71- Praising You Today

71- Praising You Today

All eyes were on our new addition! Everyone wanted a turn to cuddle him. My mom took a break from her cooking to snuggle Mark, and then the boys had their turns.

July 15, 1982 This was my experience today. I read:

Psalm 27:24a My tongue also will utter Thy righteousness all day long.

So I begin with Hallelujah! 

Because Tim was sickly and whiny, baby Mark was awake a lot last night. Stephen slept through it all. Poor Tim was up 15 times with fever so I was fatigued, and also behind schedule, getting up an hour later than normal.  Dinner prep was time consuming. Not sure why I picked something so complicated.

So I was pushed to the Lord and I went and embraced Him with praises. The circumstances did not change much, BUT I DID.

It was challenging to look above it all to Him. Stress was like a REAL force pressing on me. But I was an overcomer today.

This afternoon, the Barkleys [missionaries in the jungles of Bolivia, who had been on furlough and were dispersing their provisions as they headed back to the mission field] blessed us today with many food items, household goods, clothes. My heart was so humble and grateful—thankful to You and giving glory to You, O Lord. Receiving molasses, honey, two pretty salad plates, a tray, a humidifier—it was like Christmas! They will bring a donut maker and jackets for Dan and I.

And I will end the day with HALLELUJAH!!! 

*Art and Toni Barkley and their two sons had been on a three month furlough and were dispersing their food provisions and the possessions they had been collecting and heading back to their Spanish home. They spent eight years in the jungles befriending the people there and sharing Jesus with them. Art translated significant portions of the New Testament into the local tribal language under the auspices of New Tribes Missions. We admired them greatly and looked forward to their monthly newsletters.

70- People Like Me But I Don’t Like Me

70- People Like Me, But 

 I don’t Like Me

June 22, 1982

So often I look back to a conversation or an encounter, and I am discouraged or depressed at the way I acted or what I said. I often think, “I don’t like me.”

But lots of people like me.

I have many friends and acquaintances. When Mom and Dad were here I confessed: “I talk so much about me I hope I don’t sound like I’m asking for pity or sound full of self-pity.”

My mom said: “I’m always surprised that you DON’T sound that way!”

The verse that comes to mind is Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and delivered himself up for me.

Christ, You must come through me more than I realize (thank You) as I daily offer myself to You.

Jesus, help Yourself to my life. Live Your life through me: Love others through me. Pray through me, be thankful to Our Father through me.

Ps 108:12-13 O give us help against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain. Through God we shall do valiantly; and it is He who will tread down our adversaries.

69- A Rebuke and an Exhortation

69- A Rebuke and an Exhortation

During a serious talk, I was able to just listen to Dan.

June 18, 1982

Last night there came a rebuke and an exhortation from the Lord, through my dear Dan. God mightily moved in me—I know it–because I KNEW I was to listen and provide NO defense. This was an act of God Himself.

Yet, inside me came self-justifying thoughts: “but you obviously don’t understand”….“do you want to know how many people I’ve led to the Lord?”….“why I lived alone for 3 years before we got married and I  have a wonderfully close relationship with Jesus!”

Without relating the discussion, the point was: Dan wanted me to be aware that I say very often “I can’t”– that I give up and I am immobilized. Well taken. He’s right.

The exhortation that came from Dan was that instead of freezing up, that I pray continually and without ceasing, realizing my flesh will never change and I’ll ALWAYS have to be going to God for His power. The only thing that will change will be that it will be easier to go to Him.

I have no defense. As I listened, and my inner voice stopped, I did not feel defensive. I know it was God. I have only praises and thanksgiving. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen

****

I looked back in my journals after I wrote the above, because I remembered reading an “I can’t” entry!!

March 2, 1982

hysteria…I CAN’T DO IT…I CAN’T DO THE CHRISTIAN LIFE…I HATE IT!!…but somehow, after beating my fists on the bed, release came. Then I heard Stevie in his room.  He quieted immediately when I picked him up. He rested his head on my shoulder and as I walked him he was quiet and still, easily mollified, a joy to be near.

