On my mind...

Today's question is the old proverbial one of "Do I keep hearing certain things b/c they're on my mind, or are they on my mind b/c I keep hearing them?" But anyways, God placed some things on my heart I'd like to share with you. These came out of my Beth Moore study a few days ago regarding Psalm 123.

She raised the question that we are so often afraid to ask: "Who is God that we should obey Him as servants?" The answer is that God invites us to get to know Him for who he really is. To "taste and see that He is good". He has nothing to cover up - the more we learn of HIm, the better he tastes -- and the more we want to serve Him. Beth put it this way: He does not call us to worship and serve ignorantly and stumble before him blindly.

Also enlightening was the fact that God was just as intentional about what He didn't tell us in Scripture as what He did; He's as wise in what He's hidden as in what He's disclosed. The hidden is what often brings us to chase closely after Him.

God is not just a rescue god or an entertainment god. We are called to see Him as he really is...through the eyes of the Word and through Jesus Christ. I loved this quote from Eugene Peterson:
"We would soon become contemptuous of a god whom
we could figure out like a puzzle or learn to use like a tool.
No, if God is worth our attention at all,
he must be a God we can look up to --
a God we must look up to...
The moment we look up to God
(and not over at him, or down on him)
we are in the posture of servitude"

Somehow I found comfort in all this; I guess to think that God is intentional in the things He leaves hidden brings me hope...that he will reveal what I need to know clearly and in due time, either through the Scriptures or through the communication borne out of a relationship based on faith. I hope this touches your heart.

Family fun on Easter

We had a wonderful but cold Easter afternoon at Nana's house. Dylan enjoyed finding "Easter Legs" but after about 3 of them said "Wanna go swing?" Ah, the attention span of a 2 year old.

Easter's cross

Phil 3:7-8 “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…”

Probably my favorite hymn is “The Wonderful Cross”. The words contained within it, while brief, are powerfully packed with sentiment.

When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the prince of Glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss

And pour contempt on all my pride.

When I think about what my greatest life gifts are, aside from my salvation, I would have to say my sweet son, my loving husband, and my gracious family definitely rank up there. But even the “richest gain” that is mine through having these the Bible says is as a “loss” when compared to the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus through His sacrifice. Similarly, the things I am most proud of in life are worthy only of being seen as contemptuous, unworthy, dislikable when held up next to the beauty of the cross. As you celebrate this Easter, take time to stand in awe of the cross and what Calvary means for us. Oh the wonderful cross! The Psalmist said it this way: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” Psalm 139:6

I spent part of today getting my spring planting done. Each year I look forward to adorning my front yard with annuals to celebrate the arrival of warm weather. It brings me joy to see the bountiful colors that God has provided us come to life after a long cold winter. It is like a perpetual promise which yet again holds true. I have to think that Heaven is somewhat of an "eternal Spring season", with plants in continual bloom and mild temperatures -- and Jesus, who is our perpetual promise, forever reigning in truth and light. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

A Big Surprise

It is been just plain difficult for me to blog lately (last posting on 3/8 I think) because I've been so busy! Probably just busy being busy -- but busy nonetheless. We experienced an action-packed weekend and are enjoying a few relaxing days together with extended family. My parents came down Friday to spend some time with us and we have been enjoying the mild weather. Don't be alarmed by the striking resemblance between Lance Armstrong and the boy in the photo below. It is just Dylan. Although, if he starts his biking career at age 2, maybe he will have a shot at being Lance-like! Saturday we attended a parenting seminar at our church put on by none other than my dad. It was a great event and I personally learned alot, including a systematic way to approach discipline. If you ever hear of an opportunity attend or read anything by the National Center for Biblical Parenting, I highly encourage it -- you won't be disappointed and you'll learn how to reach the heart of your child.
Saturday evening we put on a surprise birthday party for Tim. Is lying to your spouse really wrong? If so, I am quite guilty. I did my best to keep the lies small, or at best to keep him in the dark about some things. But as Saturday night grew closer, it just became harder and harder to keep it a surprise! We went to our former church for what he thought was a birthday party for one of the teens from our old youth group...and SURPRISE the joke was on him. Now, I'm not at liberty to say which birthday this was for him, but pictures can speak a thousand words. I can hear you now, honey -- I love you too. Sunday was not a day of rest for Tim...he spent it filling a pulpit both morning and night. He wouldn't have it any other way, of course. He really enjoys preaching whenever he can. It was nice for my family to get to hear him preach. He did an excellent job and God used him to bring certain elements in the Old Testament to life for me. This morning I awoke to find that...I couldn't awake! Or at least I couldn't open my left eye because it was crusted over. Ah, Pink Eye...the gift that keeps on giving (and gives to almost everyone it meets). Tim came down with it so long ago that we didn't think he was contagious anymore. But there we go, not thinking again. So, I got to work from home which was a blessing in disguise. I was able to spend more time with Mom & Dad, albeit in 2-5 minute intervals when I wasn't taking call! Oh well, it is better than being away for 12 hours.
Dylan is off to spend a few days with Grammy and Poppy. Tim and I will have to work, but look forward to spending some time together...just the 2 of us. I hope to get caught up on 'things' around the house, do some spring cleaning, and hopefully get the first of this year's pedicures!

