ponedjeljak, 20. lipnja 2011.

in the waiting mode

The boys are still gone. On the phone, Josip sounds happy. I hope they are. I pray they are.

I spent this morning at Jakov's school, talking to the school's psychologists about Jakov's problems with attention and reading skills. It was a good experience, and although not much was concluded, the ladies were very encouraging, and they said they will continue monitoring him in the Fall. I hope the teacher will open her heart and mind toward me and let me have at least her phone number! So strange, that a teacher wouldn't want to work together with the parent on the child's welfare. Maybe she had some bad experiences in the past?!? I don't know. The Lord is with us. Every step of the way. Prayer, prayer, prayer. Putting my trust in Him.

5 more days and my boys will be home.

I'm thankful for...

encouragement at discouraging places
the golden green grass at sunset
my neighbour's tractor (Luka 'drove' it:)
my neighbour Kaja, an old woman who gives Luka chocolate
my hardworking husband
freshly made apricot jam
a lunch that was full of goodies from our garden
reading 1 Peter with M in the quiet morning
that our faith is more precious than gold
that dying to self is a victory
kind stray dogs
my car radio
friends, always friends...
Jesus, who bought my salvation. and it was costly.

petak, 17. lipnja 2011.

of partings

Jakov and Josip are gone for a week at a Christian camp for kids. We've just said goodbye and hugged and waived and blew kisses. This might be one of the hardest goodbyes of my life.
Josip seemed like such a tiny little creature, in his red cap and bermuda shorts. He is so skinny. They both kept smiling and I tried to find some words of fun and cheer, but I think I failed miserably. My boys. The tall Jakov and the tiny Josip. I love them so much. And CAN'T wait for them to come home next Saturday.
Please Lord, keep them safe, keep them warm, keep them wrapped in your grace, bathed in your kindness, your love...

nedjelja, 12. lipnja 2011.

Seeking Father's Kingdom First

One of the most well known verses, but still, a verse that is so easy to 'skip', because, 'I know this one'. Its abstractness makes it layered, and I have a tendency to stop thinking as soon as I've found the first satisfying answer. But, what does it mean? Maybe, going to Church on Sunday, tithing, sending kids to Christian camps... But, isn't this verse so much deeper... it takes time to think about what it really means. Like, in a certain situation when a friend makes a little remark that allows you to see that there is something wrong with your relationship that you had no knowledge of. You catch a glimpse of a dark light coming through the crack of their sentence. You feel hurt, because you are not 'like that' (although you maybe are). But, all of a sudden you don't trust them as before and all you feel is a desire to retaliate.

Or when you want to go to sleep early, so you can get up early and 'seek the Kingdom', but your husband would really like to watch a movie with you.

Or when, jumping from moderate to high heat in an argument, he tells you that you can't even keep the house in order, let alone yourself.

What then? I panic. And in that moment I realize that I connect seeking to reading, to quiet time, as if it's limited to that serene setting. I think: Doesn't this seeking has to do with reading the Bible? and don't I seek while I read? How do I seek it now that I'm hurt and my ego swells, and lights go out and I stagger around, hitting the walls?

Seeking God's kingdom means losing ourselves in obedience to the Lord and pouring out our lives in the eternal work of our heavenly Father.
John MacArthur

Losing ourselves. Pouring out our lives. Dying to self. Putting others first. Surrendering my will, knowing that it's not about me, but in Him, through Him and for Him. And He is good. And I can trust Him. Because He loves me with an undying love.

Here is a stanza from a poem (My love, by James Russell Lowell) that I came across that made the dying more clear, more tangible and, ultimately, more winsome. I secretly wish my husband will some day find this poem and see a glimpse of me in it...

She doeth little kindnesses,
Which most leave undone, or despise:
For naught that sets one heart at ease,
And giveth happiness or peace,
Is low-esteemèd in her eyes.

For now, I want to wholeheartedly continue with thanksgiving... One thousand gifts...
#46 blooming of roses
#47 receiving the Kingdom that cannot be shaken (Heb 12:38)
#48 ordering children's books through bookdepository.com - free shipping worldwide:)
#49 women with a great sense of humor
#50 prayers with Jakov
#51 M's help, sacrificial help
#52 the good outcome of Charlie's surgery
#53 Jami and for the internet
#54 words
#55 computers
#56 a good night's rest
#57 Jakov getting an A in English
#58 potatoes in bloom:)
#59 the smell of C&B's house
#60 Kekec
#61 losing weight
#62 Luka's laughs, when he throws his head back
#63 trains that come on time
#64 coming home after a long day out
#65 the new flowers in the garden
#66 our well
#67 coffee with friends
#68 my 'hoarding' father in law
#69 the stillness of the kitchen early in the morning
#70 the knick-knacks on the windowsill

petak, 10. lipnja 2011.

A-weedin' and a-wonderin'

I've never had a vegetable garden before. Or any sort of garden, for that matter. I was born and raised on the third floor of an apartment building, overlooking the kindergarten and low Dalmatian hillside. (Apartment buildings were the usual dwelling places of the middle class in socialist Yugoslavia. Like anthills.)

However, milling around my garden the last few weeks, I was struck with a thought that no matter how much I try, and take care of the weeds, and the soil, and put sticks for the tomatoes - all that is just peripheral in a sense. The real part, the reason why the vegetable garden was planted - TO GROW VEGETABLES - is beyond me!! I can't do anything to make it grow, I can just watch, hope and pray, and weed, and put sticks...

The miracle of growth belongs to HIM. We can 'work out our salvation' (Phil. 2:12) only in the sense of weeding and putting sticks, but the miracle of growth belongs to HIM.

nedjelja, 5. lipnja 2011.

What is so rare as a day in June?

This title is so inspiring...

I am thankful for
#31 children giggling and screaming for joy
#32 planted flowers
#33 the fact that Sirač is only an hour away
#34 friends from afar
#35 M's support
#36 the ease with which I can watch Luka get totally dirty in the sand, and not worry one bit
#37 my mother's joy
#38 occasional conversations with my brother
#40 the good books that arrive through the mail!
#41 the good books that friends bring in their generous hands
#42 being involved in my neighbour's wedding
#43 hosting a beach party for the neighbourhood kids on our lawn
#44 Charlie and Barb coming back
#45 Ann Voskamp's daily inspiration

subota, 4. lipnja 2011.

Eating Manna

"For forty long years, God's people daily eat manna - a substance whose name literally means 'What is it?' Hungry, they choose to gather up that which is baffling. They fill on that which has no meaning. More than 14,600 days they take their daily nourishment from that which they don't comprehend. They find soul-filling in the inexplicable.
They eat the mystery.
They eat the mystery.
And the mystery, that which made no sense, is 'like wafers of honey' on the lips."

This is written by Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts. These words, these thoughts penetrated deep inside my inner core. They linger in my mind throughout the day. And this is how I now try to live my life. This is what I pray for at night, thinking about the day ahead. And each day seems overwhelming. And I open my soul toward my Hope and I trust Him for the manna. Open my heart in trust and I eat the manna. And it is like honey on my lips.

I'm learning and breathing deeply.
Thank you for this day, Lord.