In AWE.

I am thrilled…no exhilarated…IN AWE of God’s grace and provision.  Oh, these moments are so great….they connect me to the most wonderful characteristics of God in such a deep way that wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t live the sort of crazy nomadic life we live 🙂

Brian came home two nights ago…he stared at me, in DISBELIEF….”Dawn,” he said, “not only do we JUST have to clean the fridge and microwave and bathrooms, but we will have a FULL move…a carpeted house (so nice for Emmy’s sweet first steps!!), a newly built home (hopefully, not too many maintenance issues and perhaps cleaner air), neighbors with EXACTLY the same aged kids!!, a 4 bedroom house (the housing gentleman originally prepared me for a 3 bedroom home from our current 4 bedroom home), a garage, and a backyard!!!”  I began to chuckle earlier that morning, as I prepared to move not knowing when we needed to move out, and was quite relieved in the evening, when Brian reassured me: WE HAVE 2 WEEKS.  Thankfully, I had only removed the pictures off the walls 🙂

2 weeks is plenty when you think you might be moving in a few days! 🙂

Oh Lord, you are my song, my rescue and most wonderful provider!  You never cease to amaze me.  You are so beautiful to me, in each situation we walk through in this life.  You are there.  You are always there.

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Hidden Treasures…

My kids LOVE to look for hidden treasures…I love to watch them.  The sweet treasures that light up their eyes the most right now are sea shells, rollie pollies, flowers, feathers…I love it and am holding on to these sweet memories right now.  After they find them…their little feet run to me….they can’t wait to come show me their wonderful treasure.

I am also walking through each day right now awakening to look for the hidden treasure that the Lord has sweetly awaiting for me and the kids.  It is a wonderful way He has shown me to go through my days.  I LOVE living my days like this.  The hidden treasures for me right now are the most beautiful memories from our vacation coming forth in my mind, a Mexican sunflower my husband planted for me opening up with two buds that have a radiant bright red color bursting forth with life, an unexpected playdate with a friend for Lewis and Hannah…Emma learning new skills…her penetrating beautiful blue-eyed gaze…her sweetest smile that melts my heart…Hannah learning new skills and being SO brave, Lewis helping me, loving me in his special, tender way, other sweet people in the community loving on my kids, a walk with a precious friend…

We are SO blessed to have had the past TWO weeks of vacation with Brian’s parents at Bethany Beach…we loved being with them…It was a place of REST for us…We LOVED making sweet memories with grandma and grandpa and uncles and aunts and great Mom Mom’s!  The kids had so much fun at the beach, decorating their uncle and daddy’s birthday cakes, playing with the fun toys from aunts and uncles, going on fun trips to different lakes and the Zoo, and having a sweet playdate and sleep over with auntie and her sidekick 🙂  …Lewis’ sleep over dream came true!!  It was SO sweet and SO precious to be with family.

As we headed back, we honestly felt a bit preoccupied and a bit overwhelmed…thinking about what was awaiting us upon our return…

Our trip to and from VA was the smoothest I’ve ever had…and with three children under 5!  We felt the Lord going before us and behind us…like never before….it was incredible.  I couldn’t believe we had just traveled “in a blink of an eye” to and from VA!!

It was wonderful to come back to a CLEAN home 🙂  And upon my return, the Lord reminded me, HE IS MY ROCK.

This week back has been FULL and as Brian is hunkering down to write his monograph, I’ve been troubleshooting my days—finding things around the house after traveling, discovering a lost wallet, and finding major repairs needed in our home.  We found leakage under our sink with mold that had covered the whole bottom…..our kitchen ceiling has water damage, which has spread terribly since it first started in April …and looks like it could quite possibly fall down on my head while I am cooking!…and quite a few other things in our home that have needed continual repair.  It is a beautiful old home…we have loved it here for so many reasons…but today we found out that we are going to MOVE into a newly built home.  The gentleman that came over from the housing office to look at the damage said he knew he was going to have us move even before he came over to look at it.

I SEE God’s provision in providing us a new home…cleaner air (we seem to get sick so often here, whether through pollen allergies or possibly mold), a fenced in yard…safe, less maintenance…and more He is showing me.

We have felt God powerfully SUSTAINING us this past week through the adjustment without Brian’s beloved parents, who were SO helpful, and through the adjustment in allergies….today, as I started to wonder HOW God is going to get us through another move…and so quickly…He provided a PWOC retreat for me to attend and rest a bit, two friends who offered to watch our kids when we move, and another friend who offered their trailer to help us move, as well as a helpful housing office.

These hidden treasures are beckoning me forth through uncertainty and surprises…I LOVE how God walks with me through each day.  His ways are truly so meaningful and beautiful.  I FEEL His Sustenance…I SEE His provision…I set my feet upon my ROCK.

