Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Blessings

God has truly blessed and sustained us this month. I have been constantly overwhelmed by His goodness and grace to us this month. Our family has grown so much. I have grown. Jim has grown. It's amazing to see how much God lavishes His blessings on His people, who do not deserve anything but wrath, judgement and bad things to come from every direction. Here are just some of the ways God has blessed us this month.

  1. Getting to greet the Wilburn family at the airport after they have been living in another country for 2 years
  2. Going to a Parenting seminar with Tedd and Margy Tripp
  3. Time to talk with Jim
  4. Getting to talk with Britney
  5. Meeting people from Montreal 
  6. Celebrating Lillian's 5th birthday
  7. Taking Lillian out for her birthday with just Daddy and Mama
  8. Learning about Anger at Sojourn
  9. Having a good date afternoon
  10. Beautiful weather to sit in Cherokee Park
  11. Half priced fraps at Starbucks
  12. A good 5 year appointment for Lillian
  13. Jim's dentist appointment taking less time than expected
  14. Getting preliminary packing done for our trip to GA
  15. Jamey reading our Bible passage during Family Bible time
  16. Playgroup at Cherokee Park
  17. Free Blogging class
  18. Jim getting to come over from work for my doctor's appointment
  19. Getting all of the rest of my appointments scheduled through 40 weeks
  20. Sam and Ariana watching the kids for us
  21. Pouring out my heart to God who is always there for me and never leaves me no matter what
  22. Decent drive to GA (Gabriel and Sam did not much care for the beginning of the trip)
  23. Getting to spend some time with Kyle, Britney, Brendon and Kylee
  24. Getting to go to Rachel's college graduation
  25. Ms. Mary watching the kids for us all day
  26. Enjoying a Cracker Barrel meal
  27. Going to see FBC Smyrna
  28. Meeting the new Pastor and family 
  29. Seeing many friends
  30. Whole family together for Mother's Day lunch at Ruby
  31. God making me a mother x6
  32. Good drive home
  33. Lazy day at home readjusting after a whirlwind weekend
  34. Time to talk with Becca
  35. Time to talk with Jim
  36. Working through things with God
  37. Making it through the day
  38. 2nd blogging class
  39. Getting a decent nights sleep
  40. Sleeping harder and deeper than I had in a week
  41. Time to meet with Julianne
  42. Meeting baby Gage and spending time with Andy and Shannon
  43. Jamey praying for God to save everyone
  44. Jamey teaching Reuben and Gabriel how to clean their bathroom
  45. Reuben getting dressed by himself
  46. Getting a lot of work done around the house
  47. Making cookies as a family
  48. Talking with Jim
  49. Feeling a little more normal
  50. Sleeping until 8:30!
  51. 7 other women coming to Childbirth Conversations
  52. Having a really great conversation!
  53. A really relaxing afternoon
  54. Taking a nap along with the kids
  55. Finishing Oliver Twist
  56. Sharing some of my feelings with Jim and Jim receiving them well
  57. Finishing school for the year!
  58. Going to Book Club
  59. Meeting Bethany
  60. Getting the file cabinet organized
  61. Looking at school stuff for next year
  62. Reuben using the big toilet
  63. Community group
  64. Meeting with Julianne and talking about a double date
  65. Time at the park with really nice weather
  66. Seeing Claire
  67. Sharing more of my heart with Jim
  68. Jim working extra but not getting called in right away
  69. Jamey praying for God to save Sam
  70. God's mercy and grace
  71. Jamey reading the Bible on his own
  72. All of the kids playing together for awhile with out fighting
  73. Good doctor's appointment 
  74. Great date night
  75. Sam returning something when asked
  76. Talking through Psalm 111 with Jamey
  77. Sam starting to walk down the hallway
  78. 3 older kids lying in bed with me for a bit
  79. Sleeping until 8:15
  80. Laughing and playing with the kids
  81. Doing Scripture memory with the kids
  82. Making it through the day
  83. Seeing the Spirit move in Jim
  84. Going to writing group
  85. Claire coming to writing group
  86. Uncontrollable laughter
  87. Seeing the McVicker family before they head out of Louisville
  88. Finding a kindred spirit
  89. Dave Harvey preaching at Sojourn
  90. Learning to overcome Spiritual emptiness
  91. Jim sharing thoughts on the sermon after church
  92. Kids napping
  93. Having some time to rest
  94. Talking through things with all 3 adults
  95. All Kids sleeping past 6:30
  96. Getting to rest for a lot of the day
  97. Hanging out
  98. Lots of people at playgroup
  99. CG helping with yard work and getting a lot done
  100. Jamey's recital and completion of music class
  101. Good day at home
  102. Singing with the kids
  103. Working on memorizing Bible verses
  104. Becca getting home early
  105. Getting my ear infection checked out quickly
  106. Celebrating Jim's birthday
  107. Seeing the New Avenger's movie
  108. Nice date night
  109. Getting a lot of cleaning done around the house
  110. Kimberly coming to help us organize some of our spaces
  111. Ryan finishing the major yard work
  112. Getting to see Andy and Gage for a bit
  113. Starting a new series at Sojourn on questioning Jesus
  114. Everyone (but Jim) getting to nap, even me!
  115. Relaxing afternoon

