Friday, June 29, 2012
Today, I got a word of encouragement from my younger sister. It was very kind and resonated with something I’ve learned this past week in my study of Romans 4. In chapter 4 alone, the phrase “credited as righteousness” is used 11 times! As I studied the greek word for credited, logizomai, I realized it essentially mean the God puts righteousness in my account that I will have to settle up with him on my day of judgment. Now, I don’t deserve righteousness, but condemnation. But righteousness is instead imputed to me in a substitutionary manner because what I do deserve (eternal death) was placed on Christ. I feel undeserving, guilty. But Zodhiates says, “the imputation of righteousness whose correlative is freedom from guilt.” Ah, yes, Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Right after Paul’s first introduction of crediting righteousness to my account, he quotes Psalm 32:1-2, saying those who receive this crediting are blessed, this crediting is a blessing. But digging into the greek for blessing, makarios, I find that means marked by the fullness from God. It means you’ve found satisfaction from God, not favorable circumstance. So when I read, “I pray that your family will be blessed in all you say and do,” and I know that as an American society really, what more blessing could we ask for, I think, I don’t need to be blessed, I need to realized that I am blessed. Lord, forgive me for finding my satisfaction in favorable circumstances instead of from You.
1.       Sun Tea
2.       Sitting on the engineer’s lap in his “office”
3.       Going to Target field with the engineer
4.       Seats in the shade
5.       Kettle corn
6.       Little old Farmington
7.       Collecting cups from sporting events
8.       Not getting hit by the train or the car
9.       Laughing about it later
10.   Ending the date perfectly
11.   Sleeping with the sheet on because its cool enough
12.   The calculating one calling me to tell me about her day at grandmas
13.   Opportunity to have Sechler cousins overnight
14.   Plans that give Micah a hope and a future
15.   Seeing spiritual growth in the calculating one
16.   Guarding my time in the morning with God
17.   Having my girls home again
18.   Swapping Caleb for Braelyn
19.   Having to drive two vehicles because we have too many kids
20.   Grandpa Great coming to the party
21.   Dar driving him
22.   The engineer praying before dinner
23.   Bean Salsa getting 5 Stars
24.   Providing a meal for our family
25.   Birthday ice cream jello-cake in the shape of a butterfly
26.   The calculating one’s new hat and sunglasses
27.   The engineer being okay with 6 little girls in his house
28.   Getting more solar lights for the flower bed
29.   Four cousins on one air matress
30.   Four cousins in the hot tub
31.   Having a hot shower after 6 baths
32.   Perfect weather for slip & slide
33.   Mom & Dad helping with errands for the party
34.   Watering the garden
35.   Carter’s seal stunt that inspired everyone to try it
36.   Saving the cucumber plant
37.   Carter & Daniel surfing down the slip & slide
38.   Watching the dads do slip & slide
39.   The engineer burning his back because he did more sliding than he thought
40.   Having a campfire because the girls cousins got to stay
41.   Watching them roast marshmallows & eat s’mores & s’moreos
42.   Timing Braelyn while she burned her mallows
43.   Cowboy gulf with the engineer, the compassionate one and Braelyn
44.   Crush, Mountain Dew, sunglasses & four cousins posing for a picture
45.   Email from Ashley
46.   Grandpa stopping to see Micah
47.   Listening to the cousins play
48.   Canny bucks for bringing friends
49.   NOT vacuuming before the party
50.   Working WITH the engineer
51.   Slippers on in summer
52.   Bakery buns
53.   Free coupons at McDonalds
54.   “Take all the time you need”
55.   Rebekah sitting next to me in the chair
56.   Hanging out with the big 4 in the sunroom
57.   Taking six kids to the lake
58.   Being with the VanKlei ladies
59.   Cousins getting the golden heads out of comfort zone on the tubes
60.   Pizza & movie party starting at 9:30pm
61.   Traci calling me
62.   Family night board game & movie
63.   Water balloons with or without water
64.   Traci sharing Isaiah 26:3
