Finding Joy in Him

Through Every Season

Tag: Moving (page 1 of 5)

I Stood at the Door and Blocked

I am allowing myself some time to grieve today. I need it. Pushing myself forward isn’t always the healthy thing to do. Ignoring grief doesn’t make it go away. It only builds under pressure.

We can’t pick and choose which emotions we feel. Pushing down painful emotions suppresses the good ones as well. If I want to “feel” loved by God, I have to work through my painful emotions to get there.

Recently, I’ve slipped back into stoicism and found myself unable to feel. Twenty moves may have something to do with my practice. I’ve learned to gird myself against the loneliness of moving to a new state, against the sadness of leaving friends and this time precious children behind, against the fear of not knowing who I can and cannot trust with my fragile heart.

Just learning my way around town and where basic staples are located in local stores can be a daunting task that demands more mental strength than I possess. Town? Stores? Who am I kidding? I couldn’t find my way around my own kitchen while preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Door after cabinet door was opened before finding the things I needed. Add to that the downsizing we’re doing and I can’t remember if or not I still own the thing I am searching for.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4

Mourning with a humble heart before the Lord puts us in a position to receive God’s comfort.

His “com” from the Latin word meaning nearness – “fort” from the Latin word meaning strong.

His strength near me; fortifying me.

Pushing through while pretending that I am okay denies not only the mourning, but also the comfort my heart so desperately needs. Insensibility makes it nearly impossible to sense His nearness and receive His strength.

Sitting humbly with the truth of my mourning makes room for the Comforter and Spirit of Truth to lead me into all truth (John 16:13).

Psalm 119:28-29
I am overcome by sorrow;
strengthen me, as you have promised.

Keep me from lying to myself;
give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.

I am always asking God to speak His truth to my heart. I am always listening for His still small voice spoken through the truth of His Word.

One of the more powerful ways that God speaks to me is through pictures. One picture is worth a thousand words. A story or a picture can speak to my heart for days on end.

A few weeks ago, God showed me a picture of myself. I was standing at the door of my heart. The door was cracked open, but my foot was barring the door; blocking Jesus from coming in. “I stand at the door and knock” echoed through my heart though all I could “see” was my foot barricading the door.

Much like the church in Laodicea, I was neither hot nor cold. My fear of being overwhelmed by emotions had stifled them.

The first emotions I let in after “seeing” myself and my foot barring the door were anger and frustration.

Cold. It was something. I was feeling again.

Revelation 3:14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

I desperately WANTED and DIDN’T WANT Jesus to come in. I was at the door. It was cracked open, but barred. I wanted to remove my foot, but I didn’t know how. I wanted Jesus to comfort me because I was wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. But the position of my foot said, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. Who, me, Jesus? I am good. I’ve been doing this grief thing for awhile now. I’ve done this moving thing SO many times. I am pushing through. I don’t need to feel right now; not grief nor comfort. I’ve got this.”

I’ve got nothing.

I am wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I am weak and vulnerable. I am afraid. I am easily overwhelmed. I am not the person I was before. My heart is shattered and broken. I miss the old me. The blissfully ignorant me. The me that knew nothing of being wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I miss the me who was confident in her unshaken faith. I miss the me that didn’t needed time to mourn so that she could find comfort.

Verse 18:

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

How do we “buy” gold refined in the fire?

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

We receive the love of God in the form of a rebuke and discipline. We repent earnestly. We change our minds by renewing them in His Word and allow Him to transform our hearts.

In this way, we become truly rich.

We listen to His voice and open wide the door to our hearts. We invite Jesus in and “sup” (KJV) with Him. We eat His flesh and drink His blood (John 6:56).

We REMEMBER Christ broken and crucified for us; just as the bread was broken and the wine poured out for us (Luke 22:19). We rejoice “inasmuch as” we “participate in the sufferings of Christ” so that we may be “overjoyed when His glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:13)

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. – 1 Peter 2:21

 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4

Not blessed are those who never suffer, who never mourn, who never need comfort.

We remember:

In all their distress He too was distressed, and the angel of His presence saved them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. – Isaiah 63:9

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. – 1 Peter 1:6

I shouldn’t miss her. I should count her crucified with Christ. I should count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ, my Comforter, who now lives in me (Galatians 2:20, Philippians 3:8).

I should joyfully embrace the new, refined me that is coming out of the fire with a proven, genuine faith which is of greater worth than gold. The one not made “rich” by her own failing strength or “clothed” in her own failing righteousness… but in His.

Partaking of the suffering that I have been called to in Christ, welcoming His comfort, is becoming a salve to my eyes so I can see.

Truth spoken to my heart is this: I’ve mourned a me that I believed was a stronger and happier me, but who in truth was wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Unproven.

It’s only through trials that we can buy what is genuinely real; of greater worth than gold. Untested faith is not proven faith. Genuine faith, real strength comes through the fire when our pitiful, human strength is consumed and we learn to draw from His supernatural strength and comfort. It’s only there that we learn that His grace IS sufficient. It’s only there that we learn that He will faithfully and lovingly carry us through ALL our days.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Before losing Joel, I thought grace was the power to float through life. I believed grace was the gift of self sufficiency.

I am beginning to see that grace is the “gift” of sharing in Christ’s suffering. It’s the gift of finding the end or our own strength and sufficiency and the beginning of His. It’s the gift of a “thorn” that keeps us from becoming conceited.

2 Corinthians 12:7b Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

His strength in my weakness far surpasses the strength I thought I had before I suffered. His glory far surpasses any fading human glory.

