Friday, December 12, 2008

Child of My Heart

5"And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:

6That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?

7Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever."

Joshua 4:5-6

Going back aways...

About nine years ago, Adam-Jon and discovered we were expecting our first little one.
Shortly after we told our parents, I miscarried.

I grieved for the baby I never met.
I grieved that no one else knew I had been pregnant. I wanted to share GOOD news, not that I had lost my first precious baby!
Would I and my husband be the only ones to mourn for this loss of life? Would we remember the Lord's kind hand in our sadness?

God taught us a lot about His faithfulness in those days.
He showered heaps of love upon us, and gently and compassionately taught us to be content whatever the circumstances.
I thought a lot about how we could remember our baby and these circumstances in a way that would glorify the Lord.

In my meditations I recalled the story of the children of Israel crossing the Jordan river.
Remember the water piling up in a heap for them to walk once again on dry ground?
After that event, Joshua commanded twelve men, one from each of the tribes, to walk into the river and choose a stone.
The men piled all their stones beside the river for the purpose of a marker, a sign reminding them of the great things God had done for them.
That pile of stones was remarkable enough to grab their attention every time they walked past, and provided opportunity for the retelling of a great and true story - the story of God's faithfulness to His children.

At that time AJ and I purposed to build an alter of our own. A sign to mark the place where God displayed His faithfulness to us.
We decided to name our baby.
A name would serve as a memorial we could point to in years to come, both for our own worship of God, and for the edification of the saints whenever we might choose to retell our story.

We named our first baby
Asarelah Eucharistia
which (I may not have spelled correctly, but) loosely translated is Hebrew for
"Contentment, and Remembrance of past mercies"

Once again we find ourselves in that rich place of having just experienced God's very tangible hand in our lives.
Once again we have lost a little part of ourselves - hopefully not only in the form of a wee babe, but also in our pride and self-sufficiency.
Once again, we build an alter where we come to worship the Lord God, and as a place to proclaim His mighty deeds!

We name another dear little child we've never met... once again.

This time we dispense with using another language even though it might make our sentiments sound more poetic. We have decided to boldly proclaim our love for our Lord in plain English.


Make no mistake, it is the truth! A reign is a term of rule that never ceases as long as the ruler is alive.
God is ALIVE! He is; He has always been, and always and forever will be. He reigns!
That is hope! There is no "why" He can't answer, there is no need for Him to answer my why's, but He can. He is God, and He reigns.
I am in awe that He knows me, and loves me.
I fall on my knees.
I worship.
The King of Kings reigns, and He is good.

That is our pile of stones - our memorial. That name GOD REIGNS will forever remind us not of our loss, but of the One who has given us everything, and not given us all that we truly deserve.

We worship Him... God Reigns!
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Job 38

1Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

2Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

3Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

4Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

5Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

6Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

7When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

8Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?

9When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,

10And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,

11And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?

12Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;

13That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?

14It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.

15And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.

16Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?

17Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?

18Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.

19Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,

20That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?

21Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?

22Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,

23Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?

24By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?

25Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;

26To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;

27To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?

28Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?

29Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?

30The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.

31Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?

32Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?

33Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?

34Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?

35Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?

36Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?

37Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,

38When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?

39Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,

40When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?

41Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.

Job 39

1Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?

2Canst thou number the months that they fulfil? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth?

3They bow themselves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows.

4Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go forth, and return not unto them.

5Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass?

6Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings.

7He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver.

8The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing.

9Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?

10Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?

11Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?

12Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?

13Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?

14Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust,

15And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.

16She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not her's: her labour is in vain without fear;

17Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding.

18What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider.

19Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?

20Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible.

21He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men.

22He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword.

23The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield.

24He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet.

25He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.

26Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?

27Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?

28She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place.

29From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.

30Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.

Job 40

1Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said,

2Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.

3Then Job answered the LORD, and said,

4Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.

5Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

6Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

7Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

8Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

9Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?

10Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.

11Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.

12Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.

13Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.

14Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

15Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.

16Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.

17He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.

18His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.

19He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.

20Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.

21He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.

22The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.

23Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.

24He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.

Job 41

1Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?

2Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?

3Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee?

4Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant for ever?

5Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens?

6Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants?

7Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears?

8Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more.

9Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him?

10None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?

11Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.

12I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion.

13Who can discover the face of his garment? or who can come to him with his double bridle?

14Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about.

15His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal.

16One is so near to another, that no air can come between them.

17They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered.

18By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.

19Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out.

20Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron.

21His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.

