Our First Few weeks of School & Interveiws

My intention was to do a first week post, but like most things in life that had to wait and so it has now become a first few weeks post! Things have gone really well, and everyone is excited each day for school time.  It has been A LOT more work than ever, but with adding a 5 day pre-k program and co-op classes to the mix that is expected.  Praying that my energy will kick in here in the next couple weeks as we level out (I think I have been praying for that for the last 6 years, so maybe I should not hold my breath!)  I have been battling fluid in my inner ear which has made me dizzy and not feel very good.  Still waiting for my appointment with the ENT, so hopefully he can help me get it cleared up and feeling better.  EVERYTHING is harder in life when mama is sick, so I am praying for healing so we can forge ahead.

I did something new this year and interviewed the kids with questions and wrote down their answers.  LIke a first week of school interview.  I LOVE THIS IDEA.  And hope to continue it for years to come.  I know they will love looking back on their answers in years to come, and so will I!  I got the idea and questions from Carisa over at 1 plus 1.  So without further ado here are some of the highlights of our last few weeks…

First Day “school supply present”. This is my solution to the shopping madness in the store. I like to buy things on clearance or big sale at different times of the year, many times in advance. So the idea of taking my kids school supply shopping just makes me see dollar signs.

To make it fun without that, I fill a huge box with all the new things each year including some of the cooler school books that came with curriculum. And then let them open it and rummage through on their first day.  Making it like a present is more fun than the shopping and they get a bunch of new stuff, but I didn’t have to pay top dollar and didn’t have to deal with them all wanting their own things and fighting crowds for school supplies!   And that’s Grams in the background she came for a visit on our first day!

Nothing like the first day of school feeling a bit like Christmas!

The little boys got in on the cookie making

Whole wheat coconut sugar cookies in the number or letter for our school year. Yum! 

I let the boys make the letter of their name since they don’t have a year yet. I was going to make them each decorate a letter “T” for trouble since that what they add to each school day! Well that and Terrific, Total Love, and Too much cuteness! ;o) (let’s look at the positive shall we????)

See what I mean about trouble!  That’s my chair that he lies on the floor and kicks with those sweet little piggy’s

Caleb made a scroll of the story of Noah. We studied the dead sea scrolls during our history time, fascinating…

We Bobbed for apples for the letter A. And then made a yummy apple crisp for dessert out of all the half bitten apples!

Showing off their apples

MG’s B is for Butterfly sensory bin art

Pattern review with animals

Ready for their first Day at Co-op.  God has blessed us with a sweet group to school and share life with on Fridays, we are very thankful!

Showing off his new microscope he got for science class, he LOVES it, and a number one for the big first grader!

Well that is a peak into our days.  Hope the beginning of your school year is off to a blessed start.  Love to all…

You may also like:

What to do when you are Fainthearted

She said it like it was a hello or goodbye, matter of fact like… “for such a fainthearted woman, you sure are walking through some hard places.”  Just like that – my life summed up- faint. hearted.

It’s true.  She birthed me and knows me well and she was right, I am faint of heart.

Broken, empty, unable to make it through a day of housework or homeschool without battling discouragement and overwhelm. Maybe it is the season of young children – of weary battles, or maybe not?  Maybe He purposed me in the womb this way- with a bent towards needing Him. And He has used this season to bring me there again-to bring me back home- to REALLY needing Him, needing Him just to do the next thing. The dishes- a diaper- the next meal… Maybe this was HIS IDEA all along

The baptism of the broken- to submerge me in it head long.  For Him to bring me face to face with the end of me so that I might, just for a moment, behold the true beginning of Him.

So the question becomes what to do with a faint heart?  I can be depressed about it, complain about it,  tell God “no”, that I can’t endure another task or trial, please just not today.  I can let it define me, limit me, and hold me back…

Or

I can let it lay me down.

Flat down on my face, wrecked, weak, and needy…

I can let it lay me down because from the down I can finally look up and see Him in ALL HIS GLORY.

Being down is what keeps me yoked, desperate, and unable to find my way apart from Him.

When I surrender to that position, rather than fight it,  I can let it develop in me the deep understanding of my lack, because only in that empty place do I find Him- My overflowing grace.

