remembering & living

This is my boys - moving - and me from Palm Sunday - we are happy and we are dressed and we made it to to church sort of on time :) to celebrate Jesus
(I borrowed this snapshot from my Instagram account ) // my boys – moving – and me from Palm Sunday – we are happy and we are dressed and we made it to to church sort of on time 🙂 to celebrate Jesus

 

One of the most difficult challenges that I daily face is forgetting – forgetting the good, forgetting the sweet and pleasant and purposed – and then I am all the of the sudden derailed by the bad, bitter, unpleasant, and thwarted.

The Lord calls us to remember, remember that He is the Lord your God, remember His commands and obey them, remember in order to LIVE.

With Mother’s Day soon, I want to chronicle some of the lessons the Lord has taught me over the past 40 months that I have been a mommy. I want to remember the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord in my life through this new-life that I am living. I want to remember all that the Lord is making me – NEW – and all that He has given me in Christ and through my sons. I want to remember, and to live.

I chronicle some of my lessons learned because I want my children, as they grow, to know their mommy loves them and loves that being a mommy is a life for a life. I want this to be for the day when each one of them hopefully walk through the threshold of parenthood. And I want this is for you – to encourage you, to remind you of the Lord and His goodness, His faithfulness, His providence — to Him be all the glory and praise and adoration.

 

That [our lives ] may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. –  1 Peter 1:7

* the first three months or so…

All Things Were Created Through Him and For Him

I have been wanting to share with you for some time now a glimpse into the first trimester of this second pregnancy. And now that we are into the second trimester, I suppose I’d better share now before I forget all of anything I can remember.

I prayed and prayed and prayed long before I was pregnant a second time that I would not be sick like I was with Leland. That time sick with Leland was a good time for me, and for me before the Lord. But I just so wanted to be able to spend time with and enjoy Leland if the Lord ever blessed us again with another pregnancy, with another baby. And, I must say, the Lord has answered our prayers! I have been tired, but not sick! I have felt little funny waves of whatever, but nothing like before. Yep, I love simple carbs right now. And yep, I cannot ever think about what to eat until I need to eat RIGHT NOW. But friend, I’ll take it! And I’m so grateful to the Lord.

Another prayer request that I had went something like this – Oh Lord if it at all possible, if you don’t mind either way, could I experience the first trimester of a second baby when Leland still takes two naps each day?

It’s a little prayer, but a significant one, I know you moms know.

And bless the Lord, oh my soul, if I have not been able to somedays enjoy two naps and plenty of restful time while Leland sleeps twice a day. Truly, praise God from whom all blessings flow.

That’s not to say that it’s been a blissful cakewalk, but at the same time, it has. This pregnancy, this baby, is completely appointed by the sovereign Lord. And sure, I have had emotional day. And yes ma’am, I’ve had to die to myself and to my expectations of wonderful-ness again and again. Crumbs remain on the floor; tasks, undone.

The Lord is teaching me…

1. Rachel, I AM most important. Goodness, yes, Lord.

2. Tyler is to come next.

3. Leland is next.

Again and again the Lord reminds me, relationships are the most important. Not to do lists. Not cleaning up messes and feeling accomplished in things that will truly never be finished (like laundry and really, all housework).

Welcoming Tyler into a home where his wife is rested (but the house is a bit mussed) is better.

Loving Leland and holding onto him, caring for him (rather than running around crazy) is better.

The people that live in your home are your mission field, your precious gifts from Me, your life.

And again and again, the Lord so sweetly, slowly whispers to me His love. So I hear it and I give myself time to respond.

Thank you, Lord, for being slow to anger and quick to show me your everlasting, un-ending, un-faltering love.

Thank you for growing life in me. Thank you that YOU are LIFE.

Colossians 1 reads (remember Colossians is one of my all-time favorite favorites),

“…all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (v. 16-17)

Thank you that it’s YOU. That you create. sustain. hold together. hem in. supply. provide. love. nourish. guide. give.

And here’s to the second trimester, that You have perfectly ordained.

 

15 1/2 weeks
yep, little love is peekin’ out. and big boy is saying hello too 🙂 but alas, my face didn’t even make this candid shot. that’s probably for everyone’s good (hehe)

Love Love Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

 

 

** The first post of this series : Treasure Upon Treasure

** The second post of this series : The Law of Love

The love of the Lord and His command to us to love Him is to rest, to be, to sit, to dwell, on our hearts.

The other day I told Leland, “Listen and obey Mommy.” I am sure this is something I will say again and again a thousand times to him throughout his life. I also told Leland, “Mommy loves you, baby.”

And isn’t that exactly what the Lord is saying to the Israelites in Deuteronomy?

Children, listen and obey.

Children, I love you.

And what makes the Lord’s love even better, what makes His love better than life, is that He is perfect and so His love is perfect.

I told Leland, “Listening and obeying Mommy helps you to learn to listen and obey the Lord. It’s something you will learn throughout your entire life. And it’s funny that the Lord would have Mommy teach this to you, because she is still learning to listen and obey the Lord herself.”

Isn’t this the truth?

Even so, it’s because the perfect Lord shows us unfathomable, gracious, steadfast, faithful love – to us who are imperfect, finite, quick-tempered, fickle, impatient, faithless, faltering children – that we can love others in His love.

