Day 178

1 John 4:18 (AMP) There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].

The full maturity of love.  I wonder how long you have to be saved before you can reach the full maturity of love.  In America someone decided that when you turn 18 you are mature enough to be called an adult, but I think it takes most people until they are about 30, some even 40 before they really mature.  Even though I thought I was mature at 18 I was not even close… more mature than most of the 18 year olds I knew, but still, no where near as mature as I am now.  Maturity usually comes with age, but I don’t think age is a factor when it comes to reaching the full maturity of love that 1 John 4:18 is talking about.  You don’t have to be saved for 18 years, 30 years, or even 40 years to experience God’s perfect love- the perfect loves that drives out all every trace of fear.

My four year old son Gus asked Jesus into his heart only 3 months ago but he seems to have already reached full maturity in God’s love.  He is no where near mature in any other area… he still gets food all over the floor at dinner, cries when he loses at Memory, and has to have his clothes picked out for him, but this perfect love of God thing he’s got down pat and because of that he’s fearless.

There is no fear in God’s perfect love and all Gus knows of God’s love is that it is perfect so he knows no fear.  He has never had to experience anything that would cause him to doubt God’s love for him.  Could it be the older we get and the more we see and experience the less mature in God’s love we become?  We go through trials, loss, and hurt and that view of God’s perfect love that we used to have seems like an illusion instead of reality… so we go back to being immature and welcome fear and worry into our lives.

If we want to be fearless, if we want to expel every trace of terror, every thought of punishment, we have to get back to that place that maybe we haven’t been to since we were four years old like Gus.  That place where God’s love is perfect, no matter what.  That place where we are so aware of God’s love for us that nothing else matters.  That place where we don’t worry about anything, because we trust that everything is being taken care of for us.  That place where the devil is nothing more than a wimpy baby who eats his boogers (Gus’ words, not mine.)

We’ve all been through things that we never thought we’d  have to to go through, but the truth is God’s love never for us never changed… it’s always been the same, it’s always been perfect… the only thing that changed was our perception of it.

I am not at the perfect place of full maturity in God’s love and I know that because I still deal with thoughts of worry and fear, but I’m so thankful to know that it’s not something I have to wait until I’m a certain spiritual age to achieve.  My son Gus has taught me that the maturity I want doesn’t come with age at all.  I want to be fearless like he is, so my prayer today is that the Lord would show me how to get back to that place where my view of God’s love was perfect, because it still is perfect, it always has been perfect, and it always will be perfect!

  1. My fearless little four year old.
  2. God’s love is perfect… always has been, always will be.
  3. God’s love casts out all fear!
  4. Full maturity in God’s love doesn’t have to do with my age.
  5. When you wake up and look at your alarm clock thinking you’ve only got a few more minutes left until it’s time to get up and it’s actually only midnight… that’s some good sleepin’.
  6. Gus got to play with his friend Ava all day!
  7. Beau got to play with her friend Olivia all day!
  8. All 4 kids did such a good job sharing.
  9. 2 potty training girls and 0 accidents!
  10. 4 sweet little faces enjoying their mac n cheese at lunch in complete silence.
  11. Even with all of the excitement of having friends over to play Beau took a great nap.
  12. The big kids played quietly while Beau napped and I got to work during my usual 2 hour window.
  13. Gus was a good sport even though Ava beat him at Memory every round… maybe he’s matured more than I thought in that area.
  14. All the kids were great helpers when it was time to clean up.
  15. My friend Briana made it safely home from CA.
  16. 40 years ago one of the nicest guys ever was born… Shane Spicer.
  17. Keith.  Fun memories of Josh’s old band.
  18. Breakfast for dinner!
  19. Beau had her first kiwi and loved it so much she was licking the juice off of her tray.
  20. Frozen yogurt for dessert!
  21. Found “Be My Valentine Charlie Brown” and still had my coupon from Sonic so I got it for $2!
  22. My OV watch.
  23. Beau says “I love you” just like I say it.
  24. An awesome, confirming, totally God text from my friend Anna.
  25. The 1099 forms I needed to mail tomorrow came today.  Yay!  So glad I ordered them the day I did.
  26. Diapers are not on my grocery list for tomorrow!
  27. Relaxing and fun night watching AI with JB.  I love laughing with him!

Day 177

I have been attending church since I was 2 weeks old.  My mom has pictures of me in a pretty white gown to prove it.  So one of the very first songs I ever learned was “Jesus Loves Me.”  Every child who has ever been to Sunday school knows it.  It’s a classic.  I read today that it has been translated into more languages than any other song in the world.

Jesus love me this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones in Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.  Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me.  Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.  

