2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NCV)
Living by Faith
16) So we do not give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day. 17) We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles. 18) We set our eyes not on what we see but on what we cannot see. What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever.
*Oh my! that verse just about says it all for me. Getting older and weaker. For the last 13 years I've lived with losing the vision in my right eye. I became left eye dominant and I am right handed- no fun. This month I lost the vision in my left eye. I was very discouraged. Blindness Lord? Please no.*
2 Corinthians 5We know that our body—the tent we live in here on earth—will be destroyed. But when that happens, God will have a house for us. It will not be a house made by human hands; instead, it will be a home in heaven that will last forever. 2) But now we groan in this tent. We want God to give us our heavenly home, 3) because it will clothe us so we will not be naked. 4) While we live in this body, we have burdens, and we groan. We do not want to be naked, but we want to be clothed with our heavenly home. Then this body that dies will be fully covered with life. 5) This is what God made us for, and he has given us the Spirit to be a guarantee for this new life.
* Groaning, what an excellent description. I am groaning "in this tent". I have Type 2 diabetes, I have PCOS, I'm going through menopause, I have an "un-specified" neurological disorder (that steals my strength, wears me out and makes me fall), re-occurring colon infections (in the 1/2 of colon I have left) treated with mega-anti-biotics, and I am legally blind in my right eye.
And yet I can do so many important things like preach the Word with JOY to my children, change diapers, wipe noses, homeschool, care for our group home gals, but Lord? But if I am completely blind. What can I do?*
6) So we always have courage. We know that while we live in this body, we are away from the Lord. 7 We live by what we believe, not by what we can see. 8 So I say that we have courage. We really want to be away from this body and be at home with the Lord. 9 Our only goal is to please God whether we live here or there, 10 because we must all stand before Christ to be judged. Each of us will receive what we should get—good or bad—for the things we did in the earthly body.
*Courage- sometimes it takes courage to find out what is wrong with the tent. I found out that I now have cataracts. New glasses can fix my vision so that I can drive. But I can no longer read without bright lights and magnification. Or I can hold my book a few feet away from me! Thank You God! Thank You for allowing me to continue to "see". My computer has a wonderful magnifier, but it's so big I can't see the whole screen.*
Becoming Friends with God
11) Since we know what it means to fear the Lord, we try to help people accept the truth about us. God knows what we really are, and I hope that in your hearts you know, too. 12) We are not trying to prove ourselves to you again, but we are telling you about ourselves so you will be proud of us. Then you will have an answer for those who are proud about things that can be seen rather than what is in the heart. 13) If we are out of our minds, it is for God. If we have our right minds, it is for you. 14) The love of Christ controls us, because we know that One died for all, so all have died. 15) Christ died for all so that those who live would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them and was raised from the dead so that they would live for him.
*Judged harshly by those 12)"who are proud about things that can be seen rather than what is in the heart". Having physical challenges causes one to realize what is truly important. 13) "If we are out of our minds it is for God" (love that!) I hate being considered- disabled/challenged, I see that Mercy and the boys are "normal" to us. But with our challenges we are not considered "normal" by any means in the world. And yet it is easier for us with our challenges to realize- 14) "the LOVE of Christ controls us". Mercy and the boys are not concerned with the things that can be seen in this world. Our "troubles" are a blessing- not a disability.*
16) From this time on we do not think of anyone as the world does. In the past we thought of Christ as the world thinks, but we no longer think of him in that way. 17) If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new! 18) All this is from God. Through Christ, God made peace between us and himself, and God gave us the work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with him. 19) God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself. In Christ, God did not hold the world guilty of its sins. And he gave us this message of peace. 20) So we have been sent to speak for Christ. It is as if God is calling to you through us. We speak for Christ when we beg you to be at peace with God. 21) Christ had no sin, but God made him become sin so that in Christ we could become right with God.
*I can't compare my challenges to Mercy and the boys. I was not born with challenges. The Lord allowed them to come later and I had to earn my wisdom with age. So verse 16 is like me. But Mercy and the boys were born with the gift of "not thinking of anyone as the world does". That is not a disability- that is a blessing. They are blessed. I am now blessed. 20) God is calling all of us through each of us who follow Christ! I had to learn this the hard way, Mercy and the boys have this beautiful "knowing" of this.
Isn't God is awesome!"
I'm so sorry that I have not answered anyone's e-mails, or posted or let you know what's going on. We love you all dearly and yet I just left you hanging.
I have a million excuses.
Tom has not up-loaded pictures for me for 2 months now. :o( We really need to put pictures in here, fast for our 18 month report to Bulgaria for Noah, Moses, and Jacob.
I used not having pictures to post as an excuse not to blog. And then of course we had Christmas and New Years and we were incredibly busy!
We had a wonderful Christmas. The newlyweds came. Grace made Grits, her first time. Gabriel graced us with his presence, it was good to catch up on what's new with him! I over did preparing Thanksgiving so for Christmas we had platters of fruit and veggies and Tom always makes a good turkey in the Ron Popeil rotisserie. It was extra tasty this year!
Mercy has gone through quite a few med changes to control her pain. This was about a month long challenge. She wanted larger amounts of Tylenol than we could give her. (we had tried larger/adult doses first and found out it was toxic) Ibuprofen caused her stomach pain and she was unable to eat. She lost weight quickly, but thank goodness she's gained it back! She cried relentlessly on the 10ML of Tylenol she could take every 4 hours. Every 3 hours on the dot, she cried for more. You could tell time by her crying, so you knew it was painful for her. And then miraculously she accepted the dose. She has now adjusted to it which is a relief.
We still have to give her Benadryl and melatonin to get her to sleep. The Clonadine only helped her sleep 3 hours.(another Dr suggested she must have a fast metabolism) She really fights sleeping and then when we go some where she's out like a light! Her tantrums have decreased, but she's still having a few and it's always a challenge to keep her from injuring herself. She is very fast and VERY strong. Sotos mom's always are surprised at how strong our kids are! Oddly the tantrums happen Friday or Saturday? Not sure why? Our weekend schedule is the same as the week, since we work at home! She'll see the neuro in February- long story about fighting to find one who would take her. :o( We also see the geneticist early Feb to discuss things.
The boys are doing great. Mosie will soon be 9! (Feb. 8th)
As soon as Tom puts the pictures in I will update you on the boys more. Soon I promise!
I had the flu last week. So I'm still very tired. The Lord is the Wind beneath my wings! :o) And I promise to post more often!
(((((((BIG HUGS)))))))) with LOVE and prayers for you ALL!!