Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Psalm of Promise and Rest

I have a heart for injustice and mercy.  It took me years to stop railing against God for what I DIDN'T have (my personal stumbling block has always been envy) and realize that that intrinsic awareness of others that I've always possessed in abundant measure could be turned to the good, by the grace of God and His work in my jealous heart.  But no journey of growth will ever be complete on this side of heaven, so it was a delight, then, to have Psalm 73 pop up in our daily bible reading this morning.  What comfort for those of us who absolutely ache for the misery and oppression that fellow human beings endure at the hands of those who appear to be more privileged!  What promise and rest comes in the arms of the Mighty God alone, praise Yahweh.    

Psalm 73

A psalm of Asaph.

Surely God is good to Israel,
    to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
    I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant
    when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles;
    their bodies are healthy and strong.[a]
They are free from common human burdens;
    they are not plagued by human ills.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
    they clothe themselves with violence.
From their callous hearts comes iniquity[b];
    their evil imaginations have no limits.
They scoff, and speak with malice;
    with arrogance they threaten oppression.
Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
    and their tongues take possession of the earth.
Therefore their people turn to them
    and drink up waters in abundance.[c]
They say, “How would God know?
    Does the Most High know anything?”
This is what the wicked are like—
    always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
    and have washed my hands in innocence.
All day long I have been afflicted,
    and every morning brings new punishments.
If I had spoken out like that,
    I would have betrayed your children.
When I tried to understand all this,
    it troubled me deeply
till I entered the sanctuary of God;
    then I understood their final destiny.
Surely you place them on slippery ground;
    you cast them down to ruin.
How suddenly are they destroyed,
    completely swept away by terrors!
They are like a dream when one awakes;
    when you arise, Lord,
    you will despise them as fantasies.
When my heart was grieved
    and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
    I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish;
    you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
    I will tell of all your deeds.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Things I Love About Summer

This post should be easy - I mean the conventional wisdom is that summer is awesome, right?  But I've never been too much of a summer girl myself, so this takes some work for me.  But positive thinking is a good exercise, so I'm bound and determined to find 10 things I like about summer (not in any particular order).

#1. Green Tea Frappuccinos - Generally I'm a latte or macchiato girl, but on a hot summer day that simply won't do and I'm not much of an iced coffee fan, so Green Tea Fraps (no whip) it is for me.  I think the odd color is half the fun.

#2. Sandals and Flip Flops - This pertains to me AND to the rest of the family.  They take up less space (when you have eight people and multiple pairs of shoes, this becomes important) and they are easier to put on, both as an adult AND for the littles.  And nothing says comfort like naked and free toes. :)

#3. Swimming - I think it's the cheapest, easiest entertainment out there (especially for us who have the luxury of nearby family with a pool).  And it's super healthy for you too.  I haven't been in the pool this summer as much as I probably should be, but it is amazing how good it feels on a pregnant body as well (or should I say, how heavy and burdened you realize you are when you climb OUT of the pool).

#4.  Camping - Okay, okay, I have a love-hate relationship with camping.  It's SOOOO much work and sleeping is just never very comfortable, even on the best of nights.  And the epic clean up/laundering when you get home is rough too.  But there's just something so family-bonding-ish about the whole thing that keeps me looking forward to our once or twice a year trips every winter.  And, let's face it, nature, while it scares me a tad bit, is just awesome, isn't it?

#5. Easier Mornings - This isn't universal, we often have early mornings for skating, swim team, and various appointments, but in general it's less hectic as there are at least only one or two kids that need to be ready early versus the entire crew.

#6.  Grilling - I love the grill.  We don't use it as much as we should, but grill cooking in the summer is the best.  Especially veggies.  Who knew zucchini could be so delicious?

#7.  Laundry - There's less of it in the summer, I think because each individual piece has less fabric in the summer, and because, let's face it, there will be days (not often, I promise) when the kids don't make it out of their PJs.

#8.  Long Nights - The lazy, sunshiney nights are some of the best times of the year.  In the early and late summer, they are perfect for sitting out on the patio.  And the sunsets, oh the sunsets.  Amazing, and certainly reflective of God's majesty.

#9.  Green - Okay, Idaho doesn't compare to the Midwest here, but hey, I'll take what I can get.  I love to see things at least a *leeetle* bit green.  Now, by late August, green is very relative lol.  Speaking of green, my oddly happy hydrangea bush brings me great joy too!

#10.  The Family Unit - While I love the school year and have never had a second thought that traditional schooling is exactly what's right for our family, there's a sweet togetherness that happens during the summer.  The younger kids and older kids spend more time together, bonding as a unit.  It's neat.  I think perhaps the brevity of it helps keep it sweet too.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

C'est la vie!

Life gets in the way of things like blogging sometimes, doesn't it?  Oh well, the only reset that's too late is the one that never happens!  So here I am again.  I won't make any fantastic promises, and I'm not planning on trying to catch up.  I'm just going to let my blog be what it will be.  The end and amen.

Summer is coming to a close quickly.  We've spent the week thus far doing doctors and dentists appointments, cleaning up from our camping trip, and starting back-to-school shopping (I always have grandiose plans to get this done ahead of time, but inevitably I wait til the week before - I think I'm in denial prior to that).  I'm excited for Fall: cooler temperatures, football season, all my favorite scents, colors, and flavors, a more structured family life in terms of school being back in session, and, for the first time in all my 16 years of child-bearing, a brand new Fall baby (something I've always wanted but have never had!).  Bring it on, I say!

A pretty sky view from our front yard

33 weeks and holding

Camping fun at Badger Creek

My biggest girls