26 September 2011

Epic, part 2

I'm still thinking about epics.  They explain all of life really.  GOD versus Satan...EPIC battle from the beginning of time until the end---when GOD wins!!!  But I still have trouble looking into the face of evil.  I'm okay with the calm times, just floating along between battles, maybe even have some fun times along the way.  But evil always rises again, trying to take over.  Sometimes it is a sneaky evil, until it sucks you in, then it reveals itself in its full ugliness.  That is when it becomes too much for me.  That is the point at which I have to turn my head, sometimes even run.  I don't want to look evil in the face.  Perhaps, I fear that I am not strong enough to fight evil.  But in those times, I must remember that GOD is with me and HE can always defeat evil.  Will these thoughts and realizations help me to stand up to evil in the future?  I don't know for sure, but I certainly hope so!

Blessings to you today!


19 September 2011

A Visit & A Chrysalis

Finally, we got to visit E!!!  What a joy it was!  She looked good---has put on a little weight which she needed to do.  She is seeing the LORD working all around her which I think is helping her to believe that HE will work on her behalf as well.  She rededicated her life to HIM on September 8th.  That's a praise.  She has struggled a lot with whether she is saved or not, but she finally realized that she is saved, but she has not been living that way.  She came to a place where she is ready for GOD to work in her and through her.  She told many stories of how the director of the facility protects the girls, which is an awesome thing for a mom to hear.  She smiled and laughed---things that have been missing for a while.  We are so thankful to have had this time with her.  Just her dad and I got to visit this time.  Next visit, her sisters can come also.

I've thought about a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis a lot over the last couple of weeks.  Have you ever witnessed the process?  I have and it is difficult to just sit by and watch.  That poor little butterfly struggles so hard to free itself from the chrysalis.  We are tempted to just gently rip open that protective shell and free the little butterfly to start its life outside the chrysalis.  And, unfortunately, I have done that, too...  It was NOT a success!  If you have ever done it, you know that those little wings stay curled up just like they were inside the chrysalis.  Once you "help" the butterfly out, it's life is basically over.  It will never fly with its deformed wings.  I have pictures somewhere of what that looks like, but they aren't digital so I cannot share those with you.  Trust me, you feel very bad when you see that butterfly walking around with useless curled wings....and you know that it is your fault....

Turns out good stuff happens as that butterfly struggles to get out of the chrysalis.  That process helps to strengthen the wings and get that butterfly ready to live life outside the chrysalis.  Gets it ready to live life on its own.

Makes me think of children...  Isn't it better to let them struggle on their own to get them ready to live outside our homes?  Although with children, we can do it in stages and over many years.  As my children were younger, I was very protective and sometimes tried to "fight their fights" for them. But gradually, I am to teach them how to do that on their own.  It's not always a "fight", maybe it's just learning how to approach a teacher when they have a problem.  Gradually, they will begin to handle those problems by themselves---at least they should.  And if they are not, I need to push them in that direction.  I know that it is definitely not my responsibility to be calling their college professors with questions about how their work was graded!!!  LOL

I am endeavoring to take these teaching steps with my girls now because the thought of them wandering around with curled up, unusable wings like that butterfly that I released from its chrysalis is not a thought that I can bear.  I want them to be whole and able to take care of what they will face in life.  Which leaves me watching them struggle sometimes....  Tough on a mommy, but I must keep my eyes focused on the end goal in order to stay strong.

Have a great day!!!  Keep watching your little butterflies struggle their way to wholeness.  We can always cheer them on from the sidelines though!!!


24 August 2011

My birthday and an earthquake!

What a birthday I had!!!  Pretty quiet and unassuming until about 1:52pm....then the 5.8 earthquake hit!  It was centered in Mineral, VA, which is about halfway between Richmond and Charlottesville.  It was almost a record for VA.  Back in 1897, there was an earthquake that measured approximately 5.9, so no record.  So on my birthday, our world was rocking!!

I got the sweetest card from my middle daughter, M.  She wrote me a poem that made me cry (in a good way).  That was the only gift, so I ended up ordering myself an iPhone!!!  There was a sale, so I really saved money.  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

I'm still praying for E constantly.  I hope that she is doing well.  I know there are difficult days, but I pray that GOD gives her the strength that she needs each day.  I pray that she is learning about GOD and herself.  We each must learn our own coping mechanisms for the things that occur in our lives...and I hope that is what she is doing.

No other really exciting news.  What can top an earthquake!?!  Around the house, there is still school work being done (since co-op started on Monday), and I am still cleaning out all the stuff that has built up in our house over the last several years.  It is so freeing to find new homes for all the stuff that has been hiding in closets, in cabinets, on shelves, etc.  I really hope that other people can use what I am getting rid of.  I'm donating some things to Goodwill, and other things I am trying to sell.  It is a good feeling to get rid of stuff that we are not using and haven't used in forever!

