with all our souls, and to walk in His ways.

No so different.
The difference is because of verse 13.
The New Covenant frees us from being under the commandments and the statutes.  We are under GRACE.


He has not changed what He wants out of humanity over all of this time.
He wants us to CHOOSE HIM.
He wants us to FEAR HIM -- because He IS GOD -- He is HOLY.
He wants us to respect Him, and live the way that He is teaching us/commanding us.
He wants us to LOVE HIM.  Because He first loved US.

How much easier we have it as believers under the New Covenant.  We don't just have the invisible God. We have the Holy Spirit, there with us always. We have access to the throne of Grace, whenever we choose.  And we have a Savior, that died for us, individually and corporately.

When we, 21st century Christians, are downhearted, perhaps we need to come back to Deuteronomy and remember what a Holy God we serve, and how completely grateful we should be every. single. day. for the Cross.


Oh Lord,
You have searched me, and You know my heart.
Help these words, these insights that you have given me last throughout the night and into tomorrow.  Help these remembrances of you shape the new day tomorrow.
Help the gratefulness create the fragrance of You, and let it flow through our home, our community.

Thank you.
From the depths of my soul, and the deep of my heart,
thank you.


Blogging through the #B90Days: Day 13

Blogging (sometimes) through the Bible in 90 Days.  There are SO many people reading it together through the challenge hosted on Mom's Toolbox.   This is my reflection and response to the reading for Day 13. Click here to read Amy's reflection.

Reading:   Numbers 32:20-Deuteronomy 7:26

Scripture:  Deuteronomy 6: 6-7

6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.


The Words of the Lord were/are supposed to be reflected upon more than a once a week, or even once a day.  All the time, we are to be discussing the commands of our God, and teaching our children by living the lives that He called us to live.


These verses jumped out at me, because thanks for the inquisitive heart of our five year old, this is exactly what we are doing.  He is asking questions all the time, and he is SO responsive to scriptural based correction.  We talk at the dinner table. We talk when we are sitting on our porch.  We talk when we are sitting together in the living room, in the middle of Angry Birds (he calls it Grumpy Birds) shots.

It was just a reminder that we need to be intentional about our sharing with him.  And we need to establish the pattern, because our younger son might not have the same questions, and might not be as receptive, or as in tune with spiritual things.

We are training our young boys in the way of worshiping the Lord our God, so that they will become young men who worship and follow after God, and become fathers who worship and follow after God.

(whoa.  My sweet son is starting Kindergarten in the fall. I don't want to fast forward that far yet!)


You are Holy.
Reading through Deuteronomy makes me realize just how Holy you are.
How often do I neglect the significance of the cross.  That I,  a gentile woman has the privilege of approaching your Throne of Grace, and calling you my Father, and that you are with me all of the time.

Lord, I am desperate to remain always thankful for the New Covenant.
Help me to live a live of overwhelming gratitude, that spills over onto every conversation with my son, with my co-workers, with my students, with my relatives, with my friends...

May Your commands, and Your WORD remain always on my mind, and may it become natural to teach, and not just answer questions.

In awe...
In humility,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Giving thanks, 104 - 140

I am caught up with my Bible in 90 Days readings, but am in the middle of numbers, and nothing really jumped out at me during the reading for Day 10.  So I figured it was time to get caught up on my thankfulness posts.

