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.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Blogging through the Gospels: Matthew 24

Getting caught up (by going backwards) on my Blogging through the Gospels with Amy, from Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:  Matthew 24


26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.


When I first became a believer, I was terrified that Christ would come back, but I wouldn't know.  Or that someone would come back claiming to be Him, and I would follow blindly.  Until I read something in John Chapter 10 that changed everything, and calmed my anxious heart.

14 I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—"


4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

Those Scriptures comforted and reassured me that I WILL know when He returns.  I know His voice!

So when the time comes for my Redeemer to return, I will KNOW without a doubt that it is HE!
But more than that---  Matthew 24:27 is reassuring believers everywhere that when He returns, it will not be so one little corner of the world.  It will be to the WHOLE WORLD at the SAME TIME.   Hallelujah!!


Await His return, and prepare myself to be ready.
(everything that I have been reading lately is about being ready... getting things prepared.)


My Gracious God,
Help me to prepare my self, my home, and my work space.  Help me to get organized. Help me take one step at a time (and do them), rather than becoming overwhelmed by the whole task.
Thank you for everything that you have shown me this morning. May it carry over throughout the whole day.

Blogging through the Gospels: Matthew 25

I have been overwhelmed with life lately.  And unfortunately, everytime I tried to get into the Word, and get into the presence of my Father, something was stopping me.  When He woke me up BEFORE 4AM for the SECOND day in a row, I realized that....  the only thing getting in the way was myself.

Adding the new step of journaling the thanks/prayers was just.... too much for me.  I had been doing them, but I had not been writing or typing them, and I knew that the blog was NOT the place for my deep, confessional, pleading, yearning conversations with God.  And because I am a child of technology, I can type almost as fast as I can think, and writing sometimes feels like a big... um... drag.

So I figured it out!  I started a Google Doc, so that I can have it with me, no matter what computer I am on.  Yay!  

Back on track.

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

Matthew 25


40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’


45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’


What we do matters.  We are all connected. We are all the same.  The choices we make in our interactions with people have lasting-- -EVERlasting-- impact.


I need to live my life extending the GRACE that I have been given.
I need to live my life showing the care that was shown.
I need to choose to love.

Yesterday, I was at the end of my rope.  I was tired.  I strained a muscle in my back earlier in the week, and I have been in physical pain.  I was/am overwhelmed with the amount of things to do in just every day living (housekeeping).  I was short-tempered.  I snapped at my oldest son at least 3 times when I had resolved to just SPEAK.  And every time,  when I apologized to him, he said, "it's okay Mommy. I love you. I forgive you."

My four year old son extended grace to me.


Help me be like a little child.
Help me to let the hurts, disappointments, disillusionments, frustrations, distractions and anything else, just fall away.  Help me to dwell in the moment of love, without carrying the leftover ick from the day into it.

Help me to LIVE the grace that I have been given, so that I can EXTEND it to everyone around me.

Thank you for not giving up on me.  Help me not to give up when I am overwhelmed.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Amazing, awe inspiring, and chilling

I want to thank Sandra at The Kelley Chronicles for posting about the beautiful performance of Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill at the Country Music event that was on Easter evening.

They performance "How Great Thou Art," and the whole place was so moved, that a standing ovation happened in the middle of the song!   I cried, and had chills when I watched.

So.... watch it for yourself!

__ Disabled because there was no way to pause or stop it! Sorry about that! I will come back with the link for it! _____

Some impressions as I was watching:

How thrilled God must be with His creation Carrie, and her gorgeous voice raised in song for Him.  In complete adoration for Him.

Two BELIEVERS sharing their faith through song, when they could have chosen any song, choosing an amazing hymn like "How Great Thou Art."

It was a beautiful, awe inspiring performance, and I am so grateful that it started my morning!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Blogging through the Gospels: Matthew 21:28-46

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

Matthew 21 : 28 - 46


     28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
   29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
   30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
   31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
   “The first,” they answered.

  Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.


First off: I know that it is not one scripture. I know that it is a passage.  But this is what the Lord is speaking to me.

Jesus is speaking to the chief priests and the elders, who are once again scrutinizing everything Jesus says, trying to find a way to bring charges against him, and worse.


