While I was uploading these pictures from my camera, I found the cutest one of Gage and Jenna at his first birthday party...
Something else that's on my mind for some reason...Last night I was reading my Chronological Bible during my devotional time. I am reading I Samuel about the part where Saul has been annointed king and he's really struggling with doing what God is commanding him. In I Samuel 15, God commands that Saul and the Israelite army attack and completely destroy the Amalekites. Saul proceeds to attack and destroy...well...almost all the Amalekites. He spares the king, Agog, and the very best cattle and sheep. When the prophet Samuel visits, before he can ask Saul if he obeyed the Lord's command, Saul pridefully boasts, "The LORD bless you! I have carried out the LORD's instructions". And then Samuel asks (you have to know God has a sense of humor...), "What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?" So, basically he says, "Oh yeah? If you did exactly what God said, then why do I hear cattle mooing and sheep bleating?!"
And Saul says, oh, yeah...I forgot...I killed everyone except the king and the very best of the animals but ONLY because I thought we could use those for a sacrifice to the Lord. I guess Saul thought that his disobedience would be excused if he disobeyed for the Lord. And Samuel's response, which is what has stuck with me today, was, "To obey is better than sacrifice". How true is that for us even today? So many times, I catch myself "sacrificing"...my time, my money, my life all in the name of the Lord. I sign up to help at church, volunteer for Great Day of Service, teach the preschoolers, paint the choir props, do my devotional etc. But really, God just wants me to obey Him. Just simple obedience.
And you know, something else that I've heard said before that just sruck me as something to be eternally thankful for? The fact that I don't have to clean myself up to go to God. That's HIS job. He wants me just as I am. And I'm so glad for that. What a wonderful God!
I'll update you more tomorrow...Steve has his follow-up appointment with the urologist tomorrow, so we'll know more about what our next steps will be. Thanks for your continued prayers. We have truly felt each and every one.