Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Another year, another Summer

Today is her last day as a fourth grader. It marks the end of a school season and the beginning of the summer. I find myself realizing not just that my first born is rapidly growing but also we are still where we were last year. Has there been progress? How has our resolve been? It's a little hard admitting certain truths but also realizing that everything is really in His hands. That has not changed, nor will it ever. He has ordained all things in our life for His glory, His purpose. And for our good. 

I do find myself without a large sense of dread towards summer like I usually have and I count that as a blessing. I know the heat hasn't quite kicked in, or the quarrels between ten and two year old haven't occurred much yet. Hopefully it's growth in me, and growth in Him. I do look forward to the next few months because we are going to try our hand at a bit of Charlotte Mason style 'summer' homeschooling. Just a few things to give a bit of order to summer without overwhelming it or quelling it. Also as a way of preparing me if and when we do homeschool. A look into managing things and still trying to have fun and learn as a family.

It would seem like we still have a long way to go. I'm just hoping it's not as long of a wait as it seemed last year. I'm also hoping that my heart is continuing to change and grow. Not just mine but my family's as well. We need it. We need Jesus. We need each other. We need His promises. Everyday.

Here's to Summer and all that He brings with it!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Resolve and Gratitude.

Summer is nearing and the year is halfway done. This year has been pretty eventful in a few ways. Our sweet daughter turned ten after the new year with her younger brother turning two at the end of winter. Both birthdays were low key (with the exception of dyeing Nat's hair pink for the big 1-0), celebrating with local adventuring and homemade cakes. Last month Rick and I had a small getaway to Portland, Oregon which was practically perfect, much needed and insightful. Now as the school year approaches it end, we've already begun our summer softball activities with Nat making the all star silver team. Life has been a bit busy, physically but emotionally and spiritually as well. 

Looking at last summer, some things have change and others are still the same. We still have a family mission we are seeking to change and strengthen. Our family is changing but much of what's around us has not. My heart vascillates from faithfully hopeful to wearied and burden. There are so many wants and needs for us. They are not bad things to desire but for some reason, He hasn't seem fit to grant us these requests yet. 

The enemy is a liar and during my lows, he comes to steal away my happiness in Christ. I want to grieve and mourn not having these heart desires that I see so many of His children having and enjoying. It gets rough sometimes and the enemy uses these times to push me further in the mire. I feel isolated, alone, childish, incapable, stunted, the list goes on. The other day I just had to cut through it all and just ask The Lord for Him. To seek His Kingdom. And His joy.

I know I've been focusing on waiting for answered prayer. I know I've just been looking at our environment and our lack of blessings. What I haven't done is seek Him more faithfully and intentionally through prayer, but more importantly, through His word. And, I haven't been grateful. For what I do have. For those things that are good and true in my life. I haven't sought an attitude of gratitude. Without this, I haven't been able to encourage not only my own soul, but my husband's and my children's as well.

It's harder, seeking joy. You have to be intentional. It does not come naturally. I'm going to have to fight the urge, by the strength of the Holy Spirit, to not look and highlight the negative. Like Paul, I need to be selective of my perspective. When beginning the church in Philippi, he was beaten, humiliated, arrested, imprisoned, the list goes on. Yet when speaking to other believers, he says, “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God” (Philippians 1:3 NLT). He chose to look at the good and to give thanks to God. 

There's so much that I need. What I need to remember most is my need for Him. I pray by His strength that I can faithfully do this and have an attitude of gratitude because of Him.

'Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.' --1 Samuel 12:24 ESV