Monday, April 12, 2010

Our first visit to the terrace

Since I'm done with my study of David, yesterday I read from a magazine called "In Touch" which is by gifted preacher/teacher Charles Stanley. They have a monthly devotional you can follow. Today's verse was Jeremiah 9:23-24. (Verse 24: ...but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD. Charles shares knowing and understanding the Lord as our most worthy pursuit versus the pursuit of wealth, career success, the perfect marriage, being loved or admired. This is a lifelong pursuit. This was good to think about and be honest, what are my important pursuits and how does the Lord rate in that. I see how this wavers from week to week and other pursuits can crowd out God. My prayer is to continue to grow closer to him and I see how he gives me more of himself the more that I'm willing to sacrifice and give to him.

When Julian got up from his nap, we decided since it was such a beautiful day we'd make our first trip of the year to the student union and hang out at one of our favorite places, the union terrace, an outdoor patio on the lakefront. We packed a full lunch and had a wonderful afternoon hanging out there. Julian was a bit antsy to just sit so I let him down and he did pretty well just hanging out around our table area. Then he said "come here mommy" and grabbed my hand pulling me toward the lake area. He said he wanted to go swimming! We haven't been swimming yet, but I've been talking about it as we'll be taking lessons at the Y at the end of the month. There was a big digger (backhoe) in a roped off area so we visited that. He loved it. Then we went by the lake shore and enjoyed watching the ducks and dogs and people coming by.

We had a good sermon at church that stands out to me partly because I'm a visual learner. We're going through Luke and this was after Jesus was resurrected and is revealing himself to his followers. He ends up walking with two of the disciples who were talking about him but couldn't see it was him. They were blinded. Just as they were blinded in their understanding of what Jesus came to do. This is when Tim who was teaching put on a blindfold to share the next part of the sermon. Their thought was that he came to start a military revolution to overtake Rome, and that his death ended their hopes of freedom. They were blinded to his real intent that he came to "seek and save the lost", humanity, and it would only be fulfilled in his death and rising again.

After dinner, it was bath time. I didn't realize how much time went by because we were having so much fun. We were both coloring the sides of the tub and shower with the water crayons for most of the time and making words with his stick-on ABC's. He still doesn't like getting his head wet but that part goes fast. I finally laid him down after 9pm and he normally goes down at 8pm.

Today, in reading A Place of Quiet Rest I finished the chapter on "The Inner Life" where it talks about the purposes of a quiet time being purification, restoration, communion, instruction. She had some really good questions at the end of the chapter. One of them was to record a time when God used his word to cleanse your heart, restore your soul or teach you something of his ways. My example came from a time recently I got upset with a friend for not fulfilling a commitment to me but instead doing something which I thought was selfish. I was very upset and did not hold back my anger and basically told her off and hung up on her. After I calmed down, I happened upon a proverb I wrote down before, Proverbs 29:11 A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. I felt very bad about the way I had treated my friend and it weighed so heavy on me. It was at this time I remembered a blog I read about not allowing bitterness to ruin a relationship and how bitterness acts like a poison in your system. I called my friend and apologized and felt the load lift from me. A good example of the teaching from his word.

After daddy left for work, Julian really wanted to play outside. We hung out for a while and then he enjoyed some time playing in the car, pressing buttons, pretending he was driving. Then we played downstairs in the art area. He colored with markers and crayons while I refined my sketches of Elmo. Today's Elmo was pretty good. I'm hoping this will come in handy if I decide to make an Elmo cake for his birthday (coming up in May). He also made played with Playdoh and then it was time for his nap. Later, we got a call from a friend of ours who is from India but is visiting the states for a few months. He is a gifted pastoral teacher who built an organization in India that is like seminary and vocational training for pastors and lay people but it stays true to the Indian culture. We visited on a mission trip in 2002 and then my husband went back in 2008 while I was pregnant. We hope to be able to see our friend and his wife during their stay.

Today I continued in the In Touch devotional on 2Corinthians 8:9. The chapter is about God's grace. Grace can be defined as God's undeserved goodness and kindness towards us. It works somewhat like this. We have an experience of God's grace, maybe healing from some hurt in our past for example and we have a response of an overflow of joy and out of that comes generosity in giving, giving of ourselves, our possessions, our finances. The bible uses the phrase "the grace of giving". The focus in this chapter is on Jesus; how he left the riches of heaven and came to earth that we might share in the riches of his home. When we come to him and ask him to be Lord, our old self "dies" and our "new" self becomes eternal and includes all the treasures of heaven.

After lunch, Julian was "reading" a few books to himself. I got one of them on video. It was about a digger and he's say digger about every 3rd word. Then he brought a book to me which I thought was to read but he left and came back with his hat on and said "king farms" - which is his way of saying McKee Farms, a park we go to. His hat was on funny, I just couldn't stop laughing. This was so cute. Since it was raining, we didn't go to the park. We did run some errands though.

Julian didn't sleep very long for his afternoon nap. He was calling me really loudly and when I got him he said "game" and had thrown his nuk and blankie on the floor. He wanted me to get them and this started a game of fetch and throw. It made him laugh like crazy. After our fun, I had to get dinner prepared. Julian ended up playing with his duplos. He hasn't played with them in a while and he had all sorts of little towers he made and he gave me one.

We went to the Y and I made it through my workout. Earlier in the day, I was not feeling up to going at all but I'm glad that ended up changing. Now it's 10pm and that's my goal for getting things wrapped up so I have a little "me" time.


Paula said...

You are such a great mom!!! I enjoyed reading about precious Julian and how God is moving in your life through His Word and the devotionals you read. I'm following you now and look forward to getting to know you better. ((hugs))

Tracey Monroe said...

I'm so glad you're here! Thank you for your kind words.

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