livingthrufaith

a blog about life, family, and faith


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Love Came Down

This week we have been lighting the candle of Love.  We want to reflect on God’s love during Advent because…

His love is perfect. His love never leaves us, never fails us, never ends.

God came down to us because He is Love.

Love came down to us.

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Love came down as a little baby born in a simple stable – barren of basic comforts, yet filled with the presence of a King.

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was not room for them in the inn.”   Luke 2:6-7

Love came down to lowly shepherds – filling the darkness of night with the Light from above.

“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them…” Luke 2:9

Love came down not only to show His love to us, but to show us how to love.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God…” 1 John 4:7

“We love because he first loved us.”  1 John 4:16

Love came down to die so that we may live.

“This is how God showed his love among us:  He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.”  1 John 4:9

Love came down for you and for me – sinners, unworthy – yet loved and wanted and deemed worthy through His love.

“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.”  Psalm 86:5

Wherever you are His love is there.

He does not hide His love from you.

He does not keep His love from you.

Love came down – freely given because of His love for you and for me.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love…” 1 John 4:16

May you know His love this Christmas.

Living thru faith,

Misty

 

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Hoping when our hearts are breaking

Yesterday, heaven added another angel to their chorus of praise.

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Precious Baby Michael was only with us for seven weeks, but during that time he brought joy to all those who were given the gift of knowing him.  And, while I never got to meet him, I loved him.

And, because I love his sweet momma, my heart breaks even more as I watch her heart breaking.

As I held my own sweet girl while she cried for a baby she had come to love and for her precious friend who just lost a brother, my heart broke some more.

But as our hearts are breaking, we have hope.

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.”  Psalm 62:5

When Jesus lives in our hearts, it doesn’t mean we will not hurt.  It doesn’t mean we will not grieve.

But it does mean that we grieve with hope.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”  Hebrews 6:19a

That hope helps us to walk the journey before us.  That hope gives us strength when we feel like we can’t take one more step.  That hope gives us peace when we feel like our whole world is in chaos.  That hope gives us joy when we wonder how we will ever feel joy again.  That hope brings us love when love seems so far away.

“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.  May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.”  Psalm 33:18

This journey was not one that we wanted to take, but it a journey that we will take – one step at a time, together, with hope in the One who is faithful to keep His promises.  The One who is our Hope.

Your strength is found
At the end of my road
Your grace it reaches to the hurting
Still through the tears and the questioning why
I will stand my ground where hope can be found
I will stand my ground where hope can be found

– O’ Lord by Lauren Daigle

 

This hope can be yours.  It is not for only a select few.  It is not only for those who are perfect and have all their stuff together.  It is for everyone.  Everyone who hurts, everyone who loves, everyone who feels lost and unworthy.  Everyone who makes mistakes and has regrets.  If you have been looking for hope and not sure where to find it, please talk to me or someone you trust.  This hope is not for us to keep to ourselves, but to share.  Allow us the gift of sharing it with you.

Living in faith,

Misty

 

 


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Our Hope

“And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will HOPE. May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:12-13

Our Advent Wreath sits on our dining room table just waiting for us to gather around, asking us to prepare our hearts for the coming of our King.

Sunday evening we lit the candle of Hope.  Oh, how we need to fill our hearts with hope!

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Each morning Sarah and I begin our school day lighting this Hope candle, reading scripture, discussing what that scripture is telling us and how we can apply it to our lives, and then praying that scripture over us.  It has been a wonderful way to start our mornings. (You can find the free study here.)

Yesterday, I was really moved by the scripture we read and Sarah’s response on how to apply it to our lives.  I wanted to share it with you and maybe it will bring you a little bit of Hope today.

“The Lord says, “The time is coming when I will do the things I promised.  I made a special promise to the people of Israel and Judah.  In those days and at that time, I will make a righteous branch sprout from David’s family.  He will do what is fair and right in the land.”  Jeremiah 33:14-15 (ICB)

From Sarah…

Jesus is going to fulfill the promise that God made with Israel and Judah…This scripture tells us that God keeps his promises to us and won’t forget them.  Therefore, we can trust him with our full hearts, just like David, and just like we should always be doing everyday for our whole lives!

Oh, the joy that fills my soul when I hear her speak words from God or hear her sing her praises to the Lord she loves.  I know that God has a plan for Sarah and I know He will fulfill His promises to her.  That gives me Hope.

God keeps his promises.  God has a plan.  Nothing is left to chance.  I can trust God to keep his promises with the plan that He has for my life.  That gives me Hope.

God loves his people, even when we don’t love Him.  He will keep his promises, even when we do not keep ours.  That give me Hope.

May the God who loves you enough to keep his promises of the wondrous plan he has set out for you, bring you Hope in this season of Advent.

Living thru faith,

Misty

 


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I Want To Be That Kind of Tired

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been reading a collection of Shel Silverstein poems with Sarah each evening at bedtime.  Last night I thought I had found MY poem.  The title…   TIRED

I’ve been working so hard you just wouldn’t believe,

And I’m tired!

There’s so little time and so much to achieve,

And I’m tired!

I’ve been lying here holding the grass in its place,

Pressing a leaf with the side of my face,

Tasting the apples to see if they’re sweet,

Counting the toes on a centipede’s feet.