My heart struggles to see how tragedy can bring glory to God. I used to believe that the kind of life that would bring the most glory to God would be one where His children lived fairytale lives; free from weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties. I believed that was the kind of life God most desired for His children.

But I am beginning to see that fairytale lives produce an arrogance; a self-sufficiency that says, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” They produce a blindness to our wretchedness, pitifulness, real poverty, blindness and nakedness. Fairytale lives fail to produce a proven faith and strength that can only come the desperate need to draw from God’s real, tested comfort (near strength).

The people who I have always most admired are people like Corrie Ten Boom and Joni Eareckson Tada who have been deeply broken and have found God to be their source of continual strength and comfort. I see more of His kindness, mercy, empathy and goodness in them. I see a deeper faith in the broken; roots that have dug in deep and grown strong through terrible storms. I see a glory and a radiance that can have only come through the testing of their faith; Christ residing in and strengthening them.

So this striving against my brokenness …against my weakness; this longing for my old, less tested faith; this pining over a the loss of a more “fairy-tale-ish” life has to come to an end. I must consider it all as loss. I must let the truth sink in.

The truth is every good fairytale is filled with danger and hardships and every hero emerges out of difficulties and testing.

I must offer my struggle as a sacrifice. I must mourn. I must submit to my need for God’s comfort; my need for His nearness and strength.

The secret of contentment with weakness and vulnerability?

“I have strength for all things in the One strengthening me.” – Philippians 4:13 (Berean Literal Bible)

The only way I can remove my foot from barring Jesus’ entrance through the door of my heart is by embracing this new, broken me; embracing my weakness, my need to mourn, and my need to receive His comfort.

My weakness opens the door for His Spirit of Comfort and Truth.; makes way for His glorious strength.

He has counseled us to buy from Him gold refined in the fire so that we can be truly rich and wear the white garments of His righteousness and strength and have salve to put on our blind eyes so we can see.

2 Corinthians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

Love,

Jenny

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Postcards from Heaven: Thanksgiving 2016

This was our 4th Thanksgiving without Joel and our first since launching our earthbound kids into adulthood and moving 700 miles for a new assignment.

The Lord answered our prayers and the kids were able to get off work and drive up together for their first visit to our new home. It will probably be awhile before we get to see them again, so I try to enjoy them as much as I can when I do.

In March, our oldest plans to move over 1,600 miles to start his first job after earning his masters in biology. We are all excited for him.. and sad, too. I’ve been working hard at accepting God’s plans over my dreams for our family.

We had a nice visit. The most important things were unpacked. Cooking Thanksgiving was made more challenging by our recent move. It took me more than a few tries to find where I’d put all those special pots and pans.

Cooking has never been my thing, but Thanksgiving is the kids’ favorite holiday. They love to eat, so I’ve worked hard to learn how to make their favorite foods.

I always miss Joel a great deal while cooking for Thanksgiving. Just a couple of weeks before we lost him, he came in the kitchen with his chin up, took in a big whiff of all the pleasant Thanksgiving smells, nodded his approval and asked, “How is everything coming?”

Joel’s nod meant a lot to me. It was his way of playfully saying that he loved and appreciated me. I bantered back by enlisting him to set the table. He was a willing helper.

This Thanksgiving, I positioned one of our favorite photos of Joel on the mantle, so I could look up and feel like he was with us in spirit. When we circled up in the living room to pray before dinner, I imagined Joel smiling and praying with us.

DSC00401

The kids stayed for several days. It was so nice having them here. Our new house is 1000 ft smaller, yet didn’t feel too crowded. Moving away from the kids has felt so surreal that I wasn’t sure how their visit would feel. I was pleasantly pleased that it wasn’t strange at all, but familiar and almost right (still missing the one who has gone ahead to our real home in Heaven).

I saw a quote by Randy Alcorn the other day. In it, he quotes a verse the Lord gave me when my children were small. It’s a verse I have leaned into a great deal. My favorite version says:

“All your children will be taught by the Lord Himself and great will be their peace.” Isaiah 54:13

As a homeschool mom, I knew I wasn’t enough. No matter how much I taught them, there were going to be things that they could only learn from God Himself.

More than anything, my prayer has been that God would give my children a hunger to know and love Him. That He would be their all in all. That He would give Himself to them and supply them with love, wisdom and strength to face the storms ahead. That He would surround them with His peace.

When we lost Joel, my heart was crushed and I felt like God had blasted me with a resounding, “No!” My ability to pray for their safety was shattered. It “ting, tings” against a delicate, glass ceiling in my heart even today. One day, I hope that I will be able to pray freely again. For now, I continue to pray for them to be taught, strengthened and loved by God Himself.

Randy Alcorn has helped solidify Heaven for us through His books; giving us a more eternal perspective. When we first lost Joel, Heaven felt so ethereal that it was hard for us to imagine. Randy from his Heaven book:

How glorious it will be for grandchildren and grandparents—and great-grandchildren and great-grandparents who never knew each other before—to enjoy their youth together in the cities, fields, hillsides, and waters of the New Earth. To walk together, discover together, be amazed together—and praise Jesus together. “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children” (Isaiah 54:13).

The Bible instructs us to set our hearts and minds on things above:

Colossians 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

.. To fix our eyes on the unseen:

2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Things seen for me: Joel shot to death by a stranger with an AK-47. Joel’s body in a grave; separated from us.