22In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him.

23The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved.

24His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone.

25When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves.

26The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon.

27He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood.

28The arrow cannot make him flee: slingstones are turned with him into stubble.

29Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear.

30Sharp stones are under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire.

31He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment.

32He maketh a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary.

33Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.

34He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Because of HIS Blood...

One week ago tonight I was opened up for emergency surgery.

I was calm, stoic, and peaceful while the nurses and other hospital staff raced around me, but just as with My brother Charlie's near-death experience seven years ago, I blocked off all my emotional sensations during the fiasco. I guess it's my body's default "cope" mechanism, to wait 'till later for that good cry.

It's only now, after I am a week past it and on the mend, that I feel in a deluge of that emotion I successfully put off.

I believe I was fairly coherent during the hours AJ and I spent in the ER, but last night my husband reminded me otherwise.
Since I was concentrating so much on the pain, I missed a lot visually.
While I caught most the words, I missed expressions on faces.
And turned towards the wall and my husband, I didn't notice how many nurses filled my room at once.
Thankfully I am unfamiliar with ER proceedings enough to not know it was extremely unusual for them to station a nurse with me who never left my side. Not once.

At some point in our wait, I heard the comforting voice of my husband talking to me about what a good marriage we've had, and how much fun we've had together.

At the time, I was frustrated to hear these things - they sounded so sentimental, and I was trying to avoid a cry at all costs!
Isn't that pathetic?
My belovedest friend in the whole world comforts me with such sweet loving words, and I think lightly upon it! Moreover, these are not words we throw around at every occasion - they really were very dear.

These reminiscences are what put me over the edge last night. The tears came, and I wanted to thank my beloved, and say all those last things I put off with the emotion last week.
I was ready for the wonderful cleanse that comes from a good cry!

As I poured out my heart to AJ and he reminded me of what I hadn't seen, he told me that I have not grasped how grave the situation was.

I had forgotten that shortly before I began hearing those calming words, the nurses rolled something in behind me, and I heard AJ say


"That doesn't look good."

And unfortunately, she didn't have any calming words for him, to buffer the reality that my vitals were so bad, a crash cart with all the tools necessary for resuscitation was a must.

That is a sobering memory for me, especially as I consider what AJ must have been facing.

Finally being wheeled out of that Emergency room, and on toward the Operating Room, I remember thinking

"I really could die."

"I'm ready - I could meet Jesus tonight!"

and then:

"Lord, please give me a little more time! I know You are taking care of my family, but please...
...just a little more time."

finally, with feelings of great peace, I thought to myself:

"Lord, I'm leaking a lot of blood. I might die. But that's okay, because you already gave YOUR blood for me.
Because of that, my blood doesn't matter!"

That is actually what I thought! Isn't it wonderful?!!

My gratitude is suddenly a mile deeper.
my perspective a little wider,
my thanks fuller,
my love for Him a lot greater,
and my awe over His love for me just continues to grow!

Last night I got my cry, but it was a cry from a grateful heart. I sit here with my husband!
The Lord answered my prayer with a "YES"!
He gave us exactly what we did not deserve!!! Do you understand that? We are not entitled to any good thing we get. All we are entitled to is DEATH.
That's what the ransom price for our sin is, and that is what Jesus Christ paid on the Cross with His blood.

His perfectly blameless blood.

I got exactly what I don't deserve.

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

Thank You Lord.

In Marvel of His Mercy

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Deeper Than I Anticipated

Last week I was very surprised by my sudden need for a pile of sour kraut on my Polish hot dog.
It's not my favorite... but I like it.

Later that evening I reached for (and almost grabbed) a pepperoncinni that was garnishing our salad at Olive Garden!


Two days of watching, waiting and biting my nails, and I thought it best to take AJ into my confidence.
It seemed downright unfortunate that he would be on the other side of the country in an important business meeting when I'd "know for sure"; and besides... he's a pretty important part of the whole equation;-)

What could be better news than another precious baby to join our family?!! He was his usual enthusiastic, wonderful, terrific, wonderful wonderful self, and there was a lot of secretive grinning and winking going on in the hours before we dropped him off at the airport;-)
We parted ways for four days, and a ridiculous number of miles, but figured it would pass quickly since we had lots to digest.

