Our Newlywed Experience

Within the Body of Christ

Daily receiving life and grace from His constant hand:

"I said to the Lord, 'Thou art my Lord;

I have no good besides Thee.'" Ps 16:2

Friday, August 13, 2010

Evening with 'My Loves'

...why Bank of America ACTUALLY hired my husband...

the unconquerable piles of laundry
...but popping in an old Audrey Hepburn movie sure makes it more fun :D

Man! Good looks AND talent???

Mmmmmm, homemade blueberry peach cobbler...
will try to get the recipe up later!

Graysby loved it :D

Mmm, gotta love those peaceful dreamy evenings, where all the busy bustle of the outside world just kind of fades away and life is blissfully calm for a while…

Tonight was one of those nights. And they don’t happen every night. So you know I cherished every single moment.

The kitchen was cleaned. The lunches were made. Hub had his shirt starched and crisp [just like Daddy’s always was] and the tie he’d picked out had gotten the wifey seal of approval.

I’ve gotten him addicted to my nightly ritual of hot peppermint tea with honey, so tonight we shared a cup together. But most importantly we shared what had been going on with each other. A ‘state of affairs’ meeting, if you will :)

The ‘state of affairs’ with Katie was wonderful at the moment. I had just spent some quiet moments with the Lord. And boy had He guided me that night. I had just read an excerpt from prayer warrior Jill Briscoe’s “Faith Dancing” book that reminded me of, and complemented, a lesson Mrs. Ruth McWhite had taught us at a chaplain meeting one afternoon.

Jill shared about a mountain-hike-adventure she’d taken with her own hubby. Her strong man had brought a large backpack and shouldered the burden of that day’s hiking needs. Jill packed light with only a pair of binoculars. Yet, as any woman would have done, she had collected dozens of little things here and there along the way. Her burden accumulated and became too much to continue on with. Her husband became aware of her burden and told her to put it in his backpack. The husband could handle it, and the weight of Jill’s burden was shifted.

Mrs. Ruth had given us the analogy of walking along a mountain path, with trails unfamiliar to us. If we were to run ahead of our guide, we would likely choose the wrong path. And if we were to fall behind our guide, we also may not see the correct trail the guide took and become lost. We had to walk in step with our guide, by their side, looking at how he walked and making sure we followed suit.

In these stories, Christ is my husband and my guide. He is the one who knows the exact path to travel and how to travel it. And Christ is the one who, if I walk in communion with Him, can take those heavy burdens upon Himself. Not to rid them from my life, as the burdens would serve their purpose through their season in my life, but to shoulder the pain and weight of the potentially incapacitating load.

It’s because Christ is mighty and able to do so! What other being alive has shouldered burdens like Him? Who else has borne and yet risen victorious over them? My Christ, the High Priest described in Hebrews 4:16-18!

As I experienced the Lord’s desire, and His command, to cast my burdens on Him, I really had to stop and think for a moment exactly WHAT it would be, what it would look like, to ‘cast my burdens’ on Him. In the stillness of being with Him, He poured truth in my heart: “Let it go. Cease striving. Quit trying to control. Recognize Who IS in control. Trust.”

Oh Lord- but how to trust? “Remember. Me. Faithful. Holy. Lord. God. Know that I have been God, that I am God, and that I always will be God. In your life. And forever.”

Oh His voice. I live for that. Here is the last little bit from my prayer journal with Him that night [something I share with an intimate few- you’re berry special :) ]

“Jesus. Faithful Lord. I trust the next step You will lead my foot on. I will not terror over steps not yet taken. I will not labor over burdens I do not yet even bear. Some of these present steps I do take yield present burdens… and it’s ok- I trust You. I trust Your control over what I can’t, and claim Your strength over what I can. I watch Your Face. I worship.”

“Nevertheless I am continually with Thee; Thou hast taken hold of my right hand. With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:23-26

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Grace for TODAY

In Dillon for the day [love being able to make day trips up] for a wedding and a birthday dinner. Hangin out at Mama and Daddy’s- trying not to call it ‘home’ anymore because I have a new ‘home’ now with Grayson :D The need to blog hit suddenly and I HAD to respond!

