We had already canceled the party anyway, due to some behavior issues we were having with Seth (I've been really convicted recently that I don't pray enough for him!). It was a rough week, including a bumped head on the corner shelf which led to so much blood everywhere...but thankfully no trip to the ER because after I got the bleeding to stop, I was able to see that it was just a small cut. You would have thought Seth was dying by the amount of blood, but alas, he is alive and well. :) Now I have more walls to paint from the blood splatter on the wall, because unlike paint in the US, you cannot wash these walls without actually taking paint and plaster off the wall. Oh well, I had a few hundred places to touch up anyway. But the blood came out of the sheets, comforter, his clothes, my clothes, the floor, and all over the bathroom well enough. So grateful that it wasn't anything more. I thanked the Lord a bunch!
Kevin also got sick over the weekend, so it was just Kate and me at church yesterday. I absolutely love our pastor here and was bummed that he wasn't preaching although he was in town. But the pastor who spoke gave such an awesome message, one that I wish I could have heard a year or so ago. It's no secret that the last school year was one difficult and depressing one for me...and I feel like some of the struggles in our Christian life that the pastor talked about yesterday were ones that I experienced in abundance last year. I am sure that most of us will experience these all to varying degrees in our lifetime walk with the Lord. (He even mentioned about Christians having a "dark night of the soul." That's something I haven't heard anyone talk about in years!)
I have been studying the life of David and have been thinking a lot about the heart as a result. David was a "man after God's own heart" (Acts 13:22), and the Lord said to Samuel when he was searching for the man (David) whom God would make king that the Lord "looks at the heart" (I Samuel 16:7). I think back on last year and think about all of the head knowledge I had and desperately wanted to believe in my heart but was just struggling so much...feelings of guilt for wanting to believe but doubting ("I believe; help my unbelief!" Mark 9:24)...feelings of hopelessness of what is the point of us (mainly just me!) being in Hungary and just exhausted by life here (Galatians 6:9)....always searching to see what sin it was that I had committed and unrepented of that would leave me feeling this lost and hopeless. I know that our suffering here on earth has purpose, but in the midst of it, my heart didn't believe what my head knew.
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting..." James 1:2-5
I remember my grandpa sharing that Scripture over the phone with me last year, one that I know so well but never have really liked. :) These trials in life are to bring us to maturity in Christ. Our life is supposed to be surrendered to God to do his will and to bring him glory. We know that means that we will have pain and suffering in life, but we must remember the life that is to come!
The pastor yesterday closed with Romans 12:1-2. I smiled because the high school retreat this year was about that, and then that very same weekend, our (usual) pastor at church started a series on those verses. It's a theme that keeps coming up in my life as I have been mulling these verses over in my head for years, especially since doing a study on the book of Romans a couple years ago.
The phrase "in view of God's mercy" is one that still gets me every time. After reading and studying the first 11 chapters in the book of Romans, that phrase has more meaning to me! Offering our lives as a "living sacrifice" seems like the only thing there is to possibly do after all that Christ did for us and has spared us from!
Anyway, this is one rambling post that might go here and there and everywhere, but it all connected in my head. :) And since this blog is mainly for me (and our family and friends far away who want to stay in touch), I can write what I want and know that one day I will read this again and be reminded of what God has been teaching me and reminding me. :) I am so grateful that the Lord never stops working to make us more like him, even though the process is often painful. 'Tis all worth it!
And a few pictures of life recently...
There might not be whole turkeys this time of year (or ever) at the grocery store, but we have a good supply of "pork head" for sale. Yum.
Kate "helped" me make mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. I turned around for two seconds, and she goes at them with a fork.
And she is really into wearing her new jewelry. :)
Seth also got a tent for his birthday, a pirate tent. We enjoyed cuddling in there and reading lots of books last week.
Many books we read are non-fiction and about animals of course...if Seth picks them out. And after reading all about crocodiles and how they eat, I found this on the dining room table one day.
These last three pictures were taking with my new phone. It doesn't have internet or anything, and so I couldn't figure out how to get them off. And then I realized my camera cord would fit into my phone. Awesome.
They voluntarily held hands walking into the store one day. Precious.
And when we were at the post office paying bills (yes, you have to go to the office to pay all bills...definitely different), Seth says to me, "Mom, I was looking out the window and saw something..." I knew that was his way of asking if he could go to the playground. It was unseasonably warm, and it was a nice time. :)
Won't let the kids go up there without me being right there as you can see that it's super safe. The railing would completely break if Kate would lean too hard!