daily bread

December 15, 2011

this concept – this “daily bread” dependence – has been central in my mind and heart these days.

“Moses said to them, ‘it is the bread the LORD has given you to eat.'” (exodus 16:15)

Jesus praying: “Give us each day our daily bread,” (luke 11:3)

we are told to depend daily on His manna provision; not yearly or even monthly, but daily. this concept is so counter-cultural; we are all about investing and saving and retirement plans and cushions and margin. making sure we have it all figured out; securing our hope in how well we’ve taken care of our dollars.

and i think all those things are good and valuable and i am not saying to throw all of it to the wind.

but i am learning … and being stretched and challenged in my paradigm.  one of the most profound ways this learning is happening is in our relationship with some of our dear friends.

their lives embody a lack of attachment to things.

and how attached am i to things?? ouch. perhaps compared to others, not as much. i don’t really shop, rarely buy myself something new (last pair of shoes purchased was undoubtedly a clearance pair at target!), and don’t sit around coveting much stuff. we live simply in a humble apartment.  our lives aren’t garnished with lots of fluff.

and yet, when money comes in or is anticipated, how much do i care and attach thought and value to how it’s spent? that is, rather than being a fluid vessel through which money passes, how much do i want to hold on to it? how much do i think about what i’d like to buy with it, what future bills i’d like to pay, etc?

so these friends … here’s what we’ve experienced in knowing them: their needs are consistently met by our Provider. they don’t have extras. the hubby (a handyman) gets just enough work most months to cover their expenses. but when extra comes in? when he gets an extra job, or they sell something on craigslist? immediately they share.

share.

as in, look what GOD provided today! here it is … yours. to meet your need.

because after all, it’s HIS anyway.

and we’ve walked this way of faith, of depending on HIM, long enough to know that HE is faithful.

“the LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.” (psalm 145:13)

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weekend piddling …

November 19, 2011

i am home this beautiful fall afternoon, with a sleeping baby, my girl gone on a sweet play date. i’ve been piddling – tackling chores and lists and projects that have been piling up. my focus: prepare for my hubbys’ return! tomorrow. i am so ready. it’s been a long 7 days … only one more to go.

when he left, in an attempt to set an update, positive tone for the week, i created a document for me and maddie: one column “work”, the other column “play.”  i listed some major chores that needed to be done, then we brainstormed together about “play” ideas that would help the time pass with activities to enjoy.

well, in reviewing our list today … we found that all the “play” items had been done, but we were lacking completion in the “work” category. lol. so she’s been a very hard worker this morning and i have floated in and out of many things (as mama’s do, right?). i have completed some of my list, and as my dear friend ernestine exemplifies and encourages: tackle one project. it will feel good to have it done. she is so right. so, the cabinet under our kitchen sink is no longer funkalicious (has it ever been cleaned?!) and the laundry room is looking so much better.

my thoughts are scattered so i have nothing super cogent to capture in this space … other than, we’ve experienced the faithfulness of our Father again, abundantly, this week. there were a few circumstances that threatened my peace and yet, even in the craziness, i had peace. i remembered the words of a friend, who said that perhaps the “worst-case” scenarios, if they came to fruition, wouldn’t be so catastrophic after all. wise words that i am experiencing. GOD is faithful.

a dear friend sent me this scripture this week and i’ve been encouraged by the words of David:

“then our sons in their youth

will be like well-nurtured plants,

and our daughters will be like pillars

carved to adorn a palace.

our barns will be filled

with every kind of provision.

our sheep will increase by tens of thousands,

be tens of thousands in our fields; our oxen will draw heavy loads.

there will be no breaching of walls,

no going in to captivity, 

no cry of distress in our streets.

blessed are the people of whom this 

is true;

blessed are the people whose GOD is

the LORD.”

psalm 144:12-15

odds and ends

November 15, 2011

:: my real-life friend, meredith (who has an *awesome* blog!) brought this over yesterday for josiah to use. YAY! what a treat. thanks, mere.

:: i am missing my hubby (again) and trying to keep busy and keep positive while he’s gone. it’s a blessing to be home with my babies AND the days are long and there is no break, so i am seeking to stay refreshed and focused on the beauty and gifts (not the stress and drain!)