104 - 9 beautiful years of marriage to my best friend (july 13th)
105 - a little boy about to turn 5 (on Friday)
106 - curls that a getting wilder and crazier, this Mommy's heart can't bear to think about a haircut
107 - another family wedding in a beautiful location
108 -  the boys being so well behaved during the reception
109 - Early morning greetings, "Hi Mommy. Is your pray time done?"
110- still, even one month into the summer, getting up at 4:00 am to spend time with my God
111 - Seeing the light bulb go off in lessons
112 -laughter (usually at my expense) during lessons
113 - being SO CLOSE to school!!  
114 - the hint of purple as the sky turned to night
115 - feeling upset that my level of activity is derailed because of my cold and the pleurisy that goes with it
116 - Friends that are home for a little bit from the mission field, in time to share a very special birthday with our family!!!  (happy tears!!)
117- Learning how to wait on the Lord
118-The smiles and laughter of a certain 15 month old
119 - The community of believers all reading the Bible in 90 Days together, and the twitter encouragement --- check out the hashtag #b90days for just a glimpse!
120 -slowly becoming more and more authentic.... 
121 - the way my husband looked in a suit for the wedding mentioned in #107
122 - My mother gets to go see Beth Moore with a friend in the fall!!
123- stocking up on groceries, and being pleasantly surprised at the cash register
124 - finding a great deal on a first bike for the almost five year old
125 - a teachable heart
126 - that you are teaching me to be patient, and to train up my sons' hearts, not just focus on behavior
127 - living in the community that I teach in
128- A very first VBS for Stephen starting on Monday!!!
129 -  A chance for me to connect with other Christian Mommies in our community!!
130 - A lightning mcqueen lunchbox for a certain almost kindergartener
131- seeing our artwork up on the walls, slowly making this house our home
132 - amazing friends that gave us a gate to block off the woodstove, curtains, a DVD storage rack and a microwave that I can use at school, and will be giving us their old TV cabinet as well.
133 - the same friends that surprised us by taking us out (and providing their oldest daughter as a babysitter) for our anniversary
134 - when God gives us glimpses of the work that He is going to do... (I get chills!)
135 - hearing my son singing Veggie Tales songs while building legos
136 - that You are the God who sees me (story of Hagar, in Genesis)
137 - that You are the God who provides (story of Abraham and Isaac, Genesis)
138 - that I am bound by the New Covenant, and not required to sacrifice animals to cleanse my sin before you.  (Leviticus
139 - that I am finding beautiful wisdom and inspiration from other bloggers doing the readings at the same time.... especially this one:  i am meets the GREAT I AM, written by a lovely homeschooling Mommy.  It is something that I have re-read at least ten times since she posted it on Monday. :)
140 -that I miss running.... a lot. Help me, Lord!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blogging through the #B90Days: Day 9

Blogging through the Bible in 90 Days, with Amy from Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:  Leviticus 14: 33 - 57 - Leviticus 26: 1 - 26

Scripture:  Leviticus 18: 1-5

1 The Lord said to Moses,2 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'I am the Lord your God.3 You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices.4 You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God.5 Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord.


This section of scripture is in the middle the huge list of "don'ts" that basically make up the book of Leviticus.  In fact, immediately following this beautiful  statement is a long list of perversions the Israelites are to stay away from.  They range from general human decency (don't sleep with your mother in law, she is your father's wife) to the very offensive (don't have sex with an animal).  And then we see, in verse 26 - 27:

26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things,27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled.

No wonder God felt like He had to spell it out!!
The blanket statement "do not live like those people who lived here before" was not strong enough.


Stay focused of God.
Do what He has told me to do, live the way He has told us to live.
Do not be concerned, or focused on the way the others around us are living.

If I am the Lord's, I will obey Him.



I am overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of what Jesus' death on the cross accomplished.

Thank you for having a plan in place to redeem us, and thank you for including all people, regardless of where we come from, or who we are.

Above all, thank you that the Law was completely fulfilled with the sacrifice of your Son.

(And thank you for the covenant with Noah about the whole not killing off the Earth with a flood again, because humanity is so depraved, you would have had to start over at least 1,000 times....)

I am so grateful to be going through the Old Testament again, for the reminder of your Majesty.

I am in awe of you.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Blogging through the #B90Days: Day 8 - God Takes Obedience Seriously

Blogging through the Bible in 90 Days  in a challenge hosted by Amy, at Mom's Toolbox.

Reading: Day 8 -   Leviticus 1 - Leviticus 14: 1 - 32

What I Heard Today : God Takes Obedience Seriously

Scripture:  Leviticus 10: 1 - 3

1 Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command.2 So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.

3 Moses then said to Aaron, "This is what the Lord spoke of when he said:
"'Among those who approach me
I will be proved holy;
in the sight of all the people
I will be honored.'"
Aaron remained silent.


1. God is Holy.
2. God gives us instructions, and warnings for a REASON.
3. There are things that we do not understand.

Nadab and Abihu were literally and figuratively playing with fire.

All they had were God's instructions.
They knew what to do when.

I don't know if it was innocent in their intent -- a desire to give another fragrant offering to the Lord, or if it was just that they were reckless, and testing the boundaries.  But -- it is not our job to understand why we are to do the things that He has told us to do.

Our job is to do them.


1. Do what the Lord is telling me, and has been telling me to do.
2. Do not do what the Lord has not told us to do yet.

I need to be obedient in both my action, and my inaction.


Thank you that you are PROVED HOLY.
You are a mighty God...
And I will not endeavor to understand all that you are.
I will simply listen, obey, trust, and rest.

