Thorn (?) in the flesh

The Cross of the Twin Buttes, Crook, CO

I must say that the past three weeks have been filled with events to keep me on my knees. To keep me humble. To keep me from becoming conceited. To keep me weak. I pray that The Lord has looked at me and said “Have you considered my servant, Kim?” (Job 2:8) and that in all my response I have not sinned or charged God with wrong. (Job 2:22)

I’d say it probably began when our family returned (July 14) from a week long trip to Colorado, knowing we had only ten days to pack up and move our whole house of stuff accumulated over 18 years of marriage. Our closing still held looming uncertainty yet we continued to take steps daily by faith that The Lord would bring this about.

Last day at our old house

Incredibly, two days after returning our oldest son, Nick, developed a killer, killer headache which was only getting worse as time went by. We rushed him to the ER where he was diagnosed with meningitis.

After a spinal tap and 36 hours in the hospital, it was determined that it was viral, rather than bacterial, and he was discharged already starting to feel better.

Nick in excruciating pain.

I praised God for Nick’s quick improvement, and yet my strong, able bodied, #1 moving assistant was down.  In God’s great goodness, our church family, His hands and feet here on earth, stepped up in a MIGHTY way to help us pack and move.  We successfully closed on the sale and purchase of our houses and moved the weekend of July 25.

The whiteboard in our ER room!

Just as I began to think we’d have a few weeks of smooth sailing, along came poison ivy to keep me humble and weak and on my knees. I ended up with a severe reaction resulting in extreme swelling on the right side of my face and another ER visit. (This time for me.)Yet, once again, God’s grace is sufficient!!!

The week I came home from Colorado, I began memorizing 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 and God has given me plenty of opportunities to put them to use. I remember reciting these verses while Nick bent over holding my hand as the doctor drew spinal fluid out of his arched, pained back.

“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

This story so far has been about the past few weeks, but what God is working on me now is in Romans 8:18-25.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”  Romans 8:18-25.

My hope stands firm in the coming return of Jesus. My hope is not found here. The whole earth is groaning in the pains of meningitis and poison ivy reactions, yet these sufferings are not even worthy comparing with the GLORY that is to be revealed to us.

 

Tower of Babel Sandcastles

Today as I sit in the shade watching Noelle and Daniel build sand castles with plastic cups, my ears are filled with the sounds of a language foreign to my ears. I pick out certain words I recognize – ‘nina,’ ‘y,’ ‘si’ – and my heart turns to ponder Emily and Nick heading to Mexico tomorrow to serve at Rio Bravo, a children’s home in Reynosa. There they will be the outsiders, the ones who don’t speak the language, but here these young ones struggle to communicate with ours. So, ours build their own structures of sand while they construct an elaborate reservoir of water.
It makes me think of the unity God desires in His body, the church. He desires for us to be ONE, to be co-laborers with Him, building up His body here on earth.
I pray for our team from Collierville Bible Church to be an encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ in Mexico, whether they speak English or Spanish, whether they are from intact families or not. I pray that the God of endurance and encouragement grant them to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together they may with ONE voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)

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More Than a Homeschool Mom Retreat – audio uploads

Hi!  Yes, after two months, I am finally posting a link to the audio for two of the talks from the March retreat.

I pray they would be a great blessing.

More Than a Homeschool Mom Retreat Attendees
More Than a Homeschool Mom Retreat Attendees

Talk #2 – More Than My Current Circumstances.  Click here. (Are you being ruled by your feelings?  By human wisdom?  I share on the importance to walk by faith in our everyday lives, especially in making tough decisions and enduring trials.)

Talk # 3 – More Than a Hearer.  Click here.  (Truly, the Lord wants us to know the Bible, yet we must be MORE than mere hearers of the Word, and even MORE than mere “doers” of the Word.  God’s best for us is to to live & move & have our being in Him.)

 

MORE THAN a Homeschool Mom Retreat

 More-Than-Chalkboard-small
Please join us March 8-9 for a special time of spiritual renewal.  You can register by clicking on the “Retreat Registration” link at the top of the page or click here.

 Retreat Schedule
March 8-9, 2013

FRIDAY

5:30pm
Optional Dinner Fellowship – bring your own dinner

6:30-8:30pm
MORE THAN my Past
“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11

8:30-9:30pm Connection time!

 

SATURDAY

8:30am
Optional Breakfast Fellowship – continental breakfast provided on site

9:30-11:30am
MORE THAN my Current Circumstances
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

11:30am-12:30pm
Catered Lunch – provided on site

12:30-2:30pm
MORE THAN a Hearer of the Word
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

2:30-4:30pm
MORE THAN a Servant
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.”          1 John 3:1

4:30-5:00pm
Private Time of Reflection and Prayer

Each two-hour block will include a time of singing, prayer, teaching, personal reflection and group fellowship.

 Additional Information

Retreat Location

Collierville Bible Church
806 Wolf River Blvd.
Collierville, TN 38017

Registration fee:

$15 (early bird until February 28)

$20 (March 1 – March 5)

Registration includes lunch and continental breakfast

Hotel Information for Friday, March 8
(for those coming from out of town or for moms who want to enjoy a night out!)

Courtyard by Marriott: Memphis Collierville (at the Avenue Carriage Crossing)
4640 Merchants Park Circle
Collierville, TN 38017
901-850-9390

A block of rooms is being held as “Homeschool Mom Retreat” for attendees at the discounted rate of $99. Rate includes room with two queen beds and a hot breakfast buffet.
Reservations must be made by February 22, 2013.

 

 Frequently Asked Questions

 Q. I am a homeschool mom seeking renewal and encouragement. Is this the retreat for me?

A. Absolutely!

Q. Can I tell others homeschool moms about this retreat?

A. Please do. We are in prayer for this retreat to be a great outreach ministry to many moms.

Q. Is there anything I should bring with me?

A. It would be great to bring a Bible along with you.

Q. Do I have to currently homeschool to attend?

A. No!  The spiritual truths that will be shared will be applicable for moms who are not homeschooling as well.

Q. Will childcare be provided at the retreat? What about nursing babies?

A. There is no childcare provided at the retreat so alternate childcare arrangements will need to be made; however, nursing babies are always welcome!

Q. I see that the dinner and breakfast are listed as optional. Can you please explain that further?

A. Certainly! Some moms will prefer to bring their “brown bag” dinner and have some fellowship on Friday night while others may need to arrive in time for the evening session; likewise, on Saturday morning, some moms will prefer to attend the continental breakfast while other moms will prefer to get a bit more sleep before arriving for the first session.

Q. What should I expect from this retreat?

A. Expect to hear uplifting messages from God’s Word, engage in dialogue with other homeschool moms, and ponder ways to live out the “More Than” message!

Q. I want to come. What should I do next?

A. Register and spread the word about the retreat to your friends!  If you need hotel arrangements, please make them early as well.  Finally, and most importantly, please pray for God’s blessings on this retreat.