This passage always made me feel guilty as a new believer, because rather than having a heavenly perspective, I of course, had my OWN perspective.  All I could think about was  when my mother would ask either my sister or I to do something, I would reply immediately with "yes, Mom," and Stephanie would snarl or pout or do something else to convey that she would absolutely NOT help.  My mother once commented that even though that was my sister's original reaction, she usually came around and did whatever was asked of her.  Whereas I, for all of my wanting to be obedient to my mother, would agree, but often times would forget because I was lazy and would put it off too long.

Now I can see this passage in a different light, and I really feel like God is once again confirming and affirming that work that He is calling my husband and I to do in a small, spiritually dark community.  He is quietly speaking to my heart that just because the people are and have been loudly against the Gospel does not mean that they will always be. This just confirms what He has revealed to my husband, that our church plant will be comprised of mostly brand new believers, drawn in by His grace.


Lord, you keep confirming what you want to do. (And, we KEEP questioning.  We will probably question you for a long time.  I mean... it's US.  You saw how we treated each other on Saturday.  Oy.)
I am grateful that you are not annoyed that we keep checking with you.  Please keep us right on your path. Let us not get ahead of you, or to the left or to the right of you.  We believe that your plan involves a place for us to live. We believe, so therefore we are asking for wisdom as we start looking at places, that you would give us wisdom while we are looking.  Thank you for the cross.  Thank you for the heart of our little boy that filled up a box with toys to send to the children who didn't have anything when we told him our WorldVision plan to give ducks needy families.  You are so much more than I could ever comprehend, and I adore you.  Thank you, thank you. I love you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Blogging through the Gospels: Matthew 19

Blogging through the Gospels  with Amy from Mom's Toolbox is changing my life. Join us!

Matthew 19

Matthew 19: 27

27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

Jesus had just informed the rich man that his heart was tied up in his possessions, and that even though he was keeping all of the commandments, he still was far from the kingdom of God.  Peter's question is typical of the disciples:  "but what about us??" 

What is God wanting me to hear from this?

It is a loving, but firm rebuke.
I am sitting here, typing on my school issue MacBook, over my wi-fi internet connection, with my boys next to me, watching a live-streaming LeapFrog show over Netflix Instant on our Wii.  The weather is comfortable, our bellies are thinking about lunchtime.

We have everything we could possibly need.

What do I know of sacrifice?
What do I  know of giving up everything to follow Jesus?

And I just finished reading an amazing book:  Gray Matter by David Levy, MD and Joel Kirkpatrick.
Talk about challenging my faith. Living out loud. Being authentic about who we are, wherever we are.

Bottom line?
There is a lot of work to be done.
A lot.

Dear Jesus,

I am so overwhelmed today.
It's Good Friday.
Jesus, you gave everything for me, that I might know you, and be set free by your ultimate act of love.
There are no words that will express the enormity of what you have done, and what I am feeling.
There are no words to express my gratitude, and my humility.
I can't even begin.
Well... I could begin, but it is hard to parent as a uncontrollably sobbing mess, even if they are good tears.

So, I remain,
In awe,
and thankful.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blogging Through the Gospels: Matthew 17

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


Matthew 17


Matthew 17:20

20 He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."


We, as humans, will not ever have an accurate understanding of how big God is.  This side of heaven, we will never comprehend just how much he loves us.

My issue is not believing that God can do something.  I fully believe that He can do ANYTHING.
I have trouble presuming that it would be His will to do anything that I would ask.
I think that it just feels too close to the "name it and claim it" movement for me to be comfortable.  However, I know that there are times when the Lord clearly gives me the burden to pray for someone or something, and then I feel incredibly comfortable calling on His power with confidence.


I need to not be afraid to pray in His power all the time.  My unbelief stems from caution, if that makes sense.  I believe that God can do anything - - but I am afraid of wrong motives in the asking.  The whole "if it be your Will" tag seems to me just an excuse to ask for anything.  But... we are supposed to ask for what we want.  We have not because we ask not.


Lord, help me.
I think that I filter myself too much in my prayer life.  I decide ahead of time that there are things that are too material to bring to you, too selfish to waste your time with.   Help me to stop filtering and censoring myself.  The only way for you to "cure" me of my selfishness is for me to come to you with every single want.
If I bring them to you, you can gently show me the truth of my motives.

Help me, Lord.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blogging through the Gospels: Matthew 16

My daily walk with my Savior has intensified since I started using the SOAP method while reading and "Blogging Through the Gospels" with Amy from Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:  Matthew 16

The one scripture that I really felt God leading me to today:

Matthew 16: 15 - 17

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.