I can't remember if I mentioned before that I am going to train for a 5K this fall.  I would love to "run" (or jog) the whole thing, but we will see.  My friend, Pam, and I have a goal of doing it in 30 minutes.  Today we walked/jogged 1 & 1/2 miles in 20 minutes!  That was pretty awesome since it's only the second time we walked/jogged.

That's all I can think of today.  Blessings to you!!!

21 August 2011

10 days and she called!!!

I was so excited to receive a phone call from E tonight!!!  It was so good to hear her voice.  She actually sounded good and happy.  She said it had been tough, but she is doing okay.  It was only a five minute phone call, but it was good to hear from her.

Around here, we have had a busy weekend.  M had a friend (Lindsay) come over on Friday for a photo scavenger hunt at church, then a sleepover.  On Saturday morning, Lindsay headed home and M & I headed to a birthday party way across town (Tilly's party).  You know, I realized that if we didn't home school, then we would really only know people near us.  As it is, we know people from near and far!  We had 3 fun hours there with lots of pool time, cake, and gifts.  I enjoyed meeting some moms that I had never gotten to know before.  I met another mom with celiac disease.  I'll have to look into the difference between celiac and gluten sensitivity sometime.  Meanwhile, my husband took A to her soccer game (it's a tournament weekend).  After the party, M and I headed over for game #2 of the soccer day.  Finally, home, showers and bed.

Sunday, of course, is church day.  M and I worked in childcare for the early service, then Sunday school and church with Rick Via preaching.  Meanwhile, A and my husband were at an early soccer game before they came to late service.  The rest of our Sunday has been peaceful and quiet.

My highlight for the day was definitely hearing E's voice!!!  Thank you, LORD, for that gift on this Sabbath day.  Tomorrow home school co-op begins.  Busy day!

Watch for the LORD working in your life.  HE is there and HE is always working.  We must just be still and notice!


18 August 2011

It's been a whole week

Hard to believe in one way, but feels like forever in another.  I was awake off and on all of last night, so I wonder if E was struggling.  I just continued to pray for her and those working with her throughout the night.  I have to remember that GOD is sovereign and He has placed her in this program for this time.  Things will be okay.

Life goes on here.  Everything has or will start back by next week.  A has started her travel soccer season and has a tournament this weekend.  M has had violin lessons all through the summer, so no real break there.  Co-op starts on Monday and then M's soccer (just the rec league) starts on Tuesday.  We still have a couple of other things that will start by mid-September, so we are kind of easing into our schedule.  It is good to keep busy and focused.  Keeps the mind working!

The other thing that is changing is my health.  I had to go gluten free 5 weeks ago because I was (finally) diagnosed with gluten sensitivity.  I'm sure that I have suffered with that for years....I wonder if it's been since childhood...  Anyway, taking all that gluten out has really made me feel so much better.  I have so much more energy and my thoughts and memory are clearer.  I play tennis on average twice a week throughout the summer---starting doing it last summer.  Well, let me just say that last summer after I played 2 hours of tennis, I had to come home and sleep for several hours.  I was exhausted!!!   That still persisted until just the last couple of weeks.  I had so much energy yesterday that I could have played for hours longer.  And after I came home, I cleaned, fixed dinner, read part of a book, did laundry, etc.  I never felt like I needed to rest.  Praise the LORD!!!  Is it difficult to take the bread, pasta, cake, cookies, etc. out of your diet???  Heck, yes!  But for the way I feel now, it would not be worth it to start eating it again.  I've even lost a few pounds without trying.  The first week gluten free I noticed that my bloated belly was starting to flatten---no weight loss at that time, but I felt thinner.  Now the pounds are starting to slowly drop off.  Another great thing to the gluten free diet, but not the reason I am doing it.

What's next for me?  Well, I have been wanting to do a 5K.  I'm not a runner, but it is just one of those things on my "bucket list."  I was just thinking I would go on Facebook on Saturday and see if anyone else was interested.  But I checked my e-mail first and a friend had sent me an e-mail to see if I was interested in doing a 5K.  I took that as a sign that the time was right.  I am going to start "training" (if you can call it that---going from couch potato status to actually moving around), and the end goal is the Drumstick Dash on Thanksgiving morning.  My friend has a goal of doing it in 30 minutes, so I am going to jump on board with her goal.  Sounds reasonable---10 minute mile for 3 miles.  I'll keep you posted.

