Sunday, February 28, 2010

waving the proverbial white flag.

In our sunday school class this morning, Pastor Phil had a word. I don't suppose it he mentioned it for me, but it sure felt like it.

I was running late (as usual), but the first thing I remember hearing after getting settled into my seat was this: "It's easy to become a christian. It's difficult to walk out this christian life." Um, Amen.

He went on to remind us that the Lord wants us to surrender to Him. We usually talk about our commitment to the Lord. Committing is negotiable. It is of my choosing. I control when and how it occurs. Surrendering, however, is what I do when I feel I have no other option. It is controlled, not by me, but by an outside force. If someone sticks a gun to my back, I will throw my hands up in surrender because I feel there is no other option.

What keeps us from fully surrendering to the Lord? Unforgiveness, pride, self-reliance? Yes, yes and yes. And a whole list of other things, I imagine.

I left class this morning with a new challenge in my life. I no longer want to be committed to the Lord. I want to be surrendered to Him and to His will for my life. Because He has plans for me. And I am confident that His plan is better than I would even think to ask for.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

picture fun

I could use a few smiles and these pictures are bound to do the trick.

These two are unequivocally the best place I have ever my spent time.

The joys of being a little brother to a big sister.

I love the contrast of their eyes.

His first fudgesicle high.

These are the only kinds of pets we currently have.

I can't really claim this one as my own...but he sure makes me smile!

Happy Thursday, friends!


Monday, February 22, 2010

reading the Bible through: Gen3

I have been challenged in a book to read the Bible cover to cover. The author suggested reading until you find something that speaks to you and stop and spend time meditating on it. I have found it difficult to read along on those programs where you have to read so many chapters each day. I get behind and then I get overwhelmed. So, I decided to try this. I figure even if it takes me multiple years to read through it, it doesn't really matter. It's a life long read anyway.
So, I am currently reading in Genesis 3. I have found so much good stuff in there. I have also been reading all the notes included in my bible for better understanding. Good Stuff!

This is the story of Eve in the Garden of Eden when the serpent has tempted her to eat from the tree that God specifically told them not to. She has eaten from the tree and God is speaking to the serpent. Genesis 3:15 says:
"And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel."

I was specifically interested in the second half of that verse. My notes explain that while the serpent (satan) will strike at the heel (a non-deadly wound), he (Jesus) will crush your head (be victorious in this fight). Even when Eve was in direct disobedience to what the Lord had spoken to her, He is still merciful toward her. While she was disciplined (cast out of the garden and pains in childbirth- thanks for that ;), God's love is not withheld.
My disobedience varies. Sometimes I feel pretty certain about what I should do and choose not to- being rebellious. Other times, I am unsure what is being asked of me and I act hastily- being impatient. I think there is no debate that Eve was in direct disobedience. She did not have to rely on discernment from the Holy Spirit, a feeling in her heart or gut or even a sign. She heard the words directly from the mouth of God. She made the wrong choice. As I have so often. The consequence had lasting effects. But the Lord's love for her remained the same.

The lesson for me today is that the Lord's love for me never changes. I can never do anything that would change it. This is not a free pass to make wrong choices, but it is a good reminder that during those times when I need a second (third or twelfth) chance, God's love for me remains. He will only allow the serpent to strike at my heels. And He will fight for me and crush the head of the enemy who seeks to destroy me.
Human love has taught me that if I disappoint one too many times, love is withheld. Those who once fought for me may turn on me and begin to fight at me. God's love is teaching me that I am never unlovable. And that I am always worth fighting for.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Home Safely

Kevin's brother, Scott, passed away on Thursday night. It's such a complicated thing to have to say goodbye to someone you love. It gets even more complicated when that person is experiencing pain and their body is failing them right before your eyes. But, what a precious gift it is to be able to have the time to sit together and have conversations that may have not happened without the illness and impending death. For the past 2 weeks, the family has come close and had lots of time together with him, first at the hospital, and later at the hospice. This time was a special gift that we were able to give to Scott, and, even moreso, he was able to give to each of us.

Some time after his passing, his dad asked if we could gather together as a family in his room and pray. As we circled around his bed and friends and family offered up thier prayers, peace filled that room. After the amens, we noticed that the look on Scott's face had changed. He was smiling. Many commented on it, validating, that I was not, in fact, seeing things. I think Kevin's dad said it best. He said, "I think he is trying to tell us that he made it home safely."

I think he's right. It is a beautiful memory that I will call on often when I need to remember that God is in the details.

Scott, thank you for all that you taught me by the way in which you lived your life. Thank you for challenging me to live my life better, even when I didn't want to hear it. And, thank you for allowing us the opportunity to watch redemption come to fruition in your life. You are greatly missed. Enjoy paradise, my friend.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Much to be thankful for

Over the course of the past 4 months or so, someone in our house has been sick. Sure, we have had a few healthy days here and there, but next thing I know someone is whining, crying, coughing or exhibiting a plethora of other symptoms. Most all of these things have been minor and mostly an inconvience. But, I almost burst into tears at urgent care last night as the dr told me Alivia has an ear infection. We are still fighting her empitigo and a lingering cough from last week. This was about 16 hours after being told by our pediatrician that Koleson has double ear infections (again) and possible rsv. I feel like I am teetering on the edge. Like one more sickness my push me right over.

Simultaneously, Kevin's brother has been battling cancer. This cancer is so ugly and fierce it has ravaged his body in only 2 months time. Watching this friend and brother fight for his life has provided a bit of perspective. He is only 41. And watching these parents, brothers, sisters, friends and children prepare to have to say goodbye to him is heartbreaking. Heartbreaking.

Last night, as I waited at the 24 hour pharmacy, on the verge of tears over all of it, all I kept saying was, "Thank you Jesus." I didn't even realize I was saying it. But, Thank you Jesus. Thank you for my children. Thank you that their health problems are minor and most likely only for a season. Thank you for a family that loves deeply. Thank you for one more day with Kevin's brother. Thank you for friends and family who have stepped in and allowed us to be at the hospital and now at the hospice center as much as we need to be. Thank you Jesus for the redemption that we have seen. And mostly, thank you Lord for being with each one of us every step of the way.

As we celebrate the news of another baby coming into our family and we celebrate the life of a brother as he prepares to go out of this world, the realization comes. Every life deserves a celebration.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Weigh In

We really do have more to say than just chronicling my weight loss. It's just been a crazy few weeks (months, really) and every time I sit down to write, something else seems to demand my attention. Or it's the middle of the night and I cannot have a coherent thought, much less type one.

Starting Weight: 138.8

Last Weeks Weight: 132.8

This Weeks Weight: 131.4

Week 5 Weight Loss: -1.4

Total Weight Loss: 7.4

I'm almost there, and I am so excited.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weigh In

I'm down to 132.8 this week, so yay for minus 1.

I also have a plumbing issue in my house, so I'm not going to even try to pretend that I'm going to drink any water.