Wednesday, October 31, 2012

So Much to be Thankful For

501. Being a child of God
502. Having Becca with us
503. Having a TV as an option (even when I don't want to use it but it's all I can manage)
504. Friends who love me and accept me as Christ does
505. Dawn hanging out in the middle of a long day
506. Seeing Jamey playing with kids younger than him well
507. Laughs and giggles from kids playing
508. Lillian walking around quoting Scripture
509. God using sisters to speak into my life
510. The Holy Spirit's conviction and revealing of my heart as I study Amos
511. Getting to swim once a week
512. Sarah Sloan and her help in thinking through how to best proceed in women's prayer
513. Encouragement
514. Naps! (All 3 kids and me)
515. Rite Aid deals
516. Costume parties
517. Fun food with fun friends
518. Meeting more Sojourn women
519. Being used by God as a confirmation for a sister
520. Seeing friends I haven't seen in awhile
521. Kids playing games together
522. Writing group
523. Being affirmed in talents God has given me
524. Learning how to use the talents
525. People who can help me with grammar :)
526. A lazy Saturday afternoon
527. Celebrating a friend's birthday
528. Meeting more Sojourn sisters
529. Meeting a couple who want to serve in Eastern Europe! (This is a huge blessing and answer to prayer)
530. Meeting Eliana
531. God's faithfulness
532. The kids wanting me (even though there are times this can feel burdensome)
533. Sojourn pastors feeling the conviction to pray more as individuals and a church
534. Being encouraged to pray
535. Pastors confessing their weaknesses to encourage us
536. The opening of the prayer chapel this week
537. Jim being able to help friends move
538. Great pizza deals
539. Pizza and movie in the living room
540. Family play time
541. Being able to run to the grocery store without kids
542. Running into people from church
543. A very active baby
544. Healthy family
545. Kids going to bed well
546. Becca coming home early
547. Going to bed at 8pm!!!!!
548. Getting 10 hours of much needed sleep!!!!!
549. Finding out I get to see Brit and her family this year!
550. Accountability
551. Going to the Tuesday 5pm international prayer time at Sojourn!
552. Quick dinners
553. Community group
554. Homemade Mocha
555. Sisters that love and encourage each other
556. Hearing the heart that God has changed
557. Having lesson plans done for me
558. Walmart run!
559. Jamey asking to journal
560. Jamey's excitement and finally getting a journal to "write" in (cannot wait to start that in the morning)
561. Teaching my kids about reading the Bible and journaling
562. Having time with the Lord every morning this week
563. Though it was a tiring week, God saw me through
564. Getting home made cookie dough made
565. Snugly kids
566. Reuben's personality really blossoming
567. Seeing my kids becoming best friends
568. Seeing God at work in my family
569. Learning how to love my family more each day
570. Learning to be gracious when I don't get everything done

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Today launched a 2 month prayer emphasis at Sojourn Community Church. I am so stoked about this! Prayer has always been an area of struggle for me. But recently the Holy Spirit has been convicting me about my lack of prayer and teaching me how to pray faithfully, even when I do not feel like it or I do not know what to say. Many of our pastors have been feeling the conviction to pray more as well which has led to the sermon today and the opening of the prayer chapel in our St. Vincent facility.

There will be 3 prayer services held Monday through Friday at 7am, 12pm, and 5pm.

If you live in Louisville come and pray with other believers. Jesus said, "For where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I among them." Matthew 18:20. Come and lift up this city. Pray for God to work and show us His way. Pray for the Holy Spirit to move mightily and call people to himself. Pray for our leaders, that they will be filled with God's wisdom and seek what is best for all. Pray for those sharing the Good News around the world and that those who hear the Good News will be saved!

Some of the times are adopted by certain ministries. I do not know them all, but as part of the International missions ministry I know we will be meeting Tuesdays at 5pm and Fridays at 7am to pray for the nations.

