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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Plans

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope.” 
-Jeremiah 29:11

Two weeks ago, we received a call at 9 o’clock at night from my husband’s stepmother. An unusual time for her to be calling, we knew something wasn’t quite right…

“Your dad’s not doing too well…I’m not sure how long he has…I can’t tell you whether or not to come, but…”

When the phone rang the following morning at 7am, any indecision about if we should go, vanished. Now the question was…how? We had no “extra money” for such a long road trip. So we prayed. And we asked others to pray for us to find a way…we needed a PLAN…God’s plan, not ours.

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.”
-Jeremiah 29:12

We decided that we would delay paying some bills in order to go. It would be very tight (especially with gas at $4 a gallon), but we would go.

And then God…
…He heard our prayers and delivered a gift to our doorstep that filled us with HOPE wiped away our worries. A large monetary gift from dear friends that only God could have sent to us…and he did. Thank you, Father God.

We left the next morning, anticipating a 10 to 12 hour drive ahead of us, with snow in the forecast. We hit snowy roads an hour or so from home…our driving slowed and arrival time was pushed back. Better to be safe, than sorry…

180 miles from home…we pulled over to refill our wiper fluid. As my husband hops out of our truck, he discovers a giant staple jammed into our front tire. “Hey, this is from my work!” Wait…what?! You mean your work that’s almost 200 miles from here??? Oh LORD…You carry us safely in the palm of Your Hand. Thank you, LORD, thank you…

Another delay as we get our tire repaired…no, replaced…times two!…*cha-ching! cha-ching!*…Ouch!

At this point we realized that the gift from our friends just doubled in value. Without it, we would have had to turn around, having only enough money to get us home. But God had different plans for us. We continued on, completely aware of God working in our lives. Thank you, LORD!

During our long drive, we had been concerned that we might not make it in time to see my father-in-law again…that God might call him Home before we arrived. Why do we worry?? Did we not just see God’s amazing Provision? Did we not see His miraculous Deliverance? Did we not? We did…

We did make it to see him…in fact, his fever dropped and his mind cleared while we were there. We were able to enjoy precious time with him that we couldn’t have asked for, yet God delivered. My God is so good…

“You will seek me and find me,
when you seek me with all your heart.”
-Jeremiah 29:13

Thank you, Father God, for your Perfect Provision for our family. Thank you for giving us your Peace and Love so abundantly. Thank you for carrying us through this time, protecting us, comforting us. Be with our earthly father until You call him Home.
In Your Son’s Precious Name,
Amen.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Celebrating

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
Exodus 20:8-11

A few years ago, I bought a book, Celebrating Biblical Feasts, to add to our homeschool library. I don’t know if it was procrastination or just forgetfulness, but I haven’t had a chance to use it until this year. While I was recovering from my surgeries this winter, my eyes fell on the book and I dug in.

For several weeks now, we have been observing the Sabbath. Now, I should explain…My husband works in retail and his scheduled hours do not always allow for weekends off. In fact, they rarely do. How can we honor the LORD? How can WE keep the Sabbath day as a family? After praying about this, the LORD impressed upon me that this was about my heart…to honor Him in obedience. Our Sabbath day varies from week to week, in order for us to be able to share that day with my husband.

In Mark 2, Jesus said,

“The sabbath was made for man,
and not man for the sabbath…”

The Sabbath was made for man? A gift? For me??? Well then, I should start treating it like the good gift that it is!

So we have our Preparation Day and enjoy our Sabbath together. Here’s our table, set for our Sabbath meal.

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I think my favorite part of this journey has been learning more about Jesus and His fulfillment of the prophesies. We are all growing closer to the LORD as we come to understand all that He is to us…and closer to each other! ♥

Celebrate Jesus together! Celebrate the gift of the Sabbath!

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Firstborn

"For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
  Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well."
~Psalm 139:13-14

12 years ago...
My husband and I were sent home from the hospital with another "not yet". I had been having strong contractions for days (weeks), but getting nowhere. The doctor I saw that day wasn't my regular doctor and when he sent the nurse in to give me a shot to stop the contractions, I naturally freaked out. Please don't send me home again...

BUT... they did.

While we had been at the hospital, it continued to snow so much we couldn't get up our road to go home (ahh, the joys of living in the mountains!), so we had to spend the night at my dad's house. I was so glad my sister and her girls were visiting him at the time. I needed her calm reassurance, her prayers. After another sleepless night, morning finally came and back to the hospital we went. My regular doctor took one look at me and set me up for yet another ultrasound. Something's not right here...

"Your baby is in distress."

Had the alternate doctor taken the time to check me properly, he would have discovered that I had almost no fluid left for my little boy. This long-awaited child was past ready to meet the world. After two prior miscarriages, I was terrified that we would come this far only to have something go wrong.

But God...
...had His hand on me, even then. I did not know the Lord back then...had never experienced His perfect peace. I didn't know to call on Him...that He would help me.

I look back on that day and can clearly see the LOVE my Heavenly Father had for me, even before I knew I needed Him. He carried me through that day and was there when my baby, my firstborn son, was delivered into my arms...perfect in every way. My Father gave me a gift that day and I never even said thank you...


Heavenly Father,
Thank you for Your Firstborn Son…and for mine. Thank you for loving me even when I didn’t know Your Name. Thank you for this gift of a child…so strong, full of joy and life. Thank you for the privilege of raising him. Thank you for the lessons you have taught me about Your Love through my love for him. Thank you for the grace you so generously pour out on my parenting efforts, guiding me, correcting me, keeping me on the path that leads only to You. Continue to lead me, as I lead him.
In Jesus' Name, I thank you. Amen.
I love this kid...and the young man he's becoming!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Way I Feel

"What harm is there in starting over?"

This is what I've been asking myself for weeks. It's been months since I've been on here...Every time I think about posting my blessings, I am torn by THE WAY I FEEL. I don't feel blessed at the moment. I don't even feel like myself. I just had 2 surgeries, back-to-back. I can't do half the things I used to do. I hurt. I'm tired. I feel like crying half the time, and screaming the other half. I don't like THE WAY I FEEL.

What??

When did THE WAY I FEEL become a reason to stop counting the blessings the LORD pours out on me daily? This is what my old pastor called "Stinkin' Thinkin'"....and I've been doing a lot of it lately, I'm ashamed to say. I've not been thinking of my blessings because I've been to busy thinking of all the garbage. Ugh...

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." ~Philippians 4:8

I will think on these things.

So, what harm IS there in starting over? None. Starting today, I will fix my eyes upon the One Who Strengthens me, giving Him the glory and honor He deserves, not because of THE WAY I FEEL, but because of THE WAY HE LOVES...me.

THE WAY HE LOVES...is true.
THE WAY HE LOVES...is honorable.
THE WAY HE LOVES...is just.
THE WAY HE LOVES...is pure.
THE WAY HE LOVES...is lovely.
THE WAY HE LOVES...is commendable.
THE WAY HE LOVES...is excellent!
THE WAY HE LOVES...is worthy of praise!