567. Siesta Scripture Memory challenge 2013
Beth Moore has started this challenge again at her Living Proof blog, in which we memorize a verse every two weeks for a year.
Here are my two verses for January:
2 Corinthians 3:16,17 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate (or reflect) the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His image, with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord.
568. Editing progress
I've proved through five Novembers now that I can get the first draft of a novel written and finished. It's the editing and polishing subsequent drafts that always stalls me out. I'm 10 chapters (or about 1/3 of the way) through editing my latest novel into shape. I list this also as a challenge to myself to keep working away at it. Hope to have it finished in April and ready for beta readers (which will surely mean more edits, but it's still a big step). I really want to query it to agents by this summer or fall.
569. Three reasons to write
"I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of." — Joss Whedon
570. Kisses From Katie
This is an autobiography by a 22 year old that blew me away. Katie J. Davis left her wealthy home in America and has been living and ministering to the poor and starving in Uganda since she was 18, adopting/fostering 14 children.
I hadn't realized what a transformation had taken place while I had been in Uganda, the spiritual richness I had experienced in material poverty and the spiritual poverty I felt now in a land of material wealth.
The place God calls us to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.
I've had people ask why I think Africa is so impoverished, but these children are not poor. I, as a person who grew up wealthy, am. I put value in things. These children, having no thing, put value in God. I put my trust in relationships; these children, having already seen relationships fail, put their trust in the Lord. This nation is blessed beyond any place, any people I have ever encountered. God has not forgotten them. In fact, I believe He has loved them just a little bit extra.
I sit here freezing and wet in this pitch-black room as the rain beats on the roof, and God is so close I feel I can touch Him. My deepest prayer is that I could know the Lord as well as the first grader next to me. All my senses are full of His greatness. God's glory has fallen down into this place and is soaking us even deeper than the rain. I never ever want to be dry.
570. A conviction challenged
Last November during a communion service at church, I had quite the conversation with God over homeschooling. I laid out my arguments and doubts; He responded with "am I not God?" One of my fears would be that I soon as I committed to homeschooling, something would happen with my job that would complicate matters. Sure enough, that's exactly what happened this January. At first this caused a lot of fretting on my part, and disagreement between B. and I. But prayer is my theme word for this year, so I took it to prayer. It's not resolved yet, but I am waiting in prayer, and no longer fretting. It's in God's hands. So, sometimes a challenge (even unresolved) can turn into a gift, too, because it pushes us to follow God more closely.
571. Questions about Genesis
B.'s nephew called us one night, he and his wife had been studying Genesis (!!!!) and he was having issues with it, and wanted to know where Cain's wife and other spouses for Adam and Eve's children came from? That is a tough question, because incest (siblings marrying) is a likely answer, and whatever you might say about how it was "okay" back then, it's still a tough thing to swallow. B. pointed out how it's also a tough thing to swallow about what the evolutionists propose instead: that we all ultimately evolved from a chemical brew. Then it also occurred to me, no one calls Adam and Eve incestuous, even though she was made out of Adam's rib. What if in those early days, God made all the spouses out of ribs? Or just breathed them into existence? God is a Creator - and he's not limited by the means we are limited in our own procreation.
A co-worker shared this cat-herding commercial with me, and I shared it with my family - the girls didn't "get it" the same way adults too, but they thought it was hilarious, anyway!
573. A certain person drinking apple juice instead of something stronger
I'm not even going to try to explain this. Maybe 20 years from now I won't have a clue why I listed this as a gift (I don't even like apple juice!) but right now, it makes me smile.
574. Vitamins in the tea canister
It's that time of year again where I'm most vulnerable to seasonal depression. Last year my doctor advised I triple my daily Vitamin D dose, and I never did get depressed last year, so I've been trying to remember to take my vitamins. Problem is, I remember for a week, then forget for a week. So I tried to think of a way that I wouldn't forget. Where could I put those pills that I wouldn't forget them? Well, I NEVER forget to have my tea in the morning, and since I've been keeping the vitamin bottle in the cannister with my tea bags, I haven't forgotten once! (hmmm, maybe I should keep my bible in there, too?)
575. Texted prayers
My O.A. friends and I text prayers back and forth when facing temptation or other tough times (keeping C. in prayer for health issues, both her and her daughter). Friends from church have also been texting me "praying for you" since I shared with them the complication that's come up with my job that's at odds with my conviction to homeschool. H.L. and Helen (see gift #529 for more about Helen's prayer) have been praying about my job/homeschooling situation too, as well as N.L.W. and K.A.
576. A cute pair of smaller jeans
Bought my first pair of a-size-smaller jeans in a long time! (15 pounds lost at end of January!) Also nice that I got them for $6 at Goodwill with tags still on them!
577. A "you're thinner!" hug
Eight-year old Dreamer loves to give hugs, and one night when she hugged me she stepped back in surprise - "Mom! you're thinner!"
578. Sharing theme words
During lunch with H.L., I shared my theme word for the year (and the story behind my words for 2011 and 2012) and I was delighted that she's been using a theme word for the past two years, too. Her words, Humility and Glory and Joy, are particularly poignant considering the tremendous trials she's faced in the past two years: breast cancer, fostering and trying to adopt two girls, and an undiagnosed neurological complication that puts one of her sons in a wheelchair some of time.
579. Farther horizons, higher peaks, greater depths in God
O Lord, You are the God of the early mornings, the God of the late nights, the God of the mountain peaks, and the God of the sea. But, my God, my soul has horizons further away than those of early mornings, deeper darkness than the nights of earth, higher peaks than any mountain peaks, greater depths than any sea in nature. You who are the God of all these, be my God. I cannot reach to the heights or to the depths; there are motives I cannot discover, dreams I cannot realize. My God, search me.”