Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Baby 3, part deux

It's taken twice as long to try and make baby 3 than it did the first two times.


My reasonings about this usually start wondering if I am healthy. I got addicted to coffee several months back. But this weekend I have decided to kick the habit because I finally figured out that I am dehydrated, and it is causing me a lot of problems. One of them is that I can't seem to recover well from little viruses that I catch.

It was something that had to go anyway, if I got pregnant. I just love that mocha thing, though!

But then I remember that the physical and the spiritual are so closely knitted, that it's not fair to not consider what God is doing today. Maybe God is giving me and my husband a break. After all, babies come from God! I have been enjoying the break from conceiving as a gift.

The one thing that keeps rolling around in my mind is, what if I want to just say out loud how much doubt I have about having more children, and then, as soon as I say it, I'll get a positive test and then what I said will haunt me with guilt.

I mean, really, my baby deserves to be anticipated with joy, even before he arrives. Don't you think so? I do.

Ben as the spiritual head of our family has been directing our course as a pairing-down of the presence of multiple children. Yeah--send them home, is the jist. We need our family time. And in my own heart it is such a sore ache I have as well. It is time for a new era in our homelife. God has given me the new goal of being that stereotype. You know, the grandma one? Only I'm in training (Heh, Hee, not quite a grandma yet, not even close! I'm only 27). The homemade food, the big meals when people just drop in, the impeccable house, tissue boxes on the end tables, no dog poop in the lawns, etc. Yes, I am aching more and more for this. It's not funny.

Why is it not funny?

Because other people's homes are nice. Well preserved. And because of it their ability to welcome and relax others is achieved. My neighbors and friends are walking through it everyday. My house, and I do try, is just not making it. Not cool, God says. No. I look at my living room and here is what I say:

1) replace all carpets with pergo so no more stains and germs to bissell out.
2) get that microfiber couch that will withstand any stains
3) sit back and relax...--oh, and one more thing
4) accelerate Liz's dirty hands training, and
5) don't have any more babies

See? My life would be so much more calm and peaceful if I could make these things my reality. I'd of made it. I'd be, as the realm of women in the next higher age bracket growl their respect-my-authority kind of voice, "DONE."

There's a lot to absorb in the insight of their exaulted status.

Yet this is the very thing I have learned through the touchy-feely mix of the Word of God and His holy work I see happening all around me, is a sign of spiritual death: preservation of material things. It rings so true as "what can a man gain if he has the whole world, yet" doesn't have any squishy babies running around expressing the epitome of compassion and protection?

I don't know if it makes any sense. I don't know what the answer is either. I am glad, though, that God is waiting for the right time to give me a child. It will be right.

There is a third option. More babies of mine, no pergo floors, and, not watching any more kids. That's most likely what will happen. My God is not a God of shortcuts. He wants me to be disciplined.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

"Yeah, but I don't LIKE being weak."

This is what my closest Christian woman friend said to me tonight.

Her life clearly displays God's glory and power by my eyes. Now, all of a sudden, she's being thrown into a tough spot, where the father of her 2-year old boy, who since his birth has visited him two days a week, said "I'm done being in his life," and drove away with mom and babe standing in the driveway.

Talk about an important moment in both of their lives.

Of course this moment is hard. She knows that if she could only change a couple of things about how things are happening, she could stay on top of the stress and worry of all of this. But since she can't, it gets hard emotionally.

If only at least in theory, I love the weak moments of my life. That's where God displays the most power. Even today I had a familiar evil spirit trying to invade well-established God's turf, and I said "What are you doing showing your ugly face again? Get out of here!" Why did this happen to me yet again? Because three times Paul prayed asking to not be weak anymore, asking to conquer a weakness, and God said, "No." It keeps it real. It keeps us fresh with God. Think about this moment called "repentance":

1) realization of something being sin
2) sorry for committing it
3) feeling pain for consequences of sin, which make life ugly--hard-core regretting sin
4) forgiveness
5) putting the sin and that way of life behind you

Now out of that whole process how much time do we spend taking our sins SERIOUSLY? It's so brief. It's always too brief. Yet it is the only place that we actually NEED God to forgive us, and we get real and new and deep with God.

There is such an important witness we are all making before the demons about the truth and power of Jesus Christ by remaining in a temporally unfinished sanctified life. He gave us salvation but so far, now, only in part; the rest later. He gave us a Spirit of perfect obedience but so far, now, it abides with another sinful nature. Let the war be raged. God will win even in the details of today.

