Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In the Course of Time

I am currently going through Beth Moore's study of David: Seeking A Heart like His.  I have enjoyed this study immensely as I seem to do all of the Beth Moore studies that I've participated in.  The last thing I have ever thought I had was a heart like David's.  But God seems to be using this study to speak to me about the work He has done and is doing in my own life.  I find that there is hope for me to have a heart like David's yet.  And the lessons up to this point so closely resemble what God has done for me that I have been able to look ahead and see and believe that God is going to use the quiet silent moments for His ministry more fully in the near future.

At the end of January I shared my testimony through the lens of friendship at a women's retreat.  I am hoping to post it here next week, but this post just seemed like it should go first, I guess because no good story comes about without the hidden element of time.  After I post my own testimony then I have at least two other Incredible Faith Stories that I am excited to share, not that I feel my story is incredible, but I know that it is to God.  If you've never studied the life of David, I highly encourage you to do so.

In the course of time, David inquired of the LORD. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked.  2 Samuel 2:1
Prior to this verse, David had heard of the death of his best friend, Jonathan, and of his enemy, Saul, who was Jonathan's father.  He grieved, and it took the course of time to heal.

Beth Moore writes of this verse, "Some things just take 'the course of time.'  Nothing else works.  You can bet some lonely hours filled that 'course of time.'  Some tears.  Some regrets.  Some endless replays.  Some anger.  Some confusion.  But it did finally pass.  Not the ache but the pain.  Blessedly, thankfully 'in the course of time.'"  If there was anyone who understood the course of time, it was David.  God has clearly opened Beth's eyes to see details about the events that are hidden in small simple words.  All the events of his life after his anointing as king but prior to his being made king were to prepare him as king.  I sorta feel like everything I have undergone up until now have prepared me for something God will soon show me.  I am excited to see what.

In the course of time, things change.  In 9 months, babies grow in wombs and are born.  My own baby has in the course of time gone from being unable to do anything for herself at all to crawling and pulling up and babbling and communicating with  us in her babyish way in only 10 more months.  For a long time, I thought my oldest daughter would never go to the potty on her own, but over time, she has, does, and will continue to do so (I hope).  She has become funny and delightful and more settled into herself at least for now at age 5.  In the course of time, my son will one day stop whining.  He was funny and outgoing for a small time and has become shy and reserved - still finding his place.  My husband was not at all into the things of God when I first met him.  He seemed unreachable, and yet, over time, He now knows God and I see the fruits of God working in him.  In my own life, I was ready to do God's work, green and fresh, but He needed to mature me.  Years have passed, and I have found Him to be good and fully good, and better than the God I thought I knew.  Had I not gone though a season of maturation, I think I would have become stagnant and unusable.  Instead, He chose to mold me.  I have come to a place where I am glad to be the wooden spoon.

What makes the time beautiful I think is the scars - the moments of now intertwined with the moments of then (pain) and the moments of tomorrow (hope).  Sometimes, I look at my children, and it is hard to make peace with the time, but then I remember that though time brings change and often uncertainty, one thing we can be certain of is God's ever-present, never-changing, goodness, working in the midst of all we do.  And who are we that He chooses to work in and through us?
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."  Ecclesiastes 3:11
Time is one these mysteries that one cannot truly fathom.  But if we hold on just a little longer, you can guarantee that God will work out that pain for something good and beautiful. 

Written to be shared with Ann Voscamp's community at A Holy Experience, 
fostering a spiritually disciplined way to look at time.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

10 months, Valentine's, and teeth

This week welcomed DoodleBug's 10 month birthday, Valentine's, Princess lost her first tooth, and DoodleBug got her first tooth.  Now I am no photographer, so Sarah, if you see a standout photo, please say that's a great one!
My 10 month old DoodleBug - isn't she a beauty?

Princess lost her first baby tooth and already has her first permanent tooth.  The dentist had to pull it!

A small evidence of a tooth gap.
Just because I needed a photo of my son in this post.
A great place for a mother to be - surrounded by all of her babies in love.
DoodleBug's blanket is on Princess's head so that she doesn't pull her sister's hair!
Princess is reading us a book - one of 4 she read to us last night.
I love real expressions, don't you?  "Please stop taking my picture.  I'm grumpy."