Things unseen: God working all things together for good, Joel alive in Heaven, Jesus in our midst, His return, our bodily resurrection, our happy reunion, an eternal glory that far outweighs our earthly troubles, everything in Heaven and in the New Earth to come.

My eyes are often weary from all the peering through this present darkness to things unseen.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 1 Corinthians 13:12

Ever so often, Holy Spirit will drop into my heart a snapshot of the unseen things Joel is enjoying in Heaven to cheer and encourage me. It’s a little like getting postcards from Heaven.

The very first image I got was of Joel receiving a fiery chariot for his first Christmas in Heaven. Have you ever imagined never having another car payment or repair bill? That’s the dream Joel is living now.. And his car can fly! I could see him taking it out for a joyride with no fear of danger, just pure joy and freedom. car-postcard

Sometimes Holy Spirit will drop the name of musician like Larry Norman, Bach, Johnny Cash or David on my heart. I can see Joel jamming with them, learning how to play new songs and cords, worshiping and praising Jesus and our Heavenly Father.

jam-postcard

I can see Joel hiking in Heaven. Enjoying it’s beauty. I can see him walking on water with Peter and looking at me like “It’s a cinch.” I can see him dancing wildly with Jesus. Once, I got a snapshot of Joel fishing with his great-grandfather. I can see him hanging out, telling stories, toasting something better than marshmallows and laughing around a campfire.

fishing-postcard

We went with the kids to the Chickasaw Cultural Center Saturday and learned how their dances are prayers to their creator who will return one day from the East. Mike and I danced and prayed with them. We have one great, great, great grandparent each who was Native American. I can almost see Joel with his Native American family in Heaven, learning and performing their dances/prayers around a fire, calling out in those high yells and low groans.

campfire-postcard

My heart isn’t ready for Joel’s upcoming Heaven Day or another Christmas without him, but Holy Spirit is such a good and kind comforter. He knows just what I need… to see the unseen, to set my mind and heart on things above. He will be with us in the storms to come. My eyes will be fixed on Jesus and He will surround us with His peace.

 

Love and prayers,

Jenny

My Year Long Prayer

IMG_20160823

Mike and I celebrated our 30th anniversary and moved into our 20th abode this summer.

Since the beginning of this new adventure last August, I’ve prayed one prayer:

Teach me Your way, Oh LORD, that I may walk in Your truth. Give me an undivided heart that I may fear Your Name. Psalm 86:11

Twenty-two moves into my life, I am still learning to lean into the brokenness that leaving friends, family and now children behind brings. Moving is hard. This move, especially, has been full of long, arduous days.

I pray:

Teach me Your way, Oh LORD, that I may walk in Your truth. Give me an undivided heart that I may fear Your Name. Psalm 86:11

I am broken. Again. I lean in. It’s hard. I pray. Praying exposes my brokenness.. all my brokenness.. the brokenness of leaving and of being left. I am overwhelmed. My heart is silenced. Paralyzed. It can not feel; not pain, nor sorrow, nor joy, nor love. I can’t pray.

I mouth the words again:

Teach me Your way, Oh LORD, that I may walk in Your truth. Give me an undivided heart that I may fear Your Name. Psalm 86:11

I cry:

“Help. God. Please, help. Help me to lean in and not away. Help me to enter in with my whole heart. I can not gather all the broken pieces of my heart together. They are sharp. The pain is deep. Help!”

My desire to lean into the brokenness and pain is a desire live fully in the here and now. The pain and brokenness overwhelm me; knock me to the ground. I am so tired of being overwhelmed. I am tired being cut off from my heart.

I want to love with my whole heart. Brokenness and all. It’s important to be present.. to listen.. to live and give myself fully in each moment. I know that living this way is what afforded me no regrets when we lost Joel. I know that this is the way God calls us to live. I know that I must treat myself with grace, kindness and acceptance.
Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 3.14.57 PM

I do what I have the grace to do in each moment and try not to think about what it’s going to take to get through the next moments.

I remind myself of Jesus words and pray again for an undivided heart:

“No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

The fields I plow have been torn apart. I am not omnipresent. I am in one field one day and in another another. When I drive to Oklahoma, part of my heart is left in Alabama and when I drive to Alabama, part of my heart is left in Oklahoma. And truthfully in other states and countries, too.

And in eternity, too.

I have to trust my loving Father to watch over the fields I cannot see.

Elizabeth Stone wrote, “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

A huge chunk of my heart has been walking around Heaven’s golden streets for three and three-quarters years now.

I don’t have possession of my whole heart or my whole self. Grief ambushes, and in an instant I am reduced to tears. I STILL don’t want it to be true, though I can no longer deny it. There’s a gaping chasm in my heart that I can not close.

When I suppress the truth (the pain), it haunts me in my dreams. I wake myself up wailing, and can not console myself by saying that it was only a dream.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 2.15.30 PM

it is only a small part of the story. It’s only a small part of my story. God’s nail scarred hands are tenderly holding all the pieces of my broken heart; the parts scattered here on earth and the parts up in Heaven. One morning, this nightmare will be forever over, and He will bend down and wipe away the last of my tears and I will be fully, wholeheartedly me.

I often pray:

Psalm 39:4 “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is.

5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath.”

7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you.

Remembering that this life with all it’s heartache and trouble is short gives me hope. I’ve another, much better life waiting for me. My brokenness will not last forever.

I am comforted when I remember Jesus’ promise:

“I will not leave you as orphans, for I will come to you in a little while.” John 14:18

I am encouraged when I remember:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

I may not be able to see all that God is working together now, but one day I will.