So simple yet so powerful.  I think most of us know Jesus loves us, if you are like me then it’s all you have ever known.  We know that He loves us because like the song says, the Bible tells us so.  John 3:16, the most well known verse of the Bible says, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son…  

So we know it, but I’m not sure we always believe it… or maybe we believe it, but we just have no idea how MUCH He loves us.  I was reading in Daniel today and I noticed two times where God had to remind Daniel that he was loved and loved greatly.

Daniel 9:23 At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:

Daniel 10:11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you…

This is the same Daniel who God rescued from the Lion’s den in chapter six… you would think that experience alone would have set Daniel straight for the rest of His life- God loves me, I got it!  But, God isn’t the kind of father who says I love you once and then never brings it up again, He wants to lavish us with I love yous.

I tell my kids I love them I don’t know how many times a day… but it’s a lot!  I am constantly reminding them of my love for them.  God is the same way with us.  He sent Jesus to die for us one time because He loves us, but He wants you to be reminded of His love everyday, because if you know that you know that you know that Jesus really does love you then you can walk through life free from fear.  Doesn’t that sound so very appealing?  A life where fear does not exist.  It’s possible and God wants us to get there.  More on that tomorrow… but go ahead and ask Him to reveal His love to you today!  And remember, the words to that song you used to sing when you were a little kid sitting criss cross apple sauce on a carpet square, they really are true.

“I know of no greater blessing that can happen to any person than to be assured by the spirit of God that they are greatly beloved of the Lord.” – Spurgeon.

  1. Jesus LOVES ME.
  2. The reminders of His love for me are all around.
  3. My parents started taking me to church when I was just an infant.
  4. Memories of carpet squares, juice in paper cups, and my mom as my Sunday school teacher.
  5. Eastland Assembly of God in Tulsa… my first church.
  6. Really good quiet time this morning.
  7. A husband who allows me to share and gets me to think!
  8. Speaking God’s word with the kids on the way to school… it never gets old.
  9. Gus had to make sure his sleeves were pushed up so people would notice his Jake and the Neverland Pirates tattoo.
  10. Sweet little smooches for me and Beau from Gus when we dropped him off at school.
  11. Beau loves to run errands with me… even in the rain.
  12. Rain!
  13. Cuddling up with Beau on the couch and watching a princess cartoon with her.
  14. Lots of work done today while Beau was napping.
  15. When no one is around and you can blast your music and worship very loudly.
  16. Overcast, windy, thundery… what a very spring day in January.
  17. Gus asked if we could pray for his friend who was coughing at school.
  18. Gus had an all green day!
  19. Beau always notices all of the pretty princess back packs the girls’ at Gus’ school have.
  20. Josh said staff chapel with Brady Boyd was really awesome this morning.
  21. Nice family dinner.
  22. Guess that Bible character game with Gus.
  23. Prayer time with Josh.
  24. Listened to an awesome message with Josh tonight, one we heard 6 years ago that changed our lives forever.
  25. Baking soda & vinegar to the rescue when Gus discovered Beau went potty on his bed right before bed time.
  26. Gus was pretty excited that he had to sleep in his sleeping bag.
  27. Sweet friend Allie got a special visit from a few movie stars including Josh Duhamel at Children’s Hospital!  So happy to hear about something brightening her day.

Day 176

When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh may I then in Him be found, dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless stand before the throne.  

I sang those words last night from Hillsong’s, “Cornerstone”  and they hit me like a ton of bricks.  I have never thought about what I would be wearing when I stand before the throne of God until last night.

It’s kind of a big deal.  I want to look my best for God.  The pajama pants and one of Josh’s old t-shirts that I’m wearing right now certainly would not do.  In fact, I’m pretty sure nothing in my closet would do,  not even my beautiful wedding dress (if I were able to get back into it) would be good enough for this momentous occasion.

Isaiah 64:6 says But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;

No matter what I’m dressed in, if I show up in my own righteousness I’m going to look awful, unclean and filthy.  In my own righteousness I’d never make it past the throne.  Thank God for Isaiah 61:10 He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness. 

The filthy rags I used to wear are long gone.  All God will see when He lays eyes on me are the clothes that Jesus gave me from His own closet.  He’s covered me with His garments of salvation and His robe of righteousness and because of that I will enter into heaven’s gates where I will spend eternity worshipping God.  I’ll get to meet my son Felix because of the clothes that Jesus gave me!  My husband and children will get to worship with me because Jesus has clothed them in the same outfits!  Amazing!

It doesn’t matter what else is happening in your world today, the fact that you will be able to stand faultless before God because of the righteousness of Jesus is enough to turn any bad day into a good one!

Christ wove a perfect garment of righteousness for 33 years and then gave it away to those who trust Him alone to save them. – John Bunyan

I’m so grateful I don’t have to worry about what to wear on the most wonderful day of my life, Jesus is my Lord, so I’m already wearing it and never plan on taking it off!