I will end for today.  There are more thoughts swirling in my head, but I will share those another day.  Remember to watch for GOD's blessings every day!!  They are there if only we will look for them.


16 August 2011

Day 6

Yesterday we received E's school schedule, and I realized something.  I felt strongly that GOD wanted us to put E into public school last year after having home schooled her for her entire life.  It was a very difficult thing to do, but a friend finally said to me, "If you feel that GOD told you to put her in school and you don't, what are you?"  My reply was...."disobedient".  I couldn't disobey what GOD told me to do, so off to school she went.  It was a big change for all of our lives.  And I had hoped that by being obedient, GOD would magically heal her.  That was not to be.  I was disappointed when the healing didn't happen and I questioned why we had to put E in school at all.  The other stressful thing that occurred was trying to get credit the subjects she had done while home schooling.  It took the entire school year plus some, but in the end we got all eleven credits that we requested.

Now, I think I might finally see why we had to go through that process.  Because of all the credits that she got last year, she only needs 2 core classes and some electives in order to graduate!!!  And the only real subject she has in English 12.  Otherwise, she has health and p.e., a life skills class, a theology class, and an interpersonal relationships class.  So her course load will not be overwhelming while she has to deal with her eating disorder.  GOD had it all planned.  I am so thankful that I was obedient to HIS leading about public school even though it was difficult.

I just wanted to praise HIM today as I realized the miraculous way that HE works!!!  May HE reveal amazing things to you as well.

Romans 8:28

New International Version (NIV)
 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 


15 August 2011

Day 5

In true form, I'm having trouble updating every day.  I want to write at night about what has occurred during the course of that day, however I end up going to bed because I'm exhausted!!  LOL

So Saturday was M's birthday.  We celebrated and enjoyed the day.  Sunday was church day.  We went to Sunday School and church service.  We saw friends who actually saw E on Saturday when the EATC girls were going door to door to raise funds for their Walk-a-Thon.  They saw her smile!!!  That is a great thing.  Believe me, I know harder days are coming (and may have already come), but a smile is something to write about!!!  I have missed E's smile and laugh for so long now...

Not sure how the days are going for E.  I had a friend (Rachel R.) text today saying that she and her family are on vacation, and the LORD woke her at 4 a.m. with "an overwhelming heaviness" for our family.  I wondered if E was struggling at that time?  The middle of the night is probably the most difficult time for E.  Thank you, LORD, for burdening the hearts of other faithful people to pray for my daughter and my family!!!  What a gift!!!  Thank you for obedient servants of the LORD who don't mind being inconvenienced (even while on vacation) to do what the LORD instructs them to do.  Prayer is powerful and must never be taken for granted.

So, today I have a thankful heart.  Help me, LORD, as I work through my issues on a daily basis, too.  Help me when fallen mankind is rude or harsh toward me.  May I, like Jesus, look at them and say,

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

May your day be filled with blessings from the LORD.  But more importantly, may you see those blessings for just what they truly are!!


14 August 2011

Day 3

Quick post because it's actually the morning of Day 4.  Yesterday was my middle daughter's 15th birthday, so we were kind of busy.  Shopping almost all day equals exhaustion.  Then we had dinner out at Applebee's and stopped by Kroger to pick up a red velvet cake for the birthday (it's a favorite!!).  It was a good day, but I didn't get to update the blog.

I forgot to mention on day 2 that I ran into another home school mom at Wal*mart, and she commented that I looked 15 years younger!!!  Isn't that awesome?!?  I'm sure it is related to my new gluten free diet.  I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity on July 14th, although I suspected that was the case since September of 2010.  I am feeling much better.  Next I am hoping that my sleep will improve---wonder if I will look 25 years younger then?

Life continues on.  Now it feels like E is just gone to summer camp.  I mean she has been away for a week before when we haven't seen or talked to her.  So it's still not as strange as I thought it would be.  I am praying for her literally all day long.  LORD, please deliver her from this eating disorder.  Be real in her life.  Show her that Jeremiah 29:11 is true in her life!!!

Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

There is a hope and a future for each of us in the world.  Are you walking in the plans that the LORD has for you today?  I hope so.  If not, I pray for you to have an encounter with the LORD today!!!



12 August 2011

Day 2

It's been over 24 hours now.  It sort of seems like E might just be gone to work...for a long time.  I am beginning to feel myself relax slightly.  It is more difficult than I thought it would be though.  I have lived in a constant state of stress and anxiety for the last few years which makes change more challenging.  Perhaps each day will become easier for me.  I pray that each day will become easier for her as well.

