Monday, June 30, 2008

A Verse A Day

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16, 17
This month of A Verse a Day in June has been a great experience for me. Its amazing what is held in these scriptures, in the Bible. All of it 'God-breathed and useful' to me. Its there everyday just waiting for me to find both the little nuggets and huge revelations alike. God, I thank you for your word, and I pray that you would help me use it for 'every good work'.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Verse A Day

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

Today I am praying this for my friend who needs strength and courage to get through a difficult situation and also needs to be reminded that God does not forsake us, without exception. What can man do to us if God is on our side.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Verse A Day

Ephesians 3 (the Message)
14-19 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God
My Uncle Lee and I were sitting in the lifeguard's chair, nice and early like we both like it, looking out at the Atlantic Ocean enjoying the quiet morning and God's creation. There are so many verses and praises that come to mind when I am in such a place as this, at such a time, but I like this one because the ocean seems endless, it goes as far as the eye can see, too much to ever be able to measure. The ebb and flow of the tide is so consistent, predictable. This is how God's is love for us, for me. Limitless, never ceasing.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Verse A Day

"Hannah prayed, and said, My heart exults and triumphs in the Lord; my horn (my strength) is lifted up in the Lord. My mouth is no longer silent, for it is opened wide over my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation." I Samuel 2:1

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Verse A Day

"A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshippers." John 4:23

God is calling us all to be true worshipers. When we start to discover who He is and that He fills the longing we have to love something supremely, then we can not help but be worshipers.

We will all worship and glorify something or someone, but I want my response to be to the King of kings, my Lord.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Avery Turns 3!

Our little Avery May is 3 years old today! Her daddy and I are in awe...we have no idea how we got to this point.

She has been a joy and delight to us from the moment she arrived. There is always a smile on her face and a song in her heart. She enjoys playing with her sister, reading stories, watching Veggie Tales, Mary Poppins or Cinderella. In fact, she likes all things princess. Avery gets herself dressed each morning and likes to pick out her own special clothes for the day. She likes to help me clean and do laundry and she likes to help her daddy work in the shop.

We're so thankful that God entrusted her to us for this time. She is a precious gift and we look forward to this year of her being 3.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Verse A Day

"Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]." Ephesians 5:1

The Excellent Wife, Ch 13

Biblical Submission...Basis of the Wife's Protection

"Submission is the way that all Christians should respond to God and the way the wife should respond to her husband. She can respond with tenderness, gentleness and gracious obedience or she can respond with harshness or irritation."

Although the topic of submission has been covered, I think this chapter went deeper into it, emphasizing "But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything" Ephesians 5:24

The author points out that the verb "be subject to" in the Greek is a military term which means to be ranked under in military order. "This ranking of the wife under the husband's authority was sovereignly chosen by God so that there will be order and harmony in the home."

I've never been in the military, but I've read enough and seen enough to know that there is order because each rank is clearly defined and followed.

Because I trust my husband and he is wise and godly, this picture of order means safety and protection to me. Shaun is the leader in our home, but that doesn't mean he is a dictator. Actually, he consults me on any major or semi-major decision. He is happy for my feedback and input and is always respectful in seeking out my thoughts on a matter. From our history together, I can also rely on the confidence I've gained from watching him put my needs and the needs of our children first in the decisions he makes.

Usually I am thankful to submit to the covering that Shaun is to our family. I need to make sure I am being joyfully obedient and that my life and my actions are glorifying God. Eleven specific ways a wife is not submissive to her husband were listed, here are a couple:

  • She argues or pouts or gives him the cold shoulder when she does not get her own way. Proverbs 21:9
  • She directly defies his wishes. I Samuel 15:23
  • She worries about the decisions he makes and takes matters into her own hands. Philippians 4:7 & 8
  • She does not pay attention to what he says. James 1:19
  • She does not discipline the children as she should (even after her husband asks her to). Proverbs 29:15

After reading this list, I realized I have not yet "arrived" in the area of submission, however, I truly want God's heart in all areas of my life.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Marriage Celebration

This weekend the family came together to celebrate the vows Shaun's dad and his wife made a month ago. It was important to Shaun's grandmother (mother of the groom) that the family be together and witness this. So, arrangements were made and we had a wedding celebration.

