Friday, April 29, 2011

Seventy-Seven Principle

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." ~ Matthew 18:21-2

I've always read these verses and naturally thought that this discussion referred to someone forgiving someone else for many different sins.

In other words, I forgive so-and-so for lying about this, being selfish about that, saying that cruel remark, or yelling... But, in all honesty, that is not that strenuous sometimes.

But this past week it hit me. What if what Jesus was really addressing was the much harder principle of forgiving someone of the same sin? The same sin meaning the one the person apologizes for (or not) but does it the next day and the next day. Over and over again. Those daily sins that keep resurfacing and make you doubt that they are truly sorry.

What if Jesus wants me to live that kind of forgiveness? The kind that keeps on coming, keeps on flowing. Forgiveness that never quits, never stops, never gives up.

Seventy-seven times.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Joy Comes in the Morning

What is Easter all about?

So smart! He is risen, indeed!
  • We celebrated Easter (and Ricky's birthday) with the Oliver clan, and we witnessed Aolani taking her first two steps! When she realized that she wasn't holding onto anything, she quickly fell to her knees.
  • We're still trying to get the washer/dryer set up. We thought we had it working and did our first load, only to discover -- much later -- water covering the floor (the drainage hose busted loose)! Anyway, we chose a washer/dryer combo (front-loading, one unit), so that I could try to do the laundry for the household. I'll try again...
  • So, Aolani does not like tub baths. She had never been in a tub before this place, and she is scared! We tried a family bath last time, and she barely made it through it. We're working on it.
  • Food update: Basically, she is a quirky eater -- select choices (she must see it first and give her approval), not much quantity, one food at a time, and nurses very well :)

  • Here is a good profile shot of Aolani's dark ringlets...

  • Verse to memorize this week: Proverbs 19:21 ~ Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Living after the but

All week I have caught myself going back to part of the sermon I heard last weekend at my church. It was about Life, after the but.

That phrase is about how we live inversely. We say, "I am a new creation in Christ, but I still such and such." Because we let what comes after the but define us, we need to switch our thought process and words. "I still such and such, but I am a new creation in Christ."

What God says of us and about us, once we are in Christ, is reality, the heavenly truth. Therefore, we need to be living His Words. So, put His statements after the but in your conversations, since we tend to live there. Let Him tell us who we are!

I keep catching myself doing this very thing all week! I put all my failings after the but and dwell there on my weaknesses and shortcomings.

Inverse with me!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

All in the Mouth

  • My roommate from college (and maid-of-honor) flew from TX to visit for a few days, and I kept her B-U-S-Y! What a treat to have her company and help :)

  • Aolani said her "first" word (besides da-da, buh-bye, uh-oh, dis, dat, what): watch (as in my wristwatch)! She points to it and says watch repeatedly. The next day, she started saying water -- whether it is running from a faucet, the bath, my bottle, or her sippy cup. She will even try to sign drink while saying water. Also, she does the more sign with one hand while pointing to something specific with the other hand as if to say, I want more of that!

  • Aolani is constantly singing, which sounds like a sweet, soft humming. Awww!

  • In the afternoons, she will run a fever and act really pitiful. I think that it isn't a sickness but that she is simply teething. However, it is during these time periods that she has begun to frown and poke her lip out. So sad and cute ;)

  • Verse to memorize this week: Romans 15:13 ~ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Rug of Independence

Ever since I started college (eight years ago), this degenerative disease (Friedreich's Ataxia) plaguing me has begun to make an obvious imprint. That is when it started. For these past eight years, I have always told people that the number one lesson God has and is teaching me through all this, is to learn to let go of my independent nature and embrace dependence on others. On Him.

Let me tell you that independence can be quite demanding. Demanding of others. Demanding of myself. And it can be tough -- harsh even.

Independence is so highly exalted, though, especially in our culture. Dependence on others or God is weak; dependent on self is strong (independent).

Now, I do not want to make some blanket statement saying that all independence is wrong or bad. Freedom from tyranny (Declaration of Independence) or slavery is a good thing.

Yet, how often do we speak of being independent as a good thing when we are really using the term independence as a cover-up for selfish desires? What is the root? Too often, my roots are wrapped up in my own wants and not those of Jesus. Maybe "independence" is really making us slaves to ourselves and dependence offers us more freedom?

Warning: This may sound silly, but I dissect everything. For example: I am fully dressed (thus needing help) and need to use the restroom. I tell Ricky, and a lively discussion ensues. Relief is granted eventually. Now, independence here would be so grand to me, BUT... I would miss out on several growing, stretching opportunities such as --
  • the chance to die to self

  • the chance to unite with my husband

  • the chance to bond and fellowship with my husband

  • the chance to be patient, compassionate, and understanding

Now, I know independence here is not a bad thing. However, do I want this independence because I want to do what I want when I want? If so, selfishness may be lurking underneath the waters. Sooner or later, though, I got to go and forget the philosophizing ;)

Anyway, point is that maybe our independence is just a rug covering our dirt.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Standing Tall

  • Moving is quite the adventure, huh?! Ricky's work has picked up lately, and with my being in a wheelchair means that we really had to rely on our parents to do a lot!
  • Aolani's recent tricks: hi-fives, stands alone (yet to walk by herself though, not holding on), blows, performs some sign language (consistency is paying off), dances (non-stop at an Indian restaurant), turns around to back down off of elevated spots (like the mattress or couch), puts the phone to her ear, and pushes the wheelchair. She wants to eat what we are eating -- off of our plates and our silverware. Aolani gets really excited in the morning, ready to explore the bedroom. We are room-sharing, which means that we're all in one bedroom (the other room is the office), and we like it.
  • Lending a hand...
  • I will give a better tour later of our new abode, but for now -- here Aolani is playing at the toy station (IKEA), which is beside the prayer closet (world map and floor pillows). I am trying to arrange a place of peace area which may go on this wall, too...

Our little sailor!

She has been napping very well here; I think it is because the bedroom is darker than her old nursery.

  • Verse to memorize this week: Proverbs 15:16 ~ Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil.

Friday, April 1, 2011

{Another} Sabbatical

... but it is not by my own volition this time, as I have no choice. We will not have the internet set up and working for about 10 days (so says our provider) in our new place.

No posts, no email. This blog will be temporarily out of order :(

Thank you for grace!