Saturday, January 31, 2009
For those of you that don't know, I was asked to give a short devotion at tonight's Ladies Game Night for the women in my church.
For my thoughts on that read here.
This has been the biggest step outside of my comfort zone that I can imagine.
Over the last month I have struggled with self doubt, fear, and insecurites and I just have to tell you that GOD WAS THERE!
Every step, every thought, every doubt. God met me right where I was and waited with me until I was ready to take that next step.
I have grown in my relationship with God so much because of this. The month leading up to, and the five minutes of giving, Oh my heart sings! I hope and pray that something I said tonight will have touched someone, or made them see something in a different light, or just made them realize that they can trust God to take them where they don't have the strength to go alone.
I also have to say that there is nothing in the world like knowing that your girlfriends are lifting you up to God. I have been so encouraged and strengthened by my friends who have supported me, encouraged me, prodded me and lifted me up in prayer, and then made sure they were there to celebrate with me.
Who knows where God will call any of us? I do know that there is a plan and a purpose to everything He does, and I am excited to see what He calls me to next. I know it probably won't be easy, or comfortable, but I think I would rather it be that way, if this is the blessing that comes from it!
My husband and I saw Fireproof for the first time this week and I was completely turned inside out by this song.
We all are waiting in some area of our lives all the time. It matters what we do while we wait. We are not called to be still. Serve God with all you have, no matter what.
Sometimes the answer comes in the serving.
I was completely broken by this song.
My hands are lifted high...will you join me?
For other great songs visit the home blog of then sings my soul by clicking on the link in my right hand column.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
My concern is the fact that it seems like there is a serious lack of prayer as these men and women are elected into office.
When I read numbers that tell me that almost, or over half (depending on the state) of evangelical Christians did not vote in the last Presidential election, I am truly sickened.
Why are we no longer standing up for Jesus? Where are all the men and women who love God and believe in His Word? They are not on the ballots. They are not in the voting booths. They are not, quite simply, in office. Sure, there are a few people here and there, from local all the way up, who are trying to stand up for what they believe, but in the overwhelming tide of opposition, they are making little headway.
When did we decide that it is best to stay silent because not everyone will want to hear what we have to say? I believe in the Bible, I believe it is what God wants and desires for us, and I try to let it lead every aspect of my life. I don't always make it but at least I try. I know what the common arguements are. My favorite is the one that reminds us that even out of the twelve, that only one was left at the crucifixtion. That is true. There was only one. But once the others saw, and TRULY believed who Jesus was and understood what He was calling them to, EVERY.ONE. of them suffered WHATEVER they were called to to further the Kingdom of Christ on Earth. That part is never mentioned in the arguement.
God is not distant. God is not powerless. God is not indifferent. He is here...stronger than ANY power...PASSIONATE about us. He has given us free will to make our own choices. If is seems we are further from Him and His desire for our lives, the only answer we can come to is that we have been making the wrong choices.
I believe that we can change the world. I believe that the power of Prayer is stronger than any force we can, or can't imagine. What would our country look like in just one year if everyone, EVERYONE who believes in God and the truth of His Word, prayed? Not once, but as HE asks us...believing and without ceasing. One year.
Do we want the economy to change? Pray!
Do we want those that can't protect themselves protected? Pray!
Do we want to see the hungry fed? The homeless sheltered? PRAY!
Do we want to see the leaders of our country vote the truth instead of the "dream"? PRAY!
I love our country. I love that it was founded on the belief that every person should be able to worship God without interference from the Government. I would love to continue that freedom. But if we aren't praying, soon we will not be allowed to.
I didn't vote for President O'Bama, but as the President of this country, I will pray for him every day that he will make Godly decisions.
I truly believe that our country would look completely new if there was a passionate revival of prayer.
The sad conclusion is, if we aren't praying, we are admitting defeat without ever allowing Jesus to step into the ring.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
She is off pretty much all the support and eating like a big girl! Make sure you click on the button in my right hand column to read the AMAZING journey of faith of this family. Not only have they glorified God all the way through this journey, but their transparency in their trust of God has allowed God to reach the hearts of THREE BRAND SPANKING NEW believers, as well as reigniting the passionate faith of many long time believers.
