My Fitness

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Indulgences for My Indulgences

I indulge unholy behavior on a daily basis. Today's basis is plain self pity. I have an unholy cycle of sinning through self-pity which leads to the sin of over-eating which makes me fat which leads to me feeling sorry for myself. (Why do I eat when I feel bad? Luckily, I left my chocolate pie at someone else's house last night, so I've mostly just eaten animal crackers today).

...and I still feel so, I don't know, disappointed? Yes, I feel disappointed. Not only do I feel disappointed in that we are no longer moving as anticipated, but I am disappointed in God. I hope this a safe place for my confession. The actual depth of my thoughts was, "Why can't he just leave us alone?" Why does He keep teaching us and trying to get us to trust Him more? I know He will always provide for us and I know everything will turn out ok, but why must this process of finding a real job take so long?

I knew it was sinful and wrong the moment the thought finished. But there it lay. Thought-ed [that's how I said it in my head]. It could not be unthought. The true horror of this thought is that it revealed my innermost being. Vile and unholy. I found myself sympathizing with the Israelites as they left Egypt. I knew what they were feeling. They just wanted rest. They didn't want all this testing. An all-powerful God who is loving and gracious should be able to provide rest for His children. So why doesn't He? My accusations and cynicism grew. Now I can relate to Job. Poor man. Why did God treat such a loving and wonderful servant in such a way? Job never knew and I may never know. But our sin is the same. Surely God will have the same answer for me, then.
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Job 38
It seems I am a sinner in need of grace. God says it is not my place, and not Job's place, to question God. Can we understand as He understands? God uses the foolish things of this world to baffle the wise (I Corinthians). If a wise person cannot understand, then I humbly submit that I do not have a chance. Although I wouldn't call myself a fool, only a fool would call himself (or herself) wise. All things are in His control. He uses bad situations and evil to bring about His good. Romans 8:28 tells us that God brings all things together for His good. And Hebrews assures us that even though we can't believe with our eyes that He is in control, He truly is.

My sin was indulged. I "fell" into it. But God's grace abounds. For Christ's sake, I will indulge in His gift of grace. For while my sin abounds, His grace abounds more so. I will take my indulgence of His grace. I will accept my failings and be covered in His blood that removes stains. For it is only the sons of God that go through testing and trials...And I find encouragement in the letter to the Hebrews, chapter 12:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resister to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."

My sin that I am asked to lay aside is my selfish desire for rest from the training of God. I am encouraged to continue to run the race of life and look to Jesus as an example. Jesus lead a life that he knew would end terribly so that he might draw his sons to himself and he finished well. So I can finish well too. His shame was greater than my shame. I am ashamed to not be able to have a job and afford to live on our own. But what is that compared to the shame Jesus endured to save my entitled being? So I will endure as well.

We run out of health insurance February 1st. My parents, with whom we now live, are moving. What if we get pregnant? We'll need a new car. Where will we live? How can we afford the necessities? Will we ever be able to afford any luxuries? When the cares of my heart are many, his consolations cheer my soul. I know that mine is not as sad as other's predicaments but I still cast these cares to the Lord and allow his word to sustain me. As I started the post out, I know that I am full of sin desiring to do good and failing. And now at the end of the post, I know that it will only be his grace to sustain me. Then perhaps he will tell me, too, that my faith has made me well.

And now, some words from Daily Light on the Daily Path:
Every Branch in me [Jesus] that does not bear fruit he [the Father] takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (John 15:2)
For he [God] is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord (Malachi 3:2, 3)
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who had been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that his father does not discipline? If you were left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate and not sons. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:8, 11-12)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thank You Family!

5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.
Yes! I finally got our Thank You notes out in the mail!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

For Life

I have never met a person who was not pro-life. Even those who believe in women's rights would not harm a baby once he was born. We all believe in protecting life once it begins, but the debate is over when life begins.

CHristians do not unanimously agree on when life begins. Some Christians define the beginning of life at different stages. Some Christians even define life as beginning at birth, some with the first brain activity, and some when blood is produced. Most Christians that I know personally will at least preach, if not also practice, that life begins at conception. But what I don't understand is why so many Christians do not practice what they preach.

If its simple ignorance, then perhaps this will help educate:

The videos basically show the biology behind conception and what it means to have "life begin at conception". For those of you who get queasy at the mention of sex, grow up, I mean, stop reading now. Within 24 hours of sperm entering a female, an entire new person could be growing if that sperm fertilized an egg. new DNA = new organism.

