Thursday, June 24, 2010

1000 Gifts

Thankfulness... #21-#36

:::days at the lake
:::family time
:::hot summer sun
:::farmer's tans
:::the Lord's gentle discipline
:::Psalm 119:71
:::how the Lord is moving in our church body
:::being back in choir
:::Interfaith clinic- who is going to pay for 90% of Dustin's knee surgery
:::doing yard work
:::flowers :) the Lord is so very creative
:::watching my babies grow
:::the Lord's sovereignty
:::there is no pit so deep, that He is not deeper still (Corrie ten Boom)

holy experience

from Him, through Him, to Him

Chapter Two Nancy Leigh DeMoss: from Him, through Him, to Him

I don't even know where to begin with Chapter Two!!
All I can say is that I had picked it up several times to begin reading it. But between balancing this home and my two girls & husband, I had to set it down each time. The Lord's timing was just perfect though; if I hadn't truly realized that lately, I do now. This week has been trying to say the least. Overwhelming. Gabbi has been testing me tremendously. Dustin and I are in one of those weeks where we're just ill with each other.... mostly from my flesh though, I'm sure. Maybe frustrations with Gabbi are being put on to him? Maybe I am having expectations I shouldn't be? There are other things too, that right now is not the place to share on the internet.
Just a hard week.

Then I picked up the book again, determined to finish it. The Lord spoke directly to me through this chapter. The whole time I was almost laughing at how not coincidental it was. I kept on reading parts out load to Dustin saying "can you believe this???"

Anyway, the verse Nancy was focusing on was from Romans:
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" "Or who has given Him a gift that He might be repaid?" For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.
Romans 11:33-36

These verses are foundational for us as women. A reference point for our hearts, Nancy says, for us to always go back to. These verses are a reminder of God's sovereignty.
The word "depth" in the Greek is similar to our word "bath"... when reading about the depth of God's riches, wisdom and knowledge we can have a picture of sinking down into a bathtub. Although, God's riches, wisdom and knowledge are much deeper than a bath (we can only take that illustration so far). His ways are beyond our capacity to fathom!! I just love that!!

Nancy says:
In fact, rather than demanding answers to our questions, we should trust that He knows what we need to know- as well as what we don't- and that it is His kindness that withholds from us what would be too grand or painful for us to absorb in our mortal minds...
You will never be able to fully explore what God is doing in your life. You cannot possibly see the end or the outcome, not yet anyway. You cannot fathom the means He has devised to fulfill His holy purposes through You. He doesn't owe you an explanation. He is God, and He is working.

So often I, and I know I'm not the only one, want to know the end product. I say "ok, this hurts, this is hard... what does this mean? what is this going to look like when it's over? what am I going to look like when it's over? God, what are you doing right now??"
But He doesn't owe me an explanation.
Nancy wrote that we are "faced with the opposition of either demanding an answer, or living in submitted trust". Those are the only options.

As I was reading, the conviction was just pouring on. Then Nancy wrote this: resist or resent the situation and circumstances in which you find yourself is ultimately to resent and resist God Himself. From Him are all things.
I have a note written in the margin, the first thing that came to my mind when I read that, "why would I resist or resent the Good Shepherd??"

So how do we respond?
1. A true woman lives a God-centered life.
He is her reason for living! She lives for His glory and pleasure not her own pleasure. How counter-culture is that?
2. A true woman trusts God.
She accepts His will as good even though it may not be what she defines as "good".
He is good and does good. (Ps 119:68)
3. A true woman says "yes, Lord".
Saying yes to the Lord means saying "no" to many other things...
No to... bitterness, self-centeredness, whining, complaining, pining, resenting- resisting- running- from the will of God.

Well, this is Chapter two in a very small nutshell!
Nancy concluded by saying that we can look back years down the road at our currently painful circumstances and say: why did I worry? why did I fret? why didn't I trust the Lord? etc...
I know this is true, I just pray the Lord would make this so real in my life!! Oh, I desire to trust Him. I desire so much to say, "behold me, Your little girl, acceptance with joy!" I can accept things, but not with joy... yet. But He is not finished with me :) Or you!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

1000 Gifts

I stumbled across a blog. It's a breath of fresh air. I've been challenged. 1000 Gifts. I don't have a time frame... it will take me as long as it takes me. I'm praying during this challenge, the Lord will grow in me a constant heart of thankfulness. During the week I'm journaling things that happen, or things the Lord brings to my mind, that I'm thankful for. Thursdays I'll blog them, until I reach a thousand. I'll encourage everyone to join too and see how the Lord uses is it in your life.

And so I begin... #1-#20

I am thankful...