Make sure you click that button and check out one of the most adorable babies you will ever see!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
We all dream of being perfect at something. A wife, a mother, a friend.
We strive for it and expect it and then when we fall short of the perfect mark, we feel disappointed in ourselves. When we set our goal as "perfect" and then miss the mark, first once, then again and again, we start to feel disappointed in our selves. That disappointment can lead to disilluionment, even bitterness.
What we need to remember is that by striving for "perfect" we miss God's perfect plan. He doesn't expect us to be perfect in any role in our life, but he does have a perfect plan. His plan may call for us to suceed, but it may be that us coming up short of the "perfect" mark is what is needed for us to be able to glorify Him.
It's scary letting go of that "perfect picture" and trusting God enough to follow wherever He leads. But I can promise that even falling short of the perfect mark, you take a huge step forward in trusting God.
We just need to remember to trust in God when he says that in our weakness His strength is made perfect.
2 Corinthians 9:8 says:
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
God doesn't promise to give us our vision of a perfect picture, but He does promise to give us all we need, in abundance, and when we trust in THAT, we can trust in his perfect plan.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Today was not that different from January 25, 1997. Cold, crisp and snowy. The only difference was that today the snow was falling, then, the sky was a very clear blue with not a cloud in sight.
Things have changed in the last twelve years. Lost jobs, new jobs, kids, lost friends, new friends, deaths in the family and new babies to love.
We have come so far and through so much. I love that we have a history together but even more I love that we have a future together.
Today I end the 10 days of Bob with one statement:
I love my husband more than he can ever know. This blog was just a tiny glimpse into my feelings for him. Some will never be expressed because of the depth and lack of words in this human world. I only know that I want to spend the rest of my life with this wonderful man; raising our kids, working together, serving together, glorifying God with our marriage and our lives.
Thanks for joining us in celebrating!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
This song was played during our last ladies' Bible study and ever since then this song has been my caution to remember that things never fall in one big crash and that the one little thing that I can't let go of will become the one big thing that will tear it all down. If I can't give it all to Christ, then it will all fall.
I hope it blesses you.
Please visit the home blog of Then Sings My Soul Saturdays by clicking on the button in my right hand column.
Ok, I know it's more than one but I am running out of days here.
Insightful- he truly looks at all the sides of a situation before speaking. He studies the best way to approach something, analyzing the pros and cons, and then gives you the straight-forward answer. (Later I will be blogging about how "Mr. Fix-it" just can't stand to let me figure things out on my own, but that is later, for now I am loving this aspect of my hubby)
Humble - My husband is gifted in many areas and many ways. He quietly and confidently does what he is called to do. He dislikes any spotlight on himself whatsoever, prefering to be in the shadows. But, if he is called to recieve praise, he is quick to give the glory to God.
Generous - Gifts of his time, talents, and work are something that he happily gives. He prefers not to tell anyone no if what they are asking or need is within his abilites to provide. One of his main reasons for wanting to get our finances in line is so that we can do more for God. We both desire to start taking, at least yearly, mission trips of some kind. He loves to be the anonyamous giver.
I feel I am not doing my husband justice with these little snippets of what I see. All of the things I have written about weave together to make a very complex and wonderful person. One can not be sorted out from the other. Any one quality taken away and the picture would change. And there are many more things that I will not list here but that go into that picture. I just want to thank you for taking this journey with me and I hope that you have gotten to know Bob a little better through my eyes.
See ya tomorrow for the final "Day of Bob"
Ok. Sure. I am sure that we can all sit down and go a few rounds of the "My hubby is REALLY Mr. Romance because..."
But this is my blog so I win.
First off, he's darned good lookin'. Dark hair and G.E.O.R.G.O.U.S. eyes. And of course, the main reason I thought he was the sexiest thing around...his shoulders. Gotta love those big, broad shoulders. Also, he is tall. Not a little tall. He is tall enough for me to wear any heel I want and he is still taller than I am. BINGO!
Next, he is sweet. He loves to make me smile and feel precious. I know it bothers him that he can't bring me flowers and gifts and take me out on dates more often, and I find that really wonderful. Not that he's bothered. I don't like that. I like that he wants to spoil me, which, to me, is even better than actually getting any of the stuff I just listed.
