Sunday, July 28, 2013

Thank the LORD

This is a new thought for me, so bear with me as I try to articulate it.

It began this way.

My friend, Superwoman, comes over every week to help out with household duties. And, every time she must go, she leaves almost like she is in a rush. She quickly gathers her belongings and kids, hurries out the door, and closes it before I feel like I can properly thank her. If I do get a thank-you in before the door shuts, she kindly smiles and gets out of there.

Now this isn't a one-time strange occurrence but a weekly happening. Well, I got to thinking... [whether or not I am reading into her actions is not really important here, but my realization may be.]

Why doesn't she want to receive the thanks?

While there could be insecurities or other emotional issues or a host of other reasons here, my first thought is The Bible. [Just because the Word seems to govern all of her actions; it really is amazing!]

I first thought of Matthew 6 when Jesus is speaking of how we should not be like the hypocrites who give to the needy, pray, or fast to be seen by others for they have received in full their reward for those deeds. Maybe she did not want to receive my acknowledgement of her actions because she was storing up heavenly rewards and did not want to risk forfeiting them for earthly praise.

Maybe she was simply obeying Scripture (specifically Gal. 6:10) and did not want to start helping me to receive my thanks and begin feeling good about herself (wanting just to remain an obedient servant with true humility). Being content with being used by God but not to know that God is using her lest that build an ego.

Likewise, maybe she was trying to keep an "unto the LORD" (Eph. 6:7, Col. 3:24) attitude, and not let her feelings (whether good or bad) get in the way of her service to the LORD by helping me. Not a "I like helping her because she gives me praise," but a "I'm going to help no matter what because the LORD commanded me so."

Lastly, after my initial thoughts about receiving thanks, I had an odd thought -- What exactly do the Scriptures have to say about giving thanks? I did a little investigating and was shocked by the results. Every verse I could find that mentioned giving thanks, being thankful, thanksgiving, only mentions thankfulness in context of thanking the LORD. Nowhere could I find any verse that encouraged us to thank one another or any person. Just to give thanks to the LORD (as the Psalms repeatedly mentions) but to no man.

Now, I am not trying to discourage good manners or being polite, but, well, I wonder why the LORD did not mention it in His Word. I can see how thanking someone else for doing something decreases your own self-centeredness but... I guess my thought is, does it increase my thankfulness to God? Yes! That should be my guiding thought. Looking back, I can think of instances where physically expressing my gratitude did buttress my thankfulness to God. However, sadly, I can also think of many times when I thanked someone for something and it actually supplanted my thankfulness to God. I would be thankful but gave my thanksgiving away to a person instead of God. Oh, it's true; it's sad :( Why not give thanks to both? I'm sure you could, but thankfulness to God is the command not thanking others. And, you don't want the latter to accidentally replace the first.
"always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." ~ Ephesians 5:20

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wait for It

  • My parents came for a visit over the weekend, and we laid low -- restaurants, milkshakes, kids played in the sprinkler, model clay, erecting a bookshelf, and other household jobs ;) Simple and nice.
  • I coughed and spewed water all over my computer monitor about a month ago, creating large black bubbles that kept growing like ticks :( We broke down after several weeks and got me a new screen.
  • Micaiah's mishaps: everyday words include bug/dirt/dog/daddy/bye-bye/night-night/book, and only nurses three times a day.
  • Aolani's antics: we are in the midst of training her, and one of the things we are stressing right now is to ask for something she wants or needs the FIRST time. So, if she says, "I want some chips," then she automatically does not get any chips. It is too late for her to ask for it. She knows full well how to ask ("May I please...?"), but we don't want her to ask only after we say, "How do you ask?" There are still many tears and whining and pouting, but she is learning very quickly. She is asking the first time for more and more things everyday :)
I think he has a favorite stuffed animal -- Woofie.
Sprinkler play (apparently Micaiah was scared of it and would only get near it if the water only spouted a foot in the air!)
Sporting Aolani's hat
with Papa
  • Just refining the verses I quote, since I find myself skipping a few when I go through them.
  • We are still learning the 'D' verse: Luke 6:31 ~ Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Breathing and Making Peace

*Several words from Ann Voskamp's post today struck a deep chord in me, and I just had to share them. {Read her full post here.}

"It's the only cycle of sanity:

Breathe in: Lord, I receive what you give.
Breathe out: Lord, I give thanks for what you give. 

