What I’ve Been Thinking and Learning:
As we consider Good Friday, the following words from “When I Survey the Wonderful Cross”
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.
connect impeccably with something I read earlier this week.
Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.
Try putting “trust” in for where ever you see “boast.”
Small Town Nebraska:
I ventured deep into Brad’s building in search of our bucket of cans to be recycled and found Brad has an impressive office back there. It includes a practical coffee table/desk, and each chair has a personal space heater. If nothing else I’ve ever said makes you want to come visit, this will do the trick.
While you’re talking in the office, your child can play basketball or play farm. Pouring wheat is good for ages 2+.
I stopped to pick up two manuals for Brad at the Case dealership. What size of books do you envision when you see this invoice? If you can’t read it, one book is $102.18, the other is $25.56, and they charged $15.94 for freight. Must be some heavy material.
For over $100 couldn’t at least one of the books be thicker than a half inch? Nope. Must be a large demand for this reading material, or Brad is the only one who actually wants them, or they haven’t adjusted their prices since the price of corn tanked.
Tyndale Blog Network let me read Change of Heart by Courtney Walsh so I could review it for you. I did not realize it was the second book in the Paper Heart series until after finishing the book. I never once thought I was missing information from a first book in the series when reading it, but I do wish (mostly because it really irritates me to not reading a series of books in order) I had read Paper Hearts first so I could see how the characters are connected between the first and second books.
Change of Heart has some comical minor characters and enduring main characters. It is a present day romantic fiction with a sappy ending. If only all real life romances could end so perfectly. Although it is primarily a romance, it does bring to light the importance of living to be the person God created you to be and highlights Ephesians 2:10: For we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
If you’re looking for an enjoyable book that will keep your interest, this book will do the trick.
Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man trust in his wisdom, and let not the mighty man trust in his might, let not a rich man trust in his riches; but let him who trusts trust in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.
What I’m Thinking and Learning:
My heart resonates with Blythe at Mundane Faithfulness when she says she feels exhausted when she looks back at 2015. When I went to write a note on our Christmas card, all I could initially think of to way was we WORKED and we worked HARD. It’s way too easy to forget the bright moments amidst it all, and we had many, but in the end I look at end of the year I think my proverbial bucket must have a continual leak.
Can I blame it on having a year with a one year old? And the shortage of speech-language pathologists in western Nebraska? How about mental and physical pain? And a husband who is a self-employed farmer, electrician, sprayer, trucker…? And too much to do? And just wishing someone knew my bucket was leaking and would come and patch it up? Maybe I should just blame in on being tired. I should for sure blame it on incorrect thinking.
You’re thinking you’ve read this before? I may be a broken record. Certainly a work in progress. My heart has been challenged again to quit believing the lie that an accomplished “to do” list will satisfy. Honestly, I have a hard time trusting that Jesus will satisfy when I look at the coming year and wonder if it will feel as exhausting as this one, but Jesus says to not worry about tomorrow and that sounds like rest, which I need.
I have actually found great encouragement from 2 Kings 6-7. It shows how God has the power to make you go from starving to completely satisfied over night. I’m thankful when things seem hard and even when I wonder if God is going to help me out, at least I have someone much greater than my weary self to ask for help. He has the power to change my circumstances and/or my heart.
So this year I’m resolving to choose Jesus and to pray everyday that my heart will believe He is the only one who satisfies. If this resonates with you, read these four resolutions for the weary and broken hearted.
When Brad’s sister was back for Christmas we got to see her pictures from her August wedding. The photographer got these adorable pictures of the children I’m blessed to have.
She also snapped this awesome picture of the five in-laws. It makes me laugh every time I look at it.
She took our family pictures not long after this. I’ll show you some of them soon.
Small Town Nebraska:
When the UPS man needs you to sign for a package and you’re not home, somehow he knows where you work and hunts you down there. Does that happen in urban America?
If you have an electrician working at your house around Christmas, do you send him home with a bag full of candy and a lot of homemade fudge?
I’m sure glad my resolution doesn’t involve eating less chocolate.
Thanks for coming back even though I took a week off!