I have thought of E often today.  Wondering how her first night was, how are mealtimes going, how is she getting along with the other girls and the staff.  E is such a sweet, kind, generous, giving young lady---unless she wants to act of her illness.  Then it is not so pretty.  I pray that the staff will be able to handle those trying times.  Those were the hardest for us at home.  My husband reacted with great anger toward her during those times, and I feared that he would hurt her sometimes.  I often felt deep fear toward her because of the depth drive to get to food.  I am sure that the staff is trained with how to handle those outbursts.  I am not trained, and I still don't know the proper things to do.

So as this day comes to a close, I ask the LORD to hold each of us in the palm of HIS hand.  Protect us and strengthen us as only YOU can, LORD.  I praise YOU, LORD, because YOU have the power and victory over this illness.  YOU are our healer and protector.  YOU and YOU alone can make each of us whole.  Please act in E's life to help her to see herself through only YOUR eyes....because ultimately those are the only eyes that matter.  I pray that for each member of my family.

Thank you, LORD, that you are already answering that prayer request!!!


11 August 2011

Day 1

Well, today was "drop-off" day for our daughter.  We left E at a treatment facility.  What a bittersweet day it has been....  There is great sadness knowing that at least a month will pass before seeing our little girl in person again.  But there is great joy in knowing that the LORD is moving in her life.  There is change on the horizon.  There will be fruit from all that has occurred over the last 4 years.  LORD, please come and comfort E now and comfort me, her mother.  Help this transition be as easy as possible.  Hold her when she is weak, LORD....hold me when I am weak.

Psalm 119:27-29

New International Version (NIV)

27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
   that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
   strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
   be gracious to me and teach me your law.

Thank you, LORD, for leading, teaching and strengthening me...and E.


09 August 2011

New Direction

My life is about to go in a new direction.  My oldest daughter, who has struggled with an eating disorder for about 4 years, will be entering a year-long treatment program this Thursday.  It will be quite a change for our family.  I have decided to try to keep a blog record of this journey.  I'm sure that I will still discuss things from GOD's word, as that is a big part of my life.  I feel like HE has worked out all the details of my daughter even getting into this program.  We received the application in email on July 14th.  I filled it out and mailed it on July 21st.  We met with someone from the program on August 4th.  And she checks in on August 11th.  What a whirlwind!

I hope to journal here about what is going on with our family here at home and with her there in treatment.  It will be challenging to have my baby gone, but it is thrilling for her to have this opportunity to heal and learn more about herself.  Please pray that GOD will bless this time in her life and help her to grow closer to HIM and mature.

Blessings to you!!!

24 May 2011

What does it take to cover our sin?

First, I apologize for being AWOL for so long.  Really, I'm trying to get better about posting at least a couple of times a week.  It seems like I only have short bursts of time on the computer.  And it takes me a while to post because I am concerned about it being "right"....you know, the right words, proper punctuation and spelling, etc.  A little OCD, huh?  I'm trying to get over that!!!

So to our topic for today...what does it take to cover our sin?

I love the Bible progression about this matter.  In Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit and their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked, they tried to cover themselves...with fig leaves!  Doesn't sound to comfortable to me, but I guess they were just getting whatever was easy and quick.  Here is a picture of some fig leaves, just to give you a mental image:

God, of course, knows all that has gone on and comes looking for the couple.  Then the Lord doles out some punishment to Adam, Eve and the serpent.  And here is the part that I am finally getting to: covering our sin.  Verse 21 of Chapter 3 of Genesis says:

"The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them."

This is the first covering for sin, not to mention the first animals dying.  In this case, one animal died for each person (at least that is the way I picture it....could have been one animal for the couple, I suppose).  So basically, one dies for another one.

As we move ahead in the Bible and come to Exodus 12:1-14 we see that dynamic changing.

1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb[a] for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover.  12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
 14 “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance. 

This section of Scripture speaks of the first Passover celebration.  And I highlighted and changed colors to draw attention to what I wanted you to see.  We have now moved from one animal per person to cover sin to one animal per household.  But still death had to come in order for sin to be covered.

Then we move over to the New Testament.  There are many references about this topic, but I have chosen Romans 3:22-26.

22 This righteousness is given through faith in[a] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[b] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

I have boldfaced again, but you probably already know what I am going to say here.  Jesus (one God man) came to die once for ALL.  All who will accept Him and give their lives to Him.

There you have it, the progression that I love...

One animal per person
One animal per household (or family)
One God man for ALL!!!

In literature terms, I see foreshadowing throughout the Bible.  Hinting at what is to come.  Yet who could have guessed what God would do for humanity?  His precious Son to die for sinful man.  To take all of our sins on His body....  His love is amazing!!!

