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Showing posts from 2013

Not Finished Yet

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I have NEVER verbally, loudly, argued with my husband in public, until last week. I actually walked out of Home Depot with tears filling my angry eyes. We have been remodeling our house for four years. And the house before that, took about ten years to finish. 
I am just done.

Huge stacks of tile take up most of the front entry, several pieces of plywood are leaning against the wall in front of Hannah's bedroom door, so that you can barely get into her room. And there is more tile stacked in the family room, along with totes of painting tools and plumbing tools and one corner is piled high with buckets of grout and yellow sponges. There are two big wooden saw horses taking up a third of the family room, a big saw in the front entry and piles of wood flooring waiting to be installed. Oh, and at least 30 cans of paint, primer and stain scattered in various rooms. And a ping-pong table taking up half of the library. Why do we need a ping-pong table? I have tried so hard to get rid of…

This Is Real Life Marriage

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The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, he will show you a way out,  so that you can endure.  1Corinthians 10:13
A few weeks ago my teenage daughters said something that really surprised me. Brian and I were disagreeing about something that I don't remember now, but one of them, I think it was Daija, said, "Will you please stop arguing!" And then all three of them started a lively conversation remembering when they thought we were going to get divorced. This shocked me for a couple of reasons. I was raised in a home where my parents fought and eventually did end up getting divorced, both of them, twice. I know well what it is to be sitting on my bed with my arms wrapped around my knees, scared, hugging myself and crying, wishing that my parents would stop yelling at each other. Wishing that they would love each other. Brian and I have…

Will The 'Real' Christians Please Stand Up?

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This is the message we heard from Jesus  and now declare to you:  God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.  So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God  but go on living in spiritual darkness,  we are not practicing the truth.

I am walking in spiritual darkness when I pretend to have it all together. When by all appearances I am a 'good' Christian.  When I pretend that I am in need of nothing, this is when I am the most desperate and groping in spiritual darkness. When I actually believe this, I am wandering in the darkest of days. Spiritual darkness is not living in gross sin by human standards. Spiritual darkness is thinking I am better than I really am.

I can't walk in the truth if I'm living a lie. The courage to be who I am amidst the church. This is what I need. And the courage to admit myself to God. Living in the church can be a slow strangulation of life. Trying to fit in, to be like all the other Christians, is a death trap in the darkest…

This Is God At Work In Us

Jesus said,

" A time is coming when those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth."

That day is now. A spiritual person is not necessarily someone with a lot of Bible knowledge, or someone who speaks as God's representative to His people, like a pastor or any sort of leader in the church. No, you do not have to be a church leader, or even a church goer, to be spiritual.

Being spiritual simply means being led by God's spirit.

Simple enough, eh?. Well.......

To be led by God's Spirit means that we yield ourselves to the Spirit's control of our lives. It means that we do not give in to the ever present and strong desires of our flesh. Let me put it this way, when we find ourselves in a situation where we feel the passion of our flesh taking over all reason and we feel unable to control our action/reaction, this is our strong fleshly carnal nature. This is our number one enemy to walking with and worshipping God in spirit and in truth. I find tha…

Changing Lives

Some thoughts I had while reading Colossians chapter one this morning;

This same Good News that came to you is going out over all the world. You are not alone.

It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives,  just as it changed your lives from the day that you first heard  and understood the truth about God's wonderful grace.
Believe this my friends. God is at work in you for his good pleasure. You are His delight. His creation from the beginning of time. Don't doubt this. He will give you the ability to make right choices so that you can please Him with your lives, bearing fruit that proves you are his child. He is changing you. It may seem slow at times, but trust His grace at work in your life. And pray.

Pray? Who does that?

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives …

Doing is Becoming.........

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Here is an update on my journey with the word 'DO'.

The gospel in its essence is about doing.

You can read here how I started this year out with these words from Micah strapped to my chest, looking for opportunities to do them. Anxious to get involved, to find the work the Lord had for me to do.

I am amazed as I sit here to write this. This doing is not at all like I expected. This doing has become less and less about what I can or should do.

I also committed myself to getting to know Jesus better this year, through prayerfully reading and contemplating Jesus' life and words in the Gospels. As I pour over the Gospels, searching for Jesus through his words, I am beginning to realize that I am not the doer, but the recipient of the doing. Jesus is working himself into me and I am changing. It is gradual but it is real. This is grace.

