Over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself referencing Psalm 139, both in my own personal walk with Christ, and in teaching my children.
David mentioned a few months ago that he’d like for the girls to memorize a whole chapter of the Bible, so I thought this would be a great place to start!
Because this is such a huge undertaking, I may continue to implement weekly single verses that are currently applicable to our daily lives and our Bible teaching. But for this week (and to account for the missing two weeks of Memory Verse Monday!), we’ll start with the first verses of this Psalm.
Here is Psalm 139, in its entirety.
139 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
Is anyone else up for the challenge? We’d love for you to join us!
While I was on “blogging hiatus” and over the holiday season, I did crank out some serious reading. Actually, the reading itself wasn’t all serious. It was just a lot.
I thought I’d share my recent reads with brief reviews over the course of a few posts. I’d love to hear your thoughts, too, if you’ve read any of these. I think often times the best part of reading a book is sharing thoughts and reactions with friends. So please, fire away! Let me know what you think!
For our biweekly Bible study at church this fall, we read and discussed Radical by David Platt. This book is definitely confrontational and in-your-face challenging. But I love that! Our discussions at Bible study have been thought-provoking and convicting. Not coincidentally, I was reading this book while David and I have been wrestling through options and decisions regarding our current house. I’m certain that God used (and is still using!) this book to help guide our decision.
While it’s been a few weeks since I finished the book, there are a few major ideas that are etched in my memory. Hopefully they’ll stay there!
- Platt shares stories throughout the book of Christians overseas who live in complete poverty. While in America, we are blessed with “everything” PLUS Jesus, in third world countries, Christians have nothing BUT Jesus. The stark contrast of our lifestyles convicted me for being such a selfish brat at times.
- A great deal of the book challenges our pursuit of the American dream. It seems that most friends our age are starting to move from their “starter homes” and upgrade to nicer, fancier, bigger homes. Our family is growing, and I’ve been struggling with wanting more. I’ve struggled with discontentment and have compared the situations of our friends to our own. Radical has served as an eye-opener that there is a much bigger picture that we need to consider.
- This book is definitely missions-focused, and it renewed in me a desire to be involved in supporting international missions.
- Additionally, I was challenged with the idea that not only should we be concerned with people around the world, but that missions can also happen right in my neighborhood. In fact, if I’m not actively sharing Christ with my local friends and family, my heart needs to be refocused on personal evangelism.
Obviously, I’m just sharing how the principles from Radical are impacting my personal life. I cannot do justice to this profound book with a brief post. But I would highly recommend reading it yourself!
If you’ve already read it, let’s chat! What did you think?
||Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American DreamBy David Platt / Multnomah Publishers, Inc.Take a transforming journey in authentic discipleship. As the pastor of a large and wealthy congregation, David Platt began to see a discrepancy between the reality of his Church and the way Jesus said His followers lived. In Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, Platt examines how American Christianity has manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences and challenges readers to rediscover the path.A 21-Day Guide to Going Radical is available for download exclusively on Christianbook.com. Download the 21-Day Guide Here.
Sometimes we’re so serious, right? It’s easy in the craziness of life as mamas to lose sight of the fun stuff. The smiles, the laughter, the funny things our kids say.
Sometimes I wish I kept a journal of our funniest family moments. The times when you think, “Did I really just say that out loud?” or think, “Is this really my life?!”
So today, I’m sharing the highlights of our week that best represent my random “mama moments” that I will otherwise quickly forget.
Stuff I’ve said to my kids this week:
“Have you been tasting dog toothpaste?”
“Quit chewing on your toenails! That’s gross!”
(After discussing potential baby names): ”Now ‘Vaseline’…is that a boy name or a girl name?” In case you’re dying to know, it’s a girl name.
Stuff my kids have said to me this week:
(Laine, age 3): “Your belly is embarrassing.”
(Grace, age 5, as she watched me dip myself a bowl of ice cream): ”Don’t you think you should stop eating sugar until your baby comes out of your belly? Or it’s going to come out and say (in a high-pitched voice, with arms waving wildly in the air): ‘Aaaah! Mommy ate too much sugar and now I’m not healthy!’” Ouch.