Object lesson: to lose my will in Thine, and by that loss be free.

****

I was curious about those submissive words that I wrote thirty-five years ago, so I googled them, and I found the hymn,

The Will of God by Frederick W. Faber (1814-1863)

I selected four stanzas:

I worship thee, sweet will of God! And all thy ways adore; to every day I live I seem, to love thee more and more.

And he hath breath’d into my soul, a special love of thee; a will to lose my will in his, and by that loss be free.

When obstacles and trials seem, like prison walls to be, I do the little I can do, and leave the rest to thee.

He always wins who sides with God, to him no chance is lost; God’s will is sweetest to him, when it triumphs at his cost.

In those years my mentors were mostly the suffering saints of a bygone era who bowed their heads in every trial in sweet submission to the Lord. My Christian life was challenging because I wasn’t “getting” Christ living in me and and I was wanting HIS LIFE to pour out through me. I was so tired of my stinking flesh!!

68- Where’s My Focus?

68- Where’s My Focus?

Dan had obtained a CofO (Certificate of Occupancy) from the city of Reno, but our new solar house was still pretty unfinished inside. Through all these trials (multiple pregnancies, two little rambunctious boys and a newborn, fatigue, low income, unfinished house, multiple moves) God was teaching me to trust Him and to be joyful. I was a s-l-o-w learner.

This paragraph from a magazine was scotch taped into my journal. It was titled ON FAITH, by Howard Hendricks: God never tells you He won’t put you in the fire. What He has said is He won’t put you in the fire alone. FAITH is not only the means of entrance into the Christian life; it is the means of growth in the Christian life. FAITH flourishes in the fire. I am convinced that God will not use you greatly until He tests you thoroughly. When He has tested you thoroughly, don’t be surprised if He picks you as His instrument to accomplish purposes that you didn’t dream would ever be accomplished through your life. My deep prayer for you is that God will give you FAITH, vision, and courage equal to your opportunity.

I believed those words, I believed that God was IN the fire with me and that I was safe and in His will, I trusted Him. And as I dodged the flames, I was pouring out my heart in my journal, needing His help to cope. I was fighting to keep my FOCUS on Jesus!!

May 26, 1982 I know I am focusing on the house, rather than on the Lord, BUT I am trying to be thankful in all things! So, here’s my list of what I am being thankful for: Thank You for no doors in this house, no living room curtains, no tile in the bathrooms or kitchen, no vanity or tub in the boys’ bathroom, no bought shower curtains, no rock walkway outside, dirty windows (33 of them), [most at ground level because the house is burmed into the side of the hill], no floor covering, no landscaping, no closet shelves, no garage, no fence. Father, I do love You—I’m just trying to follow the “being thankful in everything” rule by listing these things. It still seems like a bit much to ask of me.

Today I read:

Psalm 115:12 The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; HE WILL BLESS THE HOUSE OF (Aaron) DAN!!!

Yesterday Dan read: Psalm 113:7 He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap.

During this time I began listening to the Nancy Missler tapes about Agape Love, over and over and over. And taking notes. Nancy helped me to FOCUS on leaning on Jesus for the love God needed me to give away every day in my life.

Me and my 3 sons (one is hiding)

The following entry is from a letter I wrote to my parents. Betty (who the boys called Tutu), Dan’s father’s wife who was my age and who was becoming a very good friend, was a direct answer to my prayers for help. 

November 10, 1981

Tomorrow is shopping day. Tutu has been going with us a couple of times a month, and she enjoys doing this with us. She takes Timmy or Stephen in her shopping cart and I take the other one [and once Mark was born, I carried him in a front pack]. We make our way through the store (usually laughing–she’s such an upbeat person and thinks everything the boys do and say is funny!).  Then after we go through the check out aisle, while I strap the boys into their car seats, she puts all of the groceries in the car. At our house she carries my bags inside while I get the boys out of the car seats and occupied. She transfers her groceries to her car and drives around the mountain to her house. Such a friend. Such a great help.

