Monday, March 18, 2013

Giving Thanks



counting the gifts of 2013 ~ #35-56

Seeing the fruit of admonishment sow seeds of the truth heard
Certification!
Worship, pure and loud and precious, from the backseats
Mom of 4 courageously living life as well as possible while her husband is deployed
Rough and tumble boys
Tight hugs
Sheetrock Dust
New Old Friend, sharing the grace that has fallen during out time apart
Flannel softness
Painted Daisies on Petal Rose's birthday
The faces of children in the background
Hope for new life, to observe for nature studies
Remodel under budget
Laughing children, eager to learn
Joy over  review games
Science in her free time

Joyness swinging peacefully in the baby swing
Laughter replacing frustration
Gift carved ~ my heart flesh nearly 10 years ago,stitched together in flesh and spirit
Bathrooms gutted to the studs, cleaning out decades of rust & old paint
New sheet rock, crisp grey paint and smooth tile




Thursday, March 14, 2013

Becuase He Loves Me, Chapter 7





Because He Loves Me Book Study


In Chapter 6 the focus was on setting our gaze upon Jesus, believing with whatever small measure of faith we possess, that HE IS.

In Chapter 7 the author, Elyse Fitzpatrick, introduces the concept of the indicative and imperative in Scripture, using Colossians 3:1-3.  Indicative is what has already been indicated or declared.  Imperative is a command or direction. 

Some of the indicatives, or declarations in Colossians 1:1-3 are:
You are raised with Christ
You are the elect of God
You are forgiven by Christ
You are holy, beloved.

A few of the imperatives are:
Seek the things that are above
Set your mind on things that are above
Put to death fleshly deeds
Put on tender mercy, kindness, humility, forgiving others as Christ has forgiven you.

Throughout the Bible the imperatives are usually paired with an indicative, and there seems to always be a "put on" for every "put off".

Now before we jump straight to the imperatives and start making the "to do" list, adding "how to" books to the shelf or blog reader, STOP.

Look Up.   Go back up to the indicative/declaratives. 

What happens if we focus on the indicative?  What God in Christ has done, has given, has called?  And here, again, our eyes are taken off self and what self can and cannot do.  Instead attention can be focused on the Author and Finisher of our faith, our very salvation. 

Then in gratitude we can set out to obey, resting in the imperatives, knowing that it is God who is really at work in us.  "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we would walk in them." Ephesians 2:10.

For Christ, by Christ, through Christ.

 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Because He Loves Me, Chapter 6





Because He Loves Me Book Study


"Faith is the gaze of the soul upon a saving God...Faith is the least self-regarding of the virtues.  It is by its very nature scarcely conscious of its own existence....faith is occupied with the Object upon which it rests and pay no attention to itself at all." Elise Fitzgerald

Reading this chapter illuminated the bronze snake in the Exodus desert brilliantly for me.  As I continue to ponder the significance of looking at the bronze snake for the Israelites in the desert, and the above quote, I'm left knowing my faith is indeed very weak.  All one has to do is to look to Christ, simply believing that He Is.  This is where faith begins.


Here is where GRACE enters in my understanding.  I can't pull myself up by my bootstraps (not that I am wearing boots).  My faith is truly as small, or smaller than a mustard seed.  But Christ is the author and perfecter of my faith.  He is the author, the giver, of faith.  And He promises to perfect it. 

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

This book study is fantastic.  As a self loathing sinner, so often in the past I have found Biblical teaching a reason to increase that unrighteous self abuse.  But as is continually happening these days, true Biblical teaching is soaked in the knowledge that it is by grace we have been saved, through faith.  GRACE.  FAITH.

Fix our eyes on Jesus.

Through Christ, For Christ, By Christ. 
 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Today...

A crazy morning of "Mom/Wife...I need...will you...ARGH" And then a not so quick trip to the phone store to take care of transferring Beloved's work number to our personal account.  That didn't work out quite how we hoped, but we walked out of the store believing that in an hour, at store number 2, we'd get it all resolved.