We each are children, His children, and as we listen and obey and remember that the Lord loves us, we can love Him in return, love others well, and live for the glory of the Lord, in our life preserved for eternity in the ultimate Promised Land.

The Law of Love

** The first post of this series : Treasure Upon Treasure

 

One of the passages that is well-known, and for good reason, from Deuteronomy that constantly makes itself known to me is Deuteronomy 6. Why don’t you take out your copy of God’s Word and read aloud to yourself this chapter? It’s so good for us to read and hear aloud His Word to our hearts.

First, read aloud verses one through nine. If you do not have a copy of His Word handy, here it is, in the ESV translation.

“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Isn’t it so good to listen to – to hear out loud – the Word of God being read? And this is something that we can do all by ourselves, in our quiet times with the Lord.

Let me just first walk us through verses 10-25, as well. Maybe you will want to read to yourself these verses, too, before you read tidbits of what the Lord taught me through them.

Here are a few treasures the Lord showed me as I read through verses 10-25.

* We see in verse 10 that the Lord states that His promise is kept because He promised it to the patriarchs.

* We read in verses 16-19 that when we are enjoying good times, we are to remember and thank and celebrate the Lord, not forget the Lord and worship idols, whatever the thing is that we are enjoying, or ourselves, thinking that we brought the good to us. We are to remember that everything is from the Lord, that we are to thank Him for it, and celebrate the Lord with and through all of His good gifts He gives to us. The Lord sweetens our best days and brings comfort in our difficult days. He is to be with us and remembered, thanked, and celebrated and worshipped, every day of our lives into eternity.

* Moses reminds the people again – how often we each need daily, minute by minute reminders of what we think we may already know – to teach their sons the story of the Lord and to fear and honor the Lord with their lives.

* And what blessing the Lord promises when we fear and follow Him. He tells the Israelites and even us through Moses’ words in verses 24-25, “‘And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.’”

Now let’s go back to verses 1-9 and think through them for a good bit.

What are some key points you notice?

What are some key phrases that seem significant?

What are some personal applications for your own life?

What are some application points as you teach others about the Lord?

The Lord and who He is and the reality that He is ONE GOD is the foundation for all of everything, for all of life. The Shema, which exclaims,  “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one” shows us that. That is why the Lord has Moses begin there.

The Lord – sovereign ruler over all, high above and lofty – is to be the Lord of our every day life. See that, friends? Wherever you are going – as you are with the people who can seem ‘commonplace’ in your life – whatever y’all are doing – the Lord is to be the Lord of those times, on our lips, center of our conversation and teaching times, center of our prayers and praises and petitions. The Lord is to be Lord.

We make Him Lord in our lives by loving Him with everything that we are, with everything that we’ve got. We live to learn to love Him with our minds, with our motives, with our motions. We learn to love Him in every minute of the day, in every circumstance and happenstance that comes our way. We learn to love Him through each relationship through which the Lord blesses our lives. We are to love Him in the simple, every day, hum drum stuff of life. Stuff like dishes, laundry, decorating, dinner, lazy afternoons, hard floor scrubbing, and even ironing. Whatever our days consist of, that is where are to love Him. We are to start now, today, whatever our place, position, posture.

What place in your life do you need to say to the Lord, “You are Lord”?

Where do you do well in your life loving the Lord?

Let’s allow the Lord, who is indeed the Lord, rule and reign in His perfect loves in our hearts, in our minds, in our lives. When we bend our knees, He lifts our head. When we stand staunchly against Him, we only hurt ourselves. Let’s allow Life to give us life, even today.

 

** The third post of this series : Love Love Love

Treasure upon Treasure

Recently I read through the book of Deuteronomy, preparing for a talk I was giving  to women in a bible study. I read through the book in a broad, sweeping way, catching repeating phrases, viewing the book’s grand themes, and getting a good bird’s eye view.

And I realized in a fresh and new way – What a book of the bible loaded down with treasure upon treasure!

Throughout the next couple of posts, I want to share with you some of what the Lord showed me and some of what I shared with the women in our time together.

Let’s start here :

A few things really stuck out to me in a big way.

One – The Lord is the main character.

Two – The Lord and His work is the main theme.

Three – The Lord is the point of the story.

Who the Lord is, His character, and all that He does for His glory and for the Israelites’ good, is the center focus of Deuteronomy. Moses, through three motivational sermons and two prophetic poems about Israel’s future, is reminding the mass of God’s chosen people who the Lord is and all that He has commanded them to do, ‘that it will go well with them in the land’. The undergirding strength of Moses’ message as well as the power by which the Israelites can obey the law is God’s faithfulness and unfailing love. “Deuteronomy demonstrates that God’s faithfulness results in mercy to His sinful people, for the sake of His promise to Abraham.” (ESV Study Bible Notes) Faithful, covenantal love rules, reigns, and resides as the Lord leads His people into the Promised Land.

Let’s look through the pages of Deuteronomy together.

* In chapter three, it reads, “Your eyes have seen all that the Lord your God has done…” (verse 21)

* In chapter thirteen, Moses again repeats, “You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.” (verse 4)

* And in chapter 18, the Israelites are called a “people treasured for His possession, as He has promised to you,…” (verse 18)

Again and again, Moses tells them who the Lord is, who they are before the Lord, how to engage with the Lord, to remember and to teach all that the Lord is and all that He has done. This is the resounding message throughout this great book.

**  The second post of this series : The Law of Love

** The third post of this series : Love Love Love