Thank you, my Savior, for the privilege of approaching your throne.
May never take it for granted.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blogging through the #B90 Days: Day 7

Blogging through the Bible in 90 Days  with 900 others reading along at the same time.  Learn more at Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:   Exodus 29 - Exodus 40

Scripture:  Exodus 31: 1 - 6
1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, 5 in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.

6 “And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you:

Workmanship, and skill in artistry are gifts from God!  Bestowed on certain individuals that God chose!


This portion jumped out off of the page (um... screen.... I was in the car reading on my YouVersion Bible App) at me since I am a musician.

I have always known that God gives talents, and God uses them in us for His glory.
But it was just beautiful to see the first mention of creative workmanship, and artistic skills being given by God for HIS purpose.

It was just a sweet love note from my Father, reminding me that I am who HE designed me to be, with the gifts, and talents that HE gave me.  And that as a public school music teacher I may not be able to proclaim the Gospel in words, but my being their IS a part of my purpose.

And also, it was a gentle nudge to not neglect the area of music ministry, and preparing my library of worship songs, and improving my skills as a worship leader.


Thank you so much for the things that you are showing me as I am reading through the Bible in its entirety for the second time.  Help me to learn all that I can -- make my mind and heart open to your instruction.

And Lord, help what I learn to reveal itself in my daily life.  Please forgive me for the grouch that I have been at times, and thank you for blessing me with a family that is quick to forgive.

You are everything.
You are my everything.
And I will adore you.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Blogging through the #B90Days: Day 5

Blogging through the Bible in 90 Days with Amy, from Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:  Exodus 1:1 - 15: 18

Scripture:  Exodus 4:11

11 So the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?


Moses is really, really intimidated by the task that God is asking of him.
I don't blame him.  Especially with a speech impediment!  Even being of capable speech, the thought of approaching Pharaoh and asking for the freedom of the thousands of Hebrews that were doing the work of making Egypt the grand place that was would be incredibly daunting.

But God  starts  to get annoyed with the continual choruses of, "God, why would Pharaoh listen to me, with my stuttering?"

 To which He replies (more or less), " Hello? I am I NOT in CHARGE here?  Did I make you this way? Did you ever consider that I created you, designed you for this very purpose? And that this thorn in your side that you keep complaining about is just the thing that is going to make you rely on MY strength?"


My God created me exactly the way that I am.
I laugh too loudly, and I try too hard to be funny.  My sense of humor works with my 5th graders and garners eye-rolls from my high school students.
I feel things deeply, and care passionately.
I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I always have.

Until I felt the love of my Savior, I considered my sensitive nature a liability. Something to be ashamed of.  But when I felt the arms of love around me, and saw things with new eyes, I realized that the sensitivity that had been the thorn in my side my whole life was truly a gift.

I am still trying to figure out how my everlasting struggle with my weight is a useful or necessary part of His design.  But...  I know there must be a reason, and I will keep trying to 'exercise' the discipline needed to bring my body under submission.  (Okay, Lord... I get it.)


Thank you for your creativity in designing your people.  We are all so different, with so much to offer.
Thank you for helping me to see my qualities the way that You see them, and teaching me to embrace the sensitive heart that you gave me.
Help me to use the areas in my life that where I need discipline teach me to have discipline in all areas.

Thank you for your faithfulness...  you are amazing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blogging through the #B90Days: Day 3 - GOD doesn't play favorites

Blogging through the Bible in 90 Days with Amy (and lots, and lots of others) at Mom's Toolbox.

Day 3:  Genesis 28:20 - 40:11


Genesis 29:30
Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah....

Genesis 37:3
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of this old age.  Also he made him a tunic of many colors.


Favoritism is not the best policy.

Jacob loved Rachel.  If Laban had not tricked Jacob into marrying Leah first?  Well, Jacob would not have a baseball team (plus some) of sons.  But in doing so, because Jacob did not hide that his affection was for Rachel only, he created a deep bitterness between the two sisters.

In Genesis 37:3, it says that he loved Joseph more because he was the son of his old age... but we all know that it was because he was Rachel's boy.

Most parents know the ill effects of showing blatant favoritism among your children.
Choruses of "it's NOT FAIR" abound.  Bitterness and anger hover in the air.  But worst case scenario??
The other siblings gang up on the favored and decide to sell him into slavery.

Yikes.   If that isn't a deterrent, then I don't know what would be!


God, You do not play favorites.

You have given each of us a job to do, and given each of us the tools and strength to complete it.
From your vantage point, we are all working together to create a Grand Design.  There are no unimportant jobs, no unimportant people.

