Saturday, March 28, 2015

Let Us

I've been pondering about the word let.

Google offers this definition, which I particularly like: not prevent or forbid; allow. I see how my flesh does the prevention part of trying to get in the way of the Spirit flowing through me and directing me. For allow, I imagine a car driving down the road and me holding my arms out to keep my kids back -- allowing the car to pass. I have to (need to) hold my flesh back so the Spirit can keep going without hindrance.

While I was going through hundreds of verses with the word let in them, I noticed something. God is the person doing the letting action only once in all the New Testament (that I came across)! [Actually, it is Him not letting or allowing something.]
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Man (me, you...) is to do the rest of the letting. Here is a very small sampling:

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Romans 6:12
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Philippians 3:16
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:15-6
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 1 Thessalonians 5:6
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, Hebrews 10:22-4
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. James 3:13
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18
Let is so interesting! It is more than just a passive action in these passages -- I'll sit by and "let" this happen. But it's not really a word associated with power or command, per se -- man up and do it! (which is likely why let and God aren't really associated, because He does have all power and command!) It's more of a gentle plea or urge with a strong, encouraging undercurrent -- please, for your sake! It's a man appealing to man.

So let's!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Balls and Dates

  • The only event that wasn't a normal, weekly occurrence was that Aolani got to go on her first ever date -- Daddy-Daughter Date :) It was special -- getting a rose, a restaurant, a bakery, and a children's museum! While they were out having fun, Micaiah and I painted with marbles, napped, read, played outside...
  • I've been tackling some spring cleaning the past few weeks but still have some items on my list ;)
  • Micaiah's mishaps: stayed dry 6 out of the past 10 nights; when Ricky and Aolani were leaving, yelled, "I wanna go on Daddy-Daughter Date!"; held up a ruler and informed me, "I'm three inches"...
  • Aolani's antics: keeps exclaiming, "Our house is different!" (due to a lot of rearranging and other minor additions I've been doing); woke us the other morning by singing at the top of her lungs Mary, Did You Know?; has really begun to antagonize her brother; and, after I told her to get down off the couch, go wipe that smirk off your face, and come do school, she stomped off to the bathroom. I asked her where she was going, and she yelled, "To wipe my face!" ;)
Ready to go on "Daddy-Daughter Date"
Marble painting

Here is what I'm calling The Verse Ball Wall. This project has been a long time coming. These are all the verses that Aolani knows; so, I'll add a ball each week. We all love it! Surrounded by colorful polka dots and the Word! Aolani is beginning to read, and I wanted it up for that reason. [I used Microsoft Publisher, color printer ink, cardstock, a cheap laminator, and removable poster tape.]

at a local Children's Museum on her date with Daddy

a Sabbath rest
  • School verse: Proverbs 19:11 ~ A wise man restrains his anger.
  • I am memorizing Psalm 27. This week will be verses 7-10  Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation! Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Passing on to the Kids

"What do you tell yourself whenever you feel like you're screwing up the kids?"

That was the question I asked.

This mother's response was not short and I cannot write it out word-for-word, but it was wise, gentle, true, and exactly what I needed to hear.

Here's the gist (with a few of my thoughts) --

We all have baggage from our parents. None of us wants to pass on our own baggage to our kids; we don't want them to have the same mess we have. But, even if we try to prevent from passing on similar baggage, our kids are still going to end up with baggage from us the parents. It may look or seem different, but it is still baggage.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to God's grace. You wake up, you fail, and you make messes. Then, you must do two things: give it all (efforts and failings) to God and repent (to God and to your family -- so your kids can see confession and forgiveness in action).
This parenting gig’s an experiment in radical grace and the work of every parent is to fully give to the child. And it’s the work of every child to fully forgive the parents. ~ Ann Voskamp 
So no matter what, my kids are going to have baggage from me. Because I am frail and weak and human. Yet, I have received and still receive the grace of God. This I can give to them, too.
Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me... ~ Ephesians 3:8 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

