Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Disease

What a week it's been. I'm finally feeling better after having a terrible crick in my neck and headache that accompanied it! I just wanted to take a minute and share a little about what God's been teaching me the past few days. I have been reading through the gospels because I just deeply want to immerse myself in the life of Christ. I need to know Him better and how better to know Him than by reading His very words?

This past Sunday, my sweet hubby preached at church. And I'm little biased but I think he did a great job! He did a little overview of the first few books of Matthew and then preached out of Matthew 11. "Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (vs. 29). In his overview he touched on the verses in Matthew 9 about the woman with the discharge. It just so happened that I was almost to that story in my own personal reading in the gospel of Mark. I have always been fond of the story because of her words, "If I only touch his garment, I will be made well." But I have been thinking deeper this week about her story. I've wondered how must it have felt to be her. Today I read of the account in Mark's gospel and it gives a little more detail. First if you understand the way things were in those days you know that she was an outcast. Pardon me for being blunt but all woman at their 'time of the month' were considered ceremonial unclean. So, having a discharge of blood for 12 years, she was completely untouchable and shunned by society. Like a leper, if she were to go in public she would have to declare herself, "Unclean, unclean!" for all to hear. I can imagine she didn't get out much. Scripture tells us she had exhausted all funds trying to find a cure. She was getting worse and she had no hope. She would have to continue to live this lonely, isolated life.

Then she heard Jesus was coming. She had heard of Him, scripture tells us that much. She knew He was healing people. Maybe word had carried across the sea about the healing of the man called Legion. And maybe she had heard that the demons had called him "the Son of God". Maybe she had heard of Him speaking to the storm and causing it to be still. Only the Creator can speak to it's creation, right? I'm not sure what all she knew or believed of Jesus, but she knew enough to believe He could heal her. And she knew she had to get to Him. The language in the text suggest that her one line in scripture is one she said over and over to herself, "If I can touch even his garments, I will be made well." She was on a mission. She had to get to Him. At this point in Jesus' ministry, I imagine it was pretty difficult to get very close to Jesus. People of all kinds were flocking to see him, some for true need and some out of curiosity. Some wanted to find any fault in what He did or said. Just imagine the crowd. The Bible says, "A great crowd followed him and thronged about him." There were tons of people and they were pressing into Jesus as he walked. She put aside her shame and embarrassment. She pushed her way through the crowd. No longer saying, "Unclean, unclean" but rather..

"If I can just touch his garments, I will be made well...

If I can just touch his garments, I will be made well...

If I can just touch his garments, I will be made well... "

Oh her faith! And what happens? She comes up behind Jesus and touches his garment and immediately she is healed. Jesus turns and says, "Who touched my garments?" His disciples must have thought this was a crazy question because they pretty much say, "Um, do you see this crowd? I'm sure lots of people have touched you." But when the woman saw Jesus looking for her, she fell at his feet and told Him her story. Oh to have been there! I can't wait to find her in heaven and ask her about that first conversation with Jesus. And Jesus' reply to her is, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace. Your suffering is over." Daughter... Jesus called her daughter! She was no longer unclean or an outcast. She was daughter. She had been healed physically and spiritually and now was a daughter of the Most High. What a beautiful, beautiful picture of the gospel!

I am thanking Jesus today that I am daughter as well. I'm also remembering my hopeless, helpless days. My life was unclean and disease ridden. My disease was sin. It reminds me of this song..

I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross
And I beheld God's love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace!

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ

Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You!