May Evaluation 2015

Due to circumstances this past year, I'm not really changing my goals. Some will go that are not top priority, but I'm keeping the ones that fit with the overarching goal of having a God-centered life and the things I see Him leading me to right now. So thus far this is how it goes:

  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily- Yes, I'm working more directed prayer into my day
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily- Yes! 
  • Memorize verses with the kids - Not doing real well with this right now, a little hear and there
  • Memorize Scripture- Not much
  • Go out for a date once a week- Yes
  • Go on a night away once this year- Planned for our anniversary next month
  • Read 3 books together this year- Started a list of books we want to read together
  • Discuss plan weekly on Sunday Saturday afternoon- Doing much better with this on Saturdays and have begun making weekly schedules.
  • Spend 30 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- still need to work on this
  • Go to playgroup each Tuesday- I think we made it to all of them for at least a little while
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- Have gotten caught up and well on my way to doing this
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- Finally went through some of the stuff and looked at what I need to do with what I already have
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- working on chore chart to start this week, and just had major whole house cleaning yesterday
  • Keep up with my calendar- Much improvement and continual scheduling
  • Being fully present when with my family- Getting better at this, but still struggling
  • Continue sending out Prayer List- Yes
  • Read a book a month for myself- Finished "Oliver Twist" and am half way through "Screwtape Letters"
  • Journal 5 days a week- Yes! God has really been giving me opportunity to do this in the morning
  • Write (books) 3 days a week- Worked on some notes for a non-fiction book that is in the works 
  • Edit novel to prepare for publishing and research publishing options- Nothing done this month, but hoping to get more done on this before the baby comes
  • Finish Rosetta Stone Russian level 1 - Have not worked on this
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- Yes!
  • Blog 3 days a week- That was my average this month! 
  • Go to water aerobics once a week- So the pool heater broke and I have not been able to do this the past 3 weeks. Really bummed
  • Maintain weight until birth- Maintained well this month!
  • Lose weight after giving birth- 
May has been all over the place. It has been very productive and emotional and full. God has been moving in our home and growing our family more than I have seen in years. We serve an awesome God! We finished our 2014-2015 School year and are looking forward to a long break. (At least Jim and I are.) We are in full swing preparing our home to welcome baby number 6 and look forward to taking time to adjust to being a family of 8. One great opportunity this month was having a Childbirth Conversation Class  a couple of weeks ago. Seven other ladies came to join in the conversation. I'm also working on being consistent on my Childbirth Conversation blog. (If you would like to contribute with stories or have questions you would like to see answered let me know.) God continues to amaze me as He strengthens and guides us through each and every day. We have a long way to go, but God is continuing to bless us as we learn how He wants us to live.

How was your May?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Happy Birthday Jim!

Today my Jim is 32. I know no one cares about turning 32, it's not really a big deal. But for me this year it is a big deal because during his 32nd year on earth, Jim has grown more than he has any other year of his life. Just before his last birthday, God really began to reveal Jim's heart to himself. Yes, he was already a Christian, but anyone who has walked with the Lord for any length of time knows that a life after God is a second by second journey. Sometimes we get it right and other times we don't know which was is up. This year, Jim has really begun seeking with God how to get it right all the time.

