Saturday, August 18, 2007

Good reading

I've found a few new blogs that I have been enjoying the past few days. The first is from Sara, who with her husband and daughter have downsized to a RV and are traveling the country, eating organic, locally grown food, avoiding consumerism, and generally living intentionally and "green." (She writes her story here.) While in many ways, we couldn't be more different (she has dredlocks and I'm growing my hair longer), she loves Christ. She writes on the notorious Proverbs 31 woman and I especially loved this part:
Bring Good, Not Harm

v. 11-12
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
v. 23
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

In the early days of my marriage, I decided that I would never speak harshly about my husband in the presence of others. Not even in jest. No matter how frustrated or annoyed I might be with a situation, it was between Matt, myself, and God. I didn’t run to my girlfriends, my co-workers, my mom, or the message boards. I spoke directly to Matt about my feelings and also to God. And in 7 years of marriage, we have never had a “fight” that lasted more than a few minutes. We never go to bed angry. I attribute those things largely to the fact that I focus on “bringing him good, not harm”. I don’t talk to others about our home life and let harsh feelings brew and brew all day.

Of course, it goes without saying that if you are in a verbally or physically abusive relationship, you must speak with someone about it. And if you and your spouse cannot get past certain issues, you may need counseling with a third party. But those interventions are very different than speaking with others about him and bringing him “down” in their eyes. Build him up! Help others to see him for the amazing man that he is.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday night

I've had a lot of thoughts swirling around the past few days, but none have made it all the way to blogging fruition.

Tonight has been a nice change of pace. Joe was here at home having some guy time with a friend from church, and I took Charlie to Wal-mart with me after the other boys were in bed. I never knew Wal-mart was such a hopping place on a Friday night at 9:00 (you know that you live in a small town with nothing to do when....)!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I gave up thinking that I'll make a wrap and ordered one this morning. I can't wait until it gets here! (thanks for the encouragement to do so, Katie!)

Friday, August 10, 2007

"Blameless before the presense of His glory"

We have family in town who have taken Joseph and Will out to lunch and so I am here with just my two little good a time as any to post a quick hello. I haven't posted in weeks: 1.) because I didn't have the time, and 2.) because I remember being taught, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." :) Charlie is an extremely fussy baby (colic maybe?) and there are many days when I have held him almost constantly to try to stem the never-ending crying. Most times holding (while walking and bouncing, with a pacifier in his mouth) would help. However, if he drifted off and I put him down he would wake up within 10 minutes screaming again. He would have times of happiness, an hour or two here or there when he would be normal--smiling, cooing, and being content. Most days, he would not nap consistently and would wake up crying when I could tell he was still so tired. He pulls up his legs, squirms, and grimaces which shows obviously that he is in pain.

We tried Axid for reflux since all of my babies have spit up a lot, but that didn't help. Yesterday, the dr. put him on some drops that are mild muscle relaxants that are supposed to help colicy babies. Today he has slept like a champ, but is running a low grade fever from getting shots yesterday and so I am unable to tell yet if the new meds will help. I'll know better in the next few days.

All of that is for explanation of both point 1 and 2 above. Obviously my time was (and still is) limited. But more than that, I just didn't have anything worthwhile to add to the blogosphere. I know that I don't intend to write "happy-happy, joy-joy" things all of the time, but I don't need to be writing from the "pit of despair" either.

God is good. All of the time. And He has a good and perfect plan in giving me Charlie, fussiness and all. My head knows that, but my heart was (is) still dealing with what that means, and I didn't want to write until I was more settled in that realization. Now again, I have to say that I realize that a fussy baby is such a small thing compared to what so many other people are going through. It is all-consuming for me though right now and it is the lesson that I am currently learning. What does it mean to live in the light of the Gospel in the middle of long days and short nights with a baby who constantly needs me and 3 other little ones who still need life to go on as usual? What does it mean to realize that God loved me enough not only to send Jesus to atone for my sin, but also to give me difficult circumstances in order to sanctify me? What does it mean to realize that how I respond to the thousand questions of my children or how I deal with their disobedience shows the state of MY soul? Am I patiently submitting to God's current calling on my life? Am I patient, kind, loving, joyful, gentle, self-controlled?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Ephesians 5:22-23

These days have shown me again and again how I am in need of Christ. I need the Holy Spirit to work His good fruit into my life. I need to fall down on my knees in awe at His sovereignty that includes giving fussy infants to sanctify self-centered mamas. I need, hourly, His blood to atone for my sins (because, oh, how quickly they show these days). And I need His strength.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Many people understand this verse to say that God will not give us more than we can handle. I think, however, that I am given more than I can handle by myself. It is only in running to Christ and saying, "I can't do it and I need You," that He then comes and strengthens me to walk in the path He has laid out for me. The "way of escape" is the cross. It is realizing that I couldn't and still can't save myself. It is only through the blood of Jesus that I can stand before God and it is only through the blood of Jesus that I can live day by day.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life....Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Jude 20-21, 24-25