Friday, November 15, 2013

To work or not to work..JULY

So I promised to tell of July and the least post gave way to this naturally so here goes.
Brenna turned fine in May. With all my entimental teacher being I wanted to buy school supplies, await excitedly to see who his teacher would be, get new shoes and a lunch box...I considered the private classical school here in town that I did a maternity leave at last year, I went to talk with some of my past co workers at our public school about registering and then it happened. All roads pointed right and I was looking left. Everyone was encouraging my ability to teach. And as I evaluated all that it would mean schedule wise for us to enroll him I realized, it just makes sense to teach him myself this year. I could not even voice the words homeschool. The first week was shaking and then it cracked. I got a call.
It was the headmaster of the classical school and sparing details he was very accommodating and    Considerate. This school had offered me a job year before last and as I prayed about it this was Gods answer (from two years ago). I will share his answer about this year too, but for now...recall of his answer two years ago:
I was lead to John 21 through my daily bible reading schedule, through our women's group book and through my utmost for his highest daily reading. Fr three days God kept bringing me to John 21. S what does it say and how did that relate? It is still a BEAUTIFUL reminder to me. I will paraphrase. It was after Jesus' death and resurrection, the disciples were fishing.
Thy weren't catching anything.
Jesu called to them asking how it was going.
They relayed their unsuccessful-ness.
He told them put your net on the right side of the boat.
They were 'not able to haul it in because of the quantity'.
Jesus fixes breakfast for them.
He asks Peter if he loves him more than these and then he gives him three commands.
1. Feed my lambs
2. Tend for (take care of) my sheep
3. Feed my lambs
If your mind works like mine you may already see gods answer to me but if not, I will explain. The disciples were previously (before Gods special call on their lives during Christ' time on earth) fishermen. So after his death it appears they returned to their previous occupation maybe  by habit, maybe for security, maybe for money, maybe because of doubt, maybe they just needed some specific reminding of who they were and who they had been with. A God meets them there. An he asks how their attempts at taking care of themsleves was going. They report not well, and he gives them an instruction. The instruction gives them a quantity of provision so large they could not hold it. Then he speaks directly, intentionally and personally to Peter. Asking do you live me more than these. Now I haven't dug into commentaries to figure out the "these" referred to but it either means more than the fish he just caught (identifying him with his familiar dependence on fish as a means of livelihood) or more than the other disciples love Jesus. Most refer to the second option. No matter Jesus is questioning his loyalty to Christ. What happens next is beautiful. He says feed my sheep, take care of them , FEED them.
Jesus called to me in my efforts to figure things out on my own, asked how it was going after my answer of not very well he gave me an instruction and in following it I have found provision so large I can hardly contain it. He affirmed his call on my life by asking me the same question "do you love me more than these?, more than teaching, more than an occupation more than security? His answer rings loudly "then feed them (breakfast, pb&j and supper everyday)" " tend them caring for them as only a mama can" and then i pictured the holman bible jesus dressed in white with a blue head wrap thing handing me a black bound bible with gentleness in his eyes-feed them THIS "
And so I didn't take that job. And I've been feeding my lambs and caring for them and teaching them his word ever since....
Now for the next post his answer about this year..