What does it take to cover our sin?  The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  That's all, but that is so much!!!  No animal could do it for us.  We needed the God man to come to this earth and live a sinless life, then He had to die for us.  Thank you, Lord Jesus, for giving your life for us....for me.  It is definitely a gift that I do not deserve.  But the story didn't end with His death.  He was resurrected and therefore, conquered sin and death for us!!!  We praise your name, Lord Jesus!!!

Have a blessed day as you consider all that the Lord has done for you personally.


26 April 2011

Profound words

There are so many things going on in life right now...and so little time for me to get on the computer.  Hopefully, I will get better at balancing that.  And I'm still reading Genesis, but there are so many juicy morsels to share that it is almost overwhelming!!  I'll need to start picking and choosing...

Today, I received a message that has really made me think.  There is a couple I know who have been married for 30+ years (I'm not sure how many exactly, but it is at least 30---probably more like 40 years).  Anyway, back in the winter, he had an accident.  He simply slipped on the ice and hit his head.  That was the beginning of a steady decline in his health.  Since that time, he has been in brain injury units of hospitals and nursing homes, then just in a regular nursing home.  Things have deteriorated to the point of the message I read today.

Here it is:
DAY 121

We know it and yet it still manages to surprise us.  It is the way of things.  We are born and we live and we die.  I realize now that I was well prepared for death, but not so well prepared for dying.

John is unconscious.  The seizures continue to come as his injured brain fires over and over causing his arms and legs to tremble.  All that can be done to keep my beloved comfortable is being done.

I wish for one more smile, one more look of those soft eyes and one more conversation.  But the time for that is now over.

John is only talking with God now.

The line that really struck me was this one:

"I realize now that I was well prepared for death, but not so well prepared for dying."

How profound is that?!?   They are Christians who have known the Lord for years and served Him in ministry with their lives.  They knew that life leads to death and after that heaven for those who die in Jesus.  But what has been such a challenge for the family has been the dying process.  Watching the one you love slowly fade away with no more laughs or smiles, no more quiet evenings talking together, no more hand holding, and so on.  My heart breaks for this family.  Soon death will come, but I pray for this family while they continue through this process.  And I continue to ponder the profound words of this message.

May you feel God close to you today.  (P.S.  I'm not sure why my font changed, so just ignore it...)

05 April 2011

2 Kings 6:15-17

     First, let me set the scene for you.  God is revealing many things to Elisha who is informing the king of Israel.  The king is making his strategic moves based on the information from Elisha.  Israel's enemy, Aram, is becoming very frustrated that Israel seems to know what they are doing ahead of time.  Their king believes that someone in his camp is leaking information.  Then he (the king of Aram) is informed that Elisha the prophet is the one who is giving Israel the information.  He decides to find out where Elisha is staying and capture him.  The troops head out to Dothan and surround the city.  Here we pick up the story in verses 15-17 of 2 Kings 6.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.  16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
 17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 

     I have highlighted verse 17 because it is the crux of these verses.  It is so important for each of us to remember that in the midst of our battles, there is warfare in the heavenly realms that we do not see.  Oh, how I wish that my eyes could be opened so that I could see those "hills full of horses and the chariots of fire" that are around me and my family as we struggle through some tremendous battles.  My oldest daughter has been in what I feel is an "epic" battle (see my previous post here about those!) with an eating disorder since the summer of 2007.  You know, that is almost 4 years now.  And we as her family are in this battle with her.  I wish that I (we) could see the army that the Lord has fighting for her right now.  She waffles between wanting to be better and wanting to just be the disease.  It is agonizing to watch and I feel so helpless to actually make a difference against this illness.  It is like an abusive boyfriend that she must decide to dump.  But those abusive relationships seem to be so hard to get out of for some reason.

     This verse is such an encouragement to me that I am not alone...she is not alone...we are not alone.  The Lord has given me this verse twice in less than a week, so I believe that He wants me to understand that the battle is His.  But I am still praying, "Lord, intervene quickly!!  I need You to help us!!"

Blessings to you today!!

04 April 2011

Submissive Rebel?


Give me rules, I will break them

Give me lines, I will cross them

I need more than a truth to believe

I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes

To sweep me off my feet

It ought to be

More like falling in love

Than something to believe in

More like losing my heart

Than giving my allegiance

Caught up, called out

Come take a look at me now

Its like I'm falling, oh

Its like I'm falling in love

Give me words, I'll misuse them

Obligations, I'll misplace them

Cause all religion ever made of me

Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet

It never set me free

It's gotta be


It's like I'm falling in love, love, love

Deeper and deeper

It was love that made

Me a believer

In more than a name, a faith, a creed

Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me



What is a "submissive rebel"?  Isn't that an oxymoron?  Well, yes, but what a descriptive term!  My youngest daughter calls herself a "submissive rebel," and I can so totally understand what she means.  I believe that I am one also.  (Shhh, don't tell her!!!)