No matter when you can, come pray. It is the most important thing we can do.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Catching Up Again

461. Water Aerobics
462. In depth study of Amos
463. A night for personal growth once a week
464. Chicken salad sandwiches
465. 3 Kids napping at the same time for the same length
466. Getting to talk to my sister
467. Journals
468. Helping friends with a yard sale
469. Seeing God work in the yard sale for them to get rid of things and make some money
470. Meeting more Sojourners
471. Getting to talk pregnancy, labor and delivery
472. Opportunities to encourage others
473. Jamey teaching Lillian her ABCs
474. Jamey and Lillian singing together
475. Reuben being loving
476. Jamey and Reuben wrestling and giving kisses
477. Seeing God's grace at work in my kids
478. Sojourn's fall festival
479. Seeing Dave, meeting his family and him meeting mine
480. Seeing other friends I have not talked to in a while
481. Friends letting us take left over items to Goodwill :)
482. Evening to relax
483. Early bedtime
484. Sojourn J-town
485. Parent/Child Dedication service
486. Being reminded that God never checks out on us and we should not check out on our kids
487. Meeting another family interested in missions
488. Going to lunch with other people from church (miss doing this regularly)
489. Getting the office almost organized! (still have a little more to do but it's more functional)
490. Prayer time at our friends' house
491. Getting a free desk!
492. Grocery store without kids :)
493. Back massage
494. Blue Bell on sale!
495. Seeing the kids learn more everyday
496. Jamey trying to read a little
497. Active kids
498. Friends who help and are supportive even when your kids do embarrassing things
499. Rest
500. Brothers and Sisters who encourage you when they are in the midst of an unthinkable tragedy

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Not In My Own Strength

Today was one of those days. One you don't want to write about or really remember. But it's one of those days that I remember that God is my strength and only by His grace and work in my heart can I even get through.

I woke up at 7:30 when I heard some noise coming from across the house. I was dreaming vividly when the sounds woke me so it took a few minutes to come to reality. If you have been awaken during a dream you know the state. When I realized the time I thought, "Yay! The kids slept in again." I walk to the kitchen and was greeted by my sister huffing, "finally!" Apparently the kids had been up for an hour and a half but had failed to come get me when they got up and had not made enough noise to wake me up. So that is how the day began.

Jamey was crazy hyper and clearly had not slept enough. We began the day with immediate disobedience and defiance. I ended up sending him back to his bed to lie down for 30 minutes because he was so crazy.

Lillian also had a bit of an attitude, but that seems to be the new norm for her right now.

Thankfully school time went smoothly, even with Reuben joining us. I was able to finish unpacking boxes while they played upstairs. These were the clear blessings for the day.

After lunch the disobedience and disrespect came out with a vengeance as well as fighting among all three. This called for an early rest time. They were all sleepy, clearly, but trying to explain to a 3 1/2 year old why he needs to sleep is futile. Thankfully the younger 2 went to sleep fairly quickly, but Jamey did everything he could to fight it and with blatant disobedience. After 2 hours I was over it! And it went on for 4 1/2 hours.

These are those sanctifying days. These are the days that I marvel at God's patience with His children. These are the days that I see God molding me into Christ likeness even though I don't want to be. These are the days that I cry out, "Lord, I cannot do this! I cannot go on like this!"

And ironically, this is God's grace. This is where He wants us. On our knees relying on Him to get us through and to become more like Him.

One day I will act in love instead of reacting in anger. One day I will think rightly.

But until then, I will fight with Jesus by my side. I will fail and repent and He will pick me up again and I will continue on until I see Him face to face and I will be perfect as He is perfect.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blessings I Can Remember

416.  Family outing to the zoo
417. Watching the kids enjoy the animals
418. Meeting other people who avoid the reptile house
419. Spontaneous Fellowship
420. Ice cream cake!
421. Talking about labor and delivery
422. Meeting new people
423. Restful Sunday
424. Afternoon nap
425. Being reminded that we have to work at building relationships, but that they are a gift
426. Watching Reuben tackle Jamey thinking he can win
427. The laughter of my children
428. All three kids wanting to cuddle and give hugs
429. All three kids sleeping until 7:30! (This is super late for Jamey and Lillian)
430. Being able to write again
431. Spending time with the Lord
432. Taking only one child to the grocery store
433. Lillian walking around quoting Scripture
434. Jamey and Lillian both asking to pray
435. Bedtime with little fight
436. Having lesson plans ready each morning (loving Sonlight right now)
437. All three kids sleeping until 7!
438. Playgroup
439. Reuben playing on the playground
440. Sweet Fellowship
441. Sisters who pray for each other
442. Sisters who can be vulnerable with each other
443. Reading
444. Writing another page and a half in my book (still trying to get back in a good routine)
445. Journal
446. Free e-books
447. Free readers and spelling book
448. Community
449. Cake
450. Great time of prayer and Bible reading
451. Finishing my homework the day before it is due
452. Seeing Asmaa
453. Iraqi Food!
454. Watching my kids enjoy and devour Iraqi food!
455. More Cake
456. Going through boxes
457. New TV episodes
458. A moment to sit down and blog
459. Grace
460. God does not leave us where we are