Following that, I love his hands. They have rubbed my shoulders and feet, built me gifts, taken care of our house, provided for our family and held our new born babies. Those are the hands of a man that loves his girl. That's me. I'm the girl. Love it.
Finally, He loves me. Beyond all reason and excuse. No matter what has happened in the last twelve years, he has stood by me and comforted me. Made me crazy, made me cry and made me laugh like a loon.
So ya. I have the sexiest, sweetest guy that has amazing hands and loves me.
Uh huh. I win.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
2. That I have a friend who is a Chiropractor so when my neck popped yesterday morning I got right in for an ajustment and a before work laugh.
3. That the office I work in starts each day off with a devotion and a prayer for the day.
4. That even though I didn't vote for the new President, or agree with many of his thoughts and beliefs, I am still free to pray for him each and every day.
5. That my friends are the tree-top best of friends and I can count on them without question.
The best example I have of this that really shows what I mean is an experience I had while delivering Abby.
My epidural did not work properly so I was partially numb and partially natural. The natural part hurt. A lot. A whole lot.
Right before I begin pushing, when I had another contraction hit, I thought to myself "I can't do this. I CAN NOT do this! I need you Jesus. I can't do this. It hurts too much. I can't hear you. You said you would be with me and I can't hear you."
Right then, I heard Bob. He was telling me that I was at the top of the contraction and it would start to come down. He talked me through it and then praised me for holding on. I held his hand or he rubbed my back or shoulders or arm the whole time.
After I had Abby I couldn't hold her (meconium...she was being "observed") so I was looking around my room and just checking things out in between staring at Abby and waiting to hold her. I realized that there wasn't any monitoring equipment behind me. I asked Bob if there had been any thing back there during delivery and he said no. That is when I realized that he had been timing the arch of my contractions in his head so he could encourage and comfort me with exactly what I needed to hear.
All that time I was saying I couldn't do this alone and I couldn't hear Jesus? He was right next to me, timing my contractions and telling me that I COULD do it. God gave me my hubby to stand in for the times I need physical touch to comfort me. My husband was the hands and voice of Jesus that day, since Jesus couldn't be there in person. I WASN'T alone and I COULD hear His comfort.
This is just one of many ways that my husband comes through when I need Jesus with skin on.
To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart:
To cause feelings of discouragement or bafflement in.
To make ineffectual or invalid; nullify.
confidence or trust in a person or thing
belief that is not based on proof
belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion
The more I seek out what God has called me for the more overwhelmed I feel. My faith in God's design doesn't fail, but I become frustrated with myself and therefore my ability to follow God's plan falters and I stumble.
How is it that I continually fail? I take comfort in the fact that I am not alone in my struggle to give over my earthly desire to limit God's ability to bring beauty out of my human-ness.
We know that the law is holy. But I am not. I have been sold to be a slave of sin. I don't understand what I do. I don't do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate to do. I do what I don't want to do. So I agree that the law is good. As it is, I am no longer the one who does these things. It is sin living in me that does them.
I know there is nothing good in my sinful nature. I want to do what is good, but I can't. I don't do the good things I want to do. I keep on doing the evil things I don't want to do. I do what I don't want to do. But I am not really the one who is doing it. It is sin living in me.
Here is the law I find working in me. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. Deep inside me I find joy in God's law. But I see another law working in the parts of my body. It fights against the law of my mind. It makes me a prisoner of the law of sin. That law controls the parts of my body.
What a terrible failure I am! Who will save me from this sin that brings death to my body? I give thanks to God. He will do it through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So in my mind I am a slave to God's law. But in my sinful nature I am a slave to the law of sin.
I want so much to be able to be more than I am, but I continually hold myself down from doing things that will glorify God, and all because of my human-ness. How do you move from frustrating Faith to a faith that boldly moves on, and through, the stumbling blocks of our human failings?
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
There just aren't enough words to tell you... I have to show you.
I wish there were more pictures of him with Kevin but they are on the other computer and right now I have no way of getting them to the laptop.
I never have to worry about what example my huband is setting, if he truly likes his children or if he wants to be involved in their lives. By his actions he proves every day that his main desire is to be the best father he can be.
