Friday, January 29, 2010

Do Nothing January

I can't believe how little I've blogged this month, which should be a good indicator of how I've been feeling.

Tired.

Nauseous.

Tired.

Nauseous.

Tired.

Tired.

Tired.

But happy nonetheless. I've not exactly been a stellar mom this month, either. It's basically been a month o' movies. No kidding. This weather does not help either. Rain, cold, cold, cold, rain. There's not much time for bike rides is there? There was this one incredible Wednesday afternoon where we passed 60 degrees, though, and I took the kids to the park! They played, I ate (what?), we got the stroller out and walked. It was such a nice break from being cooped up. Then, of course, the weather went right back to doing January things. Hmmph.

This is pretty much what we've looked like this month:

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This month some big changes have been made that I haven't had time or energy to blog about, though: 1. My husband went back to work after having surgery and being off for 6 weeks. The kids have made the transition as well as could be expected...they sure love their daddy! They are getting used to it, though. 2. We bought a minivan! The kids (and we) love it. It's like a playground inside for them. They insist on sitting in the very back row...which is fine with me since it gives a bigger gap between their loud squeals and my ears. I'm asking my husband if we can install a sound-proof glass. Yes!

So that's what's been going on around here. I wish I had more energy, but in a few weeks it should start getting better. Even through all the gripes of pregnancy, though, I know how blessed I am. Actually, I've been less sick this time than I was both times before. And when I am sick, it's mostly at night when my husband's home to take care of the kids for me. He even helps with dinner some nights...and does laundry. (I know...he's awesome!)


Peace of Christ to you,

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What's In It? Wednesday What's For Lunch

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So, instead of a What's In It? Wednesday recipe, I thought I'd share "What's For Lunch" (and hope you haven't missed the recipes too terribly much and forgive me for being lazy recently). I've done little to no cooking lately since I never know how I'll feel, and my husband's back to work since recovering from his surgery, and well, who wants to cook dinner for one adult and two toddlers who won't eat it anyway?

You can't tell I like cranberries, can you?

Peace of Christ to you,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Questions

I've been reading Numbers so far this year, and...well, it's no picnic. Now, action it does have, but in a strange way. It bounces back and forth between narrative and rules. (I'm thankful for the narrative, if you're wondering.)

If I'm completely honest, I have to admit that this is NOT a fun read. And I had mornings where it seriously messed with my mind. One morning as my husband and I sat reading at the table, he presented some questions he had with Genesis (some very legitimate questions), and they just collided with my confusion about sin sacrifices for a husband who has the tiniest inkling of a suspicion that his wife has been unfaithful and therefore may bring her before the priest and make her drink dirt water and if her womb swells and her thigh falls away, then she will be a curse. So what if she really didn't do anything? Well, no harm no foul, I guess. Sheesh.

Anyway, back to the kitchen table. After reading this sentimental section on marriage and then hearing my husband's questions about Abraham and Sarah and contemplating what his real purpose was in lying about her being his sister, well...I exploded. I was crying angry tears at that point. I felt like I suddenly had no idea who the God I had spent a good amount of time loving was. At that instant, I found it hard to believe that He really loved me. Was He really the God of love? And if so, what's with all this? I, being a woman, couldn't comprehend how He could love me so much, yet care so little about the women in the OT. My husband felt awful, I could tell, and he said I'm just hormonally challenged right now and should just stop for a while. So I did.

I wrestled with my thoughts for days. It dissipated some, but remained at the base of my thoughts for over a week. I watched myself harden slightly toward scripture and even toward other people. It wasn't that I thought the whole thing is a joke now...but it somehow felt different to me.

Well, this Sunday morning my husband and I were back at the table reading again together--he in Genesis and I in Numbers. And of course, the questions refueled themselves and resurfaced.

I felt the tears emerging again, and this time I just silently asked God for help. I asked Him why it was so confusing, why I just wasn't getting it, how He could be so loving to me in 2010 yet so harsh and vengeful in the OT.

I waited.

