Psalm 139

I was having a particularly hard day the other day. Very emotional, very snappy and yelling at everyone in the family. My husband told me to calm down, and I didn’t appreciate that, even though I knew he was right. I took some time to be by myself and started praying and listening to music. I then opened my Bible and started ready through passages which always help me when I’m discouraged, scared, upset, etc. My most favorite is Psalm 139. It’s always been a huge encouragement to me. I know it well and every time I read it I think, “surely this time I won’t find anything new to help encourage me.” However, I’m always wrong and once again, the Lord spoke to me through his word. Because I was dealing with some fears of the labor/delivery process of baby girl and just other things that go along with that the following verses really spoke to me. I wanted to share them with you.

For you formed my inward parts;

you knitted me together in my

mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and 

wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;

my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you,

when I was being made in secret,

intricately woven in the depths of

the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;

in your book were written, every one of 

them,

the days that were formed for me,

when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139: 13-16 ESV

God is so involved in our lives. I love the use of words of “intricately woven,” “made in secret,” the Lord knew all my days even before I was created and living them. He knows all the same of this unborn babe growing inside of me. I may have some illogical fears of her living through birth and such (illogical because there’s been nothing to indicate there will be issues), but if there are issues, God knows, and he’s still God. He is so involved in our lives that he forms us intricately in our mother’s womb. He knows our thoughts, he knows the words we’re going to say before we say them. This is the God I love and choose to follow. And, most importantly choose to trust.

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Time with Friends

This past weekend my sister and I drove to Pennsylvania to meet up with 4 other friends for the weekend. This is our 3rd annual time with all of us getting together and it was such a special time! We had excellent food (thanks Heather!), good fellowship and lots of laughter! Our husbands all stayed home, or went to other friends’ homes with the kids to make this weekend possible. We could not do this without them, and none of us forget that! Here are a few photos of our time together!

Me and Sherry--We've been friends since we were 11 years old! That's 24 years!!!! How is that even possible?

Me and Sherry–We’ve been friends since we were 11 years old! That’s 24 years!!!! How is that even possible?

We drank lots of tea and coffee.

We drank lots of tea and coffee.

We chatted and ate lots of chocolate!

We chatted and ate lots of chocolate!

Bonnie did our nails again!

Bonnie did our nails again!

Me and my sis!

Me and my sis!

Me and Heather! I guess we've been friends for 24 years too!

Me and Heather! I guess we’ve been friends for 24 years too!

The whole gang! Amy, Heather, Bonnie, Me, Sherry, Ruthie

The whole gang! Amy, Heather, Bonnie, Me, Sherry, Ruthie

Have You?

As a pastor’s wife I see the good, the bad and the ugly that goes on in a church. I hear the painful stories of those who are hurting, things no one else hears. I see the good deeds and silent servants no one else sees, and I see and hear the ridiculousness that happens in a church that most people don’t know about. I see the joys and struggles that my husband, the pastor, goes through and often I’m left wondering, what is my role in all of this? How do I see and hear all of these things that most others don’t, and what do I do with it all? I pray. I pray for those who are hurting, I pray for those who are causing issues, and I thank the Lord for those who are going about doing good things for the Kingdom. And, I pray for my husband, my pastor. He needs prayer to get through the hard things, to make the hard decisions, to prepare his sermons every week. He just needs prayer. Have you prayed for your pastor today? If not, let me encourage you to make this a daily or weekly practice. Your pastor has been placed in a hard position, one that gives him a lot of joy and heartache. One he loves and one that is difficult. Pray for him/her. Pray for the Holy Spirit to encourage and strengthen the hands of the man or woman who is leading your church. He needs prayer and would love to hear that you ARE praying! Have you prayed for your pastor today?

Trying a New Approach

There’s nothing like being at someone else’s house and seeing just what your kids ARE capable of! I told my friend last week that my kids don’t really eat breakfast, so don’t bother with anything special. Well, isn’t it just like kids to make you out to be a big, fat, hairy liar? Yep, every. single. morning. they ate breakfast! I couldn’t believe it. Normally, I’m lucky if I can get them to eat some dry cereal, but at Aunt Heather’s house they wanted cereal with milk, or toast, or even waffles!! Color me surprised, and it made me wonder, maybe I should be making a greater effort at home. They also survived without watching much TV. Being pregnancy sick I had gotten into the TERRIBLE habit of letting them watch way too much TV. And, wouldn’t you know, my kids didn’t shrivel up and die without their PBS morning marathon (although Cora thought she might the first couple mornings)?

When we got home I told David about it all, and we decided to start over, do things differently–do things the way we’ve been wanting to and were doing before. That’s right, no TV and we’re all eating breakfast together in the mornings. Can I tell you how great our week has gone?????? WOW!!!! We’re very particular about what our kids watch but still, they’re watching and not doing other things. David and I are mostly getting up before the kids (our kids get up early), showering and getting our day started without arguing, yelling and well, it’s just going so much better. Each day this week we’ve been amazed. I’m so thankful the Lord encouraged and convicted us to make a change. Our kids are happy, they’re productive, they’re playing with their bazillions of toys. David and I have also both been so productive this week! I’ve been getting us dug out of the “weeks of death” mess we were living under. I’m not moving fast, but it’s getting done and we’re all better off for it! Soon we’ll have another big load to take to Goodwill.