  1. Cornerstone.  My new favorite song. 
  2. My anchor holds within the veil!
  3. Through the storm, He is Lord, Lord of all!
  4. Weak made strong in the Saviour’s love!
  5. Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless I’ll stand before the throne!
  6. Eternity in heaven.
  7. Had a great Bible time with Gus this morning.  Me and Beau put a bunch of filthy rags on him and then I got to teach him about the clothes that Jesus gave him to wear when He meets God someday.
  8. Saw the first Minnie Mouse bow my mom is making for Beau’s party… it’s going to be so cute!
  9. My mom and dad found a Minnie hopscotch for the party.
  10. Beau told me she loved me without me telling her I loved her first.
  11. Helped Gus make the idea he had for a book into a real book.  “The Messy Morning” by Gus Blount.  He’s a good little writer.
  12. Got my hair clean and dry and straightened before Josh got home from work.
  13. I have two very sweet, very pretty, very healthy kids that go bonkers every night after dinner.
  14. Josh cleaned up my messy kitchen after dinner.
  15. Good dish for dinner!
  16. The way this roller skating baby video makes Gus laugh!
  17. I finally beat the boys at Disney Scene It.
  18. Beau asked for me by name for story time tonight.
  19. Nana’s “Papa Patch” song.  Beau enjoyed it tonight before bed.
  20. Gus promised me tonight he would never get a real tattoo.
  21. After I put Beau down for bed I could hear her singing as loud as she could “Happy Birthday To You!”
  22. Found a message I’ve been looking for for several months now!  Can’t wait to listen to it again.
  23. Great news from a 10kreasons friend!  Children are a gift from the Lord!
  24. The text Josh’s mom sent him today.
  25. Spending time with my favorite… JRB!
  26. Found a white wood bed rail for Beau that is not on backorder until April!
  27. After a very busy weekend I really enjoyed not leaving the house all day.

Day 175

The first time I saw my husband I was fifteen years old.  He was walking through the halls of our church with a very serious frowny face which I happened to think was adorable.  He was much older than me, but I decided to go ahead and pursue him.  I had a few friends that knew him and I asked them to fill me in on this guy.  What kind of music does he like, what kind of music does he not like, what does he like to do for fun, does he have a girlfriend, where does he hang out after church, can you invite me if you ever get invited somewhere that he will be?  All of my questions paid off.  My friend Austin got me my first official introduction to the future father of my children.  We immediately became great friends and I so enjoyed pursuing him through our relationship.  I learned that he liked some really cool bands that I had never heard of like U2, Travis, and Oasis.  I learned that he loved going to the movies and loved popcorn even more.  I learned that he loved and respected his mom and dad.  I learned that he had one of the best families in the world.  I learned that he loved good food.  I learned that he had a really great sense of humor.  I learned that he was a good gift giver.  I learned that his smile was just as cute as his frown.  I learned that he was a good kisser.  The more I learned about him the more I loved him so when he asked me to marry him nearly 10 years ago, it was an easy “yes” for me.

I was reminded of my pursuit of Josh when I read this verse this morning.

Deuteronomy 4:29 (AMP) But if from there you will seek (inquire for and require as necessity) the Lord your God, you will find Him if you [truly] seek Him with all your heart [and mind] and soul and life.

God wants us to pursue Him.  He wants us to seek Him, to truly seek Him with all of our heart and He promises that if we do, we’ll find Him.  God is not into playing hard to get.  He wants to be found!  The more you seek Him, the more He reveals Himself and the more He reveals Himself, the more you will fall in love with Him.

You know those people who can’t shut up about God?  The ones that are absolutely and totally head over heels in love with Him?  Do you ever wonder how they got that way?  Do you ever wonder how you can get that way?

It’s all about your pursuit.  If you are passionately pursuing Him, the head over heels part will come naturally.

I know there are lots of people who have started pursuing someone only to find out that they have a really annoying laugh, crazy mood swings, or their mother is a handful, and the pursuit ends.  When you pursue God, you will never be disappointed.  You won’t be able to find anything about Him that turns you off.  So don’t be afraid to go all in with God, no holds bar seek Him!  He’s easy to find and even easier to love.