There are times when the Lord reveals things that we could not have possibly known.  


In this verse, today I felt the distinct reassurance that God will provide the words, the answers, and the wisdom in all situations that present themselves.  This is particularly timely because my husband and I are about to deal with our first ministry "issue."   I would love all praying people to be praying with us this evening as we intercede for the salvation of the  fiance of a dear friend.   A dear friend who is a long time Christian and KNOWS about being unequally yoked, and has HEARD the truth from people about this relationship.... AND we just found out last night that they are living together.  We are at peace right now, because she is coming over.  But before we had a time set, neither my husband  or I could eat, we were so convicted by the Spirit about the situation.   We will be fervently bringing him the the Lord this evening, and gently, but firmly rebuking her current situation.

Please be praying.
Thank you.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blogging through the Gospels: Matthew 15

I am so excited and learning so much because I decided to "Blog through the Gospels" with Amy from Mom's Toolbox.  Come check it out --- it is CHANGING MY LIFE!!!


Matthew 15: 9

" '.....And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "


Another scripture that points out how far away from the Truth the Pharisees and Saducees had led the people.  They put more emphasis on obeying the checklist, and none at all on the Holy God who had given the original guidelines.


Since our Christianity is a relationship with a PERSON,  it is going to look different in different people. I cannot judge a person's relationship by their outward actions alone.  In fact, it is not for me to judge at all.

But I am so grateful, Lord, that because of what you did for us on the CROSS I do not have to live a perfect life.  I am thankful that I do not have to obey a list of dos and donts to the letter in order to be accepted by you.   I would never measure up. I would never be worthy.   Thank you for accepting the mess that I am, and continually helping me, teaching me to trust you.


You are worthy of praise, adoration, loyalty and obedience.  May I never lose sight of WHO you are in my quest to live a life FOR you.  May the journey never come before the PERSON of your son, the reason for it all.
I love you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blogging Through the Gospels: Matthew 13: 36 - 58

I am so blessed that I took on the challenge of Blogging Through the Gospels with Amy from Mom's Toolbox.

Matthew 13 : 36 - 58


Matthew 13: 53 - 57

53  When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there.  54  Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue and they were amazed.  "Where did this man get this widsom and these miraculous powers?" they asked. 55  "Isn't this the carpenter's son?  Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?  56 Aren't all his sisters with us?  Where then did this man get all these things?"  57  And they took offense at him.

But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home."


This is just another reminder that what He is called my husband and I to do ( ---  plant a church in the community where I teach --- ) is NOT going to be easy.  He has established me firmly in the community where I teach.  The band program is flourishing.  The numbers keep going up, each and every year, even while enrollments are going down.

We lived there two times.  Both times we left, it was because our leases had not been renewed, because as a teacher and a....  person who struggled to find and keep a job, we were not making enough for our expenses.  Our witness with a few people - two former landlords, to be precise-  has been harmed.  Not many other people knew the reasons we had to leave, or the issues surrounding the moves off of the peninsula, though everyone understood that the cost of living in that area is much higher than where we are currently living.

While neither of us grew up in the community where I teach, we feel connected, and deeply involved.
So while the Scripture does not apply completely to our situation, it resonates so deeply in my heart, that I know that He is gently warning and reminding me that no matter what happens, HE is in control.

So, even though we have no idea where we are going to live yet, I am trusting my God.
Even though we have no clue yet what our expenses are going to be, I am trusting my God will provide.
We want nothing more than to be there already -- but the price of childcare is more than double (more like triple... NOT joking) what we are currently paying.  Next school year, our oldest starts Kindergarten, so we will be paying for childcare for only one kiddo.  Even then, with only ONE child in daycare, it will be double what we are currently paying.   My trusting God when I start doing the math isn't strong enough to stop my throat from closing up and keep my heart from skipping a beat.

But- He IS in control.
And He is who He says He is.

And we are praying.
And we are trusting.


Heavenly Father,
I need the reminders that you ARE calling us to do this crazy thing.  All I need to do is remember that you use the FOOLISH things of the world, to believe that it might really be true!  Thank you for the constant companionship that you offer. Help me to take you up on it, so that my faith in you, and my trusting you, would be vibrant and healthy.
Lord you are amazing, and I am unworthy.
Thank you for all you have done, are doing, and will do.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blogging Through the Gospels: Matthew 13: 1-35

Blogging Through the Gospels with Amy from Mom's Toolbox

Reading:  Matthew 13: 1 - 35


Matthew 13 : 16-17

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17  For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.


