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Archive for the ‘pray’ Category

Camp Rock

We are at camp this week! Josh and I (and Daniel) brought four high schoolers to Camp Rock this week for a mission trip. The kids are serving as dorm leaders, helpers and VBS teachers. I am mostly supporting the high schoolers, helping where ever I can and taking care of Daniel.

It is so fun to be back here as both Josh and I grew up coming to camp here every summer. And when we were old enough, we worked here. I know what I learned here at Camp Rock was an important part of my spiritual journey. Many of my lifetime friends were made here.

Oh, and I met Josh here. (But for many years I was better friends with his sister.) My first memory of Josh is the summer we were twelve and he and his friend, also named Josh, did a rap for talent night. I can still see those two skinny boys in their white t-shirts rapping for all of us. Everybody knew they were cool.

Of course, over the years I saw many other things I liked in Josh – his love for all people, his sense of humor, love for God – I could really go on.

But I knew someone like him would never be interested in someone like me. So I never even considered liking him in “that” way … until my senior year of college when HE brought it up!

Crazy how things work out. I’m so glad God worked in my life – partly through Camp Rock – and I pray that He is working in all the campers and workers this week, too.

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When I woke up this morning, I noticed two things:

First, it was quiet except for the birds singing – usually I’m woken by a crying baby or a hungry toddler.

Second, I could see small rectangle of blue sky with pink streaks through the open front door. I blinked sleepily, enjoying the luxury of lingering in bed, and watched more streaks appear, then turn gold and orange.

As I watched, I thought about what a small piece of the whole picture I was seeing. And how life is like that – I almost never get to see the whole picture, and if I do, it’s later.

Lately, I’ve gotten to see a few beautiful glimpses into the lives of people where God is working. And I can’t see the whole story.

At least not in this life. But until eternity those tiny bright “windows” into God’s work make it worth it.

Worth it to persevere in my seemingly mundane days.

Worth it to persevere in chasing God.

Worth it to choose joy in the tiny sunrises.

(Go enjoy more Beautiful Life at the Inspired Room.)

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Do I do that?

We’ve been hearing about God’s work in Exodus recently in church. I’ve been reading it at home, too, and read this from chapter 6:

(God told Moses to tell the Isrealites this.)

“I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.”

Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage.

Despite the fact that God told the Isrealites He would bring them out from under the yoke, free them from slavery, redeem them with an outstretched arm, take them as His own people and give them the land He had promised, they did not listen because of their circumstances.

Do I do that? Do I fail to believe God is working or will work because I can’t see it yet? Do I ignore His (many) promises to me because I am discouraged or enslaved by my own sins?

It’s hard to see the whole picture from my limited perspective and I am so grateful that God does not give up on trying to get my attention and take me where He wants me – closer to Him, free from slavery to a place where He can bless me even more.

The other day I braided Megan’s hair for the first time. She wanted me to take a picture, but wouldn’t stand still facing away from me so I could do that. I got about 16 pictures like this:

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I couldn’t make her understand that I wanted to do what she wanted me to, but I needed her cooperation. Finally, after about ten minutes (it seemed longer to me) I managed to snap this:

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All along, I had been trying to do what Meg wanted, but her actions – trying look at the camera and see the picture instead of standing still – got in the way.

Do I do that to God? Do I get in the way of what He’s trying to do for me? Do I get discouraged and forget His promises?

I pray that the death and resurrection of Jesus are new again to you this Easter. And that you, and I, wouldn’t get in the way as God tries to redeem us and give us His best!

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Thankful

Today I’m thankful for:

The early morning snuggler who often finds her way to our bed.

The pure joy in my baby’s face when he sees me or his sisters or his daddy.

My husband cooking supper when I all did was thaw the meat.

That most of the time, the appropriate amount of TP is used.

That I can pray, and when I can’t the Holy Spirit does.

The daffodils and tulips blooming through no effort of mine.

The generosity of a friend giving me fabric “scraps” to use.

Friends who encourage.

Friends who ask hard questions and stand with me.

Curiosity in my children so boundless that I fail to answer hundreds of questions a day despite my effort.

That a local store has started carrying Baker’s chocolates.

The sunshine.

Another day, another chance to serve.

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Too blessed

I am feeling too blessed today. Here’s why:

My children are all healthy and happy – despite the occasional tantrum.

I live somewhere I love with the man of my dreams.

I have more than enough to eat, drink and wear.

I’ve never been without shelter.

My family is wonderful.

I have great friends.

God is building his kingdom here where I can watch.

Jesus died for me. God raised Jesus from the dead.

