Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Another day, another diet. Haha . . . just kidding, same diet. *grin*

I'm not sure what I'm thinking about today. I'm not sure, I'm not sure, I'm not sure.

I love my husband.

I can see Jocelyn living a long, single life, and enjoying every God-ordained moment of it. But don't tell her I said that. I can just as easily see her as a godly wife and mom with four children, having a blast taking care of God's gift of a family. Wow. What will my Jocey be, say, in six years down the road?

Singleness is definitely *not* for James!

Repent, repent you sinners and vipers. That's not for anyone but me.

I'm in a strange mood today. Perhaps it's because of the weight watchers. I need to be diligent and non-manipulative with it this time. I WANT TO BE OBEDIENT. I hate failing.

I also hate feeling disconnected. Blah.

Oh! I did get the Round Robin yesterday! Yeay-rah! I'm in! It was a lot of fun to sit down last night and read all the letters. Whoohoo! Now it's my turn to write.

It's also my turn to get into the shower. I'm so discombobulated (?!?) today. God? Throw me a life line!


Monday, June 26, 2006

I think it's time to try WW again. (For the umpteenth time.)

Lord, You know how much I want to be obedient in this area, and how *hard* it is for me. Please be my strength today; not my will power, but Your will power!!

And James. My sweet son, James. Lord, I lift him up to You. I pray You will continue to give him direction, Lord. Allow him to be sensitive to Your guidance; to be able to discern between his emotions and feelings, and Your direction. Speak to him in the quiet of his day, and allow him to hear You clearly.

I don't want to be a Jehu -- who starts off on fire and follows God's instructions to the letter, and destroys all the trappings of Baal worship, only to fall prey to the golden calf. I want my life to be a testimony of obedience. A visible testimony of obedience. Starting now!

Through the power of Jesus Christ.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

I let too many things interfere with my commitment to journal on a daily basis. It's a shame, I know, and I've really got no excuse. It's a shame because God has shown me some really cool things this week, and I should have been noting them as I learned them -- not waiting to play catch-up, at the week's end. Not to mention, God was pretty clear to me at the beginning of the year when He directed me to be faithful in journaling. Not *my* will, Lord, but YOURS be done. Except, I haven't done it. {sigh}

I want to relate to these girls. Lord, I really want to relate to them, and have them be able to relate to me. Father, what do You want? How do *You* want me to proceed??

I want to be skinny and healthy and fit. I'm tired of obesity. Blah. I spit it out of my mouth. (Unfortunately, the problem is the food that I *don't* spit out of my mouth!)

It's incredible to sit back and watch Jocelyn grow and lean on the Lord. It's the same with James. My children are growing up. I'm so humbled by how God has grown them and strengthened them, despite me. I'm so grateful; beyond words.

I love my husband so much. He cares for me -- in so many different aspects. Father, I praise You for him.

We had the Burketts over for dinner last night, and went out to dinner with the Wrights on Friday night. Wow! We had a great time both nights. It was so sweet to fellowship with brothers & sisters in Christ, outside of church! Friday night is Kasey & Greg's "guy" shower, which should be fun. Lord, please prepare me so that I can fulfill the role I'm supposed to fulfill that night!

I have 2.5 hours until we get to go back to church and sing with the Mike Spec Trio!!! I'm very excited!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

And, a picture or two from our weekend getaway to Mountain Laurel Inn Bed & Breakfast in Mentone, Alabama (which I *highly* recommend)!!

This is the view from our cabin porch. It was *very* secluded, private, and romantic! The paved path leads from our porch back to the main house (where we ate breakfast).

This is a view of the falls, from the trail that ran from our door (practically). It was a breathtaking view; quite spectacular! It would be fun to go back in the spring, when rain had been more plentiful! It's been rather dry up in the mountains, and it was reflected in the waterfalls.

This final picture is from the other side of the falls. See the tiny little overhang, that juts out just below the trees? That's from where I took my picture of the falls. Good thing I took that picture first!
There's a cave cricket somewhere down at my feet. *shudder*

In chapter one of Job, God asks Satan where he has come from.

Satan responds, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." In 1 Peter 5:8 we get a fuller understanding of what Satan's been doing. ". . . like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." With that understanding, let's start the conversation over:

The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?"

