So much rattles through the space between my ears. Today, I've reacquainted myself with the difference between being blessed and being happy. Strong's number 3107, makarios, and adjective meaning

  • blessed
  • favor with God
  • fullness from God
  • said of those who believe in Jesus, God's Son and are then indwelt by the Holy Spirit
  • satisfied no matter the circumstance
  • kingdom of God in your heart
  • opposite of needy
  • in the world, yet independent of the world
  • satisfied by God, not circumstance

What strikes most is that I am blessed and it isn't dependent on my circumstances. Last night, mothers visiting, realizing that we need to soak in the moments of now, not just look forward to the future. Yet, how do I keep from yearning for what's next, assuming it will be better, more blessed? I know the key lies in giving thanks...counting my gifts. Ironic that a synonyms for makarios is eulogeo (2127), to bless, thank.
I know
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promise so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature..(2 Peter 1:3-4)
and that
I have been filled in Christ, who is the head of all rule and authority. (Colossians 2:10)
Happiness depends on circumstance. Indeed, the root hap means luck as a favorable circumstance or happenings. A circumstance is temporary: the spilled milk, the millionth "teachable moment", the fighting sisters, broken dish, a whining or defiant child. But the kingdom of God in my heart is now and it is eternal (Luke 17:21).
Again, I will begin my list making...1000 things to thank God because I AM blessed. Determine today to begin a written list of reasons you are makarios.

Stormy Weather

Each night lately around here, brews with it another powerful thunderstorm. I recall the first evening, lying in bed, unsure if I heard bits of hail or just hard pelting raindrops pounding the window, imagining the ruin I would wake up to in my garden and potted flowers. Yet when the sun began shining, I rose to find every plant looking healthier than before. And each morning after storm, there has been new flowers that seemly bloomed overnight despite the wind and pelting rain. 
It makes me think of my life on earth, when life's storms rage, do I emerge blooming or stripped and dying? Neil Anderson, makes the analogy explaining that we as believers are diamonds in the rough, but given enough time and pressure, we will emerge brilliant, shining diamonds, revealing the glory of God (Victory over the Darkness, 84).
As I reflect on my own pressures, the theme of loss emerges; grievousness. The biggest loss of Micah, first on the list, if followed by a loss of friendships left behind in Montana, loss of grandma, loss of intimate and edifying relationships, loss of the essence of Montana in the summer, loss of deep  friendship with the engineer (because life is too busy.) As the tears flow, I know I have much for which to be thankful. My God is a good God. But I am needy and afflicted, as Mike shared this week;
I am afflicted and needy; hurry to me, God. You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay. Psalm 70:5
Though I ache for the day Jesus takes us home, He has given me work to do here, and I am determined to persevere. Given enough time, these pressures will surely create in me a brilliant shining like a diamond that reveals His glory. 
Determine today to persevere through life's storms and pressures. Claim James 1:2-4:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 


One discipline that I try to incorporate into my days is listening to podcasts. Mark Driscoll referred to listening to podcasts as "redeeming the time." Those who spend part of their day in a commute are likely to benefit from listening to a solid, Bible believing preacher. I listen while doing meanile tasks like making dinner, cleaning and weeding the garden. Listening to Mark Driscoll (Mars Hill) finish his series on the book of Ephesians, "I Am Rewarded," spoke volumes to how we (even moms) are to work as if working for the Lord, not men (Ephesians 6:7). I am a mom, working for Jesus, taking care of His golden heads. Jesus is my Boss, He see, knows and rewards me.  The next sermon in that series, "I Am Victorious" teaches how the armor of God is available to His children and that we are victorious (Ephesians 6:10-20) in the battle against satan. Since we are at war with satan, life is not going to be easy: "The harder it gets, the closer you're getting to God's will." In general, I find this so true of life these last years.
A day or two later, I remembered that statement while brushing my teeth and dry erased it onto the mirror. (I love to leave notes like this to encourage the engineer and I while we both begin and end our days in front of the bathroom mirror.) Yet a few hours later, at whit's end with my golden heads, I read it again and the light bulb of application luminates. Training my girls in the ways they should go is hard! This summer's goals of teaching them to clean, wash laundry, cook, plan, garden, sew, build campfires, get along with others, manage money...the list is extensive, constant and taxing.  It's hard because satan doesn't want me to actively parent but teaching the golden heads is surely God's will.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Along with that, acquiring a teacher's heart, patience, relinquishing control of my "in order" home, is conforming me into the image of Christ.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. 2 Corinthians 3:18
So the job is hard but the benefit is two-fold. Praise be to God that I am both rewarded and victorious. In what circumstance do you find yourself in that's hard? Are you tempted to give up or will you choose to persevere knowing that you're moving closer to God's will?