I'm sure its the selfish child in me, but I think one of the harder things to do is to witness the marriage of a parent after divorce. I love both of my parents' spouses dearly and am happy they are happy and being taken care of, but it was hard when it happened. Shaun's family handled it with much grace though and the day turned out well. Here's the day in snapshots:

Nana and Grandpa John...the day happened because of them. We got to have them stay with us during their five day stay.

A vow renewal was done, with my dad officiating. Both my parents were there...they go back with Shaun's parents about twenty-five years.

The girls were living large to have such a captive audience as they did their dance routines (Amanda is so cute doing an arabesque). They were the center of attention.

The sweetest girls

Amanda, Shaun's dad and Diane

Auntie Sarah

Uncle Nathan & Laryssa

Daddy & Avery

Uncle Nathan & Cousin Jared puttin' on the moves

We pray God's blessing on their new life together.

New Room

The girls are officially in their new room that we've had in the works for over a year now. They have spent tons of time in there already, playing, reading, sleeping, screaming, giggling, etc. Its such a reward for all of our labors to see them enjoy it so much. Still some pictures to hang up, but other than that, its done!

First Hair Cut

Well, days before her 3rd birthday, Avery got her first haircut. I took her to the salon to make the use of scissors on hair a very official, don't-try-this-at-home kind of thing. She did well, and got a pop out of the deal.

A Verse A Day

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way." Psalm 37:23

What a promise! My walk with God is established by being obedient with one step at a time. For the good or the bad, He has not given me the full picture ahead of time, but He's proven to me over and over that He's got it all under control, I just need to be obedient to His leading. This weekend, I was just thankful that God is the one who guides my heart and my life. Sometimes I fail, but He is always there to pick me up and continue on with the journey.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Uncle Time

Good times with Uncle Way-Fin (Nathan)

The Excellent Wife, Ch 12

Submission...the Wife's Joy

Although I am exactly one week behind in this post, I didn't want to forget it, especially since it was a short chapter concerning Submission and Joy:

"God is always working His purpose in a wife's circumstances. He wants to develop Christlike character within her and give her the special opportunities and privilege to glorify Him."

"Being filled with the Spirit encompasses both wifely submission and joy...If you are 'Spirit-filled', you will be expressing gratitude to God in all circumstances daily. Gratefulness should often be in your thoughts as well as verbally expressed."

Its so important to the atmosphere of our homes when we have a thankful attitude and are filled with joy. This joy comes from being in the will of God, from spending time with Him.

The author challenges us to "commit yourself to learning submission". I like how that is put. We need to put in the effort to learn it. Practice. Talk to yourself. This is God's plan and it works.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Verse A Day

"Wait and listen, everyone who is thirsty! Come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Yes, come, buy [priceless, spiritual] wine and milk without money and without price [simply for the self-surrender that accepts the blessing]. Isaiah 55:1

God's way is so hard for us to understand, especially in the society we live in, where "there is no free lunch". His salvation, love and grace are free for us. In fact, there is no way for us to pay or "work it off" even if we wanted to.

I remember when I started going back to the library as an adult. The first couple times I went, it felt very strange to be walking out with books without my credit card having been swiped or cash exchanging hands. The library materials are free to anyone who wants to walk in and check them out.

Accept the blessing...its already been paid for!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Verse A Day

"For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy." Psalms 61:3

God is so many things to me, but I love the picture of this in my mind's eye. A shelter, a strong tower. Selah!

I was just telling a dear friend how much I have enjoyed this (partial) month of daily posting a scripture. When I first began, I thought I'd just use something from wherever I was reading that morning, but that hasn't happened once. Instead, God has spoken a verse to me each day at sometime throughout the day. Its been an incredible, unexpected experience. Join us if you can!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Verse A Day

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." II Corinthians 2:14, 15

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Verse A Day

Just a few moments ago I was cleaning up the kitchen from dinner, thinking about all I should do tonight, all that needs to get done this week, this month, tomorrow before 8 AM. I was also stewing about what someone had inadvertently done that annoyed me. That's when God quietly gave me this verse:

"Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalms 46:10

Be still. And know. Be still. And know. All of my striving, all my effort is in vain if it is not for the glory of God. And so I thank you Lord for gently reminding me to take a few minutes to breath a prayer to you, to give it all to you.