 Your design is to reach all people with the news of Your love, and you see no difference between a man who humbly sweeps floors and cleans toilets, and a man who stands on a stage, teaching Your Word to thousands.  You see no difference between a woman with a thriving ministry, reaching hundreds of thousands of women for Christ, and a young mother with two small children, raising them from home.

You do not play favorites.


Oh Lord,
How grateful I am that You are my Provider.  And that just like Sarai found, You are the God who sees me.

You are such an artist, Lord.  I pray that I would remember that my job is whatever You have given me to do. And if I do my job, then I am fulfilling my purpose in your Grand Design.

Thank you for not playing favorites among Your people.
Thank you for not giving up on us humans that do.

I am so overwhelmed by your Love, and especially your Mercy.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blogging through the #B90Days: Day 2

Reading through the Bible in 90 Days, with Amy (and 900 other people!!!) from Mom's Toolbox.

Day 2

Reading:  Genesis 17:1 - 28:19

Things that I heard today:

Abraham and Isaac both had their wives pretend to be their sister when dealing with the leaders of foreign countries.  And each time the Lord intervened, and protected their wives.

They trusted God with the really big stuff --  the visions, the becoming a nation and all that, but had a harder time with trusting on the day to day life stuff.
Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah.  The twins were not born until he was 60.  Twenty years of infertility in a culture where a woman's primary role was to provide offspring. Certainly, twenty years does not compare to a near lifetime of barrenness that Sarah had suffered, but it is still a long time to be waiting on the promises that God has spoken.



Genesis 27 - all.
(Synopsis:  Jacob gets Esau's blessing through the deception of Rebekah...)


Favoritism is not good.

Here are the things that I know.

Rebekah, when praying to the Lord about the twins struggling with each other in utero, was told by the Lord that the older would serve the younger. (Gen 25:23)

Esau was Isaac's favorite, Jacob was Rebekah's favorite.

Jacob extracted the promise of Esau's birthright from him for a bowl of lentil stew.

On Isaac's deathbed,  Rebekah  plots to deceive him into giving the blessing of the firstborn to Jacob.


Questions that this all raises?

So many!

We know that traditionally, the older son gets the bigger blessing.
We also know that God intended for Jacob to become Israel.

Why then, was Jacob not born first?
Why is the deceit, trickery and favoritism necessary?

Perhaps it had nothing to do with order of birth, and simply favoritism was at the root of it all.  Would Isaac have tried to bless Esau even if he had been born second?

Was Rebekah acting out of partiality to Jacob, or trying to ensure that the word she had received from the Lord came to pass?

These are questions that I always think about when I read this passage of Scripture.  I do not expect to know the answers this side of Heaven.

But this I know:  My God is the God of grace. He calls sinners, and tax collectors, and liars and thieves and prostitutes, and changes their lives, and uses them to accomplish His designs.


God's purposes will be accomplished.  (He will build this church in His OWN time.)
His ways are NOT our ways.  (He will do it HIS way, in His OWN time.)
Our stupidity, and mistakes, and sinfulness might mean He has to get creative, but it will NOT prevent Him from doing His will. ( He is completely in control.)

My God is trustworthy.
I may not understand why things happened the way that they did, but I can be comforted by the lineage of Christ, seeing not a list of people who were paragons in upright living, but ordinary people that are incapable of perfection.

The lessons my heart is hearing today:

 Trust Him above all --- do not try to bring about what I think is His will in my own strength, but let HIM do it in His time, and His way.

Believe Him for the huge things (the call for the church plant), but also the the mundane things (gas money, groceries, furnaces, vehicles).

We have barely scratched the surface of waiting. There are so many examples of God giving a promise, and then years, and year pass before it comes to pass. Give us patience!!


Thank you Lord, that your purposes will be accomplished here on Earth, no matter what we might do in our own efforts and strength.  Thank you for the reminders that You Alone are trustworthy, and for all things.  Give us peace, patience and the grace to wait as you prepare us for what is to come.

Thank you for the immeasurable blessings of our life.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blogging through the #B90Days: Day 1

Reading through the Bible in 90 Days, with 900 other people, at Mom's Toolbox.

On Saturday I finished the incredible journey of Blogging through the Gospels, also with Amy from Mom's Toolbox.  It was an extraordinary, life-changing experience.  Using the SOAP method to find nuggets in God's word each day, things that I knew were intended specifically for me, was just.... truly awesome.