A year and half parked in the book of Romans and the determination to persevere, God inspired a new goal just last week: finish the last 3 chapters by summers' end. One chapter a month of dissecting, inductive study. (Thank you Anne Streeter for teaching me how to wrestle with God's Word!)
Finishing up with cross-referencing in Romans chapter 13, I see the stark contrast between light and darkness explained by Paul in Ephesians 5. First, notice that the light is called armor; it protects. The darkness is simply called deeds; the things you do, not offering any protection.

Armor of Light
Deeds of Darkness
Love neighbor (Rm 13:8-10)
Sexual immorality, impurity, covetness (Eph 5:5)
Orgies, drunkedness, sexual promiscuity, sensuality, strife, jealousy (Rms 13:12-13)
Thanksgiving (Eph 5:4)
Filthiness, foolish talk, crude joking, empty words (Eph 5:6)
Daughter of King, in the Lord (Rms 13:14)
Inheritance of kingdom of God
Daughter of disobedience (Eph 5:6)
No inheritance (Eph 5:5)
Good, right, true (Eph 5:9)
Bad, liar, false (inferred opposite of Eph 5:9)
Discerning, confident (Eph 5:10,12)
Exposed, no secret (Eph 5:11-14)
Ashamed (Eph 5:12)
Secretive (Eph 5:11-14)

Most strikingly, I realize exposing sin removes shame (Eph 5:12&13). Because light is 180 degree opposite of darkness, choosing to take what is shameful to you and making it visible (not secret) will essentially be taking what is unfruitful in appearance (bad, lies, false) and make it fruitful (good, right, true).
I've seen it so many times in my repentant golden heads. The boisterous one screaming is in her room, throwing a temper tantrum; acting out the deeds of darkness. After the tantrum, she feels guilty, ashamed. When she humbly chooses to ask forgiveness, she is immediately brought into the light. With her confession, the shame is removed and she is again confident that she is a loved daughter.
Of course, I am not perfect either and am guilty of my own deeds of darkness. Some time ago, I found myself judging the calculating one's heart and assuming she was falling into the same trap of making food an idol. A parent never wants to pass on generational sins and this is my fear. Something in me knew that if  I confessed my judgement to the engineer, it would expose my sin to light and diminish the shame in my heart. It did.
Idolizing food can be a big area of darkness to me. Eating in private often leads me to binge, trying to find satisfaction in food instead of Christ. Ashamed of this lack of self control, I find that when I eat in public, in the company of friends and family (exposed) and able to keep my eyes on Christ, finding satisfaction in Him.
Finally, Romans 13:14 makes it clear that by not exposing sin, is to make provision for the flesh (or sin.) In secret, the sin problem grows worse and worse. It's like a thick fog when you are unable to see anything. But when the secret is exposed, the sun comes, heating the earth, and the fog disappears.
Friends, the fog is not fun. It's torture. It's living life ashamed, embarrassed of your thought life and actions. What fog of sin are you groping around in? I challenge you to find a trustworthy sister in Christ and expose what is in secret. It is the beginning of freedom from sin and walking in Light.


A God-given desire to share and invest in other sojourners has not left my heart, and lately I've been rereading my blog entries. Reminding me of firm truths God has already taught me and that I do love to write (though it seems daunting at times), I am determined still to write, sharing what God reveals to me. Selfishly, for my own benefit at this point. However, my older, wiser sister's words resonate between my ears: You're always going to be able to disciple others by sharing whatever God has taught you. So the blog continues until God calls me to a different work.
For it is by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

One last nugget

There are many ways these days to keep track of your contacts. Strive to keep addresses, phone numbers and email update and in one place. This makes Christmas time and birthday parties easier . I utilize the Address Book on my mac. It automatically syncs with my iPod. Last week, at the post office to mail a package, I could simply grab the address needed from my iPod. Hands down, this beats my old system of printing the contacts from my computer program and carrying them around in a 3-ring binder. However, I still keep that binder, because it's the greatest place to keep my stamps, return address labels, and a few notecards for when I want to drop someone a note.
The introduction of Bill Pay online from most banking websites has made paying bills so much easier (and reduced the need for so many stamps.) It's convenient to pay them in advance and the money transfers on the future date that you determine.
When the mail comes in, have one place set aside to collect it. I like to keep piles. One for bills to be paid, one for pay check stubs that need to be entered into the checking account, one for letters from Compassion kids and one miscellaneous. Once a week, on my calendar, I set aside an hour to sort through these thoroughly. If more time than that lapses, I  risk forgetting about a bill or necessary follow-up.
Take control of you mailbox! Set systems in place to be sure your addresses are organized and bills get paid on-time!