Sat down in Mama’s ‘Quiet Time Corner’ and just had to LAUGH because it is JUST like mine- a sunny corner full of books, books, BOOKS, Bibles, and [of course] tissues.

Baby Sugie jumped up to sit with me!

Sometimes I wonder if the Lord looks at me as one of His ‘high-maintenance’/exhausting children. I say that because a large part of my every-waking-moment is spent directing my thoughts, concerns, praises, excitements toward Him [and I think none other than the Lord could handle this.] And a part of me knows that He CHERISHES me integrating and involving Him into ALL aspects of my life.

But the most beautiful moments are the ones that are still. The ones where I choose to silence myself or the Lord chooses to silence me. As one saint put it “An inward reverence, the bowing down of the soul in the presence of God…a solemn consciousness of the Divine, a secret communion with the unseen.” And He speaks. But not with words. Though He will speak to my heart in many ways, the past few days have consisted of those familiar ‘illuminations’- insights, truths, realities that I myself would never have produced on my own. Moments when the actual Source of truth, wisdom, and knowledge fills my blind heart with His grace.

Hub hub serenaded me while I blogged

These moments lately He has been teaching me the preciousness of a DAY- looking at my life in the time increments of a 24 hour DAY. To explain:

I am a RECOVERING chronic-planner, who’s planning fits often extended into weeks, months, and years. Despite the temporary sense of control ‘planning’ brings, it actually ends up having the opposite effect and shows us how much I am actually NOT in control. Not only can I not even control my future, but I also couldn’t even handle KNOWING what my future would actually hold [check out Ecclesiastes 3:11,14 & 7:14.]

I was sharing my concerns about a future that I could neither predict nor control with my sister-in-law when she wisely interjected- “Katie. Its DAILY bread.” And she was so right, and I knew in that instant the Lord needed me to understand that. We as His children ask Him for our daily bread, manna for today, the needs we have today. Not yearly bread, or monthly bread, or even weekly bread. Today’s bread... Today’s grace…

When the need arose in me to plan [something I’ve been able to recognize and call out as ‘control’] what actually would happen is that I would be faced with a big, black, gaping, terrifying future that I realized I could do nothing about. I had to stop and look back and see the beautiful organization of events that the Lord had woven in my past until now, and seek His face for this day’s, this moment’s grace.

Today’s grace is never lacking from Him, and each day of walking beside Him never ceases to bring a present of peace that leads to a future of hope.

the CAYMAN continues :D

Holdie throwin football
So proud of that kid :)
Gotta brag on him a bit- he was actually chosen Varsity Co-Captain this year, but a concussion during a scrimmage has him sidelined right now... Thank YOU for every one thats been praying for him
Mmm, my hunky hubby ;)
Eat your heart out Tebow
I love baby dur dur!! :D
Beautiful sunset that welcomed us the first night
Bodden Town at sunset
On the way to get some fabulous jerk chicken at a local joint
too jet lagged to dress up and go anywhere ;)
Some of the most INTENSE games of Uno took place here
I couldn't post all the graphic/violent pics of what happened in the heat of the games
"Put a bo-nana right in your favorite ear"
"...a bo-nana in my ear??"
Ha!! Fresh mango juice and a sunscreen-frosted-face:
How every morning starts in Cayman
Breakfast on the porch-
eggs, bacon, and plantains [of course!]
Mmm, good snorkling times :)
Becky Freel staked out under that palm tree whenever she wasnt snorkling
"I crush your head"
Gettin ready for a snorkle trip!
I lub my family
Gway is SO excited!
Were headed to the Ritz for Father's Day and Mother's Bday Dinner :D
Da purdy flower arrangement- they were all over the place!
You know I was just drooling over them...sigh...
Headed to watch the sun set over the beach before din din
Me and baby dur dur!!
... if you can call a 6' 4" sixteen year old a 'baby'
When we were here a few years ago they played Sade's 'Smooth Operator' in it this hallway
Hearing that song now instantly transports us right HERE
This massive, fabulously creepy painting can be yours...
...for a mere 25,000 CI- or 30,000 US
I think NOT!
I want one of these chandeliers
They had a height contest
Can you believe James Holden Freel is 6' 4" and only Sixteen?!?
Nothin like a Ritz beach at sunset :)
In front of Periwinkle
And those dang boys are still having a height contest...
sibling rivalry?
Dinner at Periwinkle
Happy Hubby!! :D
Mommy and Daddy
Mama had been waiting for their infamous 'Parmesan Truffle Fries' ALL year!!
Me and Huggie :D
tsch, dumpy Ritz bathroom
Happy Birthday Mama!!!! :D

Monday, August 9, 2010

Looking full in His Face

So, this blog is a little different. I guess the Lord laid on my heart that a lot of the previous entries have had a lot to do with me. Though the majority of my life is covered in His fingerprints, the Lord has right now placed a ‘divine discontent’ with going on any further with stories of my life, my thoughts, my actions.