Once the sperm, with half a set of chromosomes, meets the egg, with another half, the chromosomes join together. The single cell has its own unique DNA, different from mother and father. At this moment, this single cell has personhood. This is the basis of the anti-abortion movement.

If you are a Christian who agrees with me, then perhaps you might be interested in learning about the birth control pill. Perhaps you roll your eyes, but bear with me and be educated. It is my deepest desire to see you glorify God.

I once had a friend on Yasmin. I was curious and looked up the drug in the Physicians Desk Reference. The page describes unemotionally the three mechanisms of contraception used with Yasmin. The first mechanism is to prevent ovulation. No ovulation can potentially lead to a decreased, if not completely eliminated, libido, as well as permanent damage to the release mechanism causing the mother to become infertile. In case an egg is dropped, the second mechanism will change the viscosity of the mucous so the sperm cannot get to the egg. But if an egg is released, and a sperm does make it to the egg, then we have conception which leads to the third mechanism.

The third mechanism is to strip the endometrium of all nutrients disallowing a zygote to implant. A zygote is the growing person. By blocking its only food source, the person starves to death and is passed through the mother's system often without her even knowing she was pregnant. Sometimes it is noticed by a slightly more bloody period. Ignorance is bliss! While aborting a baby so passively, most Christians callously murder their own children and then tell abortion doctors how evil they are. Both are unwanted pregnancies, and for a Christian I have to wonder why they don't want their pregnancies.

Here's a pdf from Randy Alcorn on Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?

Why do so many Christians fear having babies? Surely a Christan believes the Bible. And doesn't the Bible say that children are a blessing? A reward? Then, Christian, why do you not believe it? You say one thing but your actions say another. Christianity is not about actions. It is not about doing this or not doing that. But even as Christ is advocating for your soul, your fellow man judges you to see if you truly believe what you claim.

Do you fear having enough money? Look at my life as an example. We have not had enough money for over a year. We couldn't pay rent and sometimes we barely had enough for food. My husband could not provide for us. But were we supposed to be trusting Felipe to provide for us or trusting God to provide for us? Who is Jehovah-Jireh? The Lord will Provide. And he did. My parents let us move in with them. It was terribly embarrassing and humiliating. I guess God is showing me how much pride I have.

Maybe we should have waited to have children until we had enough money. But when I look at Caleb even on his bad days no amount of money is worth his life. But perhaps your children will not be as wonderful as mine? Or perhaps you fear that that is true? What blessings we all miss out on when we take matters into our own hands!

I do not need to pray if the timing is right. I do not need to worry if any children come too soon or if they are not coming soon enough because I trust God. I believe that God will not create a child that he does not want. And I live that belief out.

I do not fear the plan of God. I let him create what he chooses to create. Is my life more difficult sometimes because of that? Yes. I am not free to lie about and do what I please. I must be selfless. God is conforming me to the image of his son. And having these two boys is wonderful! I cannot imagine how life would be if I had chosen life.

Fellow Christian, choose life. When you choose the world's wisdom over God's wisdom, you wait until your own plan can succeed. You wait until you have all your ducks in a row. You wait and do what you please with the right house, job, and wealth. But these will all burn away. God wants you to place your treasure in heaven and look to him for your satisfaction. You have missed out on your own Caleb and Micah because you did not choose life.

I'm embarrassed that I was envious of you. I was obedient. I had my husband, my sons, and my God. And yet I wanted things that are meaningless...things that amount to nothing and will burn away.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life —is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Body, God's Temple

A friend recently asked a question on facebook wondering if she should get a nose ring. I think nose rings when done tastefully are beautiful.

distasteful and ugly vs elegant and beautiful:


"It's my body. I can do what I want with it." I'm sure we've all had a friend with this mantra as their focal point during adolescence. Whether it's hair color, tattoos, or piercings it seems there alway a trend for kids to jump on to be different just like everyone else.

However, the Bible has a different opinion than most teenagers (I know! What a shocker!). The Bible specifically says to not get a tattoo. So to me, that means don't get a tattoo even if it's of Leviticus 19:28. But there's grace and I would not condemn someone with a tattoo, even though I think they are all ugly.

