Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Arkansas or Bust!

Here is a picture of us in some T-shirts that Dave's sister sent us. We got a package in the mail one day, and when I opened it, I just smiled. : ) How cute is that! I wanted to take a picture so Laura (Dave's sister) could see us in them. I wanted to take A picture, but we took a bunch. The sad part is, after all those pictures, we end up posting the first. It was a sunny humid day in Florida, and every picture came sunny or foggy. : ) This first one was the only one you could really see. Of course David and Samuel are not exactly how I want them them to look, but I thought it actually captures my kids in all their glory. Samuel will be a big goof ball any chance he gets and David is showing you how much he loves and values taking time out of his agenda to take a picture. : ) Jonathan, of course just goes along for the ride.....

Friday, June 22, 2007

He Knows What He is Doing

I have a friend who views my blog almost daily to see if I have posted anything new. She said she was tired of seeing "Let's just learn stuff". : ) Her blog is fun and has new posts almost daily (you can click on it from the side bar~~Toknowhimjesus), mine however doesn't seem to have the same feel as hers. It originally started so others can track our journey, and I can only write so much about being busy and wishing for some down time. : ) But I will say that we are learning SO much in the process. I guess that is all part of the journey.

Maybe I can keep up a little more with things that God is teaching us. There is so much, I don't know if I can put it all into words. One thing that can happen is it is easy to get stuck in a routine - any routine - whether a busy one or a slow one. It's easy to go about your day and feel like you've missed God. I know He's always there, but I can often miss the moment by moment fellowship. If I don't choose to stop and pray or focus on Him, I will miss Him. In the past couple of days, I have felt somewhat disconnected. I was so desperate the other day for some quality time with God, I had to literally go into my closet, shut the door and pray. I was feeling a bit discouraged about some things that were completely out of my control. It is easy to get discouraged - even if you ARE praying and in the Word! I was doubting some things and I confessed them to the Lord. I also confessed to the Lord that my biggest fear is missing His will - that somehow I am blinded from the truth because of pride or selfishness. I can specifically confess some sin that I know the Lord has revealed to me, but often times don't know how to surrender that sin.

It may seem simple, but I'm not talking about outward sins, I'm talking about heart sin. Things that you don't just give up, but things that require the Holy Spirit to do through you. I confess those sins and want the Lord to give me freedom QUICKLY. I so need His power to complete the work He has required of me. During my prayer time, God prompted me to find a book from my all time favorite Bible Study teacher Beth Moore. In her book, "Things Pondered", she wrote a poem that I knew God wanted me to read. After reading the poem, I was so encouraged to know that God in His perfect timing, will reveal His plan to me if I keep that fellowship with Him.

When I don't see things happening, I wonder what God is up to (or not up to) : ) For example, I can be going through the same situation as a friend and I can see things turn around quickly for them and wonder why the process always seems so long for me. I realize that God is not half as interested in making things easy for me, as He is to be glorified BY me. The difficulty in the process changes our hearts. I have seen that time and time again. I would not take back ANY of those hard lessons if I had to give back my sight. The poem will explain it better:

The Life I Planned

Has someone seen the life I planned?
It seems it's been replaced
I've looked in every corner
It's lost without a trace

I've found one I don't recognize
Things missing that were dear
Promises I'd hope to keep
And dreams I'd dreamed aren't here

Faces I had planned to see
Hands I planned to hold
Now absent in the pictures
Not the way I told.

Has someone seen the life I planned?
Did it get thrown away?
God took my hand from searching
Then I heard Him say

"Child, your ears have never heard
Your eyes have never seen
Eternal plans I have for you
Are more than you can dream."

"You long to walk by sight
But I'm teaching eyes to see.
I know what I am doing
'Til then, you must believe."

He's done so much, I felt ashamed
To know He heard my moans
To think I'd trade in all he's done
For plans made on my own.

I wept over His faithfulness
And how He'd proved Himself
How He'd gone beyond my dreams
And said to Him myself,

"No, my ears have never heard
My eyes have never seen
Eternal plans you have for me
And more than I could dream."

"Yes, I long to walk by sight
But you're teaching eyes to see
You know what you are doing
'Til then, I must believe."

I felt His great compassion
Mercy unrestrained
He let me mourn my losses
And showed to me my gains

I offered Him my future
And released to Him my past
I traded in my dreams
For a plan He said would last.

I get no glimpse ahead
No certainties at all
Except the presence of the One
Who will never let me fall.

Are you also searching
For a life you planned yourself?
Have you looked in every corner?
Have you checked on every shelf?

Child, your ears have never heard
Your eyes have never seen
Eternal plans I have for you
And more than you can dream.

Perhaps you long to walk by faith
But He's teaching eyes to see
He knows what He is doing
Child, step out and believe.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what
God has prepared for those who love Him."

1 Corinthians 2:9

Do you ever feel like you always live your life out on a limb? I often times do. but I heard it once said, that that is where the fruit is!

Oh Lord, thank you for teaching my eyes to see! You know what you are doing. Until then, I will believe!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Let's Just Learn Stuff...

WOW! Has this journey been hard! Yet it is so rewarding. I don't think there has ever been a time in our lives that we have surrendered ourselves so much and trusting God to provide for so many needs. During this crazy, busy time, there are so many needs. We are trusting God to fill in so many gaps for us; for lack of time as a family, our marriage, our boys feeling secure, financial (Dave has cut back his hours at work), etc. We feel so excited about what God is doing, yet so disconnected to all that is around us. We are trusting the Lord to provide in that area as well - that our family and friends will understand the demands that are placed on us right now, and how we ache to be with them and serve the body of Christ.

But God is faithful and good, and we put our trust in Him. We still have so much to learn and we are excited about that. If we have learned anything, we have learned that it is during the tough times that we learn the most, if we choose to keep our focus on Christ. And if we ever doubt that our children are not getting the things we model for them, hear these words from our 5 year old:

We were driving home form a birthday party in Bradenton last week, and we had a family friend driving home with us. He shared with us something that Samuel told him. Samuel told Ruben, "Getting punished is a good thing", and Ruben asked, "Why", and Samuel said, "Because you learn stuff". When I asked Samuel what he learns from getting in trouble, he responded, "You learn how to be good".

If you just stop and think for a minute, you will realize how profound that is. Samuel told me the other day (after getting corrected....again) : ) that he tries to be good but it doesn't always work. I think sometimes we try to do the right things too, but unfortunately our own efforts fall short. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Sometimes I feel like my motives are good and then God shows me how selfish I am and how only His ways are pure. God has opened my eyes to see that every time there is any kind of hardship, that I need to learn something from His perspective. Without the Holy Spirit shedding light on my situation, I can only see from my own perspective. When difficulties come, that is a sign to turn to God, and say, "O.K. what am I supposed to learn here?"

Through this process already, we have learned stuff! We fall short in so many ways, and it just makes us realize how much God is in all this because He sustains us every day. So from the mouth of my 5 year old, I pray that when you face a difficult circumstance, you won't blame others, but that you will just "Learn Stuff".

May the God of Peace sanctify you through and through...