:: maddie is a real entrepreneur! she is having such a great, learning experience with her jewelry business. her “booth sale” was quite a success this past weekend … she had advertised, put up flyers, and on the morning of the sale she decorated (of course!) her little stand so cute. we are enjoying seeing the process: her creativity and also her decision to continue “re-investing” in her business, using some of her profits to replenish her supplies and keep creating. she is making some REALLY pretty jewelry, too. wow. and cheap!

:: the coolest thing happened yesterday: we ran in to the mother of a little girl that madison befriended at a local park months ago. since that day, we’ve regretted not getting contact info for the family to arrange another play date. the special part? this girl looks *just * like maddie. they could be sisters. and living “in these parts”, there are not a lot of girls that fit that description. lol. so yesterday we are at the mall and we see the mom … and so i decided i had to go for it, as awkward and silly as i felt. i introduced, we talked, and yes the mom remembered … and she was super excited about setting up a playdate! we exchanged info and i am going to call her later this week. very cool. last night at bed, maddie wanted us to pray for the little girl, alexis. 🙂

:: we have been experiencing practical, humbling, beautiful provision again {still?}. GOD is so good. He’s given me a word: trust ME for TODAY. today. i am not to worry about tomorrow, about what i will eat or wear; i am called to rest in Him for today.

:: our little man is becoming seriously more and more fun! he’s now very clearly recognizing and expressing when he sees something he wants and doesn’t get it. last weekend we were at my grandparents and madison had a raspberry “popsicle” (frozen fruit pretty much). he was going crazy grunting, “flexing” his arms, just overall freaking out for that thing. i let her give him a lick and it was over – he went crazy when it was taken away! oh boy.  and he’s not easily distracted. the boy remembers. try to hide the thing and he strains and cranes his neck to find where it went.

:: my hubby delivered the keynote speech at our local VA Dom’s veteran’s day event friday and it such a special day. grandparents and aunt came, the place was packed and the vibe was just so lovely, so warm and so patriotic. my hubby lauded my grandpa for his service, and then had me stand and spoke sweet and wonderful words about me. i was blessed … and blessed by the words of the many people who came up afterward, kindly congratulating and speaking life and love.  one woman said that josiah and madison got “smart genes” – so funny! another woman said that the message of my hubby’s speech (which she felt was that we are called to give our best, no matter the circumstances; to work diligently at all times) is the very thing she is striving to train and teach to her children. i was encouraged.

grandma and mike 🙂

 

it’s time to start our schooling day … baby is napping, madison is showered and ready for mama!

simple pleasures :)

August 16, 2011

seriously, i am blown away.

TOTALLY.

as i mentioned a bit ago, our washing machine bit the dust. which just blows. i’ve been doing laundry @ my mom’s but that’s definitely not sustainable. i haven’t been sure what we would do, lacking the funds for a new purchase but obviously needing something.

today, a dear friend emails me a posting from craigslist – a used washer for $60. crazy good deal! but, hubby and i are not appliance-savvy and would have no idea if we were buying a lemon. so, this same sweet friend has a hubby who is a professional handyman – uber skilled in so many things beyond my comprehension. so i ask her if he might take a look @ the washer and let us know what he thinks, since the person selling it lives right near our friends.

well, not only does her hubby go TODAY, check out the washer, BUY it for us … he then insists on DELIVERING it to us (we don’t have a truck) and helping my hubby install it.

how can i even say how THANKFUL, how blown away, how STOKED i am as i sit here listening to loads of laundry getting washed?!

and i didn’t even mention that this washer is absolutely impeccable; it looks brand-new, and the owners were moving and just needed to get rid of it.

total wow.

the timing of this link on affirming our men was pretty awesome. i love what she shares, and i particularly appreciate her quote from gary thomas (author of my all-time favorite book, “sacred marriage”).

last weekend was our anniversary … and it was such a SWEET time with my man. he is a gift; our marriage is an abundant blessing that we believe God bestowed after difficult decisions of obedience were made, separately … long before we married.  six years later, most days i am struck that i am MARRIED to this man – to my dream guy, really. thank you, LORD. 