As for hair color, I'm a naturalist. I like grey hair. If someone wants to dye their hair pink, that's fine. It's fun. But if I am so conceited that I can't admit that my hair is not naturally strawberry blonde, then this actually seems like a more significant issue that needs prayer. [I once had my older sister say to me, "I'm so glad you have more white hair than I do." Now I have no idea what her motives were. Perhaps this is a new way to be encouraging or loving, but I just thought it was odd and part of her awkward personality. My younger sister has solid brown, no noticeable silver at all. Absolutely beautiful! But she still said to me that she likes my silver streaks because it reminds her of tinsel. Me too! And tinsel reminds me of Christmas and angels! But I digress...]

I don't know what kind of nose ring my friend wants to get. I had a roommate once who had a nose ring that made her look like a pig. But she thought she looked cool. One person wrote on my friend's facebook wall that she should not get one. But I considered Ezekiel 16 where God is describing how he came to Jerusalem and found her (figuratively) and dressed her. He put jewels on her including a ring for her nose. And he called her beautiful. If God calls it beautiful, it must be beautiful. Everything can be corrupted just as everything can be redeemed.

Her friend wrote again doubting that my quote was in the Bible. And that got me thinking how twisted American Evangelicals have gotten. How often we have put aside what the Bible actually says for the substitute of some politician or conservative ear-tickler. Consider what the Bible says, not the opinion of man. I wrote to her and told her that we need to fight the urge to try to fit Scripture into our opinions and instead simply believe what the Bible says.

Her reply (I'm editing what I believe to be typos): Hmmm...I think too many people try to take scripture and mold it to what they "think" it means without really diving into it. I myself need to "dive" into it. To each his own on tattoos, piercings, etc. It's your/their body, but His Temple. so one should treat it as such in whatever form it may be.

I've been thinking much on what she wrote. From her picture she looks young. From her typos, I'm guessing mid to late teenager. She's obviously a Christian and obviously wants to learn more. Kudos for that. But she still has me thinking. And thus this blog post came about.

The passage that speaks about our bodies being God's temple is I Corinthians 6:19. Paul is speaking about sexual immorality. Don't have sex with anyone you aren't married to because marriage symbolizes God's covenant with us. He doesn't want us whoring with the devil. Our bodies are his temple. This is a very specific scenario.

Tattoos, I've already addressed. Piercings, I've already addressed. Sexual immorality doesn't seem to fall into the same category though. Also, we're talking the big BC/AD change. Old Testament dispensation was a different grace than New Testament. Tattoos are an OT no-no. Piercings are an OT symbol of beauty. Sexual immorality is always bad. Our bodies being God's temple is a NT analogy to help the OT temple analogy make more sense (that would be an awesome Bible study and I plan on doing it soon).

So, in conclusion, no it isn't your body. Tattoos = no. Piercings = yes. And only have sex with your spouse because God.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

discourage discouragement

After reading the finished entry, it seems the tone of this post is harsher than I intended. I don't mean to be judgmental. Sometimes things are not accurately conveyed through the internet. Please give me grace as you read this and try not to judge me too harshly!

Discouragement is generally unwelcome. Since getting married and having children I've tried to pour encouragement into Felipe, Caleb, and Micah's lives. Coming from a family where sarcasm and discouragement was considered an achievement and a way to communicate, a language to be fluent in or a (backwards) sign of intelligence, it has taken awhile to reprogram my thinking. I have needed to discourage my discouraging tendencies.

Some people have this constant need to ridicule others and put down any idea not their own. I believe this is a sign of insecurity. When I was insecure, I, too, would try to make other people feel as insecure as I felt. How rude and unloving of me! Thank God for his grace. But this was communication in my family. I even remember coming home for a visit one year, the reprogramming nearly complete, I happened to be in the car when the other four members of my family started speaking very rudely to each other. I said something about it to which my younger sister replied that this was just how they speak to each other and if I was going to live with them then I needed to get used to it. But instead I decided to discourage rudeness.

Pride was the first recorded sin and I believe can be traced to the root of every other sin as well. In my experience proud people are always wrong about themselves. Growing up we had a backward understanding about what pride and humility was. We were all very proud. But if you said that you didn't have some talent that you did in fact have then you were humble. This has adversely affected my life many times. How confusing for a child this must have been! But now I discourage pride in myself.