Thanking You today as I am writing this!–

Tutu, my dear friend

for Tutu who was a very special person. We are looking forward to our reunion with her in heaven.

67- Don’t Name Him Silas!

67- Don’t Name Him Silas!

Post-partum depression was not invented when I was going through it in the early 1980’s. I just thought I was a little koo-koo. Several years ago I calculated that I was pregnant or nursing for 7 ½ years except for two weeks.

I became pregnant on the third day of our honeymoon at age 32, nursed each of the boys for 6-12 months. Our 4th baby was born when I was 39 and I nursed him for 6 months. It’s not a Guinness record, but it is remarkable for me– since we seemed to be moving at warp speed in our Christian walk, and I was pretty much out of my comfort zone.

Our story about the birth of our third son is that I had a check-up scheduled with the doctor on my due date. I was very large and very uncomfortable and was determined to gather up my courage and insist that I deliver our baby THAT day. The doctor’s examination revealed that my body was ready, and he told us to meet him at the hospital and that our baby would be born that day.

Dan and I went home and I called my mom (no cell phones then). I packed for me, and Dan packed a bag for Timmy and Stephen. We dropped the boys off at Papa and Tutu’s and then made our way to the hospital.  The doctor had been waiting two hours, expecting we had been on our way to the hospital after leaving his office. He was not very happy. He got over it, and Mark made his appearance. In those days both mom and baby automatically stayed in the hospital for 2 or 3 days. I appreciated the rest and was happy to be waited on a little bit as I snuggled our little son.

We had been considering the name Silas, because Paul and Silas were such Bible heroes for rejoicing while in prison. My mom and our good friend, Lynn, were very against Silas because they both claimed it was a very odd name to saddle a kid with.

Our niece, Jeannie, Aug’s daughter, wanted us to name our baby Auguste after her dad. Auguste was a long-time family name from the French side.

Mumbo’s friend, Daisy, said she had a dream that we named our son Mark.

So we honored them all and named our son Mark Auguste.

Our friends Bruce and Diane loaned us a beautiful cradle that Bruce had made. My Mom, Grayce, aka GG, flew to Reno to cook for us, cuddle her new grandson, and to play with the boys. Timmy and Stephen were very curious about their new little brother. Hmmm, what changes were coming with this new guy joining our family?

Soon the boys realized that life would go on pretty much as usual: Mom would still take them on walks, Dad would still read lots of books, and there would still be sandbox time every day.

Mark was born in March, 1982, and in April we moved into the solar house that Dan had built. Timmy turned 3 five weeks after Mark was born, Stevie turned 2 four months after Mark was born. Yes, they were born very close together. It was God and it was GOOD.

66- The Tale of the Insurance Company Miracle

66- The Tale of the Insurance Company Miracle

I found this God-story in a stack of letters I wrote to my parents:

Jan 22, 1982 I called the hospital this week to talk ‘money’ so I could know how to fill out the forms and so I could call our insurance man for advice about filling them out. The woman said to have a well baby (no complications) is $1,600 approximately—PREPAID. I told them that was impossible, and she began to tell me the credit terms, etc. I called John, our friend and insurance man. He was out of town and returned the call to Dan the next day, saying we had no maternity coverage!! (Mom, this is another story about God, by the way!) As he and Dan talked, Dan reminded him of their conversation—vivid in Dan’s mind because the coverage for my age group was only $1.60 a month (it is much higher for the younger ladies that they expect to have babies—foiled them!) John had NO recollection of the conversation at all! Our deductible is $1,000 anyway, so I was already in our minds as a major expense. But we were disappointed to say the least. But we had victory in that we both (Dan and I) praised God FOR the situation. We know God is sovereign, we are not irresponsible, we have given our lives to Him, and we KNOW He will never leaves us in the lurch. It was wonderful to have such a heartfelt inner response. So we committed the situation to Him and left it there. That night at the baby shower I was attending, I mentioned it, and a friend said: “Don’t worry. We didn’t have insurance when our baby was born and a man came to our door with a check for $1,000! Our baby didn’t even have a T-shirt, and God provided so many clothes and every item we needed, we ended up with 2 of almost everything!” Well, we LOVE stories like this, and the people we hang around with have tons of them. I told Dan that night. The next day the insurance man called. He had called the company the day before, told them the story, and they said they’d call back, and did call back. The company decided  that if we would pay the amount of the back premiums ($11.48), they would give us the coverage!!