Friday, October 12, 2012

Off Week

I do not even know where this week went. It has been a blur and totally odd. With Jim's schedule getting changed for the later half of last week the craziness spilled over into this one, as well as other things here and there that made the week crazy. I have felt exhausted everyday, like I was walking in a cloud. I did not pray or read my Bible as I should. I did not write but a little and I could not seem to muster the desire to write. It was like most days my brain was not even working. Next week we need to get back on our schedule. Everyone feels it when we get off and it makes for grumpy kids and non-present mama. Not a great combination! In fact, I sat down a couple times to write out my blessings and I didn't even want to do that. Even in the chaos there was so much to be thankful for, but I didn't want to be grateful! What a crummy attitude. I hope I can remember the blessings for the week. Even now I still feel like my head is in a cloud and I just want to go to sleep! But sometimes discipline is necessary even in the fog. And so I write tonight to  the best of my ability.

381. Walking to church when it is cool
382. Fall weather
383. Jim off from work for 2 days
384. Several Amazon gift cards
385. Movies!
386. Playgroup
387. Learning more about dental care for kids
388. Jim wrestling with the kids
389. Date Night!
390. Accountability without kids running around
391. New Keyboard!
392. New crockpot
393. Maternity clothes from Dawn
394. Member meeting
395. Finally meeting Anastasia
396. Making further connection with Sofia
397. Cheesecake!!!
398. Learning about new websites that pay you for stuff
399. Water aerobics!
400. SWI starting back
401. Learning the background of Amos
402. Frozen Pizza
403. MOMstogether
404. More connections to Eastern Europe
405. Normal pregnancy
406. Healthy kids
407. Watching Jamey sing Bible verses in the rear view mirror
408. Reuben clapping
409. Jamey and Reuben wrestling
410. Jamey and Lillian snuggling on the sofa
411. Jamey wanting to take responsibilities
412. Opportunities to teach things
413. Blondies
414. Yummy filling breakfast
415. God sustains His people

Sunday, October 7, 2012

All I Have is Yours

by Rebecca Elliott and Bobby Gilles

Creator giver of all things 
All I have is yours 
Accept my humble offering 
All I have is yours

When I was chained to greed and pride
Tight-fisted destined just to die
You paid my debt and bought my life 
All I have is yours

All I have
All I have
All I have is yours

This offering is a means of grace 
All I have is yours 
You show me this to grow my faith 
All I have is yours

The more I give the less I need 
I learn that youʼll provide for me 
Was blind to this but now I see 
That all I have is yours.

© 2006 Bobby Gilles and Sojourn Community Church
CCLI Song #4878364
CCLI License #1888971

Saturday, October 6, 2012


So today, for the first time in quite awhile, I ran errands with all three kids in toe. It is seriously by the grace of God we made it. We had 3 stops so 3 loading and unloadings, 3 buggies, lots of listening, clear speaking, lots of patience and the need for food as we were out during snack/lunch time. Reuben is also in the process of going down to one nap so I stretched him during this time and he did really well except when I put him in the carseat. I was able to get good deals on the things I needed, which was great. And I managed to do it all in about 2 hours. God is good!

Today's Blessings
361. Good outing
362. Jamey helping his siblings
363. Lillian helping with the shopping
364. Reuben not fussing in the carts and not fighting the seatbelt
365. Good deals: getting a lot for little money plus money back
366. Great deal on Zulily: I was able to get 2 maternity shirts for less than $15!
367. Able to get money back for online shopping :) (check out
368. Time to veg a little this afternoon
369. Jamey snuggling with me
370. Jamey and Lillian sitting in my lap while enjoying a movie together
371. Sweet Tea
372. Watching Lillian sleep in the chair
373. Getting coupons in the mail
374. Reuben snuggling with me in the floor
375. Watching Jamey and Reuben give hugs
376. Getting laundry done
377. A sunny day when rain was expected
378. Swagbucks
379. Knowing that what we are teaching the kids is sinking in, even if they are lecturing lids and blocks
380. Watching Jamey and Lillian enjoy being together

When He Returns by Bob Dylan

This was the song for communion last week and I was amazed by it. Very thoughtful and well written, it is really beautiful and a hopeful reminder as we wait for Christ to return.
The iron hand, it ain't no match for the iron rodThe strongest wall will crumble and fall to a mighty GodFor all those who have eyes and all those who have earsIt is only he who can reduce me to tears

Don't you cry and don't you die and don't you burnFor like a thief in the nightHe'll replace wrong with rightWhen he returns

Truth is an arrow and the gate is narrow that it passes throughHe unleashed his power at an unknown hour that no one knewHow long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?

