Wednesday, May 21, 2014

In Wonder of Him

Wow...this past week has been a crazy ride with the Lord, in His grace. It...His grace...has washed over me and over me as I've been feeling sick...whenever I wasn't medicated and when I was, for that matter. The sickness was different each way, but was still there. I have wondered if it is something that won't go away. Maybe it won't, but maybe it will.
I don't know and I will trust Him in the not knowing.

He has walked with me down into this pit of unwellness and has pulled me through it until I could feel what it was to feel good in His presence. He has shown me grace upon grace in every moment that He has made Himself more known to me. Experiencing even a hint of a shimmer of his glory is too much for my weary soul. It overwhelms me! He overwhelms me!

Being filled up to worship His name and being emptied, emotionally and physically, in worship of Him. This is what I want life to be like...for the rest of my time here...and forevermore! Through every pain, over this past month, he's shown me mercy. He's giving me moments with my kids, sweet moments, that I'm definitely appreciating more. He's giving me empathy for friends who are dealing with chronic issues and for people who are shut in. It's so easy to get caught up in our lives and forget about those who need community, but have a hard time going out to get it. I fail at this HUGE time!! I forget people. Only by His grace, can we remember to be the church to people that Jesus loves, right where they are.

He has shown Himself from a perspective I could not have seen had I not been down in the pit. Technically, I'm still there, but because He's there with me, it doesn't always feel like a pit. Sometimes it feels like a pool at the bottom of a know. Beautiful.

  • How is He showing Himself to you this week? 
  • If you are not seeing him with clarity and with fear, what is getting in the way? Move it. Let's not allow for anything to get in the way of us giving Jesus the worship that He deserves to receive from us!

As I've been going through all this sickly business, I've been listening to these two songs almost non-stop! I have been SO led to the throne of the King, in wonder and in worship, by these songs. Get to know them! At least one of them will be showing up at Logos Community Church really soon;)

"You Make Me Brave" : Amanda Cook & Bethel Music

"Wonder" (Spontaneous) : Amanda Cook & Bethel Music

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Community and Pork Soup For My Soul

I've been dealing with a sickness for about three weeks now, the doctor, nor I, knowing what it was.
I went to the doctor and he put me on medicine for a week and things felt like they were better while the drugs were in effect, but as soon as they started to wear off, the pain in my throat would come back. The pain was sooo intense. I could barely swallow a few drops of water or my own spit, for that matter! It felt like a I had a huge lump in my throat. My meds were finished so I had to see how things would go. The day after they were done, I started to experience that super painful swallowing again along with a bad headache and neck ache, going up the back of my head and down my back.
It was BRUTAL. I didn't even know what to do with myself. I was crying, couldn't sleep, aaaalll that.

So...all that said to get to glorify God in how He uses his people. 

I should preface this part with the fact that my husband is a man who truly needs his sleep. He's kind of a total beast when he's tired and he has a hard time recouping the next day. 

He went to the store to get me medicine at 4:30 am.
He brought back sippy baby food bags of fruit and veggies so that I could eat something.
He brought Gatorade and jello.
He got me a wet washcloth to put over my face. He rubbed my back until I finally fell asleep for a little while.
He stayed up with the TV on while I slept because he didn't want to move for fear of waking me up.
He got me up to go see the doctor, got the kids ready, ended up taking me to the ER, finding childcare, going back to the ER to stay with me, back to the doc, picked up prescriptions, picked up kids, picked up a late lunch, to the doc again, waited, and picked me up a tea at Starbucks,
and then took care of me at home the rest of the day.....

ALL the while...he was spreading the word to his pastor groupme, who then spread the news to some other friends from church. They, within the morning, planned for us to have dinners for the rest of the week (some lunches) and were calling and praying the whole time.I was in too much pain to think too much about all of that, but was appreciating it as much as I could. 

At the hospital, the pain finally started to go away a little, very slowly, with the help of painkillers...ahhhhhhh...clarity in my miiiind. It only got better from there.

Once I got home, and had rested for a while, feeling like I came out of a horrible dream, my sister surprised us and dropped by with a basket of get well goodies like tea, some really good honey, crackers and gatorade and a hot pot full of the best "chicken" noodle soup I have EVER had...SERIOUSLY...because it was PORK noodle soup! The recipe is down the page.
You WILL thank me later...and I'll pass it on to my sweet sister who made it!!

After a bit, I got to go to the bar in our kitchen and watch my husband make pancakes and bacon for our kids and talk to him for a while. 