Satan responded, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it, like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant, Job? ..."

This just BLOWS me away! God knew what Satan was up to! God knew why Satan roamed the earth! God KNEW Job would withstand Satan's attack. I wonder if in keeping Satan busy with Job, some poor soul who *wasn't* up to the task of withstanding Satan's attack was spared (for the time being).

I just don't believe there's ever been a time when God could have substituted my name for Job's. As I look back at the trials and periods of testing I've faced (which are minute, to begin with), and how I responded, I'm so ashamed.

God is in control. God is in control. God is in control.

I am not.

The thing is, I shouldn't even want to be in control! I can't see before, during and after! I can't know what's going on in the hearts and minds of those around me (and those not around me). I don't have all the information!! How can you be in control if you don't have all the information??? Only God has all the information! Only God. God.

So why do I sometimes try and be in control? Why do I pretend that I'm capable of handling any given situation? I know perfectly well that I am not equipped to be in control. I certainly know that I'm not sovereign. What is it in my stubborn self that requires that I make a fool out of myself (more often than I'd care to admit), by trying to be in control?!?

I want God to be able to say to Satan, "Have you considered my servant, Denise? There is no one in the earth like her; she is blameless and upright, a woman who fears God and shuns evil."



Monday, June 19, 2006

What a delightful long weekend we had! Todd & I took a trip up to Mentone, Alabama, and stayed at the Mountain Laurel Inn Bed & Breakfast. It was simply wonderful. The cottage is tucked back into the woods, and surrounded by acres of trees and wildlife. The hostess, Sarah Wilcox, is truly gifted in hospitality. From the moment we arrived, to the time we (reluctantly) checked out, she bent over backwards to make us feel welcome and comfortable. I come home feeling awed by God's glorious creation, and relaxed and ready to face the world again!

It occurs to me -- especially after watching it happen with Jocelyn this weekend -- how ready God is to provide for our every need, when we have faith and trust in Him. Jocelyn's pulled wisdom tooth that had given her trouble before Europe, came back in full force in Tahoe. She woke up Friday morning in pain and misery. They took her to an oral surgeon in Reno, who took care of everything, free of charge. Todd & I had deposited $300 in her account, to make sure she could cover everything/anything she needed -- and all she needed was $104 for prescriptions. It's such an awful feeling to have your child be sick or in pain and out of your reach. Until I remember that my child was His child first, and as much as I care for my girl, He's going to outdo me (and rightly so) every time! Lord, Abba Father, how grateful I am to You.

Our SS lesson this week, which I will be teaching, is on Job. The main theme is, "God is in control." If they don't learn anything else, if I can make that one truth abundantly plain and clear to them, it will be a successful lesson, in my opinion. God, what would make it successful to You? What do these girls need to get from this Scripture on Job? I pray You will make me very sensitive to Your word this week; that I will be able to understand and discern what You are speaking through Job's trials, and that I will be able to clearly communicate it to our class. Lord, I pray you will bless them this week in such a way that they recognize it as only You.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work I go!


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Do you know how hard it is to do something that you *know* you're supposed to do, but you really don't want to do it? Pretty difficult. I can relate to the Israelites. I am one. I'm a stubborn child of God who knows what she's supposed to do, and consistently decides to do it her own way (which is never the right way) instead. I _know_ God wants me journaling daily. Do you know how many times in the past week I've sat here, pulled up this very page, and then, with a click of the mouse, shut it down? You know what I've done next? Most typically, I've pulled up a game, instead. Good gravy! I've done this before, too. Only this time, I'm not going to let days turn into weeks, and weeks into months. It's got to stop!

Unconfessed sin is typically what does me in. When I've got the burden of unconfessed sin strangling me, I don't want to do what God wants me to do -- because I'll have to confront that sin, lay it before Him, and repent. That can be extremely hard for a prideful person, such as myself, to do. Instead, I leave it unconfessed . . . and wrap the painful truth of God up in some hard material, like an oyster does with a annoying grain of sand. And while pearls are of value to us, it only brings death to the oyster (as someone comes along and pulls the oyster out of its comfort zone, yanks it open, and forcibly removes the pearl). Yuck. I don't want that!