  1. Pursuit by Kim Walker.
  2. The More I Seek you by Kari Jobe.
  3. When we seek God we find Him!
  4. The more we find Him the more we love Him!
  5. The many memories I have of pursuing Josh.
  6. I loved everything I found out about Josh.
  7. 175 days of thankfulness! 4,870 reasons found!
  8. Awesome service with the five year olds at church.
  9. Got to pray for healing for a few kids who have been struggling with chronic illness.
  10. There is power in the name of Jesus!
  11. A lady I see every week at church when she drops off her twins realized that I write the blog she’s been reading.  It was a sweet moment.
  12. Beau told her teachers at church when she needed to potty!
  13. A little boy from my class at church came and sat right by me on the shuttle.
  14. Fun afternoon playing some Donkey Kong Country with my little buddy.
  15. Josh and I got to go to church together tonight!
  16. Night of worship was wonderful!!!
  17. Gateway Frisco was packed out and ready to worship their hearts out.
  18. The volunteers who provided child care.
  19. Had a really cool vision of Jesus wafting our praise toward Him.  Enjoying every moment.
  20. God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him!  The reward we get when we seek HIM is HIM – Pastor Jelani.
  21. I LOVE my church.  AMAZING what God has done in a little under 3 years.
  22. Josh hurried home and helped me put my exhausted kids to bed.
  23. Cereal for dinner night.
  24. Nice hot shower.
  25. Early to bed movie night.
  26. My throat is sore from all the singing!
  27. My heart is SO full.  I have so much I want to write about and study.  Going to be a great week!

Day 174

Today my husband showed me something awesome about the big people who were living in the promised land.  In Numbers 13 Moses sends 12 spies to check out the land of Canaan and they came back with some bad news.

32 ….“The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.  There we saw the giants the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”  

There’s two ways to look at these giants- as a blessing or as a curse.  The Israelites immediately thought curse and totally freaked out when they heard about them.  They wept!  They cried all night!  They had a serious melt down in Numbers 14, but there were two spies who didn’t see the giants the same way everyone else did.   Joshua and Caleb saw the giants as a blessing.  They knew that their great God would not lead a nation of grasshoppers out of Egypt just to be crushed by some really big people.  They knew that they had protection and the giants did not, so this was somehow going to work out in their favor.

Maybe God put those giants in the promised land to keep anyone else from taking it before the Israelites could… like huge Promised Land bouncers.  Maybe God put those giants there so they could prepare big homes and big barns for His people to live in and store their big crops in.  Maybe God put them there so the people of Israel would have been able to make more than your average haul when they went in to take the spoils.  Maybe God put the giants there to assure that only people with great faith in Him could enter the land… because to go up against a bunch of giants you were going to need great faith in a great God!

The people who saw the giants as a curse were not allowed to enter into the promise land.  Joshua and Caleb, because of their amazing perspective were the only ones out of this group who would get to enjoy the land flowing with milk and honey.

We live in a land occupied with giants.  Debt giants, sickness giants, depression giants, fear giants, and all kinds of other messed up giants, but if we get the right perspective we can turn the giants from a curse into a blessing.

Number 14:7-9 They (Joshua & Caleb) said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land!  And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey.  Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”

We have to get the same perspective that Joshua and Caleb had.  The Lord is with us!  His son has redeemed us from the curse of the law, so anything that comes against us that looks like a curse He can change into a blessing.

I imagine God loves taking some giant that the devil placed in your life to stop you dead in your tracks and turning it into something that blesses and moves you forward instead.  It’s a beautiful thing when the devil’s plans backfire.  When you are up against a giant, remember that because God is with you, it’s only helpless prey.

  1. God is with me!
  2. That perspective changes everything.
  3. God will turn curses into blessings.
  4. We are redeemed from the curse of the law!
  5. Milk!
  6. Honey!
  7. Josh taught me all of the stuff I wrote today.  Love having a husband who loves the word like I do!
  8. Beau has a new dance routine she has to do every time Jake and his matey’s sing their pirate theme song.
  9. Very productive 6am – 10am!
  10. Roast roasting for dinner.
  11. Roast roasting always reminds me of my house growing up.  My mom used to get up and roast one before church on Sundays and the house would always smell so good when we got home.
  12. Woke up with a song in my heart that I knew God put there because He wanted to hear me sing it to Him this morning.
  13. Fun play date with some new friends from church!
  14. Beau took a nice long nap.
  15. Bills are paid!
  16. Josh sent me the best text ever today with a word he got from God for our family.
  17. The Transformer that came with Gus’ Happy Meal.  He played with it all afternoon.
  18. Pastor Robert preached one of the sweetest messages I’ve ever heard.
  19. I am God’s greatest desire.
  20. Remembering Jesus and taking communion.
  21. Awesome praise and worship!
  22. I had to park my car at the very back of the parking lot… packed house tonight!
  23. Gus and Beau have a worship duel in the car on the way home.
  24. I asked Gus if He knew what God wants most and he knew the answer before listening to Pastor Robert’s message.
  25. Beau only had one accident today!
  26. Dinner was delicious.
  27. Enjoyed my evening catching up with Josh after church.

Day 173

I bet we are the first group of human beings to have an abbreviated way of saying “Too Much Information” because we are the first group of humans to need one, due to the fact that we are bombarded with too much information every single day!

Facebook is a perfect example.  People are constantly sharing too much information.  Weather it’s updating their status every 15 minutes or getting really personal and letting everyone know that they thew up last night.  Either way… T.M.I.

