Cooking & Relying on Christ Go Hand-in-Hand

Some days, like today, I really enjoy cooking. It brings me some serious joy to make a good meal that I know is at least semi healthy for us. It’s a good feeling to know what you’re eating, you know?

But then there are those other days. Those days I can’t think of something to cook that I haven’t already made like 1000 times, when I get really hot from the stove and frustrated because I don’t feel like a good wife. Isn’t it silly that sometimes my definition of “being a good wife” boils down to how well I grocery shop, keep the cabinets full while sticking to our budget, and the level of creativity in the meals I make?
What in the world??
Sure, those things are parts of being a good wife! Sure, I’m called to care for my husband in those ways–submitting to the budget we laid out, using our money wisely, and making yummy, healthy dinners…. but that is not the extent of my calling, nor the heart of it! Those qualities alone do not make me a good wife… or a “good” anything. My own actions don’t make me “good” or “worthy” because I have already been made new, clean, and worthy in Christ, fully!
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Col 3:3
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 1 John 3:2-3

Praise the Lord that my worth does not rest in how well I can cook! No, friends, instead our worth rests in the ever-sustaining name of our Savior Jesus!

My calling as a wife does not rest in cooking well (PTL), but rather in loving Jesus well and relying on him every minute of the day! Reliance upon Christ even in those frustrating minutes when I don’t like to cook will lead me to remember my worth is in him and will free me also to love my husband the way I am called to love him, without looking for my value in his approval.

Today has been a roller-coaster day, but I am so thankful and ready to rest in reliance upon Christ.

a briefing that's not so brief

An update on life in JC, TN:

-School is going surprisingly well… the past week I’ve pretty much had a break from homework, so much that I’ve already finished two assignments that are due next week. I’ve been taking a reporting & writing class, which has brought me serious headaches as well as some joy. It’s been fun to explore that facet of writing and experience the thrill of getting articles published, even when it’s just to our college paper. I don’t want to do reporting post graduation, but this class has certainly stirred my love for writing….. so, we’ll see where that leads.

-Redeemer is gearing up to celebrate our 5th anniversary! The staff is putting together a video celebration where all the members (no matter how long you’ve attended.. from 3 weeks to all 5 years) are invited to submit short videos describing what Redeemer means to them/ how they’ve grown through Redeemer/ etc. I’m pretty excited about it. They’re putting all the videos up on youtube, so I’ll link the page when it’s finished (around Dec. 3 I think).

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of seeing my uniform in person, here is a sneak peak:)

-I’m still working at the Firehouse, usually only 2 shifts a week, but sometimes 3 if I can squeeze in an extra one. Although the work gets redundant (I wait tables… there’s only so much potential variation), it’s been great to see more depth develop in my relationships with my coworkers. I can DEFINITELY see more openness and I’m finally starting to make real connections with people. Be praying for fruit in those relationships.

-Jacob and I are struggling through what is definitely the toughest season in our lives (his schedule is much crazier than mine, granted)… but we have a lot of church family who are embracing us, building us up, and encouraging us. My friend Brandy tells us, “You are the blessed ones!” We are blessed to have the opportunity to rejoice in this suffering, since suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and our hope does not put us to shame… because our hope rests in Christ alone. We’re learning a lot about who we are and the depth of sin, but much greater than that–we’re learning the depth of the gospel. We’re learning that it penetrates, heals, and casts our eyes away from empty worldly hopes and back onto Christ, our real hope.

-I’m on duty for Thanksgiving break, so this will be my first Thanksgiving ever not in Ohio with my family! I’m glad Jacob’s family lives so close, though, so I’ll get to celebrate with them this year. I’m making this delicious recipe I found off of Pinterest for Cookies ‘n Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies… maybe I’ll take some pictures of the process and blog about it next week.

