“…my natural setting is not to trust God but to trust in what I can accumulate, what I can create and collect. But to experience the salvation of God is to experience and rest in his daily provision of all our needs. God has always been in the business of giving his people just enough to keep us dependent on him. This is why we are to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). He wants us to come back and ask him again tomorrow, because he wants the relationship with us that is fostered through daily dependence.”

-Nancy Guthrie, The Lamb of God

As I studied this portion of Exodus (Exodus 13-17) one of the Bible study questions asked us to identify God’s part and Israel’s part in the crossing of the Red Sea, the provision of manna, and provision of water. I saw that as we look at Israel’s part it helps us understand our part in experiencing salvation and provision in Christ. So, what was Israel’s part?

stand firm + be still + fear not + go forward + gather and eat + drink

I know I have shared this before but I used to think I was a pretty flexible, easy going person. But since losing Cora change is just, well…hard. Every time change enters my life, whether planned or unexpected, joyful or sorrowful, I start fighting back familiar emotions. Something about change reminds me of loss. It reminds me that we are moving forward, once again, without our baby girl. So as we plow through this month of July, anxiously awaiting the addition of this precious new life to our family, I find myself getting overwhelmed. I start over-worrying, over-planning, and trying to control the changes and emotions that I feel are about to come. I forget my part…just like the Israelites often did. I try to do, do, do and go, go, go. I start to complain and I doubt God’s provision. I wonder if this change is going to align with what seems good to me or if I am going to be surprised again by what God is about to do. I forget to simply stand firm, be still, fear not, go forward, as I gather, eat and drink from the Truth of God’s Word. I’ve been reminded again how I need to come to God in daily dependence. Not worrying about tomorrow but trusting Him for today. And delighting in the fact that He wants this kind of relationship with me. He desires this dependent relationship with me. And I can rest in knowing that He will provide all I need for today…until I come back to Him again tomorrow.

Sunday we sang Be Thou My Vision in church. I can clearly remember struggling through these words before and as they came up on the screen I found myself fighting back the tears again…

Heart of my own heart whatever befall

Still be my vision O Ruler of all.

I am praying these words for myself and my family as we are about ready to step into another season of change, even though it is an incredibly joyful change. I pray that my vision for my family would align with God’s vision. And that I would remember, because I so often forget, that I need to daily depend on Him because He alone satisfies. He alone gives life. I love this version of Be Thou My Vision

My Jesus, you satisfy.

Jesus said to them, ” I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

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  • July 15, 2014 - 6:59 am

    Deb - Beautiful Jess. Thanks so much for sharing. I agree, change is so very hard.ReplyCancel

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  • July 15, 2014 - 8:43 am

    Amanda - Thank you for this Jess!
    Praying for youReplyCancel

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  • July 15, 2014 - 3:24 pm

    Elizabeth - Oh man……this is exactly what I needed to read today. I was called yesterday for a job interview this coming Tuesday. The amount of money I would earn would be a true blessing for my family. I started to doubt myself and wonder if I should leave the comfort of my current job and switch to the new job if I am offered it. After speaking with my mom, she told me that if all the doors open easily then God wants me to have this job. If I have to push through barriers then it is better to stay where I am. Thank you for posting such a perfect message today. I will be praying for a safe and happy delivery of baby #4!!!ReplyCancel

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  • July 15, 2014 - 3:29 pm

    Mary Ann - Thanks for the reminder that God is always there for us…we simply have to ask. It’s good to be reminded that all we have was his to begin with. Change is hard for sure…I can’t imagine as a mother how hard it is for you to mark the days and try to imagine what your darling Cora would have been doing at this certain age or what she would have learned or been gifted with. But God knows your heart and he will always be there to support and sustain you every step of the way. Yes, your new baby will be a joyful change and we are all very excited for your family.ReplyCancel

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  • July 15, 2014 - 8:00 pm

    Celine - Thank you so much for this reminder. Four months ago (just 9 weeks after our 3rd child was born) I found out that my husband had been living a double life, and had a girlfriend. Upon me finding out and confronting him, he decided to leave me and his children, and continue his relationship with the other woman. My entire world came crumbling down. Every day is a struggle, and this is a good reminder that God will provide for all my needs and I am not going through this alone.
    Best wishes to you in the upcoming weeks as you prepare to meet your baby.ReplyCancel

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  • July 15, 2014 - 10:50 pm

    Jane - This was so beautiful. You know what I find most profound and wonderful about your blog posts? Your words are so simple, so clear, so diluted from a grandiose sense of proclaiming faith….and yet so weighted with truth, love and honesty. When you read words from the bible they can seem small (like truth, love, joy, forgiveness, faithfulness, sorrow), it is really easy really lose the true weight of a tiny word like “joy” until you hear (or read) it from a fellow believer and just ‘know’ they understand what the words in those bible passages mean. I love reading your blog because I can truly feel the weight of the words you post here and it serves as a guiding light in my faith; keeping me going forward; you are a true gift. I also have been studying BSF for the last 5 years and I love reading your posts as they correspond with the lessons. Purely wonderful.

