In the Matter of Drudgery

Get A Move On

Get A Move On

In the Matter of Drudgery

You have inherited the Divine nature, says Peter (v.4), now screw your attention down and form habits, give diligence, concentrate. “Add” means all that character means. No man is born either naturally or supernaturally with character; he has to make character. Nor are we born with habits; we have to form habits on the basis of the new life God has put into us. We are not meant to be illuminated versions, but the common stuff of ordinary life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God. Drudgery is the touchstone of character. The great hindrance in spiritual life is that we will look for big things to do. “Jesus…took a towel,…and began to wash the disciples’ feet.”

There are times when there is no illumination and no thrill, but just the daily round, the common task. Routine is God’s way of saving us between our times of inspiration. Do not expect God always to give you His thrilling minutes, but learn to live in the domain of drudgery by the power of God.

It is the “adding” that is difficult. We say we do not expect God to carry us to heaven on flowery beds of ease, and yet we act as if we did! The tiniest detail in which I obey has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it. If I do my duty, not for duty’s sake, but because I believe God is engineering my circumstances, then at the very point of my obedience the whole superb grace of God is mine through the Atonement.


I cuddle up next to the man I love as my favourite voice reads the words above. My heart drinks up each word. Drudgery, adding, diligence,  common stuff, character, routine, no thrill. These things are, oh, so familiar. We know them too well, this wonderful man and I. We want to do something great, we want to accomplish things in the kingdom. But each day we are faced with the common round, the trivial task. There seems to be no illumination, no thrill. We pray, we question, we tell each other we just can’t give up. We ponder whether we are in preparation or if there’s some flaw that we cannot see that is keeping us from the vision. And then we read this:

“Drudgery is the touchstone of character. The great hindrance in spiritual life is that we will look for big things to do. “Jesus…took a towel,…and began to wash the disciples’ feet.””

My soul cries, “Help me to be faithful in washing feet, Lord! If this is what you are calling me to, help me to see it as such and to remember that “Routine is God’s way of saving us between our times of inspiration.” Help me to be happy with routine and to “learn to live in the domain of drudgery by the power of God.” Help me to be the “common stuff of ordinary life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God”.

“If I do my duty, not for duty’s sake, but because I believe God is engineering my circumstances, then at the very point of my obedience the whole superb grace of God is mine through the Atonement.”

What power! How marvellous! I could ponder this for days and it still would be so wonderful to me! God wants to use me in the common round. He wants me to do the things I’m doing! He doesn’t see my tasks as trivial and unimportant! He has me right here for a reason, and that is to live by His power in the everyday moments! He has a purpose for me, right here, right now! He isn’t waiting for me to be in a different, “more important” spot to use me.

I am ashamed for being discontent. I see now that God has me here for a reason and I assumed that I wasn’t accomplishing anything and my life right now didn’t have much ‘weight’ in His eyes. But the opposite is true, when I live in obedience and I diligently add to my character, I am doing all God wants me to do. He wants me to be content, right here, showing others by my life, the power of His grace.

Learning to live fully in the present,

Yesenia

 

Mackenzie:: Birthday Session

I had the privilege of taking pictures for my cousin Mackenzie. I’ve said this before, but this girl is so wonderful in front of the camera! She’s a natural poser and we had a blast taking pictures together. God provided us with wonderful light, so it was just a gorgeous evening.

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This picture was my favourite one

 

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Cousins are the best!

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Sisters

 

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A heartfelt thank-you to my cousin Abigail for being my wonderful and ready assistant! She has a wonderful eye for details and saw the things that needed fixing that I would have overlooked. She also kept calm in the stressful situations, which was exactly what I needed! And another big thank you to my sister Imelda who offered helpful suggestions! You all are the best!

