Day 337

My husband Josh has always been a hand holder.  Ten years ago when we went to Hawaii for our honeymoon he held my hand every where we walked and since we were both too young to rent a car we walked… a lot!  It’s harder to hold hands when we have our littles ones around, because they need us to hold their hands, or one of us is pushing a stroller, which is kind of hard to do one handed.  But when it’s just us, on a date night, or on vacation, we are hand in hand.

Last week, when we were shopping State Street in Santa Barbara, I had no idea how to get where we needed to go 100% of the time.  I am directionally challenged.  If I were to have lost Josh, I would have had a hard time finding the parking garage we parked in, or the movie theater we were supposed to see an afternoon movie at.  I was trusting him to get us where we needed to go.  I placed my hand in his, we walked side by side, and he led me.  He didn’t drag me (although I did have to remind him a few times that my legs aren’t as long as his) he just knew where he was going and since I wanted to go where he was going, it worked out nicely.

I felt led to read Hebrews 11 this morning, the always impressive faith hall of fame, and to study someone in it that I wasn’t familiar with.  I found my someone in verse 5.

Because of faith Enoch was caught up and transferred to heaven, so that he did not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found, because God had translated him. For even before he was taken to heaven, he received testimony [still on record] that he had pleased and been satisfactory to God.

What was this about?  Someone who literally cheated death!  I had to find out more about this Enoch guy.

He was Adam’s great-to the 7th power-grandson.  He was also the father of the Methuselah, the guy who lived to be 969 years old, and who holds the record for oldest person in Biblical history, but those are not the reasons Enoch got a mention in Hebrews 11.

Genesis 5:24 (AMP) And Enoch walked [in habitual fellowship] with God; and he was not, for God took him [home with Him]. 

He made it into the faith hall of fame along side of Abraham and Noah because he walked so closely with God that when it was time for him to leave the earth, God took him.  Enoch never died.  His body was never found.  One day he was hanging out on planet earth, the next day he was not.  He was seamlessly transferred to heaven, beamed up, not by Scotty, but by his closest friend, God.

Anytime you are willing to let someone else lead you when you don’t know where you are going, it requires faith.  I put my faith in Josh when we were out of town last week.  I was trusting him to get us to all of the places we wanted to visit.  I wasn’t trying to pull him this was when he was going that way, I knew he knew better than me, so I just kept in step with him.  If we want to walk in habitual fellowship with God, we have to decide that he’s our leader.  We have to decide that He knows better than us.  We have to admit that without Him we are directionally challenged, but most importantly we have to be going where He’s going.

Amos 3:3 (MSG) Do two people walk hand in hand if they aren’t going to the same place?

No Amos, they don’t!

If you want to walk as closely with your heavenly father as Enoch did you have to be going where He is going.  Enoch lived differently than the rest of the world, so he was taken out of the world differently than the rest of the world.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the world we live in today let go of God’s hand a long time ago.  They chose to go their own way and continue to get more and more lost as time goes by.  If you want to go where God is going you have to live differently, think differently, and act differently than the world around you.  God, like The Beatles, wants to hold your hand, He wants to hold your haa-aa-and, so grab on to His and don’t let go.  Don’t pull this way when He’s leading you that way.  Trust Him, keep in step, and enjoy watching the plans He has for you unfold.

  1. He wants to hold my hand.
  2. Josh is a hand holder.
  3. I always have someone holding my hand nowadays.
  4. Good Bible study this morning.
  5. “I Wanna Hold You Hand”  by the Beatles.
  6. Had my favorite salad for lunch.
  7. So nice having extra hands around to put place mats down, get ice cream, and carry around Beau today at Chic Fil A.
  8. The kids had a fun afternoon bouncing and sliding at The Jump Zone and I had fun watching them!
  9. Found buy one get one free passes for The Jump Zone.
  10. Beau was so brave.  She was hanging right in there with Gus, Drew, & Lindsay on all the big slides and obstacles courses.
  11. Back to work today.  Last week was a good week to take off.  Emails and voicemails were much lighter than I expected.
  12. Riveting game of Wii bowling.  I came in 1st.  I’m schooling these kids this week and enjoying it.
  13. Awesome praise report from my mother in law.
  14. Baby Sunny was bouncing around a little bit at The Jump Zone too.  Those tiny flutters are so special.
  15. Air Conditioning!!
  16. Waking up Beau from a good nap.  She’s so sweaty and so serious and so sweet.
  17. My nephew Justin was in a car accident and angels totally protected him and his vehicle.
  18. Spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.
  19. Big family dinner around our big dining room table.
  20. Josh helped clean up my big mess in the kitchen.
  21. Beau was loopy exhausted after dinner.  She was laughing hysterically at everything.
  22. Teenagers are pretty fun to converse with.  I’m enjoying having some people around the house during the day to talk to that are older than 5.
  23. Got to catch up on Food Network Star episodes we missed while we were out of town.
  24. Beau’s bedtime prayer.  I know God looks forward to that every night.
  25. Beau read “Pete The Cat” to me tonight.
  26. Josh had a good day back in the office and hired a new awesome intern!
  27. Freebirds, Pei Wei, and MooYeah all open and all just 5 minutes from our house.  Yay for more fast casual restaurants!

