Because with me, there is almost always a P.S. <3

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We had a full weekend. One of those where I was gone from home most of Saturday and Sunday both. 

Which means I have a full page of things I want to accomplish today and I also want to move slowly because I am a bit tuckered…and that is my excuse for a late posting time today! 

I know last week I posted a two part thought gleaned from the last chapters of Exodus, but as my family will tell you…there is almost always an addendum or P.S. or one more thing comment in conversations with me. 

So today I am sharing one final thought (for now) on Exodus because this morning I moved right on in to Leviticus. Woot!

Going back to Exodus 30, we read about the blending of both the Anointing Oil and the Sacred Incense that would be used in the Tabernacle and on the priests. 

A specific recipe was given for both of these and clear instructions about how they were to be used and applied, but there is also a warning attached to these concoctions. 

In verses 31-33 and 37-38, God commands that no one make a copy of these two blends for personal or other use. 

I am sharing the verses so we can be clear about His wording:

For the oil: 

Tell the Israelites: This will be [My] holy anointing oil throughout your generation. It must not be used for ordinary anointing on a person’s body, and you must not make anything like it using its formula. It is holy and it must be holy to you. Anyone who blends something like it or puts some of it on an unauthorized person must be cut off from his people.

Exodus 30: 31-33 CSB with my capitalization added. 

For the incense:

As for the incense you are to making, you must not take any for yourselves using its formula. It is to be regarded by you as holy – belonging to the LORD. Anyone who makes something like it to smell its fragrance must be cut off from his people.

Exodus 30: 37-38 CSB

I can spend some time meditating on the various aspects of God being holy and set apart and not like us that this passage spells out, but I also have to recognize the unchanging nature of humanity and how very much we can relate to this ancient people and how relevant God’s Word remains in addressing humanity. 

We understand this so well, you and I.

I will just use myself in some examples and if you can’t relate to any of these I pray God will show you today how you are really a lot like me and the Israelites and all the sons and daughters of mankind. 

I hug a friend at church and immediately ask what perfume she is wearing. I love it and I think about it and I either go purchase it or ask for it as a gift. 

I walk past the coffee shop as they are grinding beans or the bakery as the fresh loaves come out of the oven and I go in and buy the drink…or the food.

My friend knits a sweet baby blanket or hat and I want to make one. 

Someone posts a picture of a graphic t-shirt under a flannel top and I am googling Amazon because I have the flannel shirt, but I need the rest of the look.

God knows us. 

We want what we want when we want it. 

The incense and anointing oil for the purpose of honoring Him were going to be good. 

Very good. 

Good to senses…good for the body…and just out of reach. 

Sound familiar?

As I add a small smear of an oil called Blue Tansy to my night cream before bed, I inhale it deeply. There is something about the scent of it that I just love. 

Imagine if God told me that He had set that particular oil aside for only His Holy use and asked me to refrain from using it to help ease my dry areas and plump my sad little wrinkles? 

I would have a bit of a challenge wouldn’t I? 

I would have to intentionally choose to forego something I love just because God asked me to set it apart for Himself. 

And what if the whole reason He was doing this wasn’t because He is selfish and wants all the good stuff for Himself, but rather…He is the best stuff and He is so far above me that I have no idea how wonderful He is and He wants me to want Him more than the shiny things of this world. 

Interesting to think about, isn’t it?

Bless you today as you ponder what God might be revealing to you about Himself and about us in His Word <3

Exodus Part 2…Just like asking for a snack <3

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I am reading through Exodus this week and I mean deep in Exodus. The past few days have been the details of the sacrifices and the Ten Commandments and then the plans and directions and patterns for the Tabernacle. 

It is incredible to me to read the intricate instructions and to think about the craftsmanship required for the metal work, hardware, curtains, coverings and garments for the priests. There are recipes for incense and directions for embroidery along with specific gem stones to be cut, engraved and placed in filigree settings of gold. Quite honestly, it makes my head spin. 

I am such a blend of learning styles I want to grab a ruler and pencil and chart out the dimensions and I have googled the colors and various items that would make up the patterns in fabric and such. 

It is stretching me to visualize this nation of people, fresh from escaping slavery and in the middle of nowhere, making all of these items that would take one of us years and years to learn the art. 

How on earth? 

They made bricks and tended animals and were oppressed for a long time. And here they were weaving pomegranates and almond blossoms into curtains and hems. 

The secret of their ability is given in Exodus 28:3 and 31: 1-11. God filled certain people with the wisdom and skills to be able to do this magnificent and highly technical work. He filled them with His Spirit to do these things. 

It makes me think about how much we need God’s Spirit in us to fill us so we are equipped to do the things He has purposed us to do with excellence. 