Last week I was leaving a women’s event at my church when I felt like God told me the reason I was feeling stressed was because  of “too much information.”

After a lot of prayer and a lot of time spent seeking God, Josh and I felt peace about me getting pregnant again this year.  After delivering still born last July, we did not want to move forward without confirmation from God on the timing of everything.  He spoke to us several months ago about beginning the process in the new year, so as soon as 2013 started I started going down this road of gathering information.

After about a year of trying to get pregnant with our first born we discovered I needed some help ovulating.  Same was true with my second.  So that being the case and me being a person who likes to study at the first of the month I began to visit websites and message boards to make sure I was doing everything I needed to do on the right days and at the right times so we would be able to get pregnant right away.  I was reading about signs of ovulation and early signs of pregnancy and progesterone levels and basal body temperatures and all kinds of information… too much information!

In my heart I knew all of the information I had didn’t really matter because God’s plan is perfect, but I just couldn’t help myself.  When God dropped the “T.M.I.” warning into my heart I began to realize that it will happen when God wants it to… even if I have missed some crucial article about the best food to eat when trying to conceive!

After that I decided to stop researching, to stop googling everything I was curious about and to just rest in the promises of God and enjoy the process.  I felt the stress leave the very next day!

With the answers to everything we are curious about just a click away you would think that life would be simpler and less stressful, but in reality sometimes it’s just too much information.  For now, this is all the information I need.

Isaiah 30:15 (MSG) Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves.  Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me—

  1. My much less stressful week!
  2. God’s TMI warning.
  3. His timing is perfect!
  4. His timing with Gus was perfect!
  5. His timing with Beau was perfect!
  6. His timing with the next pregnancy will be perfect!
  7. Beau had her best potty training day yet!!
  8. Her first words this morning “I need to go potty!”
  9. Walked around the mall and went out to eat and she went potty on big potties and stayed dry the whole time.
  10. Finally went #2 in the potty.  (Sorry, that’s TMI right?)
  11. Friday afternoon movie featuring Air Bud!
  12. I LOVE having a sweet little boy to cuddle up with and watch cheesy movies starring animals with.
  13. Gus was very impressed by Air Bud’s basketball skills.
  14. Josh made a temporary coffee table out of his weight bench so we would be more cozy for our movie upstairs.
  15. Power nap.
  16. When leftovers are even better than second time.
  17. Found some Grinch PJs for Gus that he can wear next year for Christmas and they were more than half off.
  18. Got a cute little necklace with a Macy’s gift card I got for Christmas…also marked wayyy down!
  19. Tasty Garden for tasty chinese food.
  20. My Canadian friends Cathy & Allie are celebrating their birthdays today.
  21. Beau wanted to wear a necklace to go out tonight.
  22. The sweet, handwritten note I got in the mail from my niece Courtney.
  23. The afghan quilt Monner’s made us.
  24. The conversation I heard between Gus & Beau while she was taking a bath and he was brushing his teeth.  They are funny.
  25. A naked Beau running out of the bathroom into the room I was in and yelling “Surprise!!!”  Just another exciting Friday night with the fam.
  26. My well of wisdom mother in law has a new series on the accomplished woman available to download.  Lots of women have already purchased it and it excites me knowing they get a piece of what I have access to all of the time!
  27. Josh let me sleep on his shoulder most of the night while I was supposed to be watching a show with him… I started falling asleep at 9!

Day 172

If you have been following my blog then you know that my four year old son Gus recently discovered video games.  The other night after a long day of potty training with my almost two year old I wanted to spend some time with Gus so I asked if he would like to play some video games with me.  He was so pumped!  He has finished 3 levels on Donkey Kong Country, but he’s never made it to the save point.  In about 15 minutes I beat every level he has beaten plus a few more and got us to that save point.   I thought I was doing him a favor, but the next day I learned I wasn’t.

He started to play the level I got him to and he was in way over his head.  I quickly realized it was actually better for him to go back and keep trying the levels that weren’t as easy for him, because it was in those levels that he would learn the skills he would need to keep going in the game.  If he didn’t master one jumping alligators in level four, he would never be able to master two jumping alligators criss crossing over him in level six!

As I was explaining this to him I was reminded of something my Pastor tweeted a while back.  “I don’t believe you ever fail a test with God. I believe you just take it over and over and over again until you pass it.”

Things happen in life that we would love to be able to hand over to someone else and say to them, “Hey, can you get me past this part?”  But if they were to do that for us, we would just end up taking the same test again… and again… and again until we finally pass it.

Shortly after we delivered our son Felix stillborn, my husband Josh let me know that he would never take this test again.  He was going to seek God and let Him show him how to pass it the first time.  And I believe He did.  We both did.  We didn’t try to skip out on this level or look up the cheat codes to get us through faster, we walked through it all (getting the news, the delivery, going home from the hospital empty handed, the confusion, the questions, the due date, and all of the emotions) with God.