    As a sidebar, I have never experienced the pain you have in loosing your sweet Cora. Your continued remembrance and inclusion with your boys is a true tribute to the loving mother you are to your entire family. I lost my dad 4 years ago, and I can only understand to some, very small, degree what you are saying about change. Change is wonderful, but a very real reminder that life is going on without that loved one that is missing. Even is the life going on is amazing and blessed, my heart still hurts and aches for the what could have been. I can only imaging how you are feeling these last few weeks. I can only say that I admire your candor and real faith and sharing it with everyone that visits your blog.

    Prayers for a wonderful delivery for your sweet, new baby!! Your boys are just so cute-even if it doesn’t feel it everyday-they just exude happiness!!!

    JaneReplyCancel

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  • July 16, 2014 - 9:43 pm

    Paige - Praying for you as you welcome this sweet new life, with all the changes. I’m praying for your heart, Jess.ReplyCancel

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  • July 17, 2014 - 11:13 pm

    Robin - I’m praying for you tonight, Celine, and am so sorry to hear of this pain you are experiencing. He will carry you and your kids… Keep trusting Him, dear sister.ReplyCancel

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  • July 21, 2014 - 10:33 am

    EricaG - I see that Baby Mac arrived!!! Congratulations. :)ReplyCancel

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  • July 21, 2014 - 11:17 am

    Cathleen Schmainda - We are on Day #7 at Mpls Childrens Hospital – trying to raise some funds for the Child Life Dept here – they are amazing and incredible and everything in between those two!! We will be hre for another week or so – hoping to make $1000 so that we can leave a great donation by the end of the week. PLEASE share with anyone you can if you would Jess! THANK YOU!!ReplyCancel

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Right now DaySpring is having their Customer Appreciation Sale. You can get 25% off the entire store with code THANKS25 including already marked down items.

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Remember the new Daily Grace collection?

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It is still one of my favorites. And this is the first time you can get this collection at a discounted price. Take 25% off any piece.

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Sugar Bowl and Creamer Set $24 $18

Stock up on the Sugar Bowl and Creamer Set. I loved giving these as gifts and you definitely need one for your kitchen too.

dayspring sale

Here are some of my other DaySpring favorites:

1. Be Thou My Vision Necklace $45 $33.75

2. ((together)) Necklace $25 $18.75

3. Bind My Wandering Heart Necklace $45 $33.75

4. Mighty To Save Mug $9.99 $7.49

5. Beautiful in its Time-Vintage Glass Vase $8.50 $6.37

6. Daily Grace Collection 25% off

DaySpring is also having their Summer Stockup Card Sale. You can get some really cheap boxes of cards by using the additional 25% off code. Most of the boxes are priced at 5.99 which makes for a really great deal!

Go check out some of these great deals and more. Get 25% off the entire store with code THANKS25

Includes already discounted items. Code good through July 18.

disclosure: affiliate links used

 

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A few months ago Katherine of Katherine Bach Photography asked if she could take some maternity/family photos of us. She just sent me a sneak peek of our session so I thought I’d share it with you too. We kept having conflicts but finally made it work just in time before Baby Mac arrives. Of course we picked one of the hottest days we’ve had so far this summer. Somehow Katherine managed to make these photos look beautiful…but just so you know the reality was lots of bugs, sweat, and two super whiney children.:)

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Cute boys and a big belly. I am so thankful for this precious family the Lord has given me. Thank you Katherine for capturing these moments before we welcome our newest Mac to the family. It is hard to believe that change is just around the corner. I can’t wait to see what God is about to do in our family.