What I’ve Been Thinking:
The Kara Tippetts story has spent some time consuming my thoughts lately. In her suffering Jesus was her comfort and hope. I’ve recently read in the Bible about God’s presence being such a privilege and joy for the Isrealites, and then verses giving us reason not to fear solely because of his presence have come across my path.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.
So I’ve been asking myself, “Is Jesus presence enough for me?” and my truthful answer is that I don’t understand how it can be, but I’m going to trust that it is.
Wyatt has a real fear of tornados now that we are in “tornado season.” I can’t honestly promise that we won’t be hit by a tornado, but I’ve decided I can tell him Jesus will always be with us. I get hit with fears like all mom’s do. What if I have to give up chocolate? What if I live in this house the rest of my life? What if ____________ (insert terrible, tragic, unspeakable thought). Now, I pray it never happens, and tell myself that Jesus will always be with me. Even though I don’t understand how that can be enough because I don’t know Him well enough, I have found it still brings me peace.
Does it you?
These pivot gear boxes were out getting warranty work done on them. Brad put them back on this week and some tires too. He also sprayed some wheat with fertilizer and in perfect time. We got moisture the next day! It was in the form of snow, but we don’t care how it comes.
This was Elliana’s view on our way to school this April morning.
That was the first of four sets of deer I saw along the road today. It’s always so good to see them and to not hit them.
I can’t compare God Made You Special by Mike Berenstain to other books about children with special needs, but I really like how this book approaches the subject. It starts with talking about how kids hear about God’s love for them and can see it in things around them. Then it makes them think about how that love is for everyone. It never mentions a specific disability or label but still points out that some people are created with very obvious differences. I really appreciate that it points out that those differences are there to teach us something, and I really like the questions at the end of the book. They opened the door for great conversations with my 5 and 7 year old. I’m very thankful BookLook Bloggers sent me a copy of this book to review for you, and they didn’t twist my arm to make me tell you positive things either.
I know these two Nebraska bloggers, and their recent posts make me want to be a better writer and make me think they need to post more. You will be touched and inspired if you take time to read God Moved My Finish Line and Can You Still Feel The Butterflies.
Coming up next weekend!
It was a huge success last fall and is sure to be a bigger success this spring.
Ever felt this way? Maybe try taking a nap next time you do.
What if she doesn’t nap?! Will Jesus be enough for me then?
I’ve been thinking about how life would be without light. It occurred to me as I was enjoying the gorgeous sky today, life would not be without light. I would see nothing. Nothing could grow. No color. Depressing. Scary.
Consider that, and then ponder how Jesus came as the Light of the World. As the people of Israel were promised, He came.
Even now, if you feel like you live in a dark land, His light still shines into hearts today. He is light and in Him there is not even one tiny bit of darkness.
I got to do a Bible study on Genesis 1 & 2 this fall. I loved it! One of the ideas that struck me was how Jesus didn’t begin when He was born as a baby. He was present at creation. He spoke the universe into existence. That truth makes Christmas even more powerful.
I’m thankful Jesus isn’t just a baby but also a mighty Creator.
Now if you’d like to get a new look at some of His Nebraska creations, you must check out the Nebraska Project. The time lapse of the stars is stunning. If you don’t already live here, you’ll be jealous.
I failed to jump on the telling you what I’m thankful for bandwagon in November, and not because I’m not thankful. I just never accomplished it. Now that it’s December, I’ve decided to focus my December posts on why I’m thankful for Jesus.
Today I’m thankful that I can say He is here. Emmanuel – God With Us.
I saw evidence of God being with us today when I stopped to see my friend Jailyn and her daughter Juliet. Juliet was admitted to the hospital again today for the 7th time in her 6 months of life. It has been a tough 6 months for their family, but when I saw Jailyn today I could still see joy, peace and Jesus shining through her. Jailyn would also tell you that it has been evident through the people placed in their path and events on their journey that God is with them.
I made sure to remind Juliet of that today too. “Jesus loves you and will always be with you.” She blinked in agreement and then fell asleep.
I also believe God uses people to be an encouragement to those of us going through tough times; so if you have a desire to help brighten this family’s December, let me know and I’ll be happy to get you their address.
I hope you will see much evidence of His presence in your life this week!