God gave us all the answers we needed, we passed that test, and along the way we gained invaluable experience we’ll need to help us pass future tests.  We figured out how to kill the jumping alligator in level four, so when we get to level six and two jumping alligators are headed our way, we will know how to stop them.

Whatever test you find yourself taking ask God to help you pass it, instead of asking Him to let you skip it.  He’s not going to let you skip it.  He knows it will be more beneficial for you to take it until you pass!

Hebrews 2:18 Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.

You aren’t in it alone.  Ask Him to help, He is able!

  1. God is able!
  2. He wants to help us pass tests so we don’t have to take the same tests over and over again.
  3. The experience we gained last year that we couldn’t have gained any other way… we passed the test.
  4. We never fail a test with God… He will give us as many do overs as we need.
  5. Beautiful sunrise!
  6. The first words out of Gus’ mouth this morning, “I’m so glad God’s given us a new day.”
  7. Beautiful day!
  8. I got to go grocery shopping by myself!!
  9. Fridge and pantry are nice and full!
  10. Josh stayed with Beau so she could keep working on her potty training.
  11. Beau told me two times when she needed to go!
  12. The little smile she makes before she starts going… so glad she is realizing when it’s about to happen.
  13. Gus had an all green day at school!
  14. The pictures of Gus’ favorite stuffed animals I found on my iPhone.
  15. My nephew made the honor roll at ORU!  So proud of him!
  16. Beau walking around the house singing “Once Upon A Dream” from Sleeping Beauty.
  17. One of the family’s favorites for dinner tonight – green chile chicken casserole.
  18. Found the little song that Beau and Goofy danced together to at Disney World.
  19. My cousin James and his wife Samantha welcomed a sweet, healthy little boy into the world today.
  20. Tomorrow is Sabbath Friday!!
  21. Found some training pants for Beau so we can go out in public without me feeling nervous about her having an accident.  I’m not a PullUps fan.
  22. All caught up on laundry.
  23. Spent all evening sitting on the couch, relaxing with Josh.
  24. Alena Moore’s devotional from Love Expressed.  Good stuff!
  25. Watching home movies of the kids from 2 years ago!  Crazy how little Gus was when Beau was born.
  26. Beau was pretty sweet watching herself as a newborn.
  27. How excited Gus got about having more little siblings someday.  He is such a sweet big brother.

Day 171

Yesterday I wrote about when Jesus, sword in hand, came to visit Joshua.  He wanted to let Joshua know He and all of the angels He was in charge of were fighting with him.  He also gave Joshua the battle strategy for how to successfully take the city of Jericho, which was completely surrounded by walls.  But before He goes into how many times Joshua and the Israelites need to march around the city and how many times they need to blow their trumpets He says this,

Joshua 6:2 And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. 

He starts with good news, really good news!  Joshua, I’ve given Jericho to you.  It’s all yours, now all you have to do is take it!  Those words were enough for Joshua.  They were all he needed to hear before going through with this really absurd marching, playing trumpets, and shouting war plan God had given Him.  With His faith in God at a really good place he confidently spoke to his people and because he was so confident, they were confident.  They didn’t question the plan at all.  And after seven days…

Joshua 6:20 the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

God had already given them Jericho, but it was up to the Israelites to take it.  And they did.  They were obedient.  They were confident.  They were persistent.  And now the city of Jericho belonged to them.

As I was reading about the Israelites taking what God had given to them this morning this scripture came to my heart.

2 Peter 1:3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.

God has given us everything we need to live a life that’s pleasing to Him, but like the Israelites who had been given the city of Jericho we have a part to play.  We have to take what’s been given to us.

2 Peter 1:3 is good news from Jesus!  It’s Him coming to you and saying, I’ve given you EVERYTHING you need to live a godly life.  It’s all yours, now all you have to do is take it!  How do you take it?  The same way that Joshua and the Israelites took the city of Jericho.  Be obedient.  Be confident.  Be persistent.  It’s yours for the taking, so take it!