And yes, today my heart sings... "Hallelujah! All I have is Christ! Hallelujah! Jesus is my life!" And my dearest friends, if you find yourself hopeless and without Christ, oh just reach out and touch His garment! He alone can heal the greatest disease that seperates us from God. He is faithful to heal and He is faithful to save! Glory to His name!"> alt="a-wise-woman-builds-her-home" border="0" src="" />

Monday, August 13, 2012

That's How I Want to Live

Can I be candid with you? I am so tired of being tired. I am so sick of being sick. I'm 12 weeks and 5 days pregnant and I am THRILLED beyond measure about this blessing inside me. Really and truly. I am just ready for a break. I have a few good days thrown in with mostly bad days. It's depressing, this day after day feeling of yuck. I felt great this morning when I got up. I even walked a mile. We did school and both Luke and Eli were very attentive. Shortly after lunch though it hit, that terrible taste in my mouth. That heavy feeling in my stomach. That "I must go lay down" exhaustion. When that hits, I don't want to do anything but just that: lay down. And so I lay and I think about the mound of laundry on the couch and the pile of dishes in the sink. I think about how I've been so lax with the boys that their play room hasn't been cleaned or their beds made in weeks. I think about how I've made a handful of real meals in the past 2 months and my kids have eaten way more junk than I typically allow. Add I'm thinking, how is all of this going to get packed away? And I've had sweet friends & family offer to help. And I appreciate it. But I can't let you see my mess. The mess that is my house and the mess that reveals this mess, the biggest mess: me.

And so, I want to hide under my sheets and cry.

But then I read this. And this rocks me. Read it, friend. It's worth every second.

".... because the good God is everywhere and provides for everything with love."

And so, I'm trying to pray in the midst of it all. Asking Him to help me live in light of His sacrifice and the great gift I've been given. And it's a battle because I fight myself. Because I relate to what Ann says, "I’ve been apathetic about grace and casual about Christ and you can lose your First Love faster than you can lose the 100 meter dash." And my sick and tired is not fighting to avoid death, like some dear people I know, but waiting for life. A sweet, new life. I am so thankful.

"One died for me that I might breathe this breath…

It’s all a gift."

It is all a gift. So, my prayer is to live that way.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

1st Week of 1st Grade

My handsome first grader!

We survived our first week of school! Everything went well, though we had a few bumps along the road. The first day went great! Luke enjoyed everything! He even told me I was the best teacher ever. Then Tuesday, I told him it was time for school and he complained. It was fun for one day, right? We worked through that though and by Thursday no more complaining. He really enjoys it once we get going. He just doesn't enjoy having to stop playing to do school. I know the change in routine will take some getting use to! So, our schedule has been kind of wonky but our perfect school day would look like this:

7:30-8:00am~ wake up
8 am~ breakfast
8:30am~ brush teeth and get dressed (going to add a chore or two to this once we get going)
9:00am~ play time (they also get to watch one tv show if they choose to, if it's nice they play outside)
10:00am~ school
10:45am~ snack
11:00am~ school
12:30am~ lunch

Remember that's the perfect day and no day is perfect. We loosely followed this schedule this week. After lunch we run errands, go to the library, play outside/inside, or finish any school work that didn't get finished. And sometimes if I'm tired, the boys watch a movie while I nap! Which happened several times this week. I am still feeling kind of yucky most days and especially tired. This week with school starting I was more worn out than ever. By about 2pm, all I could do was lay down. I also had a lot of afternoon headaches. Hopefully that will all pass soon!

Here are a few pictures from the week. I didn't take as many as I planned to!

We talked about the 7 continents on Monday and Luke and I put each name where they are located on the earth.

Here is Eli having his snack... contemplating something serious it looks like!

And Luke, probably talking about Star Wars!

On Friday, we read Psalm 18:1-6 and talked about how God is our shield! Then we made these really cool shields. They were a big hit!

Last year we took Luke out to breakfast on his first day of school. This year that wasn't possible for numerous reasons, so we took him out to lunch to celebrate his first week of first grade! He picked Cracker Barrel and of course had pancakes!

I'm looking forward to watching Luke learn and grow this year. I'm also looking forward to more energy in the coming weeks (please, Lord!). :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Quick Preggo Update - 12 Weeks

I had my 2nd prenatal visit yesterday. It's always a little nerve racking when you know they are going to be searching for that heartbeat! I had prayed and prayed that this little person's heart would be easy to find and sure enough, it was. It only took about a minute for the nurse to pick it up. It was beating at 160 beats per minute. Hearing that sound is music to my ears. I just absolutely love this baby so much!

