Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Book About My Summer

I decided yesterday that I am going to have Jake write and illustrate a book about his summer in the city. I am excited about this idea and wanted to share it with you. It could be fun for any kid to do and a great keepsake. Here are my thoughts:
-Each morning while I am getting ready for the day I am going to have him draw a picture of how he spent the day before. This cause him to stop and remember details of the day before. (Thinking skills)
-Then I will have him narrate to me about his day - helping him early on to learn to pay attention to specifics. (verbal skills) I will type/write this for him to see.
-Then he will copy the words in his own handwriting. copywork is a great way for kids to learn to write their letters in a not so boring way.
-At the end of the summer we will have his very own written record of the summer. He is so excited that he gets to write and illustrate his very own book.
-the writing out the narration so he can copy will probably be a bit tedious but it will make it more personal for him to be able to write it himself.
you can take this idea and run with it. You may just want to have the child draw the picture and narrate to you. You can type up what he said about the day and put it with the picture. It is still his/her words and picture.

Prayer Request

Today was a hard day. I hit a wall earlier today and can't seem to get going again. I packed up the boxes that we will need this summer and took the to mail to our new friends Angie and Bryan Davis. They have graciously opened their home to John until our apt gets ready. And we had never met them before this - they are friends of friends. I hurt my back during this whole process and it has been on fire all afternoon. I am sure it is just a muscle that needs rest but I don't really have the time or option to rest it. So because I am weary I am here asking for you guys to pray for the next few days.
1. Pray for Jake and Brady. Jake has had a really hard 2 weeks. There have been sensitive adult issues that he has faced (that he shouldn't have) and this has made him really clingy to me and sad a lot. He of course misses John on top of the other stuff. Brady has cried a lot for John this week. This is out of character for Brady - he usually rolls with the flow. I think he is just uncertain because of how Jake is doing and because he has seen me REALLY upset over these "adult" issues. Pray that God will be their comfort. I feel like I am failing them in this area right now. Pray that they will enjoy the next few days - that they will be happy days for these little ones.
2. Pray for me - I am weary and tired. It has been a long 2 months. Family issues have taken their toll on me the last 2 weeks. I need wisdom on how to handle these issues before I leave and sadly, right now I just don't care to deal with them. Though it is a very loud squeaky wheel it is not the squeaky wheel that I want to give my attention to. Also pray that God would heal my back tonight!!!!
3. Pray for this transition. I am not worried that much about this but that may just be because I am clinging to the grace that God gives me to make it through this day. Today has enough worries of its own. So if you could go before me and ask God with me to make this transition as smooth as possible. Pray that Jake and Brady (and me for that matter) handle the transition of John going back to work outside the home - with some long hours on the horizon. Pray that the boys adjust to apt life again.
Thank you!!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Story Unfolds