The Gospel is about what Jesus did, what Jesus is doing and what Jesus is going to do.

He is mercifully exposing my judgemental heart.I am real…

Counting The Cost

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The religious were so hard-hearted and blind that they didn't recognize Jesus. They looked into his eyes and didn't even see him.

Lord, they looked into your eyes. They heard your voice, how is it that they didn't see you?

I have to wonder, how many times have I looked and not seen? Looking for something or someone else - thinking I am looking for you.

They were sincere. They believed what they believed with their whole heart. They were sure they were right. They were sure of themselves. If they knew who you were, they, the pious, righteous, sold-out pharisees, they would have totally bowed their heads. But.....

The sold-out ones were sold out to a system, a structure, not a person. It was a set of rules that framed their lives. And they were secure in their rules.

The leading priests, scribes, pharisees and teachers of religious law prove that we can be directly in the center of God's will and not recognize it. They show us that leaders are very influential. They hav…

The Gospel According to Jesus

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"Where are your accusers? Did not even one of them condemn you?"
"No, Lord."
And Jesus said,
"Neither do I. Go and sin no more."
John 8:10-11

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard.  Romans 3:22-23

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. Romans 3:23

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. Acts 16:31

God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8

God saved you by his grace when you believed. Ephesians 2:8

Believe.

It sounds simple.

Almost too easy. Just believe? That's all Lord?

Yes.

Believe that He knows the wickedness lurking in my heart. 
He knows every dishonorable thing I've ever done. 
He knows the truth behind the scars of my past, the scars that mar my heart like an unwan…

And Always be Thankful.........

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I'm still at it. Here are some recent excerpts from my Journal of Thanks:
237. Ocean waves...........ahhh......
238. Seagulls filling the sky white against blue.
239. Flowers and grass and sunshine, birds and bees and kiddie pools glistening in the sun.
240. Sun-tanned boys, sleeping.
241. Blueberries, huckleberries and bunchberries.
242. Sunny days upon sunny days.
243. Ferry boats on blue sky days.
244. Vacation Bible School for the kids and for the (mom). wow!
245. Kittens!
246. Cotton candy for the first time and sticky fingers sharing.
247. Family, Mama, Papa, brothers and sisters, and being in the center of them all.
248. Discovery of a nest of baby birds hidden in the berry bushes.
246. Thank you for a 'real' summer.247. Life
Thank you.....With Love,Renee
p.s For those of you wondering what a 'real' summer is, it is a summer with sunshine and warm weather. I live in a rainforest in a cool climate. We often see very cool wet rainy summers with hardly a peak at the sun.

p.s.…

Five Minute Friday 'Small'

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It's been a few weeks since I have participated in a FiveMinuteFriday. The word this week is 'small'. Five minutes to write what my heart thinks about the word small.
GO Grains of Sand

Ocean waves tumbling over tiny grains of sand and I feel small.

Looking at pictures today, thinking about you. Yesterday you were small like the children in the pictures. Now you are planning a wedding and I am realizing that it was over before it even started. I wish I could awaken these moments and gather them up into my bosom and live them again and again. Small moments, snatches of time frozen forever in these photos. Moments, they come in and go out, one small wave, one small breath. Breathe in, and I am cradling a newborn baby in my arms, so awkward and foreign it feels, breathe out and I am gasping to have just one more moment with the little girl vanished forever.

Waves crashing over sand castles unable to stop time I feel small.

STOP

A bit reflective today.
Love,
Renee
p.s.  I'm…

This Is Not Church

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The disciples were astounded.  "Then who in the world can be saved?" they asked
Jesus looked at them intently, and said, 
"Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God. Mark 10:26-27

Early one morning this week I read the above passage. I closed my eyes and pictured myself among Jesus' disciples. Jesus was looking at me, intensely. My heart thundered in my chest as I lifted my head to meet his gaze. I looked straight into his eyes. He was looking into my eyes and I knew he knew, everything.
He has known me forever. In that moment my soul recognized him. I felt a rush of adrenaline, as I stared deep into his eyes.His gaze melted me. I was wobbly kneed and shaking inside. His love is so great that I felt like I couldn't receive all that he gave. It was personal, very close, and more intimate than I have ever been, with anyone. This is a love I have never known. In that moment I was completely vulnerable. He saw me. Everythi…

Desperate

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The circumstances of my life last week left me clinging to the cross so tight that I am still picking splinters out of my hands/my heart. You can do all of the right things, say all of the prayers, make all the sacrifices, but in the end, you're not, and never have been, in control. This I learned the hard way, which unfortunately for me is the way I learn best.

