Our community group is going through Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love this semester and summer. I actually had the opportunity to study it at our church’s Men’s Retreat last year. It’s been shaking me hard to say the least. Many times I have been brought to tears while considering the author’s questions about my faith being lived out.

This week’s reading did just that. Chapter Two is called You Might Not Finish This Chapter. As it suggests it reminded me that I often think it’s only other folks that might die any minute, not me. “I surely won’t be dying at 29 years old.” But, it wasn’t this that got my attention. It was the following paragraph that really spoke to me where I find myself this weekend.

When I am consumed by my problems–stressed out about my life, my family, and my job–I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God’s command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a “right” to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities.

I’m leading worship at church this weekend and I have a meeting to lead on Monday night for our community group leaders. Both of these responsibilities have been stressing me out like crazy. I have been thinking in exactly the same ways and, in fact, it’s a pretty regular occurrence for me. I get so busy with things at work and at home that I feel the “right” to disobey God’s Word. It says in Phil 4,

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Anyone else relate with this type of behavior/thinking? Do you ever feel like you have the “right” to disobey God? Maybe you think that the things that are stressing you and making you anxious are good and noble things and so it’s alright to be anxious–that you are justified in your worrying. This is certainly the way I can think from time to time. It is good for us to remember God’s Word at all times and in all circumstances. Of course, it has to be mentioned that even if we do disobey and go ahead and worry, we are forgiven if we are in Christ. I rejoice in this! I may still have moments of stress and anxiety this weekend but Jesus understands and forgives me.

Many people don’t know this about me but I’m a bit of an amateur farmer. It’s one of the things that drew us to our home and property that we bought last year in Goshen – 15 minutes west of Fayetteville. We have about 5 acres. I have a farm dog, Sutton, my golden retriever. Although, he pretty much just stays in the house and enjoys a pretty comfortable life with Sarah, Joshua, and our lap dog, Jasper.

As far as true farm animals we have 8 laying hens and a rooster. I have really grown to love them. I didn’t realize how much until yesterday when something quite exciting happened. I don’t let my chickens run around the property because of predators – hawks and neighborhood dogs. However, yesterday after I fed and watered them I forgot to close the latch on their coop. It was very windy and the door ended up swinging open and all the chickens got out.

Even though I tried about three times I wasn’t able to herd them back into the pen. They were having way too much fun finding bugs around the house. (I really wish I could let them roam free for this reason – and, it makes eggs healthier and much better tasting.) Anyhow, Sarah convinced me to let them be and go on with my day and they would eventually go back to the coop.

About an hour later, after I tried and failed to get Joshua to take a nap, I decided to go check on them. They had made it around to the front of the house, so I decided to herd them back to the north side to keep them out of sight of any dogs. As I moved them over I counted only 7 hens and the rooster so I got a little worried. After walking around our property for a minute or so I heard the most awful clucking and screeching and ran toward where it was coming. Sure enough a dog was biting on one of my chickens. I was furious!

As soon as the dog caught sight of me he ran off. Immediately after the dog fled the chicken ran straight for me (about 30 feet or so) and stood right beside me just sort of resting her body on my leg. You may think I’m weird about what I’m about to say but that’s okay. I really started getting emotional. This chicken knew me – what I looked like, the sound of my voice and ran to me for safety. After walking together back toward the coop I picked her up and inspected her to see if she was all there. She was shaken up but seemed okay. I put her back in the coop and then was able to herd the other chickens into the coop with her.

What was blog-worthy about this was how the Lord Jesus taught me and blessed me through it. I was reminded that He is my Good Shepherd. I know Him and I hear His voice. He saved me (and saves me daily) from the evil one – the worst predator. He pursued me (and pursues me daily) and I run to Him for safety. He shows me, much like I show my chickens every day when I feed and water them and clean up after them, that He loves me and will take care of me. As a result of His faithful care for me I know His voice and trust Him.

Now we’re 3! Sarah and I are so thankful to the Lord for creating Joshua, growing him for 9 months in his momma and then giving him to us at 10:51pm, December 22nd, 2009. What a wonderful beautiful baby boy! He is 11 days old today and doing great. He loves to eat, sleep and dirty diapers.

