This world is not our home

No matter what, the time we have here on this earth in sin is temporary. More temporary than we realize. We are especially reminded of this in times of death. Whether unexpected or expected, it is again a shock in your bones of how fleeting life really is. 

A and I lost one of his best friends last night. We are in shock. I actually grew up with him too and his sisters are close friends of mine. My brother and he were best friends too so it’s been a history with this family and mine. You don’t expect as kids what will happen in your futures. I would never imagine such a tragedy. We have gone through the truths of Jesus again and again last night. We were driving out of town for my husband’s work and all we wanted to be doing was turning around and heading straight to his house. I am so broken. 

However, a little while ago, the Lord again brought a renewed truth to my mind and I couldn’t help but document it immediately. I want to remember. He has been so faithful to show me that He is there. 

Romans 8:18-39 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Drew, we will miss you so much. Aaron has been sharing memories of you and he keeps saying that he isn’t sad about death because we know of where you are, but he is so sad of the loss we here left behind feel until we see you again. Until then, we will press on to serve our King, trusting Him through it. 

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Happy Friday!

High five for Friday

Top five from this week:

1. A week of simplicity: no twitter or Facebook- Another post for another day but I don’t know I’ve had time to look at it so much in the past. I feel too refreshed. It’s tempting to just delete the thing altogether.

2. School: great week with the students celebrating advent

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3. I found out Rend Collective has a Christmas album

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4. Snuggle time with my fam

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5. Spending quality time with my eighty-eight year old grandfather (even if it is spent at the doctor’s office) Image

 I am off to spend time with him and address Christmas cards!

Happy advent season!

 

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Christmas Gifts this year

Thanks to my church several years ago then Jen Hatmaker in several of her books reinforcing it again this year, the Lord keeps working in my heart on possessions and their place in our lives. Their priority and where and how they are used.

I read recently (don’t remember where) that there are around 300 verses on faith in the Bible and around 300 verses on prayer. There are around 2,500-3,000 (can’t remember the exact number) verses on possessions/money. Really? There is something to be said for that. As an English teacher, we discuss that repetition means importance.

Anyways, Jen wrote a blog several years ago on gifts and how her family will give gifts for the future years. Similarly, a guy we were doing mission work with in Ecuador told us about his family’s gift giving traditions. So, A and I this year are doing a mixture of the two:

We are giving each other five gifts (which still seems like a lot)

1. Something we want

2. Something we need

3. Something to wear

4. Something to read

5. Something that no one can take away

This is just one step in simplifying (although if I were to be honest, it’s not that simple. We still don’t really NEED anything) Steps at a time, I guess.

Excited to see God’s work in our lives this Christmas season! We want to live, move, breath, for his glory.

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Prepare Him Room

“Let every heart prepare Him room” 

 I am so excited that today is December 1st. I love new beginnings. (especially after yesterday- a day I dread each year- another subject for another day)

The Lord was working in me about thanksgiving and I felt it coming about Christmas. I want to SOAK IT UP. Soak up the time and holiday with Jesus, the real celebration of this season. Today begins Advent season. The waiting and longing of Jesus coming. Today. I have already read about 4 advent devotionals and sent some to friends. I just can’t get enough. I think my hubby may have known it too because he texted me today while at work and said “Want to read together tonight?” Um. YES! 

I don’t remember how but one line of “Joy to the World” has been in my head a lot today. “Let every heart prepare Him room”

I knew immediately when hearing it that it was time for me to prepare Him room in my life, heart, so much more than He gets now and that He totally deserves! It started for me with some social media fasting, specifically twitter and Facebook. Prepare Him room. Remove the filth, distractions, temporary pleasures that don’t satisfy and prepare the true satisfier ROOM to come in and FILL my heart. 

I can’t wait to share with my students tomorrow and to long and prepare and celebrate Jesus coming. once and again soon. 

How are you preparing Him room during this advent season or really ALL of the time? 

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Time

I have had it, for sure. Time that is. However, it just hasn’t happened. I have thought a million times to post about this or that. Really to document what is happening in our lives so we can look back, seeing God’s faithfulness and work along the way.

Since it is almost THANKSGIVING (What in the world?), I guess I need to do a quick update since the summer. This has been the greatest school year so far. At the beginning I was nervous to say that and still am because we have a while longer in the school year. I don’t want to jinx it! But really, Jesus has been so faithful to this school year. He is teaching me and the kids and I am so grateful.

Some changes in our lives this fall:

-my grandmother had a stroke and that was life-changing for her and for us as a family- She is doing so well but we still have a long road

-different holiday plans (which was so needed)

-my hubby has a new job and that will change our schedules a little

-lifestyle changes

Really, we are just in a huge transitional place. I am so cautious too. I want to make sure we are hearing and following the Lord as we come to an intersection in life, wanting to go down the right road. Lord, we are Yours.