As I drive from one state to another, I sing Christ for the Nations’ “Running” song and try not to press too hard on the gas:

“I hear the voice, the voice of the one I love,
He’s calling my name.
I hear the voice, the voice of the one I love,
He’s calling my name.

He’s saying, come up higher, you’ll hear the angels sing.
Come up higher my beloved,
Come up higher and leave this world behind.
You’ll find me to be beautiful

I AM RUNNING, RUNNING AFTER YOU,
YOU BECOME MY SOUL’S DELIGHT
I AM RUNNING, RUNNING AFTER YOU,
HERE WITH YOU I FIND MY LIFE

One thing have I desired, this will I seek after
To dwell in Your house forevermore
Now I’m running after, the thing that really matters
You’ve become my joy and song.”

Pressing in as He enables, and finding all the pieces of my heart hidden and faithfully guarded in Him,

Jenny

Save

Save

Surrendered Longing

I am longing to be found faithful in small things…

Things like turning my heart to God in surrendered trust each day.

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master! – Matthew 25:21

I am longing to be found faithful in each storm that blows my way.

I am longing to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

I am longing to enter into the joy of my Master.

I am longing for His appearing.

And to throw off the shame I feel in the confessing of it.

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. – 2 Timothy 4:8

A crown of “RIGHTEOUSNESS” for those who long for His appearing;

Not one of shame.

Lord, Jesus, I long for You to come; to enter into this dark world with Your love and light; to return and reign in all Your glory. I long for the no mores of Heaven; no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain. I long for the new Heaven and the new Earth where You have wiped away all our tears and will dwell among us. I long to live in Your joyful presence forevermore. Free me from the false shame I feel when I confess my longings for Your return. In You alone, will my soul be satisfied. In surrendered longing, I will find hope and rest.

Revelation 21:3-5 
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them.
They will be his people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. 

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away.”  

He who was seated on the throne said,
“I am making everything new!”
Then he said, “Write this down,
for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Lord, I thank You that You are not slow in keeping Your promise, but patient.

2 Peter 3:9-10 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

I surrender again today to Your will and trust that You will be faithful to walk with me through each and every moment. Let Your faithfulness and nearness strengthen me with steadfastness that I may be found faithful even in the midst of the severest storms.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. – 1 Corinthians 15:58

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Lord, I thank You that with You by my side the storms and things that You call me to be faithful in are small, that when I am weak You are strong in me.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. -John 16:33

And, Lord, I thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit, our Comforter.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us…

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies…

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

Thank You for sending an Encourager and Helper to be strength in and for us, to groan with us and for us in the midst of our surrendered longing.

Thank You for the hope that anchors our soul through every storm until You return.

Hebrews 6:17-20 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

I will take hold of hope.

I will turn to You again and again in surrendered trust.

For You are faithful.

You will be ever with me to strengthen and encourage me in the midst of the storms.

You will keep Your promise.

You will return.

Longing will end.

Joy will remain.

Thank You.

Love,

Jenny

How I am Facing Hard Days

DSCF4617-2My next two Sundays are going to be challenging. This Sunday (May 1) Joel will be celebrating his 24th birthday in Heaven. And next Sunday, Mother’s Day, I will be spending in a new state where we are in the process of moving 675 miles away from our three yet earthbound children.

I’ve been praying and scheming for weeks now, and asking myself how can I face these days with an eternal perspective and find joy in Jesus through them so that they are less tearful.

DSCN2375This is what I have so far:

a) hope to visit a grocery store bakery and pay for someone else’s birthday cake before they pick it up on Saturday (idea from my While We’re Waiting Facebook group)

b) hope to visit the zoo too, buy 2 adult and 2 children’s tickets and pass them to someone in line behind us. When the kids were little we used to do something similar at Sea World. It was a blast and the memory still brings joy.

c) hope to visit two different churches, one each Sunday, where no one knows us.. and I can smile with grace and not worry that no one knows the brokenness I am hiding

CIMG4642Mother’s Day, since losing Joel, tends to draw attention to the ache and deep longing of my brokenness. This Mother’s Day.. my first with an empty nest, I am trying to turn my thoughts in a positive (thankful, hopeful) direction. So I’ve been looking for the good gifts God is bringing out of my brokenness and I am beginning to see:

a) Part of our hearts are in Heaven now.. and that is giving us the gift of a more eternal perspective. My husband is so kind and faithful to remind me: “We have to have an eternal perspective.” Three years of hearing that now, and I am finally starting to get it. I am starting to see with acceptance that this life is short and full of trouble; and see with hope that the next one is eternal and beautiful and full of joy.

b) My brokenness has spoiled me for this world.. only the next will satisfy.. only Jesus will satisfy me now. When I am thinking straight, Jesus in me.. Jesus in others.. Jesus in creation.. is what moves me now. Jesus is the joy that helps me run with perseverance. Having all other desires striped away gives the gift of seeking and finding more of Jesus.

c) In my brokenness, I no longer hold any delusions that I can do anything in my own strength. My brokenness has made me entirely dependent on His strength in me. Learning to allow God to use my weakness is a gift “that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

d) My brokenness has given me the gift of opportunity to comfort others with the comfort I’ve received from the Holy Spirit with genuine empathy. Jesus did this for us. He came as one of us and suffered for us, learned obedience through His suffering and became that great high priest who understands our weaknesses, so that we can draw near to His throne of grace and receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need. (Hebrews 4 – 5)

I am still growing in all these things. I am pressing in. I have so much more to learn.