Over competitiveness is a character trait I simply don't handle well. I've tried to be competitive, but I didn't like it. I knew that I was full of lies and I didn't like the taste of bullying others. I see other people being overly competitive and it is always unbecoming, ugly, and repulsive. I look at those peoples' lives and I think, "no wonder." Caleb watches a children's tv show that sings a song, "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Either way, it's ok. We're just having fun anyway." But when people get competitive over Go Fish and enforce penalties in Charades, it shows their general lack of mercy and grace that runs throughout their souls. So I discourage competitiveness.

If you can't have fun playing a game without seeing your opponents suffer for wrongs committed, check to see if that's a common theme throughout your day. Do you wish to see your fellow men suffer for being born to the wrong family? Do you want those who aren't able to feed their family "deal with it"? I saw a friend's political views as written on facebook say, "Don't take the money I've worked hard for to provide for MY family and give it to someone who won't get off their rear to support theirs!"...If you're a non-Christian conservative I can understand why you might think this. But if you believe that Christ was sent to save sinners even when they can't help themselves, I don't understand this hatred and lack of compassion. Discourage harshness, gracelessness, and lack of mercy.

Encourage love! Whatever is true, or honorable, or just, or pure, or lovely, or commendable, or excellent, or praise-worthy, think on these things (Philippians 4:8). What you have learned and received and heard and seen, that is LOVE, GRACE, COMPASSION, MERCY, practice these things and then the God of peace will be with you! Discourage ungodliness.

What is godliness? Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. The Bible does not say, "Be kind to others as long as they are kind first." The Bible does not say, "Love and take care of the poor as long as they are willing to get a job." The Bible does not say, "Help someone get a job so you don't have to take care of them any more." No, rather the Bible says to love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5) and do good, and lend expecting nothing in return...Be merciful even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6) The Bible says, "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ …‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’" in Matthew 26. Make your peace with God. And if you believe that you can reconcile being given grace and mercy from your sins through the death of Christ on the cross even though he knew and knows that you will sin again and at the same time not help you own brother, that remains between you and God.

Matthew 18

23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished ato settle accounts with his servants.8 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him bten thousand ctalents.9 25 dAnd since he could not pay, his master ordered him eto be sold, with his wife and fchildren and all that he had, and payment to be made.26 So the servant10 gfell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and dforgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundredhdenarii,11 and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.

33 iAnd should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’34 jAnd in anger his master delivered him to the jailers,1 kuntil he should pay all his debt.35 lSo also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brothermfrom your heart.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Does God Nurse Us?

My younger son is still nursing. It's very good for him and it is instinctual at first. The older he gets, the less instinctual he becomes.

Also, he has shown interest in eating what the rest of us are eating. He might try a crumb of bread or a single grain of rice, but I can tell he just wants to tear into the steak that we grilled for ourselves!

He actually took my cup of water from me the other day with his feeble grasp and he took a sip. Now any time I'm drinking water he tries to take a sip. He loves the stuff and simply can't get enough.

And now he's playing with toys, rolling around, trying to crawl, and so many other distractions. It is getting difficult to get him to focus! In fact, today while he was nursing he kept turning away and looking at other things and then whining when he realized he wasn't getting fed...and he reminded me of me!

Does he remind you of you? When I first started drinking the milk of the gospel, I was focussed and hungry. I instinctually knew I wanted as much as I could handle. I took notes, listened to the same sermon multiple times, cross referenced verses and ideas in different translations, verified facts. You would have called me a theology nerd! The longer I was a Christian the more intense my hunger became and eventually I left the milk and tasted the meat! Just like what Micah wants to do!

But I also have found that it hasn't been as instinctual any more. I find that if I am not purposeful in setting aside time to pursue God, he falls by the wayside. I'm getting distracted by all the cool things he has given me - husband, kids, stuff. I'm losing focus.

Do you think that when we go back and forth between what God has given us and God himself, that perhaps sometimes he simply keeps himself from us until we "get serious" and take him in? This is what happens with Micah: if he gets distracted while nursing and I can't get him to focus, I stop nursing him. I give him over to his desires, whether it's looking at the picture or playing with a toy. Eventually after a minute or two, I'll let him nurse again and he's focussed because of how hungry he is.

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Psalms 42:1-2

O God, you are my God; Earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1

Jesus said to the, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35

Friday, January 6, 2012

As We Enter

Right now I am thinking about entrances. What a peculiar topic to think on! But it's something we each do multiple times a day without thought. Perhaps I will become a more grateful person as I reflect upon entrances.