In Matthew 7:9-12 God compares asking Him for His Spirit to fill us to a child asking for food. 

We know how this works. 

Around 3:00 on days I watch our four grandchildren, I can guarantee you all four of them are going to ask for a snack.

Their lunch was digested long ago and they are hungry. Dinner is a long way off in their minds and so they do what kids have done since there were kids under adults feet. They lobby for something to fill their tummies before they head off to play. 

When I am watching them I am careful to give them something with a little protein and not much carbs or sugar so they have energy to get them through til dinner without ruining their appetites. And I certainly wouldn’t give them something harmful. 

And that is how God tells us to ask for His Spirit. The kids ask for a snack because they have a need and they know I can fill it AND they know I won’t give them a rock or a snake…or something that is bad for them. 

In the same way, God hopes we realize our lack and emptiness and call out to Him for what we need. 

He instructs us to acknowledge our need and to recognize He is the only one who has the resources to meet and exceed our expectations. 

We are to simply ask God for His Spirit because we need it and want it…we are lacking something that is necessary for us to live and do what needs to be done…and we can trust He will give it to us and it will be good for us and will not harm us. 

Why do we overcomplicate it?

Imagine what we could be doing with excellence if we would just ask God to fill us with His Spirit and make us fit to do the things He has put on our hearts to do. 

Try it. 

Ask earnestly for the filling of His Spirit into you. 

I can’t wait to see what happens <3

Exodus musings Part 1 <3

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I have in mind something I want to send out tomorrow but it is churning in my brain so much, I decided to break it into two parts. 

As you know if you stop by here fairly regularly, I am committed to reading through the Bible this  year.

Since I know me, and I have looked at our calendar for the next few months, and reading through the bible isn’t my first “rodeo”… I am reading ahead right now because I will be facing some weeks in February and March where I might need to have some slack built in. 

That being said, I am in Exodus 30-33 today and if you are reading through with me and are behind that, DO NOT…I repeat DO NOT… get discouraged or feel you are behind.

Take a breath. You are fine…carry on with your plan and just humor me with my musings for where I am currently reading.

I have some observations after having spent the last few days on Mt Sinai with Moses and in no particular order, here they are:

<3 God gives extremely detailed directions on every single aspect of design and engineering of the building of the Tabernacle.

Every time I read through this section, my head spins. I am one of those people who has multiple learning style dysfunction. 

I need to see it, hear it and do it before I get it. 

I am thankful to live in the age of YouTube tutorials if you get my drift. 

Many times I have to pull up a knitting video as I hold my needles in exactly the same position as the hands on the screen and I hit repeat frequently until my own brain can execute the stitch. When I come to that same stitch a few rows later in the pattern…back we go to YouTube, because retention is also a problem I have. 

So as I read the various directions God gives, my mind is trying to make pictures of fabric and gold rings and beaten metal laid over cherubim and then I have to step away. Because have mercy…they were refugees on the lam out in the desert!!!!

<3 Side note. I constantly want to ask God what Moses wrote the directions down on.

We know the Ten Commandments were on stone tablets, but did Moses have to remember all those details and then come down and speak them to the craftsman or did God provide some kind of writing material? (Perhaps we can see why I need extra time built into my reading plan since my mind tends to ask a LOT of questions…)

And can we just stop for a minute and think about how much intelligence God gave Moses for all of this? 

It’s amazing to me. Simply amazing. 

And we know it is true because there were a whole lot of witnesses to the whole giving of the information and making of the Tabernacle and I doubt you could get that many people to all go along with a hoax or fake news. Things went as is written and it truly is incredibly interesting and powerful.

If you have ever even sewn a simple smock in Home Ec or learned to sew on a button, built a bird house from a kit or tried to follow any kind of pattern…I think you can appreciate the amount of skill and workmanship that went into all of this.

<3 Every time I read about the beautiful gold altar and the fine linen and deep blue garments of Aaron and his sons and then picture them splashing animal blood all over everything I have to stop and really take that image in. 

Think about the labor and creativity and skill that would go into all of these objects.

These were embroidered and polished and made of the absolute best and finest of materials…out in the desert, as we mentioned…and then all of this pinnacle of human effort is sprinkled with animal blood. 

And as I read that I thought of me, dressed in my Sunday best, sitting amongst my family and friends who I love so dearly also in their Sunday best, quietly and reverently praying as we pass the communion trays while a gifted and talented praise team leads us in perfect pitch with skillfully made instruments of the most sophisticated kind on a stage that someone has worked to make dramatic and well-appointed….and as we lift that little wafer off the silver plate and toss back the thimble full of grape juice we are basically saying that without the covering of the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ we don’t amount to anything more than the ash we will return to. 