2 Corinthians 1:5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

1 Peter 2:21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

 

Abiding in His love ,

Jenny

Many Moons Ago; Shared Laughter with My Savannah

Today is a big birthday for someone very special, our oldest Thai girl, Savannah. Yay, Savannah! Happy Birthday!

DSC07620
One of my fondest memories of Savannah is from many moons ago, near her 18th birthday.

That Christmas we moved from San Antonio, Texas to Illinois and were introduced to more snow than we’d ever seen in our whole lives put together.

We’d missed going to church a couple of Sundays. Holidays, unpacking and adding a new baby to the family had kept us busy. Finally, this Sunday, we bundled up our 4 little ones, ages 5 and under, and ventured out in the ice and snow in search of a church home.

Our little family of 7 almost doubled the number of attendees of the small, white, historic chapel as we walked in with snow covered boots across their creaky, wood floors. It was called the LOVE Chapel. Mike always says it with his Elvis voice.

The pastor greeted us with a look that asked, “Why are you out on such a cold day?” Then jokingly called the few who had braved the cold “the Chosen Frozen.” It was an especially cold Sunday morning with a wind chill below 0°.

We found a place to sit along a long wooden pew and opened our hymnals and sang along with the congregation.

It became very quiet, when the pastor asked us to turn to Ecclesiastes chapter 3.

Remember, this was many moons ago; long before smart phones and iPads; way back when people carried actual Bibles to church. We’d forgotten our Bibles in our rush to get out the door with 4 little ones bundled in thick socks, shoes, hats, mittens and snow suits, but thankfully we spotted one next to a hymnal further down the pew. Savannah stretched across the pew to pull it out and started the search for Ecclesiastes.

I am pretty sure we both knew were the book of Ecclesiastes was supposed to be. “Psalms, Proverbs… Song of Solomon. Wait, we’ve gone too far.” We looked again, then again with Mike’s assistance, “Psalms, Proverbs.” Then we checked the table of contents. “Yes, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.”

By this time, if a pin had dropped, you wouldn’t have heard it above the echo of the rustling pages in our Bible. The whole congregation was still; waiting for the “visitors” to find the book of Ecclesiastes. The tension grew.

Having renewed our confidence with the table of contents we looked again. “Psalms, Proverbs… Song of Solomon.” There was NO book of Ecclesiastes. Our mouths gaped in amazement. The pages of Ecclesiastes had been carefully torn out of the Bible and only a small remnant of their tattered edges remained!

Savannah and I looked at each other and started to giggle..

Then right there in the tiny, wooden, echoey LOVE Chapel we had an attack of the giggles.

It took all our strength to straighten our faces, look up at the pastor, and pretend that we’d finally found the passage. The temptation to steal glances at each other and giggles and smirks and their echoes got us again and again. It was the longest 20 minute sermon I’d ever sat squirmed through. He, he. I don’t know what kept us from busting out laughing and rolling on the floor.

Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.

Savannah, He is making us beautiful in His time and eternity big in both our hearts. I am thankful for our memories of shared laughter and I am praying that God will fill your next season with the kind of beauty and laughter that only He can give.

Happy Birthday!

Love,

Your Texas Mom

Launching from Rocket City

DSC00635When we first moved to Alabama, Mike felt strongly that God had spoken to him that we were here to “launch our children into adulthood.” Judi was 13 almost 14. Joel was 15, James 17 and Josh 19 years old that December 20th when we moved into our house in Montgomery. Josh had graduated from high school,  worked at his first job making pizza’s for Pizza Hut and was ready to start college at the Auburn University in Montgomery. I still had three at home with me homeschooling. We were learning history and math and writing. I am a day to day kinda person. “Launching” kids into adulthood wasn’t something I could fathom. I had lesson plans to write, meals to cook and laundry to get done.. not to mention all that unpacking to do.
baloonsJust a year and a half later, we were moving again.. this time to Huntsville, AL, home of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. “Rocket City.” I armed myself with information about the science program at the University of Alabama in Huntsville before breaking the news to Joshua. His first reaction was, “Y’all have fun with that.” I was so proud and alarmed all at the same time. Proud that his Texan “Y’all” had shown through, and alarmed by my quickly fading confidence in my ability to convince him to transfer to UAH. The six of us moved here on James’ 19th birthday. I didn’t catch God’s play on words “launch” into adulthood in “Rocket City” until a few days ago.

DSC02432Normally, we like to buy older homes in established neighborhoods (I am a big fan of mature trees – a tree hugger at heart), but when we moved here, it was more affordable to build new. When we stood on the property we were praying about building on, and looked out at our little lake and the wooded area behind it, we felt God’s incredible love and peace rain down on us.

We didn’t understand the importance of that experience until we lost Joel and all the “Did we make a mistake by moving here?” questions flooded in. That memory of God’s incredible love and peace has washed over and comforted us again and again. Our little lake has been a lake of healing waters for me through breast cancer and now through losing Joel. The trees now are green and yellow and orange; changing with the season. I am going to miss it.
DSC06083God has been stirring in Mike and I another move.. and the

             FINAL PHASE OF THE LAUNCH.

Phase 1: Josh got a job in Montgomery, got his driver’s license, bought his first car and started school at AUM.

Phase 2: Move to Huntsville, teach 3 more kids how to drive, all 4 kids find jobs, 3 buy cars, 2 total their first car with in weeks and have to buy another car. All work on school.

