Yesterday, we had a parenting moment. I told the engineer my opinion; the child at hand's natural consequence should be not getting to downhill ski with the rest of the family. I hated having to do it, but I felt we had to "call her bluff." Ultimately the decision would be his. Watching her walk to the ski lodge with a smile peeled to her face, I knew she had won. He chose to extend grace, to give a second (or thousandth) chance. I was livid! I determined in my heart that I would not ski with the family, but rather sit and read in the lodge. My reaction tore the heart of engineer between doing what he thought was right and pleasing me, his demanding wife. I sent him to fit the youngest for skis and promised I would try to calm down.

As I sat there, first, I realized it was the first time I'd even prayed during the situation. Pathetic, I know! 
The engineer was extending grace. Earlier that morning hadn't I realized how God constantly extended grace to David? David was both sinner and saint. He is a man who loved God and a man who sometimes failed. His life showed God's grace, and despite his failures, David is known as a man after God's own heart (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). Just hours ago, I marveled at such a gracious God as He extends the same graces to me. And now, would I choose to imitate Christ?
Just a few weeks ago, a friend shared with me on submission. 
Biblical Greek for submit is hupotasso - be be under obedience or submit self unto
Hupo - under
Tasso - to arrange in an orderly manner (to let God arrange us in an orderly manner)
God made me a wife. He placed me next to the engineer and under his protective care. God protects and provides for me through my husband. Therefore, to not submit this circumstance God places me in is to not submit to God. He is using this and all circumstances to arrange me in an orderly manner. 
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Ephesians 5:22-24
God clearly was telling me, if you trust your husband and submit to him, you're submitting to me and there will be blessing. I needed to let God arrange me in an orderly manner. Good thing it took fifteen minutes to get those rentals. I choose to submit, to ski, and geared up for the cold day. And there were blessings! Multiple times on the ski hill, I found myself saying, "Thank you God, that I got to see…feel…smell…touch…"
What is God trying to arrange in an orderly manner in your life? Will you choose to submit to Christ (even if it means you have to submit to your leadership)?
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and you do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. …Scripture says, "He yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us"? But He give more grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves therefore to God." James 4:1-3, 5b-7a


Six minutes to destination: babycakes. The boisterous one bought a cupcake maker. It's pink, little and cute as ever. Seriously, it takes six minutes to bake these adorable little cupcakes. Some destinations have longer ETAs (estimated time of arrival).
For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us…we ourselves..groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies…we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:18, 23, 25
Keep your eye on the prize, the destination. I'm not referring to babycakes anymore. A Christ follower's destination is glorification: when I am perfected in the presence of Jesus. Somedays, I crave that day and desire it above anything else! But what surprised me in my contemplating was Jesus saying, appreciate the journey because you are becoming more like me.
A wise Billings Bible teacher teaches, we are on a road:
Salvation is experienced when I put my faith in Christ. Glorification is when God makes me perfect in His presence. No one knows when this will happen. But while we wait, the journey is called sanctification: the process of being made holy. I need reminding of this when I'm on the phone with customer service again, when the engineer and I are running parallel again, when the golden heads are fighting again. All opportunities to change my character and align it with Christ's.
"Would you rather be in heaven or here Mommy?" the boisterous asked this week. I answered by giving her the apostle Paul's writing in Philippians 1:23:
"I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh (on earth and be your mom) is more necessary on your account.
'But since God hasn't called me to heaven yet, I'll stay here and (try) love being your mommy!"
Lord, help me enjoy the journey of today. And when I lay my head down tonight, may I be a little more like you.
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Babycakes
1 ½ c. flour (I use white wheat)
½ c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. salt
1 egg
2 T. oil
¼ unsweetened applesauce
2 T. milled flaxseed
¼ c. milk
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. shredded zucchini
¼ c. semisweet miniature chocolate chips
¼ c. chopped walnuts (the golden heads don't appreciate these)
Preheat Baby Cake maker. Combine dry ingredients. Combine the egg, oil, milk, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in zucchini, chocolate chips and walnuts. Fill greased cups with 2 T. batter. Bake 6 minutes and enjoy warm.


Desiring to be sound in my doctrine, I have been contemplating this entry for sometime. I think I got this right. However, to anyone who finds these pages, I welcome any differing viewpoints and understanding of God's Word!
When the engineer and I said "til death separates us" twelve year ago, we meant it. We fully knew we had made a covenant with each other and God and have full intention of keeping it. "..And (he shall) hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh," Genesis 2:24. Two lives become one.
Yet sadly, there was a time we looked at each other and said, I don't want to stay married to you, but because of the promise we made before God; I have to. I remember being so confused during that time. How can I love God so much, yet not want to love my husband?
I once saw a small plaque hanging on a  wall that frequents my memory: "Love is a choice; I love my choice." Sometimes that choice is easier than others. It's harder when the engineer and I are separated by "stuff." Truly, it's easy for the "one flesh" to become two again, running parallel lives.
Webster defines parallel:
(of lines, planes, surfaces, or objects) side by side and having the same distance continuously between them.
"parallel lines never meet."
Even though the engineer and I are both headed in the same direction and have the same goal in mind (Philippians 2:2), the at times distance between us (our parallel lines) is great and we "never meet" as Webster pens it. What causes this distance? What's common may be poor or nonexistent communication (especially during times of busyness or stress), unconfessed resentments and sin. These hinder emotional intimacy. Just as the parallel lines can be near or far, so can husband and wife. At times, the engineer and I find ourselves so far apart, we can't emotionally reach one another. What is amazingly fabulous is when we realize that our parallel lines are needing step toward one another and become one; we take time to communicate, confess frustrations and sin, and intimacy can almost immediately be restored. When intimacy is restored, the joy and blessing of marriage is again experienced and morning breath doesn't smell so pungent anymore.
Our relationship with God can be viewed likewise in some aspects. When we believe in Jesus as God's Son paying the penalty for all our sins on the cross, we have an established relationship with God. Think two lines becoming one. This is similar to establishing a God fearing marriage. (The difference is marriage ends when this temporary life ends and a relationship with God is literally forever.) Although all my sins are forgiven, my sin still separates my from God. Choosing to confess my sins after I commit them is for my own benefit.
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity.
I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Psalm 32:1-5
Confession is for my benefit and blessing. Sin separates me from experiencing intimacy with God. It's like taking a step back from my oneness with God, and walking a parallel line with God. (Note that I move, God does not.) With unconfessed sin, I am separated from God AND experience guilt. When I choose to be transparent, confessing sin, I take a step back toward God to oneness (one line again). This immediately restores my intimacy with God because the sin barrier is removed between us. God established forgiveness when Jesus became my sin and was nailed to the cross. It is my choice to experience forgiveness by confessing my sins consistently.
Take time right now to contemplate what sin you need to confess to God and experience His forgiveness. If you are married, consider your position with your spouse: are you running parallel lives or living in oneness?
Whoever conceals transhgression will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity. Proverbs 28:13-14