Can I cast it aside, all this loyalty and this pride?Will I ever learn that there'll be no peaceThat the war won't ceaseUntil he returns?

Surrender your crown on this blood-stained ground, take off your maskHe sees your deeds, he knows your needs even before you askHow long can you falsify and deny what is real?How long can you hate yourself for the weakness you conceal?

Of every earthly plan that be known to manHe is unconcernedHe's got plans of his own to set up his throneWhen he returns

Friday, October 5, 2012

Far Behind on the Weeks Blessings

306. Missions Cookout
307. Nathan and Sarah Sloan
308. Connecting with others who are missions minded
309. Walking
310. Finally meeting Milli!
311. It being October
312. The weather cooling down
313. Kids asking to do school
314. Lillian walking around saying Bible verses
315. Waking up to Jamey singing "Jesus Loves Me"
316. Reuben loving to clap and clapping often
317. Jamey and Lillian "reading" their Bibles during quiet time in the morning
318. Quills coffee!
319. Dawn
320. Praying with Becca
321. Playgroup
322. Watching the kids play together on the playground
323. Jamey helping Lillian climb
324. Seeing Jamey step into the big brother role
325. Community Group
326. Going to the pool as a family
327. Water Aerobics
328. Time with Jim in the evenings
329. Seeing the kids' faces light up when Jim got home from class early
330. Journaling everyday
331. Keeping up with my story
332. Finishing 2 of the books I have been working on
333. Starting a new book that I have been waiting for from the library for a couple months
334. Reuben grabbing Jamey in a hug and laughing
335. The boys wrestling
336. Lillian wanting to be the big sister/acting like a little mama
337. All 3 kids napping at the same time twice this week
338. Getting to nap
339. Getting some work done on the office
340. Jamey making patterns on his own
341. Women's Prayer
342. Erin Owen
343. Opportunities to meet more moms
344. Making a connection with someone I can reach out to
345. Free ebooks
346. Free samples
347. Cookies and Brownies
348. Options
349. Lillian initiating singing
350. Jamey singing Bible verses and Sojourn music
351. Watching Jamey act out Aladdin (Yes I realize that means he has seen it too many times :) )
352. Sunshine after a rainy week
353. Jamey and Lillian singing together
354. Jamey and Lillian giving hugs, kisses and saying good-night to Reuben in unison
355. Reuben's laughter
356. Laughing together as a family for no reason, just to laugh
357. Paper and pencil
358. Starting a new journal
359. Being alive in Christ
360. Scandalous Grace

Thursday, October 4, 2012

To Siberia

by Per Petterson

This book was told in first person by a woman reflecting on her life, particularly in the WWII era. I picked it up because of the title and the description on the inside cover. I don't know if it was the translation or lack of clear story line, but I had a very hard time following this book, which made it unenjoyable. There were parts that I really liked and as a piece of art it is beautiful, but as a story I did not like it. I think this would appeal to some, but I believe it would be a certain type of person who would really be able to enjoy it. Maybe in the future I will learn Norwegian, read it in its original text and like it better.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mere Christianity

After years of wanting to read this book I finally did! Aside from books in The Chronicles of Narnia, this is my first C.S. Lewis read. This book was very good and a great overview of the Christian faith. I very much appreciated the break down of elements and how he was able to simply put things that Christians as a whole believe. I wish I had written on each chapter as I went and perhaps I may reread it in the future and delve more into my thoughts on each chapter, but I am always impressed when someone can explain something to vast in a way that is easy to understand. That being said, I did not agree with everything he wrote, but as a whole I found him to be Biblically and theologically sound to the best of my knowledge and understanding.

I hope to read more of his books soon, but I do like to vary my authors.

Have you read this book? Thoughts?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Missions Cookout

Yesterday we had a cookout to connect with missions minded people at our International director's house. This was so much fun and a great time of networking. There were some whom I had met before and some whom I had not. I was able to talk to 13 women who did not know much about women's prayer and add them to the email list. It was so encouraging and exciting to hear so many people talk about taking the Good News to the world!
I hope and pray that many more will come and feel the burden to pray for God to make His Name great among the nations. Women's prayer is this week and we have 2 more next month before the end of the year.
I do want to give my own personal shout out here to Nathan and Sarah Sloan, our international director and his wife. They have such a heart for equipping people to go to the nations and encouraging the local church to be a part of what God is doing around the world. They are such a blessing to Sojourn and I am so blessed to know them.