Phase 3: Joel passes all of us and graduates straight into Heaven.
DSC00401Phase 4: Family has almost 3 years to recover.

Phase 5: Last December Josh graduated from college. This fall, Josh got a job working at UAH which is paying for him to get his masters. Yay! He moved into his first apartment Labor Day weekend.
GraduatePhase 6: Same weekend, Mike felt peace about interviewing for a job in Oklahoma City. A week or two later, he accepted the job in Oklahoma, ten and a half hours away from all the kids.

Phase 7: Breaking news. Apartment shopping. Budgeting. Planning. Packing. Tomorrow, we are getting a truck to help Judi and James move out into their first apartment and Mike and I will become empty nesters.

This is no gentle, saunter out.. it’s a “launching.”

In a matter of weeks, we’ll go from all surviving children at home with us working and going to school to living ten and a half hours apart. There will be no coming home on weekends to do laundry. There will be no more meeting for lunch or Saturday dinners. There will be Christmases and birthdays with only the internet to connect us. It the real “Y’all have fun with that.”

Every move is hard. Part of your old life dies and you have to start a new life. I spent a lot of time the first year or two here standing in Walmart trying to remember where to find things. I could tell you exactly where the thing I needed was in the Brandon, Florida Walmart and in the Montgomery Walmart, but this Walmart was unfamiliar.

I am very thankful for these almost 3 years that we’ve had to heal together since Joel launched right past us to his Heavenly home. As a retired homeschool mom, I’ve been able to be available, to love and mentor, to provide support. I’ve gotten to know my kids as adults. I love them. I am so proud of the adults they are becoming. They work hard. They study hard. God is with them.

I don’t know what this next year holds. I only know that God is leading and directing us and that we are obeying. It’s hard. We are torn; excited about what God has for us in this next chapter and sad about closing the chapter we are in.

Please keep us in your prayers through this launch as we work to trust and obey.

Thank you,

Jenny

My Family Quilt Story: God’s Story

I started my family quilt 12 years ago when a friend of mine lost her husband to colon cancer.  He was 36 years old, in the military and had a 1 and 3 year old son. 

I had prayed, “God how should I pray for healing here on earth or that he’d quickly go to Heaven?”  I’d heard very clearly, “Pray for healing.”  One night while interceding on the floor beside my bed, I had a vision of Jesus interceding beside me.  The sicker he became the closer we believed he was to healing.. when he died we prayed for resurrection. 

Days passed and I prayed, “What happened?”  And God answered that it was my job to pray; His to answer; sometimes the answer would be no.  And I learned that He was God and I was not. 

In the trauma of it all, I decided to make a quilt of my family so they would live “forever” in a quilt.  As I worked on the quilt, I prayed for help as I do for everything.  I was shocked when I felt His presence helping and guiding me especially with the drawings of my family, which are far above my abilities, because in my heart, I knew I was rebelling against God’s omnipotence and wisdom.

As I made the quilt, I understood what some of it meant.  I knew the tree trunk was Abba God’s hand at work in the midst of everything.. holding everything together with strength and majesty; the dove was Holy Spirit moving across the earth in power.  I knew, of course, that Jesus had James in his arms.  James has aspergers and being both mom and teacher to him I often worried about him not fitting into the mold, not learning how to read until he was 13 etc., but the Lord continually gave me dreams showing me that He was taking care of James and not to push him. 

Most of the time I was too fearful to ask the Lord what the rest of the quilt meant.  I was afraid that James being in Jesus’ arms might mean that he was going to die, but one day while working on the border, I felt prompted to ask what all the blues meant.  He answered me that they were days; some light and happy and others dark, but that He would be with me through them all.

I started this quilt in the summer of 2000, but I didn’t finish it until the spring before Joel went home.  Homeschooling 4 kids didn’t leave a lot of time for quilting.  I think I finished the middle part the first year, but then moves came, algebra, team sports etc.; months and sometimes years passed without a stitch. 

Josh, Judi and Joel on piano in front of crazy quilt.

Then we were moving again, and I decided that I was going to finish the quilt.  It had been so long since I’d started that I decided to stretch Judi out to make her taller, then I finished the quilt with a crazy quilt border and hung it in our house in Montgomery.. but I didn’t like it.

We moved again to Huntsville this time and when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2011, I decided to take the border apart and start over with a different design.  One of the ways I deal with grief is by being creative.  The Creator creating through me helps bring healing.

Then finally, I was finishing the quit a second time and I wanted to add our new puppy to my quilt, but Joel said, “No, it should be like a frozen piece of time.”  So I finished the quilt without adding her in and hung it in our music room… which was in a way Joel’s room.  He almost never slept in his bed and only used the room he shared with Josh as a closet.

One day, while I was visiting Joel in his room with the quilt and admiring it, Joel said, “It looks like a stain glass window.”  He liked the idea, but I had a problem with the thought that it might be memorializing my family.  I didn’t want anyone to think that I put my family above God.. because I so didn’t.  I actually agonized over leaving it up and thought about taking it down many times.

Joel and Josh in “Joel’s” room.  Now named the music room in Joel’s honor.

So knowing full well that the quilt pattern I’d used for the new border was called “cathedral window,” I argued weakly that we weren’t apart of the stain glass window .. it was a clear window bordered in stained glass, and we were outside enjoying God’s creation.. picnicking or something.  He looked at me like, “Yeah, right.”

