Where Have I Been?

Where have I been?

I’ve been:

  • Taking care of two little girls with colds.
  • Cooking dinners for 10 people.
  • Coordinating constant naps between two little cranky people.
  • Talking on the phone with my husband who I miss very, very, very much. I can’t wait to see him soon.
  • Talking on the phone with my sister who I miss very, very, very much. I can’t wait to see her soon!
  • Helping organize and categorize kitchen equipment and dishes in my parent’s new kitchen.
  • Taking some serious time to relax and unwind every day by going on long walks outside, reading fun books, listening to music, and enjoying delectable dinners and drink.
  • Watching movies with my brothers and sisters. We went and saw Divergent last Sunday evening (it was so-so), and I’ve been watching middle of the season Doctor Who episodes with Will — I need to start from the beginning with that show!
  • Folding laundry, washing dishes, and petting the neglected outdoor kitty.

Ha… quite the list. Life, when you actually live it, oftentimes keeps one too busy to write meaningless blog posts. I only wrote this one because I have an hour to spare this Sunday morning.

 

Wake Me Up

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When the babies sleep, I am awake.

I have a toddler.

I also have a wannabe toddler. That’s a lovely age for babies to be. They’re too little to walk. Big enough to crawl. Big enough to stand. Uncoordinated enough to keep falling over. Big enough to eat solid food. Still babyish enough to want milk. But she stopped nursing weeks ago. Teething. Yet never seeming to get her teeth.

All of the above makes for exhausting days, and sometimes long nights when Fifi just.won’t.go.back.to.sleep. Shoot me, just shoot me now… I don’t want to get up for the 8th time at 3 in the morning.

Most mothers like to sleep when their babies sleep. But, some moms, like me, like to get in a little alone time. Time to read an article or two uninterrupted. Time to watch videos on YouTube. Time to Facebook.

So, after half hours stacked up upon half hours of trying to fall asleep, halfway succeeding, only to be woken back up by unhappy cries of grumpiness from Miss Poot Pants, now that she is finally asleep, my brain was wired to NOT fall asleep.

Coffee made, computer open, headphones in, children sleeping, cat kicked out. It’s time to relax for a while. Thank you, Lord.

And, I thought I would share some of the awesome, informative, thoughtful articles I’ve been reading this morning; here ya go:

Why I Won’t Give Sugar Up For Lent

Some people give up sweets for Lent. Others give up coffee, pop, or caffeine in its entirety. Huffington Post suggested fried food, cigars, or devices.

I can’t help this nagging feeling that something about this is all a little off. If I give up something I enjoy in order to remind myself of Jesus, and then I start wanting that thing but can’t have it because I’m remembering Jesus, I’m going to get cranky. And if I’m cranky, I’ll start associating semi-bitter or negative feelings with Easter.

That seems a little, well, backwards.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m not strong enough to work past the unhappy feelings I think I’d have if I gave up something I really enjoyed. Weak character? Faulty theology? Blatant misunderstanding? All very possible.

But if Lent truly is a season “to rid ourselves of all that prevents us from living a truly Christian life”, I have to wonder how far giving up little luxuries like sugar and meat and cigars is going to go.

This year, I want to try something different. This year, I’m giving up anger for Lent.

 Wife After Baby: A Husband’s Guide: Sleep deprivation will play a small part in your Wife’s temporary insanity.  In the first few months, you may witness a number of breakdowns, meltdowns and shutdowns and realistically, the Wife you knew may be gone, along with her personality and sense of humour for around twelve months.  Sometimes less.  Sometimes more.  She may (almost definitely will) also be suffering fromDMF.

Infrared Photography In Yellowstone National Park

A Breakup Letter to Matt Walsh:

Dear Matt Walsh,

It’s not you. It’s me.

Or was it the other way around? Yeah, that. It’s totally you.

Sorry. I was confused.

Do you remember when we first met? It was back in August, just after the VMAs. You had just writtenthis piece, angrily dismissing Miley Cyrus and the vacuous pop culture she represents. I found your acerbic wit and brutal honesty refreshing. I was impressed by how efficiently you disposed of worthless culture.

But then I came to realize that you do that to everyone.

Enjoy reading!

Anna

Journeying

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever,

With my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness to all generations.

For I have said, “Mercy shall be built up forever;

Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very heavens.”

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When we are called to redemption from the death that comes with our sin nature, and God gives us the Holy Spirit who daily sanctifies and refines us, teaching us the truth of God’s Word, there shouldn’t be anything that comes as a surprise to us in this life. And, the longer we spend steeping our hearts, minds, and souls in the verity of God’s promises, the more we should see that generation after generation after generation has lived, died, and been committed to eternity in accordance to the foundations and truths of the world that have been set in place from the moment light was cleft from darkness.

God’s words have many purposes for those who are called by His name. They comfort us. They sustain us. They refine our thoughts. They impart wisdom for daily life. They prick our consciences. They point us upwards and onwards to a higher, holier life. They hold out the promise of perfect justice, righteousness, and judgment in this life and the life to come. They are perfect, converting the soul. They are sure, making wise the simple. They are right, rejoicing in the heart. They are pure, enlightening the eyes. They tell us that someday there will be a new heavens and a new earth where sickness, sorrow, sin and death and will exist no more.

