Saturday, August 13, 2011

Do you pass the test?

Restoration, my salvation.  He redeemed me and he gives me new mercy every day…and every day I need it.
Kael bonked his noggin about a week ago.  Coffee tables, they are dangerous!  I have a scar in my eyebrow from a coffee table.  Kids in elementary school called me "bald eyebrow" a few times (really guys, that was the best you could come up with?)  I was kind of proud of my scar.  Lucky for me, I have photoshop!  So I edited out Kael's scar for many of the rest of these pictures.
Wallah!  Scar-be-gone! and Kid-be-happy! 
I have been on a journey with the Lord this past week as he leads me through Paul’s writings. I have gained such respect for that man and feel like I know him.  It has brought me tremendous joy and I have learned so much. At the end of 2nd Corinthians in Chapter 13 verse 5 it says:
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.  Test yourselves.  Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—Unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
I finished 2nd Corinthians and made my way right on into Galations.  Not a very long book, but I see Paul handing out some spankin’s again as he has to correct them for accepting other people’s doctrine and not holding on to what they were taught and knew to be true.  At least that is what I gathered.
I flipped back to Paul’s charge to the church at Corinth to “examine yourselves,” and I read what he has to say to the church at Galatia, in it I see an opportunity to “test yourself.”  So, let’s test ourselves…before we wreck ourselves:
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  But if you are led by the Spirit,, you are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissentions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.  I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Galations 5: 16-26
As I read through the list of the evidence of the works of the flesh, I was feeling pretty good until I got to jealousy, rivalries, dissentions, divisions, envy…it is so easy to fall into these traps.  I know it first hand. And then as I read the fruit of the Spirit characteristics, I questioned if I exhibited those in my life.  I mentioned a week ago that God was dealing with me in the area of Pride and that I cared what people thought of me.  At the same time, what people think of you...especially if more than one person agrees, can be an indicator of something in you that needs work.
If no one wants to drive with you because you are a huge road raging maniac and you don’t have an ounce of patience or grace for anyone else on the road…maybe everyone that drives on the road isn’t an awful driver, maybe you are just awful.  That maybe a little harsh, but I knew someone like this from my past.  I remember once driving with him and we slowed to 30 on the freeway so that he could cuss out a mom in a minivan.  Let me tell you she was just as pleased to slow down and dish it right back.
I was mortified.
God showed me this last week as I opened myself up to his examination that I can come across as harsh, pressing, and borderline judgmental (I like to say borderline, it makes me feel better).  I was genuinely shocked by this because to me I could brush it off as people are just easily offended.  I could maybe get away with saying this about one person, maybe two tops, but when there are three or four people that feel this way then I have to ask myself if maybe I am…maybe I am the one who needs the work! Ouch. My pride is already so black and blue from asking God to search me and know me.  It has been a ride, let me tell you.  But you had better believe that I am committing myself over to him to help me make the necessary changes...or all this self examination would be pointless without change.  I am lovin' Ephesians…in chapter 1, right off the bat, he is bringing me home.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. Ephesians 1: 7-10
This is a good spot to pray I think.
Father, I am so sorry that I am guilty of judging people. I have cared more of what people thought of my physical appearance and in the process I have judged people and put them down.  I haven’t put others above myself.  In fact a lot of times I forget to think about others and the world revolves around my head.  My life becomes so important, daily tasks take over my agenda.  What you have been teaching me these past few days, weeks, months, years, is contrary to my nature and I find myself fighting my flesh constantly.  I am so grateful for that!  I am grateful that at least there is a fight taking place.  And in your word you are giving me the weapons to win.  You are showing me your desire.  I am so grateful that you are long suffering…Keep this fire burning bright.  You are my cornerstone.  My rock, my salvation, you are my foundation.  You are a skilled carpenter and I am under construction.
Today has been a delight.  Not much to it other than Kael continues to ROCK at potty training.  Caleb has been doing pretty good, not quite as awesome as Kael.
Here is Kael waiting for his M and M’s, his reward for rocking the potty.
Kael continues to develop leaps and bounds.  Thanks to Lisa, our nanny, Kael likes to shout 1-2-3 TEAMWORK!!  1-2-3 TEAMWORK!!  It is really cute.  I love it.  Here is Kael playing with some Play-doh.  He was a smiley boy which is a really nice change.  Normally it is really hard to get him to smile for pictures.
Keep praying for Kael that God will continue to catch him up in the areas of language and social/emotional.  He is doing SO well!  Love that little critter.
Isn't he adorable!  I know I am bias, but what a little hunk!
Look at those eye lashes!
Here he is like "Wait a minute Mom, don't forget about Caleb."  He actually calls Caleb, Kael.  He goes "OH NO, KAEL!" when Caleb is doing something naughty.  I love that Kael can tattle tale now.  It is actually a HUGE help!
And there is Caleb...absolutely two.  He is two too much these days.
Concentrating on coloring...and all is quite in the house for 2.5 seconds.  Until one of them steals the other one's marker and screams erupt.
This is my favorite part about potty training.  Adorable little graphic briefs covering squishy toddler bums while watching Saturday morning cartoons.

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