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And a behind-the-scenes-picture taken by Imelda. I kinda like it:)

-Bianca

Recognizing our Need of Him

(Guest post by Yesenia)

“And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 John 2:3 ESV)

“No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him.” (1 John 3:6 ESV)

“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.” (1 John 3:9 ESV)

Confession: I have a problem. And it’s been a problem for years. No matter how self-disciplined I can be in a lot of areas, with my phone (esp. YouTube) I am NOT disciplined. I’ve gotten frustrated about it. I’ve prayed about it. I’ve confessed it again and again. I’ve sought victory, but I just haven’t found it yet. I’m not saying this because I don’t believe that there is victory. Yes, in Jesus Christ there IS victory and I am intent on finding it. I think I just haven’t been serious enough about it. And also, a lot of the time, while I am wasting that time, I don’t think about it as a sin. Afterwards I feel terrible and I know I have sinned but it has become an addiction that I’m ashamed to admit and embarrassed to share.

This morning was one of those mornings. I wanted just a bit more sleep before I started my day. But because I had hardly touched my phone on the weekend, I wanted to check my email, track a package, etc. I set a time limit for myself but, what do you know? Satan got me again! I wasted so much time! I could hardly forgive myself, much less ask for the Blood to cover me yet again. I didn’t want to start my (already late) day this way so I knew I had to come clear with God before I kept going.

The verses I have written at the top were in my mind already, and I started wondering, am I really a child of God? After all, the verse says, if I am His child, I won’t keep on sinning? But I absolutely cannot fall back into that trap of doubting my salvation. God has given me His Spirit, confirming to me that I am His child.

So I started reading and there they were, all three of the verses I’ve listed! What is God trying to say? Then it hit me! I was trying to be a child of God without God’s help. I was trying to make myself be a nice Christian person but I was failing because I wasn’t using the resources given me. And then I realized that what Satan meant for evil, God was using for good. Praise His Holy Name! I want to be more serious about my devotional life but just like so many other things that I know I should do, I don’t do it! So here was a startling reminder and a big problem that were showing me something so important. I know this so well in my head but the truth sometimes takes so long to stick!

If I don’t start my day with God and arm myself with His strength, I will lose every battle I face! 

I’m not saying the lesson’s learned now and that I will never forget this again, but I am saying that God showed me very clearly that I am in desperate need of Him and that without Him I am nothing. I’ve been praying that God would show this to me for years already because I tend to be quite self-righteous and I know that that is a sin as well.

So should I have wasted all that time on my phone this morning? NO!! Should I have spent all these months, not living in victory to learn this truth? Another NO!! Am I justifying my sinning and saying I can live in sin and God will turn it into something good? Of course NOT! Like I said before, I don’t want to live in sin! I want to walk in victory! I believe God would have way rather taught me that lesson without the sin and He probably had to go to Plan B because I didn’t learn it when He tried Plan A.

So here’s the challenge: First of all, let’s start our day with God and go into the day, armed by His almighty power. Secondly, let’s walk in obedience and seek His face so that He doesn’t have to use Plan B. Because if I had followed God in Plan A, I wouldn’t have had to live in this defeat for so long!

Today. Today can be the beginning of a new era. It can be a new start for me and it can be a new start for you. Let’s begin it with God!

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)

(This was another verse from my devotions this morning and how fitting!)

Winter wonderland

I so enjoy taking pictures of all the snow we have been getting this year! That is, as long as I can do it from the comfort of our house:)

Okay, so the following picture isn’t quite in winter yet, but I thought it was too nice to pass up.

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For these sunrise pictures I actually went outside

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Timber wants to play, but Leandro is just too busy:)

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-Bianca

Life Lately

You all must have decided that I have completely forgotten about this blog. If that was true, I’d actually have a good excuse for not updating. But I didn’t and now I have the daunting task of filling you all in with what had been happening during my absence. Although that is a lot, I will begin!

So on November 7 we left for Calgary. Mama had two checkups but they were not on the same day, so we decided to make it a overnight family getaway. Best decision ever :)! After the first appointment we went to downtown Calgary to eat lunch. I think that’s where I took the most pictures. Not nearly all of them turned out, due mostly to the fact that I insist on taking them while we’re driving. Hey, they do turn out sometimes 🙂 All those buildings and busy streets fascinate me!