Day 251

Shel Silverstein was one talented dude.  He was a poet, singer-songwriter, cartoonist, screenwriter, and children’s author.  We own his book, “The Giving Tree” and I still remember my third grade teacher reading poems from,”Where The Sidewalk Ends” to my class.  The other day someone posted one of his more well known poems, “The Voice” on Facebook and it grabbed my attention.  It goes like this,

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel that this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you– – just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.

That’s all well and good BUT Shel forgot to mention the fact that there is more than one voice that plays in our head.  I’ve narrowed it down to three.

1.  Our own voice.  2.  God’s voice.  3.  Satan’s voice.

The voice that we’ve got to get in tune with is God’s!  And sometimes it takes teachers, preachers, parents, and friends to help us figure out how to hear God’s voice, because it’s not loud and boisterous, it’s still and small.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

If you consider yourself one of Jesus’ sheep you should be hearing His voice.  He doesn’t say my sheep MIGHT hear my voice or my sheep COULD hear my voice or my sheep SHOULD hear my voice, He says my sheep hear my voice… that’s what we do… we hear from God.  If you don’t, it’s not because He’s not speaking, it’s because you aren’t listening.

Maybe you aren’t sure how to decipher the different voices in your head.  You wonder if that thought you had was just your own or if it was God speaking… or could it have been Satan?  Here’s two scriptures that will help you figure that out every time.

John 8:44 …When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Lying is Satan’s native tongue.  I speak English, he speaks liar.  So if the thoughts you are having in your head don’t line up with God’s word, then don’t entertain them.  Don’t give them the time of day.  If they cause fear, guilt, doubt, or anxiety you can be sure that Satan is trying to mess with you and you can shut him up by speaking the truth.

2 Thessalonians 3:16  Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way…

God’s speaks peace.  He speaks victory.  He speaks only things that line up directly with His word.  He speaks truth.  He wants you to get to the point where you automatically recognize his voice, like you recognize your earthly father’s voice.  The more you practice hearing Him, the better you’ll get at it.

I agree with Shell, listen to the voice that speaks inside, but make sure you know that the voice you are listening to is the voice of God or you will end up one very confused person.

  1. His sheep hear His voice.
  2. God’s voice stills us.
  3. God’s voice leads us.
  4. God’s voice reassures us.
  5. God’s voice encourages us.
  6. God’s voice calms us.
  7. God’s voice teaches us.
  8. God is always talking, we just have to listen.
  9. We can shut up Satan when we speak truth.
  10. Shel Silverstein.
  11. Beautiful weather for flag football this afternoon.
  12. Gus had a great attitude the entire game.
  13. He gives it his all.  He played and ran until he was too exhausted to play and run anymore.
  14. Love having Alex on his team and my friend Sayra in the bleachers with me.
  15. The book text Sayra sent me.  Good stuff!
  16. Josh came to my rescue when a mom at the games started yelling at me.  I learned a lot about myself today.  Nobody messes with my kids, that’s for sure!
  17. Beau got a little farmer’s tan watching bubba play.
  18. Moo Yeah took forever to get us our food, but I enjoyed having extra time to hangout with my awesome little family.
  19. Pastor Steve Riggle shared his unbelievably amazing testimony tonight at church.  Wow.  God is good!
  20. It was so awesome to here Pastor Riggle talk about how the verses he learned as a child in Sunday School are the ones that came rising up in him when he was in his darkest hour.
  21. Me and my husband get to sow God’s word into kids every weekend at church.
  22. Psalm 23 is TRUTH!  He does walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death.
  23. Worshiping God in His sweet presence.
  24. Yummy dinner waiting for us after church.
  25. Josh went to the store on the way home from church to pick up some milk so I could have my cereal in the morning.
  26. Gus gave me 15 kisses, plus one bonus kiss before bed.
  27. While I was sitting in church got a text from Josh letting me know that he thought I looked cute tonight.