65.   “Normal” routine
66.   Where you are…there you are
67.   Visit with Heather
68.   The Oasis
69.   Humid, hot growing weather
70.   Being an hour from Rochester
71.   Micah’s smiles
72.   Bringing the Sechler three Italian
73.   The golden heads being patient and not whining at the hospital
74.   Knowing we can bring more goodies to them
75.   Texting with mom
76.   Jessica keeping the other Sechler three
77.   Quiet 4th of July
78.   Ginger Pye with the big girls
79.   Meat thermometer
80.   Night to myself
81.   Coffee ice cream with oreos
82.   Able to run 4-miles
83.   Cold shower to cool my body
84.   Clothes wet from sweat
85.   Ability to memorize
86.   Golden heads giving each other pedicures
87.   Cool down in forecast
88.   Clouds to block sun’s intensity
89.   Cooler temps for Celebrate Freedom

Who am I?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
In visiting with my wise mother-in-law tonight, she said something about jobs, “It’s not who you are, it’s just what you do.” That struck me and I see so much wisdom in it when I use it to measure up an outside the home job. What your employment is doesn’t define who you are. You are a child of God. Heir to His kingdom. More precious than rubies. Forgiven. Righteous. Perfect. Being made holy. However, my wrestle with this is, who does that make me? My job is in the home: being a mom, home keeper, wife. I think I am these things in additions to His daughter. Is there error in this? Or am I a mom and a wife but in the eyes of God not a home keeper? I don’t know how to be the best mom and wife I can without keeping my home in an organized, tidy manner. I can’t seem to overlook sticky floors, splatter all over the cupboards, running out of ingredients and supplies and just be “there” as a mom and wife. I don’t feel like I can have one without the other. Is there error in this? I know in all things I should strive for balance and meanwhile maintain perspective: it’s more important for me to give time, service, physical affection, gifts, words of affirmation to my kids than having clean bathrooms. Or is having the clean bathrooms and kitchen and floor and clothes part of the service to my husband and children? “I am not a home-keeper, it’s just what I do,” but “I am a home-keeper, mom and wife.” What does scripture say about this?
1.       Alicia revealing her heart
2.       Golden heads helping me shop
3.       Patience to make it through the shopping
4.       Being able to treat them to lunch
5.       3 more Scoops tokens
6.       Giffeys arriving safely
7.       Kids not missing a beat
8.       Big kids talking until 10
9.       Heart to heart with Gail past midnight
10.   The compassionate one offering to take out the trash
11.   The engineer’s flight arriving earlier than previously thought
12.   Micah being able to spend the night at home..not Mayo
13.   Opportunity for Micah to see his doctor for a check-up
14.   The miracle You’re going to do in Micah’s life
15.   Big kids up and excited to be together at 6am!
16.   Kids Camp pictures
17.   Ability to mop the kitchen floor & wash away “sticky”
18.   Seven kids climbing onto the hammock with me in the middle
19.   Popcorn all over the ground…feeding the birds
20.   Bottle caps on the table
21.   Ice cream in a bag with the older kids
22.   Naps for the middle kids
23.   Treasure in heaven
24.   Opportunity to go to Kracht Garbage Day
25.   Being “emotional support” for grandma and mom
26.   Ability to share insight about marital roles with mom
27.   Derrick’s eagerness to serve at Garbage Day
28.   Delburt’s verbal gratitude expressed to Derrick
29.   Watching fathers and sons work together
30.   Watching brothers and cousins work together
31.   Safety getting home although sleepy
32.    Really sleeping until 8am
33.   Folgers
34.   Shawna serving grandpa compassionately...making scrapbooks
35.   A Sabbath without golden heads
36.   Family planning on the calculating one’s birthday party
37.   A week without being mom
38.   The golden heads eagerly staying at grandma’s for a week
39.   Eagerness of grandpa & grandma to have them a week
40.   Compassionate one making special K bars for grandpa
41.   Wanting grandpa to have the leftovers
42.   Visiting with uncle Carl
43.   Boisterous one’s kisses for grandpa great