It has been amazing to see this change and growth in Jim. It has been such a blessing to our family to see him really begin to own his role as leader of our home. He has grown to love being at home again, to being a husband and father to the family he has been given. We are so blessed to have Jim in these roles.

Thank You, Father, for Jim. Thank You for giving him to our family as the head of our home. Thank You for the work You are doing in his life and in all of our lives because of Jim. Please continue to grow Jim into the image of Your Son, Jesus, each and every day. Guide him in all of his steps.

I love you, Jimbo! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Toes For Tia

This book was part of our Pre-K curriculum with Sonlight this year as part of our cultural studies. Lillian really enjoyed me reading this book to her. It is a neat story about Tia and her getting new toes. I enjoy learning about Thai culture and finding out what Thai means. It is a short easy read that can be read in about 15 minutes, but is a powerful story.

5 stars for this book.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Case of the Gasping Garbage

This was part of our Core B Sonlight Curriculum and it was a cute easy read. I really appreciate the basic elements of science that were taught in this book. It also includes experiments that you can do, though we have not tried them as of yet. It is a cute book that shows two fifth grade students who do lab experiments to figure out interesting cases. One of the cases was really silly, but the experiment was quite educational. I would recommend this book as a fun way to introduce scientific method to young kids.

4 stars for this book.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Empty Soul - Loneliness

This was the final sermon in our Emotion and Devotion series at Sojourn and Brother Dave Harvey brought it. He started with the phrase: "Empty is as empty does" to set up Psalm 63 and how even when we feel empty, we can be full.

Psalm 63
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You [b]earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh [c]yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul is satisfied as with [d]marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings [e]to You;
Your right hand upholds me.
But those who seek my [f]life to destroy it,
Will go into the [g]depths of the earth.
[h]They will be [i]delivered over to the power of the sword;
They will be a [j]prey for foxes.
But the king will rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him will glory,
For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.

Go Up (v 1) - Bear your heart to God.
When we feel lonely and empty, we need to go back to the basics: God is our God and we need to put the Lord before us as God.
We belong to God no matter how we feel.
Without God we are restless and unsatisfied. In this Psalm David makes God the answer to his empty state. David recognizes that his present state was ordained by God and acknowledges this. He is sovereign over all things.
Sometimes God empties us in order to fill us back up with Himself.

Go Back (v 2-5) - Recall a time when you were satisfied in God, when you could feel the closeness of God in your life. This stimulates our affections for God so that we can do those things that bring closeness to God which is as much of a reality as the current circumstances.
As our affections stir for God, it stimulates worship of God.
Praise God until you are filled, then praise because you are full.
As you remember what God has done, God will grow big and your circumstances will grow smaller

Go Loud (v 3,4,5,7) - There is a physicality to David's response
We are to respond to what is according to God's word. It involves our heart, soul, mind and strength which is great passion. David shows strong affections as he worships the Lord. His relationship with the Lord calls for affections, and our relationship with the Lord calls for affections. It is a response to what God has done for us. We need to do this.
The heart of worship is to respond to past truths and future promises and bring them together in the present.

I really enjoyed this sermon and it helped me in knowing how to respond to people in circumstances as well as knowing how to go to God with my own. We have a great God and He is faithful.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Detectives in Togas

What a fun book! This was our last read-aloud for the year with our Sonlight Core B curriculum. This book takes place in ancient Rome and is a mystery that follows 6 class mates that have to rescue another of their classmates from jail after being accused of desecrating the temple of Diana, which is dedicated to the emperor. It teaches deductive reasoning, searching for evidence and learning how to appropriately question what you see and hear. It is funny in many parts and also intriguing. My son really enjoyed this book as well, which is always a plus.

There were some parts I did not care for. Overall it was easy to read, but at times drug out more than was necessary.

I would give this book 4 stars and recommend it as a fun read for kids.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

George Muller The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans

This book is written by Janet and Geoff Benge in a series about Christian Heroes and was part of our History and culture in our Core B Sonlight material for this year. I am quite familiar with the story of George Muller, but this book really opened my eyes to how much God changed him and how strong George's faith in God really was.

