Day 310

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but washing a toddler’s hands in a public restroom where there are no stools for them to stand on is kinda hard.  Which is why I always carry hand sanitizer.  It’s much easier to squirt some alcohol on their hands than it is to hold them up with one arm and use the other arm to make sure they actually get their little hands clean.  My kids know the drill: go potty, leave the restroom, and prepare your hands for sanitizing.  If another lady is ever in the restroom while I am escorting my kids out without stopping to wash their hands with soap and water, I always make a comment to the kids like, “okay, let’s go out here so mommy can give you some hand sanitizer” because heaven forbid the stranger in the bathroom think that I don’t wash my kid’s hands after visiting a public restroom.

In Mark 7, some of Jesus’ disciples got caught eating with “common hands” aka hands that had not been ceremonially washed.  They may have squirted some sanitizer on their hands before breaking bread with them, but that wasn’t enough to be considered purified.  The Pharisees were watching to see if they would go through with the traditional, very extensive ritual of washing hands that had been handed down from generation to generation that was supposed to take place before every meal and when they saw that they didn’t go through with it, they of course had to tattle on them.  And Jesus, of course, totally schooled them… The pharisees, not the disciples.

In verses 9-16 He puts them in their place and makes them aware of the fact that they are nullifying and making void God’s word through their efforts to keep their man made traditions alive and then He lets them know they are concerned about the wrong kind of cleanliness.

Mark 7:15 There is not [even] one thing outside a man which by going into him can pollute and defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him and make him unhallowed and unclean.

Wow.  Good stuff, Jesus.  It seems like our society is more concerned about high fructose corn syrup or MSG going into our bodies than we are about what kind of ingredients we are putting into our spirits.  It’s more important to get your child’s hands clean after leaving the restroom than it is to purify their spirits with the washing of the word.  We spend more time picking out organic fruit than we do cultivating the fruit of the spirit in our lives.

The things that come out of man are what defile him and make him unclean.  Not his “common hands.”  And if something comes out of you, you first have to put it in you.  If unclean things are coming out then you can be sure that you have been putting unclean things in– via the television, internet, magazines, music, and whatever else you allow into your home.

I take care of my kids by washing their hands and feeding them healthy foods most of the time, but my most important job as a mother is monitoring what goes in to their spirits, because I want them to be pure.  Same with me.  I try to eat more fruit than Twizzlers (although I’m not doing great at that this week) but what’s most important is not what I feed my flesh, but what I feed my spirit.  It doesn’t matter if I eat all organic and then fill my mind with some trash.  Garbage in, garbage out, right?

The Bible does not say the people with the cleanest hands, cleanest homes, purest pantries and healthiest fridges see the Lord it says the people who are PURE IN HEART see the Lord!

Yes, take care of your body and yes, make sure you wash your hands before meals, but focus on what the word says is important more than what the world says is important!

  1. The pure in heart see God.
  2. When we take time to fill our spirits with good things, good thing will come out of us.
  3. Hand sanitizer.
  4. The ceremonial hand washing days never got passed down to me.
  5. We have lots of healthy options when it comes to feeding our families.
  6. Gus decided to use Josh’s pillow to sleep on until Josh returns for camp.  Love seeing this sentimental side of him.
  7. Fridge & pantry are full!  Grocery shopping done for the week!
  8. Got to take a little power nap.
  9. Got to go to the Hillsong United Welcome Zion concert tonight!
  10. Zion.  My favorite album of the year so far.  Every song is awesome.
  11. The amazing musicians that got to lead us into God’s presence tonight.
  12. The girl that sang “Oceans” tore it up!!  Really, really great vocal on a really, really great song.
  13. God showed me some sweet things about Gus’ future while I was worshipping.
  14. When I found out Welcome Zion was coming to Dallas I was so excited and then I realized Josh wouldn’t be able to go with me because he would be at camp, so I asked my friend Sayra if she would go and she said yes!
  15. Sayra drove us.  This was a huge blessing because I don’t like driving when I’m not sure where I’m going.
  16. The Verizon theater had concessions!  We did not have time to stop for dinner, so I had to eat some nasty nachos, but I needed something to sustain me before 2.5 hours of standing and singing.
  17. Hearing thousands of voices singing as one to and about Jesus.  Powerful.
  18. “Relentless” was fantastic live.
  19. “Love Is War”  also fantastic!!
  20. “Scandal of Grace” sounded beautiful with the sold out crowd singing along.
  21. Gus’ buddy Alex got to come hang out with him tonight.  He was excited about it all day.
  22. Beau got to hang out with her favorite baby sitter Miss Sacha!
  23. Miss Sacha is my favorite baby sitter too!  Always on time, kids are always asleep when I get home, and they both love her.
  24. New “Real Simple” magazine came today.  Just in time for our day at the pool tomorrow.
  25. These first few days with Josh away at camp went fast!
  26. My friend Shannon is celebrating her birthday today!
  27. My bed feels so good!

