Monday, September 27, 2010

Mindful Monday: Your Wondrous Works

Psalm 119:18, 27

Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law. Make me to understand the way of Your precepts: so shall I talk of Your wondrous works.

Sometimes we may not understand God's ways just as children often do not fully understand the reasons behind their parent's rules, regulations, and directions. I love that the author of this Psalm asks that God open his eyes to see the "wondrous things" that come from following God's law.

I am so grateful that we can trust in God's direction. He has a purpose for us and when we are obedient we receive more blessings than we even realize- blessings that may not even be apparent in our lifetime.

God's commands are there to protect us and keep us pure, and the reward of following His directions will extend through the generations.

Pastor Voddie Baucham says, "We cannot expect our children to rise above our example. We can try to teach them to do as we say, not as we do, but our words can only go so far when they are contradicted by our actions."

When we see the beauty in God's plan- in the order, the commands, the directions He has set out for our lives (and we live thankfully and passionately within those boundaries) we take steps in "training up our children in the way they should go" through our own example.

I believe that part of being thankful and passing down so great a heritage is in telling the stories of God's goodness to those around us time and time again, especially our children. Our testimonies of God's wonderful works are very powerful. The children of Israel often lost sight of God's awesome works throughout the generations. It's easy for that to happen to us as well.

I pray that God would help me to daily remember His power and greatness, and that He would at least give me glimpses to the beautiful things that result from following Him in obedience.

I'm not sure if this even makes any sense to anyone else, but it certainly touched my heart as I read through the bible.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Baby Evangeline is here!

Evangeline Rose

Water broke at 11:30pm on Labor Day (her due date).
Born @ 4:30am this morning.
8 lbs, 6 oz - 20 1/2 inches long
Apgar score: 10

Midwife assisted homebirth in the water.

Greatly loved!

Here are a few "teaser" photos for all of you!

We woke Merikalyn up shortly after the baby was born so she could be the first to see her. She said she had heard me "screaming" (during the last bit of labor) and it had scared her a little (and she worried about some of the blood she saw too). She was VERY excited to see her new little sister!

Brothers woke up around 7am (they actually "slept in"). The sight of his new baby sister moved Nolyn to tears. Keagan checks on the baby regularly and loves her to pieces!

She was making the funniest faces at Brandon. :)

Uncle Chip came by this morning to see the wee one! Auntie Tara also stopped in and helped us out a great deal!

There were some complications (she had her hand crossed over her chest to the other side of her cheek, which made her entry a little more difficult, and I have severe anemia and lost a lot of blood) but we are all doing wonderfully now and things are great! God has greatly blessed us and we are so thankful to our wonderful midwife!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mindful Monday: Give of your all

"I will spend myself to the last ebb or you; you may give me praise or give me blame, it will make no difference. When we realize that Jesus Christ has served us to the end of our meanness, our selfishness, and sin, nothing that we meet with from others can exhaust our determination to serve men for His sake. " [Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest]

"We have been programmed to believe that love is something to be pursued for our own benefit. We're always 'looking for love'. But real love--biblical love--is sacrifice. It's the denial of self for the good of another." [Stacy McDonald,]

I've been thinking over these quotes in relationship to our children and spouse. Couples especially tend to get in a cycle of "I'll do for you when you do for me," or "Do unto my spouse as he does for me." So, when one person is not particular giving or on track, the other spouse feels justified in being selfish. "What has he done for me," she asks.

I have such a giving spouse, and we honestly try to give to each other selflessly and put each other first. This did not come naturally, and we had years of the old nasty self-serving cycle before we finally saw God's desire for marital unity and service. It does come more naturally now, but we still have our moments. I am so grateful to have been blessed with a husband who seeks to serve me and bring me joy without keeping track of all his good deeds and all my flaws. I am grateful that he never says, "Look at what all I've done for you! You owe me!" (And, hey, God doesn't do that either!) My husband is truly willing to spend and be spent for his family, and I know I owe my thanks for God for the work he has done in my spouse's life.

As mothers, we also need to have this attitude towards our children. As a homeschooling homemaker, there are times when I am utterly exhausted. I sometimes think of Jesus who would go away to seek quiet time and yet be followed by a huge crowd... and he never turned them away. That realization pricks me, because I know I selfishly turn my children away because I "need" quiet time or "have had enough".

We can certainly give a lot of ourselves and feel pretty good about that, but are we giving "to the last ebb"? Are we giving of ourselves for praise and back-patting from others, or are we giving out of Christ's love, even when no one else seems to notice or care, even when it seems thankless, even when it is received with little appreciation? Do we only give to those who seem "worthy" of it, or do we serve even those who don't? I think of Christ serving all of those who rejected him, even serving Judas, even though he knew Judas would betray him.

"The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life a ransom for many."

If Jesus, why not us as well?