Saturday, August 29, 2015

You Have to Forgive

This little girl's grasp on forgiveness is very encouraging to me. (A Voice of the Martyrs email)

August 21, 2015 

Dear Friends: 
The spiritual maturity of eleven-year-old Maryam is astounding. She has been through 0more in her short life than many adults in their entire lifetime.
Maryam is one of thousands of Iraqi Christians forced to flee from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS), now living as a refugee. "I won't do anything to them, I will only ask God to forgive them." This is how Maryam responded when a SAT-7Arabic reporter asked her what her feelings were towards ISIS for driving her family out of their home. Maryam also said, "In the Bible Jesus said to us, 'Don't be afraid, I am with you.' And also, He said forgive others no matter who they are hating you. You have to forgive them." 
“…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Speechless Voice

  • Last week -- Aolani got food poisoning (too much splurging) and barfed for two nights (but not during the day?!); we taught the kids how to play Crazy 8s and they really enjoyed it; my seatbelt buckle started dying on me and I got a new one that I have a hard time hooking, so Aolani buckles me in after I potty ;) ; a friend came over and did art with the kids/me (hopefully, this will become a weekly thing); we ate lunch with our pastor; we had family movie night; we went to closest Planned Parenthood to join the nationwide protest; we met my friend, Teresa, for lunch; we had some friends over for dinner and games; and, we went to church and to our small group, which started back after the summer break.
  • Aolani's first big tooth finally broke through her gums.
  • Micaiah told me, "I know planets: norf and house." (north and south) :)
Planned Parenthood  protest
Reading library books with family friends
Getting his haircut outside
Playing in her dollhouse with a new friend
  • School verse: Matthew 7:12 ~ D -- Do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
  • Verse to memorize this week: Psalm 62:8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Following Him = Deliverance from Tyranny of Self = Freedom!

"Follow me. When I say these two words to you, I'm offering you an invitation. But I must also tell you that I'm issuing you a command. Following me cannot be a halfhearted pursuit. If there's anything keeping you from following me, you must get rid of it. Follow me. It will require that you stop following the ways of this world. You can't value what the world values or love what the world loves, because the world does not value me or love me. But if you follow me, I will lead you away from a life of chasing after possessions and experiences and passions that will never end up satisfying you. Follow me. But you should know that following me means going to my Cross. Following me requires a death to your self-worship so that I can live in you and through you. You will live in your earthly body not by taking care of yourself but by trusting in me. Follow me. I will save you from the tyranny of always thinking about yourself first and foremost your needs, your discomforts, your hurts, your wants, your preferences, your rights. Instead, I'll show you how to surrender your demands for the life you think you deserve so you'll want, most of all, to please me. Follow me, not into a life of comfort, but into a life of significance. Following me may cost you your very life, but you can be confident that I will more than make up for everything you lose along the way. And in the process, your life will witness to the world that you treasure me more than anything and everything you've let go of. Follow me, listening for the sound of my voice in your life. I know there are plenty of voices all around you and even inside you telling you what to think and what to believe and how to live. Don't let those voices drown out my voice in your ear. Tune in to my voice by opening up my Word. Judge every other voice by its harmony with mine. Follow me to where I am going. I am going to prepare a place for you. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am."
~ Nancy Guthrie (Hear Jesus Speak of His Healing for You)  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rolling -- with balls and punches

  • Our new helper had a health emergency last Monday and is out-of-commission indefinitely. So, I had to find friends to fill in last week. We ate dinner with a family from Guatemala last week and hired the two sisters (a little older than me). My friend, Superwoman, took the week off of homeschooling her kids to come over and help train the ladies this week. They came the first two days but no longer want the job. So, back to square one or two or three or four or five!
  • Other events from last week: lunch with some friends (visiting from another state), guys' night here, a free family movie at the theatre one morning, the kids and I found ourselves locked outside during a storm for a couple hours (we had adventures!)... And the weekend included a neighbor girls' birthday party, family movie night, and a very fun visit from Ricky's dad and brother (flea market, fix stuff, picnic, brewery [while I stayed home with kids], bowling alley, pizza out, party/dessert at home, church, lunch in another town) -- see cute video below.
  • We typically Sabbath from Saturday evening until Sunday evening. Sunday nights are full of preparation for us both. I plan homeschool for the week, meal plans, grocery list, what my helpers need to do when, organize laundry, scan house, and thaw food.