His level of care, compassion, patience, humor, leadership, dedication and love for Kevin and Abby is more than I could have ever hoped for. He desires to be a Godly leader to them and that is evident in each interaction he has with them.
I am so very lucky to have such a wonderful husband.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I have had the pleasure of sitting back over the past three years and watching my husband just explode as a leader.
Normally quiet, he will contribute to conversations when he feels like it or when directly asked, but he has never been the "up front" guy.
When we became youth sponsors Bob took a huge step outside of his comfort zone and agreed to lead a small group. I won't tell you that he just stepped up and discovered a natural talent for leading. He has had to work at it, stumble and fumble, and struggle to obey God to do what He called him to do. As time passed he started to become more comfortable in the role. As a natural progression of that, he has started reaching out to men our age, and sometimes older, to mentor or lead as well. I think, no, I know, that my respect for my husband grew so much because he did have to struggle. Watching him be obedient to God and push through and dedicate himself to learning and growing as a leader has made me prouder than I can put into words. He is a wonderful example of obeying God's call no matter what your personal desire is. I am very excited when I try to imagine our future. No matter what I try to see, I always see Bob continuing to grow and mature as a leader.
I also have to acknowledge that he has become a good leader in our family as well. Naturally I am hard-headed, emotional and opinionated and He has had to deal with me learning to be a biblically submissive wife. We have both struggled with following God's desires in these roles, and sometimes we miss the mark by a mile, but I have become confident in his leadership enough to know that he is doing what he thinks is best for our family: physically, emotionally, monetarily and most important, spiritually. I think the fact that he has consistently tried to be what God calls him to be has made me feel more confident in his opinions and decisions than I would have been otherwise.
So, today I thank God for helping Bob to become, and continue to grow as, the leader of our family.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Today I want to share with you my husband's unexpected silly side!
My hubby is pretty serious or straight laced most of the time. Not an old fuddy-duddy type serious, just a quiet kind of serious, so, when he does something silly it takes people by surprise.
It is always funny when he throws a "hip" term into the conversation because he just doesn't talk like that. It is funny to get him to say certain words because he will draw them out or make a face and it is just HYSTERICAL!
And the there are the times when he just DOES something. Something funny and and not serious at all.
Even after almost 12 years of marriage, sometimes it still takes me by surprise and I will walk around giggling to myself or smiling for hours. Some things still make me smile when I remember them today.
Here are a couple examples of my silly hubby:
He sent me this picture on my phone with the message...I am head over heels in love with you (I know, I know...awwwwwww! :)
I'm not sure...Don't ask me. It's just funny.
At Trunk-or-Treat this year I had an Hawaiian trunk, so my hubby matched my by being a tourist. He is more the type to wear his Illini sweatshirt and say he is a fan so that he dressed up like this was definately out of character.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
I am not a good accountability partner.
I am on my second verse but I am already struggling to remember verse #1. What is up with that?
Today I was on the Living Proof website (Beth Moore, gotta love her!) and, for the first time, noticed the blog link. We all know I love blogs so I click and get ready to be inspired. Guess what I see? My inspiring verse from Hebrews 4:12!
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart".
I think to myself, "This is going to be great! I love Beth Moore and I love this verse... I am going to really get something great out of this blog!"
I scroll down and what do I see...
1987 posts of women all over the world who have committed this year to seal scripture in their heart! WOO HOO! Jackpot! I am NOT alone in the crowd!
One the first and fifteenth of each month you just log in and post the verse or verses that you will be memorizing during the following weeks.
Now for the clincher! Beth's memory verse for this week is...
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
~2 Corinthians 9:8
Can you believe it! (If you are wondering at my wonder, check out my Abound post)
I had already picked out my second scripture (Lamentations 2:19a) or I would have joined Beth Moore in memorizing 2 Corinthians 9:8. I had already decided it would be my scripture #3 so it just seems like I was getting a little encouragement today.
I am starting to truly see that scripture is living and breathing in a way I had not known before. It is encouragement, confirmation, correction, a sword, a shield and a personal conversation.
Oh, I knew it in theory, and even had a vague understanding of it, but it is coming alive like I have not experienced before. Maybe because I am being purposeful about it, maybe because I truly desire the connection with God...I don't know.
