The debate was on tonight. I despise listening to debates, especially when they are between two people I don't even agree with! So as my husband's mental gears spun as he watched the debate, I plugged in my headphones and listened to beautiful, peaceful, calming music. At the beginning, like the first five minutes, my son sat engulfed by the back-and-forth banter. After a while, though, he went upstairs to play, and almost immediately came right back down to ask me to come up and play with him. (At the time I was chatting on facebook with a friend, so I said not right now. He asked me why I couldn't pause what I was doing so I could come play. I laughed, wrapped up my conversation, and headed up with him.) I don't think he knew exactly what he wanted us to play, because he flitted from one toy bucket to one bookshelf over to one dresser and back to his blocks box. I finally grabbed some blocks and started building.
It happened again. I found out yesterday morning that another friend is leaving. After an emotional speech by her husband (our, I guess former now, youth pastor and music director) after the morning service, Pastor got up and made some requisite jokes, I think partly because he just couldn't let a perfect opportunity to slam Auburn pass by (Roll Tide, I think), and partly because he wanted to make half the congregation stop crying. It really is a good thing, this friend leaving. Not because she's leaving, of course. If I had my way, all my friends would stay right with me, and you know, as I move around, they would all come too. Her husband took a pastoral position in a city 2 hours away, and starting next Sunday, that church is their new church.
While I am sad, extremely so, that another one of my friends is leaving (my husband said it's my personality--if that's true, where can I sign up for the next "How to change your personality" class?!), I will eventually be okay. I still have one or two friends poking around here somewhere. What makes this situation blog-post worthy is something my friend said to me.
Sunday--Ezekiel 15. The inhabitants of Jerusalem are literally going out of the frying pan into the fire. Such a short chapter, but a good warning to me--if I don't let God use me, I will only be worth a little fuel for the fire.
Monday--Ezekiel 16. It's interesting--chapter 15 barely had 10 verses, and this chapter has upwards of 60 verses! It's neat, though, that an entire story happens in this chapter. Israel is pathetic and basically a loser, and God cleans her up and makes her beautiful, but instead of feeling gratitude and wanting to please the One Who made her what she is now, she becomes arrogant and takes advantage of the attention she gets from her looks. Of course, that makes God angry, and He throws her, ashamed, into captivity. But then (of course) she repents, and He once again protects and shows evidence of His everlasting love.
Tuesday--Ezekiel 17. In my husband's debating, the other person often tries to use an analogy to make their point. Last week we were talking about it, noticing how man's analogies often break down not too far into it. Jesus used parables throughout his ministry, and he explained every little thing in the parable. God used a parable here with Israel! So cool to see different parts of the Bible agreeing with each other.
Wednesday--Ezekiel 18. I am so thankful that God doesn't judge me for what my parents have done, and I am equally thankful that God won't judge my son for what his parents do. Israel didn't think this was fair or equal. I do, though. God repeats it twice in this chapter, and it's a good reminder to me to do right: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."
Thursday--Ezekiel 19. This chapter has two analogies in it, neither of which I completely understand. I do know that the analogies are sad stories, with not-happy endings. I think God is just sad that Israel didn't follow him, and this is His way of expressing that sorrow.
Friday--Ezekiel 20. When my son has disobeyed me, and then turns right around and asks for something special, I don't like it, and neither does God like it when His children do the same thing. Those Israelites, I understand why God likens them to sheep--they are so dumb! I am encouraged by their--for lack of a better word--stupidity, to try to live in such a way that if someone were to write down an accounting of my life after I'm gone, it wouldn't have quite as many "and she hardened her heart and served idols" sections.
Saturday--Ezekiel 21. The Lord seems angry in this chapter. He is giving Ezekiel some prophecies, and He repeats Himself several times. "Overturn, overturn, overturn" and "the sword, the sword", among others. I end up reading it like God is almost out of breath from trying not to shout with anger. How many times have I made God out of breath because I won't just do right?
There's nothing like starting a long day off with not-bad news. It sure makes the rest of the day not feel like a dark cloud is hanging over your head. But I am getting ahead of myself. My story actually starts several weeks ago.
I was at the doctor having a routine physical when the doctor noticed something out of the ordinary. I needed an imaging test, but they didn't have the equipment for that, so my doctor referred me. I had to wait another week for my husband's next day off, so between the day that I found out that I needed additional testing and the day of the actual test I had a lot of time to think, pray, and not worry. A couple days ago I wrote about talking to Jesus and that did help. The night before my test, I couldn't sleep, so I got up and wrote in my journal.