Tonight while alone with Him, He really took me back to square one of an awareness of His presence and worship of Who He is.

So this blog contains a few favorite verses from Scripture [ok actually a ridiculously massive amount of verses, just take in what you can :) impossibly difficult to ‘eliminate’ this sort of thing, you understand… ] that really sink you into His presence, right at His feet, a glimpse of His heart, and leave your soul full of worship. A few entries earlier, when I talked about the Lord having me seek His face, I find It right here…

“I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, My soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

“Hear, O Isreal! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!” Deuteronomy 6:4

“Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried… But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth…” Isaiah 53:4,5,7

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

“I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God so worked that men should fear Him.” Ecclesiastes 3:14

“‘Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness, and speak kindly to her. And it will come about in that day’ declares the Lord, “That you will call Me Husband and will no longer call me Master.’” Hosea 2:14,16

“And My people who are called by My Name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14

“For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, ‘I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15

“‘Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” Ezekiel 36:26, 27

“Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver?” Isaiah 50:2b

“…‘the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say, ‘Give thanks to the Lord of hosts. For the Lord is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting’; and of those who bring a thank offering into the house of the Lord. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first,’ says the Lord.” Jeremiah 33:11

“Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness continues throughout all generations; Thou didst establish the earth, and it stands.” Psalm 119:89-90

“There is no one holy like the Lord, indeed, there is no one besides Thee, nor is there any rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2:2

“But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…’” Isaiah 43:1-3

“God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act, does He promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19

“The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.” Exodus 15:2

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to Him who lacks might He increases power.” Isaiah 40:28-29

“Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Thy hand will lead me, and Thy right hand will lay hold of me.” Psalm 139: 7-10

“But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is a light for me.” Micah 7:7-8

“My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:5-8

“As for you…know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts…” 1 Chronicles 28:9

“He restores my soul; He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3

“And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8: 2,3

“He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.” Psalm 147: 3,5

“‘And I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord.’” Hosea 2: 19, 20

“Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my advocate is on high.” Job 16:16

“‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3: 24-26

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1: 9

“The Lord will also be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble, and those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee; for Thou, O Lord, hast not forsaken those who seek Thee.” Psalm 9:10

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:8-9

“Thou, O Lord, dost rule forever; Thy throne is from generation to generation…Restore us to Thee, O Lord, that we may be restored; renew our days as of old…” Lamentations 5:19, 21

“Nevertheless I am continually with Thee; Thou hast taken hold of my right hand. With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:23-26

“I know that Thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted .” Job 42:2

“But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” Deuteronomy 4:20, 24

“…Because He poured out Himself to death…Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12

“Thou hast heard my voice, ‘Do not hide Thine ear from my prayer for relief, from my cry for help.’ Thou didst draw near when I called on Thee; Thou didst say, ‘Do not fear!’” Lamentations 3:56-57

“The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

“I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Isaiah 31:33

“‘Yet it is I who taught Ephrain to walk, I took them in My arms; But they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love, and I became to them as one who lifts the yoke from their jaws; and I bent down and fed them.’” Hosea 11:3,4

“Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, Thou dost know it all. Thou has enclosed me behind and before, and laid Thy hand upon me.” Psalm 139:4-5

“…‘Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you.’” Daniel 6:16

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

“Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it, the Lord is His name, ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’” Jeremiah 33:2-3

“This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him.” Nahum 1:7

“And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes shall see and not another. My heart faints within me.” Job 19:25-27

“The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

“So I turn my eyes upon You now. Look full in Your wonderful Face. And the things of earth, they grow strangely dim, in the light of Your glory and grace.’

… Isn’t He beautiful?