Slowly, something came in view, something really big. The rules and laws as well as God opening up the ground to swallow whole families as justice over their sin flashed before me. It was brutal to even imagine having to follow the law to the letter. And then, I thought of Jesus. With this one picture, I know God answered my question, calmed my fears, and sorted out my confusion.

See, the seriousness of sin and the penalty for it have not changed. Not at all. Sin is still evil and cannot reside with God. And the sacrifice for that sin is still necessary.

But it's no longer mine to bear.

The gravity of Jesus' sacrifice fell hard on me in those moments. I'm sure I've realized this before, but it had been a long time, and I think I had just grown cold toward it--taking it for granted. I've never known anything other than the new covenant. I never had to live in the law.

Suddenly, Jesus carrying that cross and being brutally murdered meant tremendously more than I'd realized before. Because He bled for me, I can be personal, real, honest with Him all day long. Although I know perfectly well that He could at any moment swallow me up into the earth, I don't live in fear that He will. Because of the cross.

I think that season of questioning was good for me. I wrestled a lot with who God is and where I stood with Him. I knew I had accepted Jesus' sacrifice for my sins and therefore was a Christ follower, but I needed that face-down time of investigating and asking questions.

Because the answer I eventually got has changed me.


Peace of Christ to you,

Monday, January 4, 2010

Reading Plan Check In

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I've been surprised at how enthralled I've become in this book. Had you told me a couple of years ago that I'd be reading something like this--and enjoying it--I would have laughed! But I came across it while in LifeWay and confronted myself with the embarrassing fact that I know little to nothing about faithful women of the past. So, I thought it'd be worth the $10 investment. And it is. (In case you can't read the small print, these are biographies over Corrie Ten Boom, Amy Carmichael, Florence Nightengale, and Sojourner Truth.)

I've also been going through Numbers. Wow, what was I thinking, choosing such a dry book to start the year off? Is that okay to say? Seriously--so far, it's all about formality and where the tribes should camp around the tent of meeting. I am learning something, though. Mostly how grateful I am that God does not still require such ritualistic obedience and worship. It's certainly making me more thankful for the cross. (Psalms is a relief to read after Numbers, I tell ya!)

So, that's how my reading is going so far. How's yours?


Peace of Christ to you,

Friday, January 1, 2010

Gleaning From Scripture This Year

To give words wings from my previous post, I made a reading list for myself for 2010. I know there are about half a million of them out there, but I don't finish goals others set for me. So, I made my own reading plan. I took inventory of the books in the bible I've finished recently and left those out. I realized how little I study the Old Testament. It's more comfortable to read the New Testament for me, so I'm making an effort to learn more of the Old this year. Today I began Numbers.

Numbers
1 Samuel
2 Samuel
1 Kings
2 Kings
Ezekiel
Mark
Romans
Galatians
Ephesians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy
Hebrews
James
and Psalms daily alongside these

My goal is not just to check these books off this year, but to study them, their background, their history, the authorship, the intention, and the application God intends for my life.

Also, a few other non fiction--and one fiction--books I'd like to read:

Inspiring Women of the Faith (Corrie Ten Boom, Amy Carmichael, Florence Nightengale, & Sojourner Truth)
The Legacy of Sovereign Joy by John Piper
All of Grace by Charles H. Spurgeon
This Momentary Marriage by John Piper
Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
Concerning Christian Liberty by Martin Luther

I may or may not complete these last ones. (I'm supposed to be having a baby after all, remember?) Speaking of that, this will be interesting to dedicate myself toward these goals with fatigue and sickness (if it arises). But I believe I can do it. It's a fairly small goal. 266 chapters. One chapter each day. Ends in September.

The baby is due in September. I actually didn't do that on purpose! The plan just happened to end in September!

There's so much I'm asking the Lord to teach me this year, much of which comes from Proverbs 31. I used to despise that chapter, until I finally understood it...thanks mostly to Mark Driscoll and his sermon on Women as Wives.

Praying you have a blessed start to this fresh, new year.


Peace of Christ to you,