Thursday, November 29, 2012

Let the demons tremble

James 2:19 (NIV)

"You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder."

This morning unfolded with heart wrenching meaning in my thoughts and actions.  The conserje (guard/groundskeeper of our apartment) lady came to our door as I was still in my polka-dot pajamas holding a today-turned 14 month old with oatmeal still clinging to his face.  (Who by the way ate all his portion plus most of my oatmeal breakfast!)

She asked if our drain was clogged up on our porch.  Glad that they were going to fix it, I let her in to our mid-stride project filled apartment.  Books piled everywhere, pens, papers, and decorations all askew.  We cleaned out two of our cabinets because Loren put a stain on them so they can match the rest of our furniture.  (looks good! huh?!)

As we walked through the mess I couldn't help but feel a little bit intimidated that I don't have it all together.  My messy bun pre-shower self pretended I didn't care.  One reason I felt intimidated is everyone else in the apartment (in this whole neighborhood for that matter) has a maid.  All the maids who work in the apartment we live in come from 7am until 4pm every week day.  Must be nice huh?  Needless to say, their apartments are always spotless.  Any time I happen to visit a neighbor there is never one item out of place!  Laundry, dishes, toys- all perfect.

But I do care.  I like things tidy.  I enjoy a clean house.  I also live in reality where we don't have a maid and I can't do it all.  So I don't, and I am starting to learn that it's ok.

As the conserje was cleaning out the clogged drain I got to use my spanish as we got to talking.

She informed in a matter of fact fashion that she just had a miscarriage.  I was shocked.  I know what that is like.  Emotions of 2010 rushed in.  I remember it hurt any time I saw a baby.  And here I was holding a baby.  Raw pain seared in my heart.

I told her I know that is painful and how we lost our first child.  She continued to inform me that she didn't even know she was pregnant.  She went in to the doctor because she thought something was wrong and the doctor informed her she was pregnant, then an ultra sound showed the baby had died a few weeks shy of being 3 months old.

God spoke to me: 'Pain is everywhere- I can heal this pain.'  I knew then and there that this was someone God wanted me to reach out to.  I have the answer she is longing for!  I MUST share.
Unfortunately she had to move on to the next thing quickly after the drain was unclogged.

With a burdened heart I put Zane down for his nap and proceeded to study the Word.  I am doing a study on James by Beth Moore.  God's timing is always perfect as the portion I studied this morning was the following:

James 2:14-19  (NIV)

"14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder."

Our faith is meant to do some good in the world we are living in.

Beth Moore said in the study:
"The Holy Spirit does His job.  He convicts & compels.  If we can keep on living without any intervention, interference, or empowerment from Him, He may not be present within us."
Even the demons believe- and shudder. (see verse 19 above)
May I not just share a belief system with demons.
The demons know Truth and are doing all they can to run away from it, yet they are scared.  See Mark 3:11 & Mark 5:7. <---- crazy!  If you skipped over the verses click the links and READ THEM!

Thankfully it is by grace we are saved.  See Ephesians 2:8-10.  Yet we are compelled to share this good grace with others!

God has not giving me His Spirit so I can be wrapped up in myself with knowing my eternity is secure.  No- I am commanded to make disciples and share the good news!
I ask for your prayers as I seek opportunity to talk more with her.  Pray that there is a time where we can talk about God and I can share with her about Christ!

How are you discipling those around you?  The ones who live next door?  The ones at your work?  Ask God to give you the courage not to keep it for yourself but take your belief to the next level and share it with someone else!

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p.s. The other day the conserje was polishing our front door (she is responsible for the stairway, grounds, and I guess our doors).  The thought slipped through my mind- wow- the front of our door is the cleanest place in our house right now.  ;-)

OH and my son just woke up from his nap- so I wont shower until next nap... ;-)  Can anyone relate?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Craft Featured on Chickabug

Click the button above for the original post on Chickabug.  For Zane's first birthday party I found a free sock monkey puppet template from Chickabug.
Chickabug recently featured me on her website with all the ideas I had with the template.
Thanks Chickabug!  Love all your party ideas and printables!

With a new burst of craftiness,

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reverse Miracle Incognito

...a backward look on trusting God among the choking uncertain...

We did have good news with the post Miracle Incognito.  We still have good news with this reverse version, although many in the world would say it's bad, terrible, no-good news.

We found out my risks for future pregnancy are not all gone.
Not getting the RH- shot means the risks can creep up at any point with any future pregnancy.

The doctor said that although my 'titan' levels are non-existent now (praise God!), they might not show up until we are pregnant again.  Note: we are NOT pregnant right now.  (If you are confused about what I'm talking about with the RH-  issue click on over to Miracle Incognito to explain a little).

In the pain of the unknown I must learn to trust.  Trust children-loving God.

I thought I would write a little during the hard...
and not just during the not-so-hard.

I still might not be able to carry another child to full term.
God whispers:  Trust daughter.
I might have a high risk pregnancy and end up losing our child during intro-uro blood transfusion.
My grace is sufficient.  
Lies rage in my brain about how God doesn't want us to have more children.
I love children, I will do what is best for you.
Average is 3 to 5 miscarriages...
Remember how I carried you through your last miscarriage?  
I am tired of disappointment.
I am ENOUGH for you.
I miss Zion (our first baby who died in October 2010).
Remember Isaiah 61.  I WILL turn your sorrow into joy.