 This was not the verse that I was expecting to jump out at me.  It was interesting.  There are so many parables that have valuable life lessons.  I checked them off as I read through.  Yes, yes, oh that's a good one....  etc.  This verse didn't really even warrant a response from me on the first read-through.  Ha!

But on the third, it jumped right out at me.

And I realized -- whoa. This verse, while it is Jesus talking to his disciples about actually being WITH JESUS and seeing the miracles, and hearing the teachings, is also completely relevant to our ability to completely saturate ourselves with the Word, and teachings, and fellowship.  I mean -- just look at what we are doing here!!  Don't you think that Sarah would have loved to have a group of awesome bloggers to talk through the prophesy that she was going to have a child even though she was.... um...over the hill??   And what about Tamar?  She was going through some pretty heavy stuff and would definitely have benefitted from some encouragement via the world wide web.  And Mary, the mother of our Lord.
She could have used some virtual hugs and e-cards and some shared awe and wonder at the Majesty of our God!

We have all of these tools at our disposal, and we are abundantly blessed because of it.

But more than that----  we have the privilege of the presence of our Savior at any and all times.  I know that I do not live my life at all moments like I am feeling the presence of my Savior.

I want that to change.


Oh how you have blessed me.  My human mind will never be able to understand how you can be so completely and intimately involved with my life, and be the same for everyone, everywhere. It hurts my head to try to comprehend it.  But you ARE.  You are the Alpha, the Omega, and everything in between.

Thank you so much for :

1) This opportunity -- blogging through the gospels, learning a new way of digging into Scripture and really feeling like I am hearing from you on a regular basis.
2) my parents... I am just so overwhelmed that they are walking WITH you!  You are so good!
3) My boys (the two littles and one adult)
4) My job...  I love it, and I love my students.

6 and forever)  The CROSS.

I can't take it.... I am sitting here crying because I am so grateful for what you have done in my life, and what you continue to do in my life -- knowing how completely UNWORTHY I am.

In awe, and humbled yet again,

Blogging Through the Gospels: Matthew 12

Blogging Through the Gospels with Amy from Mom's Toolbox
Reading:  Matthew 12

Matthew 12: 9-13

 9 Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
 11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
 13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

Matthew 12: 9 - 13


The pharisees were watching, observing every action of Jesus, waiting for something that they could use against him.  Jesus knew what they were doing, and still tried to show them the True nature of God.


My heart broke when I read this account the two or three times that it is recorded in the different Gospels as I was reading the Bible in 90 Days.  The Lord pressed a deep sorrow on my heart that the ones who were supposed to be His people, and the ones who were LEADING His people were missing the point so entirely.  The rules, the guidelines, were never meant to be worshiped. They were to point to the depravity of our spirit, and our need for a Savior.  The teachers of the Law were so bent on following the RULES that they had no compassion, mercy, or love.

How our Jesus must have hurt to see the reality of their spiritual condition.  It was ALWAYS the plan.  It's not like He didn't realize that we were going to blow it and need a Savior.   He knew, before the foundation of the world, that He was going to redeem the world.  But the teachers of the Law were rejecting the Heart of God, and leading others astray in the process.  It's one thing to know that something is happening.  It's entirely different when you see it with your own eyes. 


Lord, my heart breaks for the lost.  My heart breaks for those who think they understand what Christianity is all about because they were lectured by someone who had a set of rules, rather than a relationship.  I was one of the lost. I thank you, so much, for your gentle pursuit of me.  Help me to share your joy, your peace, your love with everyone.  

Thank you for everything.  I am in awe.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blogging through the Gospels: Matthew 11

I have been blogging through the Gospels (at a slightly slower pace) with Amy, from Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:  Matthew 11


Matthew 11:2-5
2. When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples
3. to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
4. Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see:
5. The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor..."


John is in prison, and had been hearing reports about what Jesus and the amazing things that he was doing.  Being human, John must have forgotten that the sky had opened up and the voice of GOD had declared that Jesus was His beloved son.  Because he was trapped in prison and not able to be part of the teaching, learning and fellowship that Christ offered, maybe he had convinced himself that Jesus was just another man.  But then the reports rolled in.  He sent his disciples to find out the TRUTH.