that said, i can still get caught up in the details of daily stuff that involve my expectations (that may go unmet). i can struggle with that battle in my mind, feeling frustration or bitterness toward my man in the face of a particular circumstance or situation. and so, in my journaling the day after our anniversary, i wrote something along the lines of … remember how MUCH he loves you, emily. you are so loved by your husband! remember this in the silly moments of needless irritation, that are inevitable in being married to a sinner (and being one myself).

he soaked me in his love on our anniversary. it started by waking to see that i had perhaps one hundred emails sent by him – emails spanning years of our relationship, to each other, from others’, that capture some of our story. he had stayed up super late the night before, reading and remembering and looking at our wedding pictures. my beloved! the last email that he sent in the big batch, was a sweet love note, commenting on how we can see God’s blessing and hand in our life. yes!

that morning, he and maddie went to get donuts, a paper, and came home with beautiful roses for me … then we watched the slideshow of our wedding pictures.and that evening, mom watched maddie and we had a great date, talking over dinner about our “story”, the early memories and highlights.

and speaking of blessing and provision, this post is a must read. her comment, “what if we believed in the deep places, in the darkest recesses, that He always provided – and not just barely, but abundantly?” is riveting.

again, the timing of reading this post is right on. we’ve experienced provision in miraculous ways, again in recent weeks. again! He ALWAYS provides. in our daily bible learning time, madison and i just read about the plagues done in egypt (for GOD to show His mighty power, that it might be told for generations). and this week, we read about the daily provision of manna. daily. just enough. without need to store up, figure out, plan ahead. because HE IS IN CONTROL, and He always provides.

we received some sobering financial news today.

(what is it about money issues that can trigger such an immediate sinking of the mood??)

after the initial information was received (right when i woke up), then making some phone calls and feeling that “spin” of stress … i just cried. i cried out to the LORD, desperate, pleading … why? and, HELP!

and as i cried, in my spirit came this question: will i remember, or will i worry?

if i choose to remember, i will be flooded with specific instances of miraculous provision. specific, timely, exact, stunning. in the time since we left the “security” of our paying jobs, and embarked on this radical journey of living in faith, GOD has supplied our every need, and often in ways that left us just overwhelmed.

we know that we are walking in obedience to His direction regarding matters of work and business, and as i thought about that, i rested in knowing that we are doing all that we can, and He will provide. (sometimes i feel like i need to do more, generate, and figure things out. but i know that the time for that is not now; being full of this growing child, needing to still myself more as life’s busyness swirls temptingly around me).

i am reminded of our reading in exodus this week. how many times have i heard and read about moses, about the pharaoh, the plagues in egypt, etc?  and yet this week, i was struck by something i’d never caught before: pharaoh wasn’t stubborn and hard-hearted, just because.

several times, the LORD says that HE (YHWH) hardened pharaoh’s heart, for this reason: that He “may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren … how I performed my signs among them, that you may know that I am the LORD.” (ex 10:2).

so that i may tell … that i may remember, and share testimony about HIS miraculous signs and wonders.  may it be so, today.

we have been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness shown to our family in recent weeks. times of plenty … times of want … most of us have walked through this in our lives and specifically in our finances. and let me say, it’s *much* more comfortable and pleasant to be in the season of “plenty”, being able to share and give to others out of the abundance God has provided us.

however, i am learning the beauty of receiving … as it relates to being deeply connected with others; sharing the truth of our situations and finding that not only can we often relate but that in that vulnerability and honesty, God can allow us to be the hands and feet of love to each other.

we were, literally, overwhelmed by some very specific needs met in the last couple of weeks by some precious friends. and as i stumbled in my awkwardness at being on the receiving end during one instance, my friend literally said to me, ‘don’t grouch!’ she proceeded to share that by giving, she is able to participate in a promise offered in God’s word:

Proverbs 19: 17 He who has pity on the poor lends to Yahweh; he will reward him.

she went on to say that she can’t see in the future, she can only see the past … and how God has provided. HE alone knows how her family’s needs will be met 6 months from now; for today, they are choosing to participate in one of His promises.

amazing.

another friend and i talked about the richness of really BEING the body of believers to each other; living out the richness of that honest and deep sharing and receiving … there is so much growing and learning and beauty in that. and we are called to unity! how easy it can be, to remain distant and separate, private in our struggles and distant in our relationships. i feel that we can miss out on so much. so, i am learning … and thanking God for the beautiful people He has placed in my life.