I can surrender to the baptismal waters that rise even though they feel like drowning, because really, they are birthing instead.

Being fainthearted is not a diagnosis or a predicament, but rather a posture.  It’s a posture of need, of simplicity, of being fully, presently aware of our smallness and inability to do anything apart from The Lord.

A faint heart is the uncomfortable weakness that opens up like a vessel to be filled- cracked painfully at the seam – at what feels to be the breaking point of sure failure.  When in truth, it is the empty that begs for the fullness of God.  It is the opening up to ALL OF HIM in which His grace and mercy can finally run free in a life.

Being faint hearted is to live fully aware of my inability to fully live.  But it is in that very place of utter dependance and painful surrender where I am free. Because He is fully alive in Me and I in turn with Him, intertwined and woven together.  His heart with mine, my step in His…unbroken.

You may also like:

A Long Overdue Picture Update: Summer 2013

Summer has been an overwhelming time for me for many reasons, but blogging has had to go into the “when I have time category” and there has not been any of that!  So here is my summer update, which is technically already over, although it sure doesn’t feel like it outside…

So first the BIG news, we gave up TV.  We have been praying about it for months, but I was patiently fearfully waiting until the right time, and finally decided that there wasn’t one.  So one day, to the shock of my husband, after the kids were fighting once again over what show to watch, I unplugged the 48 inch beast, hoisted it down and into the closet.  And that was it.  We turned off cable and rearranged our room.  It has been the best decision ever.  And a total miracle because not one of my children have complained or whined about it, not once,  CRAZY!!!!  I mean we are talking about some TV loving kids, but not a peep.  We did keep a TV plugged in upstairs for Friday night movie nights, so that is a nice treat for them and at least they won’t grow up totally weird.  :o)  I am truly so thankful that we did it.  There are times it gets loud and hectic and TV would be an easy go to, but overall it has just meant a lot more of this…

and this

In other news there have been plenty of things growing here besides my four kiddos

Some not quite ripe tomatoes

We got just a few blackberries this year, next year should be lots more

Our basket of herbs that have made every dinner yummier

and plenty of water play of course.  Which means loads of wet towel laundry-is it fall time yet?  I’m ready for cool breezes and pumpkins ;o)

His best Jeff Corwin impersonation

I have picture of me doing this same thing at this age, it’s like a trip back in time

Despite the ever increasing noise levels there have been sweet moments of love

Just what double sinks are made for

snacks are better sitting in laps

sweet kisses

And beautiful smiles

There have been days like this

and this

Caleb has been hard at work on more of his famous inventions

high tech Mickey Mouse ears

Homemade crutches- thank the Lord for loads of bright blue duck tape on the clearance rack!

His water bottle boat, he had a little help from mom on this one.

And we have learned that being confident in our masculinity is a wonderful freedom

They are so cute playing with the doll house, one of their favorite things latley

Of course dress up is always a fun go to

He is going to LOVE his sister for this picture at about age 12!

There has been time with family

And a few days at the beach

She was in her element in a full on dress, bow and all!

A blissfull 2 hour date for our anniversary while Mae Mae and Papa held down the fort

And a precious reminder why we have given up artificial food dyes- we don’t miss you red #40 – But just look at those juicy red lips! ;o)

And a very fun visitor to our backyard.  Caleb was in full animal discovery heaven!

SO that was our summer!  Blessings to all and thank you for reading here and being a part of our life. I am always humbled, encouraged, and blessed by your comments and your care.  Thank you!

You may also like:

And We’re Off: School 2013/14!

I have filed, laminated, cut, velcroed, planned, unplanned, and planned again until my brain is mush and my hands are callused, but we are READY to start school tomorrow!  Somehow last night at about 12:00 am I decided to scrap most of the boxed curriculum for Caleb, I know-great idea scrapping the $200 curriculum a day before school is to begin, but I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it.  The progression of the phonics is too slow and was not making sense to me (how can I teach him when I don’t even get it??), so I scrapped it and pulled form a bunch of other resources until about 1:30am and finally I am happy with our phonics.  I think simple is better, and my K just needs to get reading, so that will be my focus this first part of the year.  This year Caleb will be in 1st, MG PreK, and my littles will be majoring in CHAOS, didn’t you know that is a real grade, well, at least over here it is!?