Jesus could have said many things:

"Hello--- the Jordan River?? Dove landing on my shoulder? Voice from Heaven? Ringing any bells?"


"I AM."


"The Scriptures prophesying the coming of a Savior have now been fulfilled."

But.... more often than not, Jesus calls us to examine the evidence and come to our own conclusion.


My God is not afraid to let us come to our own conclusion.  When we examine the evidence, it all points to Him.  He is not afraid, intimidated or disappointed by our questions.  He loves it when we survey the scene, ask our questions, ponder the evidence, and realize through our own digging that HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS.

By telling John's disciples to report back to him what they were seeing, Jesus was not just being humble. He was/is humble.  But it is so much more than that.  In order for our faith to be real, we have to take a problem apart, and put the pieces back together and see that HE has always been the answer.


Dear Jesus,

Thank you.  I have been so overwhelmed at the beauty of your life, your love, your example.  I am so unworthy, and I am lost without you.  Please help me to cling to you.  I will never be the woman you see in me.  But, My LORD, My Savior...  I commit my heart once again to you.   I have done the research, and all of the evidence is pointing to you.

Thank you, from a grateful, broken, burdened, and overwhelmed heart.


B90 Graduate!! :)

This morning I finished up reading the Bible in 90 days.

But, to be honest-- I read it in 85 days.  I knew that once I was in the New Testament epistles, that I would be eating up that Scripture like candy, and sure enough-- I did not want to stop when each day told me to stop... So I kept going!

I am so excited because:

1) I read the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation!  I did it in 85 days!  Wow!!

2) I did this with my Mom and Dad -- who are on their SECOND time through the Bible in 90 Days!

3) Now that I am finished with this commitment, I can start to do more of the other things that I really want to dig into.  I have been Blogging through the Gospels with Amy, from Mom's Toolbox, but because of the reading, life in general, and children, I have of course not had time to do it every day.  I am excited to get caught up on that and keep going.   I was also praying 21 Days of Prayer for my Sons, with Brooke McGlothlin, but again... I am behind on that too.  Thank you, Jesus, that there are NOT certain windows of time that we may pray for our loved ones.  Thank you for the privilege of coming to the foot of your throne at any time I choose!!!

Now I need to find my next reading plan.  Something that will keep me in the Word, but not take 45-60 minutes per day.  Anyone have any good ideas?

Have an amazingly blessed day!!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Blogging through the Gospels: Matthew 5 and 6

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

Reading:  Matthew 5

How do you pick one? (A popular lament I have been reading from other bloggers going through the Gospels.)  After reading several times, there is one part that did keep jumping out at me.

Scripture:  Matthew 5: 14 -16

14 You are the light of the world.  A city located on a hill cannot be hidden.
15  People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.
16  In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.


It is a call to be bold with our faith.  The analogy to a lamp being covered by a basket is a very striking one.  Let the difference that faith in our saving Lord has made in us be OBVIOUS.


As soon as I read these verses, I had a very strong feeling that these would be the ones I would focus on. It has been something on my mind for the last month or so about my faith, and how I show my faith at work.  As a teacher in a public school, I often feel like my hands are tied.  Or, rather, that my mouth is sown shut.

But, as opposed to feeling the usual conviction about the fear that I normally feel, I read these verses and felt comforted.  It's about letting the LIGHT that is in me because of my savior shine through.  It's not about the WORDS that I say.  I can shine bright without saying a word.  I can share the love of Christ without using my voice.

I spread the joy that is in my heart every day, when I dance around my classroom to the music that is in my head and heart.  I share the love of my Savior every day when I intentionally make sure that every student knows that they are valuable to me, and that their presence is important to me, and to their classmates.  The Spirit works in me and through me to know when students are hurting and need a friend; or if they are struggling and need a pep talk; or if they are feeling invisible and alone and need to be seen, or appreciated.

Today, reading those familiar words of my Savior, I am feeling an "attagirl."  When the time has come to speak, I have spoken.  He has never failed to provide the words.  Whenever I try in my own strength and timing to say something for Him, it has felt awkward and fallen flat.  I have learned to trust Him to truly lead me in this area.


Thank you, Father.  This issue is one that I have been WRESTLING with over the past month.  Your words today soothed my soul, and helped me to rest in your presence.  I am so in awe of you. I cannot even fathom the love that you continually show me. I am humbled, and full of gratitude.



