Saturday, August 3, 2013

Life Update via Photos

I know I haven't updated on family life lately, but here are some of our fun happenings recently! Enjoy!

She loves playing in her pool!
Swinging at the playground with Gran. I am so thankful for playgrounds!
Fourth of July!
Celebrating my sister's birthday!
Playing in the fountains at a park in...
Big D! 
Imagination play at Indoor Safari Park! So fun!
Riding an elephant! 
LOTS and LOTS of phone conversations. Let's just say that by the time Corinth is in high school, we are DEFINITELY going to need an unlimited minutes plan!
Playing dress-up, one of my favorite pasttimes! 
More swimming! She loves jumping in, but hates going underwater. Go figure!
Kyle and I have even gone on a few dates! 

We are LOVING our time with family and friends!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Following the Lord

I have been doing a women’s Bible study over Gideon lately. Honestly, I didn’t know much about Gideon before the study, and I’ve learned a few lessons during my time in this study. I saw many similarities between Gideon and Jonah, and then realized that those same similarities were shared between not only these two great prophets, but me as well. 

Now, you probably know more about Jonah, so we’ll start with him first. He was a guy who loved God and wanted to serve God, but was anything but excited about where God was sending him. I am a woman who loves God and wants to serve him, but am having a hard time about where God has sent me. (No, this is not a pity party; this is my life, good and bad.) Why there God? Why not this other place over here? They need to know your truth also. Can I go there instead? Jonah and I were both thinking this, knowing that God’s calling is clear. Jonah actually ran away from God. Well… tried to. I’m not sure what he was thinking with that one. I’ve had a few people tell me along this process that it must be nice that our family has such a clear calling from God for our lives. Yes, it is great that we know we are following His will, but that doesn’t mean that it’s butterflies and rainbows every day. How would you like to be Jonah and go tell a huge group of people, the Ninevites, that God was displeased with them and was ordering them to turn from their evil ways? Jonah did it though. Did he have a good attitude? Absolutely not. Terrible attitude actually. But, he still did what the Lord called him to do.

 Gideon was a little different. God came to Gideon while he was hiding from the Midianites, a huge army inching in on Gideon’s town. Gideon was threshing wheat inside a winepress rather than out on the threshing floor. He did this because the Midianites were taking everything they could from Israel. In simpler terms, Midian is the bully and Israel is the kid getting his lunch taken every day. God came to Gideon and told him that he was going to lead the army of Israelites that was going to overtake Midian. Gideon asked God how that could happen, reminding God how strong and evil the Midianites were. Gideon tested God several times, asking God to prove to him that He was who He said He was, and that He was faithful. God, though He didn’t have to, appeased Gideon and proved Himself in every one of Gideon’s tests. So, reluctantly, Gideon agreed to lead Israel. He started with 32,000 men and ended up with 300. As God weaned the number of the army smaller and smaller, Gideon continued to be faithful. He went to battle for the Lord and was victorious. God followed through with the promises that He made to Gideon- to protect, provide, and bring victory. 

As my family goes back to Spesterra, my hope is that I may have faith like Gideon had. God didn’t tell Him everything at the beginning, but Gideon walked forward each time God asked him to take another step. God was able to use Gideon to show His faithfulness to His people, Israel, and to all the other tribes and peoples that were watching in expectation. I hope that I am faithful enough to God for Hms to use me. As Gideon began His journey with the Lord, he was found hiding because he was so afraid of His enemy. God saw a faithful follower and chose him in his weakness to bring glory to His name. My hope is that we will all be faithful enough to the Lord to be able to walk forward each time God asks us to take another step. And my hope for myself is that, while it may be incredibly difficult some days, that I would not have an attitude like Jonah, and that I would not test God like Gideon did, but that I would be faithful to what God has called me, and, as 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, that I would “rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.”