  1. God has given me everything I need for living a Godly life!
  2. I can take what He’s given me  by being obedient, confident, and persistent.
  3. Gus slept in this morning.
  4. Me and Beau are both starting to get the hang of this potty training thing… only 1 accident today!
  5. Spent a lot less time hanging out in the bathroom today.
  6. Had some awesome conversations with Beau today about things like talking ants, dad’s office, and orange juice.
  7. Me & Gus worked long and hard on some Jake & The Neverland Pirates coloring pages… they were “masterpieces” according to him.
  8. So nice outside!
  9. Beach Boys Pandora station.
  10. Can listen to music outside so easily with our jam box thing.
  11. Played outside with the kids for a long time this afternoon… so nice being able to play outside in January!
  12. I found the sharp piece of metal fence in the backyard before one of the kids did.
  13. Fend for yourself dinner night.
  14. Josh ended up fending for both of us and made me eggs and toast.
  15. Had time to wash and dry and straighten my hair this afternoon!
  16. Gus did such a good job cleaning up his toys while we cleaned up after dinner.
  17. I beat the mine cart level on Donkey Kong Country before both of the boys!
  18. Extra laughs at bed time tonight when Gus gave Josh a wet willy or as he calls it a “wet wiwey.”
  19. The sound of the dishwasher running, kids fast asleep, house all picked up.  Ahhhh.
  20. Shout!  Beau’s shirts get so dirty everyday, but Shout! keeps them looking pretty nice.
  21. Me & Beau have really bonded this week through the potty training.  She’s SO awesome.
  22. My old, torn up, not acceptable to wear in public Fossil jeans.  Still my favorite.
  23. Prayer night with my husband.
  24. So excited Josh gets to teach a 6 week parenting class at church!
  25. AI night!
  26. Steven Tyler is no longer a judge on AI.
  27. My husband is so good at washing himself in the word while he washes himself in the bathtub.

Day 170

The Super Bowl is coming up in a few weeks and most everyone who watches will pick a team to cheer for.  I think I’m going to go for the Ravens because I kinda like Ray Lewis and I’d like to seem him win one more title before he retires.  I know some football fans enjoy the game so much that they don’t have to pick a side, but for me to get into the game I’ve gotta have a team to cheer for.

In Joshua chapter 5 Joshua is nearing the city of Jericho when he looks up to see a man standing across from him with His sword drawn in his hand.  Joshua’s first words to him are,  “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”  

He wants to know whose side this guy is on.  Turns out the guy with the sword was Jesus.  And this was His answer.

 “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”

Funny answer, right?  If someone asked me are you for the Ravens or the Forty Niners and I just answered “No”  they would probably ask me again to make sure I heard them right.  But Jesus’ answer brought Joshua to his knees.  He fell on his face and worshiped the Lord and asked that He would speak to him.  Jesus proceeded to give Joshua the battle plans for taking the city of Jericho.

Why did Jesus say no?  Obviously He was for the Israelites, His chosen people, so why didn’t He say that?  Why didn’t He say, “I’m on your side”?

I think it’s because He wanted Joshua to know that He was doing more than just picking a team to cheer for.  It’s like He was saying, I, along with the army of angels that are at my command are not just for you, we are here, and we’re going to fight with you.

I love that He was holding a sword.  He wanted to let Joshua know He was like His father, a God of war.  He was ready to go to battle for His people.

God isn’t just cheering you on and hoping that you win.  When someone asks Him are you for Sarah or against her, He says “Neither.  I’m WITH her.  I’m fighting for her, the army of angels I command are fighting for her.”

God is not just a casual fan of yours that watches from His owner’s box and hopes you have a good game… He’s in it with you, fighting for you, down on the field with you, sword drawn… for you!

  1. The God of angel armies and His angel armies are fighting with me.
  2. Jesus showed up with His sword drawn!
  3. I am so enjoying the book of Joshua.
  4. The “do not disturb” feature on my phone.
  5. Beau let me read books to her for an hour this morning.
  6. Spent a good part of my sitting on the bathroom floor admiring my little girl and waiting for her to potty.
  7. 3 successful potty trips for Beau!
  8. Clean house
  9. Only one check mark away from being finished with my end of the year to do list for KBM.
  10. Beautiful day!
  11. Got to leave the house today… it was just to pick Gus up from school but it was nice to get some fresh air!
  12. When I got done asking Gus about his day he asked me about mine.
  13. Beau used the big girl swing in the back yard for the first time today.  She loved it.
  14. We lost our baseball… because Gus smacked it over the fence!  He was pretty proud of himself.
  15. The very happy construction worker who was singing at the top of his lungs and whistling while he worked on laying the brick wall across the street.
  16. I have a healthy little 4 year old boy that came home with a hole in the knee of his jeans and got in trouble for talking about gross stuff at lunch.
  17. Josh went to the grocery store for me after work.
  18. Potato soup for dinner that required no peeling of potatoes.
  19. Me & Gus got to play some Donkey Kong Country together tonight.
  20. We could hear Beau singing “Jesus, Name Above All Names” while she was trying to fall asleep.
  21. Free trial of Amazon Prime… finally get to see what all the fuss about Downton Abbey is about!
  22. Josh likes what I like and I like what he likes.
  23. God created our bodies to rest and to sleep.  I’m excited about sleep tonight.
  24. This blog has been in 26 countries in 169 days.  From America to Zambia!
  25. Over 13,000 views!
  26. Gus brought home a little paper he made at school that just said “mom” and gave it to me.
  27. I got the cutest picture of Beau today while she was being silly in her room.  My new iPhone wallpaper is her precious little face.