Out of the Overflow…Jehovah Jireh

Jehovah Jireh–He Provides so Wonderfully!!!

Here are a few of the many ways God provided for our family!  I love to journal these so I can remember all the ways that God has loved and provided for us…to encourage me during the difficult times that may follow….

God provided 3 weeks of meals for our family!!!…with many unexpected meals and from many people who we’ve just come to know….truly from the hand of God to our family 🙂  We LOVE these sweet messengers and servants of God’s love and provision to us.  Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!!!

Brian’s parents came to visit!….I cannot express the impact of their love and support to us during this time.  They filled the kids up with love, went on many fun adventures with them, taught them lots of new things, and loved and helped us so much.  There was a huge void when they left and as we sat at the table that night, Hannah expressed our unspoken sentiment beautifully–“I miss…I miss…I…I…I miss…(we all look away as to not put pressure on her to finish her sentence)…grandma and grandpa!”  We shed a few tears and ate strawberry shortcake, with yummy squirts of whip cream from daddy directly in our mouths 🙂  …And then a celebration of switching rooms for the kids (now that we are staying another year, we need a room for Emma!) –Lewis was so excited to move into the room grandpa and grandma stayed in that very night 🙂  It helped distract us from our sadness…and was a fun way to end the night…bouncing on the bed and enjoying a new room 🙂

Brian had off for over two weeks from school, with Emma being born over the July 4th weekend, with paternity leave, and his furlough day off at work…an incredible provision…..

An incredible, beautiful, sweet, peaceful baby.  Emma Faith, “The Mind of Christ, (1 Corinthians 2)” is amazing to us.  We love our newborn cuddles and reveling in the amazing creative mind of God.  Her tiny everything will grow into a big person someday and we are amazed at all of this!  She was brought into a peaceful home, and brought much more peace into our hearts upon arrival.  She reminded me of God’s faithfulness in so many big and little ways.  They cannot be recounted….they are too many.  I am in awe of God and LONGING to trust Him more and more.  I long to have that strength of mind to love, trust and serve Him more…Emma shall aways be a reminder to me of God’s beckoning to me to have a strong mind for Him.

As people brought and sent sweet cards, gifts and meals to celebrate Emma’s birth with us, as our visitors came and celebrated with us, as I held this precious little baby girl in my arms, as our kids welcomed so sweetly and lovingly their newest sibling–I deeply treasured this sweet, sweet outpouring of love and gifts….God REMINDED ME, though, with a slight caution as I was wrapped in gifts He gave me—LOVE ME MORE…He said…LOVE ME MORE THAN THESE….THE GIVER OF THE GIFTS…YOUR FIRST TRUE LOVE.

As life gets back to normal now, and I have to make this transition to being a mommy of 3, I shall remember and love my first true love—Yahweh.

So much provision, so many blessings :-)

I haven’t written in some time!  The kids have been sick the past two weeks, and Lewis is going into his 3rd week of sickness now…all with different sicknesses.  My heart aches when my children are sick.  It really breaks.  After two weeks of pretty intense sicknesses, several trips to the doctor, and continued, new symptoms, tears flowed from my eyes.  I was so tired of them throwing up!  Each time they leaned over the toilet/bucket, tears flooded my eyes.  I really don’t like seeing my children in pain….

Through all of this, we’ve learned that Lewis has an allergy to penicillin.  There was a huge reaction, and the doctor and nurse were very surprised to see his huge splotches of rashes, some huge and some little…all over his body.  There literally wasn’t a spot not covered in a rash.  My little champ said he wondered if it would be the biggest, baddest rash they’d ever seen 🙂  God gave me a spirit of strength through it all, despite moments of sorrow for my littles…but we have mostly overcome our sicknesses now 🙂  We are praising God for His continual healing.  I reminded Lewis of what it would be like if our sicknesses or injuries never healed…Brian said, it would be sort of like leprosy.  Later that day, Lewis’ school work had stories of leprosy in them, bringing the picture to us in full circle, of what it would be like without Jehovah Raphne’s continual healing.  Our hearts were full of thanksgiving.

My morning sickness still lingers, knocking me out completely on some days…I am so thankful those days always seem to correspond with Brian having a bit of time here and there to take the kids out to play.  God truly provides in every way.  The Lord is giving me a strength of mind through being so frequently sick and tired and a contentment with whatever I am able to do that day.  I am headed into my 6th month of pregnancy now, so I am truly hoping this sickness will fade away soon  However, in the meantime, God is teaching me to fix my eyes on Him through my weakness and turning to Him in FAITH and Hope and as my ever-present help.  He gave me a beautiful devotion last night as I lie sick, to cling to His “golden strand of Hope,” as well as other devotions and experiences to teach me my value to Him even in unproductively, and encouraging me that my anguish shall soon be forgotten when this precious little gift is in our hands 🙂

He’s encouraged me also from the struggle that this move here was for me, that with much failure comes a huge growth spurt.  I have felt Him working deeply in my heart…and I can sense Him bringing about a more mature faith in me…this brings me much joy knowing this truth and trusting in it.  He has to bring the sin up to the surface for me to see it and give it to Him to work to remove it from my life.  My part is resisting and relying upon Him.  He does the impossible part 🙂

He is giving me little bits of ministry outside of the home…which have been most precious to me.  I am becoming content with however ‘much’ or ‘little’ He gives me for each season, knowing that there is no way to measure the eternal impact of each ministry He gives me…nothing is too little.  Relationships are being built, most carefully, most slowly, and this is also so precious to me.