I did get to talk to my Dr about the VBAC which I had been praying about. It went surprisingly well! He was very positive about me being able to attempt a VBA2C after hearing about my labor/birth with Eli. I told him that I still wasn't 100% confident in what God wanted me to do and that we still needed time to pray over it. He encouraged me to do that and let him know what we decide. We have plenty of time! I was really encouraged by this visit and my Dr's response. I'm continuing to pray that God will give us clear direction and wisdom about the delivery of this baby. I'm trusting He will. I was also told that I can take cranberry pills instead of drinking that vile cranberry juice. That was music to my ears as well! Dr also wants me to drink a gallon of water a day. A gallon. 128 ounces! Seriously, that's a lot of water. I'm trying though because I don't want to have to take more antibiotics!

At 12 weeks, I was hoping I'd feel better but I still feel pretty yucky. I'm praying it eases up soon. I could really use some energy since we started school this week. By about 3 pm I'm completely worn out and pretty much can't do anything but lay down. So pray with me, friends.

God is good and I am abundantly blessed.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Menu Plan Monday- 8/6

Well, I still am not feeling up to cooking much but my family has to eat. So, I've decided to just suck it up and do it! Does that sound terrible or what? Well, it's the truth. I really do want to serve my family and it's been so hard to feel up to serving cheerfully! So, here is our easy menu this week:

Egg in a Hole, Fruit (Oranges and Nectarines)

Brown Rice and Broccoli Stir Fry... Hubby hates rice (weird, I know) but the kids and I love it!

Sloppy Joes, Green Beans

Spaghetti w/ Steamed Squash and Zucchini

Chicken Noodle Soup.. I'm going to TRY to cook chicken. Cooking chicken has been the hardest thing thus far. I can eat it if someone else cooks it. My mom made some yummy Italian chicken this past weekend and it was really good. I've been craving homemade chicken noodle soup. Who am I kidding? I'd love a bowl of Campbell's but my conscious won't let me. So, I'm attempting homemade. Hopefully.

Banana Muffins

PB&J, Grilled Cheese/Quesadilla, Leftovers w/ sides

For Snacks:
Homemade granola

Sunday, August 5, 2012

It's time for school!

I've decided to start school a week early because of lots of exciting things going on in our lives! So.... we start tomorrow! When I mentioned this to Luke he was excited! And I am too! I love homeschooling so much! It is just a blessing and I truly feel like I'm answering God's call to 'teach them diligently'. We chose to use Heart of Dakota again this year. I toyed with the idea of switching but I kept coming back to it! I really enjoyed it so much. It's enough structure for me but also gives me freedom to lay aside anything that isn't working and add in what is. Last year we enjoyed everything that was laid out in the curriculum except I sometimes switched up the memory verses and we used some of our own Bible study material. We are doing that again this year. I did some searching and found "Studying God's Word Book B" by Christian Liberty Press. It's a 36 week unit that goes through the 60 catechisms and scripture to help explain each one. I am really looking forward to doing this with the boys. I also added a Christian Liberty Nature Reader for us to read together.

Along with all that is pictured above we will also be doing handwriting (I'm a little late ordering that! Oops. Until we get it, I'll just have Luke do some copy work.) and phonics. We did not finish Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. But we will! We got through 3/4 of the book. We had a very slow start in phonics and I learned early on not to push it. After TYCTR, I plan on starting Phonics Pathways and I'd like to pick up some easy readers and see how he does with those as well. From my research Phonics Pathways is very similar to 100 Easy Lesson but is a little more in depth. It sounds like the perfect next step for us! I plan on us doing a lot of reading together this year before we focus on grammar and spelling.

Luke will also be involved in elementary choir. He really enjoyed it last year! He is also taking an art class through our local co-op. I think he's going to enjoy that too! I'm hoping to share more updates throughout the school year through the blog.

Well, it's time to get these kiddos in bed! I'm looking forward to a fun and exciting 1st grade year!

 "And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
(Deuteronomy 6:6-9)