Our best and most beautiful and finest efforts are nothing unless they are covered by the Blood of Jesus. 

So there’s my thoughts today. 

You are so precious to Him. 

You were worth leaving heaven for and dying for and you are covered when you receive Him as your price paid. 

Bless you as you mull that over today <3

Lullaby and good night <3

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If you read yesterday’s post about an overnight with four littles aged eight and under, you may find today’s topic ironic, but I wanted to talk about the spiritual and physical importance of sleep. 

As I have been attempting to recover from whatever my most recent viral attack has been, I have googled every website I can find regarding flu, virus, colds and how to recover. One of the main items that appeared on every list was to take in a lot of fluids and to rest. 

Not just take it easy, mind you, but sleep. 

As I read various articles about how our bodies need sleep to heal and regenerate, I couldn’t help but draw a comparison with something I read recently (which I have tried desperately to track down so I could give you the reference…but alas…no luck so we go without it) about the correlation between sleep and trusting in God. 

Think about it. 

To lay down and go to sleep is to relinquish all control over our minds, bodies and spirits. 

Jesus sleeping in the back of the boat during a storm comes to mind. 

We see His humanity and example in this. 

He was tired. 

He was in the bottom of a fishing boat out on a lake in the dark of night. 

His safe passage was in the hands of men.

Agreed they were experienced fishermen and trained for the task from childhood, but mere men. 

And yet He slept. 

He slept deeply enough that they had to sound the alarm to rouse Him. 

He modeled life on planet earth for us in so many ways, and here is a great teaching we often miss. 

Our God is in heaven sustaining all things and there are humans down here doing their part to keep the internet spinning, the electricity and water running, fires put out, injured tended to, elderly cared for, food delivered to stores, factories running…etc etc etc…until it is their turn to sleep and our turn to work. 

And so we stop. 

We thank God for His provision and His foresight and His comfort.

And we trust Him by closing our eyes and succumbing to our need to sleep and to heal and to be refreshed because we are flesh and bone. 

Think about that the next time you lay your head down to catch eight hours or forty winks. 

Acknowledge your need for rest and your confidence that God doesn’t sleep. 

And then enter in to the sleep your body, soul, mind and spirit need.

Thank Him and rest well child <3

Weekend check in…I mean literally… we checked in somewhere…<3

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Well, I haven’t done one of these photo journal things in a while.

I totally skipped a Christmas recap because this year I just didn’t take that many pictures and on the heels of the whole 24 day countdown with Luke, it didn’t seem appropriate.

But we took advantage of the MLK holiday and took the band of brothers and little miss thing to a hotel with a pool and it was such insane fun, I figured it might brighten your day as much as it did ours…so here we go…

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These kids were all in and we had only planned to take the boys, but someone packed her Minnie Mouse suitcase and was not going to be denied.

We told mom and dad we would keep her as long as she was willing to stay and girlfriend was 100% committed.

Please note the poor man on the elevator trying to get off with his cleaning cart.

Good luck with that, sir and you may want to just take that cart back up to floor two because we most likely will be needing your services.

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This crew makes themselves at home wherever they land. We got settled in and….

returned the the cart promptly with help…

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We swam and ordered pizza…

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which mom and dad joined us for extra hands.

Please note a couple things…the fancy party supplies..which covered a variety of holidays.

And you can see by my hair that everyone was very attentive to my pleas that Lola’s hair not get wet…yeah…right….

After pizza there was another dip in the pool and then more carbs and games…

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I manned the cootie board while Papi and Graham played yahtzee…

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We watched the end of the Packers/49er’s game with deep reverence for Lola.

Joel laid next to me and cheered to the bitter end with encouragement like “Come on Packers, you can do this! Win it for Lola!!!”

They didn’t.

Let’s not talk about it right now, ok?

We had stories and a blessed quiet settled.

We were concerned about Caroline being away from mommy for the night but her little mess of hair settled right in to a deep sleep and although she called out a couple of times she settled quickly and sprang into action the next morning because…

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she knew there was a second swim suit in her bag for round #2 and she was adamant she needed to swim again.

Mommy and Daddy came by to say good morning while we ate breakfast and mom headed off to work while dad helped us pack up. He was taking them to a trampoline park so we came along for the grins and giggles and jumps…

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Small-but-fierce decided she could do the climbing wall “all by myself”…

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and it was all cute until things got real…

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No worries…she survived her dismount kinda upside down and her dad was laughing so hard in that kind of nervous adrenaline rush way we have…oh my gosh…she’s a force to be reckoned with.

We bid our goodbyes and thanked the good Lord He gives us children when we are young…and we are still smiling from yet another….

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Best. Day. Ever.

<3