Webster defines submissive as "submitting to others."  Submit means to "yield to authority."  So, I would say a good combination of those terms to describe submissive would be..."yielding to the authority of others."  "Rebel" on the other hand, would be "opposing a ruler" or authority.  Truly opposites!!  Submit or oppose.

How could one be a "submissive rebel" then?  The way I see it in me is a deep desire to submit to the Lord and do His will (submissive part), which is always battling with that rebellious side of me that wants to go my own way (rebel).

These verses come to mind regarding that constant war we battle with our flesh:

Romans 7:15-20:

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 

So I wonder, are there other "submissive rebels" like my daughter and I out there?  I put the song by Jason Gray at the beginning of this post because I hear in it the cries of a "submissive rebel."  Wanting to do what is right and believe, but still struggling...

Have a blessed day!

12 March 2011

Three aspects of temptation

I love it when the Bible carries a theme from the Old Testament to the New Testament---and it is clear enough for me to see it!  It is like a thread weaving them to together for me.

In Genesis 3:6, we read:

"When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it."

There they are...the three aspects of temptation.  We read about them again in I John 2:16, which says:

"For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world."

The three aspects are repeated again, although a little differently.  We can definitely correlate them though.

"Good for food" would be "the lust of the flesh"....don't we just love to have some little delicacies that please our flesh?  Maybe it is food, or maybe it is something else that our flesh loves...

"Pleasing to the eye" and "the lust of the eyes".....don't really need an explanation there, do I?  I think of the children's song that says, "Be careful little eyes what you see..."

"Desirable for gaining wisdom" would be related to "the pride of life."  We can we prideful creatures thinking that we are so wise that we can tell God what He should do in our lives, can't we?  I know I am guilty of that.  I think that my simple, earthly wisdom is right, when ultimately God knows what is best and He sees the full picture, unlike me.  This is evident sometimes in my prayer requests.  I "ask" God to help in a situation and then I give Him some pointers on how He could do that!!  How arrogant am I?  My wisdom is nothing compared to His.  The quicker I remember that, the better off I am!

That's my thoughts on that passage.  I'll be back soon with some more thoughts from Genesis.  I'm starting to read through the Bible, beginning to end, again, so I will be writing on things that the Lord shows me this time through.

Have a wonderful day!!

02 March 2011


I've been giving this word more thought recently...  What do you think about when you see (or hear) the word "epic"?  You might think about current uses of the word, like, "That was epic!" when something is really awesome.  Perhaps, "epic fail" comes to mind...that is a major failed attempt at something.

When I hear "epic," my mind always conjures up things like Beowulf (ugh!).  Here is a typical quote from that epistle:

"Nor have I seen a mightier man-at-arms on this earth than the one standing here: unless I am mistaken, he is truly noble. This is no mere hanger-on in a hero's armour." 

Also coming to my mind are more current "epics" like Braveheart and even the Narnia series.  Some people enjoy these "epics," but I am NOT among them.  What I say around my house is, "Epics are not my genre!"  This quote gets me out of attending showings of these films that hold no interest to me.  To me "epic" means long, drawn out, often bloody battle scenes.  I just can't bear watching them.  I find them on one end of the spectrum boring and the other end unsettling.

How does Webster define "epic"?  It has several definitions, so here they are:

(1) an extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language, celebrating the feats of a legendary or traditional hero, (2) a literary or dramatic composition that resembles an epic (My thoughts interrupt here....aren't we defining "epic"?  So why is "epic" part of the definition???  Anyway...)  (3) a series of events considered appropriate to an epic  (There they go again!)

Well, that didn't help me much, how about you?  As I have been pondering this for the last few days, I have come to a realization.  It has been shocking for me though.  Each of our lives could be seen as an "epic"!!!  What???  My life is now the genre that I can't stand???  In a word, yes.  Maybe that is why I am finding life challenging right now.

When you really look at epics, the main theme seems to be good versus evil, thus all the battles.  Each of us are surrounded by that battle daily, but we especially notice it when we become Christians and begin to grow in our relationship with Jesus.  We notice because not only is the battle going on around us...we are now engaged in that battle.  I think that is why I have finally come to this new realization.  My life has many battles right now, and I am becoming fatigued.  I find myself almost daily calling for back-up from my My Lord and Savior, Jesus.  He will have the final victory, but I'm praying that He will continue to help me through each of my daily battles, too.