That didn't happen.  So we get to try again tomorrow.  Turns out that even if a store has a Verizon sign, it isn't necessarily a VERIZON store.  To save you some time, make sure that the store with the Verizon sign really is.

Next I took Sweet Mae to piano lessons.  Listening to the music that flows from that girl's fingers often calms my frazzled nerves, other times it just sets me to singing.  Her teacher

Afterwards Mae and I ran a few errands, found her 2 new pairs of pants & a couple of other items that she was needing.  I'm so thankful for the budget habit we put into place about a year ago.  Each month money gets put into designated folder in my budget wallet.  And on this day, there was no stress to let my girl get the floral jeans along with one pair of plain denim.  A small splurge with no guilt or worries.

We finally arrived home and this afternoon I've enjoyed the chatter of 2 lovely ladies embracing the warm sunshine and playing outside.  Baby JoyNess has added her own music, and Grandpa Ben rescued her from the swing.  I love listening to his tender words to this little babe.  Warm smiles all around were beaming as Grandpa and JoyNess headed outside to visit the chickens and see the blue sky.

Miss Sunshine (mother of JoyNess) is helping Petal Rose to create a Jolly Roger flag for her ship.  Chica is asking to start an astronomy course and looking very cute her in twin braids, pink heart earrings and cranberry colored dress.
 
All the stuff of life has been going on since I woke this morning, and a glorious life it is.  Giving thanks to God, for He is good.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Counting

This month a major remodel is taking place in our 60 year old home.  Two of three bathrooms have been completely demo'ed, down to the studs.  Drywall dust and wood shavings over everything.  Seven people, one bathroom.  One bathroom, in the basement.  One bathroom with holes in the ceiling, waiting for new pipes.  And 10 year old, 12 year old, 13 year old, 20 and 40 something year old ladies in the house!

But you know something?  It's been challenging at times, it's been very hard work, especially carrying 60 year old rusty gross cast iron pipe pieces up the stairs and out the door.  But every time we walk through another one of these "hard" inconveniences I am struck by how very blessed we still are.  It is truly easy to find the gifts raining down upon us.



counting...

Youthful exuberance, Cat snuggles, Warm tea, Encouraging words, Tough nights, Auntie’s doing storytime with the littlest one, Snow sparkling in the warm sunshine, Teamwork, The late to bed Moon, Quiet drive together, Giggling ballerinas, Birthday celebration, Pink and purple balloons, Sister messages of love, Surprise time with a dear friend, A pair of 13 year old gigglers,  Couldn’t be more different, yet sweet friends, A triplet of younger actresses, each with a touch of director in her, Romans 1:22, Juicy oranges
 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Becuase He Loves Me, Week 5

 
 
Because He Loves Me Book Study</


Joining in this week because, life has given me this little space of time.  Here are the pondering points from GraceLaced.

1) What is the most comforting aspect of your inheritance? What are you resting in today?
2) How do you respond to your own sin? Are you tempted to believe that God is punishing you? What is the difference between punishment and redemptive discipline?
3) What struck you the most about this chapter?
 
 
This was a great chapter for me, because while I don't really "get it" all, I've enjoyed seeing some of what my loving Father has done in me.  The most comforting part of my inheritance, at this point, is the hope I have.  The hope that I am not what I was, and I am not what I will be.  And, as the Spirit continues to work in me, and as I continue to follow or "work" this relationship with God will deepen on my side.  This hope is what I am resting in.  The blessed hope that is nourished by the daily evidence of GRACE.
 
In the past, and sometimes still, my sin is a cause for self loathing.  But here is the word again, GRACE has saved me.  The grace of God has washed me clean, the admonishment of God often wakes me at night to deal with me, and then the love of God sings over me.  That redemptive discipline builds more into that wonderful hope that continues to grow within me.
 
As I am a serious reader, always looking to learn and grow, this chapter was a sweet refrain.  The reminder to me to work out my faith because the work of grace has redeemed this life of mine.  What sweet rest is available in the hope created by grace.
 
Are you interested in joining Grace Full Mama and GraceLaced as a community reads Because He Loves Me?  Just pop on over to either of their blogs to read more.