We're entering into the New Year right now. New Year's Resolutions are flying all around us. Most will be broken multiple times by the end of this week and by the end of next week most will be completely disregarded. I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions and most of the few I have made have fallen by the way-side. One commitment that I thought about pursuing this year was a renewed intensity to read my Bible more. Daily. I thought of this shortly after Christmas and wondered why do I need to wait until January 1st? So I started immediately reading more and committing time in the morning and in the evening to reading my Bible as well as to pray for my family every evening in my bed. With every new event in my life, it has been getting harder and harder to set aside time for God. So that's ending now.

That leads to another entrance. Entering into the presence of the Lord is the best entrance of all, in my opinion. And yet it is so quickly set by the way side, forgotten, replace with temporal commitments with little to no lasting value. Taking care of my family is a great thing to do. No one is suggesting or has ever said to me that I should forget about my husband or children. But how much better can I take care of them if my relationship with God is good! Likewise, if my relationship with my husband is good, I will be able to give a better example to my children.

How do I enter the room that my husband is in? Do I think, "There's that old oaf. What can he do for me?" Or do I enter with love? Do I look at him and think of the ways I can serve my brother in the Lord? Do I enter looking for his betterment or for my own personal gain? I am so grateful to God for my husband. He is my dream come true! He's given me the children of my dreams. My life is wonderful. I don't have a bucket list because my dreams have all come true. I have my children; I have my husband; I have my Savior.

When I enter into a mess that my children have made, I do not think what a bother it is. I gladly clean up after them knowing that God has given me a gift. He's given me a responsibility to take care of these precious little people. So when I feel down for not being on top of the laundry or dishes, I remember that there's more to my children's relationships than cleanliness. Most importantly I want them to remember happiness with me. I want them to remember having fun. I want them to remember joy. I don't care if they remember dirty dishes.

When I enter the grocery check-out line, am I annoyed at it's length? Yes. Most definitely. But I also look for a friendly conversation and a way to lighten the mood. Often people comment on how cute the boys are. Yes, they are, thank you.

And they love each other. We enter that into their memory. We speak that "into their lives" - not some sort of incantation that we claim in some erroneous reading of the Scripture, but a gentle reminder to them that they love each other. If we retell the stories of how the have wronged each other, then that's what they will remember. But if we remind them of their kind acts to each other, and if we remind them of their love to each other, then that's what they will remember. If they remember their love, I hope they can forgive and forget their sins to each other much easier than I have been able to with my sisters.

So my children teach my about God. He doesn't remember my sins. He remembers His love. He came, he lead, and he died. He showed me how to live my life for God. And as I enter the new day each time I wake, I need to enter in humility knowing that my next entrance could be into death. I should enter with thanksgiving and with joy. Thankful for Jesus and joyful at his salvation. And that's how I will enter into peace and contentment. If my life is not as I will it to be, then I should enter into the life as God wants it to be, and so my life will be as I want it to be. I want my life to be always entering the will of God.

A year ago today I found out I was pregnant with Micah.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January Fifth I Spoke Abrasively and the Spirit Convicted Me

This evening my first action after speaking abrasively to my husband I read the following Bible Verses. So, of course, I apologized immediately. Oh, how the Spirit convicts with a sense of humor. This is a habit of mine, to be impatient. I am working on it...

Psalm 141:3

xSet a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;

ykeep watch over the door of my lips!

Psalm 130:3

If you, O Lord, should fmark iniquities,

O Lord, who could gstand?

Psalm 106:33

33 for they fmade his spirit bitter,1

and he gspoke rashly with his lips.

Matthew 15:11
11 rit is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”

Proverbs 16:28

28 aA dishonest man spreads strife,

and ba whisperer cseparates close friends.

Proverbs 12:18

18 cThere is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,

but the tongue of the wise brings dhealing.

Proverbs 12:19

19 Truthful lips endure forever,

but ea lying tongue is but for a moment.

James 3:8

8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, kfull of deadly poison.

James 3:10

10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,1 these things ought not to be so.

Colossians 3:8

8 But now qyou must put them all away: ranger, wrath, malice, sslander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Colossians 3:9

9 tDo not lie to one another, seeing that uyou have put off vthe old self1 with its practices

1 Thessalonians 4:3

3 For this is the will of God, iyour sanctification:1jthat you abstain from sexual immorality;

Revelation 14:5

5 and iin their mouth no lie was found, for they arejblameless.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Visiting Felipe

What a wonderful day! Nina is home and she, the boys, and I went to visit Felipe for lunch. I was so sad to have Felipe gone all day and it was nice to be able to visit him.