In the Crevices

  • Ricky's parents visited over the weekend -- putting together furniture, family movie night, church, small group, restaurant, park... Simple and nice :)
  • Aolani said, "You have to go to the goats if you want a beard." ??!?
  • Micaiah's mishaps: I was teaching him a rhyme about himself -- "I am Micaiah Oliver DiMartino. I am three years old. My next birthday is December fourteenth, and then I'll be four." -- and he very excitedly gasps and proclaims, "Oh, me too!!!" ;); calls ciabatta bread 'Batta bread; and, we ran out of diapers and pull-ups by Monday evening, and he got up all by himself at 4:30 a.m. to relieve himself! It was so cute, and the first time ever he has gotten out of his bed by himself (while we are all sleeping). He turned on a bunch of lights and told us when he finished ;) He wet his bed the next night and kept dry last night... We celebrated with cookies after his first night. The next luring reward we told him is that if he can keep his bed dry for a whole month, then he gets to move into the bunk bed with Aolani :)
  • This is just a FYI health update. I began my "stagnancy phase" last October-November 2014, which is normal (everybody experiences it; we met our Romanian friend when she was having some setbacks). It is a very slow process and requires much perseverance and patience, but it does pick back up. Anyway, I unintentionally was off particulates for four weeks in January, and many of symptoms that had gone actually returned :( My body did not like that! Once I was on them again, most of those returning symptoms disappeared again after a week (all except two). RLS finally left again about three weeks ago; no recurrence yet. I am still unable to roll myself over in bed like I could (health improvement 6/14/14). Almost back to normal; hopefully, my cells will begin to respond and progress in healing more soon! Nothing is too difficult for God!
Micaiah loved painting his sword! (We painted wood this day.)
Even though this is an old picture, Aolani is still here -- creative and spunky :)
helping Grandpa and Daddy build
  • School verse: Proverbs 12:18 ~ Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.
  • I am memorizing Psalm 27. This week will be verses 5-6  For He will conceal me there when troubles come; He will hide me in His sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At His sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the LORD with music. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Call to More

I am oh-so thankful for Jesus' calling to more.

Not to be more. Not to do more.

But to more. He lovingly and gently beckons, like a lover longing for his beloved,
Come, dear one, come to Me. There is more. For you.
Indeed, there is more -- love, joy, peace, laughter, richness, fullness, dreams, power, kindness, depths of grace, mercy, patience, beauty, forbearance, truth, light, inspiration, tenderness, wooing... goodness. Yes, there is more of all good things... especially more of God, His presence and a deeper relationship with Him! We can always be closer.

No one will ever come to the end of Him and what He has for us!

There will always be more.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Twist and Turn

  • A normal week apart from an 8k relay race we got to join. Ricky ran the first 2k, our friend and his son walked the next 2 parts, then we all did the last 2k together. We were the last to cross the finish line at 1:27:55 with 3 small kids, a dog, and a wheelchair?! 
  • I must say that parenting definitely gets harder as the kids grow older -- dealing with character-formation, discipline, consequences, and resistance...
  • Micaiah's mishaps: is transitioning to wearing underwear at night (we have 1 or 2 pull-ups left and that's it!), but he wakes up dry two out three nights right now...; when "making his bed" he says over and over to himself Straight it, straight it (instead of straighten it) :); and, goes around talking about breaking Jesus' heart (after Ricky gave the kids an explanation about communion)!
  • Aolani's antics: called the chair lift at Ricky's parents' house the highway that goes up the stairs; and, said that Grandma gives birth to curly hair ;)

Sunday afternoons during nap time :)
  • School verse: Ephesians 6:1 ~ Children, obey your parents...
  • I am memorizing Psalm 27. This week will be verses 3-4  Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. The one thing I ask of the LORD— the thing I seek most— is to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His Temple. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

I Asked the LORD {video}

So, I've been struggling for months now... I'm not quite sure with what specifically or what the root cause is (despite much prayer, reading, and advice). [I've been over every single thing that could be the reason causing this -- unforgiveness, bitterness, needing to be baptized again by water and/or Spirit, hidden sin, unconfessed sin, deliverance, generational bondage, spiritual curses, hardcore spiritual warfare...] It had me depressed at first, then it turned into despair. I didn't like that. After talking to Ricky about it and asking others for prayer for it, I can just feel the hope returning. However, I am still unsure of the exact problem or cause, which is still frustrating in itself. But, this song has been such a balm to my soul this past week!

Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. ~ Romans 8:23

Thursday, March 5, 2015


  • We had a lovely, simple weekend -- flea market, chores, family movie night, games, church, small group, reading, an evening with friends this week...
They took turns painting the oven using shaving cream
 A beautiful snow we had last week :)

 Aolani is sandwiched in there!
  • School verse: Ephesians 4:32 ~ Be kind and loving to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.
  • For the month of March, I am going to memorize Psalm 27. This week will be verses 1-2  The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I be afraid? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.