Day 228

I have to admit I know nothing about astronomy.  I don’t think I’ve ever spotted the little dipper, or even the big one, but this morning God blew me away with a star.

I usually start my quiet time with a worship song and today I chose “A Million Suns” by Hillsong United.  I’ve only heard it a few times, so I pulled up the lyrics and began to sing to Jesus,

You shine like a million suns ablaze
Wrapped in eternal light and praise
Jesus, the first the last, the bright and morning star.

I’ve heard Jesus referred to as the bright and morning star before, but I just couldn’t get over those words today, so I began to study Revelation 22:16, I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches.  I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne.  I am the bright and morning star.

The planet Venus has been given the name “morning star” because it appears in the east before the sunrise, as though heralding the coming of the morning.  The ancient Greek names for the planet are “light bringer” and “dawn-bringer.”

On July 7, 2012 our son Felix was born still, I’ve never experienced anything so heart breaking.  Before the loss I would usually read my Bible before bed and pray whenever I got a chance- in the car after I dropped my four year old off at school or while I was putting on my make up, but after losing that precious baby, I knew I would have to start my mornings with God or I wouldn’t be able to get through the day, so I set my alarm for 6:00 a.m. and have kept it set since.

I remember so vividly waking up those first few mornings, walking into my living room, and seeing a very bright star shining in through one of our high windows.  It was beautiful.  It struck me so, I even mentioned it to Josh.  I didn’t know until today, that the star that greeted me every morning on my way to strengthen myself in the Lord was not just a bright star, it was Venus- the morning star.

Jesus called himself the bright and morning star, because He is the light bringer, the dawn bringer, He is the one who heralds the coming of the morning.  He brought light to the darkest time of my life.  He called in a new dawn, a new day, a new joy.

I was overcome with his love for me this morning.  How wonderful of him to give me a home with really high ceilings and really high windows that face the east so that I would be able to experience the beauty of the bright and morning star.  How wonderful of Him to make it shine so brightly that I had to take notice.  How wonderful of Him to show me today the significance of that star.

It is perhaps the most beautiful object in nature; it succeeds the darkness of the night; it brings on the day – and as it mingles with the first rays of the morning, it seems to be so joyful, cheerful, exulting, bright, that nothing can be better adapted to remind us of Him who came to lead on eternal day.  (Barnes)

Gaze upon THE bright and morning star today, let Him welcome the dawn into the darkest areas of your life.

  1. Jesus, the bright and morning star!
  2. “A Million Suns.”
  3. Venus- God gives such beautiful object lessons.
  4. My high windows.
  5. The way that star stood out to me and made me smile on those dark mornings before I knew it’s significance.
  6. Being overwhelmed with God’s love for me.
  7. Beau was preaching the cross to us this morning at breakfast.  She pretty much has it down.  Jesus died on the cross, He loves us, Jesus is alive!
  8. Josh took Gus to school and let Beau ride along so I had some time to myself this morning.
  9. Extra time to get my makeup just right and actually ran a brush through my hair!
  10. Fridge & Pantry full!
  11. Ran into my friend Briana at Target and she gave me a 5% off my entire purchase coupon.
  12. My “to do” list for work is completely done!
  13. Josh organized the garage, fertilized the yard, and poisoned some fire ants.  He works hard for the money.
  14. My parents made it to Tulsa safely!
  15. Gussy got a new book and a bunch of new heroes and villians from Grammy & Grampy!
  16. Beau got the “Guess How Much I Love You” book and a little stuffed bunny to go with it.  She loves her bunny and had to sleep with him.
  17. Our old dog Norah came to visit too!
  18. Gussy had his first official flag football practice.
  19. Seriously, he was so cute in his cleats, tall socks, big white shorts, gray hoodie, long blonde hair… I can’t get enough of that little guy!
  20. Gus’ friend Alex is on the same team as him so I get to see my friend Sayra at all the games/practices.
  21. Gus’ coach happens to go to Gateway Frisco and he was great with the kids!
  22. I was able to convince Gus that purple was a cool team color by showing him pics of Adrian Peterson.
  23. Yummy dinner at Whataburger.
  24. Beau was in a very, very talkative mood at dinner.  Cute watching her and my dad have a little conversation together.
  25. Josh is looking good with his new hair cut!
  26. I am 2 for 2 on my American Idol kick off predictions!  I love winning.
  27. Fun night hanging out with my mom and dad.