In my four days at Mrs. Smith's house while AJ was away, I had a head filled with sweet (and bewildering) thoughts of our precious new baby.
I couldn't help thinking about baby names while I dripped wet red paint on Mrs. Smith's kitchen floor. I calculated our due date while watching the boys play Chess; and while dicing potato's for dinner, I imagined fun ways to announce our news to the family!

Besides all these very important "issues" I couldn't help wondering HOW in the world?!!
How, how, HOW?!
I mean... not how did we get pregnant (no longer a mystery to us), but how are we going to do it?
Okay, I bet that I am not the first or only person to ask this question, and I see no point in visiting the might-have-been's, but really!
"How" seems like a reasonable question?

It seems that this is one more time I am standing on the edge trying to get all my ducks in a row before jumping in.
Another opportunity for God to firmly nudge me over the edge for His glory.
Let me say it again:
"For HIS glory!"

I was, and have been able to to rest in the truth that He is holding me, and to HIS glory.

Continuing my story, AJ arrived back to North Carolina on Saturday night.
On Sunday night after our children were tucked into bed and sleeping, I felt a sharp stabbing sensation low in my stomach,
While I did not faint, I was quickly consumed with so much pain, that I couldn't move from a curled up heap on the bathroom floor.
I am very grateful that AJ was within earshot, and willing to call an ambulance to help transport me to the hospital - a good decision in retrospect since we don't know our way around this part of the country.
How could I justify calling an ambulance? I don't know - but I kept telling myself that I'd had five babies without pain management and wasn't over dramatizing!
I was pretty concerned.

Oh how agonizing were those moments in the bathroom! My fears threatened to envelope me, and my eyes faltered. Just like Peter again! I could rationalize with my head, but my emotions kept running the show. In my heart I cried out to God, and I've never been so thankful for His jealousy for me! I'm sure it was His power which captivated my eyes back to His face, and not my will-power or brute strength.

From that point on, His peace encompassed me fully and completely.

AJ stayed with me in the Emergency room throughout the night while the nurses asked questions, poked me with needles, and initiated me into the world of catheters, and blown veins!
In the few hours we were waiting for various test results, the pain behind my pelvic bone subsided some, and was replaced by terrible pains and spasms in my trunk (from neck to belly).
My blood pressure was disturbingly low, and I was so pale I was nearly green. I remember going from sweating hot and perspiration dripping down my chest, to my teeth chattering uncontrollably and three blankets not taking off the chill. Back and forth this went for a while.

The test which finally got some action was an ultrasound that revealed fluid everywhere inside my abdomen - presumably blood, and possibly caused by a ruptured ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy which implanted somewhere other than inside the womb).
The medical staff was finally looking pretty animated, and I was glad to hear we were on our way to the Operating Room.

Before this week, I'd never been under general anesthesia or operated on. It IS a scenario I'd imagined a time or two, and always with great trepidation!
What if...
What if...
What if... has always been my mantra, and "What if's" are scary!

The Lord gave me great peace entering the O.R. and I don't even know when I drifted off to sleep. I remember being roused to a nice voice speaking over me, and the feeling of bed linens tucked in snug all around my body. I couldn't pry my eyes open because my eyelids were so heavy, but I thought to myself "boy! I hope we're all done because I am SOOOOO comfortable!"
And we WERE - all through with the surgery! Hallelujah!!

When I became coherent, I learned that the surgeons opened me up with about an six or eight inch incision.
They found that my right ovary was swollen to the size of a lemon, and had ruptured in a two inch long tear (ouch!).
They removed some tissue from the ovary and were able to repair the damage done by the rupture.
In addition, it was necessary for me to have a blood transfusion. I had hemorrhaged enough that debating the issue wasn't an option. One more thing I'm very thankful for!
We have since found out that the doctors did indeed remove a cyst, and not pregnancy tissue.
Our sweet little baby continued to hang on after my operation (presumably in the womb, where any sensible baby would dwell), and it was a privilege to recover with the additional blessing of still being pregnant!
What a little trooper!

The last two days have been very restful for me as I bask in the mercies of the Lord. Truly, these kinds of life interruptions cause me to be more grateful than ever, and I can't stop thanking the Lord for all He has GIVEN me. I bet I have more reasons to be grateful, than reasons to fall victim to pity. What a marvelous God I serve!
Amazingly, I haven't been too emotional. I have felt extremely even-keel. You know, Carolina got a crash course in being weaned this week? THAT wasn't exactly part of my plan!

