Monday, July 7, 2014

July 4th Festivities

It's been a glorious 3-day weekend around these parts!  The weather simply could not have been more perfect!  It felt more like spring than July!  It's been glorious!

We kicked off the 4th of July a little early.  Sweet (newly engaged!!!) Miss K came over Thursday night and had dinner with us and then she and Olivia had a PJ party and movie night!  Here's a pic of the girls watching Frozen!

We spent the day Friday knocking some things off our To-Do List like washing my car and Kevin's truck, yard work, grocery shopping, and such.  

Friday night was all about chillaxin and enjoying the fireworks show Olivia helped put together!

Kevin NEVER skimps on the fireworks, and this year was no exception!  I was too busy enjoying the show to get any good pics, but they were spectacular!!

We spent the day Saturday at Nana and Papas enjoying lunch and soaking up the beautiful weather!

Sarah came home with us for a sleepover!   

These kiddos packed a ton of fun into just a few short hours after we got home!  Oh my good gracious!  We roasted marshmallows and made s'mores, sang campfire songs, went on a bear hunt, picked blackberries in the back yard, and played with leftover sparklers!  

Those girls' heads hit their pillows like rocks, and they were O.U.T. in no time!!

Sarah went to church with us Sunday.  Kevin really came through for me once again and rounded up these 3 kiddos and got them to church on time all by himself Sunday morning!!  **Sweet**

And, finally, Sunday afternoon, we logged some serious time in the pool!

 It was a long and fun weekend!  It couldn't have been better!   Hope yours was just as grand!



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Can I Really Do All Things Through Christ?

I count myself pretty privileged to be a part of this Bible Study that I wrote about here.  

I'm standing at my kitchen counter writing this, and literally my arms are weak and shaky at this very moment because...

I'm learning where I am weak, and where He is strong.  

Where I have doubt, and where He gives truth.

Where I say, "I can't!"  And He says, "You can!"

My heart is expanding, and I have this thirst and desire for more of Him!  And He is showing up big time and just blowing. my. mind.

One thing Beth Moore encourages in this Bible Study is "Faith Journaling."  In other words, taking the day's lesson and turning it into a written prayer for my life, or writing a response to what was taught, etc.  One thing I've learned about myself through that process is that I have this paralyzing fear.

I fear that I will let God down.  

I want to represent God well.  I want to represent the Christian faith well.  I am a Christ follower, so I want to represent Jesus well.  To other believers.  And to nonbelievers.  

I see in my past where I have failed to do that, and I struggle with a real fear of failing Him.  I'm afraid of being the Christian that claims to love Jesus while giving Him and the Christian faith a black eye.

I fear that I will fail in the very area where He's placed me.  I fear that I will never be equipped enough or gifted enough to be successful where He's telling me to go.  

The crazy part is that I see both my sin and His redemption in that.  I see the Gospel.

I'm looking at myself and my weaknesses, my fears, my hang-ups instead of looking at His strength, His truth, His grace.  

A lot of "me," "myself," and "I."

This is why the Gospel never, EVER gets old.  This is why it's just as alive and active today as it was 2,000-plus years ago!  I need God's grace and strength to cover me in my weaknesses and doubts and fears and sins.  I need to look UP TO HIM and not into myself.  Even in my fears, He reminds me that he is greater! 

One aspect of my faith that is really being challenged is:

But do I really believe this??  Do I know with confidence that this is true?

I don't know...sometimes....maybe?...I'm not sure....I think so?...

Listen, I'll be the first to admit that I am very much a work in progress.  I want my faith to grow so that Philippians 4:13 becomes a part of my DNA!  

That's one thing I've been praying for over these last 4 weeks, and, OH MY GOOD GRACIOUS did He blow me away last night with this...

God says to Joshua, "I will not fail you."

I. will. not. fail. you!






In that very moment, God (and please excuse this southern terminology) hit me upside tha head!  

I have no reason to fear that I could ever fail God.  In fact, it's not about me at all!!  



He. will. not. fail. me!

Imagine little ol' me standing up to the God of the universe saying, "No.  I can't.  No.  I'm too scared.  No.  I don't know you well enough yet.   No.  I'm not equipped.  No.  You seem to forgotten the junk in my past.  No.  I might fail you."  And just imagine the God of the universe pointing his all mighty finger into my chest and saying, "NO.  I WILL NOT FAIL YOU!"

I could have jumped right out of my seat last night right there in the middle of friend A's living room!  Because when God speaks, it's like a bolt of lightening straight to the heart, and in an instant, things are different!  BAM!  Heart changed!  Just like that!

He is soooooo good!

I'm still a work in progress, but a huge chunk of that fear is simply gone now!  

Today, I'm looking at Him instead of myself and begging him to turn me into a person that will be a blessing in the place he's telling me to go!

My best is yet to come!