Thursday, November 29

Waiting and Watching

Charles Spurgeon has been hitting them out of the park during the last week or so. Here is today's:

November 29

Know How to Wait

He that believeth shall not make haste. (Isaiah 28:16)

He shall make haste to keep the Lord's commandments; but he shall not make haste in any impatient or improper sense.

He shall not haste to run away, for he shall not be overcome with the fear which causes panic. When others are flying hither and thither as if their wits had failed them, the believer shall be quiet, calm, and deliberate, and so shall be able to act wisely in the hour of trial.

He shall not haste in his expectations, craving his good things at once and on the spot, but he will wait God's time. Some are in a desperate hurry to have the bird in the hand, for they regard the Lord's promise as a bird in the bush, not likely to be theirs. Believers know how to wait..

He shall not haste by plunging into wrong or questionable action. Unbelief must be doing something, and thus it works its own undoing; but faith makes no more haste than good speed, and thus it is not forced to go back sorrowfully by the way which it followed heedlessly.

How is it with me? Am I believing, and am I therefore keeping to the believer's pace, which is walking with God? Peace, fluttering spirit! Oh, rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him! Heart, see that thou do this at once!

 I have so many thoughts, but no time to write. But soon.

Tuesday, November 20

The Wonder of *Not* Being Blown Off the Earth

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14) 
Sin will reign if it can: it cannot be satisfied with any place below the throne of the heart. We sometimes fear that it will conquer us, and then we cry unto the Lord, "Let not any iniquity have dominion over me. This is His comforting answer: "Sin shall not have dominion over you. " It may assail you and even wound you, but it shall never establish sovereignty over you.
Charles Spurgeon

Sometimes God chooses to speak to us through pain. He either causes or allows things in our lives that are leading us to something. To Him. To more of Him. To wholeness. To relational restoration. To character development. He leads us into the dark so we can learn to follow His voice, to grow our faith, to strengthen us from the inside out. Pain can focus our attention in a way nothing else can.
Deanna Davis

During the past year, I have not thought much about Sin. I've pondered often brokenness, healing, pain, growth. But there are seasons of my life in which I just cannot identify sin in my life.

I'm speaking really about the big sins - the ones that are hard to see, that keep me from God. Those sins. Sometimes, people, it's hard to see the big sins.

Maybe because they aren't there.

Or maybe they are buried so deep that God has to get the big guns out to eradicate them. Maybe he sends a season of pain - of infertility - to root out the sins that are so big, so deep that I can't see them.

I've been a bit circumspect about the interactions I've had with God during the past 4 months. Yes, I've shared with many that I've had arguments with, angry outbursts at, and tried to manipulate God. But to very few have I shared the choice words that I chose for him.

The words that Satan gave me.

I have stood with The Accuser and accused. You are not good. Don't even lie to me and tell me this will be good for me. This is NOT good. and YOU are not good.

My friends, they were even more choice than that. Straight from this sailor girl's mouth.

And yet I was not blown off the earth. (So much grace!)

God surfaced my Sin - my sin to stand with The Accuser and Accuse wrongly. To readily repeat a lie after the Father of Lies. And to believe those lies. And to despair.

And instead of immediately blowing me off of the earth, The Lord paused to help me identify the Sin that sits on the throne of my heart:  That when things do not turn out the way I want, I immediately betray God. It's my first and last inclination. It is who I am, on my own. When the pressure is on, betrayal and unbelief and accusation come out.

Oh! But for the Grace of Jesus becaming my sin (2 Cor 5:21). Just as I am a betrayer, an accuser, Jesus became my betrayal and put it to death.

And that he promises that Sin will not have me. That it may wound me, that it will assail me.

But never have sovereignty over me.

Praise the Lord.

Saturday, November 10

Thankful for Infertility. (....?)

All around the web, it's easy to see people writing "I'm thankful for" posts - especially now that November is firmly upon us. Thankful for big things and thankful for little things. I have been thinking "How can I be thankful for infertility?"

The answer is, I'm not.

I'm not, you guys. I'm not thankful for it.

Not yet.

I'm still at the place where I look at God with angry disbelief that I am infertile. That biological children - babies with my husband's eyes and my smile -  are incredibly, deeply, terribly unlikely. Each time it hits me, it's... It's just unbelievable.

But I am thankful for other things that have been illuminated because of my circumstances.

I think the only way I am able to be thankful is to think about the love that I have been shown by others.

That the Miracle in all of this is that I am being carried.

 Yes, carried by Jesus, certainly. But the miracle that I have experienced is in the people that surround me - all kinds. Family and Friends. Those with and without kids. They encourage me. They call on their own life's grief - past or present - and they offer hope. Hope that God has not abandoned me. Hope that I am not alone. Hope that life is and will be good.  

I am thankful for the men that have rallied around my husband - and over and over their message to him is "Reassure your wife." I'm thankful that he does. That he takes nearly every day to say, "I would marry you all over again, knowing what we know now." Because, my friends, there is no worse fear than the fear that the man you love the most wouldn't have chosen you...if he knew the pain this would bring.

I am thankful that there a number of people that write in books and on blogs about the painful roads the Lord guides us along. Henry Nouwen, Charles Spurgeon, Deanna Davis.

I am thankful that God has a handle on me. That his grasp is so firmly planted that I do not have to be grasping onto him. Because I have come to the end of my own ability to hold onto him. I've been flailing about. But he has me.

I'm thankful for a moment three weeks ago. When the still, small voice broke through my railing against him. My ferocious questioning of him. How could you do this? And then the quiet words: "My plan is better than yours. You would choose this too, if you knew the end."

That was it. No other illumination.

But it was there. And He has given me the faith to hold onto that word. Because I have absolutely no faith of my own to summon up to believe such a thing.

And so he gave me the hope. And he gave me the faith.

And for that, I am thankful.

Saturday, November 3

last weekend - with pictures

 Well, first off, I took these photos of sunsets ages ago, but they need to be posted...welcome to the view from our window:

Then, Anna Katherine and I decided to make super chocolatey cupcakes with dark chocolate butter cream frosting from America's Test Kitchen for Jess' Birthday (Adam's Assistant RD):

Mmmm! So warm and fantastic! (of course- prior to frosting). They had a wonderful ganache in the center.  

A couple of blurry-ish photos of Jonathan monitoring my double-broiling the chocolate for the frosting (I especially love the crazy patterns of my sweater and apron together).  We loved having Jonathan visit and also had the Vangie and John Wykoff and children over for dinner:
Which allowed for Adam to get some quality time in reading to the tiny humans

 The next day, we collected the necessary items for me to finally finish the magnetic chalkboard I've been meaning to complete (for the last - ahem - 3 months)

And that's what we did last weekend!

With octaves of a mystic depth and height