"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Flu bugs and showers...

Everytime you turn on the news there is advice on how to avoid getting the flu - swine or otherwise.  "Lots of liquids, constant washing of hands, and plenty of rest."  While these seem so simple,  we still resist doing them, because life just demands so much of us and we somehow feel immune to misfortune.  We'd rather run the risk than inconvenience our schedule and actually rest and take care of our bodies.
 
I was thinking this morning, how true that is in a spiritual sense, too.  We run, run, run until we are faced with an unexpected situation...and suddenly we are backtracking, trying to fix something that might have been avoided with a little maintenance....a couple of glasses of scripture, a little washing of our minds, and alot of resting in Him. 
We'd do well to take care of our bodies as well as our spirits in this season of flu.

"Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on ME."
Isaiah 30:15




It's a rubber boot kind of day around here...

"Be glad in your God. He's giving you a teacher to train you how to live right— Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words to refresh and nourish your soul..."
Joel 2:21


Monday, October 19, 2009

"Start somewhere...do something..."

That's one of the quotes I heard yesterday that has resonated with me all day...

We started a week of missions focus at church yesterday...my absolute favorite week of the year...bar none.  I tend to listen at the edge of my seat for 7 days straight of meetings.  Yesterday's speaker spoke great words of wisdom- and I've recalled them several times today. 

I wonder somedays...what am I DOING while I'm waiting for a clear direction?  I second guess myself...second guess this waiting time.  But, was reminded recently by a friend that God is still providing, still directing day to day.  Evidence that He is still in the waiting.  And yet, in the waiting there is movement...clear direction to START SOMEWHERE...just DO SOMETHING.  The "doing" this week is in preparing for a Christmas Open House in November and in beginning a new journey of volunteer work today that I've been curious about for a while.  At a local pregnancy center. 

It was awesome!  And, I wonder if in this "doing" there will be a new direction some day.  I can't possibly know that now, but I wonder....is there something totally new...something off in the distance that God is preparing me for???  I can't possibly know...but I can start somewhere and DO something.

Another thing that has stuck with me today is the idea of being "ONE eyed"...

(Picture of Emma courtesy of my darling friend Amber...find her here:  http://amberjacobyphotography.tumblr.com/ )

Focused like you are when you look with just one eye....it's hard to see more than one thing at a time.  Being "ONE-eyed" means living life with one goal in mind...and that goal is sharing Jesus with people in every day life.  Not focused on the details of the world that turns around me, but focused on what is in front of me...on the mission God has put me in today.  It's focusing on that even while I clean dirty dishes and when I lug the garbage out to the garage.  It's in the attitude of my heart when I deal with people who are unruly or when I repeat the same mundane job for the 15th time this week.  It's in how I see the old man who walks past with a limp, or the young child who is out of control, running wild.  It's seeing past the tatooed teenager w/the piercings or the smell of someone unbathed and instead looking into their heart in need of Jesus...

Being "ONE-eyed" means I have a single focus in my life and the tug of the world will fade in the background, because the job I have to do requires my whole attention.  It requires me to shut one eye so that the OTHER eye can do its work.

"I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has for His followers, oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust Him—endless energy, boundless strength!"
Ephesians 1:15 (The Message)


Maybe, just maybe there's a purpose in the waiting...maybe the job to be done is not one that comes with an earthly paycheck...maybe the unpaid job has rewards far greater than a Retirement Fund and a great Health Insurance policy.  Maybe there's SO much more for me to learn about what real work is that it's the very reason for the waiting in the first place.  Maybe....




Sunday, October 11, 2009

A young woman emerging...



Well, it's official.  As of tomorrow at 2:55 am there will be a third teenager in this house!  I have no idea how that happened....it wasn't supposed to happen so soon, was it??  All those years that have been creeping by are suddenly right in my face.  There were days that it seemed I would be raising babies forever...days I wasn't sure which way was up and how on earth I survived it alone.  But looking back today, it was but a blink...snapshots of little bodies grown way too quickly.  Somehow I had myself convinced that because she was the youngest she'd always be little. 

She came to us in just the right order...last in line, two big brothers to hover over her.  I was certain I'd wanted a girl for every pregnancy...certain I'd understand a girl better and know just what to do with her.  But first came two boys...stunting me at first....making me wonder just what kind of sense of humor our Creator must have!  Two boys full of life, energy and sometimes, fight.  We lived tractors and firetrucks, hockey sticks and baseball...and we were happy with this life.  But when she came, that armful of pinkness...I almost didn't know what to do with her!  She moved a part of me I hadn't known existed....a part of me that was too afraid to even hope for a daughter.  I was complete with those energetic little boys...they'd taught me so much about boyhood that I had never known I wanted to know.  And I was prepared to do it a third time....just because I was afraid to hope that maybe....

And yet, there she was in my arms...tears spilling all over her precious face.  And I was hooked...forever.