All I could say to him over and over was HOW FILLED UP I felt by experiencing how God had loved me all day through the love of His people....His church...our community. I had been shown His love through the love and care of my husband all night and day. The whole day, I had NO worries about the kids or what would happen if I had to stay at the hospital. He was taking care of everything. 
One of our dear friends, Julie, took care of our kids most of the morning and some afternoon, completely spur of the moment (cancelling her pedicure, I found out later!! For a momma of a newborn, this was a huge sacrifice! Thank you, my sweet friend!!). She dropped what she was doing and actively loved us. Our friends called and left me messages and texts saying that they loved me and were praying. The thing is...I KNOW these people were praying and were concerned. They love God and they are genuine in their love for Him and others. 

The Body
My community that God has given me, given our family, rose up and loved as Christ loved...dying to themselves and serving. 
I thank you all Logos Community family from the deepest part of my heart for loving like Jesus! He was glorified through you and may he be glorified in me next time one of you is hurting. I love you, family!

If you don't have a church family, you are missing out on experiencing some of the love of God...
a HUUUGE part of the love of God! He loves the church, His bride, and he cherishes her and takes care of her. 
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.   Ephesians 5:29-30
I encourage you. Find a church body to be a part of. Get involved. Love others in Jesus name. He will nourish and cherish you.

AND NOW...for the best Pork Noodle Soup EVER!
Ooooo!...make some and throw it in the freezer in case you or someone else gets sick!!

Recipe: Courtesy of Audrey Huston:)

1 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. diced carrot
1/2 c. diced onion
1/2 c. diced celery
1 pinch salt
2 qrts. organic, no msg, chicken broth
4 oz. uncooked wide egg noodles
1/4 of a large cooked boneless pork loin, shredded
1 pinch of cayenne pepper (optional) (she didn't use any, but it sounds good for someone who's not sick)
Basil leaves (to taste)
Some dried, red pepper flakes
1 pinch turmeric
1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in carrot, onion, celery, salt, and fresh
    basil leaves. Cook and stir until the onions turn soft and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.

2. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil.

3. Season to taste with salt, if necessary; stir in egg noodles and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in cooked pork loin meat and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with
    cayenne pepper, turmeric, dried red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to taste.

Eat Up!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Dirt on Motherhood.

I wrote this for Logos Community Church and wanted to share it here, with you, in light of Mother's Day that is almost here!

There is dirt on the word “motherhood”. It is not seen as a precious and honorable role these days. Moms are, so often, undervalued. They are made fun of in society and in the media all the time.
TV shows and people often depict their moms as annoying, nagging, and irritating. While some of these stereotypes, sadly, can be true for some, are we not to respect and honor our parents? We are! It is a commandment.

“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 
“that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Ephesians 6:2-3

This is also something we have to teach our children to do. This will not come naturally. Our sin nature is ugly and non-honoring. On top of teaching this to our children with discipline, we can teach them by example.

Do they see you honor your mother? How?

Mothering can be a VERY thankless job. In the early years, kids don’t know how to show appreciation of their mothers, as they give so much of themselves to the life of their kids...their time, their hearts, and their bodies. So, when you see them put something you’ve taught them into action/obey, it feels kind of like a reward from God above.
When they’re older, kids can often just get used to someone always being there to take care of their needs and forget to show their appreciation. We have to teach our children to say “thank you”, to others and to us.
Another way to teach this, besides repeating ourselves a thousand times, is to thank them. We forget to do this sometimes. We might expect them to obey, as they should, but then, may just move on. If we appreciate thankfulness, we ought to express thanks as well. They’ll catch on...hopefully.

A Blessed Call
So, in the midst of mothering...a call and privilege given by the LORD that is hard and that can result in feeling underappreciated, we MUST remember that it is a blessed job! It is brutal and can break us down sometimes, but the Lord is there to help every step of the way! We need only to look to him, to seek Him in it all, through His word and through quality and ceaseless time with Him.

This call is valuable. It is valuable in the process of our sanctification (I don’t know about you, but my ugly comes out and my heart is challenged constantly) and it is valuable to the little beings that we are raising. We have the opportunity to be one of the most influential people in our children’s lives and so, what are we doing with that?

  • Are we bringing them up in the ways of the LORD?
  • Are we teaching them what it looks like to love God?
  • Are we teaching them about Jesus and His grace offered?
  • Are we helping to write His Word upon their tiny hearts?
  • Are we teaching them to love?
  • Are we teaching them to have mercy and compassion on others?
  • Are we teaching them discipline?
  • Are we teaching them that they are valued in the sight of the Lord?

While it is sooo nice to be appreciated by our families and society, and looove every second of it, we will never feel completely filled up by our families or others! We might feel filled for a moment, but tomorrow, we will be right back where we the trenches with those little boogers (no matter how old they are!).

Our value lies in Jesus. Jesus IS our value. He IS our portion. He IS our reward.
He renews us. He gives us our successes. He gives us grace in our failures.
He is our light and our salvation. Nothing else will ever come close to His fullness.

Let’s clean the dirt off of the name of “motherhood” and shine HIS LIGHT on it.