I'm thankful AJ was at home and not in Portland Oregon.

I'm thankful that we were staying at the Smith's where our children in such good hands!

I'm thankful that the children were asleep.

I'm thankful that we were not at Marvel Hill.

I'm thankful we were not staying at a hotel in a town where we knew no one.

I'm thankful that the hospital was such a good one, and relatively close.

I'm thankful for the competence and care of my surgeons.

I'm thankful that Mrs. Smith has been willing to change two more diapered bottoms.

I'm thankful that Carolina has adjusted to being weaned cold-turkey.

I'm thankful that AJ's work is such that he can take care of me and the children.

I'm thankful for the prayers of so many people who love us; who I didn't even know have been praying for us! I'm sure I should have known!

I'm thankful for the chance to sit still and meditate on the face of my Jesus, and His merciful goodness to me. If this is how I have to get the time for that, then so be it!

there's more... but tonight my heart is overwhelmed with thankfulness for the little time I've had with our newest babe.

This evening I feel pretty certain that we've lost our beloved little baby.

AJ and I both feel very blessed to have known this dear little one - even for such a short time.

I can truthfully say that I see the face of Jesus. Where else can I look but there? He was so gracious to give us our seventh tiny one, whom we never deserved the honor of being parents to. We know we'll meet again, and there are now TWO precious children we look forward to meeting!
He was extra merciful to give US that little one for a few extra days of life - even through so much trauma. He daily gives us what we don't deserve, so I am just as grateful as ever.
If not more.

The love He has lavished on me and my family through each of you, has blessed my socks off!

The lord took me deeper than I thought I'd go, but He's faithful. Oh so faithful.

And just for the record... if you ever see me reaching for a pepperoncinni, you are free to raise your eyebrows;-)

"O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: because His mercies endureth for ever." Psalm 118:1

Forever Grateful

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Will Sleep In Peace...

"I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou O Lord, only makest me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

A couple nights ago I lay awake in a dark hotel room, staring at a ceiling I could not see.
My eyes were wide open none-the-less, and not lacking in visions.

The first things that I saw, were of a nature that caused a lone tear to escape the corner of my eye. They were not prophetic (or so I hope), but were the stuffs my fears are made of.
I cringe to recall, and am ashamed that I allowed my mind to run away with thoughts and imaginations that cast such a dark shadow over my soul.
Yet I entertained them.

Release! Release from this bondage that is not of God!
I placed my fears before the Lord in prayer, and He spoke to me in an inaudible voice
"Analene - Keep your eyes on Me."

Oh the peace that enveloped me and the thanksgiving that welled up within!
The next picture that I saw was dear Peter, walking on the water.
like me, he was fearful. Only he had very real and present elements to feel concern for while his feet walked over the liquid deep. My fears were based on shadows and illusions.
I know we had one thing in common:

We both took our eyes off Jesus' face.

Peter began to sink down into the water.
I began to sink down into pitch black hopelessness.

In an inaudible voice I heard the Lord say to me "Analene... Keep your eyes on Me."

Immediately His peace washed over me, and I felt my feet once again solid under me.
My eyelids closed, but I was through being in the dark. He stretched out His hand and lifted me.

I will exalt Your Name, O Lord! For You are the One whom time and space cannot contain.
There is no thing that takes You by surprise! Tenderly you lead me, and faithfully you call my name. Keep my eyes fastened to Your face! I will trust only in You.

And I slept.

Here is Peter's story...

Mat 14:28 "And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him and said unto him O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God."

In HIS Hand

Friday, November 14, 2008

What's In A Name?

I thought you might like to know why this blog is named "Plunged Into The Deep".
Is that too corny?
I don't know... It doesn't roll off the tongue, it's not catchy, and it doesn't excite your curiosity really.

I named this blog after some words my cousin wrote in a letter to me.
I had just announced my fifth pregnancy to her, and she wrote me back a letter that has stuck with me ever since.

In it, she recounted her six pregnancies, and how (humanly speaking) there could have been better timing for some of them.
Such as the one who came when their tiny little nest was already bursting at the seams.
And another new baby joined their family when in the process of fixing up a tired old "new" house...

...with one bathroom.

In my cousin's letter to me, she said that "...Sometimes God plunges us into the deep..."

She was wisely observing that often, the Lord doesn't wait for us to be "ready" for the life-defining events that we like to think we can plan. How we determine "ready" is generally not the measuring stick He uses.