Thursday, October 24, 2013

School


I am aware that this is very tardy in posting.
I have been "unplugged" since our move to the country in June and we just had satellite Internet installed this week. I must say it has been a welcome break but I have had my phone. It is just extremely difficult to post and entire paragraph or more on my little phone. So this has been saw din the iPad for months. It is more a record for me as I always say but maybe it will encourage you as well.
Would I have it any other way?
I get tired of waking up early
Fixing breakfast instead of getting girlie.
No make up for 90% of the day
Workout clothes, ponytail-do I like it this way?
Diapers, nursing, meals and more
Cleaning, recleaning, demand galore.
Snuggles, naptime all is quiet
Bible journal pen and blanket.
Dog barks, door knocks;Fed ex has perfect timing.
Should I keep up the effort or just stop trying?
Life for Jesus is worth more
That is what His word says ore and ore.
So is teaching at an institute 
Really what I want to do?
Are these souls in my tender care
Worth me not going back there?
NO more grading papers
No more  laminating no more staples?
Is it possible to return one day someway
Without the sacrifice of their fate?
For to stay at home does not insure
Escape from hell or pain endured.
Of this sadly i am aware
But how much about this should I care?
Gods love and promises are true
THEY are what save me, save you.
I want to do what is best for all
I'm aware my work's not small.
N other hands could care and feed
With this much love, a mamas seed.
I want to stay I want to go
I miss a job, nice clothes, payroll.
But it's not the money we all know that
It's just nice benefits getting fat.
But what need of that?-it will not last
What are those in eternity past?
I say 'I do the work of Christ' 
But is homemaker, mama, wife
Truly what I "only" do? "Only" isn't fair I know
It's their souls I water, You make grow.
But if I cant save them why must I stay 
It's not my work its yours you say.
But my job in this I want to know
Is it only to OUR kids I go?
Are there others in need of grace
In need of discipline and education base?
Who need to learn how to read
To know their sin and awful need?
Of you-o savior-strong and true.
Of long vowels and counting by twos.
Is home my workplace til I die?
Will more jobs be offered by and by?
Will you show me without a doubt
If this is my mission field or if I should stretch out.
I ask myself in retrospect 
if I went back what would I expect?
Looking on the the last five plus a few something's
Would I have taken a job, would I change a thing?
No not a moment not a second of yet.
Each chaotic day full of tears-no regret.
I'm glad I've been here to correct or wipe away
Each boo-boo, argument and wanting ones own way.
To teach, to train, to learn alongside
Whew! It's been a crazy ride!
From nurse all day-pray all night
Wanting everything just right
To someone help me! what have I done?!
Now there's two not just one.
Demands all around no time to breathe 
YOU brought me beyond the strength of me.
To YOU I lean, to YOU I ,called 
Faithful always-oh I bawled.
On your kindness I depend
For child #3 you did send
Screaming crying will not eat
Three other mouths I need to feed.
Spit up sit up oh there's more
That's what's dried up on the floor.
Doctor, doctor hospital too.
Oh to find what's wrong with you.
Thank you Jesus for nutramigen 
And for this mama to sleep again. 
Grace poured out 2013
Thank you for a slate that's clean
New home new place new hope 
I have let go of many a rope
That bound me to a schedule, to order; to ME.
Thank you for cutting each carefully.
Work on lord Jesus! change my heart!
You always know just where to start.
I would not rather be at school.
Than see my child learn the catechism rules.
I would NOT rather leave each morn,
Than see imagination all reborn:
In dress up clothes and Lego messes. 
In Jesus loves me and you're the bestest.
I choose to stay. I like my choice, 
To be with my girl, to be with my boys.
So I ask indeed would I have it any other way?
No, I just need fresh grace each day.
July 5,2013
PSALM 16: 5-6 
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, indeed I have a beautiful inheritance.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

catch up


 Jan-June
So I really have had multiple times where I wanted to blog but time did not allow. I am determined to get this back up and running. so I am summarizing . Again this is more for myself than anyone so that I have a type of journal of life these days but if it helps, encourages or makes you laugh, hooray.,. it has an expanded purpose! please share your thoughts., like circumstances or any helpful feedback!  Here goes a catch up on 2013.
In January we went to Paris France. Of all the people in the world I was not the most excited about this journey. I do not keep up with fashion (at least not to the international extent) so the shopping did not intrigue me. I don’t care much for architeture  and I don’t remember much world history about France. So you know…I wasn’t the most  thrilled of  passengers headed that way. I also had a paranormal fear that something was going to happen to both of us and someone else was going to have to raise our kids. (probably because my husband decided to have  last will and testament drawn up the day before we were to leave-yep that’s the day we signed it!)
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with our friends we were there to serve but it was not at all a ‘romantic’ trip as we were in a small apartment with a family of five plus us J
In February we had an abnormal amount of sunshine and warmth and I enjoyed that I was alive and not dead and actually did get to be the one to raise our hoojans- I dare say a much needed perspective..
IN March we boarded another plane to Mexico. This, I was I lot more excited about- warmer weather -sunshine instead of gloom and snow and cold of Paris. There were palm trees and an all-inclusive resort that the bride put us up in as part of Bens payment for the wedding.  I could have stayed there forever.  They had a turn down service at night and wouldn’t let you lift a finger…a far cry from home yall! I got to take a bath in a tub for the first time in about 5 years and I got to swim without having anyone in a life jacket with swimmies attached to each appendage.  I got to go for a run on the beach and it wasnt just because someone needed to pee  or poop. 
all this time our house was for sale. yes our beloved home for the last 7 years. the one each baby came home form the hospital to. the one with a front yard swing and  6 sugar maples and adorable  aging neighbors.
In April we got a lot of calls and had a lot of showings. we got an offer. I was torn. I decided I didn’t want it to sell.  Ben took the offer.
In May we signed a contract.  We started to pray about leaving Athens all together,. We decided to move in my parents’ guest house until we could decide where to live. We interviewed with the international mission board. we got turned down because we could not articulate a specific call to frontier missions only. We started to ask some big questions about our life and how it should look for the next 7 years.
I started having pain after eating or exercise. I went to the doctor and was scheduled for emergency removal of my gallbladder. We had to be our of the house in four days. I couldn’t lift the kids any of them or a box. I stayed up the night before the surgery til midnight packing . 
On Friday after the surgery my dear friend called. I will spare you the long srory but God was generous to them in the  buying of their new home and they wanted to be generous to us and offered their hosue to us at bottom dollar. it fit our needs perfectly. four bedrooms. two acres, close enough to town..on the Knoxville side of Athens. we decided that was our answer to stay or leave. we bough the house. 
stay tuned for July it was a doozy!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

