Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Quaking during Lent

Our little Quaker family is 65% through Lent.  I'm not sure we are supposed to be keeping track of the days, but hey, we are new at this 40 day fasting "thang." 

We have read all of: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians.  Today we will read all of 1 & 2 Thessalonians. 

We have gone from listening and reading the chapters snuggling in our bed to sitting around the table.  This has served two purposes: staying awake and well, staying awake. 

If one stays awake, it's amazing how much more you can get out of the scriptures!

I have also been struck with how much scripture my children know.  I'm not bragging here.  Far from it.  I actually think, "How on earth do you know that?  I don't know it!" 

To hear them say the words along with the man on YouVersion just makes this moma's heart sing! 

Another thing I've received joy from is watching my baby (yes, he's 7) stop coloring or eating and just LISTEN to the words.  He's so serious and to see his wheels turning while the Word is being spoken is indescribable. 

The third thing I've enjoyed about our "chapter time" is the conversation that takes place.  We pause and share something right then or talk about something that jumped out to us after we are done.  Regardless, we are talking about it! 

Our daughter is really enjoying Paul's attitude/humor/confidence/sarcasm.  He will say something and she will just chuckle at the tone in which he said it. 

If the purpose of Lent is to prepare our hearts for the greatest celebration this side of heaven &/or Christ's return, we are doing it right.  On some fasting things, we may have slipped too many times to count but we are drawing close to Him and I couldn't be more thrilled with my little family.

Paco drew this picture on his own and I couldn't resist sharing it with you.


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Lent: Day 29/46

I know, I know.  Lent is 40 days.  There are, however, six Sundays that are not counted in the Lent count but they are days on my calendar and in my Bible plan reader

In these 29 days, we have read all of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Act and we finished Romans last night!  Today begins the first letter to the church at Corinth.  I am so excited!

I've been astonished, amazed, and yes, cried on several occasions.  I felt Peter's pain when he denied Christ three times before the rooster crowed.  I felt Jesus' eyes bore into Peter's, as if they were my own. 

Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.   
 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:60-62 NIV)

The Voice translates is this way:
Peter: 60 Look, I have no idea what you’re talking about. 
And he hadn’t even finished the sentence when a nearby rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned toward Peter, and their eyes met. Peter remembered Jesus’ words about his triple denial before the rooster would crow, 62 so he left the courtyard and wept bitter tears.
I've been challenged.  I've been reminded that the gift of my salvation is not free.  It was the most expensive gift ever given; and it is priceless.  Someone, my Lord, died in order for me to have the gift of eternal life.

We have each had our own challenges with our fasting, the hardest week so far, being Spring Break (for the boys) and Impact Tour (for Sky). 

Every now and then, we lovingly remind one another of our fast and encourage each other to stay strong in Jesus. 

My favorite part: snuggles while listening to our chapters.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Wonder of the Cross

"May I never lose the wonder - the wonder of the Cross."
by Vicky Beeching

Monday, March 10, 2014

Guest Post! "Another Quaker Girls' Lent Journey"

I pray that as you read my guest blogger today, my wonderful daughter, Mel, that you, too, will be challenged on what you are or are not doing to deepen your relationship with our Lord.  All of the pictures posted are a gift from me to her.  I probably spent as long searching for "just the right picture" as she did writing... she may or may not thank me for that.  Hey, it's my blog, right?!
Lent 2014

It is the season of Lent and I am feeling bent and out of sorts. I have to ask myself why. I have a lot on my plate. I am busy all the time. I get stressed and anxious easily. Not to mention my depression. Some days I feel so worn. Thinking about Lent is not an exciting thought. I give so much of myself every day, giving up something else was not appealing. I even thought about skipping Lent this year. What good does it really do? What is the point? I felt like it was just like any other Spiritual discipline. I had made up my mind, no Lent this year. I am not giving anything up. It felt like that was all I was doing lately... giving, giving, and more giving. It was one more thing to think about, to consume my thoughts and my energy, and I felt like I could not spread myself out anymore. I was just going to lose it! So I went to bed that night knowing that I could not bring myself to give anything up for Lent.

The next morning I was reading my Bible and I stumbled upon John 3:29-30 “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bride groom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.” These verses hit me like a brick. When I had been thinking about Lent I only thought about the negative effects that it might have on me. I did not think about the effects it would have on Christ and my relationship with Him. I never thought about how Lent would give glory to my Lord and draw me closer to Him. I realized there was nothing in my schedule more important than that. I had to find something to give up. This part was a long process. At first I was justifying why I could not give things up.  