The 35 year old letter about God’s amazing provision~

Our friend was floored. He said not one in 2,000 companies would do that. We thank God. He is sovereign. He takes care of His children. Praise Him! PS-I was ready to just call our neighbor who’s a retired OB/GYN and ask him to come up and deliver junior for us! We’ve paid off the gynecologist almost (one more check) and we will plunk away at the hospital bill.

65- Pride is the Problem and Jesus is Calling

65- Pride is the Problem and Jesus is Calling

Nov 2, 1981 – We are still attending The Pursuit of Holiness (A.W. Tozier) Wednesday night classes at church under Gene’s teaching. Last night I felt I heard from the Lord: “Pride is the problem I am dealing with in you. PRIDE is the root of your discontent. I see your trials.” [Specifically: home alone day after day with the boys, pregnancy and its limitations, being a homemaker (not out in the workforce), bronchitis, anemia, having to quit babysitting, being of little use in ministry.]

This morning, weakness was overtaking me. All I could think is, “I cannot cope.” The boys’ whining put me in tears. I thought of all sorts of escapes—leaving them with a friend for the day, staying in bed all day, going for counseling. But a verse came to mind from class last night:

Romans 8:26-27 And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

I prayed this, having not the gift of tongues, but desperately asking the Spirit to pray for my weakness.

And I was IMMEDIATELY strengthened in His might. Amen. I was immediately strengthened in my attitude and my emotions and even physically. Amen. Praise God!

My perspective changed. I was able to meet the boys’ needs, be kinder. I got my eyes off of me me me and experienced the love and joy of the Lord.

Jan 20, 1982  In praying, God revealed the great LOG of PRIDE toward most of humanity! He was pointing out that I have been gravitating toward the COOL people! I am shocked, but it is so true. I have been getting strokes from having friends of a certain status, thinking that associating with them makes me ‘okay.’  At the same time I have been distancing myself from certain other people. WRONG!

I was thinking of a really pious note I could write to Jim and Lissa about being glad I could identify with the drunk, the whore, the drug taker, the liar –since I was once there. And yet here I am now relating to a proud group of people and enjoying it. JUST AS BAD!

So I timidly say, “Lord, change me.”

I no longer say, as I did when I was single: “change me whatever the cost.” Then, it was only me that would suffer. Now I could lose so much—Dan and the boys.

Pull me back, Lord. I hear you calling me!

Jesus is calling!

64- You Subdue My Peoples

64- You Subdue My Peoples…

Call upon Me in the day of trouble. Psalm 50:15

This is a God story that is one of the most important of my life, because God met me so practically. He was so real to me as I cried out in desperation.

I was struggling one day when the boys were excessively fussy, the house was more than messy, and I felt very overwhelmed.

Sept 19, 1981 I cried out to the Lord with a loud voice, went to my Bible and prayed, Psalm 139:23a “Search me, O God.” My eyes fell on the opposite page:

Psalm 144:1-2 Blessed be the LORD, my strength, who teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and He in whom I trust, WHO SUBDUES MY PEOPLES UNDER ME.

I felt God was saying to me: Keep praising and blessing Me. This is war. This is spiritual attack and I am teaching you how to fight: which means… how to keep Your eyes on Jesus in the midst of a trial. He is your goodness now, because you have none of your own, He is your fortress now—because You are defenseless. He is your high tower now—take refuge in Him. He is delivering you now, believe it and watch Him. He is your shield against the fiery darts of the devil—call on Him now. Trust Jesus. Besides all that…He is subduing the boys. LISTEN!