I didn't remember the second part of the verse, but as a bonus, I'm typing during a thunderstorm...that is cause to "recognize and understand" that He is God and He will be exalted in the earth.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Verse A Day

"How can we thank God enough for you and for the joy and delight you have given us...?" I Thessalonians 3:9
Shaun/Daddy, we love you! Thanks for taking such good care of us!

Happy Father's Day

I'm so grateful for the father of my children. There are only male children born to the Cour side as far the eye can see, so it was assumed we would have boys too. To me it just made sense since my husband is a "man's man"; very into playing and/or watching sports of any kind, knows how to rebuild a car engine or any other manner of car repair, can fill any plumbing or electrical needs that arise and has worked in construction professionally for many years. You know, just a manly man. Well, along came Avery and soon after Amanda. Two girls!

They both adore him, I mean really, really love him. Shaun is an incredible Dad! Here's an example:

A couple weeks ago we were doing the final push to get out the door for church on Sunday morning. I had put the girls in their dresses and brought their shoes into the TV room where Shaun was so he could help put them on while I went to spend three minutes getting dressed and ready.

From across the hall, I could hear Avery begin to whine about my shoe selection (this decision is hers to make nearly every day). She was whining about wanting to wear her black shoes instead of the white sandals I had chosen. After a minute of this I hear Shaun say "Avery!" and I was sure I was going to hear, 'you need to put those sandals on right now before I spank you'. Instead, I heard him say "You have white on your dress. White shoes go with a white dress. Black shoes do not match...."

Silently, I laughed to myself. Shaun is a girl-daddy, through and through. Do they know the Red Sox line-up? Yes. Do they hang out with him in the shop and get covered in salsa (sawdust)? Sure. But Daddy is who they go to first when they know their hair looks pretty or if they have a special outfit on. And he never disappoints...he showers them with praise and love.

It was tough to narrow down the pictures of Shaun with the girls. Partly because I am always the one with the camera but mostly because they spend so much time together. Working in the yard or household projects, shopping at Home Depot, reading stories, watching Red Sox, changing messy diapers and giving hugs...always giving hugs. He's just amazing.
Happy Father's Day, Buddy. Thanks for being such a great dad to our girls!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Avery's recital

(Avery on the far right...they are saluting)

(once Auntie Sarah gave her the flowers, she went into movie star mode)

Well, Avery danced in her first ever dance recital...two shows in fact and it was a success. We couldn't have been prouder. They did Yankee Doodle and it was really too precious. She loved the make-up, loved the flowers, loved the whole scene. It was fun, but also hard to comprehend that she is old enough to be doing this.

A heartfelt thank you to all you family who came to support her. It means so much that you are so involved and interested in our kids' lives. She was so happy that you were there!

A Verse A Day

Our Internet service was down all day yesterday and some of the day before, so I'm just picking up here.

"As for me, I will continue beholding Your face in righteousness (rightness, justice and right standing with You); I shall be fully satisfied, when I awake [to find myself] beholding Your form [and having sweet communion with You]." Psalm 17:15

My most favorite time of the day is first thing in the morning when I take my coffee and bible and head out to the porch and spend time with my Lord. In the winter it is in the rocker by the wood stove, but these last couple weeks have been in the early sunshine, with the birds chirping. I'm so thankful its nice enough to be outside "having sweet communion" with Jesus.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Verse A Day

Yesterday as the girls and I were going for a walk, I had the opportunity to be reminded of a couple lessons. I put a hat on Amanda and was immediately brought back to last year, in my mind's eye, when Avery was wearing the same hat and sundress. Immediately, I thought 'photo opp!' but I was anxious to get going before the post office closed and figured I'd have all summer to catch the shot.

Well into our walk I noticed that Amanda was no longer wearing her hat, nor was it in the stroller so I said, "Shoot! Where is Amanda's hat?" I only know I said this because Avery went on to repeat it roughly thirty times (lesson #1)

"Keep thy tongue from evil and thy lips from speaking guile" Psalms 34:13

I was disappointed about the hat because of its sentimental value. Avery's Auntie gave it to her last spring and she looked cute in it all summer. Quickly my mind went back to the moment I decided not to take a picture because 'I'd have all summer.'