Snow - twice in one week!

We have had an interesting weather week. In an unusual twist of events, we had snow fall twice in one week. Arkansans are joking that Old Man Winter waited until the end of winter to crank out all the season's snow nearly at once! Regardless, we have definitely been enjoying ourselves - especially watching Dylan take in his first snow. Tuesday's snow was light; what little did accumulate was gone by the day's end. Tim and I both had to go to work, so Dylan went to preschool. I don't think they took the kids outside that day. But Friday was a different story; both of us had the morning off and we spent some time playing in the white powder. Dylan wasn't all that sure about it though - by the "pppllbbtt, ppllbbtt" sounds he was making it was apparent the snow wasn't his favorite flavor. He wasn't happy about snowball throwing, unless daddy was the one getting hit. He would sled down our yard as long as Mommy was in the sled with him. He enjoyed looking out the window and saying "It's a-snowing!"
The re-interview Tim had Wednesday ended in a job offer. After much prayer, conversation, and consideration, Tim made a decision to not accept the position. We just didn't feel it was the Lord's will for us; nor did it seem to be the best fit for our family. Thanks to all who prayed for us during this decision making time.

MARCHing on...

Wasn't it just New Year's like last weekend? It's hard to believe that spring is around the corner; but an unseasonably warm weekend just put me in the mood for gardening and walks in the neighborhood. There is alot of rejoicing going on at our house. Tim has completed his 15,000 word, 50 page Master's thesis! Yaaahoooo! All that is left to be done is to make the necessary copies and turn it in! I am utterly amazed and astonished (perhaps a bit jealous) of someone who can perform so well under pressure (Perhaps another reason why God intended men to be the head of the family). After a misunderstanding of the due date, he had to really kick it into super-high gear to finish the paper in a reasonable amount of time. And he did. And it is good. "And (hopefully) God saw that it was good." Now there are just a few more short paper assignments left and we are in the home stretch to graduation!

We are also rejoicing because one of the companies Tim interviewed with back in January called him back today and asked him to come in Wednesday to speak with them again about the position. I figure this situation is kind of like the doctor's office; where they don't ask you to come in person unless it is something serious (in this case, a good kind of serious). The timing seems a bit strange since Tim just got somewhat of a promotion (and a raise) at his current job. We are trying not to read into this re-interview until Wednesday comes and goes, but just to pray and let God lead.

Dylan continues to amaze us with his vocabulary. Not just what he can repeat, but what he comes up with from memory at appropriate times. He is so observant. Neither an airplane nor a motorcycle passes him by without his acknowledgment of the sound. Also, in recent weeks Dylan has become increasingly attached to 'his' Cali (a stuffed representation of the yellow lab in our back yard) and she seldom leaves his side. At a portrait session over the weekend, there was only one pose where I was able to 'sneak' the dog away. The rest of the pictures have Cali in the shot with him. Oh well! I figure it is a testament to the life & times of Dylan. I am just grateful that she is still in good condition and has both eyes in place! He has not bonded to 'his' Max in the same way, although from time to time he "needs" Max as his side-kick as well. I have included a few shots of Dylan's new "big boy" room. Or should I say, Vrrroooom!

From Drowning in Disappointments to Upheld by Hope

It’s not supposed to be this way... I chose to revisit one of my favorite books yesterday.  (Love Lysa’s story!) And my whole heart resonat...