Twenty years ago:

The moment I saw those little pink lines my future was decided for me. I was going to have a baby, I was a mother. Every decision of my life since then has been determined by how it will affect my children. I like to think that I am a pretty good mother. I carry my children on my heart 24/7. I am now forty and I have nine children. My oldest daughter is nineteen and my baby boy is just about four. I have literally sacrificed my life for my children. My heart beats for them, their needs are my highest priority in life.

Back when I had three children under 5, an older man at church gave me some parenting/d…

Please Don't Hate Me

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The world can't hate you,  but it does hate me  because I accuse it of doing evil.  John 7:7
Jesus spoke those words to his unbelieving brothers.

Jesus accused the world of doing evil. He spoke up. He told the truth. And the world hated him.

Wait.

Who hated him?

I thought it was the world that followed him wherever he went. The world that he came to heal and to save. The world that crowded him into a boat, that pressed in on him so hard in the streets, just longing to touch him and be healed. The constant cry for help that caused him to need to go apart and rest awhile. The world, the sinners, the reprobates, the diseased, the lepers, the tax collectors, the pagans, the lost, the hurt, the blind, the needy, the adulterers, the liars, the whores, the outcasts. I thought it was the world that he impacted so hard. The world that he turned upside down to make it right. The people in the world that he loved so well and that loved him back. (You can read about all of this in the Gospels)

W…

Beautiful

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It's Five Minute Friday time! This weeks word is beautiful. You can learn all about this FMF thing over here. Join us if you'd like, it's fun and comfortable and everyone is accepted. It's a place to just be, no over-thinking and trying to impress, just be and just write for five minutes. It's nice. It's beautiful.


Beautiful


Beautiful is a relative word. Beauty can be found in so many places. You can discover beauty in the ugliest places. Actually beauty is in the hard real true and ugly. I find the most beauty in honesty. When a person is willing to be real, to be honest and be human it brings out the most beauty I have ever seen. Relationships are beautiful. Trust, give, take, letting go of the walls and the trying to impress, and just being. Family is beautiful because it starts here. Family is. Is beautiful . Is... is beautiful. To be, is beautiful. Sincerity is beautiful. Love without hypocrisy is beautiful. Beauty comes from within as does the gross ugly.…

Inbetween

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Happy Friday! Five minutes to write about one word. Today's word is really two made one, in between. We are writing at Lisa-Jo's place about the new two word one word, Inbetween. Join us, or visit us to read more!


Inbetween
Inbetween is like a gray area. Living in the inbetween vs. totally embracing the life we are living. So much time is wasted inbetween. Longing for things we don't have or places we are not.

Motherhood can be spent inbetween. Or we can fully embrace our time as mamas. In my experience, the best times of motherhood have been when I fully live in the moment with my children. Instead though, I often find myself hanging out in this gray inbetween area, where I am a mom by title and a mom by duty, but all of me is not really present.

When you are living in the inbetween and you do not fully embrace anything, whether it be motherhood, Christianity, morals, ethics, standards, etc. When we choose not to live fully convinced in our own mind, but live in this mucky in…

For the Mamas.....

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Looking up, Jesus saw the rich people putting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a poor widow putting in two mites. And he said, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them: For they all gave out of their abundance (their surplus); but she has contributed out of her lack and her want, putting in all that she had on which to live. Luke 21: 1-4
This.

When I am weak, then I am strong, for my strength is perfected in weakness. Do you see? It is not what we do, our great accomplishments for the Kingdom of Heaven, that bring the most glory to God. It is our total lack, our complete need.

Being a mother empties me. I run on empty most days, constantly pouring myself into my children. This emptiness has brought me to my knees many times. I relate to the widow putting in all that she lacked. This is what I continually bring to the Lord, my not enough.

Have you ever thought about the time when Jesus wanted to feed all of the people that had gathered in…