Do I? Have I been promised that time? I'm I guaranteed that Amanda will be with me later today or next week or on her 16th birthday? (lesson #2)

"What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the power of the grave?" Psalms 89:48

"Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come" Mark 13:33

Thank you, Lord for these gentle reminders.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Verse A Day

"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us." I John 4:16

This week my two-year old daughter has been asking me questions about what happened to Jesus on the cross. Why he was bleeding, why he was being punished, who hurt him. I've never explained it on this level before and quite frankly, its got me thinking.

What incredible love that He would lay down His life for us! He died so we could have eternal life, He was punished knowing the wrong we would do, the sickness we would have, the pain we would go through.

"Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so..." If we could get a hold of the reality of this love, it would change our lives. Believe the love.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ice Cream Aftermath

We cooked dinner on the grill and ate on the porch, enjoying the coolish breeze and being outside. Both Avery and Amanda enjoyed ice cream after, and I was glad we were still outside, with access to the garden hose!

A Verse A Day

As I go exploring in the blog world, I see so many neat ideas, so many amazing, talented and smart people. Recently, I found this post and really liked the idea. Basically, the challenge is to post a scripture each day for the month of June.

Two things about this I wasn't too sure about. 1) That means posting each and everyday for multiple weeks in a row 2) I didn't start on June 1st, for a complete month.

So, that leaves me here. I will do my best to post each day, and I will just be content that I am starting on an even numbered day.

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also along with him freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

When Jesus was paying the price for our salvation, God did not think it too precious a gift to give to me. If He gave His very own Son, how much more can I know He will give me all things good and needful for my life. That is a promise.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Excellent Wife, Ch 11

The Wife's Response

You had to know it would appear in a marriage book...a chapter on intimacy. I'll try to find a balance between honesty and TMI (too much information).

"God designed sex in marriage for physical intimacy and the procreation of life"...its His gift to us to "enhance closeness and oneness within marriage".

Isn't that cool that the same God who wrote the Ten Commandments also gave us sex in marriage?! I've read parts of the Song of Solomon and Proverbs and thought, 'I'm not sure that should be in the bible.'

Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love." Proverbs 5:18-19

"The physical union of husband and wife is designed by God to meet a God-given desire for companionship, to protect the husband and wife from temptation, and for the mutual giving and receiving of great pleasure and joy between the husband and the wife. Companionship is strengthened by the private, intimate physical bond of a married couple."

Through 14 years of marriage we've had some trial and error in this area. One of the things I've had to work through is why God would give us such different levels of desire. Over the years I have figured out that sex for my husband is a need that ranks closely with food, sun and water. Its something he needs in order to be a man. Its just not that far up on the list for me. Thus,

"Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others." Philippians 2:4

Recently, I was listening to a talk from Family Life on the subject. The speaker explained that women have many avenues for being fulfilled as a woman such as through the process of having, nurturing and raising children and just nurturing people in general. Men have one and only one way to truly be fulfilled as a man.

He went on the say that when a woman has a desire for her husband, that gives him a sense of well-being and confidence in all areas of his life. We as women have the power to change his life by meeting his needs in this way. Incredible to think of it like that! Men want to be wanted and affirmed by their wives in bed. This helps towards building the loving home that a woman is looking for.

One of Shaun's favorite sayings is "I'm just a simple man". This is really all it takes for them...they are not complicated and complex like we are. They really are simple.

"Plan times for physical intimacy with your husband, give yourself to him, anticipate being with him, and look forward to the times when you can be together. Be a loving wife, warm and responsive. If you are not in the mood, concentrate on pleasing your husband. Your mood will likely improve. Don't just glorify God on Sunday morning, but also in the intimacy of your marriage bed"...practical, challenging, true.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Well, its not exactly summer yet, but it was fun! Earlier this week Shaun was watching the girls while he was working outside and I was working in. At some point I went to check on everyone and this is what I found:

Avery was filling up the dog's water bowl using the hose and Amanda "accidentally" got in the way of the hose. Apparently, she thought it was great fun, so they kept it up. Shaun said Avery freaked out when her "bayden soup" got wet. You see, she had put it on as an outfit for the day (and also slept in it the night before) and didn't understand that bathing suits are meant to get wet.

In other rose bush is just beautiful right now!