Scripture comes to mind...  Ephesians 6:12 says:

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

Lord, help me to remember that even though there are actual flesh and blood people confronting me, it is really the forces of the Evil One (Satan) that I need to be battling.  That is truly the epic battle of life--the ultimate Good (Jesus) versus evil (Satan) battle.  Sometimes I think I am doing okay with it, then Satan takes a cheap shot at me...and sometimes he lands that shot in a very painful place.  I must call on my Savior to help me get back up and stay in the battle.  With Jesus in my corner, I, too, will be a victor!!! 

Here is a large chunk of Scripture from Ephesians 6 that helps us know how to continue on with our personal EPICS!!
The Armor of God
 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. 

Standing strong in my EPIC life!!!

24 February 2011

Good afternoon...

I almost put "Good Morning" because it just seems that this day, like many others, is flying by!  But that might be part of my thoughts for another day.

Today, I wanted to say hello to anyone out there who might stumble across my blog.  It has been quite a process just to find the right name for my blog.  I know you are probably thinking to yourself...."'Memoirs of Amy' doesn't seem that complicated to me."  And that is a true statement.  It took me a month to finally secure this blog name might be a more accurate statement.  I tried thousands---well in reality, probably only a couple dozen, but it seemed like thousands---of blog names before I found one that someone else had not taken.  I almost put "that someone else was using," but that would have been a bit misleading.  I guess the years from 2000 to 2005 were a big time to start a blog.  I searched many possible blog names, but almost all (except this one, of course) were blogs started in those years and most had only one to two posts TOTAL!!!  Did those people forget that they started a blog?  Did they forget their user name and password so they never posted again?  Or maybe some of them have even passed away...  Whatever the reason for all of those unused blogs, I just wonder...Isn't there some way to get rid of those old blogs that no one is using to free up all those great blog names that I searched???  But, alas, I think the answer to that question is no.  I've heard that once something is out there on the Internet, it is there forever.

You might have noticed that I already had a couple of blog postings before this one in which I introduce myself.  Turns out I have another blog.  I used to sell Stampin' Up! rubber stamps and crafting products.  I started my other blog to share my creative endeavors.  I am no longer a demonstrator for SU! products, but I am still an avid crafter....although my time is limited with 3 teenage girls (which makes me a taxi driver most days!).  So on my stamping blog, I had started to post some of my thoughts from my Bible reading and study.  I got the bright idea to start a second blog with those things on it and save the first blog for crafting stuff.  With this blog finally established, I moved a couple of posts from my other blog.  Now, let's just pray that I do not become one of those statistics that I mentioned earlier who start a blog, post twice and then are seemingly lost forever!!

Now, introductions are in order.  My name is Amy (obviously).  I am married and have 3 teenage daughters (okay, the youngest is days away from 13, so I am rounding up!)  I live in the mountains of Virginia, although I did not grow up here.  I have been a Christian for 11 years.  I am striving to do more Bible reading and study, and I really need to journal my thoughts.  That is part of the reason for this blog, but I am certain I won't put all of my thoughts out here in cyberland for all to read!   I have been trying to keep an actual journal for years, but for the most part that has been random.  I might scour those journals (yes, that is plural on purpose---I started lots of times, therefore lots of journals!) to find tidbits from the past to include here.

I am not sure who if anyone will ever find this and start reading.  But if you are out there reading this...WELCOME!!

My thoughts for today are about 2 Kings 25:9.  I am studying this section from Sunday School this week.  Verse 9 is talking about a man named Nebuzaradan who was a commander under Nebuchadnezzar.  The verse says:

"He burned the Lord's temple, the king's palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem; he burned down all the great houses."

The part of this that really struck me was in the study guide.  It said, "To watch the temple disappear in flames likely would have signified to the people of Judah that God's presence had departed."

It makes me wonder, were these people so holy and spiritual that they would have stood around lamenting that "the presence of the Lord has departed from us."  Or maybe they would have been more like most of us.  We would see the beautiful, historic building burning, and although we are saddened by the loss of it, most of us have forgotten the significance of that old building in the first place.  It might seem a sad statement on society these days, but I somehow think that people are people....always have been, always will be.  Maybe it wasn't until later, in retrospect, that people came to realize the signifance of what they witnessed.  Maybe the realities of what had taken place came to them bit by bit.  I'm not sure.  I just hope that they are more like me, I guess.  I do pray however that my spiritual eyes will be opened to at last see glimpses of God in the daily events surrounding me.  And maybe sometimes I will be able to grasp the major signifance of an event!

Have a blessed day wherever you are!!