  • School verse: Colossians 3:20 C -- Children, obey your parents in everything -- for this pleases the LORD.
  • Verse to memorize this week: Psalm 62:1-2 Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Friday, August 14, 2015

I'm Helping You

"My healing work has already begun in your life it began when I first drew you to myself. The deeper you go in me and the longer you abide in me, the more human you will experience. It is my healing touch that soothes your ailing body, your aching heart, your troubled mind, and your weary soul. It is my touch that heals you from the self absorption that consumes you, the apathy toward me that depletes you, the lust that brings you shame and regret, the materialism that leaves you unsatisfied, the forgiveness that isolates you from others all the sin that has made your soul so sick. I know it is never comfortable when my Spirit shows you the areas of your life that are offensive to me. I'm not trying to hurt you by calling attention to your sins; I'm helping you. Won't you let me love you in this way? Just turn toward me and begin to confess those sins rather than ignoring them or trying to hide them. I won't turn away from you. I will cleanse you. This repentance I'm calling you to is not a onetime thing. I'm asking you to make it your way of life. As you live in brokenness before me, I will continue to show you the things in your life that keep you from closer fellowship with me not to condemn you or discourage you, but to draw you into the full and free life I have for you. On the cross, I dealt decisively with your deepest and most destructive disease, and even now you are being healed by my wounds. There I destroyed the power of sin to rule your life and determine your destiny. I am not unmoved by the pain in your life. As you lay it before me and invite me into it, you will find me moving toward you, bringing you peace."
~ Nancy Guthrie (Hear Jesus Speak of His Healing for You)  

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

At All Hours

  • While last week was full with training Wendy, babysitting neighbor kids, playdates, and beginning a new homeschool year (which I'm still figuring our new schedule, how our days are going to go, what's involved, time it takes to teach and prepare...), I specifically guarded the weekend to relax, breathe, and rest. So, our only "activities" were our normal visits to the grocery store and flea market, church, and pizza/movie night. This week is already turning into a doozy!
  • I must say that often when Ricky and I go into our bedroom at night to finally go to sleep, we frequently find some shenanigan -- light on, toys out, toys in bed, suitcases in bed, buried under stuffed animals, kids sleeping tangled up or even on top of each other, kids laying on pillows, kids sleeping in our bed... not like we put them to bed! It's hilarious; I won't share pictures, but we have many ;)
  • Aolani told us, "I know how Jesus made us: first He traced us, then He drew us, then He colored us, and then He cut us out!"
As part of our homeschool curriculum, Ricky reads from chapter books to the kids most nights:)
Aolani's drawings -- Sleeping Beauty on a birthday cake (left) and Aolani sitting at the table with some birthday bread (right)
Micaiah drew two fierce, man-eating monsters.
  • School verse: Acts 16:31 ~ B -- Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved -- you and your household.
  • Verse to memorize this week: Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Making Him Known, with Words

Psalm 40:9-10 --
I proclaim your salvation in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, Lord, as you know.
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your salvation.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly. 

I proclaim...

I do not seal...

I do not hide...

I speak...

I do not conceal...

I think David is making a point here ;)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Endings and Beginnings

  • Well, the interviewing is over, and we have hired someone -- a woman our age, Wendy (married and has a baby). She is working out great and even exceeding expectations!
  • Last week: more interviews, girls from our church came over to play with Aolani and teach her how to crochet (she was too distracted and energetic to learn well), a church gathering at a park, our last trip taking stuff to our new shared storage unit, picnic with our friend Teresa, movie night, church, dinner with friends...
  • The kids obedience and self-control, I have found, is always fluctuating. Some days are good, and I think they've out grown this-or-that behavior, and then... well, training kids is constant, hard, and rewarding (not to forget frustrating and exhausting) :)
  • This week I have begun schooling both kids (still trying to learn my routine and figure it all out) and training new help (time-consuming but easy).
Picnic in the park

This is Kindergarten Verse Ball Wall
First day of Kindergarten and Preschool (we begin every school day around 9 a.m. with prayer, Bible story, and Scripture memory -- usually while they're eating breakfast)
  • School verse: Romans 3:23 ~ A -- All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
  • Verse to memorize this week: Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Consumption Breakdown

"Globally, the 20 percent of the world's people in the highest-income countries account for 86 percent of total private consumption expenditures -- the poorest 20 percent a minuscule 1.3 percent." ~ A recent United Nations report