Overflow

While cleaning sewer overflow out of my basement carpet I considered the day ahead.

So many gaps...

Not yet 8am on Saturday morning and the day felt like it’d already been long.

How am I going to fill in the gaps?

My husband lay in bed, recovering from a surgery.  He would be at home all day, recovering, resting… regaining his mobility.

Where are the resources to fill all the lack?  How do I steward what little I have?

My ears stuffed with earbuds pumping celebration in toward my eardrums, my thoughts… I almost laughed out loud.

There is no way I will make it today! 

Searching for answers, to truly be responsible with what little I have to stretch over the yawning gaps in resources for the day… just this day, not even tomorrow yet… searching for some kind of plan;  a strategy… something…

“Go, I will cover you,” says the quiet voice in my knowing.

No plan.  No detailed direction of how to go.  Just, GO.  I WILL COVER YOU.

I set my mind to it.  One step at a time, I decided.  Like walking on water.  One foot in front of the other.

I can do this.

Look at the God who’s serving me… SERVING ME!  The God who never ceases to provide, to amaze, to extend grace…  He is covering me today.  My job, according to Him, is to go and receive His provision in each step.  To receive!

My job as wife, mommy, every other role I will play today… my job description in all of these is to move into receiving.

To discover what it means to live in grace – to see my gaping areas of lacking filled to overflowing with His grace covering me, providing.  Me, my husband, my children… those who will touch our lives today.  His overflow will increase in me, will increase me.

I don’t see it.  I don’t see how my circumstances are possibly going to work today.

But I see God, who is more than able, at work for me.

And I receive.

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About Our Back-to-school Plan

It’s here!  

The school year has kicked off with enthusiasm and hope.  Actually, we are in our second month of school, being the homeschooling family that we are… Ambitious?  Maybe.  However, we sat the kids down and explained a basic principle.

~Regardless of when we start, the same amount of work has to be done.  We can start early and finish early, start on time and finish on time, or start late and work later into next summer. ~

They chose to get an early start!

The school system we use is 24 weeks long.  We use a classical curriculum and once a week we meet with a large group of students, breaking into age appropriate classes.  We also meet with a smaller group of friends – other moms and their kids going through the same system.  This is the first year we are doing this, and it’s been wonderful!  The best part is we came up with a point system that challenges each of our kiddos to raise the bar in family life.  The kids spend 7 days earning points for specific goals and each time we meet they bring their accumulated points to add to the group’s goal of having a party.

We gave them fun names:

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With descriptions we all agreed on, and each of us tweaked for our specific family dynamics:

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They each get chores to check off daily.  Bigger chores for big kids, little chores for littler kids:

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And chores are explained and posted so there isn’t any misunderstanding:

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Which makes the side of our fridge into our points station:

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So far it’s been a really good start to the year.  I should add that my older two are in a challenge program working toward earning a special incentive trip at the end of the year for mastering all their school material. That’s 24 weeks worth of history, english grammar, geography, math, science, latin grammar, US presidents, and a passage of scripture memorized in english and translated in latin!  This is on top of writing & presentation assignments, memorizing grammar charts and dissecting sentences…

Have I expressed my mommy-pride loudly enough?!

It has been a handful, I have to admit.  I’ve had to become more routine and disciplined than I ever was while we were in a traditional school system.  With a kiddo just starting his school journey, two kiddos entering a new phase of their learning and development adventures, and a toddler enjoying life in the mix, a routine has become our life-line.  So has our support system – the other mommies and homeschool kids who understand both the sometimes intense pressures, responsibilities and amazing freedoms that come with a homeschooling lifestyle.  Gratefully we have both families in our classical system of homeschooling, and families who are pursuing different methods – both are refreshing, adding perspective and creativity I wouldn’t have on my own.

Whatever your schooling adventures are this year, we hope you are having a wonderful start and are full of hope and joy each day, overcoming hardships and enduring through the challenges in order to taste amazing success and victory!

Psalm 91 {my habitat}

refuge; a place to go to find where you find protection from something dangerous or threatening, to flee to, a shelter for protective purposes.
conquer; to take control of, to defeat, to gain control of through great force or threat.
plague; a large number of harmful or annoying things, a disease that causes death quickly to a large number of people.
home; the place where a person lives, a family dwelling together in one building, a place where something and naturally located.

Jesus, how precious is Your name to me! You remind me that there is no place on earth, above it or beneath its depths, that I can hide from You.  No matter where I run, You are there. And You also make it clear that the only safe place I will ever find is by hiding in You. When You are Who I turn to for comfort, conversation, and instruction; when You are where I look for answers and to find provisions, when I am normally found in Your presence, as if in my natural habitat, then I am fully hidden in You.  This is where I find perfect and supernatural protection.  No evil will be able to take control over or defeat me, and plagues will bypass me.  Do I even know the value of these words?