I could not give up my homework because I needed good grades in school.

I could not give up my computer because I needed it for homework.

I could not give up Facebook because that is how I communicate with people.
(Moma will be nice and NOT post a facebook picture.)

I could not give up coffee because I needed it to function.

One thing after another I justified why I could not give it up for 40 days. I kept going down the list and I thought that I could give up soda and candy. I quickly found a reason why I could not do that. They are my little pick-me-ups during the day. I had to cut myself short at that moment. My justification was the perfect reason why I should give up soda and candy. Instead of letting these little things pick up my spirits when they are low, I should turn to the Lord for that. When I usually go to get a soda or reach for a piece of candy I am going to reach for my Bible instead.

I pray that the Lord will be glorified during this season of Lent. I also pray that even after this season that I continue to reach for my Bible for my pick-me-ups instead of things that won’t last or satisfy.

#Lent #LentProblems 

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Reality Sets In

After a peaceful day and night yesterday, this morning, we awoke to reality.

No T.V. for the little man.  Oops, guess he forgot about Saturdays and feast day isn't until tomorrow...

So, we talked and he expressed to me that he really wanted some extra snuggle time with me in bed and we needed to watch TV to do that. 

I thought quick and said, "Let's read together instead!"  Another good thing is I got a new book for him from the library yesterday.

We got our books and nestled in together and read until he was ready to get up and start his day.

It was AWESOME!  He'd laugh reading and share it with me and it was better than any episode on the screen. 

So, reality is setting in on what we're really fasting from and I think as we keep addressing the hiccups and why and talk about it and re-focus on Jesus and the price he paid for us, we will do okay.

I saw this on a sign today,

"Our salvation is free - but Jesus paid a heavy price for it." 

#LentChallenge #Lentproblems

Family Date Night!

We had a WONDERFUL date last night with the kids. My dear hubby and I decided that we would put as much effort into our plans with the kids as we do when we have our date night.  So, after getting feedback from the kids, we made a night of it! 
We started with swimming at the Y.  I didn't get out of the hot tub so let's treat the word "swimming" as an idea, not the literal meaning, okay? 
From there, we loaded in the car and drove to the burger joint, owned and operated by our friends in the neighboring town. 
Then, we drove to the cheap seats movie theater but knowing we were a little late, we reached a consensus to go get ice cream and go home.
Yummy cones from Arctic Circle were consumed, some faster than others, and we went home.
Then, we played Mexican Train Dominoes!  Yes, it was very, very late. 
To end our wonderful evening together, we all crammed into our bed and snuggled in for our chapter time!
We took turns reading and it was pretty neat. 

By the time we got done reading Matthew 12-18, gradually, eyes closed and I couldn't resist taking a few pictures of my peaceful family, asleep in my bed. 

I had another son on the other side of my but you can see by the lighting and poor quality of photos that I wasn't working with the best of light.  So, my other boy is asleep with his face under the covers next to me. 

Good day.


Friday, March 07, 2014

Last Bite - forgotten

Okay, one of the little things that I decided to do was to leave the last bite of my meal on my plate.  Why?  I'm so glad you asked!

1) To leave the last bite reminds me of how I don't go hungry.
2) I know I am going to eat again and I don't need to eat everything.
3) Visual reminder that while I have so much that I don't have to eat every single bite, there are MILLIONS going hungry.
4) A reminder that I need to pay attention and be grateful for the food I shove in my mouth.

I didn't think this would be hard.  Oh, how wrong, I was. 

On the way to school yesterday, my daughter asked me how it was going leaving the last bite.  I honestly was stumped.  How could I have forgotten so quickly???

I honestly told her that I hadn't even thought about it!  I told her that I might need some help remembering.

So, hubby and I shared a lunch at Costco yesterday and God nudged me to remember.  It was fine.  It did the things I wanted it to.

Then, on the way home from school, we all had a banana.  I wolfed mine down with the kids and it wasn't until she was talking about how her day went regarding songs that I blurted out, "I ate the whole bloomin' banana!  UGH!" 

I eat.  I didn't even pause to give thanks for the banana. 

Thankfully, I serve a God of grace and the whole point of fasting is to help me remember Him.  To help deepen my relationship with Him.

So, forgiven and humbled, I end Day 3. 

Good news: we read our chapters in Matthew as a family tonight and no yelling happened in order to get everyone where they needed to be to spend this time together!  YAY!