School

I am aware that this is very tardy in posting.
I have been "unplugged" since our move to the country in June and we just had satellite Internet installed this week. I must say it has been a welcome break but I have had my phone. It is just extremely difficult to post and entire paragraph or more on my little phone. So this has been saw din the iPad for months. It is more a record for me as I always say but maybe it will encourage you as well.
Would I have it any other way?
I get tired of waking up early
Fixing breakfast instead of getting girlie.
No make up for 90% of the day
Workout clothes, ponytail-do I like it this way?
Diapers, nursing, meals and more
Cleaning, recleaning, demand galore.
Snuggles, naptime all is quiet
Bible journal pen and blanket.
Dog barks, door knocks;Fed ex has perfect timing.
Should I keep up the effort or just stop trying?
Life for Jesus is worth more
That is what His word says ore and ore.
So is teaching at an institute
Really what I want to do?
Are these souls in my tender care
Worth me not going back there?
NO more grading papers
No more laminating no more staples?
Is it possible to return one day someway
Without the sacrifice of their fate?
For to stay at home does not insure
Escape from hell or pain endured.
Of this sadly i am aware
But how much about this should I care?
Gods love and promises are true
THEY are what save me, save you.
I want to do what is best for all
I'm aware my work's not small.
N other hands could care and feed
With this much love, a mamas seed.
I want to stay I want to go
I miss a job, nice clothes, payroll.
But it's not the money we all know that
It's just nice benefits getting fat.
But what need of that?-it will not last
What are those in eternity past?
I say 'I do the work of Christ'
But is homemaker, mama, wife
Truly what I "only" do? "Only" isn't fair I know
It's their souls I water, You make grow.
But if I cant save them why must I stay
It's not my work its yours you say.
But my job in this I want to know
Is it only to OUR kids I go?
Are there others in need of grace
In need of discipline and education base?
Who need to learn how to read
To know their sin and awful need?
Of you-o savior-strong and true.
Of long vowels and counting by twos.
Is home my workplace til I die?
Will more jobs be offered by and by?
Will you show me without a doubt
If this is my mission field or if I should stretch out.
I ask myself in retrospect
if I went back what would I expect?
Looking on the the last five plus a few something's
Would I have taken a job, would I change a thing?
No not a moment not a second of yet.
Each chaotic day full of tears-no regret.
I'm glad I've been here to correct or wipe away
Each boo-boo, argument and wanting ones own way.
To teach, to train, to learn alongside
Whew! It's been a crazy ride!
From nurse all day-pray all night
Wanting everything just right
To someone help me! what have I done?!
Now there's two not just one.
Demands all around no time to breathe
YOU brought me beyond the strength of me.
To YOU I lean, to YOU I ,called
Faithful always-oh I bawled.
On your kindness I depend
For child #3 you did send
Screaming crying will not eat
Three other mouths I need to feed.
Spit up sit up oh there's more
That's what's dried up on the floor.
Doctor, doctor hospital too.
Oh to find what's wrong with you.
Thank you Jesus for nutramigen
And for this mama to sleep again.
Grace poured out 2013
Thank you for a slate that's clean
New home new place new hope
I have let go of many a rope
That bound me to a schedule, to order; to ME.
Thank you for cutting each carefully.
Work on lord Jesus! change my heart!
You always know just where to start.
I would not rather be at school.
Than see my child learn the catechism rules.
I would NOT rather leave each morn,
Than see imagination all reborn:
In dress up clothes and Lego messes.
In Jesus loves me and you're the bestest.
I choose to stay. I like my choice,
To be with my girl, to be with my boys.
So I ask indeed would I have it any other way?
No, I just need fresh grace each day.
July 5,2013
PSALM 16: 5-6
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup you hold my lot.
Th lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, indeed I have a beautiful inheritance.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The End of One Chapter