It has been quite a year in the Hamrick household. It is here near the end of 2009 that we finally provide an update of sorts as to our comings and goings this past year. Here is a year in review for 2009, as best I can remember:

April:
April was a big month. We bought a house, found out we were pregnant, and got a new dog. Yeah. Told you it was big. In fact, those 3 events pretty much set the rest of the year for us. So, maybe this is a month in review, with the rest of the year being a response to that month.

A New Dog-
We got a Golden Retriever puppy and named him Sutton. As of today, he is a few days shy of 10 months. He is definitely a puppy, and we have had the joys of house breaking, training, and chewing things that ought not to be chewed. All in all he is a sweet, good dog. He just needs to do a little growing up, and continued training. 🙂 His favorite activities are playing ball, chewing his blanket, and bothering his “big [little] brother, our Bichon Frise, Jasper. It has been an adjustment having a big dog in the house, especially one that sheds so readily. I have never seen such furry dust bunnies as the ones that develop every other day in the corners of our house.

Tiny Puppy Sutton


Sutton, when he joined our Family


Sutton now

A New House-
We bought a house and 5 acres outside of Fayetteville. The house is an older home that required a LOT of remodeling before we could move in, and we are still ‘finishing up’ projects [and probably will be for years to come :)].

After the cast iron tub was torn out

We had to tear out nasty carpet, tear down a wall or two, put in new carpet, wood laminate flooring, and tile, new tubs, showers, sinks, plumbing, cabinets, paint, trim, light fixtures, shelving, fixed and reinforced subflooring…..and it seems like a whole lot more.

putting in a new tub and floor

WOW. I just realized we really did a LOT. The house looks completely different from the wreck it was when we bought it. Makes me wonder why we bought it in the first place….hmmm…. just kidding. We really enjoy it now. It has its quirks, but we like the land, we like the chicken coop in the back and the eggs they provide [we haven’t purchased eggs since the summer], and I really like my clothesline in the backyard. Country living…. 🙂

A new floor


a new kitchen

A New Life-
We were overjoyed to find out this year we are expecting our first child. It has made for a very full year for us as we have been planning and preparing for his arrival. We are expecting a son in just a few short days from now. We are so ready for him.
We took a 12 week course on the Bradley method of husband coached childbirth, and are planning on a natural, drug free birth. We really like the hospital and midwife we have chosen. We hope for a successful natural birth, and have worked hard to prepare for such. David has been wonderful these past months. He has taken such great care of me. 🙂 He will be a wonderful father.
Mostly, we are ready to hold our son in our arms. We plan on naming him Joshua. He is a wonderful gift from the hand of our Merciful God, and we are thankful everyday to Him for expanding our family.

34 weeks

All in all, it has been a very full, very wonderful year. We are overwhelmed by God’s blessings. He is good.

In my bible reading plan this morning, I came to Amos 5:

21 “I hate, I despise your feasts,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,
I will not look upon them.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to the melody of your harps I will not listen
.
24But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

It is good to be reminded that God is not pleased by the singing of our songs or the playing of our instruments if justice and righteousness are absent.  In fact, not only is He not pleased but He won’t listen to them.

We all should be challenged by this.

Check out this video.

We celebrated our 1st anniversary yesterday.  It’s so hard to believe that it has already been one year!  Here are some pictures from our evening at P.F. Chang’s last night.  They treated us so well.  When they asked what the occasion was, they insisted (after us telling them it was our anniversary) on comping us a huge piece of chocolate cake and a bottle of champagne.  It was a very special evening, indeed.

hamricks_pfchang

hamricks_chang_cakeandchampagne

Watching Lord of the Rings has become a tradition in our family each Fall and Winter.  It’s so fun to grab a blanket and wrap up in each other’s arms and watch those films together.  We watched The Fellowship of the Ring last week and loved it.  It’s funny how the films have influenced us.  They’ll be a part of our lives forever I’m sure.  We even have hopes for Sarah to run a small bakery in the future with a theme and decor loosely based on Middle Earth.  I won’t share the name we’ve come up with because we don’t want anyone to steal it.  🙂

This weekend, Sarah and I will be apart from each for four whole days!  I’ll be heading off to the Buffalo River area to Castle Bluff for the church Men’s Retreat and just about as soon as I get back from that on Sunday Sarah will head off to Bartlesville, OK for a quick business trip.  Parting is such sweet sorrow..

Welcome to the Hamricks’ blog! We [David and Sarah] hope to keep our friends and family informed on the happenings of our family as it journeys [and hopefully grows!] through life.

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