44.   Cousins swimming for hours in the stainless steel calf feeder
45.   Find the boisterous one’s capris and undies
46.   Boisterous one so excited for grandma Barb’s play dough
47.   Living close enough to make a day trip “home”
48.   Laughing with the engineer about pulling the wrong chain for the ceiling fan
49.   Ripstick
50.   Ripping out cooper tubing with the skid loader
51.   Luke’s leadership
52.   Praying Philippians 2:1-4 for Kestrel
53.   Good movies
54.   Soaker hoses
56.   Memories of the farm
57.   Picture of compassionate one and dad with the baby pigs
58.   Dew drops
59.   “Life is like a mountain railway” on itunes
60.   Over half the deck stained
61.   Drier weather to stain
62.   Cool morning breeze
63.   Fish in the pond
64.   Soaker hose
65.   Grandpa getting enough money to pay for the funeral
66.   Lunch & friendship with Alicia
67.   Running beside corn that I just barely taller than
68.   Having a birthday cake to make
69.   Slip & Slide
70.   Cousins coming to the party
71.   Having the deck stained
72.   Tiki Torches
73.   Repentance from selfishness
74.   Campfire with just the two of us
75.   Mulch in the flower bed
76.   Home Depot having plastic sheeting
77.   Bakery buns
78.   Java Chip Frappuccino @ Starbucks
79.   Realizing my homemade ones are just as good
80.   Stack of brush…gone
81.   Wearing a dress just because
82.   Shopping
83.   Finding the engineer half way between Eagan & Woodbury
84.   Going to “work” with the engineer
85.   Sitting in the little cafĂ© for 30 minutes with the engineer
86.   Not getting our chicken so I could have Starbucks for lunch
87.   Not having to pay for our drinks & salad
88.   Opportunity to navigate new territory
89.   Tiny peppers
90.   Peas to pick
91.   Blossoms on the green beans
92.   Beets sprouting
93.   Sevin to stop Japanese beetles
94.   Learning to garden as a child
95.   Working from home
96.   Running up the stairs after dinner
97.   Peanut butter toast & apples for dinner
98.   Making jerky for Micah
99.   Note from Jessica

No condemnation

Monday, June 18, 2012
The more I think about myself. The more I hate myself. My character is so far from God’s standard of righteousness. I find myself analyzing my actions and heart condition: I am sometime rude and cutting toward the engineer. I was especially horrible when we visited his sister last. I am a crabby, sarcastic, belittling mother at times. I am selfish. I am embarrassed and frustrated with myself. Sometimes, I see myself outside myself and I see Christ so perfectly as I respond in ways that are not first nature to me: Calm and patient with the girls, constantly encouraging to Derrick. Gracious toward those who typically drive me crazy. Calm in stressful situations. And other times, seeing myself as I am in my natural, mortal, flesh state: crabby, belittling, rude. I can identify with Paul in Romans 7, “I am doing the very thing I hate.” Only God though my faith in Christ Jesus can set me free from this body of death. I need to confess my sin, and receive His offered forgiveness and live knowing that, “there is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus,” Romans 8:1.
Still, this is hard to live out. Another place where faith comes in: faith that I am forgiven. Faith that when God justified me, He simultaneously performed the miracle of regeneration and is continually changing my character. I do not obey and want to change my sinful behavior because of fear of the consequences but because His grace changes my character and makes me just. I am a child of God, I exercise rights as His child and act as His child. I am liberated from guilt and power of sin but not the presence of sin.
Thanks be to Jesus for His indescribable gift!
1.       Watching the dragon fly with the girls for the first time
2.       Showing the girls lighting bugs
3.       Hot summer night sitting on the front porch
4.       5% back on Delta plan ticket
5.       Airport taxi
6.       Dry basement after so much rain
7.       Basement shelter in the storm
8.       Culver’s frozen custard
9.       Messing up the boisterous one’s order so I got frozen custard
10.   Swimming with the golden heads two days in a row
11.   Sand castles and sand birthday cakes
12.   Staying at the lake until 6