On the Wednesday after Joel had been murdered, a friend from Birmingham brought us dinner, and my mother showed her the quilt, and I saw.. for the first time more meaning in it.  I saw that Joel was the one up above all of us in God’s hand, that God knew all along that the number of Joel’s days would be short and that we would be left here on earth with Jesus in our midst.

The meaning of Joel’s names: Joel “God is Sovereign,” and Manuel “God is with us” were demonstrated in my quilt.  We don’t live in a crazy quilt world.. a world bordered in chaos.  We live in a cathedral window world.  A world designed by God with beauty and purpose.  A world were God works everything together for our good.

James is still in Jesus’ arms looking up at Joel.. seeing clearly that he is in God’s hands.  Josh is leaning on Jesus fishing.. for men.. for answers.. for cures for the earth’s woes.. for wisdom and direction.  Judi looks like she’s in a dream world chasing bunny trails.. but the angels (our rabbit, Angel, died of breast cancer at 10 years old shortly after we moved here) are close beside her.  Mike is finding refuge in worshiping while leaning on our ROCK, as am I.. as I search, study and meditate on His word and as I record what He is teaching me.

In these dark days, the one thing that gives me the light of hope is remembering the instructions God gave me early in this grief journey .. to think of Joel as having pushed a head of us in the race.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says
“Seeing that we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race that is marked out for us.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

It’s fun to think of running a race with Joel, and of course, he would push ahead of me and win, but maybe one day, in Heaven, I’ll get a re-match.  It encourages me to think of Joel up in that great cloud of witnesses cheering all of us on and I look forward to meeting him again one day at the finish line as I keep persevering in this race while keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus.

I struggle daily with either wanting to re-write Joel back into the story God is writing so skillfully.. or begging God to bring me to the end of my story where my suffering ends, every tear will be wiped away and I will hold Joel in my arms again.

I am working intentionally on my grief; asking God for right thoughts to replace my deep longings.  I work purposely and methodically at turning my thoughts to asking for strength and wisdom to live each day for His glory.

Psalm 139:16 says “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

This weekend the Lord showed me through this verse that not only was the December 7th marked out for Joel to lay down his life for his friends at the birthday party .. but today and however many days there are left until I see Him were laid out for me to continue living with His help for His glory.  Joel’s story was written on mine before I was formed in my mother’s womb.

The following verse (verse 17) is embroidered on my quilt:

“How precious it is, Lord, to recognize that You are thinking about me constantly.”

Glory to God, Who’s ways and wisdom are far above ours and Who thinks about us constantly!

I Peter 4:12-13
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”

Love,

Jenny



Brown Paper Packages at the Foot of the Cross

Hello, beautiful, innocent blog.  So much has happened since we last met.  I have so much to tell you… good and healing and terrible and heart breaking.  I plan to do some backward blogging; to tell you about some recent trips, and my bedroom makeover, a whole house re-arange, and about some wonderful things God has done in my heart.

But first, I have to tell you the most unbelievable, awful news.  We lost our most precious, youngest son, Joel Manuel Coleman.  On December 7th of 2012,  our twenty year old son, was murdered at a birthday party.  He and Joshua took an Apples to Apples game to enjoy a bonfire that ended in a terrible gunfire that instantly took my baby boy home to be with Jesus.

God has really given us so much comfort, so much joy in our suffering.  Right this minute as I type I am listening to IHOP streaming live as I often do and they are singing/praying “God of hope, arise, anchor their soul, give them hope that doesn’t disappoint.”  http://www.ihopkc.org/prayerroom/

This morning I am mourning my losses.. laying them at Jesus feet.  It helps so much to take inventory.  Counting my losses, recording them, leaving them, frees me to count my blessings.

I had a vision once of all my sorrows at the foot of the cross wrapped in brown paper packages and tied up with string like in the song from The Sound of Music, “My Favorite Things.”  What I didn’t understand was that one of “My Favorite Things” would become my sorrows wrapped in “Brown paper packages tied up with string.”  It’s as if Holy Spirit graciously takes my sorrows and wraps them up tight so that it’s easier for me to leave them there at Jesus’ feet.  What had seemed so loosely laid there, so easily picked up again is now neatly and tightly packaged, safe at His feet.

“When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad”

“He restores.  He makes all things new.  Everything beautiful.  He’s just in time.  He’ll be strong in your weakness.  He will restore your song.  He will restore your soul.  He is there even when you can not feel Him, you can not hear Him.  I’ll take your ashes and turn them beauty.  I’ll make all things beautiful just in time.  I am your strength.  I am your beauty.  I am your life.  I am your life.  Come to me.  Come to me.”  on IHOP now..

Each morning since Joel was taken from us, I wake up to the awful reality that he is gone, that I have loss so much, and I weep.  It’s as if while I sleep, I forget and all is at peace, but when I awake, I have to face the reality all over again.

After facing the awful reality each morning, I purposefully to turn my thoughts to the reality of the goodness of God in the midst of my suffering.. as I am now.

Many days it has been this song by Jesus Culture that has given me strength to face the day:

One Thing Remains

Higher than the mountains that I face

Stronger than the power of the grave

Constant through the trial and the change

One thing remains

One thing remains

Your love never fails 

It never gives up 
It never runs out on me
On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains
In death and in life
I’m confident and covered by the power of Your great love
My debt is paid there’s nothing that can separate 
My heart from Your great love




Today, God gave me the extra grace I needed to take inventory of many of my recent losses: losses through moves, of friends, of a sense of security, of a sense of home; losses in health due to my corn allergy and breast cancer, losses of rest and freedom from pain.

