The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

Glorious Legacy

When I think back to my growing up years, one particular image sticks in my mind: a black leather Bible, pages well-loved, cover embossed. It sat on our kitchen table, open, alongside a composition book filled with my mom’s beautiful handwriting.

I knew my mom read that Bible every day. She wrote prayers and petitions in that notebook. One day I snuck a peek in her journal, to find a poem she wrote about me, in the throes of some teenage ridiculousness. I can’t tell you the impact it made to know that my mom cried out to God on my behalf.

I wonder what my children will remember of me, when they are grown and raising my grandkids.

Will they remember my Bible open, my prayers on their behalf, my heart’s cry for them to love Jesus?

Or will they remember my face glowing from the radiance of my iPhone? My need to escape the crazy chaos that is our home?

Will they remember snuggles and sweet words, encouragement to be more like Christ?

Or will they remember my anger and impatience, my selfishness and pride?

What’s more…How will they parent my grandbabies? Will they do a good job of always getting to the heart issues, being consistent in discipline, but never disciplining in anger? Will they always remember to make Christlikeness the goal?

Or will my sinful patterns affect the way they parent, either swaying them to be too harsh or too lenient?

May God’s mercy and the power of the Holy Spirit cover our home. May He change me to be more like Him. May He protect my children and the coming generations from the sin that entangles my heart.

Despite the odds, may Christ be glorified in us.

A Beautiful Confession

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I know in many churches the Age of the Hymnal has passed into distant history. Does your church still use hymnals, or even own hymnals?

I grew up in a non-denominational church, which Tim Hawkins would call “a Baptist church with a cool website.” Really, it was too small to have a cutting-edge website…and I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s before church websites were a thing…

We always used hymnals. But I don’t really remember ever using the back of the hymnal…No, I don’t mean the index. I mean the little section with liturgical readings.

I appreciate that our Baptist church recognizes the value of church history, the church calendar, and liturgy. Our services aren’t full of pre-written prayers and rote recitation. But when a piece of prose or poetry glorifies God with its truth-telling, our pastors feel free to use it in the service.

For example, at our Wednesday evening prayer meeting this week, we turned to #621 in the baaaaaack of the hymnal. It’s entitled “An Affirmation of Faith.”

The Apostles’ Creed is well-known and well-loved. This one I have never read or heard, but I thought it was worth sharing with you. Enjoy!

We believe in Jesus Christ the Lord,
Who was promised to the people of Israel,
Who came in the flesh to dwell among us,
Who announced the coming of the rule of God,
Who gathered disciples and taught them,
Who died on the cross to free us from sin,
Who rose from the dead to give us life and hope,
Who reigns in heaven at the right hand of God,
Who comes to judge and bring justice to victory.

We believe in God His Father,
Who raised Him from the dead,
Who created and sustains the universe,
Who acts to deliver His people in times of need,
Who desires all men everywhere to be saved,
Who rules over the destinies of men and nations,
Who continues to love men even when they reject Him.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
Who is the form of God present in the church,
Who moves men to faith and obedience,
Who is the guarantee of our deliverance,
Who leads us to find God’s will in the Word,
Who assists those whom He renews in prayer,
Who guides us in discernment,
Who impels us to act together.

We believe God has made us His people,
To invite others to follow Christ,
To encourage one another to deeper commitment,
To proclaim forgiveness of sins and hope,
To reconcile men to God through word and deed,
To bear witness to the power of love over hate,
To proclaim Jesus the Lord over all,
To meet the daily tasks of life with purpose,
To suffer joyfully for the cause of right,
To the ends of the earth,
To the end of the age,
To the praise of His glory,
Amen.

(Emphasis mine.)

He Leads

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We give those Old Testament Israelites such a hard time because of their complaining and grumbling…and goodness gracious, they’ve seen God perform miracle after miracle for them and they STILL can’t remember to trust Him!?

If I had God sprinkling manna on my front lawn every day, I would never complain about His provision…

Or would I?

Because really, He does provide every good and perfect gift in my life, doesn’t He? I’ve never gone hungry. I’ve never gone to bed at night without a roof over my head. I’m clothed and fed and have much more than I could ever ask for.

Besides manna, those Israelites had His very clear direction in the form of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. It was simple: when the cloud/fire moved, they moved. When it didn’t, they didn’t.

It sounds simple, but it’s not always easy to wait on God’s timing, is it? We might have a deep desire to do His will, but we’d also like for Him to tell us the whole plan ahead of time. The Israelites didn’t get advance notice. They also didn’t get an itinerary. They were just along for the ride…er, walk. Very long walk.

We know that God is moving us. He made it pretty clear that this house isn’t our long-term dwelling.

In fact, we closed on the sale of our house last Friday. We no longer own a house.

We now have 52 days to move all of our earthly possessions from this place, and we have no idea where we’re going.

That ol’ cloud/fire is on the move, and God hasn’t told us where it’s going to stop.

So my prayer is not only that God will provide us a house in this crazy-hot Forest Hills market, but that His Spirit will have a strong grip on my attitude.

I want to trust Him. I believe in my head that He has a plan for us, and I so badly want my heart and attitude to show it.

Generations of Beauty

“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.”
Psalm 5:11 (NIV – emphasis mine)

Remember my dear friend Amber and her adorable belly?

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She is admittedly one of the most photogenic people I know, but her beauty really radiates from far deeper than her skin. She loves her Lord with her whole heart, and it shows.

Well, with a very happy heart I’m telling you that…with four active little boys at home…Amber welcomed a baby GIRL into her family today!

Haven Addison is precious.

Like her mama, Haven’s beauty comes from being made in the image of her Creator.

Her name means refuge, and the verse at the top of this post is my prayer for her, that she will always find her refuge in the arms of the Almighty God, who created her and loves her completely.

Welcome to the world, sweet girl. You are so loved.

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He Mends

February, though the shortest month, can feel the longest when you live in Michigan. If it’s been a cold, snowy winter, cabin fever can really kick in during this terribly-long-though-short month.

And in 2013, February was a very hard month.

I remember standing in the driveway shoveling snow and crying, because it was just hard. Not because it was cold and snowy. But because I wanted to quit…

I was at the end of my rope emotionally with one of our kids, and spending 24/7 with that child through homeschooling and just being together was making me want to quit.

I wouldn’t say it was a clash of personalities as much as it was a battle of wills. And a collision of sin natures.

It was mom vs. child, and no one was winning.

Every day, we’d fight. The emotions would escalate. I’d yell. He’d yell. We’d both cry.

And I’d end up shoveling the driveway and daydreaming of running away to a tropical place and sipping a smoothie on a beach somewhere. Alone.

Let me just say, it’s not the healthiest place to be. But those people who tell you to “enjoy EVERY moment?” They probably aren’t living in a February like that one.

That spring and summer, I seriously considered sending him to school. I was really pondering if I should quit homeschooling. I wondered, if I continued, would I sacrifice my sanity?

I realized that I could send him to a school for 7-8 hours a day, where the teachers would have to deal with him. We wouldn’t have to work through our obvious interpersonal issues, and we’d never reach the heart of those issues. It would be “easy.”

Short-term easy, anyway.

Can I just say that I’m glad that season is over? And I’m 100% confident that my decision to keep homeschooling was the right one.

The child and I had several come-to-Jesus talks. Lots of apologizing and trying to get it right. We each had to decide to act like Jesus wants us to toward each other. And we had PLENTY of practice time throughout our days together.

Our relationship, though imperfect, is sweeter than I could have guessed two years ago.

He surprised me with this painting on Valentine’s Day. I cherish it, because it reminds me that God did a great work of grace in our relationship. He mended us.

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