Now there are certain things in my life that I know I willfully am choosing sin, as a pattern. Then there are other things that I have asked God to give me that He hasn't given yet and I don't know if He ever will. Maybe it just takes awhile. In the case of my last post my need came to its major satisfaction almost four months after the laying out of all my cards. I just wish that others could hear once again how good God is with knowing their needs and fulfilling them powerfully. At the time I laid them out, had a lot of anguish. I felt like I was putting myself out there. Being so open about my sins to the extreme of almost being bold, really, and all the while holding the title of Christian. It's a weird place to be. I felt something akin to Moses when he said to God, "Oh Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all." (ex 22-23)

And isn't that just like our relationship to sin as children of God? As soon as we are made aware of the fact that we are supposed to be set free from a sin, our captivity in sin gets more terrible. For a season. See how Pharaoh responded to the Hebrews after the moment that they were told by Moses to hope that they could be set free? Pharaoh said, "Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies." (ex 5:9) We will remain bound horribly, believing the lie that the truth is too good to be true, if we do not hold to our hope of freedom and a miracle, at this critical moment.

The best aide to being able to keep faith in God to deliver, even when our sins get more intense, is total depravity. Total depravity is the ultimate defensive strategy against cynicism and bitterness. A doctrine rejected by many. Rejected by the natural human spirit in the way we live our lives, the way the world functions. The world says we cannot be weak. We are trained to think we do and must have the resources within us, to rise to the challenge. Total depravity means that man is morally and willfully bankrupt to obey God in any amount, apart from His intervention of enablement.

"Whoever humbles himself will be exaulted." (matt 23:12)

SImply calculated, if we are totally incapable of delivering ourselves, or incapable to be better about not sinning, then we truly are those who magnify the Lord, waiting on Him, making bold declarations about His nature and power and goodwill. God is proclaimed. All eyes are on Him. He will act, and do so beyond what we could imagine.

"I am the Lord, and I will bring you out of the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God." (ex 6:6-7)

GOD-MADE deliverance.
GOD-MADE obedience.

This is Christianity made authentic. Where man and God are exaulted for righteous reasons, both in the same purpose.

Why are we thrown spiritually destructive, old, rotten leftover curveballs? Because deliverance is a few bold statements of faith away. These kinds of declarations are not usually even consciously made by Christians. It's hard to choose faith in God's might and compassion, as your one and only avenue of progress. But this is where His power is "perfect." (my power is made perfect in weakness 2 cor 12)

And perfection and power are my goal. It is a weird place to be, to be weak and be ok with it. But I know that when I put all my cards out on the table and don't hold back, God makes a perfect score for the object of the game.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I got cliffnotes

This is enough! If I don't write out this entry I think I am going to burst! I have been trying to obey Him by getting things done for others. But maybe God is putting His foot down, and saying it is well-passed time to write this up.

For the last over two weeks my life has changed because of the vision I was given by the Word. And if there is any flaw in what I absorbed, it lies alone in my increasing inability to remember what I read.

If I was well-off in Christ before, I am wealthy now!

May I quote myself again, if you don't mind? On 4/22/05 and 4/24/05 I entered the following exerpt in a blog that I have since removed for the sake of my convictions about the goodness of content, but if you've been here reading along, you'll remember me saying:

"What is it that I am trying to express anyway? I am determined to put words to it. It is a powerful, passionate core that is so central, it's almost subconscious. I am looking for something, someone.... A force. A voice that is almost angry in its assertion, and strong, in its action to grab me. It has to meet me, find me, and take a very strong grip on me, in order for me to "stop," and submit and lose identity within. Yes; that's it. I will not settle for less. I have no interest in letting any other less-visionary have me or control me. I will walk away with my pony-tail swinging happily.... Like a little girl who finds the power of the word "no" to her parents' wishes. I feel like I must keep wading in these deep dark places. Because God wants to heal me. The depth of my darkness, and my weakness, will be a countermeasure for the height of the righteousness and wholeness He will put in their stead."

I would love to tell you about the person I saw in a book I had seldom read, called Revelations. Look at this!

"'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.'"

“’I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.’ ... ‘I, Jesus...’”. Rev 22:13, 16;

“'And do not call anyone ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.'” matt 23:9

“’If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’ Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered, ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” john 14:7-9

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Is 9:6

Jesus is fully the being of God! He is the Sovereign Lord! He himself is THE head-honcho! All answer to him at judgment in the same way they answer to the Father, which really means the same thing. Jesus is the Lord God Almighty. And look at what Jesus does when He returns!