If you have not done so, once again I would like to encourage you to join me in my quest to memorize scripture. I PROMISE you it will be the best thing you can do for yourself this year!
Welcome to Day #9!
Today the thing I want to share about Bob is his strength.
From our very first date I was always aware of his strength. He has never been someone that is into working out just to look good. His strength is something that comes naturally from the way he lives.
He is always busy doing something. When we were dating he worked as a screen printer, then he worked in a department store in the stock room, then he begin to work with phone systems. That may not sound like something that would require a lot of strength, but he works on scaffolding, scissorlifts, in crawl spaces, hanging in elevator shafts (after that story I told him if he wanted me to remain sane I didn't want to hear the specifics anymore), and balancing on support beams. In his free time he has been known to build a thing or two, as well as completely remodel the house we live in, build some additions to his parents house, our son's playhouse, our great deck in the back yard and about a thousand other projects over the years.
He is a big guy (six foot six inches tall) and naturally has a powerful presence. That is one of my favorite things. I have never had a single second since we begin dating that I have ever felt anything but safe with him. One of the most important things that I looked for was someone who made me feel protected, and he has never let me down.
I am so proud of him because he uses his strength to help others. He has volunteered to help rebuild a house after it burned, make repairs to a house for a friend, he is usually one of the first ones called for work at the church and on our mission trip to Chicago he helped turn a garage into a youth center.
I love that he uses what God has blessed him with to bless others.
To go along with today's characteristic I have posted a picture of Bob and Kevin at the lumber yard getting the wood they needed to finish the remodel of the basement so that we could turn it into Kevin's bedroom. (Abby took over his old digs)
I can't tell you how many "date nights" we have spent at Lowe's. It's an us thing and it works.
See ya tomorrow!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Today I am starting with his calmness.
Some people may be wondering, "Calmness? What does that mean?" I will explain.
I am one of those people that leads with their emotion and their energy. Everything is alway full throttle with me. It isn't really a good trait. I tend to over-react on a consistant basis. It can lead to wrong conclusions, hurt feelings, and damaged relationships.
Over the years I have learned that it is vitally important for me to look to my hubby to keep me calm and grounded. Sometimes it is good to be passionate about things, but most of the time, I need to allow Bob to assess the situation for the correct response before I leap in and stick my foot in my mouth.
I can only imagine what it is like for him to be stuck with me. I am sure I seem insane to him most of the time. I think that his calmness is the only thing that has saved me on many occaision. If he were to react to things the way I do, he would have been gone years ago.
So, today I thank God for my calm husband.
See ya tomorrow for favorite thing #2!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
God was definately moving, at least in my heart. He really convicted me about some things.
I really didn't want to go to church tonight. It was cold, I was tired and I just didn't feel like it. I am so glad I pushed through and went. I would have missed an amazing time of prayer that left me convicted and calmed at the same time.
How wonderful is our God!
Hello, I am the big mouth BEHIND the scenes...not the one in the spotlight. I am really not comfortable up there. It is so...up there. You know, IN FRONT of the scenes. NOT behind the scenes. Not anywhere CLOSE to behind the scenes.
So, I am following up this game where we all start a picture and then pass it around and everyone adds to it and then you get your picture back, but it is not really your picture. It is what you THOUGHT your picture would be, until you let go of it and let others contribute to it.
Kinda like me wanting to serve in Ladies ministry BEHIND the scenes and then they got ahold of my picture and now it is NOT behind the scenes, it is way way way up in front of the scenes.
I am pretty sure I have my topic and half my devotion right here. Yep. I sure didn't see THIS picture of me serving in Ladies ministry coming. Nope. Not what I had tried to draw at all.
Maybe it will end up better.
Maybe it will end up with me passed out up in front of them all because I tend to forget to breathe when I am IN FRONT of the scenes. Yep. I surly do. But you know what...
Right there, God will give me all the grace I need so that I can abound in my good work.
I had to look up abound so I could really get the meaning of this verse. I think, after reading the definition of abound, that this could very well be my new favorite verse to show just how much God loves me and wants to help me.
to occur or exist in great quantities or numbers
to be rich or well supplied
to be filled; teem
God's grace will occur or exist in great quantities in me... I will be rich or well supplied... I will be filled to teeming.