It starts with George at age 16 getting arrested for bailing on hotel rooms throughout Prussia. To see where George started out just blew my mind. It is such a testimony to the amazing power of God's love and salvation. It follows through the rest of his life, including attending Bible college to become a pastor, his conversion, seeking God's will for his life, marriage, children and the beginning of the ministries he started, including the most famous one: the orphan houses.

Reading this along side Oliver Twist was amazing and heartbreaking all at the same time. What was really interesting is that Charles Dickens actually went to visit the orphan houses when he heard about them, thinking they were horrible places where kids had to work. Once visiting the orphan houses he was very pleased and wrote an article telling others of the good work Muller was doing in helping the orphans.

This book was very easy to read and full of information. It was written in such a way to keep you interested and made you want to keep going to know what happened next (even if you know what happened).

5 Stars, hands down, for this biography of George Muller. I recommend it to everyone. It absolutely challenged me and my faith.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Oliver Twist

I finally finished my 4th classic for the Back to the Classics Challenge I am participating in. I have been wanting to read this book for quite some time and finally got around to reading it. I remember seeing the musical when I was in high school and so I thought I knew the story line, but clearly I forgot a lot.

I liked this book OK. I think I might have had a hard time with it since I'm pregnant and highly emotional. Oliver went through way too much for my emotions at this time and I found myself often getting angry at the book. The story line is very interesting, but at times was a bit confusing. I appreciated the mystery of Oliver's parentage in it as well as the mystery of Monks, though when we find out who he is, it is of really little significance in some respects. I was a little dumbfounded by it. I appreciate the elements of the sovereignty of God, though it is not addressed as such in this book, as Oliver finds his way to people of great significance to him. I also appreciate the justice in the end.

Stylistically I also struggled with this book. This is the first book I have read by Charles Dickens so I did not know what to expect. I hope I enjoy his other book I have scheduled better as I hear there are differences in his books.

Overall I would give this book 3 1/2 stars.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Day in Our Life

When the school year begins, several people post about what their typical day looks like. Yesterday we finished our 2014-2015 school year! So to commemorate, especially since this is our last year schooling only 2 for many years to come, I wanted to share what a day in our life looks like.

We have been through a lot in the past school year, so there has been a great deal of fluctuation in our daily schedule. That means this will be a general overview of the past year, since starting school with the kids last July.

Between 6 and 7 everyone is up, attempt to have some time reading the Bible and praying for the adults. Occasionally the older 2 would also read their Bible story books

By 7:30 we are eating breakfast and preparing for the day

By 9 we are starting on Jamey's core, which included family Bible reading, history and read a-louds

Once finished with Jamey's core, Jamey would work on his language arts while I did Lillian's core with her. During all of this time the little boys are running around, playing or listening on rare occasion.

At 10 a snack is given for the sanity of everyone.

Our goal is to be done with all school work before lunch time at 11, and sometimes we would succeed. This got easier as the year went on and Jamey could do more on his own.

At 11 we make lunch, which Jamey can now do, and eat.

After eating, if it is needed we would finish our school work (usually our science lessons). If done with school we would clean something and then have free play until rest time at 1. Jamey would use this time to practice piano for his class as well

By 1 all three of the little boys would be in beds napping, the older two would color/draw or read. Sometime we would watch a movie so they would lie down. During this time I would work on reading, email, journals, writing, etc and after becoming pregnant would often take a nap as well.

Between 3:30 and 4 everyone would be up and we would start on dinner. (Yes I am aware we eat dinner early, but that is when our family is hungry.) The kids take turns helping with dinner to learn the kitchen as well as other math and science skills.

About 4:30 we would eat dinner.

After dinner we would have family play, watch a movie, read a book, or get ready for anything happening that evening.

The first part of the year the kids went to bed at 7 pm. When Jim changed to day shift we moved bed time back to 8 pm to accommodate his work schedule and being able to see the kids. Therefore 30 minutes before bedtime the kids help pick up the living room and get ready for bed.

After the kids are in bed, Jim and I would have some time to talk or relax for a little bit, then get ready for bed ourselves, usually by 10.

Next year we will have so much more to do so I am sure in some ways our schedule will be much more rigid. I am thankful I have had such a flexible schedule with the kids this year. It is so helpful. I'm also thankful that we are done so early to prepare for our new little one coming in a 4-8 weeks.