Thank You, Lord, for keeping me from anger, from screaming! It is You who impressed on me that frustration and yelling are rude and they are futile, they do not work. Thank You for sweet victory, for answered prayer, for the reality of my Living Lord and the Living Word! Thank You, Jesus, for proving Yourself to be my refuge. You are teaching me not wallow in disappointment when things don’t go my way or when people don’t call but that You are my ever-present and available help in time of trouble. I am learning to rely on You, not on friends.

Psalm 144:12 That our sons may be like plants grown up in their youth… I take this verse personally and ask that they be wise and stand tall and be grown up even in their youth, so that You may receive glory. Teach us that we may teach them. Keep us in right attitude and perspective.

Me with my boys, just before Mark was born~

63- Father, You Love Me Because of Christ

63- Father, You Love Me Because of Christ!

Sept 18 and 24, 1981

Praise to the Lord for opening my eyes as I read Ephesians 1 and 2. Our blessings from God are surely all because of Christ, in Christ, through Christ. I must know You, Christ Jesus. I want to seek You and be like You. God loves You so much and because of You, loves me!!

Chapter 1 –Father, You have blessed us with every spiritual blessing IN Christ, You chose us IN Him, You adopted us BY Christ, and because of Christ You made us accepted in the Beloved.

IN Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins BY CHRIST’S GRACE.

Chapter 2 –I was dead in sin and in living in the lusts of the flesh , indulging in the desires of the flesh, by nature a child of wrath.

BUT GOD, You loved me—and because of Christ, You made me alive with Christ and raised me up to the heavenlies with Christ so that You could show how graceful You were to me in Christ. And on and on.

I am raised to the heavenlies with Christ

Father, You are talking about Your wonderful love and Christ—I can barely fathom what You are saying. I see You are so deep. How can I resist You? I trust You to lead me in Your way to Yourself. Let Your perfect love cast out all fear. Christ sounds so irresistible. I feel I have barely even scratched the surface in knowing Him. Praise to You.

62- One Sunday in September

62- One Sunday in September

Sept 20, 1981 4:30am

Father, I am so tired, physically and so tired emotionally—Dan’s long work hours, plus his traveling to Carson City to volunteer on KNIS radio, my two kids plus the two I am babysitting, plus one on the way. Plus cooking and cleaning. When my tummy and body get so tired, I get worried about my pregnancy. I know the enemy wants me to be discouraged. And I also know You want to bear this burden, thank You. I’m reading about Jesus, Your Son. I’m Yours, too. I know Jesus bore so much more…but You did give Him Simonthis man they pressed into service to bear His cross. Matt 27:32

I need help. It really humbles me to say this, because maybe you’ll give me help in a way I won’t like or from someone I won’t approve of. I must take the chance because I am so tired and really cannot go on like this. Bowing my head in surrender, and lifting my arms as Timmy and Stephen do, I say: “Daddy, pick me up. Bear me up. I need You.”

At the end of myself and totally surrendered to Jesus. Crying out for His help!
At the end of myself and totally surrendered to Jesus. Crying out for His help!

Thank You for being so available, Lord, for being so humble to take me seriously. Thank You that I got up at 4:30am to pray, thank You for Michelle offering to take the boys while I shopped, and for Auntie Yvonne taking them tomorrow afternoon! Quick answers!

Later after church: There was prophecy this morning by our visiting speaker, Claire Lasher: God is breaking the shackles: He is healing and releasing, so that we may be instruments of healing for others. After that, Cynthia  said she wanted to get to know me better; Lynn encouraged me to come to the morning Bible study; Erin invited several of us over after church. Also Diane H, Carla L, and Ann Harris SOUGHT ME OUT in church! The effect of all this was: “I am loved, so I can love.” I felt lovely and lovable to myself and to Dan. We do so need expressions of love and attention from people we admire. It helps us to know God’s love, and to really believe in God’s love.

Thank You for such a rich and blessed day. My heart feels like shackles have really fallen off. I feel a new intimacy with Dan—I feel respect from him, and being cherished. Thank You.

In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me. Psalm 86:7