My goal is to get Caleb fluent in reading and to teach both K and MG to become independent learners.  With four kids so close I need them to be able to learn and practice on there own while I am working with another, so we are using work boxes this year to aid in that.  The 2 older ones have a “me” box and then a “mom and me” box.  I have them staggered so each has independent work to work on like: listening center, typing, word puzzles, journaling, etc. while I “teach” the other.  The littles have tot activities that I will pull out each day for them to “work on” during school.

We will see!  All I know is this: the phonics, the bible time, the moments of encouragement and correction is my mission field – my discipleship program.  And so I am expecting God to show up.  Somewhere in the midst of my shortcomings and their many needs, my prayer is that God will be glorified and will instruct our hearts in Him.  If we just get Him this year, we have gotten more than enough.  I have planned it all out, tried to visualize how it will all go, but if I have learned anything in the past 6 years of parenting it is to expect that my plans will most likely be shattered to smithereens.

And what He comes in with will be so much better.

SO REMIND me of this will you!!??  When things fall apart and I am tired and weary and feel like a failure, remind me that He is in this, that this IS HIS IDEA.  Loving His lambs is close to His heart and so then, am I.  

Praying for a blessed year for all my fellow home disciplers out there.

I love looking at how others do school, so I thought it would be fun to show you our set up.  Our room is a play/school room.  I bought the bookshelves and little brown desk from target and the other furniture was given to us.  The rug and valence were cousin hand me downs and my chalk board and white desk were dumpster dive and craigslist projects.  I still need to finish my alphabet and add some labels, but I figured this was about as done as it ever is, not to mention tidy!  SO here ya go- I have never shown any one mission control before, YIKES!  I know it’s a bit much, and that I have a little storage box addiction/problem, but I am working on it! ;o)

Our morning cirlce time board

Mission Control. Now, to be fair, this is my school, gift, craft, sewing, and toy closet. ;o)

Our workboxes and manipulative storage inside mission control. I had to put workboxes in the closet this year as to avoid little hands dumping all of the boxes out. It is perfect because I can CLOSE THE DOOR! YEA!

MG’s work boxes. Gotta love the curly headed labels- couldn’t resist!

Thanks for reading friends, my love and blessings to each of you!

You may also like:

When Wait Gives Way to Weight

The past 2 years and 4 months of waiting fell heavy today as I sat in the drive-through window at our local pharmacy.  The lady behind the window intending to fill some amoxicillin and send me on my way ushered in a load of hurt instead when she asked the simple question, “his name please?”

These. are. the. words. I. dread.  I have for the past 2 years and 4 months.  Every time I sit anxiously in the waiting room of a Dr. office, or have to call to make an appointment, or talk to anyone official; I have to say it out loud.   It feels like a declaration, out of my own mouth, that he is not my son.  His name is a constant reminder that the wait it not over.

I remember another window.  The window at which I was standing when I got the call.  She quietly asked “is your husband home with you?” Knowing that the news to come might knock me too far down to get back up on my own.  But it was too late, I knew something was not right and pressed anyway.

“They have a lawyer”  she said.  Those are the only words I remember.  The thing that is still clear as day was my inclination to run.  To literally bolt clear through that pane of glass at which I stood and run with him in my arms.  To keep running until it all fell away.  I was sure I couldn’t do this, this was my worst case scenario.  After that came pacing and shaking and worry and just trying to breath until he did get home to pick me up off my shaking knees.

The next days were a blur.  Filled with phone calls and confusion and questions uttered to God in the dark of night as I wept over this precious son of mine.  I could feel the ripping away inside.  How did we get here?  I don’t want to be this mom, this is not what adoption is about.  What do we do?

There were so many questions that God slowly and quietly answered.  I had to fight in those early months just to love him.  Choosing love while staring at potential visible loss was one of the hardest choices I have had to make.  Every snuggle, every rock, became a choice to look the pain in the face and love anyway.