So when I saw her SOAP from the Day 1 reading, it was as if a light bulb had gone off.

You see -- I was so reluctant to leave the SOAP experience behind, that I was going to try to continue through the Epistles in SOAP format, but I was a little concerned about not giving the Bible in 90 Days the time that I really wanted to give it.  So this was the answer to my dilemma. :)

So this morning, when my second alarm (thank goodness for back-ups!) went off at 4AM, I even beat my husband downstairs because I was so eager to get started.  And the alarms are actually for HIM because his summer hours are 5:30 AM - 2 PM, and we live 45 minutes away from his work.  So here I am, in the middle of summer vacation, willingly (and even excitedly) waking up between 3:45 and 4 AM so that I can get my (usually) uninterrupted time in the WORD.

This is a miracle. :)

Now.... there were other choices to be made.
I have very recently just made the switch to NKJV. (My husband is thrilled.)  I had been a long time NIV reader, and then found a great HCSB that I loved.  But more and more, during this Blogging through the Gospels experience, I kept turning to the NKJV.  So, when my brand new Word for Today NKJV Bible arrived on my doorstep last week, I knew that I had some decisions to make.

Last time I read the Bible in 90 Days, I used the YouVersion app on my iPod (and now on my Android).  It was great.  Portable and very convenient.  But this time, since I knew that I wanted to be doing some kind of blogging, and keeping notes along the way, I knew that app might not be the best option.  Highlights don't last beyond the screen that you are on.

And I have the actual Bible in 90 Days book, a gift from my mother, after they had done it the first time.

But.... it is NIV, and I had just made the switch to NKJV.

So, this morning, I went to the index of the official B90Days bible, and marked in my new NKJV Bible where the end of Day One way, and off I went.

(Wow... what a long introduction. You must be bored to tears.)

Here is what I heard today.

Reading: Genesis 1 - Genesis 16

Scripture:  Genesis 12: 1 - 4

1 Now the LORD had said to Abram:

“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
4 So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.


God spoke.
Abram obeyed.


God spoke.
Randy and Meredith questioned.
Randy and Meredith asked for confirmation.
The LORD confirmed.
Randy and Meredith took a baby step of faith.
The LORD confirmed.
Rand and Meredith BELIEVED.

It doesn't have the same power as: God spoke. Abram obeyed.


Help us to obey by faith.
I do not think that you are upset that we seek confirmation. After all, we know that you are doing something, we just don't know when.

Help us to wait.
Help us to OBEY, without action....
until the obedience you demand REQUIRES action.

We have moved to the land that you have shown us.

And now we wait.

Give us peace and humility in the waiting.
And above all,
Thank you for calling us. Thank you for loving us, and for speaking to us and teaching us.
May we continually seek your Presence.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Blogging through the #Gospels: John 21

Blogging through the Gospels with Amy, from Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:  John 21

Scripture:  John 21: 15 - 17

15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,[b] do you love Me more than these?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[c] do you love Me?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[d] do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.


Three times Peter denied Jesus after he had been taken away.
Here, Jesus restores Peter, by giving him three chances to proclaim his love.  After each time, Jesus gently commands Peter to "feed my sheep" and "tend my lambs."

Not only has Jesus given Peter the chance to make up for denying Jesus, He has given him a new mission.


After a betrayal like that, it would be reasonable to expect that the individual would no longer be trusted with important ministry work.  It would be reasonable for human nature, but not our gracious, redeeming Savior!

I need to remember that life has a learning curve.
Discipleship is a lifelong process.
People (including (especially) me) make mistakes as we learn to follow Jesus.

Human nature is to write off anyone that betrays us.
Build up walls to protect us from further hurt.

Jesus' nature was to open His arms wide, and risk the hurt again, and again.
He loves us too much to give up on us in the process of learning.


Thank you so much for loving us with such a complete, patient and overwhelming love.
Help me to remember that we are all  in progress.

With complete gratitude,

Friday, July 8, 2011

Blogging through the Gospels: John 20

Blogging through the Gospels with Amy, from Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:   John 20

Scripture:  John 20 : 19

19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”


The disciples were all together, and the doors were shut up tight.
They were hiding from the Jews.

And then, all of a sudden, Jesus is there.
He either walked through the walls, or he simply appeared.


One of my favorite parts of Psalm 139 talks about the Omni-presence of our loving Father.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

God is present everywhere.

In John 20:19, Jesus is taking it up a notch.
There is no place that He cannot reach.
There is no boundary too great, no barricade too difficult.

Our Jesus is with us.


