Wow, I have a LOT of writing to catch up on…and I am looking forward to spending time soon processing, capturing, and reminiscing over the memories we’ve made together as a family the past month. Has it really been that long since I’ve written???
This month has been a bit calmer than last, but so much still seems to happen somehow with 3 now…I am thinking back to when Lewis used to nap 2-3 hours in the afternoon, and Hannah too…I just don’t have those days very much anymore when all 3 are napping…just not as much quiet time…and I simply don’t get the computer time with Brian in school…understandably so! Soon, he will get a break, thank goodness, he works so incredibly hard…. And Lord willing, soon I will get a chance more to write. My mind has had to process in the meantime as my hands haven’t been able to write. But, there are lots of sticky notes hanging around that are begging to be put into words! 🙂
It is good to praise the Lord
and make music to your name, O Most High,
2 proclaiming your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night,
3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
and the melody of the harp.
4 For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
5 How great are your works, Lord,
how profound your thoughts!
6 Senseless people do not know,
fools do not understand,
7 that though the wicked spring up like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they will be destroyed forever.
8 But you, Lord, are forever exalted.
9 For surely your enemies, Lord,
surely your enemies will perish;
all evildoers will be scattered.
10 You have exalted my horn[b] like that of a wild ox;
fine oils have been poured on me.
11 My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries;
my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.
12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
This is the verse the Lord gave us this Thanksgiving…to proclaim His love in the morning and His faithfulness at night. We had an opportunity to talk with one of our muslim guests about God’s faithfulness to the Pilgrims so many years ago…and to think about His faithfulness to us.
I want to capture here–this Thanksgiving. It was beyond words really in so many ways…. It was:
~A time to worship together joyfully as a family…with all mouths praising the Lord…truly praising Him…
~A morning on Thanksgiving morning when the kids woke up with thankful spirits…a sweet gift from the Lord as it had been a bit of a grumbling week for them.
~A few days of learning to serve together as a family to prepare for our Thanksgiving dinner and guests.
~An opportunity for Brian and I to come to the Lord together to “receive our mission”…He gave us Psalm 92.
~An opportunity to be used as vessels and to witness God’s presence in our home for Thanksgiving dinner…to see glimpses of His purposes for each guest He brought…to see what His presence brings about in hearts…it was incredible…how hearts are convicted, how hearts confess….simply by His Spirit being there. I sensed we have a lot to learn about how God wants to use us when people respond to God’s presence. We are learning how to serve those in need while being aware of the depth of our need. THIS is ministry. We have so much to learn from Him.
~Seeing what a wonderful gift it is to have stability here to stay another year as we see so many leave who arrived with us…grateful for the ways God has enabled us to finish ILE and grad school the past year….humbled by the grace and gifts God has given us and also humbled by the demanding year that lay ahead of us. I am sensing I will need to really press in to the Lord, strength-by-strength to get through this next year…
This Thanksgiving…He made us truly THANKFUL for all the GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE in our lives and the lives of others.
These are a few more things/lessons I am grateful for that the Lord has driven home for me the past few days:
I loved seeing Brian’s joy in serving the Lord. I loved seeing his delight in worshipping together as a family. I loved seeing a united team as a couple to serve. I loved seeing God enable me to be less that He might be more…I loved learning to walk strength-by-strength through the past few days of cleaning, cooking, spending quality time with each kid, being an attentive wife and being a hostess…and joyfully serving while my husband ministered.
I am learning about how God gives powerful vision to people…and then asks them to surrender it….how life is a continual surrendering process. And the depth of how much He desires us to lay our lives down. This word surrender is meaning more to me each day.
I am learning how scary and ugly my sin really is…(and the picture of how ugly so much of me–inside and out–would be without God’s intervention) and how beautiful His body and His righteousness is…I have been truly scared of those moments when my terrible sin pops unexpectedly out…loathing those moments…and longing to do anything to avoid them…but the truth is that I live by grace and NOT perfection…and to presume to achieve perfection actually violates the 1st commandment…to be completely perfect is to be God…and by presuming or even longing for perfection we proclaim ourselves as God. God wants us to be Holy as He is Holy. He wants us to be perfect as He is perfect…in SERVING and LOVING others…He wants us to RUN HARD for the prize He has waiting for us (for His glory)…and He wants us to be obedient….BUT when we fail Him, we are to look to His throne of grace…
HE GIVES ME GRACE to do things right…HE GIVES ME THAT MUCH MORE GRACE when I do things wrong…either way I FIND HIS GRACE.
I think this lesson will help me embrace being a helpless sheep and learn to LIVE BY GRACE.
I am learning that He alone is enough and my husband is a blessing on top of that. I am so thankful for my wonderful blessing!
I have learned a deep lesson in parenting. I am learning that the Lord DELIGHTS in shepherding His sheep…and I am talking about High Maintenance Sheep!!! I have not delighted lately in all the WORK my kids seem to be some days…the constant shepherding wears me out and I begin to think that my kids really are so much more high maintenance than others…but I was reminded by my mentor that the Lord DELIGHTS in shepherding us. And I am high maintenance too and that is ok! The point is not to be low maintenance but to turn to our most wonderful Shepherd…He is able to perfectly shepherd His sheep.
I have closure on the twin subject!!! Yeah!!!!! I wish I could type this in huge letters because I am SO thankful for this!!!! Alas, this probably seems ridiculous to most of you, but I really have felt God talk to me about TWINS constantly for about 2 years now. I have been so confused. I have had numerous interactions with people who have twins…when the subject first came up a lady put her hand on me and told me I was to have twins (and my husband separately too)…and then one of my dear friends adopted twins right around that time…and then really the subject has been constant since then..I am always running into it and more people who have twins….. Really, I feel quite silly because I have MISSED entirely what God was telling me. Do you know that feeling, you know God is trying to tell you something important, but because of your own blinders you draw all the wrong conclusions? Now that the blinders are off, I am able to see clearly…and I feel quite silly!!! Now I see it plain and clear. But, someone had to plainly tell me last night….can I tell you a bit of this silly story as I see it right now?
When Lewis was a toddler, we were in Korea, and we sensed he really, REALLY needed a playmate! We had Hannah shortly thereafter and when she was born, she had the same birthmark as her brother and was so similar to him in so many ways…they do everything together and go through everything together…even though they are 21 months apart. Hannah is quite advanced and Lewis is a little behind, so they are really on the same playing field oftentimes. They experience the same emotions…often have to be separated to not spend too much time together, Lewis thinks of Hannah and wants to wake her up the first thing every morning…they really can’t get enough of each other. The other night, a lady turned to me and said: Are they twins??? Then it hit me. Honestly, I have been a little SICK of the subject. I just am so tired of thinking about it. I can’t picture us having twins after the 3 we already have. And I am tired of running into twins or twin advice…not knowing how it is applicable to me. NOW, I get it. When she said it so plainly, Brian and I looked at each other and smiled. Brian answered, “no, but they might as well be!” Now we get it. Yes, we have “twins” and now that I see them in this light, the information that I have been given on twins is so very helpful!!! 🙂 Quite silly huh? But, it has driven me crazy! And now I have closure 🙂 My little puppy trouble is actually TWIN trouble!!!
Very silly story, but I am so thankful to have this new revelation and to hopefully, learn more in parenting through it.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I pray we all can sense His LOVE over us each morning and remember His FAITHFULNESS to us each night.