Here was a bedtime conversation worth remembering. I just love it when they “get it”.
Our family had spent quality time together before bed, had prayed, sang our bedtime songs, and I was attempting the “final tuck-in”. Laine was crying profusely for no apparent reason.
Laine: “Mommy, will you pray?
Me: ”Daddy already prayed. It’s time to go to bed.”
Laine: “But I want you to pray.”
Me: ”Daddy’s prayer was enough. Get in your bed.”
Laine: ”But I really need you to pray so I can calm down.”
I prayed that God would calm Laine’s heart and mind, relax her body, and give her good rest and sweet dreams. That was just what she needed, and she went straight to sleep with no more issues. Sometimes that kid just baffles me.
I put Claire in a dry bathtub, fully clothed, so I could use the potty without having to worry about her playing in the trash, touching something gross, or waking up her napping sisters while I took care of business. She was thrilled, I was relieved (in more ways than one. Haha! ), and it.was.brilliant! Try it some time!
Maybe I’m creating spoiled little divas (and maybe I am one myself!), but I’ve started adding a “splash” of lemon juice to the girls’ water. They feel like it’s something special, and it’s prompted them drink more H2O than ever! Marvelous!
What are your weekly highlights? Funny kid quotes? Embarrassing confessions? Great new ideas? It would be so much fun to hear from you!
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Thanks to everyone who participated in Diapers and Doctrine’s first giveaway!
The winner of a copy of Julie Cave’s Deadly Disclosures is Michelle!
Congratulations! Just send me your address in an email, and I’ll be sure to pop your new read in the mail right away!
Here’s what you won:
||Deadly Disclosures, Dinah Harris Mystery Series #1By Julie Cave / Master BooksSecretary of the Smithsonian Thomas Whitfield has disappeared, and FBI agent Dinah Harris is assigned to find him. When Whitfield’s body is discovered, a vast conspiracy connected to his conversion to Christ is exposed. Did his biblical worldview threaten the financial well-being of secular scientists? Can Dinah find out before she becomes the next victim? 288 pages, softcover from New Leaf.
Yesterday I had laundered our bedding and was remaking the bed when Laine asked if she could help. I thanked her for her willingness to serve, and she went to one side of the bed while I worked on the other.
As we tucked and pulled on the sheets, trying to get them “just right”, Laine discovered a stubborn wrinkle in the middle of the bed. She rubbed her hand over it, trying to smooth out the bubble, and said, “This sheet has a wedgie!”
Completely caught off guard by her humorous comment, I burst into laughter. Laine evidently hadn’t intended to be funny, because she sheepishly turned her head with hurt feelings. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time we’ve been amused by Laine’s unwitting wit. She’s just a clever individual, even (or perhaps especially) when she’s not trying to be. But lately she’s been getting embarrassed by our spontaneous laughter.
I’ve been reading a life-changing, eye-opening book called Teach Them Diligently: How to Use the Scriptures in Child Training by Lou Priolo. I’m sure I’ll tell you more about this great read in another post, because it’s been amazing so far.
So in the book, the author encourages parents to teach the Bible to their children in the middle of every day life, for lots of reasons. Usually, that’s when we have their best attention. But also, it’s important that they learn that God’s Word is useful for every situation in our life.
Eager to apply what I’d recently read, I stopped making my bed, grabbed my Bible, and pulled sweet Laine onto my lap. I kissed her forehead, held her tightly, and assured her that I wasn’t laughing at her to make fun of her.
I explained that God uniquely created her with an amazing sense of humor. I told her that when she was in my belly, God said, “I’m going to make this one funny. She’ll bring joy to others and will make people smile.” I began reading from Psalm 139, focusing on these verses:
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
I wish I could report to you that Laine listened intently, meditating on the truths of Scripture as they permeated her heart and molded her character. But I would be lying. In reality, while I was reading, Laine became distracted with Claire getting into her toys, and she hopped off my lap and reclaimed her possessions.
But I continued through the entire Psalm, reading and then explaining each verse. And while she may not have been focused, internalizing those words, she heard them. And she will hear them again.
