Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A new year....

I have been wanting to do a New Year's post, and here it is the end of January! We are already a month in! Where does the time go? But it does feel as though I have been busy. I've never been big on New Year resolutions, because somewhere between January and March, all my motivation has disappeared, but I do have a few things I want to do differently this year....
1. My pastor's wife challenged our church to read the bible through in a year. I have never done this before, so this is something I am trying to do this year. I find doing this first thing in the morning is best. But I have had to read multiple days to catch up already!
2. I have always wanted to run 5 miles without stopping. With Alyssa here, there is no reason why I can't because I can go for a run in the afternoon when the kids are down. I have added the incentive of getting a dishwasher when I've completed my goal. My husband hasn't actually agreed with this incentive, but a girl can be hopeful, right?
3. I want to be more faithful in prayer. Especially praying for family and friends in my life, and for believers around the world. It's easy to become lost in your own bubble, and forget that there are a lot of suffering believers in all parts of the world. I know this is becoming more real to me because my youngest sister is now a part of YWAM and will be headed to Kosovo and Pakistan for April, May and part of June. You can check out her adventures here, http://ashleanoelle.tumblr.com/
4. Something else I have been doing the last few years is picking out a verse from the Bible to pray over my family. Two years ago the verse was, Psalm 65: 9-13, "You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. the streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing."  I was reading through Proverbs the other day when these verses jumped out at me, Proverbs 3:9,10: "Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine."
A challenging prayer, but I want to be up for the challenge.
5. I want to love my family better. Having children was a wake up call to how selfish I can be. When you suddenly have a crew of "littles" clamoring for your attention, needing a diaper to be changed, a drink, a snack, to play a game, to tattle on a sibling, you can see your sense of entitlement coming out. I know I have. And that is something I need to work on. And I also want to raise unselfish children. I have been noticing some behaviors that need to be addressed, and I am praying for the wisdom to know how to handle them!
And I also want to love my husband better. Once the kids are in bed it's so easy to turn on the TV and zone out, stay up way too late watching NOTHING and then go to bed. We could have talked about what's going on with the farm, how he's feeling about this year, about our children and character issues, about our dreams for the future. Communication is so important.
These are a few of the things I want to do better this year. Some of them the results might not be seen until years from now, but I want to start sowing the seed now and hopefully reap a harvest in the years to come!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Greatest of These....

"Three things will last forever--faith, hope and love--and the greatest of these is love." I Corinthians 13:13

I am doing a bible study with a group of ladies in the town where we live. Last Wednesday was our first day. We break up into small groups and go over the questions and our answers. Our small groups range in age, which I really enjoy, I like to listen to ones older then me, who have already waded through the younger married years, have raised their children, and gone through a lot of the things I am now experiencing. I like to try and glean as much wisdom as I can from these women.
We are doing the study, "Becoming a Woman Who Loves", by Cynthia Heald. I have never done a bible study by her before, so this new for me. We are doing one chapter a week, and the work is not overwhelming, but very manageable, especially with how busy I feel with four little ones underfoot right now, and homeschooling!
I wanted to share a little of what we talked about last week. One of my favorite things from the week, was the definition of agape love. In the Greek language agape love is defined as,
   "a love that is based on the deliberate choice of the one who loves rather than the worthiness of the one who is loved."
I just love that. I have known what agape love means, but for some reason, that definition jumped out at me. I don't know if it's because right now, at this stage of my life, I am being stretched and tried in this area more then ever. Being a parent, you are constantly being confronted with loving your children with an agape love. At least it feels like I am.  I am to be training my children to walk with God, to know God, to love God, and to love others. Teaching them to be unselfish in a selfish, absorbed world. That alone can feel pretty much impossible. I am constantly having to redirect, reteach, and discipline. And I must always show them love, not because they have earned it, have proven worthy of it, but because I have made a deliberate choice to love them regardless of their behavior. And when I think of all the times I have messed up, spoken in anger and frustration, withheld affection or love because I was still upset, how humbling and thankful I am that God does not do that to me. This is one area in which I need to work on.
The second quote she had in this first chapter is from C. S. Lewis, and I love it,
     "God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that He may love and perfect them....If I may dare the biological image, God is a "host" who deliberately creates His own parasites; causes us to be that we may exploit and "take advantage of" Him. Herein is love. This is the diagram of Love Himself, the inventor of all loves."
I am a parasite. You are a parasite. We all are parasites. Not a very attractive or appealing description, is it? But it's true. And God wants us to exploit Him. A term usually viewed in the negative. But how can you negatively exploit agape love? A perfect love? You can't.
And lastly, while completing my questions, I was using my sister's Living Bible. It's neat to read a different translation from time to time. It gives verses that may be very familiar to you, a different taste. I was reading Colossians 3:14, and to summarize it basically said that if you let love guide your life, the whole church will stay together in harmony.
Isn't that awesome? If we would let agape love, sacrificial love, guide our lives, our churches would be in harmony.  The whole church. Wouldn't that be nice? Wouldn't that be like a little slice of heaven on earth?
So that is my challenge right now, to make the deliberate choice to love regardless of the response, of those around me. Challenging thoughts for today, but think of all the lives that could be affected if we would each decide to love that radically in our small piece of earth......

Friday, January 14, 2011


 I would like to interrupt your day with some breaking news....I am in the throes of a full scale rebellion.

Who me? Yes, me. I know I look innocent, and I am cute, and I use that to my full advantage.

 You see, I am rebelling about my afternoon naps. As in, I am REFUSING to take them.
I need to go. I am planning my next stage of attack, in only I can stay awake long enough!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Five months old

My baby is five months old today! The time is just flying by. Landon tried some rice cereal with mixed fruit this week. As you can see, he wasn't too sure about it!
But we kept trying, and the faces got a little better.....

And he is becoming such a big boy, sitting up in his high chair. It won't be long until he is sitting up all by himself....

I do want to post some pictures of our Christmas in Pennsylvania. It was quite the trip. The girls did great. Landon, on the other hand, had a difficult time in his car seat. Like, he really hates the seat. Always has. But til we made our trip back West, he was managing a little better. To help pass the time, the girls and I made up a song about Landon.
My name is Landon,
I have three sisters,
And I like
to eat
my hands
I would sing this every time I climbed back into the middle seat to feed Landon, much to the delight of Alaina, who would insist I sing it over and over again. And he still likes to eat his hands. And he has also learned to roll over.
Once life slows down a little, I do want to blog about some things that have been on my mind. Until then, I am just trying to keep up!