It has gotten easier as time has gone by, mainly because he is a part of me.  I could not not love him if I tried.  But while the choice to love it easier, the waiting is not.  With each passing day the wait has given way to weight and I can feel the pressing, the bending, the breaking.

Some days it feels like anger, deep and burning on the inside.  ”What is He doing?  Why hasn’t He stepped in yet?”  Other days tears flow and the waiting turns to grief over the brokeness of it all.  And still others leave me looking on at all the “normal” families just doing life.  The ones who have prayed for us and moved on to live life leaving me feeling stuck, so painfully stuck in the waiting.  Each day I feel it.  Some days, in grace, I stand up in the waiting, under the weight.  And other days I am crushed by it.  Dinners are left un-made, and joy seems like a distant memory.  ”Will there ever be relief?”  Even if it ends happy for us there is a birth mom who is broken and a system who is faulty and just so much pain.

I wish I had tidy answers that could be folded up nice and clean with the laundry, but I don’t.  I am still right in the middle of the waiting – feeling the weight.  Like David, I cry out to God that he would hear me and come to our aid.  I pray that this waiting would produce something beautiful in its wake, that could be offered up to the glory of the Lord.

Most days waiting simply becomes a choice to stay here, in this day, and give thanks.  Do the next thing: give the hug, bring the correction, teach the lesson, fall into my bed with the pit in my stomach and give it all, once again, to HIM- the one that holds it all in the palm of His hand anyway.

But the temptation to run is still there.  To busy myself to numb the pain.  To stuff it down and pretend like all is well.  To move on to the next project- anything that will dull the ever increasing ache of waiting.

To me it has been 28 months, but to my God, who is not bound by time, it is merely just a breath, a flicker, a fleeting feather blown by the wind.  So I close my eyes and ask that He renew my perspective with His.  Give me YOUR eyes that I may see truth.  That I may be willing to endure both the wait and the weight of today.  Through His grace and under His mercy we will wait.

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!  Romans 5:3-5 The Message

You may also like:

Sometimes you need more than love…

God knows.  He knows that sometimes you need more than just love, because love doesn’t walk halls at night with crying babies or fly over oceans to rescue children that were pushed from another’s womb, SERVANTS DO THAT.

He knew that 4 kids in 4 years would wear this once vibrant woman down to a pulp of survival and that hairs would not be plucked diligently and legs would miss shavings for days and He would still love me the same.  BECAUSE A FRIEND LOVES AT ALL TIMES.

He knew that there would be days that sleep deprivation would claim the best inside this weary heart and that building a family would become more than just the dream of a picket fence and a nice house, it would become a mission and a ministry.  A mission that at times would feel more than a body can take, the weary-ness of battles that rage on and on without end.  Love isn’t enough to hold it up and hold it together when tears fall and there are thoughts of losing the ones you love.  ONLY A TEAM-MATE CAN HOLD YOU UP WHILE FIGHTING WITH YOU AND FOR YOU.

He knew that no ordinary love story would survive the crazy life He had for us and so He knitted our hearts across a phone line of seven days and we knew forever was HIS PLAN.  We had no idea what we were getting into, really we didn’t even know each other.  He drove a truck and had nothing in his bank account.  I had always had a bank account but needed more healing than money could buy.  God knew and answered hopeless prayers utter in the dark when I felt really alone.  He knew that I would need a SERVANT, a FRIEND, and a TEAM-MATE for this journey – and He chose so well.

Sometimes grace is just huddling up together when it gets really rough and praying for God’s Mercy together.

Sometimes His provision is that rock under you that holds you up because life is bending you sideways and upside down and God made him to be the steady under your shaky self.

Sometimes Worship is just you giving thanks to Him, because He gave you someone to be there with you.  Because unlike all the others in life, he gets it.  It may not be fun and you may feel backed into a corner, but there is no corner that the 2 of you can’t withstand together.

The last eight years of marriage have been a blessing and I consider it the highest honor that God gifted me with this man.  He is a treasure and a beautiful picture of the love of God to me as a wife, a mother, and a co-heir and laborer of Christ.  Love isn’t enough, but God is.