Official photo of January 2

I was also able to buy my ideal baby backpack for much less than expected!

I used to read the Daily Light on the Daily Path when it was handed out at church. But now I get it through a website. I read about Aaron's sacrifices today. I struggle to find the significance of this Light on my personal Daily Path. Most significantly I think how great it is that we don't have to sacrifice regularly any more. First, there isn't even an altar place any more. Second, I live in America and that would be a ridiculous commute. Third, I'm not Jewish; so there's that.

How wonderful it is to live in the Grace of God! Because God loved us He sent His Son to redeem us. Jesus was the final sacrifice. I pray that my sons will one day trust in Jesus for their salvation.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Obligatory Post

Official photo of January 1, 2012: Daddy with Micah after work today
I call this the "obligatory post" because I feel that everyone always says something on New Year's Day to try to encapsulate their feelings of loss and excitement. I, however, had a completely different intent in writing this post and it just happened to occur on January 1, 2012. Now that I've started, though, I think I, too, will try to encapsulate my feelings of love, regret, loss, excitement, expectation, happiness, and joy at leaving 2011 behind and entering 2012.

I love my family. There's just no getting around it. My husband is the most amazing man I have ever met. He's good, kind, and peaceful. He's given me the best children ever! Caleb is so loud (!) and happy. Micah is peaceful and curious and isn't up to much in his infancy.

I regret not keeping up with old friends. I miss them. I was so grateful for the few friends who have kept up with us and who came to our Going Away party. I can't express how deeply touched I was! Beautiful Friends, thank you. I love you!

Our newest addition, Micah, enjoying his saucer toy.

We lost some of the best of God's creation this year. A miscarriage in a family of 7 from church, a miscarriage in a newlywed couple, a random suicide from a cousin suffering unknowingly from a stroke, unexpected heart attack from a friend's one true love, and felt most deeply on Christmas Eve was the loss of my good friend's second child. Through all this devastation and loss of life, we remember that God is in control. We remember Job and the amount of loss he felt and his response in the end. I don't know why such terrible things have to happen, but I do know that God loves us all. He loves all those people who we've lost this year and those that we will lose this coming year. I pray for God's protection on my family and I hope that I will not have to feel the pain of loss any closer than I have so far. I know that God will never allow anything to happen that does not conform us to His image. I have decided to trust God with the lives of my husband and children. I pray his protection on us and trust that when we each die we will see each other again. For us, it won't be an ending but only a momentary pause before waking in the presence of the Almighty.

Hipster Caleb listening to bluetooth headphones before it's cool while wearing his Brobee backpack.

I am excited and have great expectations for this new year! We're moving to South Korea! It's a dream come true for me. I've always wanted to move to Asia. My cousin grew up in Korea and I had planned on visiting her several times and never did. Now she lives in New Jersey and she'll come visit me!

Micah enjoying his first ever swing ride!

I'm happy to be leaving the bad economy and lousy paying jobs of 2011. I'm happy to leave the constant dependency of other people's good nature. I'm grateful for their good nature though, whether it was family letting us stay with them or giving us a grand to help us with medical bills, or friends with new borns passing along their maternity clothes when mine went missing, all credit to God for not letting us go hungry. This may have been our worst financial year, but it has been good to show Felipe and I that we should be generous with no strings attached. We should walk the extra mile and give the extra cloak. We should give without conditions and love without expectation.

Often people get themselves into a mess, and if we can we should help them out even though we know they will just mess up again. Can you imagine if God treated us that way? What if God only covered our first mistake even while knowing that we were planning our second? I cleaned a sloppy lady's kitchen today. I know that it will be gross again tomorrow. But it's Jesus' perfect example of unconditional love that spurs me onward. Jesus didn't leave me in my allegorical messy kitchen. He came in and cleaned even though he knew I would just mess it up again tomorrow.

Caleb opening Grannie Clare's Christmas present for her.

I have learned great contentment which has lead to great joy. I have learned from the wisdom of experienced families to not let my life be run by the expectations of parents or peers. But do what I believe is right. By submitting to my husband, offering insight when he asks, serving God and dying to self daily, I can know I'm doing what is right. It might not always be the popular opinion. You might not always agree with me. But my conscious will be clean and I'll be at peace knowing that my life is run by the fear of God and not the fear of man. I hope you will lead your life in the same manner. I hope you nothing but the best.