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  • July 9, 2014 - 7:46 am

    babykatesmom - Beautiful family! Can’t wait for the newest babes arrival :)
    Hugs & prayers from Florida!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 8:07 am

    Karina - These are stunning photographs! You make me want to book a professional photo session for my family. Everyone looks so good and so happy – you would never know it was hot, buggy, sweaty and whiney! I am eagerly waiting on the arrival of your latest baby and holding you all in my thoughts…ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 9:21 am

    Mary Ann - The pictures are beautiful and your family is so adorable. I don’t think it all the photographer….I think you and your family exude love and happiness and that’s not too hard to capture in photos. Those boys…well they are just the bomb. Precious indeed!!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 9:26 am

    Sarah Macon - Aren’t ya’ll precious! Love these! Prayers with you guys as you prepare to welcome another Mac to your bunch! :)ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 9:29 am

    Toni :0) - Gorgeous photos and beautiful family. Cannot wait for Baby Mac arrival news. Blessings on a smooth delivery!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 10:49 am

    amy jupin - LOVE these pics, Jess! you look gorgeous!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 10:57 am

    Brady W. - Saying prayers for a safe delivery of a healthy baby….but SO also praying it’s a girl!! Beautiful pictures!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 6:49 pm

    Kristin - Absolutely beautiful!!!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 7:15 pm

    Roma - These are beautiful pictures of an amazing and wonderful family. Thank you for sharing them with us. Sending you lots of prayers as you prepare to meet Baby Mac!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 9:29 pm

    kimberly oyler - that picture of the boys!! so cute!!!ReplyCancel

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  • July 9, 2014 - 9:44 pm

    CheyAnne - Oh my! Could you all be any more adorable?!?ReplyCancel

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  • July 17, 2014 - 5:47 pm

    elma - Such beautiful pictures all before your newest little boy..ReplyCancel

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  • July 19, 2014 - 3:44 pm

    Stefanie - Those pictures are beautiful!ReplyCancel

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Well, obviously there hasn’t been much time for blogging around here. But I thought I’d better get some California pictures up before baby arrives or it will never happen!

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Our first beach day was spent at Coronado beach. It was overcast and too cold to really get in the water…but still so beautiful. My favorite part of California is definitely spending time on the beach. I could stay all day.

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The boys could fill up buckets with water all day. My mom patiently filled up bucket after bucket after bucket.

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The boys would take the water back to the holes they were digging and then head back for more.

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And then Levi got brave and decided he could fill up his bucket by himself.

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Griffin wanted no part in going into the water. So he stayed behind and worked on digging.

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It was a great first day at the beach…with sweet memories being made with Grammy.

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I was there too. I just let me mom do all the bucket filling.;)

 

 

 

 

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  • July 2, 2014 - 6:19 pm

    Mary Ann - Looks way fun…I can’t wait to take my grandson, age 4, to the beach. In Utah we have lots of lakes and there are sandy beaches but it’s nothing like being by the ocean. Fun times for sure and lots of good memories. I’m sure I speak for all your family, friends, and blogger friends…we are all anxious to hear about your new little one – boy or girl!! Very very exciting!!ReplyCancel

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  • July 2, 2014 - 8:16 pm

    Lea - What a beautiful beach! And, what sweet memories made with your Mom. A happy 4th of July to you and yours!ReplyCancel

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  • July 3, 2014 - 9:30 am

    creole wisdom - How fun. Your beach photos are just gorgeous, Jess. Really, like they could be an advertisement for beach travel!ReplyCancel

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  • July 8, 2014 - 2:51 pm

    Stefanie - Love the pictures! You have a beautiful family!ReplyCancel

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The Bible and the God of the Bible offer us a story meant to tell us who we are and why we are here and what our lives are about…This is the story. It is the story that the Bible offers to you. Inviting you to make this story the story of your life. 

-The Lamb of God, Nancy Guthrie

I just started going through Nancy Guthrie’s Bible Study, The Lamb of God, with some ladies in my community and I am loving it. As I have been reading through Exodus I am seeing the Old Testament in a whole new way once again. Up until the last few years the OT hasn’t been much more than Sunday school stories and Bible history to me. I know the stories but I’ve been totally missing WHO it is all about…WHO the OT is pointing to…a great Savior.

I always wish I could see “behind the scenes” in my own life and this is exactly what we get a peek into as we read about the enslaved Israelites and the life of Moses as he went from living in the great Egyptian palace to the lowly job of shepherding his father-in-law’s flock. Forty years. Forty years of nothing happening. What was God doing? And really, where was God? There was a lot of suffering going on and a lot of waiting without hearing anything from God. And while my waiting and suffering hasn’t even come close to this forty year scene we read about in Exodus, I feel like I can totally relate to the wondering…

God where are you?

And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel-and God knew. Exodus 2:24-25

God heard.

God remembered.

God saw.

God knew.

Sometimes we think God doesn’t hear us, or that he doesn’t care, or that he has even forgotten about us. But he knows our every thought and hears our every word. He loves us more than we can imagine. And he never abandons His children. We might not “see” or “feel” God working out His plan in our lives, but He’s always there and He’s always faithful to His promises. He might just be waiting for the right time…which is often so different from our ideas and timing, right?!