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I found this very neat! If only I could draw like that…

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This tower has probably been shot to death already, but I always have to get at least one picture every time we go to Calgary.

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And this was the motel we stayed at. Actually it was two motels joined together. They were right across from the airport, so that provided us with some entertainment. A casual observer would have thought we had never seen a plane before, much less seen one land or take off:) It was quite fascinating.

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This was the view from our window

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The next day, we oldest four had a good time at the mall while the rest went to Mama’s other appointment. There, they were confirmed of the fact that all is well, for this we praise God!

The most daunting thing to write about is the passing away of my uncle Peter. He and his family, a wife and two daughters, lived in Seminole, TX. He had been on his way to work when they got hit from behind by another car that hadn’t noticed they wanted to make a left turn. We were in shock! He wasn’t that old and this was so quick. So final. We spent the rest of the day packing and figuring out who would take care of out acreage while we were gone. Thankfully, we do have the best family ever, who graciously offered to do our chores and more. Thank you all so much! It was such a relief knowing our animals were in excellent hands. That same evening we left for Texas. Jon & Yesenia joined us, which was really nice. The roads on the way there were not the smoothest, which really slowed our progress. But we arrived safely on Wednesday evening. It was definitely with mixed feelings that we met our family, at least for us children. I mean, it was a very sad occasion, but we were also very excited to see our cousins from down south. The last time we had seen a lot of them was the wedding in June and for some it was even longer. The emotions were very conflicting

We cousins spent a lot of time in the gym at the church where the family had gathered. I did not join in with the sports but sure took my share of pictures. Here are some of them.

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Condie on the right (Peter’s oldest daughter) with her cousin Haley and photo-bomber-cousin Jonathan

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Playing tag football

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Gathering for a meeting

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Tired after playing so hard, they looked at pictures

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This was the best I could do when it came to getting a picture of all the guys. Age difference was not a problem, which I found really sweet.

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This little guy got his share of attention:)

I honestly do not know how to describe the funeral. I was never close to my uncle Peter and didn’t see him very often, so the funeral was not such a big deal to me as it should have been. I think I was more sad when I thought of the family he had left behind. Your continued prayers for them would be very much appreciated.

A few days later we spent the afternoon at Beverly’s house. We spent a lot of time outside. Leslie and Condy got a hold of the camera, and I was warned I might never get it back again. This did not bother me, as I Love it when others get a passion for photography. Here are some pictures from that afternoon. All the following pictures were taken by the girls. For beginning photographers, I thought they did very well.

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Chilling inside before the game…

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…which of course was tag football! Whenever we cousins get together, we seem to have a theme game which we play (almost) nonstop. Once it was capture the flag, another time it was ultimate frisbee, and now it was tag football.

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Watching the game

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This little girl was so adorable!

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I know that this isn’t very clear, but I think that it was the best group picture we had of all of us cousins

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Condie (above) decided she was the photographer (pronounced with the accent on the first syllable just to be unique,) and Leslie (below) chose to be the model. Though this worked quite well, I think they would’ve had better results had they traded professions.

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Waffles for breakfast the next morning

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The following pictures were taken later on in the day at one of my aunt’s house.

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Love that combination of colours

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Not sure what the point was of this picture, but you get the idea. Just hanging out and talking. Best times ever:)!

Monday morning we left for home. Though we had come to TX for a very sad occasion we still had a good time together. I felt that through this time we cousins had bonded a lot closer for which I was very thankful. It was hard to leave the grieving family alone down there, but home was calling with all its tasks and comforts!

These last pictures were taken on the way home.

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I guess that finishes it up for now. You all have a great weekend,

Bianca

P.S.  This post would have been published a bit sooner had not our computer decided that it needed a break for once. Thankfully Yesenia got it to work again, but only after a lot of hard work. Thanks a lot Yesenia!

P.P.S. Another big thank you to Yesenia as she edited this post and got the words flowing smoothly! Sisters are the best:)

 

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