Here's to next school year, and a nice long summer break ahead.

Monday, May 18, 2015


This past Sunday, we talked about guilt at Sojourn, using Psalm 51. This Psalm was written by King David after committing adultery with Bathsheba, getting her pregnant and killing her husband.

Psalm 51
Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;

According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For [b]know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You [c]are justified [d]when You speak
And [e]blameless when You judge.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the [f]innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
[g]Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
[h]Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
[i]Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.
Create [j]in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew [k]steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will [l]be converted to You.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;

Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
O Lord, [m]open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
By Your favor do good to Zion;

[n]Build the walls of Jerusalem.
Then You will delight in [o]righteous sacrifices,
In burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then [p]young bulls will be offered on Your altar.

What is Guilt?
Guilt is an objective reality that must be dealt with. If you have ever experienced guilt you know there are different types of guilt. Guilt from sin is from the Holy Spirit convicting us that we must deal with the reality of sin. This causes us to acknowledge there is a problem.

There is false guilt that can come from Satan accusing us of things that are not sin issues as well telling us we have not lived up to some imaginary measure. This guilt also needs to be dealt with but in a different way.

What do we do with Guilt?
We confess our sins. That is the beginning of dealing with guilt. What does it mean to really confess?

True confession relies on mercy and not works
True confession owns our sin- it does not seek to pass the buck or make excuses for what we have done, but says I have sinned against God
True confession is relational- we recognize we have violated a Holy God and because of that our relationship is broken
True confession asks for something- Will you forgive me?
True confession desires renewal- this is repentance, we cannot truly confess without repentance

What does God do with Guilt?
God has provided Jesus as our atonement for those who trust in Him for their salvation. Confession without atonement is meaningless. Jesus, who is the only atoning sacrifice, is the only thing that can cover God's wrath and our sin. God atones our guilt and makes us right again.

No matter what we have done, if God has called us to Himself and we have placed our faith in Jesus alone to save us from the penalty of sin and death, we can be free of guilt. I found it interesting that Pastor Mike said, "The areas that are the darkest can be the most useful in ministry." We are all sinners. We all deal with guilt. God will use it to further His Kingdom.

To hear a great song based on this Psalm, Listen to "Psalm 51" here!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Why Do I Write?

"This will be written for the generation to come
that a people yet to be created will praise the Lord."
~Psalm 102:18

I read this verse this morning, and it was a great reminder to me why I write. I'm not always writing specifically about God, but my goal in writing should be to pass on the greatness of God in everything. We serve such a mighty God who alone is worthy of all our praise. Whether I'm writing about everyday life, what I am reading, childbirth, marriage or my kids, the purpose should be for people to be see God in everything and give Him praise.

Father, may I honor You in everything I do, especially my writing. Thank You for the gift of writing and that You have given me a desire to write. Grow me in this and may I bring praise to Your Name in my writing. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Being A Mom

I'm a mom. I know that is an overly obvious statement, but I've really been thinking about it as I prepare for my sixth child. So many people say that I am crazy. There is some truth to that. But I'm not crazy because I have six children, I am crazy because I am human, and God is using these little ones to teach me more about Himself and actually become more sane. Don't get me wrong, I feel crazier more often than I feel sane, but I feel more sane today than I did yesterday because today I trust God more than I did yesterday. There is a roller coaster about this, so maybe tomorrow I will feel a little crazier that I did last week, but then God shows up and reminds me of who He is and brings that sanity back. I don't know why God thinks I should be responsible for raising 6 children for His Kingdom, but I do know that by Him entrusting them to me, He is making me more like His Son, Jesus, and that is the best gift of all. Each child reveals to me that I am even more of a sinner than I thought I was. They make me go deeper. They show me more of where my heart is. God works in such mysterious ways.

In all of this God is helping me to learn to let go of control, be more patient, to not expect perfection EVER from myself or anyone else aside from Him. I'm learning to do things that I have wanted to do as I'm forced to teach my kids. I'm learning what it means to me a mom after His heart and how loving my husband is one of the best things I can do for my children. I'm learning to take everything to God, and not just "handle it". I'm learning that there is no such thing as predictability, not really. As soon as I think I have something figured out, a curve ball comes and you have to figure it out again. I'm learning I cannot do this on my own and God does not mean for me to. This is why He always walks with me and puts people in my path to help me and for me to help.