What happens when I am plunged into the deep?
When I get pushed over the edge before I think I'm ready?

I get wet.

I protest.

Water envelopes me from head to toe.

I sputter.

I flail.

I panic.

And then finally...

I learn to swim.

Because the only other option, is to sink.
But my Heavenly Father holds my head above water and shows me how to tread. He teaches me the strokes that move me forward.
And all to His Glory, because if I wait to get all those things perfect before I jump in, I will take the credit for my accomplishments.
God knows what will bring HIM the most glory, and if I ask Him to be glorified in me, I'd better prepare for a change in my own carefully laid plans!

God's ways are not our ways.
It is good to keep in mind that HE is GOD.

It's scary being plunged into the deep. But from my limited experience I can truthfully say there are wonders in the deep that are known only if you are plunged in.

If it means that I have the privilege of experiencing God's glory, and His marvelous wonders in my life, I am willing.
I hope the Lord continues to push me over the edge.

Are you?

Marveling at His mercy,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Taking The Plunge

I know. It seems a bit insane to be starting a second blog, but here it is all the same.

I would really prefer to use Momma Bug's Blog as a place for ALL my musings, but allow me to describe what this new blog will be for me, what I hope it to be for you, and why it has it's own little place in the blogosphere.

Since I began my blog "Momma Bug's..." at the beginning of this year, I have been struggling with what to write about, and what to keep private (the proverbial problem).
My blogging experience at that time was then next to nil, and over some short period of posting a little of this and a little of that, I was experiencing the usual blogger's block. An identity crises of sorts:-)

Should I post only the humorous?
More of a journal style?
More pictures and fewer words?
More content and fewer pictures?
Personal thoughts, opinions, and values?
Keep it light, and avoid offense?

Ultimately I had to decide the blogging audience I was writing to please, and amazingly, I was able to define the purpose for Momma Bug's Blog very quickly.

I started it originally to keep long-distance family connected with us and our goings-on, via pictures and journal like entries. Over time I found that I wanted to write to for multiple purposes - specifically for inspiration, encouragement, personal sharpening of my faith in Jesus Christ, and possibly to sharpen my blogging friends in THEIR walk with the Lord, by sharing deeper ideas than "Church was amazing", "God is good", and other rather cliche and non-specific thoughts.
The idea of writing opinions, thoughts, and Biblical truths that might cause some of my dearest not to return to my blog, did not seem acceptable to me in light of it's intended purpose (again, that of splashing light and laughter into the lives of those dear family far away).

In conclusion I decided to keep up that blog with it's original purpose in mind, and throw in a piece of content here and there.

I have finally settled on starting this new blog as a place where I may plunge into the deep (possibly dragging you with me) becoming fully wet before I know where the bottom is - or even if there IS a bottom.
Hence this Blogs name; it's a place where I may plunge into the deep (possibly dragging you with me) becoming fully wet before I know where the bottom is - or even if there IS a bottom.
I expect to ramble quite a bit before I am coherent, but for me that is a great way to line up my thoughts and discipline them to sense.

I enjoy a good firm opinion too, and think everyone should have some, (I certainly do, and you'll hear about them here!) but opinions are subject to change where truth never will.

I will attempt to make Truth first, because people more dedicated to finding Truth and obeying Jesus, than they are dedicated to preserving their own cherished opinions or the traditions of men... are few.
I hope to be numbered among them.

In addition to all this, I haven't decided whether to allow comments or not.
I may dig into some sensitive topics, and would prefer not to turn this into a forum for debates.
Please give me grace if you find that the comments have been disabled. If I turn off that feature, I will have done it to best serve my vision for this blog.

One more thing; It is probable that my posts on this blog will be sporadic, so I have put a feed here that will notify you when I have written a new post (if you choose to use it). Plus you may want to add yourself to the "followers" list as an alternative way to keep up with this blog.
I will be be checking my live feed on the sidebar to see who is lurking in these parts, and I would be very encouraged to know you are visiting!

In conclusion

I am not a deep thinker, I am not an intellectual. I am not a visionary.

What I am, is a person free from sin and death because of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
And because of Him, I am also free to think outside of the box if/when evidence is presented which merits closer inspection on any subject that God Almighty has not nailed down specifically in His Word, and by His nature as He has demonstrated in His Word , The Holy Bible.

Come plunge into the deep with me!

In His gracious love,