Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What is Mercy?

Definitions of mercy on the Web:

  • clemency: leniency and compassion shown toward offenders by a person or agency charged with administering justice; "he threw himself on the mercy of the court"
  • mercifulness: a disposition to be kind and forgiving; "in those days a wife had to depend on the mercifulness of her husband"
  • Mercy is a term used to describe the leniency or compassion shown by one person to another, or a request from one person to another to be shown such leniency or compassion. One of the basic virtues of chivalry and Christian ethics, it is also related to concepts of justice and morality in behaviour between people.
  • Mercy is the act of not administering justice when that justice is punitive. Because of our sinfulness we deserve death and eternal separation from God (Rom. 6:23; Isaiah 59:2), but God provided an atonement for sin and through it shows us mercy. That is, He does not deliver to the Christian the natural consequence of his sin which is damnation. That is why Jesus became sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21) and bore the punishment due to us (Isaiah 5345). It was to deliver us from damnation. ...
  • Is withheld punishment for judgment, God's mercy provides the need for sinful man in Jesus sacrifice.
  • a virtue, is compassionate treatment, especially of those under one’s power, a disposition to be kind and forgiving. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." See "Grace."
  • An aspect of the royal prerogative, whereby a convicted person is pardoned or has the sentence cancelled or reduced.

  • Our Life Design bible study this week was about mercy...and a few of us thought that the way they presented "mercy" was not exactly correct. And so many of the questions that we were asked to answer were difficult, mostly because my mind couldn't really grasp the answer to this question: What is mercy? Where have I seen mercy in action recently?
    Here is a sermon of sorts, on the subject:

    Anyway, this of course, is one of those things that we can't fully understand. There is so much to mercy, and it is hard to grasp because why would a holy God choose to withhold the punishment that we most certainly deserve and continue to earn on a daily basis? And yet, instead, he gives us Christ. Grace. Forgiveness. Redemption.
    The best example that came to my mind (of a human showing mercy) was Elizabeth Elliot, whose husband was murdered by a tribe in South America. She went back and ministered to that tribe, sharing Christ's love and forgiveness.
    And for me, I thought...Mercy can best be shown by me as Less Judgement, More Compassion. A clean slate. So instead of escalating discipline and punishment for every time they commit an offense, instead of treating the kids like it's the tenth time, treating them like it's the first time. Instead of handing out labels or judgements, or even punishments (that person isn't worth my time, or they don't deserve that, etc), handing out compassion instead.
    All I know is that however I try to define mercy, we could all use a little more of it. And I should definitely be more thankful for it. And maybe I could even spend more time handing out compassion rather than complaining about my own circumstances.

    P.S. If you have a recent example of mercy, please feel free to share it, perhaps we will be inspired!!

    Monday, January 29, 2007

    Well, Noah is now a hefty 16 lbs.!! And although they didn't measure his length at the doctor's office, our tape measure thinks he's almost 26 inches. So, he is doing well, thriving, and smiling a lot!

    Caleb likes to say, "That cracks me up, dude!"

    And Emma, poor thing, she has been very tired since a certain brother helps her wake up early every morning.

    Ben has an interview tomorrow (Tuesday) with Aera energy, and on Friday (after work) we'll be driving to Sacramento for a test Saturday for the fire department. Please keep praying for us, that God will guide us and direct us in the direction of our next adventure. Thanks!

    Monday, January 22, 2007

    Organizing toys, AKA pointless activity

    I know. It really is pointless, it won't even stay like this for one day, let alone a week or more. But I still have to do it!!

    About once a week, or maybe every couple of weeks I go through and reorganize the kids' toys. I put the large toys in the "toy box" which is really a large basket. Then I put the small toys in their various bins-one for cars, one for the train tracks, one for "people" which includes Buzz Lightyear and Cinderella, etc. I even labeled a few of the bins today, because, well, it feels good to have the room so organized. It won't be later today, but hey, for those few wonderful, beautiful moments, everything was in its place.

    Side note: I do make my kids clean up-before every meal, or whenever they leave the room for an's just that they don't always put things away where they should go.

    We also spent all day Saturday trying to organize, clean, and find places for things in our room...It's not easy to fit five people in two rooms, but when things are put away, we can all breathe easier.

    Thursday, January 18, 2007

    Pray for Ben

    Okay Ben has an interview a week from Tuesday with Aera energy. They're an oil company, but basically the job pays pretty well, and has good benefits. He would work seven 12-hour shifts and then have seven days off...So that would be pretty cool, and allow for him to maybe continue pursuing school, and some other things. So, we are just waiting to see what God has in store for us, but I think this job would work out pretty well, at least for now???

    Bible Story by Emma...