My prayer is that the more she hears, the more she will believe. And the more she believes, the more she will know how much God loves her and how much she needs a Savior. And one inconceivably joyous day, I pray that she will repent of her sin and ask Jesus to be the boss of her whole life.
But that part is not my job. For now, my job is to read, teach, explain, and apply God’s Word in our every day lives, trusting Him with her little heart.
Just in case you missed it, my first giveaway is this week! And guess how many people have entered to win? None! (I’m feeling the love, friends!)
Check out this post, leave your favorite book suggestions for my 30 books while I’m 30 list, and you might just win a free copy of Deadly Disclosures by Julie Cave. You can check out my brief review on the book here.
The giveaway ends on Wednesday, February 8, so get on it! Right now, your chances of winning are pretty good (like 100%)!
I’ve gotta be honest, we were so busy catching up on just loving on our girls last week after our trip, and Colossians 3:24 just didn’t happen. We reviewed the verse from the week before, Colossians 3:23, but that was about it. However, I’m really trying to stick to my goal of one verse each week, so I’m not giving up! (It is only February, right?! )
So this week, we’ll add Colossians 3:24 as well as a new verse: 1 Peter 5:7. This one is pretty short and sweet.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
After I explain what anxiety is, I can’t wait to whip this verse out in real life! The girls each go through spurts of bad dreams, usually involving a snake or a mouse (which deserves a proper explanation. Another post for another day, friends).
During the aftermath of a bad dream, after I’ve been ripped from sound sleep into semi-consciousness, I stumble to the girls room, inevitably running into some walls and doors, sometimes tripping over toys left in the landing. I reassure them that they are safe (praying that there are indeed no mice in their room, and at least if there are, that the sweet ones will NEVER see or hear them!) and tell them to think about Jesus and things that make them happy.
Sometimes this works. But can I share something that I’m learning? God’s Word works better! Over and over I’m reminded that God’s Word does not return void. Regardless of age, His spoken truth penetrates hearts in ways that are higher than I’m capable of understanding.
How about you? Are you anxious? Worried? Stressed? Afraid?
Give Him your anxiety, your worries, your stress, your fears. He cares for you.
I’m turning 30 this year. There. I said it. I’m not freaking out just yet (my birthday is in March), and I’m trying to keep the mindset that it’s just a number.
In light of such a “milestone”, I would like to take some time for reflection and goal-setting. Among my goals is to read 30 books in the coming year. I already have a stack of “to-reads”, but I haven’t chosen all 30 yet.
That’s where you, sweet reader, come in! What books do you love? Leave a comment with a book suggestion by Wednesday, February 8, and you’ll get a chance to win a copy of Julie Cave’s fiction book Deadly Disclosures (Dinah Harris Mystery) It’s the first novel in a three part Christian mystery series. You can read a review here. For every book you suggest, you’ll get another chance to win!
So far, here’s my list of books to read this year:
The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ’s Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children by Sally Clarkson
Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God: Encouragement to Refresh Your Soul (Hearts at Home Book) by Mary E Demuth
Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson
Teach Them Diligently: How to Use the Scriptures in Child Training by Lou Priolo
The God Empowered Wife: How Strong Women Can Help Their Husbands Become Godly Leaders by KB Haught
Love & War: Finding The Marriage You’ve Dreamed Of by John and Stasi Eldredge
The Way of the Wild Heart, Hardcover John Eldredge
Trading Places: The Best Move You’ll Ever Make In Your Marriage by Les & Leslie Parrot
3 Seconds: The Power of Thinking Twice by Les & Leslie Parrot
Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope by Mary Beth Chapman
The Firstborn Advantage: Making Your Birth Order Work for You by Kevin Leman
No Longer a Slumdog by KP Yohannan
Money Saving Mom’s Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, And Save Thousand by Crystal Paine
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
#2: The Shadowed Mind by Julie Cave
Pieces of Light, Dinah Harris Mystery Series #3 by Julie Cave
Tell Your Time by Amy Andrews (yes, again! )
I’m sure I’ll think of more to add to the list, but in the meantime, PLEASE! Make suggestions! I’d love to hear about what you’re reading!