Thursday, July 31, 2014

Extending Hands {John 3:30}

The Warrior Daddy's off with a text to fight late night crime, and I'm sitting here in my jammies trying not to miss him.

And well, I can't really complain, this is my wonderful, chosen life. 

Yet, tonight I feel a little disappointed and adrift. 

Tomorrow is the first day of August, and little Promise and Faith went to bed in tears at the thought of days of school once more.  Joy's smile was beaming as I tucked her in for exactly the same thought.

I gave the house a good scrubbing today, and winced at the summer to-do-list check boxes that haven't been checked. 

Where has my summer gone?  It seems to be sliding so quickly into fall and I feel like kicking and screaming a large fit alongside Faith and Promise. 

I wanted homemade curtains, a backyard finally finished, a deck stained, Joy's walls dressed.  I did not crave doctor's appointments, new diagnoses, a funeral, family emergency, a different schedule.

I feel a bit as if my dreams are colliding with my reality.

"He must increase but I must decrease."
John 3:30
His Word sits on my nightstand, whispering truth.

I am His first.

Purpose and peace come in His perfect timing.

And so I pray that I can stand tall in the rain and extend my hands to receive all His goodness - everything He has to give....

...a blooming orchid, sisters drinking smoothies, an open sunflower, a homemade card sent from a true friend, the end of a 9-mile run on the treadmill, catching the girls reading on the trampoline, fluffy clouds in the sky, a heart-shaped rice crispie, Joy still happy with her baby pool.
Noticing His grace kisses and releasing my check lists.

More of Him, less of me.  More surrender of me, and more glimpses into Him. 

Trusting in the drifting, because He is purposely Sovereign.

Day 409 Prayer Request

Please pray that I can be sensitive to my daughter's need for positive attention from me.

Ann (Momma to 6)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 408 Prayer Request

Please pray for wisdom for interaction with my kids.

Annette (Momma to many)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Day 407 Prayer Request

Please pray I will demonstrate more compassion to my little ones.

Marie (Momma to 4)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 406 Prayer Request

Please pray our child will not lose too much ground on our vacation. 

Jane (Momma to 2)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Graceful Peace

I can smell the bermuda and still feel the moisture dripping from the crevices behind my knees, inside my elbows.  Memories of summer childhood tumbled through my mind as I stood mid-afternoon in that hot Oklahoma sun.  Remembering a grandma, while my insides and outsides seemed to melt.  Surrounded by others called family I really do not know. 

Joy held my hand tight in the small country chapel.  She pushed her fingers into my cheeks as the tears timidly steamed down.  My Joy does not believe in hiding emotion.  Her uninhibited innocence pointed out my hurt, comforted me with pokes.

My little brother stood tall in his fancy boots and shared Jesus boldly.  I observed his trembling lips as stories of memories flowed out in graceful peace. 

Graceful peace.  This is what I desire.  In the midst of all the shifting change of life.  Graceful peace.

I stood by the grave side for so long.  Each great grandchild took a flower from an arrangement, placed it on her casket.  And then each of my girls took another for herself.  Because flowers cheer a heart.  And well, all the adults were somber.

I think I felt Grandma Pete's smile warm my insides when little Joy handed me a large yellow rose.   She took my hand, led me to the casket, helped me surrender. 

And she is hard to surrender. 

She cut cantelope from the garden, filled the middle with cottage cheese, sprinkled the top with pepper.  And I ate it because she took the time to eat it with me.  

She cooked biscuits and gravy better than any Southern woman I ever knew. 

She taught me how to clean a kitchen just right. 

She stood on her front porch and yelled at the top of her lungs at my crazy ATV driving, and she forgave so easily when she knew I was pretending I couldn't hear her.

Her house had a smell that whispered a warm welcome, and was my very favorite place to spend a Christmas eve night.

She opened up her arms wide when I introduced her to little Joy, and then little Promise and Faith.  Yes, brown great-grandbabies were perfect and instantly family.

Graceful Peace.