:: for ballerina jumps and pink tutus
:: "mommy, one more hug" before bed
:: reading time
:: a sweet little voice reciting Psalm 23
:: His grace that covers a multitude of sin
:: for being dirty, so He can make me clean
: summertime
:: late night swims @ the Bergman's
:: card games
:: music
:: for God's very Word spoken to me through the Bible.
:: that I can only plant or water, but it's God who does the growing (1 Cor 3:7)
:: that there truly is no formula, no "A + B = C" for this journey... but that our Shepherd shows us the Way
:: re-combing messy, blonde curls after naptime
:: baby feet
::summer thunderstorms
:: the joy it brings to my heart, and the smile it brings to my face when I hear Gabbi singing praise songs to the King
:: ....realizing my Father feels the same way about me... :)
:: knowing that in the Body of Christ, we always have family
:: He will complete the work He started in me (Phil 1:6). He's not through with me yet.

holy experience

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I had thought I wanted to see the movie When in Rome, so I checked it out on Plugged In's website. They do movie reviews from a Christian standpoint. Sometimes Dustin and I check out the movies we rent or go see on there before doing so, to make sure it's something we want to invest two hours in... and sometimes we don't, but wish we had! Well, we won't be renting it for sure, but the reviewer had some great thoughts that I had to share.

He says:
"...while the film doesn't overemphasize sex, it errs in another way—underemphasizing marriage, or at least its sanctity and sacredness...
Marriage is about so much more than passion, more than risk—more than a lottery ticket where the winners get fairy-tale endings and losers find divorce attorneys. Marriage is about commitment—commitment that holds firm through the fickle vagaries of human emotion. Yes, there's risk involved in it, but marriage should never be analogous to rolling the dice in a game of chance. Rather, it's like building a house: You check the foundation, you build the angles square, you make sure the place will last a lifetime.
That's how the greatest cities in the world worked their way into the history books, you know. Rome wasn't built in a day. Nor was it built on a bet."
Thought that was great and just had to share!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Chapter One Thoughts

In order to learn what it means to be a woman, we must start with the One who made her. Elisabeth Elliot

Wimpy theology makes wimpy women.
John Piper

I still remember when John Piper made that statement for the first time at the conference a year and a half ago. My initial thought was "That is so true! Oh Lord, I don't want to be a wimpy woman!" I still pray that today... for myself and for my daughters. I'm so very thankful for the church my family and I are in. I'm thankful it was the first church the Lord led me to after coming to know Him, when I was a "baby" Christian who was very susceptible to being "carried about by every wind of doctrine" (Eph 4:14). I'm thankful for a Pastor and Elders who desire truth, and teach the truth of the Word, no matter how hard the truth is, no matter if the truth brings in the crowds or not. I'm thankful for not having been taught wimpy theology.

...Then why do I still feel like I'm a wimpy woman?

In the beginning of the chapter Piper gives several examples of the opposite of a wimpy woman. I want to share one that "hit home" to me the most.

The opposite of a wimpy woman is Gladys Staines who in 1999, after serving with her husband Graham in India for three decades learned that he and their two sons, Phillip (10) and Timothy (6), had been set on fire and burned alive by the very people they had served for thirthy-four years, said, "I have only one message for the people of India. I'm not bitter. Neither am I angry. Let us burn hatred and spread the flame of Christ's love."
The opposite of a wimpy woman is her thirteen-year-old daughter Esther (rightly named) who said, when asked how she felt about her father's murder, "I praise the Lord that He found my father worthy to die for Him." 1

I asked myself what it was these and the five other women he listed had in common. I continued reading and found the answer when Piper said, "Wimpy theology is plagued by woman-centeredness and man-centeredness." It doesn't have the foundation of a "God-centered purpose for all things".

God's ultimate purpose for the universe and for all of history and for your life is to display the glory of Christ in its highest expression, namely, in His dying to make a rebellious people His everlasting and supremely happy bride. Piper

So why am I still a wimpy woman?
Because I am so very "me" centered.
And it has nothing to do with what I'm taught from my Pastor behind the pulpit.
It's just because I'm in this process called sanctification and I can just simply praise the Lord that He is not finished with me. Then I shall turn from my me-centeredness, and turn to Him and pray that this rebellious child will bring Him the glory He is due... through my womanhood and my marriage.

Because I am a woman, I am able to display the glory of Christ in a way that would not be possible had God not created women/ womanhood, in ways that men are not able to (and vice versa). What does this look like in my marriage? Dustin and I are called to display the covenant relationship, the love between Christ and His church (Eph 5:31). Our roles are absolutely different and absolutely essential. Headship, Christ, the Husband. Submission, the Church, the Wife. These are God's design, "so that marriage will display, as in a mirror dimly, something of the glory of the sacrificial love of Christ for His bride and the lavish reverence and admiration of the bride for her husband."