Being a mom is so much more than having babies. It is a life given by God to grow us in Christ-likeness and to teach others to do the same. I'm so thankful that God has made me a mom 6 times over. There is little in life more precious than that.

Monday, May 4, 2015


This Sunday, we talked about Anger at church in our Emotion and Devotion series. It was so good! Pastor Daniel shared that so often we don't know what to do with anger, we either stuff it down or we explode, and boy is he right. We forget that God gets angry, and it is a God given emotion. It's learning how to handle it that is tricky since often our anger stems from things not happening the way we think it should. He also said that anger is a fruit of love, not the opposite, which again is good to remember. God gets angry when His people break His law because He loves us and wants our best. As humans that's not always the case with our anger, but many times it is. Anger comes from something not living up to the ideal.

So how do we steward our anger?

Psalm 73:
Surely God is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart!
But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps [a]had almost slipped.
For I was envious of the [b]arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For there are no pains in their death,
And their [c]body is fat.
They are not [d]in trouble as other [e]men,
Nor are they plagued [f]like mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
The garment of violence covers them.
Their eye [g]bulges from fatness;
The imaginations of their heart [h]run riot.
They mock and [i]wickedly speak of oppression;
They speak from on high.
They have set their mouth [j]against the heavens,
And their tongue [k]parades through the earth.
Therefore [l]his people return to this place,
And waters of abundance are [m]drunk by them.
They say, “How does God know?
And is there knowledge [n]with the Most High?”
Behold, these are the wicked;
And always at ease, they have increased in wealth.
Surely in vain I have [o]kept my heart pure
And washed my hands in innocence;
For I have been stricken all day long
And [p]chastened every morning.
If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.
When I pondered to understand this,
It was [q]troublesome in my sight
Until I came into the [r]sanctuary of God;
Then I perceived their end.
Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to [s]destruction.
How they are [t]destroyed in a moment!
They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!
Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their [u]form.
When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced [v]within,
Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like [w]beast [x]before You.
Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me [y]to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And [z]besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the [aa]strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have [ab]destroyed all those who [ac]are unfaithful to You.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord [ad]God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

Raw Pain: Admit Your Anger (v 1-16)
We want to know why good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. Evil is mysterious and often does not make sense. We need to take these Questions before God and ask for help. Pour out everything in your heart in your raw, unprocessed pain. God is the One who can help us work through it. It is often pride and fear that keep us from expressing our anger. Anger shows our desires and helps us in knowing our passions. It is good to be angry at injustice, crime, pain, etc.

Who has betrayed you? Who has hurt you?  Tell God about it and let Him work through it with you.

Reflective Pause: Break It Down (v 15-17)
What is going on beneath the surface when you get angry? Some argue that anger is a secondary emotion and really we are sad, hurt, etc. Whether primary or secondary, we need God's grace to break down the anger that we are experiencing. We also need to see the implications of our anger. Take time to consider your responsibility as a believer if you simply respond in anger, instead of taking a time out to bring it before God. Everybody has power, and if we simply react that power can have lasting negative effects. Pastor Daniel suggested, "Write it out, don't fight it out", which resonated with me as I frequently write out my feelings to God. But I can also fight it out, which has had great damage at times. Weigh what you say. We never move beyond talking it out with God (and if you're married, your spouse) and we need to do this first and foremost when we are angry. Teach yourself short sentence prayers to ground yourself in those moments.

Real Praise: Conform Your Anger (v 17-28)
We need to conform our anger to the character of God. He is just. He is our ideal. He is what we long for. Wickedness is delusional and promises things that are not real. It is outside of reality. Choose to live in reality, which is always better, because reality is where God is. Our anger is a call to communion with God, through Jesus, who did this perfectly. Jesus got angry and did not sin.

Passive Anger: Apathy, Avoidance, Defeatism, Manipulation, Resentment
Aggressive Anger: Blow up, Destructiveness, Unpredictability, Vengeance, Abandonment

How do you deal with anger? Do you push it down? Do you blow up?