Day 44

Stand.  The word has two definitions.  1.  To have or maintain an upright position, supported by one’s feet.  2.  An attitude toward a particular issue; a position taken in an argument.

Most churches stand during the praise and worship part of a service.  I’ve been a member in 5 different churches throughout my life and at everyone of them when it’s time for worship to start all of the people stand together to sing.  So when I sing a song like “The Stand” by Hillsong United, and I get to this part, I’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned in awe of the one who gave it all.  I think of the first definition of standing.. being supported by my feet.  I guess it’s because it’s what I’m physically doing.  Same thinking when I sing “Forever Yours” by David Moore,  I will love you Lord I will stand and worship, I will give you praise to you my hands I raise.

My sweet husband was telling me the other day that when he sings the word stand in worship he thinks more along the lines of the 2nd definition -To have an attitude toward a particular issue.  A position taken in an argument.

Ephesians 6:13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.   

The attitude we take on is that we are more than conquerors, having overcome the enemy through Jesus!  The position taken in the argument is that God’s word is true, no matter what.

We can stand being supported by our feet in our own strength, but to do the Ephesians 6:13 kind of standing we have to be fully dressed in the armor of God.  How do you get dressed in the amor of God?  Spend time with Him daily.

When the devil sees you are dressed and standing he flees, because he knows he’s been beat. Next time you are worshipping and physically standing think about what your soul is standing for.

As I stand and sing You’re breaking the chains off me – “Bones” Hillsong United.

  1. Josh for making all of the worship songs with “stand” in them even better.
  2. That when we stand the devil flees.
  3. The armor of God is easy to put on and helps us stand victorious.
  4. The Stand.  Love Love Love this song.
  5. Beau’s breakfast dance.
  6. Hillsong United concert on YouTube.  I loved running to the first part of it this morning.
  7. More beautiful weather!
  8. I put my contacts in before Beau put my contact case in the toilet.
  9. Finally got to here the prophesy over my niece & nephew.  It was right on!  God is so cool!
  10. Gus needed one more day to recover so I got to hang out with him all day.
  11. Trying on necklaces at Forever 21 with Beau.  She was so into it.
  12. My niece Courtney is the new campus administrator at LifeChurch Broken Arrow!!!!
  13. God spoke to her and her husband about applying for the position in a really awesome way, and they followed His leading and now she’s on staff!
  14. Took a really awesome power nap this afternoon.
  15. My power nap alarm clock was Beau shrieking with excitement over her Little Einsteins show.
  16. Great night with some really great gals.  I absolutely love the pastor’s wives at Gateway Frisco.
  17. Cheri for being such a great host!
  18. All of the hugs and kisses and love I got while I was heading out the door tonight.
  19. When Beau saw me with my necklace on she had to go find one for her to put on.  I like that she likes to be like me.
  20. Josh did bath time, book time, and bed time tonight with the kids.
  21. Gus & Beau missed mamma tonight.  It’s nice to be missed.
  22. Josh had a nice and relaxing night to himself.
  23. My iPhone for being so kind and helping me find my way out of an unfamiliar neighborhood.
  24. Josh had great favor in the meeting with the city of Frisco about the fall festival at our campus.
  25. I found a shirt, necklace, belt & shoes all for under $40 today!
  26. Raisins.  Beau let me shop as long as she had raisins in her little snack trap.
  27. Gus was counting down the minutes until Josh got home from work..  he could not wait to “impress” him with the Halloween costume he got today.
  28. Nana & Papa sent the kids a sweet video message to let them know they were missing them.