We knew the day we promised forever that HE WAS THERE.  But when we looked back we SAW HIM, not just in our hearts but there in the chapel, in the middle of us, blessing with His benediction: an angel right there in the center of the aisle holding up her hand of blessing.

Still gives me chills to look at it.  It hangs on our wall as a reminder that marriage is a gift, but more, it’s a platform from which to serve.  It is a blessing where much is given – and so much is required.  It is His design for the weak to be made strong in unity so that the gospel can go forth in power. Praising the Lord for the privilege of loving and being loved, may He take our little ordinary love and make it much for Him and to His glory.

You may also like:

Real Food Crash Course Session 2- My Favorite Resources

OK, so as I said in my last real food post I AM NOT AN EXPERT in any of this.  At best I am fumbling my way through it!  We figure our goal is a 90/10 lifestyle meaning 90% whole real food and 10% not.  But since we live in a real world with parties and weddings and utter exhaustion I figure we average more of 80/20 most of the time.  When we eat home it is pretty close to 100% real food, but there are times that eating out is not avoidable and sometimes it is a treat!  So anyway, here are all the places I have found helpful in our journey. I have no relationship with any of these folks, and don’t do affiliate links, so I am just recommending these because they have been helpful to me!

Must see Documentaries: (some of these are available on Netflix)

Fresh

Food Inc.

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead – I know weird name, but good info

Books:

In Defense of Food: A great book on the history of food.  How it has changed and why.  Really informative but an in-depth read.

The Healthiest Kid on the Block: Really good info on whole foods and kids from a Dr.’s perspective also includes some good recipes

Great Blogs for Whole Food Info and Wonderful Recipes:

100 Days of Real Food

An Oregon Cottage

Food Renegade

Chocolate Covered Katie Dessert Blog

Detoxinista

Eating Bird Food

Hopefully this list is helpful to you in your journey towards whole foods and becoming a good steward of your nutrition!

You may also like:

Weaving a Family of Compassion

You all who read here regularly know me.  You know that my heart is for the rescuing of orphans – for the loving and the caring for them, but not everyone is going to adopt.  And sometimes adoption is not the best answer because there are families and children who want to be together and need help to do that.  They just don’t have the means for the basic of human rights, to live with one another in love.

I began years ago sponsoring through Compassion.  In fact I was in college when I found James laying on a table in the Northpoint hallway after 7:22 in Atlanta.  His face- across miles and borders and languages and poverty – drew me in.  The things that separated us could span for miles, but the love of Christ built a bridge that night and we began a relationship, he was only 6.  He was my first real connection to the land of Africa, to the red soil and smiling faces that would change my life the day I arrived in Ethiopia to adopt our first daughter.  The Lord used James to till up the soil of my heart to prepare the way for both my future daughter and son.  His dark skin and longing eyes exposed my heart towards loving the lost like nothing else ever could.  It made it personal.  It held me accountable, making my world broader and my heart more open to the call of God.

James is now 18 and since then we have added 3 more children to our family via sponsorship.  As we add another child under our roof we add one outside our roof as well.  It is how we build our family, one here, one there- building bridges, loving across miles.  This weaving of children and of love is powerful.  It is our prayer that it changes the lives of the children under our roof more than anything.  That it tills the soil of their hearts making fertile ground for the Lord to work.  That it makes them responsible for more than their own happiness and well-being, that it opens their eyes to the real need and love of Christ in a tangible way.

The power of an orphan from Ethiopia, found, rescued, and brought home enfolded into a family- reaching back and loving another little Ethiopian girl still with feet in the soil walking out life there is miraculous.  ONLY GOD CAN DO THAT!

And then there’s Joshua conceived in the dark of night through brute force and hate in a refugee camp in Tanzania.  Flown across miles hidden in the womb and literally delivered into our family without our even seeking him out.  And in his little 2-year-old scribble he encourages Richard with feet deep in the soil of Tanzania with constant medical needs and a family that is barely able to keep him alive.  These boys are loving each other across miles.  One rescued from, and the other rescued within, it doesn’t get better than that.

Then our newest little guy is in Asia with those almond eyes- He is our almond joy.  Jeremiah colors for him and looks at him on the computer screen and says “baby”.  God preparing the way, bringing Asia into the fold of our family.  I think there will be more almond eyes for us in the future and sponsorship is preparing the way of the Lord.