Not everyone is so fortunate.

Many people don’t have what they want. Or even what they need. Or anything at all. My heart is so heavy today for them.

I feel guilty for what I have. Oh Lord, bless them, too. Draw them closer to you. Hold them. Give them (and me) whatever they need.

And that last one on my list (Jesus’ death and resurrection) IS for you. And you. And you.

If you’ve got a minute (or several hours) click over to My Charming Kids. Her son is a couple weeks younger than Daniel and wasn’t supposed to even make it through the pregnancy. But he did. Now he’s sick again. Something is wrong with his heart. It’s really bad.

I can’t imagine how his mom is feeling right now. I don’t want to try. So I’m praying for them and all who are sick, all who can’t see how what they are experiencing right now fits into God’s plan to redeem this fallen world. Like Justin, my cousin’s husband. Like little Stellan over at My Charming Kids.

So here I am feeling guilty and blessed and almost overwhelmed at the pain and suffering in our world.

It’s hard to see, but the hope of Christ is under there. Somewhere.

And someday we’ll understand. In eternity.

I pray you will be with me there.

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Katie-bug

Some days I think this girl is almost fourteen instead of four.

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Kate is every bit as pensive as this picture. She often talks about things that happened months ago and things that might happen.

“Someday, Mama, can I ride on a camel?”

“Someday, Mama, can I feed a carrot to a bunny?”

“I’m not going to tell you, Mama,” is the most common response to my questions about preschool or Sunday school.

Even when I get tired of the endless curiousity (my mom will tell you I had it coming), I enjoy seeing her learn and grow and am blessed to be part of it.

But the whining and sass really get to me. And not only because they are annoying, but also disrespectful and they show something deeper. A heart issue – as one book put it. That same book (I would credit it if I could possibly remember …) talked about how obedience in our children is desirable not so that we can have complete control over them, but so we can teach them to listen to and obey the One who really matters. God.

When I think about that, my job as a parent seems more daunting. And more do-able (is that a word?) because I know God is on my side – and Kate’s too for that matter – and will give me wisdom and make patience and obedience grow in us both.

Parenting is a glimpse of things from God’s perspective. How often do I whine and complain or sulk or sass when all God does for me is EVERYTHING? He loves me unconditionally, perfectly, all the time. He never reacts badly the 75th million time I whine in a day.

God does have the advantage of being all-knowing, all-powerful and – one I really could use right now – all-patient with us.

In 2 Peter 3 scoffers who ask why Jesus hasn’t come again yet and say God must not be keeping His promise to renew the earth are told this:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

God wants us to have every chance to repent and turn to Him – to learn to be obedient – before He brings His righteous judgement to all of creation and finishes His ultimate plan – a new heaven and earth for all who believe. Here is a tiny part of of the description of that in Revelation 21.

Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

But that is ONLY for those who have repented and trusted. Here is the other option for those whose so choose:

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

So that’s something to think about when I feel like I can’t listen to one more second of whining – God is listening and seeing all of us, all the time and yet He is being patient so He can bring us to Himself.

Now that’s a parenting goal worth pursuing!

(If this has confused you or left you with questions, please feel free to email me at abbiemknaub (at) yahoo (dot) com.)

As for Kate and I, I pray we are both learning every day to trust the One who created us and is drawing us to Himself. And I pray that for you.

I also will continue to enjoy Kate in the smiles, cuddles and jokes she so willingly offers each day, despite the hard parts of each day and the parts of each of us God is working on. 

Kate is super-focused when she is doing a “project” so here’s a picture of her darling concentration on rolling out the playdough (thanks to Grandpa G for the mini rolling pin!).

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And just for good measure – or because I’m addicted to taking pictures and posting them on my blog – here my sweet Kate just being silly!

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A crazy night

Good thing not all nights are like this:

8:30 – to bed early

11 – Daniel wakes up and nurses, back to bed by 11:30

12:30 – Meg wakes up crying , back to bed by 1

1:15 – Kate wakes up wet, back to bed by 1:45

3 – Daniel wakes up, back to sleep with the pacifier

4:30 – Daniel wakes up and nurses, back to bed by 5

5:45 – Josh’s alarm goes off, and Meg wakes up crying

6 – Kate is awake for the day

I better get on my knees because it is only by God’s strength that my kids get taken care of following a night like that!

And my day won’t be as crazy as this scene:

“… though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

This is from Psalm 42 and is preceded by:

“God is our refuge and strength, and ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way …”

So even if it seems like my world might come crashing down around me, I do not need to be afraid. God is my refuge. Good thing.

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