Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2 1/2 years of lessons, learning & protection

There are some things that I find myself getting anxious about lately...and the more I think on them, the more anxious I get. But they really are important things that deserve my attention. So I'm working to talk them over with Jesus rather than to let my mind run off like an out of control car headed for a collision with worry and fear.

Tonight, as I hung up the clean clothes piled on my bed I began thinking about how I account for the past few years while we have been at seminary. I was lamenting about how "in the bubble" our family has been and our minimal real involvement in the world outside of the bubble. Then it suddenly hit me: the past two years have undoubtedly been the hardest years of my life, thus far. Our family has gone through a 'failed' church plant, moving, pregnant with twins, having 5 kids under 5, and Drew working 40 hrs a week and studying or in class probably 20 hrs a week. (You're probably wondering how I'm just now figuring this out!) Immediately after realizing this, I heard God telling me "I did this for you! I knew this was going to all come together at this time, and I knew that seminary was the best place for you to be so totally overwhelmed by the craziness of your life, because, here, you would also be so totally overwhelmed with help and so very well looked after. Coming to seminary didn't make this harder; it has cradled and protected your family like a womb during this tough time."

These past few years have taught me many things, here are just a few that I'm thankful to have grasped:
  • I am finally learning to accept the benevolence of others. My heart is so independent and I, in my pride, hate to be thought of as incompetent or incapable of anything. I have been humbled by both my need for help and the enormous amount of support our family has received and still receives from those whom God has planted in our lives. In allowing others to help me, I realized that I am not the only one receiving blessing...the blessings have been theirs as well.
  • As our children get older we no longer need the same amount of help that we used to need to go places & get things done. But I've learned a new appreciation for letting people help...and really, for including them in on the journey, not simply because we need their help, but because we need the relationships that come from life done together.
  • The sheer size of my family has opened doors for testifying about God's provision and grace. When all 7 of us go out we're a bit of a spectacle...I can't imagine why! I used to be a little embarrassed by the attention because I know there are a few out there who think we are irresponsible and overpopulating the world...but the majority have been encouraging and so many have said the same thing, word for word, 'I don't know how you do it'. With that one statement they are basically asking us to testify about the grace of God in our lives. Sometimes it's just a simple response about God's provision...and sometimes it opens doors to a full conversation at the Chick-fil-a playground.

***Thank you to those of you who have been part of our story. God has used you to care for us, to give us opportunities to talk about how He has taken care of us, and to bless us with great friendships.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

No fear in the blood...

Today I took Riley and Story to the dentist. The girls were both very nervous about going. As we drove there, I explained to them that we should pray because God is not afraid of anything. Riley listed off a whole list of reasons why God is not afraid, including:
He knows what is in every persons heart.
He made everything.
He always knows what is going to happen.
We then prayed that God's would be with them at the dentist, to comfort them and help them not be afraid. Well, the dentist visit went cavities for Riley or Story! After we left with toy magnifying glasses, stickers and balloons in hand I asked them in the car about if God helped them not to be afraid. Riley's response brought tears to my eyes, "His blood always works." She is so right....

Jesus' Blood By Delirious

There's a secret I must tell
Of all the love I've found
And it's hidden in my heart
The day you tore my world apart

Hallelujah, King forever, friend and Saviour

Jesus' blood never fails me,
Jesus' blood never fails me,
Jesus' blood, Jesus' blood

And this secret, it will run
To the corners of the earth
Where every woman, every son
Will carry high their chains undone

Hallelujah, King forever, friend and Saviour

Jesus' blood never fails me,
Jesus' blood never fails me,
Jesus' blood never fails me,
Jesus' blood, Jesus' blood
Sing your songs of freedom
Praise the God of heaven
Love that never fails me
Jesus' blood, Jesus' blood

Written by Martin Smith ©1999 Curious? Music UK