Day 183

Last night when the power went out at the Super Bowl we watched as the players tried to stay loose and the coaches tried to stay calm.  I didn’t think it was that big of a deal… at least Bane wasn’t coming over the PA system and announcing he was New Orleans reckoning.  But once the power came back on I started to see that the light situation really did have an effect on the momentum that the Raven’s had going for them.  They were up by 22 before the power outage and only ended up winning by 3 points!

Momentum seemed to be the word last night so I went to bed thinking about it.  Momentum is defined as the strength or force gained by motion or a series of events.  The momentum the Ravens were experiencing before the power outage was due to a series of events that started with Boldin’s touch down in the first quarter and ended with a record breaking 108 yard kick off return by Jacoby Jones!  Quite a series of events, quite the momentum.  Then it all came to a screeching halt for 30 something minutes while people who probably don’t have jobs today scrambled to get the lights back on.

This whole power outage situation reminded me of the story of Saul’s conversion in Acts chapter 9.  A light shone down from heaven and brought Him to his knees.  He was blinded and his Christian persecuting days had lost their momentum.  He was experiencing a power outage.  After 3 days of being blind, Jesus sent a man name Ananias to pray for Him and get him filled with the Holy Spirit.  Scales fell off of his eyes, the lights came back on and the momentum in Saul’s life was about to shift.

Acts 9:22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ. 

The message actually says His momentum was up.  He had experienced a series of events that started him in a new direction… The light from heaven, the voice of Jesus, being blinded, being prayed for, being healed, being filled with the spirit, preaching about it… He was snowballing!  He lived His life gaining more and more strength all of the time.  He never let the power go out again.

Today marks kind of a special day for me.  I’m half way through my 365 day mission and I feel like I’ve gained a lot of momentum over the last 183 days.  I started off writing just a few paragraphs the first couple of weeks and now when I sit down to write I have to make sure I don’t write too much.  I remember thinking when I first started, I wonder if I’ll be able to come up with something to write every day for 365 days, but now I know it won’t be a problem.  If I stay in God’s word every day and continue to ask him to flood my heart with light, there will be no power outages, no loss of momentum.

The momentum I’m experiencing all started through a series of events… Finding out I was pregnant for the 3rd time, discovering at 20 weeks the baby’s spirit had left, delivering still born, deciding to praise God in the midst of my darkest night, getting an idea from God to be thankful for 10,000 things in one year, obeying God and turning it into a blog… I’m snowballing and I’m more determined than ever to keep it up.  I want to keep increasing all the more in strength just like Saul.

God can take a series of events, good or bad, and use them to start something amazing in your life that can not be stopped because He never runs out of power.

  1. Half way through quite a remarkable journey.
  2. The momentum of God’s strength that I am experiencing.
  3. With God we will never experience power outages.
  4. God used an unexpected and heartbreaking series of events to start me snowballing in my relationship with Him and my love for His word.
  5. The first words out of sleepy Beau’s mouth this morning “I like this song.”  She could hear Gus listening to I Believe In Jesus downstairs.
  6. I mentioned my back was sore at breakfast to Josh and Gus came over and laid hands on me and prayed for me.
  7. I wasn’t sure if Gus was getting my lesson on the God Head, but he explained it all back to me just like I explained it to him.
  8. Josh made the kids breakfast.
  9. Josh emptied the dishwasher for me.
  10. 22 new books from the library.
  11. Beautiful day!
  12. Watching Gus run around outside with his long blond hair blowing behind him.  He’s so handsome.
  13. Beau’s adorable jump.  She gets some pretty good air.
  14. The nice rolly polly that entertained my kids for a good 30 minutes this afternoon.
  15. Josh came home for a few hours to see the kids before he had to go back to work tonight.
  16. Cereal for dinner.
  17. Getting a good, more than a peck, goodbye kiss.
  18. Gus and Beau have been playing so good together the last few nights.
  19. Disney Rarities.  The kids loved watching some of the old shorts like Every Cowboy Needs A Horse.
  20. Beau’s extremely soft tummy.
  21. Caught up with all of the laundry.
  22. Apple cutter.
  23. Prayer night with my husband.
  24. Going through newborn videos, pictures, and keepsakes of the kids.  So thankful for those amazing gifts from God.
  25. Windows open kind of a night.
  26. The way the house smells when the windows are opened.
  27. Got a ton of work done and enjoyed a quiet evening to myself listening to the songs that made up the soundtrack of my life when I was dating Josh.