Life is never easy, its never 'cut and dry'
there are always loose strings; things left untied.
Our little life on Guille street has closed a chapter one
and a new life with more land and house has begun.
All three children coming home to that same blue room
learning to walk on those hard floors, to waddle, run, to ZOOM.
Many a burnt meal at first then mastering a seven day plan
I cooked better meals for all when it wasnt just me and my man.
Something about a baby's cries all the time you prepare
will make a better tasting meal though you're not sure what's in your hair.
I cried almost as much as the babies did those three kids in three years,
God taught me a tons, and loved me lots through each and every tear.
The last year there was for the worst, you know that part of your vow?
I'd thought before 12 was unlucky for me, but I know it is now.
2012, I'm glad you're gone, welcome 2013. 
Im excited about what's next though its rough this month in between.
No house, no home, storage holds it all.
I have had so much rest, i feel like a man at a mall.
You know the ones on the bench, waiting for their girl
lots of watching, lots of waiting, the world going by in a swirl.
Decisions are made about school and work, when and where.
I have actually had time to fix my hair. 
to take a shower, lay out in the sun, 
read a book and listen to sermons.
Its amazing how much time I spend
cleaning house from beginning to end.
Help form grandma's  joyful hands
make each day for kids seem like a dance.
I like this inbetween, this no home, no care
I think about life with a new kind of stare.
What will it be like to live somewhere new?
Where will I walk, what will they do?
With stairs to climb and a big yard to roam
Im sure it wont take long to make it a home.
Meals will be cooked in that fine shiny kitchen
Ben's work will look good hanging in the den.
Pictures of our kids, thats what i want as he asked what i need
Should i say baby gates, and cucumber seed?
A place for a garden, a place for each child
a big bath tub to soak off the wild.
Oh LORD, give us grace, the same as before,
as we start a new chapter and open a door.
June 2013
 


 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Ramblings...on life and JOB (in the bible)

It seems everyone is blogging. There are blogs about everything under the sun. There are blogs about motherhood, housecleaning, cooking, home design, money saving. It's endless and can send my mind into a whirlwind faster than Pinterest (which I do love).
I get down on my blogging efforts and want to give up and then kind friends encourage me by letting me know that at some  point my words on here have brought life and maybe even encouragement. So hooray and thank you ladies for those spontaneous acts of love to get me back on here.
I have had a very restful two weeks. Almost too restful to the point I am ready to DO something. After a surprising  gallbladder removal surgery I was unable to lift any of the kids (or boxes) and in the middle of a move that has been impossible so our time in Alabama has been a must. But I am ready to go home. To have a sense of home again, other than my moms. 
I have been grossly reminded of the temporaries of all existence here on earth these last few weeks and like the old gospel song "I'm just living in my temporary home". No matter whether that's for three weeks or three years or thirty...
I want to leave you with something more than just my ramblings and life facts.  Have been "chewing on" these verses from job 22. "Can man be any benefit to God? Is it an asset to the Almighty if you are righteous? Does HE gain if your conduct is perfect?" I want to point out some things that these verses taught me.
 First some background/context of the entire book of JOB:
 Job is in turmoil. His life is falling completely apart and his well meaning, believing, philosophical friends talk with him regularly about his life,his condition. They think they are wise. They know a lot of theologically sound things about God. They feel the need to call Job to repentance several times. The book records his confessions/arguments and conversations with said friends. 
This scripture is one of those. Job has just pointed out that God does things we can't explain or understand and the verses i posted are his friends' response to Job. They go on to say some things that are "off track" about Job's situation, because they were unaware of Gods purpose in Job 's  suffering and Gods allowing of the enemy to touch Job; but to dwell on these verses I see something huge. Something big. A least for me. 
Unexplainable things happen. Kindergarten students loose their lives to a killer, entire schools loose life to a tornado, strong Christian parents loose kids to drugs, babies die in miscarriages. We look at God and we don't understand. We see hard things. We look at our own lives and circumstances and we are overwhelmed, bewildered, confused. We try, oh we try hard to perform, to please. To do good enough, for God, for parents, for teachers and friends. We have endless checklists (or at least I do) of things to do "right" so that God is 'happy' with me and blesses me and is pleased. That he claps and stands happily in heaven at my performances. I stress, oh I stress, over my kids' behavior (or misbehavior) I grow weary over trying to figure out mans' responsibility amidst Gods sovereign order. 
That is why I think these verses are huge.  
1. Can man be any benefit to God? 
First i have to wonder..Did God exist completely, happily and perfectly before man was created? YES.   (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1, Hebrews 1:1 So our creation was not for HIS benefit, but for ours. Throughout the bible we read that we are made so that we may know of his love, of his master plan of salvation available to all men. To feel his grace, his mercy, his pardon so that he may thouroughly display his goodness to us..
This is not to say man cannot do works that benefit His KINGDOM, for our efforts to share the gospel do indeed benefit. Benefit who? Man. Once again we see man benefitting man because of God, but no real benefit to God. For he did not have to create man, but he did. For the purpose of salvation to be to our benefit.
2. Is it an asset to the almighty if you are righteous? 
Romans 3
None of us is righteous. That is clear through out the bible. So is it a credit (to some account) of God if we are? Remember Abraham? Looking for 10 righteous people? If he found them-was it God that benefited? No. The people of Sodom. THEY benefitted because of Gods mercy in not destroying them if they were found righteous. As do we.
But God? Fully righteous  Jeremiah 9:23-24/psalm 118:142 In need of no ones additional righteousness. Can He work through our righteous acts? Yes but still it is He at work..for:
3. Does he gain if our conduct is perfect?
As previously established. It is not. No ones conduct is perfect. None of us can claim that status or ability. But say it were..play along with me and let's 'pretend' if my conduct/behavior were blameless and I did only good all the time would God gain something? If we gave credit to him for allowing us ability to behave perfectly and claimed his help and sustenance through each temptation towards straying from Perfect conduct...AND we confessed our constant prayers to him for help and ability to continue and our desperate need of him, say then would God gain? 
I say: he would gain glory, but it would add nothing to his already perfect state. It doesn't say that WE are perfect, only our conduct(behavior) because he knows that no one other than GOD could be completely perfect in all of their being. GOD pointed out Job's uprightness to satan in Chapter one. He was aware of Jobs response in the end from the beginning. He did indeed gain glory and still does today when we like JOB, Like JESUS, point all good things as coming not from ourselves. 
By thinking any good comes  from us (John 3:27, James 1:17) we would rob God glory for his giving us the ability. (but this is something that sadly i do..why do I constantly want praise?!)
I believe here is a reminder for me in my parenting. That my children's behavior is not to my credit. If it be good-It is a gift from God. It is a testament to His goodness and mercy. In giving me wisdom in how to teach them to behave and/or in giving them strength to act in accordance with any training or instruction we may have given. It is all to his credit and glory. And it benefits me to know that neither mine, nor my children's behavior  alters God eternal perfect being. He is and will forever be perfect. He is and forever will be the only one who acts good in all things at all times. He is and will forever be the only one who gives to any of us that we may benefit. I am instructed to train my children in righteousness, to talk constantly about God, his word, his work. May I recognize his perfect existence is independent of my imperfect behavior as a parent. may i depend strongly on him for teaching me and my children how to act in righteousness. His work is complete  in creation, the cross and eternity future.  His behavior towards me and all mankind is just and righteous though ours is not. He is good. Is is the only true good one (mark 10:8) 