I found this cool length of fabric. I don't remember when I got it, but on one side it has "Jo-Ans Fabrics" printed on it, so I can guess where I got it. I was looking in my stash for a good backing, and I saw these two fleece blankets I got when I flew Delta Airlines this past summer. Perfect! I pinned the two fabrics together, but the fleece blanket was too short, so I had to sew the two blankets together.
I am so thankful for fellow mommy friends who know what I go through. The other day, I was about to pull my hair out. Either that or hang a for sale sign around my child's neck and set him in the driveway. Okay, so I would never do that, but going back to bed and starting the day over, even though it was 2:30 in the afternoon, was a looming possibility. He had this page in math to do:
When my husband first asked me for an idea about how to keep the tablecloth for the Butterbean festival from blowing away, I thought back and remembered seeing this on Pinterest a long time ago:
I wasn't able to post pictures from day 1 because I wrote the post at the festival and our booth was too far away from Jack's to pick up their free wifi, so here are some pictures of Friday. Here is the booth as we are setting up:
In the parking lot behind us, they set up a petting zoo and a camel they eventually put a saddle on. My innocent little kid took one look and exclaimed, "Mommy! A dinosaur!"
Sunday--Ezekiel 8. Verse 12 pierces right to my heart. When I am around people, I want them to think highly of me. Who doesn't? When I am home with my family, I want them to love me. Who wouldn't? But when I am by myself (which isn't very often) I only have God to please. And if I am honest, I have to admit that sometimes I forget that He can see me. I need to print out this verse and frame it somewhere, so I can always remember that God has the power to expose my sin, even after I am long gone.
Monday--Ezekiel 9. Everybody says how horrible it will be for people to have a mark on their foreheads, which I sort of agree with in reference to the Revelation mark. But here in this chapter, God marks those who still follow Him. I want my actions and motives, in public and in private, to be such that I would get a mark in Ezekiel's day.
Tuesday--Ezekiel 10. This chapter describes the cherubims and wheels and how they fly. I think it would look funny--not the "haha" kind of funny either. One of those descriptions also cleared up a disagreement my husband and I have had for quite awhile--whether a song that has the phrase "wheel within a wheel" is correct (because at the beginning of Ezekiel, the phrase in the Bible is "hub within a wheel").
Wednesday--Ezekiel 11. When I got to the end of the week, I realized that I had accidentally skipped this chapter. I went from cherubims and wheels to captivity and prophesying. This chapter is a good bridge between the two subjects. This section makes a lot more sense now.
Thursday--Ezekiel 12. It is encouraging that even though God knew Israel was a rebellious house, He still had hope that when they saw Ezekiel carrying on, they might understand that they were going to be judged. I also like it that he changed a common proverb. "What was that you guys say over there?" I always think it's cool when I (unobtrusively) hear someone's everyday-vernacular conversation with God.
Friday--Ezekiel 13. Bad prophets prophesied out of their own hearts. My husband and I talk about things sometimes, how to know whether something is good or bad. If it feels good, or looks good, or sounds good, that doesn't mean it is good, because our hearts are deceitful. That is one way we can recognize bad prophets even now--if they are searching their own hearts, or speaking from God's heart.
Saturday--Ezekiel 14. Noah, Daniel, and Job. Why not Moses? or Abraham, Joseph, or David? What did these three have that no other person prior to Ezekiel had that made God single them out as worthy? Definitely worth thinking about...
The sun beats mercilessly down on the vendors as they pitch their tents along the road. Blue flashing lights indicate the borders of the coming festival, and the hum of generators begins to filter along the wind. For now, the excitement level hasn’t changed much from yesterday, but in a few hours, more people than you can count will wander past our booth, charging the air with their hyper exclamations in search of the elusive happiness.
Our tent goes up--click, click, click, click. Our banner is raised, rigged with PVC, eye bolts, and rope. Next come the chairs, tables, and tablecloth, and then we spread out our message. Booklets, DVDs, and an assortment of bumper stickers proclaim to the masses that we intend to do everything in our power to end abortion. We do not offer the happiness that new make-up or unique jewelry provides. We do not offer satiation for the belly with cups of freshly squeezed lemonade or hot-off-the-griddle funnel cakes. What we have to say is more important than outward apparel or nourishment.
Who am I, you ask?
In 2006 I had a stroke, and every day my husband encourages me to use my remaining brain cells to the best of my ability. I love to organize, make crafts, and go on adventures (safe ones). I hope that through my blog posts, you will be encouraged to accept and make the best of challenges God throws at your life.