In parenting, He has opened our eyes to something both in us and our littles that needs to be slowly refined and changed more to His character.  It was something that was beginning to bother me in the children, but that I didn’t quite see yet in us.  But, we talked and we both saw it and chuckled a bit….and set about earnestly to ask the Lord to change us in this way.  In short, we can be a bit needy at times 🙂  And the Lord is giving our family more peace and patience and self-control 🙂

The Lord has given us incredible blessings to rejoice over!!!

-We have an incredible babysitter here who also works in the childcare room during PWOC, who LOVES our children and whom they also love.  She is giving Brian and I precious time together, given all the nights and days he spends studying.  These date nights have been some of the best nights we’ve ever had together 🙂

-The Lord is giving Lewis a beautiful heart of prayer!  We usually pray before dinner together and in the morning and night when we can, and, most of the time, the kids enjoy singing their prayer, especially at dinner 🙂  But, lately, Lewis has been interested in praying silently to the Lord and why we do that.  I told him it was so that what we say can be heard and treasured by Him and Him alone.  It is just meant for Him.  Lewis really liked this idea and has been praying a lot on his own…some quietly and some aloud, but his prayers are SO earnest and heartfelt….so incredibly touching and beautiful to me.  Tears fill my eyes as he turns to me and says, “I said my prayers mommy, but only for God to hear…”  🙂  I tell him that I know that God loves hearing what he has to say just for Him.

-My sweet husband has a wonderful group of Christian men here (close by!) with which to have fellowship and accountability.  His heart for God’s Word is beautiful, his desire to lead our family, and his desire for Christian fellowship are filling my heart with joy.  I am so thankful for the community that the Lord has placed us in here, with similar minds and hearts for the Lord…and that Brian has much more time to spend in fellowship than he did at our last assignment being in the field, half the time and working so hard, and the time before that being in Command and far from our place of fellowship.  This is a precious jewel for me to see and rejoice in with my dear husband, a beautiful answer to much prayer beginning to powerfully unfold.

-Hannah and I have been having a week of beautiful mother-daughter bonding.  We’ve had a rough few weeks with her sick…and this past week she has been stuck to my side, with an obedient heart, desiring to please and love so sweetly.  Her voice is so soft and precious.  Her cuddles are a priceless gift.  Our commissary trips are so much fun now, as we sing from aisle to aisle and talk together about the things we want to purchase 🙂  It seems more than a toddler-mommy relationship…God is giving me a glimpse of a beautiful mother-daughter relationship blossoming and I am so encouraged and filled up with Hope and Delight!

God is so faithful!!! There are so many more blessings, as I counted them in my head today, I could’t even keep track of them…they are so continual and so wonderful…I am only able to remember the most precious ones to us of recent.  We are so thankful!!!

 

Standing Firm…Our strong deliverer is IN ACTION!

This morning, as I listened at PWOC and prayed with other sweet ladies, I sensed God wanting me to stand firm.  There has been a lot of spiritual warfare going on lately in my heart and home and as I cried out for His help, Christ asked me to stand firm.  I pondered what “standing firm” meant, and taking each thought captive to Christ and standing firm in His Word came to mind.  He wanted me to guard my heart and mind from the enemy and refuse any ground to Him!  My identity in Christ flooded my mind and I rebuked much of the thoughts that have been coming into my head.  I can be depressed at the thoughts or simply rebuke them, saying, these are not my thoughts, these are the Enemy’s!  I learned once again, the importance of being a Warrior Princess for Christ—learning how to fight in a battle that seems and is too big for me, but not for my Savior.  It is wonderful for Christ to achieve victory for me when I am in those times of intense spiritual warfare.  I am asked to resist and stand firm. He literally does battle for me!  I am weak and He is strong, and I am called to RESIST!  And that takes a lot of strength in the midst of battle.  His strength is un-ending.

His blessings are being poured out–

I am delighted to see a PWOC study for this Spring that is exactly where I am headed spiritually: “To Live is Christ, to die gain.”  It is wonderful to have confirmation that I am headed the direction that God wants me to go spiritually.  There are so many verses, so many directions, many of them so wonderful, I am thankful for His direction and guidance and to hear His voice clearly, so I can pursue the path on which He wants me to be.