Blessings to you, readers, (yes all of you- aka no one) as you go through this holiday season. May it be so that we live for the Lord. 

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It’s been a while…

When is the best time to be totally inconsistent in blogging? When you start a blog! Not. 

I initially stopped because as of now, the posts are not being posted on aninchdeep.com which is where most of you would visit. I have thought too that I really did create this blog to document for myself. So why have I not been blogging? 

I will say that in the summer I am really busy. I will just blame it on that.

So, for myself, I really need to go back and document things that have gone on this summer. 

For the time being, I will say that the biggest thing Jesus has taught me is to GIVE GRACE AND MERCY. This demonstrates Christ’s characteristics and if He would give so much grace and mercy to others, the last thing I need to do is be critical of others. Do you know what I mean? Something frustrates you and instead of being gracious, you huff and puff… Anyone relate? Jesus, free us from that for your glory! 

I’m grateful for Jesus this summer… He doesn’t give up on us! 

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Mother’s Day

I was just thinking as I went to bed last night how many mothers I am privileged to either knowing personally or learning from via the blog world. There are so many women I know from the beginning, I could not even possibly cover.

My mom- I love that God knows exactly what He is doing. He gave me just the right woman. I don’t take it for granted. I know it is a blessing, and it is to be used to glorify Him. She is so encouraging, all of the time. I seriously can count on one hand the number of times she hurt my feelings. Wow. She is so positive. about everything. My family says that if Satan’s name wasn’t Satan, she would defend him. She wants to think the best in everything. Anyways, she loves on me and my brother, and my husband constantly. Then she has like fifty students that she loves so much. IMG_5215

My mother in law- She is a gift giver! It’s not just like any gift. She really thinks through it. She gives gifts outside of holidays. She might see something we could use and will get it for us. You can tell she really thinks about others and she is such a giving person. I appreciate so much her influence on my hubby’s life. Her traits really have influenced him in a positive way.

High Five for Friday a day late

My grandmother- She is special. She is the only grandmother I have known so she is the one and only. My mom gets a lot of her traits for Nanny. She wants to serve serve serve. The consequence of that is she will never let you know if she needs help. She has served my grandfather with everything in her. She is there at every event to support us and always loves. She has never once hurt me and has always been a light. I could go into much deeper stuff about this lady but we will leave this one at an inch deep. IMG_5147

If those three weren’t enough, I am surrounded by ladies in my life who are great examples of motherhood. When the Lord desires me to be in a mother role, I have so many to learn from, and all in posiitve ways!

Thanks to my friend, Elise, who shows me how to love on her kids without being overly protective and rigid in parenting. It’s ok if the kids get dirty, it’s ok if they go to bed late one night. Of course, it’s not ok to run in the street and good thing! However, it’s picking and choosing the things that actually matter to “worry” about. She homeschools her oldest and teaches the younger two along the way. I love that we take walks and she is teaching him about the trees and flowers as we go. He soaks it right up. I’m so glad she is my friend. IMG_5201

I had to capture the moment but her son made a in-field home run and saved the game. It was really an awesome moment for so many reasons.

Another friend Kristin shows me how to speak calmly and firmly when disciplining the child, without having to scream. She teaches her girls to correct the issue at hand without just getting on to them and going on. She teaches them how to react in the right way and they practice. I’m proud of K, how she wants to stay healthy and keep her temple the best it should be, and has taken time to exercise when she could have said, “I don’t have time” or “I have two kids. I can’t.”

Or my college friends, Ashley and Jennifer. I love getting to hear Jennifer share her journey with Baker boy. I love see that she has pointed every bit of it to Jesus and so many are praising Him because of her child. And Ashley, who called me to tell me she was adopting. I couldn’t have been more excited as A and I plan to do the same thing. Then, she gets pregnant with her second so adoption is on hold for now.

Or Staci who loves Mo so much. She wasn’t created to be a typical mom, but God called her to “Mom” (I’m using it as a verb) and she is doing it so well.High Five for Friday!

My friend, Mindy, who ROCKS at parenting. I hope to be like her. One thing she has taught me is  to keep a box of snacks in the back of my car for the kids. She disciples her children and I love that.

Greta who reminds me a lot of Mindy- I’ve always called her super-mom. I love seeing through social media the ways she loves her kids. IMG_5115

My friend and previous mentor Katie, who I have seen depend on God so much in parenting her children. She has shown me Jesus so many times and I am so grateful.

Or A Place Called Simplicity where she has 12 kids, sharing her story with others as God has called her to be a mother.

Or Catie who God has used to speak so much to me about foster care.

or Katie who is mothering girls in Uganda.

And the women who have shared so openly about infertility and understanding God’s plan. Thank you for being so brave to share your deepest hurts, fears, pains.

so to all of you moms out there, thank you for your example. May I seek the Lord and depend on Him if and when God calls me to be a mother one day.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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