17 February 2011

Psalm 119:105

I was coming in from picking Emily up from work on Sunday night and just thought this lamp was so picturesque with the tree limbs behind it.  It made me think of Psalm 119:105.  As I ponder more about it, life can be just like this.  Sometimes it is very dark and I can barely see anything around me.  The light helps me to see, but only for a short distance.  God will light our feet and our path before us, but He only uses a lamp not a floodlight.  We can sometimes only see the next step we are to take.  For all we know there could be dangers all around, but we only see that one step and should not try to move out of that light that our Father provides for us.  God paces our steps in order for us to avoid many of those dangers, I believe.  When we rush ahead without waiting on God's timing or when we try to veer off the lit course He has made for us, that is when we run into trouble.  May we each strive to follow the steps that God lights for us as we sojourn here on earth.  May we not run ahead, lag behind or veer from the designated path.  May we learn the lessons that God has for us on that path.  There will be pain and heartache along the way, but it is still a safer and more rewarding path than the one without God with us!!

Blessings to you,
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Isaiah 43

That is the theme of this past week---Isaiah 43.  It seems like every time I read something this past week, it referenced that chapter of the Bible.  I knew that I needed to read the whole chapter myself since I kept being reminded of it.  That chapter is special to me from past promises and gave me new promises.

In 2006, when the Lord told me to go to India on a mission trip, I really was not excited about it.  Who would be?  I mean I had heard of the unsanitary conditions, the lack of sleep that people got on these trips, and most recently I had heard of the water.  You see, two of my pastors had just been to India in August, the rainy season.  There was so much flooding in the slum area of Bombay (a.k.a., Mumbai) that my pastors had to take off their shoes and socks, roll up their pants legs and wade through water that was a foot deep and so murky that they had no idea where they were stepping.  But they had to do it in order to see the precious orphan children that our church cares for.  And when I went on my trip in January of 2007, we would be visiting all the children, too, even the ones at the same home that my pastors waded through the water to get to.  All I could picture after that was walking through that murky water.  What if I stepped on something sharp and cut my foot, only to get a severe infection or something worse?  What if there were snakes in that water?  The "What ifs" went on and on, and I just couldn't seem to stop thinking about them.  I prayed about it because I was very uneasy.

The Lord heard my prayers and gave me an answer!!  I love it when the answer to a prayer comes quickly.  Then I am able to remember that I am precious to my Father (I am Daddy's baby girl!).  Of course, as a side note, I must say that I am always precious to my Father even when the answers to my prayers are delayed or come in a different form than expected!  Back to my story... the Lord lead me to Isaiah 43:2 which says,

When you pass through the waters,
   I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers,
  They will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
  You will not be burned;
  The flames will not set you ablaze.

Amazing!!! Right there in God's word, He had an answer prepared for me long before I was even born!!  I tried to focus on the water part though, since fire was mentioned.  I hadn't even thought of fire...  But I digress.... From that point on, I began to get excited about my trip to India.

I do want to make sure that you notice though that it says "when you pass through the waters."  It doesn't say IF you do, but WHEN you do.  That is a great reminder for all of life.  We will pass through water and fire in this life, maybe not literally, but at least figuratively.  We need to remember during those times when we feel that we are drowning or burning up that our Daddy, who loves us so much, is right there with us!!  There will never be a trial that comes that God says to us, "Sweetie, you are on your own with this one!"  Instead He will walk through the trials with us, carrying us when we are too weak to walk ourselves.

What a wonderful reminder that was from my past.  A time when God showed me that He heard my prayers and He loves me enough to stick with me in the difficult times as well as the good times.  You can't rely on mere human beings to do that for you!

But as I read on in that Isaiah 43, I came to verses 18-19.  This part of the chapter served as my new encouragement for the season that I am in right now.  It says:

Forget the former things;
  Do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
  and streams in the wasteland.

Hallelujah and Thank You, Jesus!!  Does anyone besides me need a "new thing"?  I have been struggling in this same place for so long that I feel like it will be my home forever.  But God told me this week that He is doing a new thing!!!  Have I not perceived it yet?  Maybe I have been too busy dwelling on the former things...  But I have been instructed to forget that stuff.  Of course, we cannot truly forget (unless we get amnesia), but really what God wants is for us to not let the mistakes and problems from our past to define who we are forever.  First Corinthians 5:17 clearly tells us, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"  I believe that the old is going and the new is coming continually.  It is a process of being "conformed into the likeness of His Son (Jesus)." (Romans 8:29)  Lord, thank you for giving me the hope of  "a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."  Now help me to truly "forget the former things" and not dwell on them!

So there it is!  Remembering God's faithful promises from the past and seeing that current promise of a "new thing!"  Lord, may I begin to perceive it and wait expectantly on You to fulfill Your promises to me!!

Blessings to you,