There is a ton of theology in Job. Deep theology. Hard theology. Rich truths and chewy truths. 
This post is not about things I (or you) need to DO or me NOT parenting my child. It is simply the ramblings of a believing mommy on things about God and His word. ramblings...thoughts..this blog is for me..to record things I'm learning...to journal..to remember...SO
...Feel free to look over all my ramblings and just look at the pictures :) (when i get them posted:)
But if you want to join in and share..tell me..What verses/chapters encourage you when you wrestle with Gods sovereignty and mans responsibility?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dinner Date

I will try to get pictures up sooooon.... But the other night Ben took Molly out for valentines day and the boys took me out. It was just dessert at the bare family cafe at the end of our street but it was very very sweet! Thy payed for our cones with money from their wallets. They opened the doors for me and Brennan even pulled out my chair. Here was our dessert conversation:
KNOX:
What are you going to be when you grow up?
A farmer
Where are you going to live?
In a barn in Alabama close to nana and papa
What are your favorite foods?
Tomatoes, apples, and yogurt
What is your favorite thing to do outside?
Ride my bike
What is your favorite toy?
My blocks
Who do you enjoy spending time with?
Daddy and papa
Who are you going to marry when you grow up?
Molly
What is your favorite color?
Pink
What are you going to drive?
A red jeep

BRENNAN:
What are you going to be when you grow up?
A. Builder
Where are you going to live?
In a house I built in Africa
Who are is going to be your wife?
Gabby
What are your favorite foods?
Corn,bananas, and chocolate
What is your favorite thing to do outside?
Dig in the dirt
What is yourfavorite toy?
My Legos
Who do you enjoy spending time with the most?
Gabby
What is your favorite color?
Gold
What are you going to drive when you grow up?
An orange tow truck with green and gold and black on it

...so for the record...there it is fellas. I'm sure you're going to get a kick out of that one day!!