What a Week!

I’m not sure how else to title this post! It’s been a week with all kinds of events and reflections and conclusions!

My husband and I celebrated 20 years of marriage! 20 YEARS! I’m so thankful for these 20 years and all that God has done.

We had crazy weather! School was closed Thursday for the enormous rains and flooding in the area. I woke up that morning thinking about Noah when those rains came, wondering what he must have felt like knowing what was to come!

The week then ended last night with snow! SNOW!

We saw news of the Boston Marathon bombing and the fertilizer plant explosion in Texas, and were saddened by human suffering and evil acts. We heard of the death of one of the Boston suspects and the capture of the other.

We passed by April 19, a day which carries difficult memories in our country: Waco and Oklahoma City. On April 19, 1995, I was caught in a tornado system and hail storm, having my car demolish around me.

A few short years later on April 19, my mom and step-dad were involved in a major car accident on the highway when a woman came across the median into traffic and spun them out of control. They were cut from the car, and my step-father had a broken neck and was airlifted to the hospital. He wore a halo for 8 weeks and recovered amazingly.

Our good friend was diagnosed April 19 two years ago with the glioblastoma that would take his life less than a year later.

My daughter tells me, and I confirmed, that the Revolutionary War began on April 19.

What a crazy date in history at large, but in our personal history, as well.

I was glad to spend time with the Lord yesterday morning and be reminded of His sovereign control over all things and that this day is His day, and to place my trust and hope in Him, to pray that this date could become known for good things as well.

I received a call yesterday evening on April 19 from a friend with some good news, something about which I had prayed for months for my friend, and it had been answered. When my friend began reading me an email, my friend began, “April 19, 2013.” It struck me. My friend didn’t have to read the date on the email. I knew the date. A reminder. Today has brought good. And peace in this situation, though perhaps not yet fully in the hearts of those involved. But I was thankful that the Lord in His prefect timing had answered this on this date.

I’ve thought about this song this week, so I’ll include it here at the end. I like the hope in God it expresses, “whatever may come our way, through fire or pouring rain, we will trust in You and we won’t be shaken.” Praise You, Lord! We can trust in You!

I’m Trading My Sorrows

Several years ago, maybe around 2004, I did my first Beth Moore Bible Study called Jesus the One and Only on the life of Jesus from the Book of Luke. My friend gave me the CD of music that came with the leader’s kit. There was a song on it called “I’m Trading My Sorrows.” I haven’t thought of it in years, but it’s been on my heart today. I want joy in my present circumstances, eyes fixed on Jesus, being more obedient, loving Him more. JOY, considering the trials I encounter JOY!

It’s late, but I just wanted to post this song!

 

September 2012

On Thursday I had arthroscopic knee surgery to try to resolve the issues I’ve had this month with pain in my knee, swelling, and not being able to walk well. The x-ray had shown what looked like a loose bone fragment, though the orthopedist seemed skeptical.

During surgery, he discovered that there was no bone fragment; rather, I have degenerative arthritis that has been causing the problems. He was able to smooth off the bones (if I understood correctly) to try to bring some relief.

I don’t really know much more at this point. I will go for my post-op visit on October 9 and find out more, I guess. It took me by surprise. I had hoped the surgery would be an easy fix to my problem, but it really only identified the real problem which may not be so easily fixed.

There’s no way to know how quickly this will progress. I am young to have it, and they don’t know what causes it. He told me some of the treatments, none of which I want. I’m hoping the surgery will help stabilize my knee and give me some time to try some different easier things.

Since this started on September 1st, I’ve been meditating on James 1, and I recited it over and over the day of surgery. “Consider it all joy, my beloved brethren, when you encounter various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Can I consider this unexpected trial a joy as it might produce in me endurance and a maturing of faith? The post yesterday about who I am listening to is timely for me because I must speak truth to this situation, and not listen to any other voice (not even my own) but His.

Already I sense the Lord’s nearness to me. I’ve shared before how God uses music and specific songs in my life. When we got in the car to drive home from the surgery, I turned on the radio, and this song (at the end of this post) was just starting. I’m not saying in this case this was a specific word from the Lord to me through this song, but it did make tears start to stream down my face. At the same time, my husband shouted out, “Do you hear this? Do you hear the words to this song? It’s your song for this!”
Then I came home and ran across this post by a friend of ours. Not only did he mention my life verse of 2 Cor. 12:9 and speak such beautiful truth about joy in times of difficulty or darkness, but one of the people who commented wrote out the verses I had been reciting all day from James 1.
I’ve seen God work miracles and healing in our lives. I don’t doubt His ability to heal me and help me in this or just slow the progression. But I know he doesn’t always choose to do that. With whatever the days ahead hold, the things I can be certain of are that He is with me, that He has a plan, that He has good for me, that He loves me, that He is in control, that my life is His, that He will be near to me, and that all things are possible with Him. I pray I keep my eyes fixed on Him and hear His Word and trust in Him alone.

The Last Week and the New Academic Year

It’s been a big week for us. A humbling week. A week of seeing God’s faithful provision.

My mom’s house sold, and my husband drove to Memphis this weekend to pack her things and move them here. We unloaded everything Sunday afternoon with the help of four friends — what a wonderful gift! The move could not have gone more smoothly. Every detail went just as planned and organized. I was so thankful for that answered prayer!

Monday night we went to the faculty dinner where my husband teaches.

Then Tuesday we all started back: my husband to in-service, my children to a half day of school, and me back in my work schedule.

First Day of School
Tonight we finished the James Bible Study. It was truly a wonderful study. I think we all learned so much. It’s been beautiful to see the things the Lord has done in our lives over the course of the eight weeks of this study as we’ve prayed for one another and studied together.
Last Night of Bible Study (I took the picture!)

I am very tired tonight after this last week of moving and starting the new school year. We even painted my daughter’s room since my mom was bringing her a new bedroom set of furniture. We still have things all over the place to organize, but soon. I just need to get to the weekend! But I want to praise the Lord for His goodness to us in all of these things and for providing for every need. I am grateful!

I’ll end the post with another Matt Redman song from his CD that I am loving. I got it at Lifeway a week or two ago for $5! Couldn’t pass it up, and these songs are wonderful. This is “Never Once.”

10,000 Reasons

Psalm 103:1-10

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, 
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

I love this song, 10,000 Reasons, by Matt Redman. Maybe it’s because it resonates with the words of Psalm 103 which I love. Have you heard it?

 

Psalm 103:11-22

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
The Lord has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
Bless the Lord, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!