Draw near

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
You can’t get to know God from a distance. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Something inside me the past two years has yearned to draw nearer to Him, to know Him better, to allow Him to reveal more truth to me. I receive this desire as a reward for taking time to seek Him. I’m grateful to the tools He used to draw me to Him:
1.       The Lord’s Table
2.       Anne Streeter’s Inductive Bible Study on Colossians
3.       Daniel Fast during Lent 2011
My struggle lately has been learning to love my husband more and more. I desperately want to be that couple married 50+ years claiming they love each other now more than the day they wed. And then while being taught James 4:8 yesterday, I realized that while Christ is my first and last bridegroom, Derrick is my bridegroom here in human flesh. Am I drawing nearer to him? My mentor told me, “Look at Derrick like when you first fell in love.” I have wrestled with what that looks like for three days and then in this teaching, God reveals it to me. I have to draw near to Derrick to really know him. I have to sacrifice getting more done in my day, having the dishes all put away, doing what I want to do in the evening, on the weekend. And even last night as I prayed with him before drifting off to sleep, I felt like I knew him and saw him in that first love’s light. Once more, God’s amazing blessing after obedience.
4.       Sunlight pouring through puffy thunderheads
5.       Respect being learned
6.       Zodiates
7.       Black stamens inside the tulip that stand in contrast to the light petals
8.       Ribbon
9.       Snow in July
10.   Warm spring evening drive alone
11.   Music that lifts spirits and pierces heart
12.   Allrecipes app
13.   Maps
14.   Jewelry
15.   Last of the trees finally budding out
16.   Getting to know women better
17.   Spring bling catching the sunlight and reflecting all over kitchen walls
18.   Calculated one’s repentant heart
19.   Look in the engineer’s eyes that says how much he loves me
20.   Finding the Bluetooth
21.   Joyous anticipation of a weekend at a cabin
22.   Mother-in-law that radiates peace, calm and servanthood
23.   Caringbridge website
24.   Doorbell ringing
25.   Verbal affirmation from the engineer
26.   Trimming the Maple “bushes” into trees
27.   Garden all tilled
28.   Long dark eyelashes
29.   Crockpots
30.   Roadtrips
31.   Nectar so that bees make honey
32.   Alarm clocks not set
33.   Lilacs beautiful green and aromatic flowers
34.   Walmart
35.   Missing my older sister…it means we have relationship
36.   Planting time
37.   Pencil, paper and planning
38.   Singing while playing piano
39.   Montana pumpkin seeds in Minnesota soil
40.   Order and organization
41.   Sleepy bed eyes that find mom to snuggle
42.   Sleeping in “sister’s” room
43.   The engineer hogging the bed
44.   Smell of ham in the oven
45.   Bright green crinkle in spinach leaves
46.   Unique shape of seeds
47.   Catching rainwater in buckets
48.   Fertilizer
49.   Preen
50.   2-4-D
51.   Joy that bright yellow dandelions bring little girls
52.   Lumber yard in town
53.   Milk  and orange juice in a bag
54.   Punch card for milk club
55.   Sisters playing school
56.   Beating the rain
57.   “Tomorrow” sung somewhat in unison by three golden heads
58.   Potlucks
59.   New recipes
60.   Endless variety of fabric...choices
61.   Leftovers for lunch
62.   Song of rain on windows
63.   Shelves
64.   Overhearing imaginative play
65.   Dirty blonde hair
66.   Dress jammies
67.   Sun freckles
68.   Lori
69.   Balance
70.   Cowlicks
71.   The engineer’s first soufflé
72.   “I’ll lick your cookie for you.”
73.   Sleeping in forts
74.   Sleepbags and pillows for padding against a concrete floor
75.   Nightlights
76.   Bedtime prayers in the fort
77.   Panentheism – Colossians 1:15-17
78.   Playing Hearts in the fort
79.   Allrecipes app
80.   Golden heads not fighting
81.   Naps that revive a spirit
82.   Emergen-C
83.   Garage organized
84.   The peacefulness felt by the engineer after the organization
85.   Mirrors that give more to see
86.   Straight orderly arch of irrigation system
87.   Alianese
88.   “Mom, you are gorgeous.”
89.   Moving the dining room chair closer to sister
90.   Nascar
91.   The engineer picking – it makes him him
92.   Blueberries
93.   Burps (or something worse) followed by “excuse me”
94.   Graceful flight of birds
95.   Pointy leaves of a maple
96.   Mystical haze in the morning air
97.   Silhouette of a small evergreen, zigzags from point to base
98.   Ical
99.   Squint of eyes that protect from sun, bugs & small flying dust particles
100.    Ingenious Creator
101.    Basil in a pot
102.    New mercies every morning
103.    Google
104.    Eagerness of the girls to spend time with mom and dad
105.    The engineer’s hand on me at daybreak, inviting me to snuggle closer
106.    Destination Dairy Queen bike ride
107.    Eight yellow turning black goslings swim and waddle between parents


Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Manna: the very sustenance nourishing the Israelites.  They were to collect just enough for the day ahead. Collecting excess would result in an ugly, smelly mess! Don’t I sometime, in a hurry or having too much to do, forego a gathering of “manna” (the Holy Spirit) in my morning, become that day-old manna: rotting, stinking and disgusting: to my Lord, to my husband, to my children, to my neighbors, friends, family. My spirit was designed to need replenishment every morning just as the Israelites had to gather their manna every morning. The Israelites did not lack anything as long as they admitted that they needed to go through this act every day. As I will not lack anything when I humbly approach my Lord asking for a filling of His Spirit daily.
1.     Boisterous one darting through the hallway after bedtime
2.     “Payback” on a bike ride hill
3.     Boisterous one “reading” the Bible
4.     Rocking chairs roll back and forth
5.     Running in the rain
6.     My Helper: God’s Holy Spirit
7.     Evening bike ride
8.     Sunglasses
9.     Smiles of passerbyers on the trail
10. Rhubarb, tart and tangy
11. Streusel
12. Piano Duets
13. Trumpet
14. Whirling breeze of ceiling fan at bedtime
15. Watching the Calculated blossom into the person God created her to be
16. Never being finished reading the Bible
17. Listening to the boisterous one quote scripture
18. Playing teacher
19. God directing steps

My sheep know My voice

Sunday, April 22, 2012
Waking at 3:30 to a full bladder, got my head spinning. Trying to relax and drift back to sleep while my mind wanders on the details of the a-coming birthday party. I drift in and out of consciousness until I hear morning birds and know it’s okay to awake. I want to be sure to spend time with Jesus before the day unfolds with 20 guests to arrive for a meal and party fun. I warm the coffee and sit with Jesus Calling. The words pierce my soul. As Jesus rebukes the Pharisees, he says, “I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have heard from you father,” (John 8:38.) The father of worry, compulsive planning, anxiousness and control are Satan himself. I am doing all these things long before I “begin” my day with my Savior. I am the worst of sinners! I need a posture of open hands, letting God direct me. “My sheep know my voice,” (John 10:27.) How can I hear His voice when I’m listening to Satan, bogged down with all these plans? I confess to you my lack of listening to You my Father. Guide me through this day and may I accept everything that happens with open hands as a gift from You. I am free from the anxiety of having a perfect home and enough food because Jesus has set me free. Yes, I am free indeed. (John 8:36) I will do my part, make plans allowing God to change them to do His will: “There are many plans in a man’s heart. Nevertheless the Lords counsel—that will stand” Proverbs 19:21. Today, Your will be done, Your kingdom come in my life. I must become less, You must become greater!

1.     Three golden heads in a row, umbrellas, flip-flops & stocking hats in tow
2.     Date night
3.     Grandparents “babysitting”
4.     New clothes
5.     The engineer’s wisdom toward my insecurity
6.     Lord’s will always prevailing
7.     Understanding
8.     Pruning shears
9.     Sitting on the same side of the booth
10. Minestrone soup
11. Kohl’s cash
12. Sacrifice of cousins to spend a birthday with the compassionate one
13. Sacrifice of the great-grands to have cousins together
14. Open hands
15. Intimacy after a shower
16. Installed light fixtures
17. Health to entertain
18. Resources to entertain
19. 20 birthday party guests
20. A smiling mother-in-law
21. The engineer’s eyes that find me desirable
22. Pointed top of the evergreen tree
23. Puddles
24. Mud on the trampoline
25. Fragrance of basil
26. Journaling
27. Giving gifts to the golden girls
28. Celebrate plate
29. Milk in a bag
30. Juice in a bag
31. Butter on sale
32. Orderly rows of growth
33. Line bread in the heavy clouds that streaks a burst of pink at sunrise
34. Joy in the face of the children
35. 12” bike in the grass
36. Flicker of birthday candles
37. Lite Brite
38. Garden pot spinach
39. 3 RSVPs from friends
40. Flower hair clips
41. Candy necklaces
42. Melon seeds
43. Lucas’ value of family
44. Dad’s gift of service
45. Mom’s love language of gifts
46. Jessica’s commitment to family
47. Traci’s wisdom shared
48. Handprint on patio window
49. An attitude changed from frump to joyful
50. Family for birthday parties
51. God glorifying conversation with Dawn
52. Play group for the boisterous one
53. Teaching of the Word
54. Blue Letter Bible dissecting the Hebrew & Greek
55. Revelation from God – Proverbs 29:18
56. Challenge to know the engineer better & fall more in love with
57. Falling more in love with Jesus
58. Constant communion with Christ
59. Kelli
60. Hug from a new friend
61. The engineer meeting with with John
62. Poetry Café
63. Confidence of the compassionate one
64. Carli’s high five
65. Lemonade and cookies
66. Snapfish & shutterfly
67. Oil changed
68. Boisterous noticing forgotten lunch then walking to bus stop
69. Stephanie
70. Tani
71. Molly
72. Fresh creamy yogurt
73. Curl of ribbon
74. Balloons that bring smiles
75. Refrigerator
76. Dishwasher
77. Convection oven
78. Microwave
79. Running water
80. Smell of clean towel


