Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sin Breeds Sin

Conflict. Upset. Harsh word. Defend. Blame. Argue. Tear down. Nobody wins. Strife.

Repeat cycle. Stuck. Endless.

Sin breeds sin.

Conflict. Upset. Bite tongue*. Pray for other person.

Step down. Do not try to force change. Pray and let the Holy Spirit do the work.

How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?  ~ Galatians 3:3

How guilty I am of using my own human effort to try to perfect others!

Using the means of the flesh in the hopes of producing the fruit of the Spirit. Absurd, I know. Sinful ways cannot breed spiritual things. Sin can only breed more sin. The moment I speak I just interfere with the Spirit's work.

The answer? Prayer. It weakens the strong hold of the flesh. It softens my heart. It activates the Spirit. It strengthens me. Indeed, it is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Glimmers of Growth

  • Last week and weekend: Besides friends coming to help cook, we had guys' night here, my friend joining us for art, Ricky's mom came for a five days, Ricky and I went to an opening conference for a local Symptometry health coaching non-profit, family pizza/movie night, and our neighbor M and his family have been joining us for church lately :)
  • Aolani's antics: weighs 41.6 lbs and measures 43.5" tall; and, now has her 2nd loose tooth (on the bottom beside the first one she lost).
  • Micaiah's mishaps: weighs 32.2 lbs and measures 39.5" tall; and, drew his first non-scribble -- a walking pet octopus.
 Micaiah loves his new "soldier" costume!
  • School verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:18 G -- Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
  • Verses to memorize next: Psalm 63:1-8 (I'll do the first four verses this week) O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek You. My soul thirsts for you; my body longs for you in this dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen You in Your sanctuary, beheld Your power and Your glory. Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You! I will praise You as long as I live, in Your name I will lift up my hands.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Repentance Breeds

"Until there is Repentance — there will be no Difference, there will be no Deliverance, there will be no Resurgence."  ~ Ann Voskamp

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Beauty In and Through the Cracks

  • Craziness.
  • What's the plan? Well, the first thing we did was to go through my list of what we need people to do to see if it's even possible for us to do Symptometry without hired help. We weeded through to figure out what we can no longer make, what we need to buy,  what we need to mark off, what to shift around... Then, we came up with a new game plan and new meal plan. So, here's a short version of our new plan of how we are proceeding without hiring someone. A local Christian cleaning company comes every other week. A symbiotic relationship emerged with our neighbor girl coming over on Mondays to help prepare dinner, while I teach her how to cook easy, simple meals :) Then on Tuesdays, I had several friends volunteer so each person only comes to help once-a-month (and no one gets burned out!). Ricky is in charge of dinner on Wednesdays and Thursdays (they're simpler pasta meals). I had another friend offer to come help every other Friday, and she will get all the other random stuff ;)
  • Two weeks ago: cleaning company and neighbor girl came for the first time (both went well), friends helped two other days, some friends and their kids came over for dinner and games,  a friend came to do some art, family movie night, church...
  • Last week: Labor Day was pretty relaxing -- the kids and I waited in the car for two hours while Ricky donated blood, we went to the grocery store, and our friend came to visit for a couple days. Ricky then took a sick day, and we went to get our annual blood work from the nearest Symptometrist while our friend babysat the kids for us ;) Then, another friend came to visit with us for a few days :) We had a low-key visit complete with art, games, cooking, and movies. With a holiday and two guests all week, I decided to have a no-school week for us (and the kids enjoyed that). We babysat our neighbor's kids one entire day. We visited a local Hmong church (the one we visited last year) and so enjoyed seeing that Body again. Then, we went to our small group.
  • This week has been our first week implementing the new schedule. Even with a normal week, we have had 19 different people (11 adults) in our home this week. Seriously, our home is always open to friends and neighbors!
  • Aolani's antics: she and Micaiah "played t.v." for our friend by setting up pillows for a frame and acting behind the hole (obviously, we do not have cable since my kids play t.v. versus watch it!); called our friend Aunt Miss Teresa; first -- "When I grow up, I want to be a singer, a dancer, and a mommy"; is really into coloring right now; ties little reeds together to make a duster; is seriously reading books we own that I would read to them and even reads aloud to Micaiah!; says math is her favorite subject; still loves anything I call an activity; is beginning to help me more and more in the kitchen; and, funniest story ever -- I was having trouble understanding myself on an audio recorder, so I asked her what Mommy was saying. Of course, she got it right off. She is my interpreter and passed Ricky in repeating for me several months ago, but now, she interprets me for me!! Hilarious ;)
  • Micaiah's mishaps: called sneezes "bless-yous"; during a prayer of his, he started singing one of Aolani's Bible verse songs -- All have sinned... it was so cute!; in response to having us talk about having Jesus live inside of us, he matter-of-factly told us, "We must eat God" (his take on communion?!); wanted a paintbrush in order to pet his pet alligator; ties string to the end of a little reed to make a fishing pole; loves doing his preschool and feeling big; made a diving board for his stuffed animals by sticking a flat toy pillow off of the top bunk; still really enjoys art and food (especially playing with Aolani in their play kitchen); is really into animals and dinosaurs; and asked me, "How do tigers eat? By ripping your head off your face!" [He is going through that age/phase where he says so many cute, illogical things! I cannot begin to keep track, but I remember when Aolani did this :)]
  • Whenever Ricky comes home from anywhere,; the kids race out the front door hollering, "Daddy!!!!!"
with baby Judah
walking Woofie
homemade animal/doll swing ;) -- I just love their creativity!
  • School verse: Isaiah 43:1 ~ F -- "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine."
  • Verse I memorized last week: Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God. 
  • Verse to memorize this week: Psalm 73:25-6 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Actions Bringing Peace

Our hearts are really taken with the refugee crisis going on right now. We are praying about our role and involvement. See this site here about ways to get involved! has some podcasts about ISIS soldiers turning to Christ -- sooo thrilling!!

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.
Psalm 37:3-8 
*I think I need to take a break for a week... Too much is going on!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Beneath the Waters

  • I had friends help me out everyday last week; I know I these amazing saints are getting worn out! Ricky and I had uneventful dentist appointments :) I met with a Christian cleaning company. Ricky went bowling with his guy friends. While he bowled, Aolani went to play with some family friends. Micaiah and I had a date night complete with dinner, art, painting, game, a Thomas the Train movie, dessert, and library books ;) All of us had a good time! We also had our weekly pizza/movie night and went to church.
  • Our church also had its annual summer pool gathering, and Aolani was baptized by Ricky! He shared her story first. Then, when they went into the water, Micaiah quickly joined and tried to help hold her nose -- it was so precious and sweet! [I hope to eventually get her story typed up and put together a choppy video of her baptism.]
  • Another crazy week this was as I thought I had everything all lined up to allow for a worker to help for two-days, and then things fell through. So, I spent the rest of the week working on new plans for us; I'll elaborate more next week. I spent most of this week just being exhausted.
holding our friends' new baby boy, Beto
Micaiah was swimming in his floaties by himself for the first time and LOVED it!

 Aolani's sweet baptism
  • School verse: Proverbs 20:11 E -- Even a child is known by his actions -- by whether his conduct is pure and right.
  • Verse to memorize this week: Psalm 128:1 Blessed is he who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.