LORD, stir in my heart and in the minds of all who love You, to hunger and crave understanding of Your ways.  Wake up sleepy minds to the present power of Your promises, the relevant application of your Word this day.  Savior, teach us to know You in such intimacy that all who are looking will find You when they see us in perfect peace.  Amen.

 

“If you make the LORD your refuge; if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.”

Intercession

I can hear it…. my fingers feel it… a melody, and a song written somewhere just beyond my reach.

My fingers touch the keys. Stiff. Longing. Untrained. Aching…

So many things well up within me.  Things I don’t have the words to speak, or to write.  Wonderful things.  Mourning things.  Things heavy with both joy and sorrow; the ache of loss a friend has to face… the triumph of a victory for a family member… desperation for one to understand and another to find relief, to find escape.  To speak to all the love that is power, compassion, comfort and strength.  To say clearly the perfect words each ear needs to hear, each heart needs to feel… to know.

I will my fingers to fly over the keys, to pen out the things I contain deep inside, to reach the impossible depths and retrieve the unknown language locked away… Literally just beyond my grasp!

There is mercy, favor unmerited, and grace, the power to be what we cant possibly… the link is belief. The key is faith. The force is love.  And it is right here… right here.

And so, I lift my hands and rest my palms.  I pray.  I lift my heart’s cry to the One who hears, who knows without being told, who understands that language I cannot fathom, and who has all the answers.  I pray.  And I pray.  And I pray.

The tears run for those who are hurting.  Praises leave my lips for those who are rejoicing.  A silencing ache fills my chest for those who are suffering.  And for those who are lost, loosing their way… for them I let out a shout.  A plea.  A sound in the dark, in hopes their ears might hear and they might know they are not alone.  Not even close to being alone.

I see their faces.  Many I know.  Many I love.  Some I’ve never seen before.  For everyone I let my heart speak… His words covering my own, His thoughts reaching the depths of emotion, His love flowing farther than I can imagine…

In this way, together, His hands over mine, we write the melodies and we sing the songs that bring the changes we long to see.

Holy are You, Lord.  Holy are You! Above all else, and every other name. You are I AM, the One who cares.  The One who loves.  The One who saves. Mighty is Your name.  You are like no other.  Mighty is Your name!

 

Loved

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb…” Jeremiah 1:5

Before you ever existed, before your parents came together; you were known.

It can be reasoned that if you were known before you were ever formed, then the fact that you are in existence is declaration in itself that you were considered worthwhile to create.

“You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born, ever day was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:15/16

Before anyone laid eyes on you, decided who you look like or ascribed any character to you, before you were ever deemed acceptable or unqualifiable; you were seen, watched, tenderly cared for within the darkness of a womb.  A destiny was assigned to you, and as you were being knit together in that secret place, every potential to achieve it was woven into your being.  Before anyone knew you, your days were laid out, recorded and thought through.  Plans were laid for your development, your rescues, your victories, your provisions, and your prosperity.  Every opportunity was set out in each moment of your life, and the gift of free will was imparted to you.

It can be reasoned that such care and concern for you before you took a single breath declares that you are not only worthwhile to create, but desired, longed for, planned for and dearly loved into being.

Dearly loved by a Creator who desired to be loved by you, of your own free will.

Identity & Love

A tweet from a friend: “RT@GregoryDickow: Identity + security = destiny.  Understanding your Identity in Christ & security in God’s love propels you into your destiny.”

No matter what has happened to you or what choices you have made, your identity in the love of the God who created you is steadfast, secure and unshakeable.  There isn’t anything you can do or have done that keeps you from His love.  There isn’t anything that has happened to you that removes His love from you.

It is your soul’s enemy who works tireless to to keep you from experiencing this love, and from understanding your identity, thus preventing you from claiming the destiny that is yours.

If you are heartbroken, healing, recovering, flailing in uncertainty, feeling lost, lonely, helpless…  my prayer is that you come to know exactly how loved and how secure you are in Christ.  I pray that you come to understand that all the pain and all the guilt is not His design, plan or desire for you.  I pray that you know how deep His longing is to restore, recover and comfort you.

His love is not what this world calls Love.  He does not impose Himself; He waits for your invitation.  He does not demand; He respects you.  He does not insist; He waits patiently for your timing.  He does not require you to earn His love; He declared it before you were born, giving Himself up for you just to have the hope, the chance, that you might desire Him, know Him, accept His love.  That by the knowledge and acceptance of His love for you, you would discover your secure identity in Him and be fulfilled in the life He has established for you.

Your destiny.