Please forgive me for my silence lately.  I suppose no words at times is appropriate.  I am praying diligently for you all.  I am thankful for your fellowship and trust.  Please pray for me to have graceful peace.

We rejoice because she is with Jesus, and will rejoice even more loudly in her presence with Him again someday. 

He fills all our broken sorrows in His perfect timing.

Day 405 Prayer Request

Please pray for harmony and safety as we leave early this morning to drive to San Diego.  Please pray for peace and joy for my husband and I as we model to our oldest kids.

Ann (Momma to 5)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Day 404 Prayer Request

Please pray for an important meeting.

Annette (Momma to many)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Day 403 Prayer Request

Please pray for me to let go of the things that are not immediately pressing and follow His lead.

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day 402 Prayer Request

Please pray for my daughter who is having significant health issues.

Annette (Momma to many)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 401 Prayer Request

Please pray for our family as we leave for vacation on Saturday.  Please pray our children will settle and have a great time.

Jane (Momma to 2)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day 400 Prayer Request

Please pray for my family as we minister to loved ones who are hurting.

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Day 399 Prayer Request

Please pray for strength and direction for my family.

Jane (Momma to 2)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 398 Prayer Request

Please pray for motivation to begin back to work/school.

Danielle (Momma to 3)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Day 397 Prayer Request

Please pray for my child to truly grasp and master an essential skill.

Marie (Momma to 4)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Day 396 Prayer Request

Please pray for wisdom for details and willingness to be obedient and wait.

Annette (Momma to many)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Day 395 Prayer Request

Please pray for little broken hearts as they grieve the loss of Grandma Pete.

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I am that girl....

I sometimes lay my hand on top of my open Bible and gently rub back and forth.  As if His Word could actually seep through my pores and infiltrate this body with Him.

But that, in every sense, is exactly what He has done for this stubborn, broken girl.

I am that girl, who attempting perfection, teetered as high as I possibly could on the tips of my feeble toes.  Yet still, from my well-educated vantage point, could not find any purpose or satisfaction.

I am that girl, who listened as the enemy whispered, and fell face down into a pit filled right full of lonliness, despair, and depression.  I embraced the lie that my existence had no purpose, no value, absolutely no worth.

Mouth tasting dust, face down in my hole, I raised my hand high and shouted out for more..., something more, or death.

And He whispered, "Surrender."

And I shouted back, "I don't know how!  I don't understand!  But if I try, will You please give me wisdom?  No more fluffy knowledge, please, real truth wisdom?"

And He whispered, "Trust Me."

I am that girl, who finally laid aside my intellect, raised my white flag high, and relinquished my reigns to the true Giver of purpose, value, and worth.

And He is transforming me, moment by moment, with His endless flow of grace that continually pours through this body, slowly and purposefully bringing meaning to every brokenness, every shattered dream, every festered wound.  His Word, alive and breathing, awakens my mind, draws me with comfort, challenges me to obedience, and rescues my soul day after day.

My name is Mandi Reagan.  I am in love with a warrior, and the mother of four amazing, yet broken children.  He is radically teaching this momma through embracing special needs, welcoming and surviving the challenges of my precious adopted ones, and living the radical adventure of homeschooling.  My worship instruments are my paintbrush, my camera, and my computer's keyboard.  His faithful, lavish love is much too grand to keep all to myself.

I am that stubborn, broken girl who is undeniably in love with Love.

Day 394 Prayer Request

Please pray I will keep seeking His face.

Annette (Momma to many)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Day 393 Prayer Request

Please pray that I will have patience with my son.

Ann (Momma to 6)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Day 392 Prayer Request

Please pray we make the right curriculum choices this school year.

Marie (Momma to 4)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Day 391 Prayer Request

Please pray for strength, clarity, and wisdom.

Annette (Momma to many)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Day 390 Prayer Request

Please pray for me and my family as we are just surviving right now.

Jane (Momma to 2)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Comfort Hearts

My grandma passed last eve.


He has been delivering hearts all day.