A friend told me tonight that I needed to update my blog that my readers were hanging (all 3 of them :). I am so amazed at how God works. I was really amazed earlier today but I just got off the phone with John and after that conversation I am speechless. (Well I guess that is not true since I am writing - overwhelmed and humbled are probably better descriptions of how I feel right now). So for those of you interested here is the story.
In January, John's boss told him that work was slowing down and he freed him up to start looking for other jobs. He had a contact in the industry that sent his resume to this company at the end of February. We didn't hear anything from them until late march and starting April 1st John was unemployed. John has had probably 5 different interviews with this company since then. We really didn't think it was going to happen. He sent out over 70 resumes in the last 2 months. Tons of interviews but no job. So last week he flew to Spokane, Washington and was sure he had the job. He came home and we started making plans to move across the continent. We were amazed at this job opportunity. In our eyes it was perfect. The pay was amazing and the cost of living was really really cheap. We were so excited that we were going to make some serious headway with our debt quickly. John got an email from the president of the company (which usually doesn't happen) saying they were really impressed with him but the next day they interviewed someone who had some specific experience that they were looking for. We were truly devastated and had to question God. We longed for His will and could not understand why He did not give us this job. It was a hard week but God taught each of us sooo much (my last 2 post were a result of that week of struggle). So he gets a call on Wednesday from Round Arch (the company he is now working for) saying they wanted to do one more phone interview and it happened on Thursday and then they ask him to come to NY. He interviewed with them and as he was about to get on the plan they called and offered him the job. They needed him to start Wednesday so he just stayed and worked this week. So the sheer fact that God provided him with a job in this economy is amazing but it goes so much beyond that. For this 3 month contract the company is renting us a furnished apt (with utilities) in Manhattan, they pay him 50/day to eat on, and they will fly him home when he wants to come home. And the pay is way more than we could have ever imagined. So essentially we will have zero cost of living this summer - except paying off our debt and what we do in the city. ABOVE AND BEYOND but it still gets better.
I called John earlier and he was at dinner with some of the guys he works with. Two of the guys he had interviewed with. They were discussing another guy that they had interviewed from Birmingham that John knew. They told John they didn't hire him because he was not up to their companies standard. John was shocked because he knew this guy knows more in the field than John does. So John ask what things did he not know. When they answered John said he just thanked God. John didn't know those same things in his interview. Before tonight, I would feel safe saying that one of the stones of remembrance that John has taken hold of during this process is that it is truly "at His discretion that men are made great and given power." But hearing that tonight drove the stake even deeper in both of our hearts.
So we are off to the Big Apple!!!! We don't know what God has in store for us there but we trust with even more surety than ever before that He will meet us there. He loves us and He is committed to us and as hard as this struggle has been (very hard) we are so thankful God gave us the grace to walk through it and to see Him in a deeper way and to watch Him shine. We give Him all the glory for all of this. This job was the first of over 70 applications that John sent out. God could have opened the door months ago but He knew we would miss out on so much learning and experiencing Him if He had. He truly works all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to His purpose. Thank you all for your prayers. We shall see what is in store for the next chapter in our book :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Follow Up to last post.

After reading my last post John ask the question (with all sincerity) - By saying that God did all this to be with me, are we making much of ourselves rather than much of God. We believe that God created us for His glory so I understand completely why He would ask that. This very question is part of the reason why the epiphany that I had today was so profound to me.
See before God created anything He was perfect and complete. To have been lacking in anything would not make Him the God of the Bible. This means He did not need us to be glorified, He did not need us to love Him, He did not need us for any reason. But He is a loving God - abounding in love and He wanted to share this love. He created a people to love because He wanted to. And not only did He create us to love us He put a deep longing within us to be loved - wooed (especially women). This is that hole that we try to fill with so many things. But I think our culture - and the feminist movement has taught us to ignore this longing. In order to be "strong women" we don't need to need from another. This very much is true for men too but it plays out in a little different way. So we tell ourselves that that warm and gooey feeling we experience when we read a good love story (Twilight books for me) or watch a good romantic movie is not achievable in reality and we push it down and/or fill it with other things.
For me today, that longing became a reality because I saw God in a different light. He is perfect and lacking for nothing and yet He reached out through time - orchestrating events in such a way to redeem my life and make me His bride.
This in no way diminishes God's glory - in fact for me it makes it greater. John Piper says that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him" What is more satisfying than to know that you are completely loved and adored, cherished and fought for, just the way you are? Finding that satisfaction in Him negates my wanting from others and makes me want to rest in Him, to be with Him and to burst at the seams telling others about Him and this great love.
Paul says that God's love compels him (not his desire to bring God glory). I think that desire is birthed out of being loved by the Father. In Romans Paul affirms us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Throughout the Scriptures, God's love and compassion and kindness is what leads to repentance. He looks at His people and has compassion on them. He loves us!!!!!
I think that we live in a action world. We are told "get up and do" and this work ethic has tainted our view of God. We feel worthless and unloveable if we aren't doing what we know to do, we don't think people will love us if we don't perform for them. This is the same filter that we see God. Tainted!!!!
We bring NOTHING to the table. We are not needed to advance the gospel (Romans 1 confirms that). We are not needed to love God, to show others the love of God. But God knew that if we truly experienced this life altering love affair that He longs for us to know - that we could not help but share it with the world. We could love others fully because we don't need anything from them because our God shaped hole (that He created for Him to fill) is full and overflowing.
Him loving me and reaching through time and history to redeem me to Himself makes EVERYTHING of Him in my eyes and I hope yours as well.