And now of this huge loss of our precious son, Joel, losses of innocence, of untainted joy, loss of a friend, a brother, an encourager, a joy, laughter, a confidant, a protector, a companion, a fellow worshiper and prayer warrior, of so much of who we were as family of six.

Writing them all down is part of wrapping them in the brown paper packages of Holy Spirit all tied up with string, part of why I try to write so openly and honestly here on this blog.  The truth sets me free.. free indeed.
 
I am laying it all at His beautiful, loving feet.  Striving to enter into His rest, to allow Him to be God, to give and take away, to work all things together for the good of those who love Him – whatever His definition of that is.  I am choosing to rest, to allow because it’s the only choice.

What I want, what I would choose if I could, would to be to go back in time, in the story of my life and rip out the pages of the last eight weeks and rewrite my story with a much happier ending, but what I am coming to recognize is that wanting anything except more of Jesus is pointless, striving to do anything but rest in what God is doing is futile.

futile
adjective
they piled on thousands of sandbags in a futile attempt to hold back the river: fruitless, vain, pointless, useless, ineffectual, ineffective, inefficacious, to no effect, of no use, in vain, to no avail, unavailing; unsuccessful, failed, thwarted; unproductive, barren, unprofitable, abortive; impotent, hollow, empty, forlorn, idle, hopeless; archaic bootless. ANTONYMS useful.
Yes, that pretty much sums it up.. futile.  So all other wants, in you go, into the brown package at the feet of Jesus.  Self, die so that Christ may live more fully in me.
“A vision of Jesus on the inside.  That restores your joy and renews your peace.  Jesus is with you today to shift the atmosphere within and around you.” on IHOP now…

Until He returns, takes me home, or until he decides I have loss enough of myself, I will continue to loose and I will continue to take inventory of my losses, and to leave them wrapped up by Holy Spirit’s power at the foot of the cross where I can find healing and help in my time of need and freedom to live again. 

 

For to me, to live is Christ to die is gain.  Phil 1:21.
 

Much love,

Jenny

Organizing School and Chores

After 18 years of homeschooling, and 22 years of parenting, 
you would think that I would have the chores and school thing down.
Parts of it I do.. but each house has different needs
and allows you to work in only certain ways,
and as the kids are nearing graduation from homeschooling
and starting college and work outside the home
I have to keep re-organizing schedules so they will work well.
When my kids were really young, before most people had
computers and internet, before Fly Lady existed,
I borrowed a book they wrote called 
“Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise” from the library.
  
They suggested that you put together recipe box full of 3×5 cards
with a chore on each card.  Each time you finished a chore
you went back to your box and moved to the next card.  
It worked great.. for 3 months.  I guess life happened after that.
I tried variations of the box idea several times; gave each of the  kids a box 
with chores and school work for them to do.  I saw this one idea where you 
have your kids wear their chore cards so they can’t loose them.
I think Fly Lady did something similar called “Hipster.” (fanny pack?)
That might have worked better for me than a box. 
I hated having to go back to the box in the kitchen before doing my next chore.
Later we chose to use binders over boxes.  None of it ever worked very well.  
I think partly because the binders and/or boxes were not accessible enough for me 
and I am sure I am lacking in skills in motivating, enforcing and policing 
especially when moving and life keep happening.
A few years back I found this subject chart based on Charlotte Mason’s 
program of study.  Hanging it up on the kitchen wall worked well for us.
It was all I needed to keep us focused.
I always had all the kids up by 6:45-7 AM for family devotions, 
then shortly after we started a list of subjects in a certain order 
with chores in between and a lunch break in the middle.
All the books we needed for each subject were kept on a shelf
and/or a tote near where we did school and we just got the 
next book down when we put away the one we’d finished.
We did/do as many subjects together as a family as we can; 
such as art, science, history, Spanish, and music appreciation.
Then we do the rest individually.
If one of the kids needed help with a subject and
I was busy helping someone else, they were to work on their chore list.
I called chores breaks from school work.  They resented it,
but physical work is a nice break from mental work.
That list evolved into this one.. It’s a little more detailed and gave us a little more structure.  
Some subjects worked better in the morning and others after lunch.  
We’ve always thrived on a routine vs. a strict do math from 8 AM – 8:30 AM 
schedule, so having a “Flow List” was great.
The subjects in bold were the most important ones to get done,
so if we had a field trip that day or some other interruption we focused on those.
Everything always worked out by the end of the year.
This poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins on giving glory to God
 inspired me to use a Kingfisher to adorn our list.
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme; 
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells 
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s 
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; 
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: 
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; 
Selves–goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, 
Crying Whát I do is me: for that I came. 
Í say móre: the just man justices; 
Kéeps gráce: thát keeps all his goings graces; 
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is–
Chríst–for Christ plays in ten thousand places, 
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his 
To the Father through the features of men’s faces. 
Since moving to our new house I’ve been having the hardest time keeping 
up with who’s supposed to be doing what chore.. and keep finding jobs undone.
Some of them traded chores and I think living in the apartment spoiled them.
I don’t have as much wall space in this kitchen as I have before, 
so I decided to try an idea I saw of using a picture frame as a chore/dry-erase
 board and put all our chores and school work in one frame.  
It’s centrally located and there will be no more arguments on who
was supposed to do what and I can highlight things that are needing special attention.

I hung up this plate to use as place to write inspirational quotes.
It works like a dry-erase board, too.
Love,
Jenny
« Older posts

© 2018 Finding Joy in Him

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