How are things working in your family? Do you find mornings to be one big rush-fest and wonder how can things be done differently? I would encourage you to take some time and reevaluate your morning routine, and see if there aren’t ways you can change. Not saying we’re perfect (we most certainly are NOT), or that we have it all figured out (because we DON’T), but I wanted to share with you our experience and maybe it’ll be an encouragement to you! I hope you have a great day today!

My Firstborn

My firstborn is Cora. She is 3 years and 7 months old. Every day she grows taller, more beautiful, and just plain older. It’s been interesting having an older child while being so sick during pregnancy. I was a bit nervous as to how it was all going to work out, already having 2 kids and not being able to fully function. However, Cora has been GREAT! She has come into her role as the older child and is also becoming quite the mommy. She has been such an encouragement to me lately, and I just wanted to share!

She helps with her brother–getting her and him snacks, or reaching things for him. She is also playing so nicely with them, and I LOVE watching her imagination take them on all sorts of adventures while he just happily toddles after her!

She is so compassionate. This is not a surprise, this is a quality we saw in her early on. However, she is older and more able to show that compassion in specific ways. DAILY she says to me, “Mommy, I’m so sorry your tummy hurts.” Or, “Mommy, I’m so sorry you don’t feel good.” She’ll rub my cheek to help soothe my yuckiness away or bring me her stuffed animals because “they will help [me] feel better.”

She loves her new baby already. EVERY day she will lay her head on my belly and say, “I love you, Baby!” Or, “Mommy, I love your little baby.” I melts my heart and helps me to find joy in the journey. Yes, she’s going to be a great older sister to 2 siblings. And, I can’t wait to see all THREE of our children interacting and playing together.

Pondering…

I’ve been keeping up some with a blog that is being written by the brother of one of my friends from high school. He and his wife lost their unborn triplet boys not too long ago and obviously the blog has taken a different turn from it’s initial intent. In one of the recent posts her brother was taking about the things people say during times of death or hardship. And of course the most favorite being the “reminder” that God won’t give us more than we can handle. I was reminded how much this sentiment bothers me and how inaccurate it really is!

Let’s look at the scripture found in I Corinthians 10:13 that is so widely misused–No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” Folks, it does NOT say God won’t give you more than you can handle, it says you won’t be tempted with more than you can bear. And when you ARE tempted he gives you a way out. Now, you can call me wrong if you want, but temptations and hardships aren’t the same thing. I suppose when we’re going through trials we can be tempted to become bitter, angry, etc., but I really don’t think this is what this passage is saying. I think it’s simply talking about temptations–drugs, alcohol, sex, gossip, overeating, smoking, etc.–and when we’re tempted God provides us a way out. 


I know this is going to upset some of you, but the next time you come in contact with someone who is going through something hard, don’t tell them God won’t give them more than they can bear, because this is not accurate to this passage. Tell them, rather, that God loves them, or tell them you’ll be praying for them, or just don’t say anything. Often not saying something is more powerful then spewing forth empty words. 


And yes, this has been sort of a rant, but I think an important one, that we must be reminded of. If we’re going to quote/use Scripture to encourage others we need to be careful to do so accurately.  

What Encourages You?

I was visiting with a friend a couple weeks ago and she asked me how do I feel encouraged? What encourages me most? Where do I find encouragement? The obvious answer is Scripture, but I think that was understood, and she wanted to mention other ways. I told her, immediately, “music!” I have always found rest, peace, encouragement in music. Hymns especially. We are so blessed to live in a country where we have access to so much Christian music, be it in our own collection, iTunes, or the radio. We can go to concerts just about any time we want and hear the words God has given those who write the music. Several years ago I was introduced to Selah. I was immediately drawn to them because 2 of the singers (one of which is no longer with the group) were a brother and sister who had grown up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo–just like me!!!! They always have an African song on their albums and they take the old hymns and give them a slightly different sound to make them more contemporary, yet don’t lose the spiritualness. The other night I was writing some blogs and had our music on. This song by Selah began playing, and I just had to stop writing and listen. I played the song again, and then I found the words online to read them. Wow. Powerful words!!! I was overcome by wonder and encouragement and love for my Savior that I couldn’t keep going on. I have added the words here for you to read, and I have also added a video of the song so you can hear it sung. Listen, read and let the words wash over you and be encouraged.

The Faithful One
by Selah

I find no hope within to call my own 
For I am frail of heart, my strength is gone 
But deep within my soul is rising up a song 
Here in the comfort of the faithful one 
I walk a narrow road through valleys deep 
In search of higher ground, on mountains steep 
And though with feet unsure, I still keep pressing on. 
For I am guided by the faithful one. 
Faithful, faithful to the end, 
My true and precious friend, 
You have been faithful, 
Faithful, so faithful to me 
I see your wounded hands, I touch your side 
With thorns upon your brow you bled and died 
But there’s an empty tomb, a love for all who come 
And give their hearts to you, the faithful one. 
Faithful, faithful to the end, 
My true and precious friend, 
You have been faithful, 
Faithful, so faithful to me 
And when the day is dawned and when the race is run 
I will bow down before God?s only Son 
And I will lift my hands in praise for all you’ve done 
And I will worship you, my faithful one.