Day 31

I had a few packages I needed to ship today, so it was off to the post office for me and the kids this morning.  When we walked in Gus said, “it smells funny in here.”  At the exact same moment I was thinking “it smells good in here.”  Have you ever noticed that the post office has a very distinct smell?  I don’t know what it is.. fresh ink, adhesives, tape guns.. I’m not sure, but no matter which post office you go in, it has that smell.

My mom retired from the post office, so the smell is very nostalgic to me.  It always reminds me of driving all the way to downtown Tulsa with my dad and little brother and going inside the neat, old federal building where my mom worked the window for the postal service.  We would surprise her with a visit and then take her out to lunch.  Coney Island or Pizzetti’s Pizza.

It was interesting to me how something that smelled “funny” to Gus, smelled good to me.

2 Corinthians 2:15-16 Our offering to God is to be the perfume of Christ that goes out to those who are being saved and to those who are being lost. 16 To those who are being lost, this perfume smells like death, and it brings them death. But to those who are being saved, it has the sweet smell of life, and it brings them life. So who is good enough to do this work?

As Christians we are supposed to be putting off a scent of some kind and it comes from our relationship with God.  We will either smell sweetly to other believers or like death to those on the way to hell.  That last part sounds kinda brutal, but the smell of death is likely to wake people up and make them more aware of their need for a savior.  The bottom line being, we should smell!

Our spiritual aroma should affect everyone around us.  It will affect people differently, just like the smell of the post office affected Gus & I differently, but as long as people can smell the perfume of Christ coming off of you, you can make a difference in their day, week, month or life.

  1. God showed me that it’s important to always put on the perfume of Christ.
  2. The amazing way our noses can smell and create such vivid, lasting memories.
  3. How the kids smell after bath time.
  4. How a tube of M&M minis smells the first time you pop it open.
  5. The smell of fresh herbs.
  6. The smell of Christmas trees..  approximately 81 days until that is happening at our house!
  7. The smell of the post office.
  8. The surprise lunches with my mom, dad, and Zachary.
  9. My mom was the nicest, most helpful, and most hard working employee the post office has ever seen.
  10. She’s retired and gets to spend her days taking care of her mom and sweet grand babies.
  11. My niece sent me a text just to let me know she was thinking of us and missing us.
  12. I finally did my “Strengths Finder” test last week and wouldn’t you know Josh & I have the same #1 strength.. Belief!    I’m thankful we have some strong belief between us to pass down to our kids.
  13. The mosquito warning sign that was up at the park today.  Nice to know before unloading the kids and getting attacked.
  14. The mosquito free park we went to instead we had all to ourselves.
  15. Since there are no trees tall enough to provide shade where we live, I love when parks have manufactured shade.
  16. Boys can pee outside.
  17. Beau was sliding down the highest slides at the park today like it was nothing.  She’s so brave.
  18. Football season kicks off tonight!
  19. Fantasy football.  I couldn’t get into watching football when Josh & I were dating, until I got my own team.  I’ve had one every year for the last 9 years and I love football season!
  20. Football food.  Chicken nachos and homemade salsa tonight.
  21. The huge inflatable Dallas Cowboy my dad got us.  Makes game day exciting for Gus.
  22. Josh has made a commitment to not get bummed out if the Cowboys aren’t great this year.
  23. DVR.  Got to fast forward through all of the unimportant stuff.
  24. Got to teach Gus a big word tonight “Omnipresent”
  25. We read the Bible story about Jesus turning water into “special juice” today and later I heard Gus saying he wished God would turn his bottle of water into juice.
  26. Fresh food feeder and frozen mango.  Beau needed something cold to soothe her little gums and it did the trick!
  27. Stumbled upon the cutest video.  Me & Beau watched it about 30 times today.  It’s so much friendlier with 2!
  28. I went to pick up Beau this morning and something pulled in my back.  I thought I was going to be in pain all day, so I prayed and it got better.