Reading:  Matthew 6

Scripture: Matthew 6:26

Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Aren't you more valuable than they are?


All of creation is valuable to God.  All of creation has a purpose for God.  As humans, we are even more precious to Him, each specifically created for certain works that He created in advance for use to do. (Eph 2:10)


I marvel at creation.  I marvel at our CreaTOR.  He is amazing, and there is so much beauty in the world.  Look at the butterfly!  Look at the exotic flowers and birds of the rainforests.  His creation is His materpiece!

And He tells us, over and over again, that WE are the "apple of his eye."  Before the foundation of the world, He knew every single human that ever was, is and will be.  He has designed an intricate tapestry filled with opportunities, meetings, events and chances.

When I believe that:
God is who He says He is


God can do what He says He can do-

there is no limit to the awesomeness of my God.  There is no end to His love!

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the reminder that you are INVOLVED with our lives.  Creation alone is worthy of forever praise, but Lord, you are just getting started.

Help us to stay empty of ourselves, so that we can be used by you and for your glory.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Blogging through the Gospels: Matthew 4

Blogging Through the Gospels with Amy from Mom's Toolbox

Reading:  Matthew 4

Scripture: Matthew 4: 8 - 10

8  Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
9 "All this I will give you, he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."
10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan!  For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' "


It's pretty clear.  We must serve God only. The world is filled with things, teachings and gadgets that are in a prime position to distract us from our true purpose.


In the scripture, it is a blatant call for Jesus to abandon God and worship Satan instead.  But what I felt in my heart as I read that verse (over and over) was that it is usually NOT the enemy in full form.  It is usually distraction, materialism, envy, pride...   All forms of idolatry.  The minute that we begin to fixate on something, we are susceptible to complete worship of it.   It doesn't feel like we are abandoning God.

I don't set out on my day to make a chocolate donut more important than my Savior, but at 10:30 in the morning, when I am not hungry, but it's there....  Every second, every decision is a choice that I have to make about whether I am going to serve my Jesus, my God, or my SELF.  

Serve God, and serve HIM ONLY.

Oh Lord, help me.  I am so desperate.  I DO NOT want to try in my own strength any more. Help me to live, moment by moment; decision by decision; completely devoted and abandoned to you.  Open my eyes that I may see the ETERNITY in every option.   Help me to feel your presence at all times.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Praying Through the Gospels, Matthew 2 - 3

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

Reading:  Matthew 2- 3

Scripture:   Matthew 2:13 - 15  and 19 - 23

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt,
where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt
20 and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."
21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.
22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee,

23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."


God provided the escape plan, protecting them from a mad king.  God sent angels, or warnings in dreams.  Joseph didn't question, he just did as he was told.  He didn't let what HE thought should happen interfere with what God was TELLING him to do.


I have to believe that God will be active and direct in his leading of us.  I have to surrender control, and my ideas of how this church plant, the relocation of our family, where my youngest will go to daycare now that we are moving.... all of the details that have the tendency to...  make fret a little.
  (Translation: Stress me out, make me overwhelmed and grumpy!!)

I do believe that God is involved and active in our lives.  But sometimes it's hard to know just how far to step out in faith while waiting for his direction.   I long for:  "Meredith.  You will not eat that piece of cake, because you will regret it in three days when you get on the scale."  or "Meredith, you do NOT need to be blogging right now, you need to be cleaning your kitchen."

Or....  "My child, I love you, and I am holding you in the palm of my hand.  Trust me, let go and let me carry you.  You are precious to me, and I know exactly what you are supposed to do next.  Quiet your mind, and listen."

Maybe I already do hear his voice, and the trouble is that I am not listening.


Oh Lord...
I am desperate for more of you.  I cannot do this on my own.  When I am in my own strength, I am giving myself migraines from gritting my teeth against the things that I am TRYING not to say... or the things that I am TRYING not to do.

Please, I know that you are here.  I know that you are holding me, you are with me, and you are in me.  How is it possible, when you are EVERYWHERE, that I am even ABLE to do things in my own strength?  Help me to feel your presence at all times.  Help me to quiet my mind, so that I can hear your voice.  Help me...  I need to get OUT of the way.

Thank you for your immeasurable blessings.
I am humbled, awed and grateful.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Blogging through the Gospels: Matthew 1

I have decided to join up with Amy, from Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:   Matthew 1


Matthew 1:20  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.


