Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Memory of the Righteous is a Blessing

The memory of the righteous is a blessing... -Proverbs 10:7a

7 years ago this afternoon, my Aunt Connie and I held Mom's hand as she was ushered from this cancer-ridden world to the glorious joys of Heaven. I have never known someone so ready to meet Jesus. People would visit her in the hospital and tell her about their loved one in Heaven. She would normally say something kind if she could respond, but make sure to tell them that she was most looking forward to going home to see Jesus. I am so glad she is getting to experience the joys of being in the presence of Jesus, but oh how my heart misses her. 

I think this year has been sad in some ways as I wish Knox could have known her Grandma Betty and Mom could have loved our sweet girl. However, as I have thought about Mom a lot this week, I think about how much I miss her but I do not miss her having to fight cancer. So on this days and in the days past of grieving and the days to come, I rejoice that as a believer, there is a precious promise of Heaven. A place that God has prepared for those that love Him and trusted in Him as their personal Lord and Savior. The joys of that place are told to be indescribable, and I love these words from Revelation 21:3-5 "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

For the past 7 years, I have seen God's Words to be trustworthy and true and anxiously await when these words are accomplished. The memory of Mom have truly been a blessing, just like Proverbs 10 says. Thankful that God doesn't leave us alone in our grief, but provides sweet comfort. I love these words from Matthew Smith... listen to it here and read the words below:

I journey forth rejoicing 
From this dark vale of tears 
To heavenly joy and freedom 
From earthly bonds and fears 
Where Christ our Lord shall gather 
All His redeemed again, 
His kingdom to inherit-- 
Goodnight, goodnight till then 

Why thus so sadly weeping 
Beloved ones of my heart? 
The Lord is good and gracious 
Though now He bids us part 
Oft have we met in gladness 
And we shall meet again 
All sorrow left behind us-- 
Goodnight, goodnight till then 

I go to see His glory 
Whom we have loved below 
I go, the blessed angels 
The holy saints to know. 
Our lovely ones departed 
I go to find again 
And wait for you to join us-- 
Goodnight, goodnight till then 

I hear the Savior calling-- 
The joyful hour has come 
The angel-guards are ready 
To guide me to our home 
Where Christ our Lord shall gather 
All His redeemed again, 
His kingdom to inherit-- 
Goodnight, goodnight till then

Friday, May 15, 2015

New Morning Mercies for May 15

Love these words by Paul David Tripp this morning...

"One of the reasons God has called us to gather together regularly is because we are so forgetful. We forget who God is and endeavor to live based on our own merit and strength. We forget who we are and the empirical evidence that we lay down every day of our desperate need for redeeming grace. We forget how broken is the world in which we live, so we live with unrealistic expectations and naivete toward temptation. We forget how magnificent our resources are in Christ, how complete His provision is, and how precious it is that He is always near. We forget how wise, encouraging, protective and freeing God's Word is. We forget our need for the body of Christ; that our spiritual life is meant to be a group project. We forget that we have not only been blessed to be recipients of God's grace, but have been called to be tools of that grace in the lives of others. We forget that there really is an enemy who prowls around to devour us spiritually. We forget that life can never be found in physical creation. We forget that we have been created to live for a glory that is bigger than our own and for a kingdom that is greater than what we would construct on our own. Yes, we need to gather again and again, and through worship, preaching, and mutual fellowship, to remember what we would otherwise forget."
-Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies - May 15

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Asking forgiveness from an 8 month old

I read this week about how God is so different from us... you are probably thinking duh, He is God. Very true, but I was reading how he is slow to anger and patient with us. A week or two ago, I had a bad night Wednesday night into Thursday morning with KC. She was awake at 12am, 1am, and 2am. Somewhere in that time, I got frustrated. I was so rude to her in my words and actions. I know lack of sleep will make you do that, but I don't want that to be an excuse. She was just hungry. The day before I had read these words from Psalm 145:8, "The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love." There are other passages in Scripture that say the same thing. The character of God is so different than how you and I naturally respond.
I woke up on Thursday morning convicted of how I had acted and felt towards my little girl. I was quick to get angry, she was just being a baby and was hungry. Babies have rough nights and are awake at strange hours. So, when she woke up from her morning nap, I sat down in front of her and asked for forgiveness from my 8 month old. Because babies are awesome and don't really understand what it means to hold a grudge, she put out her hand and smiled at me. I kissed her hand like usual and she laughed. We went on about our day, and I was reminded once again of my sinfulness, need for grace and forgivness, even from a baby.
So, I stand thankful that God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, even when I am not. I have to work at being slow to anger and showing love when it is His character and how He acts and responds according to the truth of His word. I'm thankful that He uses a sweet baby in my life to remind me of my need for grace and to show that He desires to work in my life to make me more like Him. 

One of my favorite pictures from recent days - she loves unfolding laundry.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thankful for the Unexpected and Happy 3rd Anniversary

Four days after my last post, we had a baby girl. Being a mom affords very little/no free time, especially for blogging. :)

Life in the past almost 8 months has been a bit unexpected. I worked for 3 months of KCJ's life then things changed and I have been afforded the wonderful opportunity to stay home with her. My mind keeps going back to how thankful I am for the unexpected things that have happened in my life. Since it is our 3rd anniversary - a little reflection on that!

Getting married was unexpected to me. In some ways, I think I was going to be happy being single. I was in my late 20's and did not really think that there was anyone who would put up with me, meet some incredibly high standards I desired in a mate, and the list goes on. To say that getting married was unexpected would be a true statement. To say that getting married to Adam was unexpected would be a huge understatement. He was younger than me, annoyed me, was a musician, and the list goes on. He was a friend and I was fine with keeping it that way. Over the course of a few months, something changed, not sure I can pinpoint exactly when or what, but my relationship with him was definitely something unexpected. The fact that I am married to him just baffles my mind some days. I know it was God who changed both of our hearts. I am thankful for our friendship that led to a greater relationship. I love his musical talents and how he uses them to serve the Lord. He puts up with some things about me, that well, I am thankful that he does. He still annoys me at times, and the fact that he is younger, well... we survive. (He will finally hit his 30's this year and I plan to enjoy that!) God has blessed us in so many unexpected ways and I am thankful for the opportunity to live and enjoy life with this man. Adding a little girl to our family this year has made it even sweeter as she adores her Daddy. I would not want it any other way.

So, as we celebrate 3 adventurous years of marriage, enjoy some of my favorite photos. Thanks to our friends Patrick and Maddie for capturing the special day!