Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hope & Grace

I thought long and hard about a new title for our blog, and it hit me in the shower last night.

Hope & Grace

Our Hope is in Christ, and in God's daily provision for everything we need. Everything that is good.

Grace is what has saved us from our sinful hearts and minds. Grace is what comes between us and God when the accuser will begin listing our wrongs. All God will see is Grace - Jesus' blood covering us and making us clean. That is why we continue to have Hope, not just for now but in a future beyond the grave.

They are also our daughter's middle names. Some of the most important work God has us here to do is to grow, nurture, teach, and enjoy these amazing blessings He has given us. And we certainly will need Him every step of the way.

I just can't think of a more encompassing theme for our family. Hope and Grace. A relationship started in the Hope of the future, and growing in God day by day through the Grace He pours out on us.

There are countless verses on Hope and Grace, but I picked a couple of my favorites:

From Romans, speaking of our future Hope amid present suffering (of which we American Christians know very little):

For in this Hope we are saved. But Hope that is seen is no Hope at all. Who Hopes for what they already have? But if we Hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Romans 8:24-25 (NIV)

From 2 Corinthians, Paul speaking of his thorn in his flesh, and about delighting in our weakness:

"My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

That's really all I had to say today. There is a lot going on in our household, but by coming to God daily we are living in His unexplainable Peace despite the present storm. His Power IS made perfect in weakness. And we have Love and Grace to give one another because our Source is a never-ending wellspring of both.

For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His Grace we should become heirs according to the Hope of eternal life.
Titus 3:3-7

PS - Almost 22 weeks! Everything is going terrific. We had our anatomy ultrasound a few weeks ago, and everything was perfect, praise God! And Shelby is just a hoot, copying new words and activities every day. She has 13 1/2 teeth (one is in the process of coming in right now). She naps now too … but that is a blog for another day ...

Victoria Grace - Approximately 11 oz.
Shelby Hope - Approximately 23 lbs ;-)

Thursday, January 2, 2014


So I've deactivated my Facebook account.

Lately I've been struggling with a great deal of insecurity. While the root of the problem is within myself and in not looking for my worth in God rather than around me, Facebook wasn't helping. Perhaps due to my competitive nature, comparing myself to others and worrying about how others value me has become an issue for me. It is making me question myself in destructive ways and I lack confidence. It has given fuel to those voices that must be silenced ... the ones that whisper things like "she's being a better wife than you" ... "They are raising their children better than you" ... "Look at all these people who take better care of their health than you" ...

Are they better or just different? Probably the latter ... but in the end should it matter to me? Should it affect how I view myself and the decisions I make? Generally no!

Every day there will be new "Pinterest Pretty" photos of some meal or project someone has devotedly made for their family. Until I reclaim my status as a daughter of the One True God, who loved me enough even in my worst state to send His only Son, who willingly stepped down from the right hand of God's throne to die so I could have a relationship with Him ... until I can do that I feel like I need to stay away from Facebook.

I also realized that though it is a social network, it is centered around me. Last time I checked I was not the center of the universe. I would really like to focus on loving others rather than promoting myself. And while a blog is probably even more self-centered than Facebook ... at least it is not pushed on you. While I think Shelby is adorable and know many agree ... you have the choice to come here and see her picture rather than having it shoved onto your news feed. And you can ooh and aah over the cuteness of our lil lamb and a recent orphaned twin at the farm in peace.

And I don't only have to write about us, though that is what I am most familiar with.

Speaking of us, we are underway in building the barndominium. I'm actually thinking of shifting the title of the blog to be a little more along those lines. The foundation is being poured as I type this and the outer part of the building is waiting in the warehouse to be put up.

Once Tim starts working on the inside, I imagine that will be much more interesting than life as a paramedic's wife. Which is a lot more exciting than I share on here but a lot of that just doesn't seem appropriate to make public.

Then when we move, I'm hoping to have tales of farm life to share. I hope we will be more involved with the sheep but I also have every intention of raising chickens, and without question there eventually must be goats. I'm working on Tim about the peacocks ... the neighbors (my in-laws) may have something to say about that too ...

Might I reactivate Facebook someday? Maybe. But until them I'm going to reclaim those snippets of time scrolling through and making sure I didn't miss anything for things like writing. And reading. I don't really intend to add arithmatic to that until we're homeschooling though.