But because I kept clicking, look what happened - he turned that frown upside down.  LOVE my man.
Before we were married, I lead my hubby to Christ.  For Valentine's Day, I received a thank you note.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love is...

Today is Valentine's Day - the international day of LOVE.  I cannot say that I know much about love, at least not in the way that love is thought of on this Valentine's Day, romantic love.  I can say a few things that I know that LOVE is not.  Love is not in boxes of chocolates or flowers.  It is not a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant.  Love is not found in unmet expectations on this calendar day.  Quite the opposite actually.

When I was in the second grade, I got several special valentines - a few boxes of chocolates, special cards, and a kiss on the hand.  This was big stuff to my little second grade self.   Every year after, I would secretly hope for a secret admirer and a Valentine's Day as big as my second grade Valentine's Day, but rarely were they quite as special.  In high school, I had one special valentine, and he sent me some flowers.  And then, years passed in which I was single and had no one special Valentine in which to share this special day of LOVE with, or so I thought.

During those years, I found that love came softly to me in the form of a whisper, an email, a caring word, a prayer, a hug, a glance.  He found me in the pit and He redeemed me.  I thought I was alone and found I was not.  I was in His arms, and He was lifting me out of the pit.  When I needed hope, He gave it.  When I needed life, He breathed it into me.  When I needed direction, He gave me sight and light to see.  When I was alone, He gave me a companion.  My lover blessed me with an earthly lover and husband.

Since being married, I've found that sometimes I expect my husband to be for me what that second grade Valentine's Day was - a romantic dinner for two, no kids, a babysitter arranged, boxes of chocolates, flowers.  I hate to admit it, because as simple as I can be, these are the things I secretly long for - that the world has said are LOVE.  And I've bought into this idea.  If he doesn't meet my expectations, do I respond in LOVE or in anger, frustration, and selfishness? 

LOVE is found in the beauty of every day moments together - when he fixes the clogged sink so that it drains properly, when he takes the kids to the grocery store so I can spend a moment blogging by myself, when he prunes the bushes outside, when he kisses me in the kitchen just because, or when he watches me as I feed the baby or play with the kids.  And LOVE can be found in the giving of boxes of chocolates and fancy romantic dinners, but it is not in the item itself.

"LOVE is patient, LOVE is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
LOVE does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always perseveres.
LOVE never fails."
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I daresay not many of us truly understand this kind of LOVE.  This love forgives.  Though we stand in agony of wrong doing, it continues on loving despite our wretchedness.  When we become unfaithful and take on other lovers, LOVE keeps on LOVING and forgiving.  We do not understand this love because we do not truly understand God, because real LOVE is God and Godliness. Sometimes we credit God with bad things, usually because we don't understand goodness or LOVE. But, we don't get to decide what is good or what is love. God is good and God is love, and our definition should be from Him, not vice versa.  When we act out this LOVE, then and only then are we expressing true LOVE.

 "Let his banner over me be LOVE."  Song of Solomon 2:4

"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of LOVE to a thousand generations of those who LOVE him and keep his commands."  
Deuteronomy 7:9

"The LORD your God is with you,
   he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
   he will quiet you with his LOVE,
   he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in LOVE, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that 
you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:16-19

Here are a few novels that display the power of the true love of God:  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Signing, Writing, and Reading

Doodlebug is officially crawling everywhere and pulling up and standing. Standing is her favorite thing to do. She is also signing "more" for us at meal times. She is very friendly and waves hello and goodbye. She has had a cold for 2 weeks, but is still so sweet even when she's crying and sad from a snotty nose and sore gums from teething. She does not have any teeth yet though.

Princess has officially started reading. She can really sound out many things, and it is exciting. I am glad that we bought her several little readers for Christmas. However, it is hard work for her and a discipline to learn, not just fun. What she considers fun is reading the pictures of books to Speed Racer, and it is fun to watch them sit and spend time together - her "teaching" him to read. Plus, he also tries to sound out the words like big sis does.

Speed Racer is learning to write his name from memory. He is starting to be less whiny and is learning to dress himself and to make his own bed.

