1.29.2009

more about the fireworks

The promised expoundation* upon the "fireworks" ...
A few posts ago I mentioned that God did some explosive works in my heart. (aka fireworks) First of all, explosive doesn't mean new. God isn't telling me "move to Ghana". In fact, my circumstances are static. (good static). Second, this is probably going to be a rather ramblish*, spewing-thoughts-rapidly-as-they-flow post. I haven't sorted any of it out. But what better use for a blog than to record the goodness of God?


Jan 7-8 I went to a "Growing in Gifts of the Spirit" retreat. I entered it living life in black & white and left seeing in technicolour. Seriously. The past few months I'd been in a season of semi-darkness. I was weary. Partly because I was continually falling off of the fine line between "bearing other's burdens by carrying them to Christ" and "bearing other's burdens on my small shoulders in pride." My fight for joy was half-hearted. In fact, I had myself fooled into thinking I was choosing joy more often that I really did. Beks called me out one Sunday. She said she missed my real smile. I was shocked. Didn't I smile all the time?
"Yeah, but they're all fake smiles." Ouch. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. After that week I began praying and fighting for joy, but something was still missing.
Then the retreat came. Few things have impacted me as much as that weekend did.

During the retreat we spend alot of time waiting on God. We basked in His presence. We were still before His throne. I was overwhelmed. He poured out love and set us free. God revealed and broke chain after chain in my heart. There is no better way to describe it. Chains of self-sufficiency, numbness, and sorrow fell away. Liberation. The result was a rush of joy pouring into my soul. I couldn't "get" joy, He had to give it to me. Even remembering, I am blown away at His undeserved goodness!

I am still learning to walk and live in my new-found freedom. There are still temptations to take on burdens, I am still saddened when friends dear to me walk through fires; but my heart is different. Having joy doesn't mean I am always happy. Or that I always feel. It means I'm always choosing to trust God. It means there is always a manifestation of goodness to thank God for. I fight to keep joy. I don't fight to obtain it--that was done by Christ at the cross.

*yes, i made those words up.

1.24.2009

oh. so. precious.

baby bingley has arrived! :)
ethan michael ascough arrived finally at 3:41 this morning. He was 5lbs 11oz, 5 weeks early, and gorgeous. (i am not of the opinion that all babies are beautiful--but he is. oh so presh. of course i am not a biased almost-aunt or anything.) be forewarned, the next paragraph is girlish talk from someone who came home at 5 this morning and awoke before 8. read at your own peril!
i am freshly in awe at God's creative genius. last night i was at florida hospital south for 9 hours. i'm far more familiar with that place than i ever wished to be, but now i remember it's possible to be in a hospital for joyous reasons. i was blessed to partially witness the amazing amazing gift from God called birth. oh my soul. i was there when my siblings were born and when mum schwab had mira. but this was way different. maybe because i remember when stephanie was 10 and we pretended to be moms in her backyard? anyway, i can understand why people call something so agonizing a miracle. not gonna lie, i'm petrified at the thought of enduring it myself. not usually a squeamish person, but that whole birth thing makes me want to squirm inside. but it's a blessing. from God. He created us with the ability to bring forth life. wow. God is incredible. He created women strong enough to go through such an ordeal and not fall apart. that the body can recover and even do it all over again, and again...it's crazy. i am telling you, there is no way a single-cell organism could evolve meticulously enough to perform that feat.
there is my girly rant.

1.23.2009

patience.

"Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door." James 5.7-9

patient, adj.
1. Bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance with calmness.
2.Marked by or exhibiting calm endurance of pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance.
3. Persevering; constant
4.Capable of calmly awaiting an outcome or result; not hasty or impulsive.
5.Capable of bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance.
I am not patient.
I want to be patient.
God is patient with me.
Hallelujah!
{I thought I'd have time this morning to expound on the "fireworks" but I've been called into work early. hence this instead.}

1.17.2009

year of jubilee {mum}


Wife+Mother+Daughter+Friend.

lover of God.
faithful.
servant.
patient.
peacemaker.
beautiful.
(amazing) cook.
wise.
bookworm.
loving.
letter-writer.
encouraging.
(incredibly) selfless.
kind.
busy.
worshipper.
gracious.
teacher.
funny.
caregiver.
strong.

Thank you for being all that ^ and more mum. Happy birthday. May your "year of jubilee" be filled with more portraits of God's faithful grace. You are one of the most marvelous blessings in my life!

1.14.2009

becoming slightly more faithful.

I've had an unplanned blog haitus. Life is very busy. Nothing new or changing circumstantially (despite my attempts haha) just busier. Spiritually, I feel like God is setting off fireworks inside. There is so much going on under the surface. I'm overwhelmed. It's impossible to express... much less understand it all! I'll try to write some of it out later. It would be good for me to get it out of my head and into the semi-reality of words.
A point of reference for what will come later. (don't you love the vagueness) This song is where my soul has been for many months. A good /difficult place. Difficult because I see more and more my unfaithfulness and impatience. Good because what He reveals He works on; and in seeing my great sinfulness I have also seen His great grace. He allowed me to feel how great is my desperation for Him. He did not allow me to feel His closeness. I should shut up and let Brooke Fraser speak for me.

There’s distance in the air
And I cannot make it leave
I wave my arms ‘round about me
And blow with all my might
I cannot sense you close

Though I know you’re always here
But the comfort of you near
Is what I long for

When I can’t feel you
I have learned to reach out just the same
When I can’t hear you
I know you still hear every word I pray
And I want you
More than I want to live another day
And as I wait for you
Maybe I’m made more faithful

All the folly of the past
Though I know it is undone
I still feel the guilty one
Still trying to make it right
So I whisper soft your name

And let it roll around my tongue
Knowing you’re the only one who knows me
You know me