The Lord knew everything that Joseph must be feeling - the betrayal that he must have believed Mary guilty of.  Yet, even still, Joseph, a kind man, was going to divorce her quietly, rather than publicly humiliate her, which was within his rights.  An angel of the Lord came to Joseph and said "Do not be afraid," and explained the situation.


The part the Lord was speaking to my heart was, "Do NOT Be Afraid."  My husband and I have a calling that seems crazy.  A music teacher and a janitor planting a church in one of the darkest towns in Maine?  Really?  A janitor that didn't go to college?  A janitor that still messes up... frequently?  (But... in all fairness... so does the music teacher... and we are BOTH learning, praise you Jesus.)

But there are times, because:
1) There are so many unknowns.
2) We know that planting a church is going to be a long, difficult process.
3) We know that the world hates the message, and the Light and Love of Jesus.
4) We have stepped out in faith, and now officially have targets on our back.

To all of these, my God, my King is saying to my heart:

Do not, do NOT be afraid.  I am with you.


My Lord-
I have been paralyzed by fear today. I didn't even realize it.  Thank you, for your infinite gentleness and wisdom, and mercy, and love.  Help me as I cling to you, to live my live For you, in an out loud kind of way.  When I remember you, I will not be afraid.

Thank you, Lord.

Praying for my sons, Day 2

Submission to Authority

Hebrews 13:17 -  May Soccer Boy and Cuddle Bug obey their leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over their souls, as those who will have to give an account.  Let them do this with joy and not with groaning.

For my Soccer Boy... my little man who is always testing the boundaries, to see what is acceptable, and what is not, I pray that he would respect the authority, rules and leading of those that are in charge of him at the time.  He is constantly testing to see if what works at daycare will work at home-- if what his friends say at daycare will be okay to say at home.  The answer is usually no.  The fight is constant, but it is so worth it.  We are training him up to be a follower of CHRIST.  Lord, help us to not lose heart, not to lose patience, and forever to not lose sight that this IS a battle.  Give us the strength to love above all else, especially during the correction. The issue is not about the obedience, or the submission. The issue is always the heart.  Thank you Lord... that we can rely on you.  Help me to ACTUALLY RELY on you in the middle of the difficult moments.  amen.

Happy 1st Birthday, Cuddle Bug!

Last year, on April 4th, 2010, we were celebrating the Resurrection with our church family, at the early service at our church.  I was 38 and 6/7 weeks pregnant.  I was miserable.

Don't let the smile fool you!!  I felt like a big pink elephant!!  But, my son looked cute, and my husband looked handsome, and I am SO glad that we got this picture!! I never dreamed that very day we would become a family of four!

There I am, shortly after my very quick, very intense labor.  Cuddle Bug was ready, that is for sure!

The above picture is when we was a few weeks old.  Cutie pie.  :)  His hair was so thick, and so dark at first!  It thinned out quite a bit for a long time, and only recently has thickened back up, lightened up, and become curly!!

Soccer Boy adores his little brother!! And I must say, it is completely mutual!  Is there anything better than watching your children fall in love with each other??

There is our little man. getting waaaaay too big for his car seat!  Now that he is walking a little bit more consistently, and he is officially one year old, I feel like we are  ready to do the switch.

My sweet little Cuddle Bug, my Goober Baby, my 40 Pound Sack of Potatoes...
This year has been amazing, and challenging, and wonderful and sad all at the same time.  Parenting a second, or subsequent child is a much different experience.  The learning curve is different.  We knew what to do when you had gas, a cold, wouldn't burp.  We knew that things that freaked us out the first time around were normal.  We knew that this time would pass SO quickly, so we tried to savor every moment...

But here we are, a year later already.
I love you so much, Little Man!  I am so excited to see you develop more skills and more personality.  I cannot imagine our family without, and I thank God every day for YOU, knowing that the pain and suffering of the baby we lost before you (ectopic pregnancy, April - July 2010), led us to holding YOU. Every smile, every laugh, every moment that I gaze upon your sleeping face, a part of me is healed.

Happy Birthday, Cuddle Bug!  May this year be filled with love, fun and excitement!!!

Mommy loves you.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

21 Days of Prayer for Our Sons - Brooke McGlothlin

I signed up for the 21 Days of Prayer for Our Sons, by Brooke McGlothlin.