Wicked people, sinners loving their sin, don’t believe any of this. They say, “Where is your God? If He exists, He has forgotten you.”  They love violence. They love lies and lying. They love persecution and slander. They love cursing, deceit, oppression, and boasting in their evil deeds. Each new generation produces sinners sure of their sinning and sure that their “wisdom” and “revelation” trumps God’s wisdom and revelation.

It really doesn’t have to be more complicated than this. We are not to hide or condone sin, but we are also called to use wisdom and discernment in all matters, and to not enthusiastically point fingers or blame everyone but ourselves for sin problems. In our eagerness to exalt our own fallen, twisted wisdom, we end up tripping over our words as we try to prove that we are “smarter” and more “enlightened” than each previous generation — Christians are no exception to this, and I have watched in silence as many Christians and Christian organizations make themselves look foolish in a desperate attempt to prove themselves to the world, and prove themselves to fellow “enlightened” Christians. I could name many of these organizations, (I grew up in the homeschool/evangelical/reformed world,) but I won’t.

For me and my family (and by that I mean my husband and my children), we adhere to very few organizations or public figures. Scratch that, in our daily lives we follow NO public figure, organization, or movement political or religious. In my many years of closely observing the overall homeschooling/evangelical movement, it is hard to find  anyone who does not elevate pride and extra-biblical philosophies over the truth of God’s Word. Do understand that I am NOT saying that some of the Godly organizations and public figures out there in the world aren’t benefitting the cause of upholding righteousness, and that we should never support them, or that within organizations there are not faithful people serving with all humbleness and wisdom. I am just cautioning strongly against sticking our lives and our children’s lives to any one man, woman, pastor, blogger, political savior, or organization. I have seen family, after family, after family get burned through their foolishness in saying “we follow this organization” or “we follow so and so,” instead of ultimately following God; and I have watched precious souls fall through the cracks that have been widened by elevating our own fallen understanding over God’s truth and promises.

Our family does strongly believe in the call to accountability via membership with a strong, local church wherever we are living — God’s faithfulness is preached in the assembly of the saints, and  God’s truth for us in this life is carried out in small, and oftentimes “menial” ways, through the faithfulness of living everyday life, staying faithful where we are, and staying focused on what He has given us. I do have dreams, I do ambitions, and I have desires and plans for the future, but none of those plans include throwing away the people and things God has entrusted to me. I want to continue pursuing growth and sanctification in myself and offering encouragement to those around me who are seeking to do the same.

I do have strong opinions about many things in this fleeting life, but I will try to never cling to them so tight that when I am being called to sanctification and refinement in my heart and mind by the Holy Spirit, I pursue the love of my own understanding to the point of willful sin and ultimately, destruction. I pray that God continues to build my trust and faith in His steadfast promises for my life, and does the same for my husband and my children. This may involve humbling, and sometimes a not-very-clear-picure of how God is using circumstances in my life to bring glory to Him, but I have to stay anchored in His promises to me. He loves me and will abide with me to the end of my days.

Coram Deo!

Anna

Last Minute Thoughts

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Thanksgiving is almost here. As if you didn’t already know that fact. Most of you are probably traveling, or hunkering down in your warm houses against the cold outside to celebrate in the light of candles and the love of family. Boy, that sounded sappy.

I have the Thanksgiving jitters right now. I always feel this way before a major holiday. Especially if I am contributing to the dinner menu, which I am this year. It’s not that I’m not a competent cook, on the contrary, I am an excellent cook (sheesh, now I’m sounding arrogant), I just pause for two seconds in this rushed week, and try and take in the picture as a whole, and it makes me feel restless, jittery, and joyful, all at the same time. It’s a feeling akin to drinking a large cup of coffee on an empty stomach. These days, ordinary and holy during this gradual ascent into Christmas season remind me so much of my own frailty. These days remind me that they are fleeting beyond belief.

The now and the not yet are in constant revolution in our lives. One doesn’t stop so the other can catch up. Which is why during holidays especially, we are drawn in the now to be reflective over what has, is, and will be to come. We are living lives in the now that will reflect our lives in the not yet. Holy feasts, feasts beyond compare, will be held in the not yet, but we are commanded to mimic them in the now. Of course, the most important reminder feast and sacrament that we are commanded to observe is communion, (all other feasts are up to personal preference, and we are NOT to judge other people if they observe them or not). That feast, communion, fully combines the was, is, and is to come in our lives through JESUS, and puts all other feasts into perspective.

If you are living your life completely focused on the was, it’s time to stop. If you are living your life completely focused on the now, cease and desist. And if you are living life always looking for the to come, you need to look around you again. Try as much as you can to live life focused on all three, and you will be doing better than most people.

Try and have a Happy Thanksgiving, and a joyful start to your Christmas season.

Coram Deo!

Anna