Day 169

This morning I read about the time that Joshua instructed the Israelites on how to cross the Jordan River on their way into the promised land.  Super cool.  I guess this story has always gotten lost for me in-between the chapter about Rahab and the spies and the chapter about Joshua and his people marching around the city of Jericho until the walls came tumbling down.

In the book of Joshua chapter 3, Joshua and the people of Israel have been waiting for three days to cross the mighty Jordan River.  I’m sure during those three days the sound of the rushing river rapids really started to mess with some people.  I can just see a little Israelite boy throwing a stick in the river, his mother’s heart skipping a few beats as she watches the stick quickly float away on the current and wonders to herself, how are all of these people going to make it across the river safely.  The spies made it across okay, but that was just a few men.  The whole nation of Israel including infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school kids, nursing mothers, pregnant mothers, the elderly,  and all of their belongings now had to attempt to cross together.

The promised land was waiting for them, but what would they do about this huge obstacle in the form of a river?

Joshua, a man who meditated on God’s Word night and day had the answer.

He had the priests carry the ark of the covenant, the presence of God, and cross over the river before everyone else.  In verse 4 he gives them more detailed instructions.

Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.

The Israelites were told to wait for the presence of God to go before them… to let it get about half of a mile ahead so they they would know which way to go.  If the arc went out ahead everyone would be able to see it clearly.  To make it across this river they were going to have to follow the presence of God.

Everyone watched as the priests stepped into the Jordan.  As soon as they did the water that was flowing into the river began backing up, as if someone placed an invisible dam in the far away town of Adam, stopping the flow of water to where they were.  The water below them continued to flow into the Dead Sea, thus creating dry ground in the middle of what was an overflowing riverbed.  The people of Israel crossed safely… not on muddy ground, not on puddles of water, but on completely dry ground.  The presence of God wiped out the obstacle that was keeping them from getting closer to the Promised Land.

We all face obstacles.  Obstacles in our finances, our health, with our children, in our marriage, in just about every area of life obstacles pop up from time to time.  This short story in Joshua 3 lets us know what we need to do to get through them.  We’ve got to look to Jesus.  We’ve got to let Him get out ahead of us, get our eyes focused on Him and let Him lead us through.  We can’t get ahead of Him, or we’ll drown.  He has to go before us!  As we wait on Him, wait for His presence, and stay focused on Him the rivers that seem impossible to cross will dry up and we’ll be able to walk safely into the promises of God.

  1. Jesus is still in the business of turning rivers of impossibility into dry land.
  2. When Jesus has promised us something, He’ll do His part to make sure we get what He’s promised.
  3. Loved studying this new to me story today.
  4. I finished my prayer time with Josh coming in and praying for me before he left for prayer at the church.
  5. My sweet little Gus snuggling up to me in my study chair this morning and laying there so quietly while I finished reading… the only thing he said was “You are a pretty mom.”  Are you kidding me?  He’s the best little boy ever.
  6. I always feel little when Josh is hugging me.
  7. Beau went potty in her big girl potty 3 times today!
  8. We had some accidents along the way, but none of them were on the carpet or rugs or furniture.
  9. Clorox wipes.
  10. Gus was such a great encourager for his little sister!
  11. Gus was SO easy to potty train!!
  12. Watching old Care Bear cartoons with Beau while we were waiting for things to start happening on the potty.
  13. Stayed in my PJs all day!  I figured that was acceptable on potty training day 1.
  14. Gus finally beat a level on Donkey Kong Country he’s been working on for a couple of weeks now.
  15. Martin Luther King Jr. and the impact his short life had on our country.
  16. Happened to pick out a podcast to listen to from July that talked about the conviction MLK Jr had.  He didn’t just believe in his dream he was so greatly convicted by it he was willing to do something about it, knowing his life was at stake.
  17. The adorable video of my friend Gena’s little girl talking about MLK Jr.
  18. Got a lot done while Beau napped this afternoon.
  19. Potty stool steps from Ikea.
  20. I treated myself to lots of potty rewards today too.  Reeses Pieces, M&M minis… they seemed to help me be more patient.
  21. Fun night playing Disney Scene It with Gus.  His victory dances are awesome.
  22. Gus thanked God in his prayer tonight that his baby sister learned to use the potty and for her cute voice.
  23. She does have a CUTE voice!
  24. Relaxing bath!
  25. No training seems pleasant at the time. In fact, it seems painful. But later on it produces a harvest of godliness and peace. It does that for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11  My sister posted that a few days ago… perfect for my adventures in potty training.
  26. Nana & my friend Sayra texted me to let me know they were thinking about Beau and praying for her big day!
  27. Some nice quality time… just me and Joshua.