Today, I got my gallbladder removed. I’ve never had surgery before. I learned, or more accurately re-learned, that God is so gracious and good.

Did you know he cares deeply about all the details of your life? I could’ve been scared, but I wasn’t.

Afterwards, the doctor informed me that my gallbladder was “ugly”. It was chronically inflamed, and there were so many stones that he couldn’t count them all. What? Thank you Jesus from protecting me from an emergency!

As I lay in this not-so-glamorous state, drinking salt-less broth, I am once again finding myself blessed, protected, and thankful. He gave me peace, He guided the surgeon’s hand, He surrounded me with people who care for me.

Is it because I deserve it? No, just because He can.

I pray this for you. No matter what you’re going through now, I pray you see the blessings.

This next week I will be healing. I will be reading, knitting, and praying I never forget the feeling of His presence in my life.

what is love?

Love isn’t heart-shaped breakfasts, or Valentine cards. Love isn’t flowers and chocolate. Love is an action verb perfectly displayed by Jesus on the cross and sometimes shown (by His grace) through His people.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35

But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.
Psalm 5:6-8

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
Psalm 103:7-9

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Luke 6:34-36

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:12-14

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19

all you need is a little patience

Sickness struck our house a couple of weeks ago.  Nothing too bad, just some long-lasting colds. Sickness usually means very irritable kids, which in turn leads to much quarrelling and a general unhappy atmosphere.  To avoid all the arguments I go against my belief that they shouldn’t watch much TV.  When they’re sick they basically watch TV all day.  It’s bad, I know, that why I try to pick shows for them to watch that are actually good for them to see.  Veggie Tales, Leave it to Beaver and Dora the Explorer are the go-to picks.

Recently, they have discovered that they love to watch the Duggars.  What?   You don’t know the Duggars?  They’re a family of twenty.  A reality show into they’re lives.  Yeah, and you thought you had your hands full.  18 Kids and Counting has been playing episode after episode in our house.  We’ve gone through two seasons already.

Why am I talking about this?  Well, for one thing they are a Christian family (Baptist I believe), and they home school.  I think it’s good for the kids to see we’re not the only ones.  While they are a bit more legalistic then we are in they’re convictions, I really appreciate them showing the world what it is to live for and love God.

What strikes me about this family is that the mom (Michelle) is so patient and kind in everything she does.  Not only does she always praise her husband when the interviewer tries to subtly imply he’s a goof, but I have never once heard her raise her voice or make an angry or disapproving face to her children.  In turn, the children do not act that way to each other or their parents.  All 18 of them are well-behaved, kind, and practice self-control.  They show spiritual maturity to boot.

Amazing right?  Some days I feel like me and the five I have are holding on by a thread.  I have heard– and believe– that the women sets the tone of the household.  I was o encouraged and stirred up by this TV mom’s example of a Proverbs 31 women.   I realized the need for this change in our home. After all, I never hear the voice of my Lord yelling at me, scolding me, making me feel like he doesn’t approve of me.  I don’t see in my mind an image of Jesus crossing his arms and giving me the stink-eye every time I say or do something unpleasing.  Or every time I talk when I should listen, interrupt, leave the house messy…you get the picture.

Rather, I hear a gentle whisper of correction, I feel a loving embrace.  I see– through scripture– a picture of a gentle presence.  I love him because he loves me.  No matter what I do or say or think, I know that I am safe in his arms.  I am not afraid to come to Him.  I know there is correction to come, but I know I’m forgiven before I’m embraced.

I have been dwelling on these thoughts for days.  As a parent, I think we all want what is best for our children.  I know that as for me, I do the things which I ought not, and don’t do the things I should, all too often.  Lord change me from the inside, out.  I want my kids to know by my actions and words and body language, and expressions just how much I love them.  No matter what they do or say, children should always feel safe in a motherly embrace.

We imitate those we love most.  Let us be imitators of Christ.