There is such beauty in weaving a family of Compassion: it opens our eyes to the height and breadth and depth of God’s love for His children.  It allows us the privilege of not only loving the least of these, but of enfolding them into our own family.  IT REALLY IS A PRIVILEGE – NOT A BURDEN.  To be co-laborers with Christ in loving His kids will change your life.  There is SUCH JOY HERE, in the giving, the connecting, the loving, and the weaving of a family without borders.  A family not contained under a roof in America but rather held together by the grace of God weaving a tapestry of love.

Will you join us?  Will you consider expanding your family in a different way?  Giving up the American norm for a family that is without borders and cannot be contained on one continent?  Could you give the gift of an eternal perspective to each of your children instead of a new video game or toy?

I know you are thinking about the money, but here is where we are.  We give HERE FIRST.  We aren’t tithers, we are givers.  It goes beyond 10% in a bucket every week.  It is about partnering with the Lord and allowing Him access to ALL of your resources to be used for His glory how He sees fit.  Personally I would rather feed a hungry child in the name of Jesus then supply air-condition for a room of comfortable christians on a sunday morning.  I know that may strike a chord and really for most people it isn’t a question of doing one or the other, but if it were, I know where my money goes.  I just believe that God will make a way in this no matter what your financials look like.  Choosing to love the least of these IS THE CHRISTIAN LIFE LIVED OUT, IT IS WHAT HE HAS ASKED US TO DO, WILL HE NOT SUPPLY THE FUNDS AND MAKE THE WAY?

Oh that one family would read this and begin to weave with us.  What a privilege…

You may also like:

The Wrecking Ball

I know I said next week, but this first because I am reeling over here, and really THIS is where we begin…

Sometimes truth can be just that: a wrecking ball.  Smashing to bits all the falsehood that surrounds.  It can come with such weight – such force that it literally demolishes everything that can’t stand up eternally…

First there is this, if you haven’t read it, you need to.  And then this.  Sweet girl struggling after her miracle heart just to survive.  And then this weekend this, a shocking tragedy I can’t even begin to fathom.  SUCH PAIN ALL AROUND.

And yet here I sit.  This is me, and my guess is you too.  In my nice little American dream of a life, broken yet comfortable.  Until the wrecking ball hits and just shatters all of it to pieces.  When you see through all the comfort and padding that keeps real need far enough away to really hurt.  It leaves your heart wanting, hungry, knowing it was made for more.

And for a moment you see as HE DOES.  The realness of it all, the hopelessness of the world, the eternal-ness of people, and the deep need of a Savior.

And like me you might be wrecked, you might be tear-stained and unable to think of any one thing because it IS ALL TOO BIG to really process.  The need too great to hold- like buckets of sand falling through cracked fingers, HOW CAN YOU REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THIS DEPRAVED WORLD?

The problem may be BIG, but the answer is small.  He shames the wise with the simple and the gospel is always turning everything on its head and so why do we think BIG problem, BIG answer?  Because BIG isn’t working.

Big church buildings with even bigger parking lots sit empty most of the week taking up money and space and air while mothers sex traffic down the street and babies have no roof over their head.  We make pastors into celebrities and church into concerts that make us feel good, while most people walk out those doors still dead in their transgressions mistaking how they feel for TRUE SALVATION.  We have looked at the world and the BIG problems and we have become BIG in an effort to solve them.  Thinking that we could compete – win them all over – be like them-but not?

But the truth is that the BIG isn’t changed with BIG, it’s transformed in the small.

The answer to the pain can’t be found until you cozy up quiet to another soul and pour out love.  It’s in the investment of a life, in the laying down of your own everything for the sake of another’s soul where the miraculous is unleashed.  This is where answers are found.  Where water is given and wounds are healed and souls are exposed in their wanting and needs are met- one eternal soul to another.

This is where I sit.

I am overwhelmed in the BIG; with my responsibility to it.

But, He quiets me.