A couple of people asked me if I am going to homeschool after my school post. We are not planning on that at this time, but I have to say that I miss just being with my kids and feeling responsible for teaching them new things as opposed to letting them learn at school and me supplement at home. If I did homeschool, my house would probably be less clean (and I'm not clean), but after feeling so passionate, I do feel curious about homeschooling. I miss my children. I like spending time with them. I like teaching them and learning more about them. Is this normal? I'm not sure. It seems we (other moms) all struggle with what to do with our time, between chores and the chaos of childrearing and cooking and being a wife. I know I don't waste all of my time with them, but some days I don't know what we've done together, and I find myself jealous for more time with them.

What do you find to be the most important things you do with your kids each day? So that we can learn from one another, please leave a comment and help me learn something new from your ideas.

Monday, February 7, 2011


"Stop.  Please don't say another word about it.  I do not need to know."  I said this over and over.  She kept on talking and telling me the secret as if it was perfectly normal to talk behind a person's back.

In the small town I grew up in, it was.  Gossip was a way of life, if not life itself.  Momma used to say that everyone knew when you were sitting on the pot peeing in our small Southern town.  There was simply not much to do except talk, and who else would you talk about, but someone else.  I dare say that almost never was it considered untrue.  Almost all gossip was considered fact, not partly fiction, but fact.

Gossip has been mentioned so many times in the past 3 or 4 weeks that I think God is trying to say something to me about gossip, even though I no longer live in a state of virtual gossip anymore.

Last week, on facebook, I got passionate about being disallowed to attend any of my daughter's preschool parties.  I am rarely so boldly passionate about anything other than God.  But when you add my children into the equation, I can get pretty passionate.  After the whole dilemma was posted, the Holy Spirit convicted me of my words because even though I held my tongue for the most part, I was out of line in my post and in my heart, so I deleted it.  But I realized that I had exposed myself - my passion, my heart, my sin.  Sometimes, our passions are meant to be exposed, and sometimes, we want to hide our passions for the very reason of sinfulness.

Lately, I've been hearing the word "REAL," and it has become my favorite word.  I have come to view it has one of my favorite compliments.  Real.  real.  I know that many people post things on facebook to make themselves look great.  But real life is not always great.  Sometimes, we are exposed for not really being real.  We are fake.  We are hypocrites.  We like to sit on our thrones in judgment and hide.  And really, that's what gossip does - it exposes.  Whether it is all true or partly true, gossip tells half-truths, and it does so in order to expose someone else instead of ourselves.  I love how 1 Peter 4:8 says that love covers over a multitude of sin.  We are NOT called to expose others.  I looked over the word "expose" on biblegateway.  What I found was that GOD is responsible for exposing our sin. 

A verse that stood out to me is Ephesians 5:12, "It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret."

Another one is:  "Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God."  1 Corinthians 4:5

Do you feel the need to expose?  Then expose yourself and be really real.  Allow God to use your sinfulness for His good and glory.  Confess to Him, and commit yourself to the Him.  He will be faithful to you in this.

My friend, Rebekah, recently wrote a great post about gossip you can read here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Coming Soon

I'm planning to redo some blog posts and reorganize things around here soon, so I apologize for any construction work you may see. I'll let you know when the new posts are up.

SSMT Verse

God is up to something big in the lives of women at Valleydale.  You should join us and be a part of the fun.  I may share more soon. 

Until then, here's the memory verses I'm working on:

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Psalm 62:5-7

In the Top 100 Coolest Things

I wanted to give a shout-out to Mr. David Dollar. My post made his list of Top 100 Coolest Things of 2010. He wrote a post based off of mine which you can read here.  I meant to give a shout out when he did this, but then again, it's a little weird (weird as in awkward) to give shout outs about posts about sex, especially with someone who will always remember you as the chick who wrote that really great sex post.  Maybe it is best that we don't really know one another, but just occasionally read each other's blogs.  Nevertheless, this is the perfect opportunity to thank him for loving my post so much.  I've decided this is exactly why our blogs are no longer linked on the Valleydale blog website.  d$, what do you think?


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