Monday, April 16, 2012
For months, I’ve been pondering the correlation between the life of Jacob and the engineer. How on Jacob’s fleeing journey from Esau (our home, Minnesota), he met God and God promised him four things: (1) your descendants shall be as dust of the earth, (2) in you and your descendants, all the families of earth shall be blessed, (3) I am with you and will keep you wherever you go and will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you, (4) I will bring you back to this land.
After the journey to foreign land (our Tennessee & Montana), as Jacob returns "home", he again encounters God and actually wrestles with Him all night. Before Jacob leaves he asks God to bless him and God also changes his name. I’ve wondered about the wrestle. I’ve wondered about the change. Would our name be changed from “wild man” to something else? Yesterday, in corporate worship while I communed with God pondering faith, confidence that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do, I felt like God said have faith because I’m changing your family. I see it: since our move, the engineer consistently seeking God’s face and leading spiritually. The golden heads little personalities becoming more like Christ’s. I just read this morning that we all are being transformed into the likeness of His glory. We are the changed family: Metamorphoō. The greek word to change into another form, to transform. I am humbled that I should become more like my Savior, I don’t deserve it, but I will sit in a posture with my hands open, ready to receive what gifts He deems.
In the midst of all the outward change in our lives right now, we focus on inward change. It is hard, but in align with Hebrews 12:2, we choose to run the race with endurance, our eyes fixed on Jesus, who also persevered the tortuous cross for the joy set before him, while the circumstances with family are akward, while we have few friends, while the engineer is away, we persevere for the joy set before us. The joy of being a changed person, more like Christ!

1.     Christ’s endurance for the joy set before
2.     Joy that is possible
3.     Christ defeating the death
4.     Hope
5.     TIME with God
6.     Dry house
7.     Flashes of light in sky
8.     Peace
9.     Jesus Calling
10. Workout finished by 5:15
11. Facebook
12. Dawn
13. Sarah
14. Intimate prayer with each of the golden head girls
15. Music
16. Ambersky dance moves
17. Christ’s power available to me
18. Dreams
19. McDonalds (the smiles it brings)
20. Van
21. 4 bathrooms
22. Pianos
23. Shopping
24. Coupons
25. Cash
26. Airplanes
27. “Own time”
28. Splat of tiny raindrops on window
29. Big drops rolling down pane
30. Dream of the engineer
31. Banana bread
32. Dad
33. The “yes” from the compassionate one…the party’s here
34. Sutterfly
35. SLR
36. Vacuum
37. List of to dos
38. Treats for the class
39. Silk flowers
40. Rhinestones
41. Sewing machine
42. Sewing project
43. Choices
44. Menus
45. Telling time with calculated one
46. Hot tub
47. Boisterous one “reading”
48. Imaginary friend, “Lisa”
49. Satisfaction felt after fixing
50. Anticipation of fun
51. 10 for 10 Sales
52. Dead flies
53. Flower pots
54. Spinach
55. Joy of baking
56. Eyes
57. Focusing on the nearer, not the further
58. Green
59. Poetry Café
60. Big sisters
61. Butter
62. Daddy coming home
63. Princess book
64. Reading
65. “Think” (Pooh)
66. Anne Streeter
67. Inductive Bible Study
68. Bend of trees, looks like dancing
69. Razor
70. Shampoo
71. WiFi at McDonalds
72. Strong backs
73. Five of us together
74. Early bedtime
75. Stretching muscles
76. Blueberry Frosted Mini Wheats
77. The blue-green right before sunrise
78. Grandparents
79. Heart to heart with grandma
80. Home
81. Christian Stanfill’s “Jesus Paid it All”
82. Christ saving me from death, paid my debt!
83. Texting
84. Spooning close in bed
85. Short prayers so we can get to sleep faster
86. Popcorn prayers
87. Warmth of the engineer’s body in bed
88. 5 around the fireplace in the morning
89. Sweats
90. Patience and endurance of cousins raising a little boy with downs
91. LifeLight
92. Tick tock of clocks
93. Graphics
94. Checks in the mailbox
95. Watching the calculated one write a book just like I used to when I was little
96. Watching the boisterous one make a wall of cereal boxes to hide behind
97. Listening to the compassionate one retell a story
98. Leftovers
99. Sweet, juice flowing from oranges
100.    Gummy vitamins
101.    Yeast
102.    Packages in the mail
103.    Stack of grapefruit
104.    Drops of dew on glades of grass
105.    Arranged shoes
106.    Blue bird
107.    A body that can run
108.    Bike paths
109.    Humility
110.    Quick to forgiveness
111.    Forbearance
112.    WeedBGone
113.    Babysitters
114.    Freezers overflowing
115.    Casserole in the fridge
116.    Shadows cast upon the table
117.    Imagination
118.    Dirty bathtub water
119.    Being made in the image of God
120.    Tiller