Lord......grant me...

Hello Friends!

I am amazed that an entire month has gone by and I haven't had even one quiet moment to pause before this computer screen and reflect.

In our household, summertime = unscheduled chaos. I like to think of our summer schedule as 'controlled chaos', but it isn't. About this time every year I start looking forward to the school year starting up. The confinements of responsibility and commitment that I was so eager to throw off in May are looking more and more appealing these days.

We are having fun though.

We kicked off the summer with a trip up north to visit Sierra and Dakota in Wasilla and a Tobymac concert for Grace's birthday. We've had as much beach time as possible, a couple of birthdays, kittens, fireworks on the 4th, a visit from Nana and Grandpa, a few parades, a few picnics, a visit from Sierra, she is gorgeous and glowing with new life, a going away party for Daija, good times with good friends, new and old.

Here are a few pictures:

At Sierra and Dakota's house in Wasilla

Tobymac!!! We had soooo much fun.


Nana and Grandpa
Hannah 13!!!


Waiting for the fireworks to start
Picnic after a hike along the ridge of Harbor Mountain


4th of July parade

Yay Daija! We miss you already.


Beach time
 Heading to the Seafood Festival with our new best friends!
Crab walk races


The sack race
The winner of the sack race!
Beautiful Sierra

Sweet Lydia
Our baby.....

And I found these amusing pictures on my phone..........






I started reading the Bible last week with a new purpose. I was reading in Genesis where Eve had her first sons, and she says, "I have done this great thing with the help of the Lord." And then a little later, one of her sons is dead, killed by his brother who is then banished from the family. So Eve is left with no sons. What a tragic moment in her life. Another tragic moment. But then she gets pregnant again and has a third son. And this time she says, "God has granted me a son." And I started thinking about just how much like Eve I am. I started to relate to this mother of mine that I am so much like.

"With God's help I........"

My prayers are often "God, please help me to........" I realized while pondering Eve's experience just how presumptuous and proud that really is. And I immediately started to pray,

"God, grant me your grace. Grant me your mercy. For without you I am nothing, I can do nothing without you. God, grant me words of life to speak to my children today. God grant me your tender loving mercies. It is at your discretion that I live or die, that any of us takes our next breath. You are so merciful, so full of love and acceptance. Through Jesus Christ I am saved. It is not of myself, it is not by my ability or my strength, it is a gift from you."

And then I had this idea.

I have never read the Bible completely from cover to cover. I have read every book, but just not in order, not that I haven't tried. I am a terribly undisciplined person, and when it isn't fun or interesting, or I get distracted by something else, I usually abandon whatever I have set out to do, and start to chase the next thing. It's just me. But, I hope and think that this time will be different. I feel like a foundational change has happened in my understanding and relationship with God. And so, I am going to read the Bible, not looking for what I think I need for each day, but with expectation that he will grant me what I need for each day. Manna from Heaven.

I hope to be able to spend some more time writing soon. I miss it. I was thinking about sharing whatever God gives me each day. But then, that would really take discipline and I'm not sure if I'm ready for that. We'll see.

On another note, I have been listening to U2 non-stop for the past two days. At first it was reminiscent of my youth, and then I discovered all of these great songs that I never listened to when I was a kid. WOW. A little late to the party, I know. I finally understand why so many people love U2. The lyrics are real, honest, raw. I'm in love.

Hannah, Ruth and I made a delicious fresh salsa Sunday afternoon. I LOVE fresh salsa.






Probiotic jalapenos that we made a couple of weeks ago. Soooo good! I'll share recipe later.




Here's the recipe:

Tomatoes
Onions
Garlic
Jalapenos
Red peppers
Cilantro
Lime juice
Whey
Sea salt

Mix vegetables and lime juice in a bowl. Taste and adjust.
For each quart of salsa add 1/4 cup of whey and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Mix together well and fill your quart or pint jars.
Put on lids and let sit for 2 days in a warmish place. Your counter top is probably warm enough.
After 2 days, put in fridge and enjoy fresh salsa well into the fall and winter!
Yummy and probiotic!


Grace giving me 'selfie lessons.'
Well, duty calls, I need to go fix supper. I hope to talk to you again soon! I hope you are all having a great summer, living and appreciating each day as it's given to us.

Much love,

~Renee

Thank you Jesus for Grace..............

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