Can I do this? Oh yes Ma'am I can.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I look forward to it and at the same time dread it. It is so much fun to hang out all night and play games but as the night wears on I begin to seriously question, "Am I too old to do this"?
I also was in charge of food for the night so basically I was stuck in this rhythm of prepare food, serve food, clean up food. With four feeding times it was tiring. I think it is worth it though. They seemed to really like everything and were really polite and thanked me several times. I just hate having to be the grown up. I want to be out there playing!
I don't want it to sound like I didn't do ANYTHING but serve food. I have to say I rocked out on Rockband. I would be willing to pay quite a bit if they would come out with an 80's & 90's version. THAT would be killer!
It was also fun to watch everyone play dodgeball. I still can't do the rapid bending and whatnot so I was in charge of pictures.
Several of the kids raised a lot of money, one even paid for two others to go to camp so I am really happy with the results.
Bob and I tried to get caught up on our sleep Saturday but with the off and on snoozing and then a rough night for me, I had another of my killer headaches this morning. It lasted til about 7:00 this evening. Hence the question...Am I too old for this?
The answer is most likely yes, but I will try to ignore it for as long as possible. I really do enjoy these activities.
I really have felt this song this week. I don't know what aspect of it is really speaking to me right now but it has been what you would call "one of those weeks". I'm just tired and I really like the lyrics of this song that say:
And I want a moment to be real,
Wanna touch things I don't feel,
Wanna hold on and feel I belong.
And how can the world want me to change,
They’re the ones that stay the same.
They can’t see me,But I’m still here.
I think it goes back to the head knowledge that I don't need to look any further than God to know that I am all that I need to be, and that there is infinite value in that, but this darned flesh side just wants to feel known by the people around me. I want to be able to be real with the people in my life and yet sometimes I do struggle with the feeling that I am all alone in a crowd. I wonder, does EVERYONE struggle with that?
I guess you can find the spiritual in even a non-spiritual song because whenever I hear the line "Wanna touch things I don't feel" it makes me think of how I long to be able to touch Jesus, in whatever way that will be in once we are with him forever. Right now I have faith, but then I will have something that right now I believe in but can't feel.
For more great songs visit Then Sings My Soul Saturday by clicking on the button in my side column.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
1. I'm thankful for our money struggles. If we haven't been struggling like this, Bob and I may not have learned certain things about our marriage. Example: he is really good at keeping us in our limits but has learned to listen when I tell him something. I am really good at knowing when something has gone beyond a fun extra to a needed time away, but I let him set the limits on how much we spend to do it. We are listening to each other and allowing each other to be the other half of the financial whole, in a good way.
2. I'm thankful for my friend April. She knows when I am just blowing off steam and when I need to really analyze something further. We each have our ups and downs but God has us on a schedule that keeps us opposite...that way there is always an encourager.
3. I'm thankful for my son, Kevin. He struggles so hard to try to get his nature to line up with our expectations. He has been the best helper and very courteous the last few days, going out of his way to try to be a helping hand to me. At 8:00 on a snow day from school he went out to scrape my car windows so that I could go to my chiropractor appointment.
4. I'm thankful that God doesn't answer requests in the way we expect. I have been wanting to get involved with something, and instead of my behind-the-scenes role I had planned I will be taking a HUGE (gigantic, enormous, overwhelmingly intimidating!) step outside my comfort zone.
5. I'm thankful for popcorn with M&Ms. I know...not really something to esteem as a blessing, but man, it tastes soooo good!
God blesses in infinate ways! To see more visit the home blog of Thankful Thursdays by clicking on the button in my right hand column.
Monday, January 5, 2009
So, I looked back at all the struggles and joys, the ups and downs, the arguments and celebrations. What did I learn from each experience? Was there something that I needed to start doing? Something that I needed to quit?