But it's so painful to lay myself open to God -- to expose the rotting, stinking earthly flesh. It's painful and shameful. I think the shame is hardest. God, why? Why do I constantly fail this test? How do I give this to You? How do I allow You to work through this? I don't do the things I want to do, and I do the things I know I'm not supposed to do.

It's come down to whether I choose to believe Satan's lies over God's truth. I can NOT have it all. I can't make my own decisions and choices, and still retain a right relationship with God. Do I trust in God's provision? That's the thing. It's a matter of my wants over God's provision. I've grown up hearing Satan whisper the lie of "you deserve it" and "you should have that" and "if you want it, go for it" and "whatever it takes". It makes me weep to realize how I must break my Father's heart. I need to reflect on this.



Saturday, June 10, 2006

Proud mama? I think so!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I never realized, before this morning, that a second killing followed so closely on the heals of Cain's killing of Abel. As one of Cain's descendants, it sounds as if Lamech, the first polygamist noted in the Bible, used Cain's sin as an excuse for his own. I've done that. I've measured my sin against a sin committed by someone else; to downplay what I've done. But God doesn't look at it that way. My sin is measured only against His standard of perfection. That's why there is no acceptable sin.

I'm in the book of 1 Kings in my quiet time, now. Reading about the kings of Israel (the Northern kingdom) makes me think of the hymn, "No not one!" I know the context is different, but there surely wasn't one king who reigned in Israel who was righteous. No not one.

Of course, the kings of Judah (the Southern kingdom) weren't much better.

Today is primary election day in the grand state of Alabama. Go Judge Roy Moore!


Monday, June 05, 2006

Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; He is good -- He is good!!

He certainly was good to Solomon. But the minute Solomon started taking His blessings for granted, it went to Solomon's head. The beginning of the end. I'm just like that. At some point I stop being grateful, and start getting ... expectations? Perhaps I start feeling like I *deserve* the goodness -- it's my right, my just rewards. Lord? Help me to remember today that what I deserve is death. I'm a sinner saved by Your grace alone, and that is the only blessing I truly needed. How I praise You for that! You are good -- You are good!!!

My Jocey is serving God in Tahoe, and my James is headed to a camp in Roach. What a name for a city! Todd and I are on our own again this week. Wow. I'm praying that God will really impress upon me ways I can show my darling husband that I respect him. I'm a very loving wife -- but am I a respectful wife? This week I'll pay close attention to it.

Time to see what Sunday's lesson is about!



Saturday, June 03, 2006

Oh yes -- two things I wanted to share! One was an incredible bloom off of our magnolia tree, and the other was a glimpse into the lovely tea party that Jocelyn & I had on Tuesday! Enjoy!
For three days I didn't walk. Lemme 'splain . . .

Wednesday: We got up at 4:15 am and left at 5:00 am to take Jocelyn to the airport {sniff} and from there I went straight to work, where I stayed until 5:30 pm, and went directly to the Roger's home for the SCUBA event for our 7th & 8th grade youth.

Thursday & Friday: No excuse. Except my hips hurt really badly and I had to be at work incredibly early, and I just didn't do it.

I noticed (realized) that when I didn't walk, I didn't journal. Guilty conscience, I suppose.

I'm journaling today, so guess what?!? Yes, I walked this morning. A lovely creation walk with my husband. They're my favorite!

Do you ever wonder if you'd have done thing differently if you'd been either Adam or Eve (as appropriate)? I like to *think* I'd have run from the serpent, and cried out to God for help, but I know in my heart I'd have done the same thing Eve did. Perhaps I wouldn't have even offered the little resistance that she did. Hah -- maybe I wouldn't have even needed the serpent to speak to me. I'd have just seen the fruit and eaten. The reason I know this is because of how I respond to temptation when it's presented. I listen to the lies, instead of running from
them . . .

But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness,
godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:11

It's frustrating to know what I'm supposed to do, to know in my heart that it's really the best choice, and to still choose wrongly. Ugh. It's a good thing I'm not God -- I'd have no mercy or compassion for myself. Lord, I thank You that You love me. Father, I ask You to continue to draw me near to You. Lord, discipline me and correct me when I need it (which is often). I thank You that Your discipline reflects Your love for me. I'm so lucky to know You hold me in Your mighty hand. I love You, Lord!