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. ... He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. ... He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Rev 19:1,13,15,16

“I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood splattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.” Is 63:3, 6)

“They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?’” Rev 6:16-17

That's my Jesus! That is the Jesus who, "For to be sure, was crucified in weakness," (2 cor 13:4), the servant who humbled himself lower than all to show His mighty love. I always got the love out of looking at his grace and mercy given in his life's accomplishment. That was the part that transformed me into justification. What I couldn't get was the Lorship part. I could see how Jesus was claiming to be fully God, and I got that.... However it wasn't enough to bridge my gap. God's authority over my life was still suffering.

My heart and mind are dwelling in perception of this. Jesus was by comparison, soft-spoken 2000 years ago but sometime very soon He will be the stuff beyond that of movies. Now I know why God allowed the proliferation of Hollywood and how He will use it for his glory--I can see special effects in my mind of the real power that Jesus will display when He comes. Being fully Almighty God, and fully just, He will exact an excruciating punishment on all who rejected Him. What kind of a God-man is this, that wore a crown of thornes, yet is so chok-full of titles and authorities that even His thigh received the tremendous glory of displaying a mighty title like "King of kings and Lord of lords"?

This is a God-man that I confess, am fascinated by. A little scared of. But a whole lot, of driven consecration.

Never have I seen Jesus be more bold, about the things the world constantly argues about Him--his diety. Here He is, addressing the seven churches, all with his own different names for each one, like "The Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire," "him who has the sharp, double-edged sword," "the First and Last, who died and came to life again," "him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David," "the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation." There isn't any hem-haw. He gives His names yet does not deliver them in subtlety like he did on earth.

This tremendous balance; it seems so simple now. The Lion and the Lamb. He is everything, he is my very life (colossians). Every aspect of it. I am so glad I know both, both aspects to who Jesus is. I am so glad that He is the one and only true God. I am so awed that he was so humble yet is so very great. I look forward to seeing this Man that I love who died for me, come back with all his tremendous might and even anger, carrying out justice without even a sidewards thought. What a unique, perfect Man this is.

Obeying Him is Sooooo easy. Seeing things in a perspective of faith is so easy. Why? Because I have seen His power. I know He is in control. Yes, of everything I could ever experience or worry about. Wow. It's so different, I wonder how any Christian would ever get by without such a book of "Revelation." It's almost a spoiler to the visionary path I was plodding on. I thought only cheaters used shortcuts.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Family vacation bible school

Ben (my husband) signed us up for VBS, for the whole family, last week. I've never done anything like this before. It was three nights, from Tues-Thurs, and I wasn't excited about it. No, I wasn't feeling very good each night, and didn't have the strength to waste on fluffy stuff.

However tonight at the end I had a highlighted moment. When we walked in Steve said, "Hey Ben, can you play Jesus? Our Jesus dropped out at the last moment." He said sure. I said to him, "Oh, you'd be so good! I always said you looked like Jesus, didn't I?" Back when we were dating, I told Ben that he had the face of Jesus. Ben said, "What? Nobody knows what He looks like." And I said, "But your face is just how I imagine him looking like." It was one of the things, back then, which I thought was 'a sign' that I was meant to marry him. Silly. Anyway.

At the end of the session during the wrap-up time in strode Jesus to the podium, and Ben discharged Jesus' words of love very well. Then he stood to the side as the speaker continued to talk. The speaker invited everyone afterwards to meet Jesus or talk to the pastors of our church.

As the speaker was finishing up, Liz, our 1+3/4 yr. old girl got up out of my lap and started running. She saw daddy. Ben saw her as she ran to him and he picked her up and the whole room went "Aww." Wow. That is when I was touched. "Do not forbid the children to touch me." And I haven't spoken with Ben yet if it was his own initiative or someone else's, for the idea of afterwards walking around the room, greeting the people. But the way Ben did it was so loving. He took delight in the children most of all, and reached out to them even, all the while holding Liz. Wow. Perfect.

I care so much about body language saying things more powerful than words ever could. And I care so much about children knowing that they are loved. So for me, this was quite awesome, and I will have to tell Ben tomorrow how inspired I was by what he did.

Training Potties

Right now I am potty training 3 babies at the same time on M-Th. The plan was to keep a diaper off on one kid, knowing that he'd be uncomfortable going not in his diaper, therefore be forced to use the toilet. Nope. Today he broke new ground, literally. Another baby said, "poo poo," so I did an appraisal, and in the middle of the living room carpet, was a HUGE bowel movement. Time for plan C.

I got them all three in bed for their naps, took a sigh of relief, and turned to walk in the kitchen. And there in front of me was the cutest thing I think I've seen: Three little baby toilets, all lined up in a row; a Potty Train.


Monday, August 01, 2005


"Chickens... are funny; chicken nuggets are not.
Chickens... eat, chicken nuggets."

--Grace, age 4


--Elizabeth, 1+3/4, repeating back "flower"

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