Just to be with ME!!!!

Below is taken directly from my journal. This is what God showed me today. I want to share it because for me it is profound!!!! When you read it don't see the me as me (Amy). When you read it YOU are me!!!! He feels the same way about you. I hope you are in awe as I am. Oh and listen to Love Song by Third Day on my playlist while you read it:)

I remember before Brady was born wondering how I could love another as much as I loved Jake. But the moment I saw him my heart felt like it would explode with love for him as well. I know I am not capable of loving like God does but today I realized that His heart is completely full of love for me. I am His daughter, His bride, His friend - in all of these things He loves me fully, completely. Reading the Twilight books, I have been wooed to this kind of bold love - forsaking self for the one you love, willing to give your life for that love, to put aside your needs for the one you love. Here on earth this kind of love exist but is tainted by sin and so we never get to experience it in its fullness. But the taste that I have of it - my husband protecting me from those who seek to destroy me with their words, comforting me like no one on this earth can, laughing with me as we walk through this life and this trial, reading about Edward Cullen willing to give his life to protect his love, willing to die when he thinks she is dead - these whet my appetite for this deep love that is not tainted by our sin. Lately I have felt unsatisfied with how the people who love me love me. But this is not about them. All of this wooing is God trying to open my eyes to the reality of that perfect love. It exist and I can experience it everyday. It is somewhat tainted but not by my lover - rather by my sin and my perceptions of Him. This love is there and I can feel it, I can enjoy it, i can delight in it, I can keep it to myself - it is very deep and personal. He is jealous for me and my affection. He wants me to be with him. He wants me to want Him, to delight in Him, to cherish Him, to be with Him - to be with Him. That is what He wants from me. His desire for me is to be with Him - He doesn’t want my service, my labor. He doesn’t want me to tell others about Him, He doesn’t want me to share this love with others. He does not want me to teach others how to experience this love, to have it themselves. He does not want me to teach my children about Him, He doesn’t want me to love my husband with all that I have and give myself to him fully and completely, He does not want me to love my neighbor as myself. He does not want these things of me but He knows that they will happen because you can't keep this kind of love to yourself. Me doing these things are not the desires of His heart!!!! I am the desire of His heart. He wants me to make Him the desire of my heart. He wants me to not get enough of Him. He wants me to read His love letter to ME like I read a good love story. He wants me to see that all that He did was because He loves me. He did it for me. He caused an old woman past her time to have a baby so that he could be with me. He walked on the raging seas so He could be with me. When men insulted Him and attacked Him, he did not retaliate but entrusted Himself to the one who judges justly so that He could be with me. He walked a mountain with a cross on His back, He hung on that cross, He was beaten and spit at so that He could be with me. He changed the hearts of men so that the truth of Him would make it to me so that he could be with me. He allowed the death of saints - to be murdered and burned at the stake - lives he could have saved but lives that wanted to be with Him and wanted me to be with Him. He allowed their deaths so that He could be with me. He did this all for me. There is no price He did not pay to be with me. And that is just what He wants - to be with me. JUST TO BE WITH ME!!!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pray With Us

So today I am in need of your prayers. John thought he had and job and that we were moving to Spokane, WA. Well, he didn't get that job. I really feel caught off gaurd because there were so many things about how this job came about - timing and all - that I was sure that God was doing this. Now we both feel very numb this morning. Of course we are worried about our finances but way more that we are curious to see what God is doing. We know this is more about our relationship with God and Him drawing us to trust Him more.
Please lift us up in your prayers. My mind is too jumbled to write any more than this right now.

Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honour come from you alone, and you are the Ruler of all mankind; your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength. KING DAVID, 1 CHRONICLES 29:11-12 (LB)