I am so thankful for this amazing time with my husband and family to adjust and settle in before his course begins.  It has been an incredible blessing for us.  He has been home often the past few months with an easy work schedule before we left and in-processing the past few weeks upon arrival….I cannot fathom what I would have done without him…God has poured out his blessing and grace to us and we are so thankful.  Brian starts his first graduate class tomorrow.  He is excited to begin “work” again.  Although, this job is going to be very different—he will have to read a lot of books!  Then he starts his ILE (intermediate level education) course the week after.  My heart feels settled and secure now.

I am thankful for so much.  I even had a chance to clean this beautiful home for the first time tonight!  I love the look and feel of a clean home 🙂  And I loved making smoothies with Brian and the kids afterwards!

I loved eating at a wonderful Korean restaurant here with Brian on our date night the other night.  We are trying to get as much time together as possible before this baby arrives 🙂  6 more months or so until he or she arrives!  We love our time together, but can’t wait to meet this little angel 🙂

I love seeing little Hannah blossom into a ‘little mommy.’  It has been my greatest delight.  She loves taking care of her babies, giving them baths, brushing their teeth, singing to them, reading them books, and rocking them to sleep.  Hannah is longing for a sister.  And buddy is longing for a brother…but would be happy with another sister too!

I love seeing Lewis’ heart get settled now.  He asks about his friends in Sandy Basin a lot..and wishes they could come visit, but he is making new friends and loves his new room, and new home.  I love seeing him grow in obedience and really take ownership and be so proud of himself when he listens and makes right choices.  He loves building others up right now and it is so precious to see.  We see strongholds that have been a battle for him for quite a while being demolished.  Prayer is so powerful–his prayers (he prayed on his own at the dinner table tonight to have a heart like Mary’s…so humble and obedient…) and our prayers for him…and THIS is Brian and my delight right now—to pray for strongholds in our children and our lives to be demolished.  God is so quick to answer such prayers!

WE ARE PRAISING GOD FOR HE IS OUR STRONG DELIVERER!!!!  WHILE WE STAND FIRM…HE IS IN ACTION, FIGHTING THAT BATTLE FOR US!!!

 

 

 

 

God’s incredible provision…

This new year is definitely starting with much joy and hope!!!  There really are so many different programs to enrich and build up your faith here!  This is EXACTLY the kind of place and time for which we have been looking.  There are discipleship programs, mentorship programs, marriage enrichment, sunday school, pwoc, precept training, awanas, neighborhood bible programs….classes for everything!  The mission of the chapel here is to build up and enrich Christians to leave here fully equipped to serve and pour out in their “mission fields” upon departure.  THIS is what I have been longing for!!!  Many of my prayers for this year, God is already answering.  I know we are all going to grow spiritually here.  This FILLS my heart  with JOY!!!!

In the meantime…God is equipping us in many other ways too.  We’ve had many unexpected and expected purchases lately…and more keep creeping in!  Travel expenses, new glasses, new phone (crashed), new computer (crashed), new car (on second thought, I don’t know if I am going to be able to load all 3 kids in the back of Brian’s truck after this traveling experience!), microwave (our home is a bit old-fashioned, but beautiful!), means of working out at home for me (something that has been much anticipated and waited for), and more in the near future for baby and the kids.  Lewis never stays in the same set of clothes for long!  It really has made me so thankful for God’s provision to us as a family.  I know many families wait years for these things, even when they break or are greatly needed….and so I am giving thanks to a God that provides SO much to our family.  I pray that we don’t take these things for granted, although I know this won’t be an easy task for us in this culture.

God is showing me that although the past month has been a great struggle for me…a FIGHT for joy and contentment….a fight to stay connected to HIM….that in a Christian’s walk, there is no growth without failure.  If I learn to turn to Him for help and nourishment, if I learn to SEE Him in everything, if I learn to BELIEVE in His power and glory and authority in and over everything (and not be brought down by problems or unresolved issues), then I can step into a major growth spurt in my walk.  I am ready for this.  I am ready for God to use my failure and sin…and turn it into beauty and righteousness for His glory.  I don’t altogether understand what this means…but I am ready to trade in the raw for the beauty.  And I am ready to learn to SEE Him and TURN to Him for help with everything.

My favorite holiday is coming up soon–Easter.  I am excited for the new life that comes with Christ’s resurrection.  I am excited to prepare mentally, physically, and spiritually for this greatly anticipated time….and for this Easter to be more real and meaningful to me and my family than ever before.  There is so much joy in new life!  New ways of thinking, new ways of relating, new ways of responding, new ways of understanding.  New habits.  New patterns.  New goals…all focused on the resurrected Christ.

It is still winter…but SPRING is coming!!!!!  🙂