And then, on the hard days, you know — when the transmission falls out of the car, when life turns you and you feel sucker punched, when the kids are all yelling and bickering at once, when the phone call turns into a crisis of faith, when you want to pull your hair out, pluck out your eye, or lay down and cry like a baby —

the perfect prayer can do this thing where it get’s real short, fits right into your panicked, shallow breaths and quiets even them:

Breathe in: Lord, I receive.
Breathe out: Lord, I give thanks. 

So there’s that: You don’t get to make up most of your story. You get to make peace with it.

You don’t get to demand your life, like a given. You get to receive your life, like a gift."

*I plan on writing a post on giving thanks soon -- hopefully, next weekend when I should have more time.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013


  • Catching up two weeks is rather daunting... so, I'll abbreviate. [My mind is still catching up!]
  • We drove to Cincinnati to visit family and attend a baseball series between the Reds and the Mariners. While it was fun and a good first experience for the kids, 35,000 people plus the heat was a bit exhausting for introverted-me. Ricky and I got to watch fireworks since kids :)
  • I went ahead and weaned Aolani and let her have her last nursing session the morning before we left. She's almost three and a half, so she is doing very well. She does still ask for it daily, as Micaiah is still nursing. But, she understands; it's almond milk from here on out.
  • We returned late one night, having left Aolani with Ricky's parents for four nights. [Supposedly, she started missing us halfway through her trip.] We had a wild 15 hours -- unloading, finishing work, getting groceries, sleep, shower, unpacking, and repacking -- before Ricky had to leave for a work conference in New Orleans (French Quarter, Bourbon Street, yeah). He was gone for four nights. For the first three nights, I had Superwoman spend nights here with her newborn, and I had other friends come by to help with meals. Then, Aolani and the grands showed up for the final night. And the next day, we picked Ricky up from the airport. Phew! [I rather immensely missed my husband and could not get good sleep without him! How ever do military wives cope?]
  • Let me say that Micaiah had a hard time processing all this. Why is Daddy's car here but not Daddy? He would just stand by and stare at Aolani's empty bed and search the house over for her. He is still extremely clingy to Ricky.
Aolani with her distant cousin, Jack
  • Ricky's parents took the kids to an amusement park before we left.
  • Ricky's mom, Nonna, took "portraits" of Aolani:
  • Aolani got to get in their hot tub (which was not hot) each day :)
and Ricky's mom got me a matching swimsuit, too :)

  • I think I'm going to spend a month refining the verses I quote, since I find myself skipping a few when I go through them.
  • We are re-beginning the 'D' verse (that we only practiced once before vacation): Luke 6:31 ~ Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Empowering Words

"Be sure you say 'Yes' enough to get your exercise, and 'no' enough to get your rest." ~ Randy Alcorn
"The Holy Spirit imparted a power to the words [of the Bible] which makes them permanently living and effective." ~ W. E. Vine

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Heaps of Fun {Love}

  • Our weekend was simple yet social. We had a friend over for dinner (and had great conversation!), went to the Farmers' Market, attended a pool party with some of our close friends, and relaxed :)
  • Micaiah is really into making animal noises and is constantly growling. He signed (sign language) and said thank you for the first time (and it was to his sister!). 
  • And life keeps going... Micaiah got burned with coffee this morning (cool water, baking soda, aloe vera, and a 3.5-hr nap). Aolani flushed a cute hair clip down the toilet tonight. Ricky is frantically working on transcripts before vacation, which I am frantically packing for (we leave on Independence Day to drive to Ricky's parents' home in Cincinnati)...

Grandma sent some clothes that fit baby Sarah (that I dressed my dolls in when I was a little girl!), and Aolani is obsessed with getting her dressed! [I remember hand-sewing that big, green button on that outfit when I was young.]

  • I am still memorizing the last verse from my June passage: Colossians 1:9-12 ~ For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
  • We are beginning the 'D' verse: Luke 6:31 ~ Do to others as you would have them do to you.