New attitudes to develop and old habits to break abound. If I were to sit down with a pen and honesty, there would be a list a mile long that I would need to change, begin, end, enhance, trim down, cut out or nurture. I begin looking for a common thread. What could I do that would address all the things that I learned and yet not become so overwhelming that I wanted to give up before I began? Sure, losing weight and getting fit is important, but more important than developing patience and understanding with my son? Is my relationship with my children more important than my marriage? Maybe I should focus on strengthening that and learning how to truly submit, in thought and attitude as well as deed. But my marriage isn't as important as my relationship with God and, let's face it, most of the time I put God on the back burner to take care of the things I should be giving to him in the first place. Oh, but wait! I forgot about my ministry in the church. I also need to work on developing my friendships.
So I looked. I thought. I looked some more. How do I decide what to work on and what to put second, third or fourth place? Then, like a nudge from heaven, I hear a little voice asking me how much of this could be improved, fixed or completely avoided if I only knew God's thoughts on it.
Sure, i love me my Biblegateway, but when I am arguing with Bob, or tempted to overspend, or so frustrated with my children I could scream, Biblegateway is too far away. My Bible is usually in another room, if I even think to go to it first at all (hey, just being honest).
So where did all this thinking and nudging take me?
uh huh. The Bible.
The scriptures I know by heart are very very few. I have coasted along the last few years with an idea of what the Bible says, and a vague confidence that I know what part of the Bible to find it in. I have tried to say I don't know scripture because I just can't retain and memorize. That's a lie and we all know it. I am being lazy by not putting forth the effort to memorize. Sure, I would have to repeat little fragments over and over, write phrases repeatedly and work work work. But wouldn't it be so worth it to be able to look at my husband and instead of telling him why my idea is better, (and thus start a fight) to be able to instantly think to myself
"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything".
Or when I am tempted to buy a new outfit instead of keeping the funds in the bank to pay on our debt like we should, I would instantly know
"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
I struggle with feeling lovely. Not pretty or thin or attractive, but lovely. I struggle to believe that I have anything that is valuable to be loved. I need to be able to instantly remember that
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."Zephaniah 3:17
Matthew Chapter 4 begins with the temptation of Jesus. In each of the instances we read about, Jesus responds with "it is written". Because of his powerful knowledge of scripture Jesus instantly knew what the TRUTH was. THAT is the power I want in my life. To instantly know the truth and be able to use it effectively.
So, I have resolved to begin hiding the Word in my heart. How did I know where to start? Well, my prayer life is really not intentional. I have conversations with God all day but I don't give Him my time. I don't put aside part of my life that is for Him alone. So, to help me begin to remember that, my first scripture was:
"The Lord is near to all who call upon Him". Psalm 145:18
It was on a bracelet that I bought at our church's women's winter event. That verse took me three weeks to memorize. Oh yes it did. That memory thing? Not a lie. An excuse.
So, my new verse is:
"Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord". Lamentations 2:19a
I picked this verse because I love the imagery of pouring my heart out like water, just letting it all tumble out, not holding anything back or sifting through for only the things I am willing to let go of.
I am determined to cut my memorization time as well. I would love to be able to get at least two verses a month memorized. After this verse I have no idea what I will learn next. It may apply to my life at the moment, or just be a beautiful reminder of God, or it may be something that God is using to refine me. I am excited to see where my new resolve takes me!
I invite you to join me in my new resolve. Here are a few verses to inspire you, they may even be the first verses you commit to learning.
Happy New Year!
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
We knew about the temper. Oh yes sir. The T-E-M-P-E-R.
We knew about the giggly side. Yes, we do like to giggle.
We knew about the very active and inquisitive traits.
We knew about the quick-change emotions.
But we couldn't see this coming. We just didn't know. I am so sorry baby...If I could take this cross from you I would.
Yes, she inherited the worst trait from me that she could have possibly gotten.
She got my...
Yes, I have amazingly independant hair. It is curly, straight, wavy, fine and thick...all at the same time. I have the most amazing bedhead in the morning. Now, so does my daughter.
All this time I have been praying that she would finally get hair, I just forgot to pray that she wouldn't get MY hair. Thank you, God, for the person that invented the flat iron. I love them so, and now, so will my daughter.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
This song has really comforted me the past few weeks. I hope it blesses you too.
My Beloved by Kari Jobe
For more great songs visit Then Sings My Soul Saturdays by clicking on the button in my side column.