Dear Lord,

Thank you for the reminder that everything on this Earth,  everything in this life, is just temporary.

There is no place so far that you cannot reach.
There is no situation so dire that you cannot give comfort.

I am not alone.

Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

#GrowingGodlyMen, link up for #TheMobSociety

(Not the most creative title. It's Hard to work hashtags into a title when the hashtags are more than one word long.  :)  Perhaps I should stop auto-posting my posts with feedburner and do it manually?)

One of my favoritest bloggers, Brooke McGlothlin, is part of the team at The MOB (Mothers of Boys) Society.

So when I saw her tweet this morning:

I was intrigued.
Not because I have any wisdom -- our boys are only 15 months and almost 5.

But because two nights ago, over dinner, we were able to have a really beautiful discussion with Stephen  (almost 5) heaven.  Earlier in the day, Stephen asked me a question that showed how much he is really trying to process all of the information that he has about God, Jesus, heaven and Satan.

More on that in a minute.

In Sunday school class a couple of months ago, he learned about Satan. So the whole way home he was making sure that we knew about him, and that he "is a really bad guy."  Over the next few days he seemed really fixated on Satan being a really bad guy.  Wanting to make sure that all his friends knew about Satan, and that he "is a really bad guy."  So we gently, repeatedly, reminded him that we need to focus on Jesus, and what He did for us on the cross.  And that if we are going to tell our friends about anyone, it should be Jesus.

Back to the other day.

Stephen came up to me and said, "Mommy? When Satan gets here are we going to die and go to heaven?"

I asked for just a little bit more clarification to make sure I understood what he was asking, and then was able to share with him that when GOD decides that it is time for us to be in heaven, THEN we go to heaven.  He asked a few more questions about heaven, and we talked a bit more. Then he wanted to go play with his Legos.

At dinner time, we were eating outside, and talking a little bit about going to see the fireworks, because they had been postponed to the 5th of July because there had been fog on the 4th.  All of a sudden, Stephen starts crying and says, "I'm going to miss my blanket."  He is unreasonably attached to this blanket of his, so we naturally thought that he was talking about missing the blanket when we went down the road (not far away) to watch the fireworks.   But, I asked, "what, honey?"  And he said again, "I am going to miss my blanket, and this house." And he was really crying, big fat tears rolling down his face.

"When are you going to miss them?" We asked him.

"When I'm in Heaven," he sniffled.

My husband and I just looked at each other -- awed by the tender heart of our precious son.

We told him that Jesus was making him a special house that was SO much cooler than this one.
That Jesus knows how much he loves his blanket, and that there might be an even softer blanket in heaven for him, that might even have orange (his favorite color) stripes on it.
But, we told him, the best part about heaven is that we get to be with Jesus all the time!

The timid smile on his face as he tried to process the new information, how his eyes got big with excitement - are moments that I hope I remember for a long time.

Every now and then he will say something that lets me know that he is beginning to really, really understand what it means be a follower of Jesus.  I am so happy that Jonathan loves Veggie Tales above all things -- he dances every. single. time he hears the sousaphone start playing the theme song!  Because of that, Stephen has been very willing to watch Veggie Tales in favor of other shows which are definitely NOT on Mommy's list of "really excited that my kids are intaking this" programming. (Read: SpongeBob.)

We are so overwhelmed at the responsibility, and we are clinging to our Savior, knowing that He loves our precious son even more than we ever could.

(Linking up with MobSociety for "Growing Godly Men.")

Blogging through the #Gospels: John 19

Blogging through the Gospels with Amy from Mom's Toolbox.

Reading: John 19

Scripture:  John 19: 9-10

10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”
11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”


Pilate can feel that Jesus has done no wrong.
More than that, he can sense that there is something special, something powerful about Him.  It certainly is not because of His attitude or demeanor.  Jesus, in complete humility, accepts the charges and interrogations without jumping to his own defense.

Pilate is trying desperately to find something that can prove Jesus' innocence, and silence the chief priests once and for all.

Jesus' response: “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above..."
is something that is ringing in my heart and mind.

It brings to mind Job. Daniel in the lion's den.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednago in the fiery furnace. Stephen, martyred for the Gospel.

Our lives our in our Father's hand.  He has the power to deliver. He has the power to hold us during the storm.

We do not always understand the circumstances. We don't know the reason for the losses that we experience.  But we do know that our God sees the whole picture.


There are no situations in this life that out of the control of my Father.