Lavish reverence and admiration...
Do you feel this way about your husband? Do you act this way toward your husband? And I'm not talking about butterflies, kisses, and "oh, he just makes me laugh so much!"
*reverence: honor or respect felt or shown
*to revere: to show devoted deferential honor to; regard as worthy of great honor
*admiration: an object of esteem 2

Embrace this truth: if you are a believing, married woman, you are called by God to display the glory of Christ in the way you relate to your husband.

1. Randy Alcorn "The World Was Not Worthy of Them"
2. definitions from
All other quotes taken from Voices of the True Woman Movement

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A New Season

Memorial Day kicked off what is pretty much the "official" beginning of summer... not that that means a whole lot here with two little ones. Life pretty much stays the same. Aside from a couple vacations we're hoping to take this year. One will be up to Illinois with some family friends of ours. The other will be to Virginia. We've been wanting to go visit my aunt and uncle in Newport News for a few years now. Dustin has never even been there and we've been married for 3 and a half years! Hopefully near the end of the summer we'll be able to do that. We would also like to go camping at some point. Catie is kind of little but I'm sure mom wouldn't mind working out that problem for us :)

Then there are summer projects...
I'm really looking forward to the opportunity the ladies on the True Woman blog have given me and several other bloggers out there. Nancy Leigh DeMoss came out with a new book called Voices of th True Woman Movement. It's a compilation of several speakers/ authors who each have contributed a chapter in the book. Here's what the back says:
Which voices are you listening to?
In a world with so many contradictory and insistent messages, it's hard to know which ones are right, isn't it?
In recent decades, a powerful chorus has called out to women- urging us to choose the pathway of independence and self-reliance. Slick advertising and packaging have made the world's offer, like forbidden fruit in the Garden, appear to be "good... a delight to the eyes... [and] desired to make one wise."
In October 2008, over six thousand gathered for the first True Woman conference to hear God's Word and to affirm His mission and purpose to their lives. Voices of the True Woman Movement is a collection of messages presented at the conference. As you read, you'll be inspired to listen to the voice of the one who crafted you to uniquely bear His image as a woman.
Discover how a heart tuned to hear God's voice can be transformed to glorify Him and impact those around you for such a time as this.

I was fortunate enough to attend the conference a couple years ago, where I heard all these messages. Then, I was sent this book for free, with the promise to blog my thoughts on each chapter as I go through it. I'm looking forward to reading it, refreshing my mind and spirit on the things these Godly man and women spoke on a couple years ago. Maybe this time, with the Lord's help, these things will sink in! Be looking for my future postings on this book!

My next goal of the summer is to run a 5K. I've been doing the Couch-to-5K training plan. I'm at the end of week 5, which is exciting to be over halfway there! July 3rd is my end date! I'll be "racing" (Ha! Racing. I just want to finish the thing!) in the 26th Annual Pilot Fireball Moonlite Classic 5K. Wow, that's a mouthful! I ran cross country in high school, back in my "fit" days. It's encouraging though to be running again after two babies. I love to run... yes, I'm one of those crazy people who gets some kind of thrill out of pushing my body to its limits, going through intense moments of pain, exhaustion and thirst. I have run for as long as I can remember. My mom always loved running, and my dad was a marine. Running with my dad is one of my favorite memories from when I was young. He always pushed me... so now I have a tendency to push myself. Yes, I'm running again, with a life long goal to run a marathon. I'll keep you posted on that one! ;)

And now here's the thing I'm currently most excited about. My hair is long enough to donate!!! I cut it super short 2 years ago, cutting out the last of my highlights I'd been trying to grow for what seems like years. I've only cut it once since then (even though I probably should have been having it trimmed), with the intentions to grow it out to donate.
Dustin is out of town tonight and won't be home until tomorrow evening. He had to go to nashville for work. I hate when he's not home with us, but I started thinking last night that maybe I could surprise him with something. Then I realized this morning, I'll cut my hair! I don't know how he'll really respond... I'm pretty anxious about that part. He always says he likes my hair both ways- long and short- but we'll see. So I started researching donation organizations this morning. I don't really want to donate to Locks of Love, but was willing to donate to Pantene. I just didn't think my hair was long enough. So I found this smaller non-profit organization called Pink Heart Funds while I was searching for 6" hair donations. Then, realized they just increased the amount they'll accept from 6" to 8"... I was a little bummed. I really want to cut my hair but had convinced myself I will NOT cut all this hair off for nothing. I will only cut it if it's long enough to donate. So out of curiosity, I straightened a section of my hair, then pulled it back, and I have almost TEN inches!!! My hair will be short, pretty short, but I'm excited. I want it short, I want to surprise Dustin, and most importantly I want my hair to go to a "good cause". I'll post pictures later! Hopefully everything will fall into place tomorrow for me to be able to cut it!