I am so very excited about this-- because who doesn't want to use prayed over and tested materials, with a community of Christ followers who are all praying the same things for their sons at the same time!!

It is 21 days of prayer, and it runs on weekdays.  So you have TWO days to catch up if you missed the first day!

Please consider signing up if you are a boy mom!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ultimate Block Party 2011!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011Welcome!
I was so excited to learn about the Ultimate Block Party 2011, and even more excited to find the Christian and Religious Blog category.  I would LOVE to find more sisters in Christ!!

My name is Meredith, and I have two adorable sons.  My baby, Cuddle Bug, is turning one in 3 days!  Eeek!  Time goes by so fast!  My oldest,  Soccer Boy, is 4 1/2 and will be coming to Mommy's school with me next year as a BIG KINDERGARTENER.  (Wow, that word looks weird when you see it written. Doesn't sound weird, though.  So... pretend you didn't see it.)

My husband and I have been married almost 9 years, and we have had quite the journey.  But thinking about what is happening right now (think really, really big) and looking back at all of the ..... turmoil, roller coaster, living on the edge of your seat drama we have had, it all makes sense.  The scary part is seeing how much further we still have to go!!

Quick bulleted list of Meredith.

1. I am the band director for a small community in Maine. I absolutely adore my job, and I truly consider it to be my mission field, even though it is in a public school, and I am not allowed to speak His name.   But I pray, and I love, and I pour my heart out to these kids, and God keeps filling it back up!

2. I love Maine! I have lived here my entire life!

3.  I started running using the Couch to 5K method shortly after Cuddle Bug was born.  I love it. I lost MOST of my strength and endurance over the winter, because we had the winter of ALL winter, plus an injury, plus a month long sickness.  So I just started over again, and will be pushing myself to speed up this time around!

4.  I love to sing.  Love, love, love to sing.

5. Yes, I can play every band instrument, and lots of others, too.

6. I gave up television at the start of this school year, and it was the best decision ever!

7. MY MOM AND DAD WILL BE IN HEAVEN WITH US!!!  This is a very recent development-- less than a year old, but the answer to the deepest prayer of my heart.  I had an AMAZING phone conversation with my Dad this morning about the Bible and different denominations ... and...

8. about the really big thing that God is calling us to do.  He is calling us to start a church in the town that I teach in.  Whoa.  It's crazy... and amazing, and God is working, and we are just staying as open as we can so that He can work through us.

9. This blog is where I reflect on what the Word is showing me, what the Lord is revealing.  My other blog,, is much more entertaining, but... this is where my heart is.  :)

I cannot wait to go through and start following some of you amazing ladies in the linky!
Happy UBP11, Everyone!!!

---  Meredith

Mark 3: 1 - 6

Yesterday was Day 73 of the Bible in 90 Days. I finished up the gospel of Matthew, and started the gospel of Mark.  As I read the third chapter, I was struck with an unbearable sadness.

1.  Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there.   2. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath.  3. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Stand up in front of everyone."  4.  Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?"  But they remained silent.  5. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand."  He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.  6.  Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.


It's one thing to know what the plan.  To be involved in creating the plan, and agreeing that it will be the perfect solution.  Knowing in your head that the people that are representing you have nothing but rules and pride in their hearts, and that the lost people that you are desperate to save have no help in them.

Even knowing all of that, how Jesus' heart must have broken to see just how far from the heart of God the Pharisees and Saducees were.  For them to be putting all of the faith, strength, energy and WORSHIP into RULES, and ignoring the heart of God completely.  What kind of faith is that?  Their hearts were so hardened to TRUE peace, compassion and love, that even when Jesus challenged them --- without them even saying a word to him-- they were unmoved.

I don't know exactly what has led to the change in my heart.  I have read that passage before, but it has never affected me so deeply.  I don't know if it because I am in the middle of the Bible in 90 Days, or if it is because of everything that God is doing in our lives and the great burden I feel for the people of the town that we have been called to.  Whatever the change, I am grateful for it.  I will take a heavy heart.  I will take a broken heart. I will weep for the lost.  I will pray for the broken, I will pray for the hurting.  I will open my heart, and arms for the ones that God brings to me.


The bridge of this song is ringing over and over in my heart and mind.
"Break my heart with what breaks yours..."

May you find an empty vessel, and a willing spirit in me, my Savior.


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