While I don't at this time understand why He allowed certain circumstances (for example: the ectopic pregnancy) in our lives, I believe that there was a reason.

And it's not that I don't understand why I was the one to suffer.  I am so happy to be able to help other women who have experienced a similar loss.  I am grateful that I can empathize.  But I can't understand how miscarriages are part of God's perfect design.  Are they connected to the Fall somehow?  I may never know this side of Heaven. And when I am on the other side, I doubt that I am going to care, or be consumed by this.

The bottom line?
My God is Faithful.
My God is Trustworthy.
My God is everything that I could possibly need.

In every situation, I need to remember that if God is not delivering me out of it, then there must be a purpose. And even while persecution looms on all sides, My God is faithful, and has a Plan.

This world is not my home.


Thank you for the reminder that all things are seen by you. Nothing is hidden.
Prepare me for the trials of the future, and help me to trust You completely.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Giving thanks, 84 - 103

84 - Laura Story's (my new favorite) version of Indescribable
85 - congas and other African drums played correctly
87 - the freedom for artists to create songs about you, and be able to get them out to ALL THE WORLD
88 - my pink skullcandy headphones
89 - Pandora and Slacker -- internet DJ's!
90 -birds in the morning, before dawn
91- the conviction from a God who hears me
92 -talking seriously about heaven with Stephen (age almost 5)
93- soothing a broken heart at the thought of leaving his blanket and our house
94- all things made better with ice cream
95- sticky hands and face after the ice cream
96 - "Mommy, I think I'll hold your hand. That would be good!"
97- watching Jonathan (age 15 months) dancing to the beat whenever music comes on!
98- little shoes, little socks
99- washer and dryer, and dishwasher (that I desperately miss because of the lack of hot water since Thursday)
100 - hopefully getting a new furnace installed today
101 - renting, so that we do not have to foot the bill of said furnace
102 - the hot shower that is hopefully going to be a reality this afternoon or evening
103 - the eager anticipation of the mail, waiting for a package

Blogging through the #Gospels: John 18

Blogging through the Gospels with Amy, from Mom's Toolbox.

Reading: John 18

Scripture:  The very last part of  John 18:37

37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”


Everyone who is of the Truth hears His voice.

It is just remarkable, and overwhelming, that I hear the voice of the God of the Universe.
And that all humanity, throughout all of the World, has the same opportunity.
There is no threshhold -- no maximum capacity.
He is an intimate, personal, involved God for every single person who ever was, is, and ever will be.


On a personal level:
I need to make sure that nothing in my life is preventing me from hearing His voice.
I need to actively be choosing Him above all.

On a broader level:
I need to show the Love that I have been given to everyone that I encounter.

I need to remember that the people I interact with do not see my internal struggle, and will not be able to separate my actions done in my flesh from my actions done in the spirit.

I need to remember that my life might be the only Bible that some ever read.


Help me to live my faith out loud.
Let the peace that I feel in my heart, because of You, shine out and soothe others,
Let my life carry the fragrance of You.

Thank you for speaking to me, for the privilege of hearing Your voice.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Giving thanks, 60 - 83

Monday July 4th

61 a morning of sleeping in -- and the boys actually letting us!
62 hearing the littlest boy singing to himself in his room before we got up
63 fresh coffee brewing in the next room
64 the creations of an almost five year old and his legos
65 a thankful community
66 friends in red and white, playing and sharing music together
67 a well deserved nap (for all...)
68 seeing former students downtown
69 seeing current students downtown
70 good conversations
71 hugs
72 ice cream cones with rainbow sprinkles

Tuesday, July 5th

73 both boys and I eating the same thing (only having to cook/prepare ONE breakfast)
74 imagination
75 My husband's summer hours (5:30AM - 2:00PM -- means we actually get to SEE each other!)
76 breathtaking blue sky
77 hearing a new song that brings tears to my eyes EVERY time I think about it... not just hear it!

78 A savior that loves me so much
79 being trusted with a purpose, and forgiven when I lose sight
80 my boys laughing together as they play
81 being chosen to be their mother
82 a sensitive heart --once known as a liability, now seen as a gift
83 knowing that I need help, and being unafraid to ask

Blogging through the #Gospels: John 17

Blogging through the Gospels with Amy, from Mom's Toolbox.

Reading: John 17

Scripture:  John 17:15

15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.

In this part of the prayer, Jesus is praying for all of the believers that came to faith during His life on Earth.  In the next section, He prays for all people who will ever come to faith in Him!

Jesus is praying for protection for the believers from the evil one.
And we know that when Jesus prays for something, we should probably take note of it.

