Saturday, July 28, 2007
The kids have never eaten so fast! And then it was off to the water activities. Simon, little piggy that he is, decided to finish off everyone's pasta.
As for the garden, we considered tearing it out altogether, but opted for keeping it for future bursts of energy that convince us try gardening again. This year it wasn't an option, but I'm sure I'll get the gardening bug again someday!
Pardon the little dumbfounded boy in front of the garden. He would not move for this picture!
Thursday, July 26, 2007
This is the east side of our backyard. See how the grass goes between and behind all those bushes? It had to go.
I'll post the after pictures tomorrow, when my husband brings the camera home. :)
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
You see, for those of us raised in Christian homes, it is all too tempting to add to the message of the gospel, to embrace that, yes, salvation is by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, but....look at all the things I'm doing for Him now. You know? And why isn't everyone else serving the Lord the way I am? etc....the sinfulness of my heart is so obvious when I start thinking that way. That's why I appreciated Todd's message so much.
Todd defined legalism as "in some way trying to earn favor or merit with God by keeping the law, characterized by spiritual pride." Whereas, faith is "simply trusting God to fulfill His promise."
Genesis 3 records God's first promise to send the Seed, and it was always His intent to save us through faith in this promise. Even when He gave us the law, it didn't replace the promise.
"What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made...therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor." Galatians 3:19, 24, 25
We were never meant to keep the law, before Christ came or even now, after we've been saved through faith. It was just a tool to show us our deep need for a Savior.
What are the red flags of legalism?
- Comparison of yourself to others
- Making biblical mandates where there are none
- Spiritual pride
Differences in what the law and faith produce
- Salvation - only obtained by faith
"knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ..." Galatians 2:16 and "For by grace are you saved through faith, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9
- Sanctification - when someone gets saved, God starts working to change them into the image of His Son
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20 and ""O foolish Galatians!...This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?" Galatians 3:1-3
- The law brings a curse; faith brings a blessing.
"Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us...that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." Galatians 3:13,14
- The law brings bondage or slavery; faith brings freedom. Under the law, we are required to continue obeying it, although it doesn't give us the power to do so!
"But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain." Galatians 4:8-11
- The law boasts in the flesh; faith boasts in the cross.
"But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Galatians 6:14
- Fear of man (see chapter 2 - this happened to Peter!)
- Fear the Lord, not man. Know Him and study Him, and in doing so, obtain the right perspective of who we are.
- Choose to live by faith.
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1
- Have the mind of Christ through studying the Scriptures. Romans 12:2
- Walk in the Spirit, in submission to the Word of God.
"I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16
Thankfully we have God's Word to remind us to live by faith, to allow God to do His work in us!
Monday, July 23, 2007
The favorite thing to do during the games is dig in the dirt. This is a dream come true for little boys! Simon, of course, was covered from head to toe.
Right now the boys aren't too interested in what's going on in the field, but I know that will change soon. They both cheer when Dave is up to bat, but the call of the dirt and little friends to run around with is much more appealing right now. In a few short years, our lives will be filled with games and practices though, and as much as I'm looking forward to that, I'm just treasuring my dirty little punks. It is just priceless how much joy a pile of dirt can bring to a one year old!
That last shot is right after Simon found a puddle of water on the ground left over from today's rain, bent over, and put his head right in it!
I wish I could have gotten some better shots of the *real* action out on the field, but everything turned out really blurry. We're looking forward to buying a better camera soon.
And even though this was the last summer game, fall softball season starts beginning of August. Wouldn't ya know, they give us a 1 week break. :) How kind of them.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
What is up with the chiggers this week?
Are any of the rest of you having trouble? Dave and I worked out in the yard this weekend (pictures to come) doing some landscaping and trimming a bunch of bushes, and wouldn't you know, I have like 5o chigger bites. Dave, of course, has none. Ethan has 1, which he complains about frequently. :) But Simon is in the same shape as me, just completely covered in them. Chigger bites ON TOP of chigger bites. It's true.
And believe me, we are not sleeping well around here. These chiggers must have burrowed deep, because the itch is not going away!
Last night someone told me to cover the bites with clear fingernail polish, a trick from childhood that I'd completely forgotten about. And it helped, a little. And I've been using hydrocortisone cream too. But since it's about all I can think to talk about these days, I'm going to send my questions out into the blogsphere...any other good tips for chigger bites?
We're very, very itchy! Please help.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Gentle as a Nurse
A good nurse does not pamper her charge, but seeks his best interest with fortitude, consistency, and love. Paul's love for the new Christians at Thessalonica was like that. It was no sentimental feeling. He writes of having brought them the Word:
- In the power of the Holy Spirit, and with strong conviction. (1 Thes 1:5)
- Frankly and fearlessly, by the help of our God. A hard struggle it was. (1 Thes 2:2)
- We do not curry favor with men. Our words have never been flattering words...or a cloak for greed. (1 Thes 2:4,5)
- We have never sought honor from men, from you or anyone else....We were as gentle with you as a nurse caring fondly for her children. (1 Thes 2:6,7)
Here is the pattern for all who would do God's work with souls: faithful giving of the Word, a heart true and pure in seeking God's glory, gentleness, self-giving, and plain hard work.