"This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life."
Psalm 119:50

Day 389 Prayer Request

Little Shepherd went home from the hospital on Monday.  Please join me in this amazing praise!

Jane (Momma to 2)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Day 388 Prayer Request

Please pray for rest and healing for me.

Marie (Momma to 3)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day 387 Prayer Request

My husband leaves for Phoenix today.  Please pray for smooth sailing around here and safety for my husband.

Marie (Momma to 4)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day 386 Prayer Request

Please pray I will only use my words to speak life and love into their little impressionable lives.

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Warrior Daddy is home!

The Warrior Daddy's home,
the Warrior Daddy's home!
Momma's singing tunes of praise,
the Warrior Daddy's home!

The Quarry

She has her rain boots on and is valiently galloping over every surface of the upstairs floor with her turquoise and pink horse.

It looks a bomb, fueled with flour and shredded carrots, exploded in the kitchen, coating the layers of clean and dirty dishes waiting to find their true homes.

The twins are sitting at the table, singing off-key and at the top of their little, yet powerful, lungs while slurping up the leftover milk in their cereal bowls.

The little seven pound fluff-ball is hiding under the dirty sheets piled high in the hallway awaiting the washer.

And, all I can hear replaying over and over in my head is Francesca Battistelli singing about all the stuff that drives her crazy, and gets under her skin.

Yes, I agree, it might not be the stuff I'd choose, but this is the stuff He uses. 

This is the crazy He uses to conquer my frustration. 

This is the chaos He uses to break up my impatience. 

"And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built."
1 Kings 6:7

Could this be the quarry?

Yes, I believe this is the messy chaos where He is lovingly reshaping me into the perfect whole stone.  Teaching me shalem.  Teaching me how to give Him my whole-hearted devotion.  Transforming my sliced-in-pieces heart into an uncut heart.

That is what those uncut stones of Solomon's grand building for the LORD represent; a perfect, uncut heart.

And I softly smile and my insides warm at just the thought of all those surrendered, cut hearts being renewed to whole.  And then, as if the renewal wasn't quite enough, He is gently and precisely placing each heart together in perfect harmony to build His church. 

And He chose me, this rough and unpolished, stubborn girl, and loves me enough to hammer and chisel, hurt and heal.

In Francesca's words, "In the middle of all this mess, I do forget how big I'm blessed."

So, please Lord Jesus, chisel away while she gallops, and they sing (shout), and the dog hides.

This beautiful, chaotic, frustrating mess is transforming my heart, and drawing me closer to You.

Day 385 Prayer Request

Please pray for my children as extended family is visiting and their days are filled with different for a time.

Ann (Momma to 6)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Reading Hope

My man-child is actually sitting in Promise and Faith's bedroom and reading a book to their little attentive bodies,...

...and my ears hear a beautiful, hope-filled melody.  My heart is overflowing.

The story has ended, but the creative tale lingers.  He is actually animating his voice, and their giggles - oh, the delightful tune of giggles, have brought a large smile to my weariness.

Yes, He answers prayer in gentle, amazing grace-kissed moments that tumble together to display His incredible story.

Love is shining tonight, shining brightly in this house, even with most of the lights turned dim.  

He is healing.

He is wonderful.

Sweet dreams tonight to you. 

Day 384 Prayer Request

Please pray I will hold fast to Him in love and trust in His protection.

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day 383 Prayer Request

Please pray for God to protect my family.

Jane (Momma to 2)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

"...we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:37-39

Day 382 Prayer Request

Please pray for more gentleness and self control.

Marie (Momma to 4)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Day 381 Prayer Request

Please pray for my child during neurofeedback therapy.  He is exercising parts of his brain that aren't used to being exercised and it is not easy on him.

Ann (Momma to 5)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Day 380 Prayer Request

Please pray that God would work out the details of some very important decisions to be made.

Annette (Momma to many)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Day 379 Prayer Request

Please pray that our child can understand how important it is to think of the consequences before she acts.

Ann (Momma to 6)