We have a purpose here on Earth.  Unfortunately, believing in the One is not an immediate ticket up to heaven.  There is work to be done.  Matthew 9: 37 tells us:  “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few."

So we have work to do. And can we expect smooth sailing while we are doing what needs to be done?

I Peter 5:8 tells us that:  (o)ur enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

So we are to live out the lives we have been given, saved by grace, and spread love and hope to the world.  But, even knowing that we have an enemy prowling around us, we take comfort in the fact that the Savior of the world is praying for us.


Every couple of years I go through a time where I have to actively remind myself that it is not about me.
My quality of life, and my level of comfort are not what matter in the long run.  In Heaven, after my life is over, are they going to care what I had a complete Willow Tree Nativity set, or matching couches in our living room?  Will my gadgets impress?

My accounts will only detail what I did to advance His Kingdom while I was here on Earth.

The good news is that the God who created me has not created a "spiritual checklist" to which we all must adhere.  If my matching couches help me to invite people into my home, and share the love of my Savior, the means do not diminish the result.  If my Willow Tree Nativity set sparks a conversation about the true meaning of Christmas, or my gadgets allow me to show off different ways one can have access to the Word, the means to not diminish the result.

So -- applying all of this to my life:

Jesus is praying for me,  for protection from the evil one.
I am to continue on my current course, living my life to share the love that I have been given.
Remember that my life has a purpose that has nothing to do with my level of comfort.
Keep my eyes focused on You, and be alert at all times.


Help me to stay focused on the plan.
I am so self-centered. (So human.)
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to live my life for You.
Please don't give up on me.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Blogging through the #Gospels: John 15 - True Vine, True Home

Blogging through the Gospels with Amy, from Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:  John 15


5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.


Verse 5 -
The branches apart from the vine wither and die.  The vine is what gives the life, the sustaining nutrients.
It is a very vivid, memorable picture, that helps us to remember just how closely we have to be connected to our Savior.

Verse 19 -
When we become the Savior's, we are no longer of this World. Our true home is in Heaven.  We are existing here, on this Earth, but the people of the Earth are not our brothers and sisters.  Our lineage has changed.  And the world can sense the difference, and the world does not like the One who will call us home.


Verse 5 -
In my own strength, everything I do vanishes. Nothing will benefit the Kingdom of God. Nothing will last.  In my own strength it is all meaningless, all vanity.

In Him, truly resting, and abiding in Him, everything from the smallest encounter in the grocery store to the life changing decisions on Sunday morning benefits the Kingdom of God.

Verse 19 -
I do not need to worry about my standing in the community. I need to make sure that I am connected to the Vine.  If the world hates me, the world hates me.  If I am in the Vine, every moment will still be used for His Kingdom, no matter what the rest of the world thinks. The ones that being called will be called.

The praise of men means NOTHING.
And, therefore, the hatred of the same men means NOTHING.


Thank you, Lord,
I needed the reminder today.
Remain in You-- and all else will fade into the background.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Giving thanks, 46 - 60

46 -  happy weddings
47 - a mother’s love
48 - bright pink toenail polish
49 - dancing with my biggest little man
50 - the first cake with fondant that I have ever liked
51 -a new skirt at the thrift shop for $3.50 just in time for the wedding
52 - family on all sides
53 - live jazz musicians playing all of my favorites
54 - watching the biggest little boy conquer fears in the pool
55 - going up a size in diapers and shoes for the littlest little man
56 - adorable curls
57 - precious flower girls
58 - thoughtful Mimi, bringing gifts for her boys to help them be entertained at the reception
59 - beautiful sunshine
60 -home again, safe and sound

Friday, July 1, 2011

Giving thanks, 36 - 45

36- happy wake-ups from nap time
37 -hearing birds chirping away in the morning
38 - being renters, and therefore not responsible when the furnace broke last night
39 - the beautiful timing of going away for a cousin’s wedding for part of the weekend at the same time that we will be without hot water at home.
40 - a heart that is responsive to discipline
41 - having my “pray time with Jesus” protected by my older son
42 - the fact that he is learning that “prayer time with Jesus” is normal, and VITAL
43 - Christian fiction - although I probably shouldn’t read at bedtime again.... it was much later than intended that I finally went to sleep.
44 - hearing something from the Lord that I know He wanted me to hear today
45 - willingly getting up at 4AM during the summer to ensure that my quiet time happens --- and this is just.... a miracle.

Delete this element to display blogger navbar