This is, of course, by Elizabeth Elliott. :) How timely and appropriate.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
But when the days come that I've signed up to work, more often than not, I dread going in. And not just because I miss my boys when I'm there.
Just as an aside, I don't always feel the way I did last night, you know, joyful in my role the Lord has given me and content to stay at home. I feel like I have to admit that, because it's so true! My attitude is definitely not always content, so don't for a minute think that I have it all figured out. Really, because of my own stubbornness, I often resist the Lord's way, assuming I can juggle a million tasks and do it all. But He is so gracious to continue His work in me, and to remind me of the truth. I am so thankful to know with a certainty that He wants me here at home, to be assured that the work I'm doing matters.
But back to what I was saying, the reason I dread going into work is because of the people that I work with. I guess when I worked full time, before we had kids, I had gotten used to the way the world interacts, the crudeness, the selfishness, the bad language. But it's just oppressive now, to be honest. I have gotten waaaaaay to used to my little cocoon that I have created here at home. We say our Bible verses at the breakfast table, and turn on K-LOVE while we clean the house and do the laundry. It's nice. :)
And this certain co-worker, for instance, is particularly difficult to work with. She is loud and crass, and has spent a little too much time drinking her troubles away. Oh, and every time I've worked recently, I've been pod partners with her, by assignment. I have to listen to her saga all day long.
But she's been questioning my faith a lot these days too, asking me tons of questions about what I believe and about our church. And so our close proximity seems to be much more than a coincidence, not that I ever really thought it was anyway.
But the whole thing, the having to work 12 hours side by side with someone who has a blatantly obvious disregard for God, isn't comfortable for me. Like I said, I dread it. I know the Lord cares deeply for this girl, and longs for her salvation. And so I'm praying for perseverance and for compassion to see my co-workers as the Lord sees them.
I meditated on these verses tonight:
However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 1 Timothy 1:16
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Lots of shocked looks when I walk in the door. And oh, the common question from my co-workers is always, "Where are you working these days?" As if I must have some other full time position to be only be pulling occasional 12's here at the hospital. Surely. :)
My answer is always, "At home, actually."
You see, I have these 2 boys, and they need their mommy...(trailing off)
Yeah, well, they don't get it, do they?
"Oh, you must have a rich husband..." they say, or "I could NEVER stay at home with my kids!" (I love that one, because I never thought I could either! :)
And truth be known, raising 2 boys as a full-time mommy is more exhausting to me than a busy day in an intensive care unit, with all the beeps and monitors, physicians yelling orders, and families breathing down your neck. It's a lot of pressure, don't get me wrong. But it's a piece of cake compared to a life around here. :)
And I say that with a smile. Because I LOVE my boys and this job the Lord has given me to do. I was overwhelmed today with thankfulness for the life that I have, for the blessing of being able to train tiny hearts and watch them grow. Instead of spending my days working full-time, only to see my boys occasionally. This is a wonderful life! So what if we cannot buy everything our hearts ever desired? The contentment we can find in the Lord, in doing His work, far surpasses the joy of *things,* doesn't it?
These verses have been running through my mind:
"Now godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:6
"The young lions lack and suffer hunger, but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing." Psalm 34:10
"Behold, this is the joy of His way..." Job 8:19
Serving the Lord as a mother is a wonderful life, a life filled with joy. Thank the Lord with me today!
Monday, July 09, 2007
Of course, we will gladly watch the rest of you blow up money. Bring it on!
Our boys weren't terribly impressed either, but I'm sure that will come with age. Right now, good friends, good food, and a trampoline win out over loud explosions.
The Youngs graciously hosted the big July 4th BBQ, and we really enjoyed the night. Lots of yummy food and good fellowship. And a few sparkler bombs later, the Youngs now need to re-seed their lawn. Ah, the joys of hospitality. :)
Here's a few pictures that I managed to capture before my camera battery went dead.
I've been praying that this would be my attitude if these kind of headaches continue. But I've also been praying that it was just a fluke.
Maybe those fireworks....
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
My ever youthful husband decided to start a water war with the kids, and it was so funny, I just had to capture a few pictures.
Note my son torturing Cam in the pool.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
"As long as it makes you happy," he replied, barely looking up from his major league baseball game on tv. We are sooooooo different, he and I. And I'm pretty sure I will always be somewhat of a mystery to him. :)
Almost a month ago now, I spotted a white wicker chair at a garage sale in our neighborhood. The lady was asking $15 for it, and I offered her $11. She took it, and I was thrilled! It's in great shape, and I was wanting more seating in the living room. And I knew just what color to paint it. Is there any other color?, you ask...of course not!
Black, it is.
Monday, July 02, 2007
He is also the sweetest man in the whole world because he is willing to leave his nice, quiet office and work from home when I have a head cold and a screaming headache. It doesn't happen very often, but on days like today, he can read the desperation in my tone when I call him, and he drops everything to be Mr. Mom to these two rambunctious boys we have. It is 7:11 pm, and they have both eaten dinner, taken bathes, brushed their teeth, read Bible stories, and been tucked sweetly into bed. I am so thankful for him!