I’ve been memorizing the shape of that cloud,

Warning the robins to not chirp so loud,

Shooing the butterflies off the tomatoes,

Keeping an eye out for floods and tornadoes,

I’ve been supervising the work of the ants

And thinking of pruning the cantaloupe plants,

Timing the sun to see what time it sets,

Calling the fish to swim into my nets,

And I’ve taken twelve thousand and forty-one breaths,

And I’m TIRED!

 

Oh to be that kind of tired!  🙂

 

Living thru faith,

Misty


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Our Unexpected House Guests

We were blessed with a few unexpected house guests as winter gave birth to spring.

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Momma Robin made a cozy little home for her three tiny babies under our deck.

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Eventually, when we stood underneath we could see their little beaks standing tall and wide waiting for Momma to arrive with their next meal.  Even though she wasn’t there, they trusted she would soon provide the nourishment they needed.

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Our little robins also had neighbors! We think there are two babies in this one; however, we are not sure which kind of birds these are since this momma built her little home on the far end and made it harder to see into the nest.

The Robin family has already left us, but their neighbors are hanging out for a little while longer.  One day soon they will also fly away, but we have enjoyed having them for a little while.

Living thru faith,

Misty


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God Wasn’t Kiddin’

At some point last spring (I think…I’ve lost all sense of time) God told Brian and I both separately that 2016-2017 was going to be a year of preparation.

Boy, was he not kidding!  It started in August and every time I get through one thing I start preparing for something else. This momma is tired!

Homeschooling

We decided to start homeschooling Sarah this year.  While it has been fun and interesting and adventuresome and frustrating and confusing and tiring… you get the idea, it has involved a ton of preparation.  The preparation didn’t stop when the school year began.  Oh, no.  I planned out a general schedule for the year and now I try to look ahead three to six weeks depending on the break schedules to plan things more specifically, but even then I am still tweaking each week as life happens along the way.

Some things take longer than I anticipate or life throws us curve balls or curriculum is just not what I thought it would be.  Right now I’m beginning to look at changing the way we do math.  Who knows what that is going to look like next year!  One thing I have learned so far is that homeschool preparation is never complete…

 

Job (Sorta) Change

Brian’s current position is a one year appointment with it becoming an official position in July 2017.  It was a long discerning process, but Brian finally felt like the Lord was leading him to apply for the “new”position.  Meaning he would stay in his current position with a few changes like full faculty status.  As he prepared the application process, we also had to prepare ourselves for the possibility that we would have to be looking elsewhere since he could be out of a job at the end of June.  That process began in September and finally came to a conclusion at the beginning of December.  Thankfully, Brian gets to keep his job!  But throughout that time, we were also preparing for another life change…

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Moving

In August, even before we knew the outcome of the job situation, we asked my mom to move in with us in the spring when her lease is up.  With this change in family dynamics comes a change in space.  Our current home is just not set up well for 3 adults, a teenage boy, and an upcoming tween girl.  Not to mention if we were looking at a job change, we would have to be moving in the summer regardless.  So we started preparing our home for sale and ended up putting it on the market right before Thanksgiving.  (That’s a whole other amazing story!)  In addition to preparing for us moving houses, we are also preparing for Mom to make the move from Texas to Kentucky at the end of February.  Details, details, details!

Three Graduations and a Wedding

In the midst of all the other life preparations, we have also been preparing for two college graduations, a high school graduation, and a wedding.  Matt’s fiance, Shelby, graduated with a degree in Family Studies in December, Matt will be graduating with a degree in Marketing and minor in Finance at the end of February, and Daniel will be graduating from high school in May.

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Then in June, Matt and Shelby will be tying the knot!  I told my sister-in-law that a week after the wedding I would be in a padded room talking to the Easter bunny.  When I relayed that to my friend Jenny, she said I would have some great looking Easter eggs once I was done!  Awesome, Jenny!

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But, wait!  There’s more…

As if that was not enough on our plates, I have been teaching children’s Sunday School at our wonderful little country church (those who really know me, know how out of my comfort zone that really is!), Sarah & I have managed a few field trips this fall, Daniel started a job at Kohl’s, we sold our house and should be closing on the new house in a few weeks, Brian has been teaching & writing a chapter for a collaborative book project, and in May Daniel will be heading on a Senior school trip to New York City!

It’s only by God’s grace that I haven’t completely gone bonkers at this point.  If you don’t see me in July, it’s because I’ve crawled into bed and refused to come out.

More house news to come…eventually…

Living thru faith,

Misty

 

 


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My Squirrels

I saw this on Pinterest

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and after I picked myself up off the floor where I fell down laughing…

I said to myself out loud “This is so me right now!”

And then I responded to myself “Yes, it is!”

Because, yes, I have passed the point of just talking to myself and gone straight to answering back!

I’m working on a post to explain why I’m so squirrely, but at the moment my communication with myself is a little wacky.  So, once I get my act together a little bit and can get it out in a somewhat coherent manner, I’ll fill you in!

Just a little hint, it involves lots of boxes, vehicles, and tons of paperwork (with a few caps & gowns and lace thrown in)!

Living thru faith,

Misty