"God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
    a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—
    and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
    give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
    a praising heart instead of a languid spirit."

Lord you have given me many blessings.  One of them being our little man.  He has changed a lot in this last year.  Every day I am reminded how faithful you are through him.  His life is a miracle!  Thank you LORD!

Lord I desire comfort.  Thank you for giving it to me.  Lord you have lavished bouquets of roses instead of ashes, and I can now look back on my sorrow and see your redemptive story being written.  
My heart has been transformed with praise.  

My future is still unknown.  Yet I trust you.

Thank you, God, you alone are all-satisfying.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Brainless Criminal

When we were in the US two weeks ago, I was surprised when 4 pairs of shoes showed up on our doorstep in my name.  

Our first thought was someone ordered shoes to bring back to them in Ecuador.  But surely someone would have told us because shoes aren't really space savors and four pair- what was this person thinking?

Then it just got weirder.

These shoes were in my husbands size and fit him perfectly.  My husband-smart looked at the receipt to gather more information.  I was sure what I saw was a typo.

ONE pair of the black shoes sitting in front of me cost $390.  There were two pairs of those.  Then the other two pairs of leather ones were $85 each.  The total bill was $970.  ON JUST 4 SHOES.

These shoes are from this company called Mr Porter (which I didn't even know existed) and they sell ridiculously expensive clothes, shoes, and other items.  Like one pair of shoes found HERE cost (gasp for air) $1,555.  How could anyone spend that much on one pair of shoes?  They might not even wear these shoes all week, month, or year(s)!!

I can think of a lot better uses for that money.  Starving children, homeless widows, families who want to adopt but can't afford it... just to name a few.

A day later my card was charged.  Proof that it was an identity theft.  We contacted the bank and they shut down the card as we sent the shoes back.  That criminal was not thinking very hard when they sent the shoes to our address.  I am thankful they messed up!

But whoever did this reminded me that a thief is no better 

than when I ignore God.

We nod our heads in agreement that stealing someone's identity is horrible... yet do we even acknowledge how we are so busy we don't have time for God our sustainer!?

God lumps stealing in with not knowing anything about God, check it out.

Hosea 4:1-2 The Message (emphasis added)

1-2 Attention all Israelites! God’s Message!
    God indicts the whole population:
“No one is faithful. No one loves.
    No one knows the first thing about God.
All this cussing and lying and killing, theft and loose sex,
    sheer anarchy, one murder after another!

Who really is the brainless criminal?  Do I know my God?

Hosea 6:1-3 The Message (emphasis added)

1-3 “Come on, let’s go back to God.
    He hurt us, but he’ll heal us.
He hit us hard,
    but he’ll put us right again.
In a couple of days we’ll feel better.
    By the third day he’ll have made us brand-new,
Alive and on our feet,
    fit to face him.
We’re ready to study God,
    eager for God-knowledge.
As sure as dawn breaks,
    so sure is his daily arrival.
He comes as rain comes,
    as spring rain refreshing the ground.”

Are you ready to study God?

Are you craving for God-knowledge?

With my heart recently forgiven my passion is sure.  I desire more God-living.

In gratitude for justice, grace, and God,
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Tales of Travels

Tales of Travels

      We were all three able to go to the US for about 6 days to attend the wedding of Nicholas Holland (Loren's youngest brother) and Hannah Brown.  We are excited about Hannah joining our family!  This selfless bride donated miles for Loren to go to their wedding!  About two weeks before the wedding we found out that the North Park Church Kitchen Ministry paid for a ticket for Zane and Alaina to come too!  A HUGE thank you for these donations!  We wouldn't have been able to come to the wedding if it wasn't for these people!

With the tickets being bought separatly both Loren and Alaina had quite the unique travel experiences.  Loren was awake for nearly 72hours (a personal best) walking the terminals of Miami, Atlanta, Dallas and Jackson.  On the way there he got to spend the night in the Atlanta Airport.  Then on his trip back he overnighted in Dallas where Alaina's brother Mirike and his wife Amber live.  So he had a nice cozy night of sleep thanks to them!

  (This picture was taken in the 30 minutes Zane slept in the 5 hour flight.)

Alaina got to wrestle a 13 month old there and back.  He was a busy little man as he spent his time in the terminals climbing chairs and the time in the airplanes wanting to walk the isle.  Unfortunately Alaina had a migrane on the flight back to Ecuador.  There was a nice gentleman who held Zane while she used a throw up bag during landing.   

Yet the most important thing is we were able to attend the wedding and receive the gift of family time.


Alaina and her sister in law Margaret (Morgan's wife).  Great-Grandma Holland,  Zane and Great-Grandpa Holland.
Wedding: We had the blessing of being there to help set up, party, and tear down.  Loren got to spend some quality time with his stud brothers working on his golf drive.  

Preparing the groom for his bride.

The bride glowed, the groom radiated, and we were all relishing sweet family moments.  Now all the Holland boys are married.  They all just picked one girl to date, then married her.  The most wonderful blessing of them all is they all are following Christ with their whole hearts.  
It couldn't have been a more beautiful day!  

With great memories,
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