-To wrap this up, I’ll end with a little summary: Jesus reigns, even when I feel stressed, angry, unsupported, weary, and like all odds are against me. Christ reigns, Christ is being made much of, Christ is worthy, God is for me, and God is still sovereign above all. I am prone to selfishness, deceit, anger, ill thoughts, and speech that tears down, but Christ reigns. He has rescued me from the pit of despair and ransomed me from those futile ways with his very own and precious blood. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. This Scripture has never been more real to me than in this season of my life–Christ, you are our hope, you are our joy, and you are our strength. Amen.

flannelgraphs revived

Jacob and I taught lower elementary (grades 1-3) at Redeemer yesterday… and I must say, it was a serious blessing to serve the parents at our church in that way today. We taught 1 Kings 18:1-39, the passage where the prophet Elijah holds a contest with King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. The Lord sends fire to the altar Elijah built, even after water was poured over it, to convince the prophets of the false god Baal that the Lord is the one true God. The point of the lesson was that our God is the one true God, and we are to follow him alone. We made this awesome flannelgraph yesterday for the lesson:

Turns out, just like when I was in 3rd grade, the flannelgraph was just what we needed to keep the kids in tune with us. They responded so well and were very engaged in the lesson. (I know it wasn’t just the flannelgraph… it must have helped that the Lord has seriously gifted Jacob in teaching and connecting to kids.) We took some time at the end to talk with the kids about the “false gods” of today, and they brought up great examples, such as videogames, money, fame, famous people, toys, and one boy even said we can be our own false gods. Wow. I left church yesterday very thankful for the gospel and very thankful to spend time investing in 1-3 grade kids… kids who are learning the gospel today and who are seeing what idolatry can look like even in their own 7-10 year old lives. That is just crazy to me… and a huge huge blessing. Lord, thank you for Jesus. Thank you for being the one true God, and thank you for teaching me through the kids yesterday morning. I want to love you, know you, and believe in you with the same strong assurance some of those kids have.

How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him…

the delight of spring after a deep deep sleep

Lord,

Your testimonies are wonderful;
therefore my soul keeps them.
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant,
because I long for your commandments.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as is your way with those who love your name.
Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
Redeem me from man’s oppression,
that I may keep your precepts.
Make your face shine upon your sevant,
and teach me your statutes. (Psalm 119:129-135)

Thank you for being consistent in pursuing me when I was not toward you. Forgive my negligence, Lord, and my tendency to look at myself much before you. Thank you for reviving my heart and reaching down to the depths of me… Thank you for Jesus, who is my righteousness, my status, my hope, and my redemption. Thank you for being my Father who loves me and cherishes me even though I never deserve that kind of love. I have so much to learn; teach me your ways and your love, and transform me to look much more like your Son and much less like me. Thank you for loving me, Father. I love you, too.

We're engaged!!

We went to Myrtle Beach with Jacob’s family last week, and he asked me to marry him on June 30:). I am very excited to spend the next months planning our wedding, but, much more than that, I’m ready for a time of growth and refinement with my fiance.

Father, make us more like your son. May this time in our lives be centered on you and bathed in the gospel. Sanctify us through each other and teach us of your love for us. Ultimately, Jesus, you are our Bridegroom and we are your Bride… may our wedding and our marriage be a reflection of that truth. May our sights be set on you more than anything or anyone else, including each other. Humble us to take counsel from people wiser and more experienced than we are… we have much to learn. Father, thank you for Jacob! Prepare me to be a godly wife for him. Teach me and lead me in the gospel. I love you, Father. Thank you for the freedom we have through Christ! Today I’m remembering and praising you for that truth. Amen.

 

 

resting in this freedom.

I love summer. I love these days I can enjoy time in the Word and enjoy time in solitude. Thank you, Lord, for this season of rest.

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. At that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes” says the Lord. Zephaniah 3:14-20.

Praise God, he is in our midst! He is the mighty one who has saved us. Indeed, he rejoices over us–he is for us! There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit… You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ in in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you… The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him… What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?… Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?… For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angles nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Romans 8:1-4, 9-11, 16-17, 31, 35, 38-39

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:12-14

Sin has no dominion over me because I belong to you, Jesus, and I stand in God’s grace. I’m resting in that today.