    So, Ruth was picking up grain in the fields. And she was going to add oil and put it in the oven to make bread. And she was picking A LOT of grain because the boy said she could!

    Wednesday, January 17, 2007


    Emma saw a boy outside trying to do an "olly" on his skateboard. She asked my mom about it, who explained that the boy was having trouble landing on the board. Emma replied, "oh well, some days are like that."
    She is working on phonics, and beginning to sound out basic words (yeah for Hop on Pop). She loves to practice her ballet, and read the book I got from the library about Ballet Class...little did I know I would butcher the French language while reading it to her (who knows what develope a la seconde and portes de bras is??)

    Caleb told Ben yesterday, "I don't want you to go to work...I want you to stay here because I love you." Caleb still loves to play cars all day, but also enjoys coloring and is recognizing many of his letters (his favorite is H).

    Noah is generally only getting up once during the night, which is great. He has a little cough right now, but he smiles alot, and has giggled a couple of times for daddy only.

    Ben has been working for Daley Landscape right now, and was supposed to start working for his dad's drilling company next week, but I think that's been postponed. He is still looking for a more permanent position, and there's a couple of things he really hopes will work out. We still have the house in Crestline, and recently turned it over to a property management company to try and get it rented out. In the meantime, we are still living at my parent's house while trying to keep up with the mortgage payments on the Crestline house. I think that's about it for now...we appreciate your love and prayers.

    What a blogger I am...

    Okay so I am laughing so hard, I am about to fall off my chair. Evidently, I had some setting that meant that I was supposed to moderate the comments or something, and then allow them to be posted. I was thinking, wow, I used to at least see comments from Becky and Lisa Stryker, but nothing for so long....

    Anyway, I found them and now I am going to go about the business of catching up on these comments. Love you all, and thanks for caring enough to read this. He, he.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    Tagged by Becky

    A- Available or married? Married, seven years next month.

    B- Best Friend? Becky, when I read that I cried. Seriously. I am actually still crying. I miss you so much right now...but anyway, I have to agree that husbands always have to take the best friend spot since they really see us at our worst, and maybe even sometimes, at our best, and everything in between.

    C- Cake or Pie? Chocolate cake with ice cream and hot fudge

    D- Drink of Choice? Used to be chai latte, but I finally figured out that it's so much less calories to just make chai tea and add honey and milk.

    E- Essential Item? Patience. Although I often find myself without it...

    F- Favorite Color? Depends on what we're talking about. But in Crestline, Ben and I painted our bedroom a really dark, rich brown. Sounds weird I know, but the room was huge, so it could handle it. Anyway, it always felt pretty calm in there. And warm.

    G- Gummi Bears or Worms? Neither really...

    H- Hometown? This world is not my home....I'm not saying that to be all churchy, it's just that I feel pretty out of place right now, and I'm not quite sure where home is...but I was born in Ojai, CA

    I- Indulgence? Aquafina...but the ones I dream about are sleeping in, and an afternoon alone at Starbuck's

    J- January or February? February

    K- Kids & names? Emma, Caleb, and Noah

    L- Life is incomplete without? pain, growth, love, hope

    M- Marriage Date? Feb. 2000

    N- Number of Siblings? Brothers Shane, Mark, and Scott

    O- Oranges or apples? Clementine oranges and Fuji apples

    P- Phobias/Fears? Automatic windows vs. my kids' body parts. Fear-failing miserably, which I've done, so you would think I wouldn't be afraid anymore

    Q- Favorite Quote?
    "I caannot live without loving You..."

    Hind's Feet on High Places-by Hannah Hurnard, Much Afraid speaking of The Good Shepherd

    R- Reason to Smile? Noah smiles back now!

    S- Season? Spring

    T- Tag three people!
    I'm not sure three people read this...

    U- Unknown fact about me: I never moved in my entire life until I got married. Now, I've moved 4 times in eighteen months.

    V- Vegetable you hate? Onions

    W- Worst habit? Putting too much pressure on myself.

    Y- Your favorite food? Oh, but there are SO many...

    Z- Zodiac? Libra. Not into it. (I copied you but that's cuz my answer is the same.)

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Introductions, and Ballet

    Yesterday, my brother's friend was over, and Caleb and Emma ran into the door way so they could see who was here. Caleb politely introduced himself, "I'm Caleb, and this is my friend, Emma."

    Emma spends at least half an hour every day working on her ballet. Yes, she puts on her tights, her leotard, her ballet slippers, and then dances away with Bella Dancerella. I was so impressed by her dedication to ballet that I tried to find her a class here in town...and wouldn't you know it? Ojai doesn't have ballet lessons anymore. Oh well...