Subjected to life with two big brothers who weren't really sure what to do with her at first...but just loved all over her!


Life with this little girl has always been a blessing....she was the ray of sunshine that kept me smiling through tears...


She brought gentleness to an otherwise rowdy household...



She brought a love for all things pink I didn't know was hidden inside me...



And she keeps me laughing and in awe of all that she is becoming.



This young lady that wakes up in my house every morning is a source of joy and delight to us all.  Amidst the busyness of our days and the clatter of our lives she brings me back to reality.  The harsh reality that these moments are precious and fleeting.  These days are few, and she will one day...in the not so distant future...walk her own walk, right out of my home.  She'll be grown and eagerly stepping out to her future.  But today, she's still becoming Emma....still finding her way through the distractions and sometimes ugliness of our world.  She's determining who she wants to be, and Whose she wants to be.  She's deciding if what she's been taught all her life is really all it's cracked up to be.  If it's worth the risk of losing herself to a bigger Plan.  She's determining if God is really who He says He is....does He really love her like a Father and keep her like a Shepherd?  These are the things of a young lady's heart...the things that tug deep and pull hard at the core of who she is.  All around her wants to tell her another story...wants to pull her far from the Path that's been laid out since ancient times....But this precious one has been bought with a price.  Her name is engraved on the palm of the Redeemer's hand.  She is His.

She is a young woman...emerging.  And my heart is in awe. 

I love you, Emmaleigh Catherine...
Happy 13th Birthday!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

SIGH....

REALLY nervous smile...."Scariest test of my life!"


...REALLY scared behind the wheel for the first time...


REALLY excited...a job well done. 


(You cannot see Emma jumping out of the car saying, "Finally, solid ground!")

Friday, October 2, 2009

I kind of like control...

I'm letting go again....
In exactly one hour I'll be on my way to the DMV with Nick.  I think I hate that place.  It represents a very unwelcome event...again.  It means before long I'll be handing my keys to another son...again.  It means I no longer get to sit in the drivers seat whenever I want.  (And I DO want!)  It means I won't be hearing as much "SHOTGUN!" between the two of them (as they push each other out of the way) and more "I'M DRIVING!" between the two of US.  (As I dive for the keyring)  I don't really think it's because I've learned to be self-sufficient as a single woman...because I do the same thing at the grocery store with the cart!!!  I just like to do the driving!  I know where I'm going and like to get there. 

Last time around I vaguely remember alot of tense moments while I sat in the passenger seat...I remember white knuckles and praying for the dear life of my family.  I remember wishing I could sit face to face with whoever the lunatic was that decided 16yr old boys are competent and self-controlled enough to get behind a wheel...IN THEIR PARENT'S CAR...WITH THE REST OF THE FAMILY IN THE BACKSEAT!!!!!!  Someone should seriously consider rethinking that law.

Sigh...as all parent must, I'm letting go of control in this ONE area.  I don't like it, but I'll do it...I guess.

There's a spiritual lesson in there, I just know it.  And it kind of makes me mad.  I think it goes something like: "The control isn't really yours in the first place, so giving it back is only putting it back where it belonged all along."  Or maybe: "These kids aren't truly YOURS to hang on to.  So stop trying to control their growing up....I'm growing them into something good...LET ME".  Or perhaps:  "Move over and let me drive...why does it take such a vivid picture to make you see it's not YOUR place???"

Sigh...

Speaking of unexpected Spiritual lessons....here's another one from my house this week. 

Emma decided to make cookies the other day.  She proceeded to get everything out on the counter, only to find out that we needed sugar.  "No problem," I said..."you get everything measured and ready, I'll run to the store, then you can finish.  But, just wait til I get back and I'll help you."





SOMETHING about that message didn't register with her, and when I returned home she had already mixed every ingredient together, sans sugar.  And was ready to add the sugar and be done. 
"WHAT?  Seriously?  You didn't bother to read the directions that tells you how to separate the dry ingredients from the wet?  Didn't read it say to add the sugar to the butter and the eggs?  Instead you poured it all together in one bowl and figure it's good enough?  Sigh...."



SO, after a little back-tracking and separating as much as possible, we added the sugar and hoped for the best!



Though they came out a little flat (perhaps because she didn't read the directions correctly) they weren't just edible, but they were actually kind of GOOD!


The Lesson is this: just like cookie directions are there to show us the way to make a good cookie, we have the same given to us in life through God's Word and His guidance.  It's right in front of us, but we get to choose whether or not we will actually look to it.  Often we don't, and we have to start all over to right our mistakes.  Sometimes, even though all the ingredients are there...we added them in the wrong order, so the outcome is less than perfect.  Less than God's best for us...BUT....He, being as creative as He is, can still work with it and cause it in the end to be GOOD. 

Ugh....all around me, reminders that I need to give up control of my life...again.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...