And then, after forty years of shepherding, we read that God calls Moses, who had definitely screwed up in the past and seems to have been forgotten, by name.

…God called to him out of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Exodus 3:4

Can you imagine what that was like? The God of the universe calling you by name? God knew exactly where Moses was and was seeking him out. We think maybe Moses has been disqualified or forgotten because of taking matters into his own hands and killing the Egyptian (Exodus 2:12), but God still has plans to use Moses to accomplish His purposes and deliver His people. He tells Moses of His plan and reminds Moses of who He is…I AM (Exodus 3:13-14).

I think that is exactly the reminder I need too. My story is so much more about God and so much less about me. As we get closer to meeting this new little one I find myself wondering what my story is going to look like in this next chapter of my life. What is God about to do in our family. Familiar questions and anxiety start creeping in. And while I am confident that He is going to prepare me for what is ahead, I am reminded that the important thing is that I keep my eyes on I AM. He is the one who will fill my story with meaning no matter what my abilities or circumstances look like.

The more your story is about this rescue from bondage, this Savior God sent, this God who has come down and revealed himself, the less your story will be about you and your failures or achievements, your abilities or inadequacies, your circumstances, opinions or questions. This is the story that enables you to make sense of your suffering and make much of your Savior. It is this story, and only this story, that can fill your story with meaning that will last forever.

-The Lamb of God, Nancy Guthrie

* * * * *

My Everyday IG LOGO

I forgot to mention that last week I was featured in the My Everyday series over on Kelli and Vanessa’s blog. I am praying that this little peek into my story will point others to WHO my story is really all about. You can read the interview here.

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  • June 23, 2014 - 7:53 am

    babykatesmom - What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing it with us!ReplyCancel

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  • June 23, 2014 - 8:47 am

    Jody - I just finished the Pentateuch and from Exodus on it’s constant sacrificing and blood on the altar. It all screams Jesus. It all points to the cross. And as God is setting up this system of sacrifice he knows what is coming. He knows the Son is going to be required as the ultimate sacrifice. I can’t even imagine.ReplyCancel

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  • June 24, 2014 - 5:56 am

    Mary - Wonderful post and great interview. God can really be involved in our lives if we let him. I love your blog and they way you teach about your faith and trust in the Lord. I enjoy your updates about your family and will be excited to hear about new little baby mac!!ReplyCancel

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  • June 24, 2014 - 7:40 am

    Nancy Guthrie - So happy you’re doing The Lamb of God this summer. I am teaching through it here in Nashville and having such a great time! Wish you were headed to Orlando with me this week for The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference. It will be streamed live so look for me on Saturday morning at 9:30 Central. Love you!ReplyCancel

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    • July 2, 2014 - 7:43 am

      Jess - Nancy-Our group is learning so much through this study! Such a blessing to grow and see Jesus through these OT passages together. Wish I could be in your class too!ReplyCancel

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  • June 25, 2014 - 9:29 am

    creole wisdom - Loved your interview! And you are right, it would be neat to “see” God’s work behind the scenes. I love that we can look at scripture and get a glimpse of that, and also look forward to heaven when we’ll have full perspective.ReplyCancel

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  • June 25, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    Stefany Bowers - This sounds like a really great study. I would love to do it with my mother and sister. Are you also using the video downloads or DVD? I am sure they enrich the study, but didn’t necessarily want to spend that much money. ReplyCancel

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    • July 2, 2014 - 7:40 am

      Jess - Stefany-It has been such a good study so far! We used the DVDs last year and they were awesome. We decided not to use them this year because of time though. The DVDs are basically exactly the same as the teaching chapter. So this year we are just reading the teaching chapter before each meeting. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

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  • June 26, 2014 - 9:50 pm

    Lisa Kirkes - Thank you for the insightful post, Jess. It was just the encouragement I needed. I feel like my husband and I have been in a desert for many years as we pastor a church. Sometimes it feels like God has forgotten about us. But we will keep our eyes on Him and be ready when He speaks. Praying for your new baby to be healthy and for your delivery to go well and without any trouble.ReplyCancel

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    • July 2, 2014 - 7:46 am

      Jess - Lisa-So sorry about these hard years of being in the desert. It is so easy to be swayed by our circumstances and feelings. Keep trusting in WHO God is…He never changes. And yes, keep your eyes on Him…He is walking through the desert with you. Thanks for your prayers for our sweet baby!ReplyCancel

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