Says, “listen to My voice, live My Words, be like ME- be willing to make the difference in the small”.  In the one life I put in your path, in the way ward child, in the neighbor, the friend, the compassion child in Africa that needs a meal and a letter of love.  The answer for everyone is found in THE ONE and in the one- on-one.  

But are we willing to forsake the idols of BIG? Big money, big success, big fame, big cars, big houses, big ministry, big churches, big retirements, big names for ourselves- ANY name for ourselves?

Will we lay down the big to pursue the small?  The one He asks us to love?

This was His life – His legacy, loving the small.  Day after day, night after night discipling those whom His Father had chosen, loving them, pouring himself out for them.  And in living the small He accomplished the BIG- The BIG for me, and for you, and for the broken.

The answers to the BIG are found in the small.

It’s in the aftermath of all the wreckage.  When truth has leveled all that it isn’t and only what is eternal remains that real transformation takes place.  When we see clear as day the needs and offer up our small life to make the difference.  It may look small, seem small, even feel small.  But that is where the BIG answers are found, right there in the small life surrendered to Him.

Looking forward to the next post, weaving a family of compassion, will you weave with us?

You may also like:

Stuck

There may be some 3000 odd square feet between these walls, but right now it may as well be 12 because they feel small, squeezed, limiting.  Even wide open spaces can feel like a trap when you are STUCK.  When 8 little eyes stare you down each minute needing just one more thing- a drink of water, food, entertainment, help, intervention, discipline – the stuck can feel forever.  The requests, the clinging, the fighting, the complaining, it goes on and on.

You know you are thankful, but it can feel like your burial some days.

Like you can’t move, like it is pressing down on you-the weight of it: the responsibility and the logistics.  The laundry and the dishes and the training of kids can be the glue that makes you STUCK.  Today I want to run- just being honest here - to be free, to cut loose and feel the wind at my back.  To feel adventure and fun and like I don’t have to give another thing to another person…

AND THEN I HEAR HIM.  In my tiny tabernacle with glass walls where the water washes more than the dirt from my skin- He whispers with a shout.  You ARE stuck.  It is MY DOING.  Because you have to get STUCK before you can be STRUCK and I am waiting…

STUCK: a verb: To push a sharp or pointed object into or through something; to fix something on a point.

He was first STUCK.  Stuck to the cross with nails-it wasn’t his doing but His Father’s.  Him STUCK with nails should be my STUCK to Him.  To fix myself on Him, He should be my point, the place I live, stay, breathe the place I surrender myself to.

But too often I am fighting the stuck, just wanting to escape to something that FEELS better.  Am I alone here, or are you hearing me???  Because He is waiting on me on us…

He wants to turn our STUCK into STRUCK.  But first we have to be willing to be slow, uncomfortable, looking for Him.  When we quit squirming and settle into the unsettled He can come in and add His “R” to the stuck places.

His “R”: rest, reassurance, resolve, rescue, righteousness…

He can show Himself to me, REVEAL himself in the moments when life feels the caving and pressing.  When the kids are screaming and fighting, and lunch needs to be fixed and I don’t want to fold another shirt or clean up another mess or talk to another soul…

When we have no where else to go.  When we are desperate for what He has to give – He breaks through and moves us

from stuck to struck.

STRUCK with His glory and grace and beauty and awe.  Being STRUCK always leads to something more – it begs a response.  TO real living, not the kind for here and now but the other kind, the eternal kind.  It leads to action, to the laying down of oneself  and to doing something more.  To seeing the STUCK of others and how really, if we are honest, though we may feel stuck WE ARE REALLY FREE.

FREE FROM SIN, SLAVES NO MORE.

SO, how can we see that truth and not act?

Our STUCK, can lead to our STRUCK, and then ultimately it should lead to OTHERS FREEDOM.

And so I want to do something about it - transform my little caving life, the one that feels STUCK within these walls to something other.  Something more…

Wanna join me?

We could turn STUCK into STRUCK and then into FREEDOM.  Isn’t that what it is all about?

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Galatians 5:1 RIGHT?

Come back next week to see where He is leading?  We can go somewhere, build something, weave life right here.  You and me in our own small evaporating lives right where we are – in our walls – we can love beyond them…

You may also like: