Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Day 100 – The finish line is finally here – well, for this 100 days anyway. I commemorated my 100 days with doing something I haven't done since college, bought some lottery tickets. Lol… You see, my son has been a little worried about this day for the last 20 days or so. He figured something bad might happen or something great on the last day. Today was just another ordinary day. Nothing catastrophic happened thus far and there is less than 3 hours left in the night. I spent $6 on lotto tickets just for the fun of it and made back $4 of my $6. I took my winning tickets back into the gas station where I bought them and he asked the dreaded question…"Do you want more tickets with that?" I quickly said no and off I went with my huge jackpot winnings.
It just hit me how this would be very addicting. I found it very amusing to have a gambling warning on the back of the lotto ticket. Kind of like when you buy cigarettes – like you don't know they are hazardous to your health?! Anyway, it just struck me how easily we get addicted to the simplest and goofiest things. We start to get a little rush or feel good – meanwhile, we don't realize we are losing ourselves in the process. Just like I won back 2/3 of my money – I still lost 1/3. We always come up short when trying to fill ourselves with the wrong things. We try to fill ourselves with people and things and it never seems to be enough. That's why often lottery winners are miserable.
So, while I was not a huge winner today – I already hit the lottery when I accepted Jesus as my Savior. Nothing else will ever compare. I am very grateful for the last 100 days and where they have taken me. I didn't always love the testing and being slammed left and right. I really did not write about half of the ways that I truly got hit from every direction. If only you knew!!! However, I knew God was walking with me every step of the way. This is one addiction that I'm not sure I'm ready to give up…has been nice to write about how I find God in everyday things. I have learned to truly start my day with Him and take Him with me everywhere I go. I am so honored to have had this journey and time. It will be something I treasure always.
44"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
I will be praying whether to continue the writing part of my journey – but as for the time – I have come to treasure it and would not trade it for anything. I encourage anyone who has read this to take the same journey and see where it takes you. God truly wants to be that close to you.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Day 99 – I am sitting here in awe of typing that number. Is tomorrow really the last day? I'm actually a little sad about that. I need to decide whether to keep going or not.
The last 100 days have been quite a race of sorts. Dodging pitfalls every step of the way in effort to stay on a straight path is an understatement for the last few months. Some of those pitfalls become car swallowing potholes – but that is beside the point. I am not breathless any longer but have trained so I might run the race that He has asked me to run. We cannot expect to run a marathon without any training and expect to finish. It begins with placing one foot in front of the other and moving forward fixated on the finish line.
Fitting the situation and not even planned, my husband decided to show his favorite movie to the kids tonight, "Chariots of Fire". If you haven't ever seen it, I highly recommend it. This story is about a few men from the UK during the '24 Olympics and living out their dreams running. It is a true story about living out what God has called you to do but also what He has gifted you to do but not at the sacrifice of your faith. It was such a reminder that when we do what God has called us to, we can feel His pleasure.
It is very easy to get off track and do what we have to do rather than what God might truly be calling us to. Sometimes fear creeps in or doubt about what He has asked. Believe me, when He gives me interesting assignments – I often sit there like a little child and say, "But do I hafta?" More often than not, when I follow what He has asked – there has been huge rewards at the end. This particular assignment has drawn me closer to Him and I literally hear Him in almost everything I do these days. I am grateful for the time, the distance and the closeness. It has not been easy – but what marathon is?
We must set our eyes on the prize and know that the race is not about us but about completing the path that Jesus set forth.
24However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Day 98 – We spent the greater part of today in very cold weather at a track meet this morning. It poured snow at certain points and then rained at others. The cold bleachers didn't help either. I did my good mom bit and wore a sweatshirt, a down coat, two hoods and gloves. I even had a stadium seat and a blanket to keep warm. I was doing really well keeping warm except after a few hours my toes started to get cold, then my fingers, and pretty soon it crept up my legs and down my arms until I could feel it all the way to my bones. There is something about being cold that just doesn't go away. Once you are cold, you just can't warm up no matter how hard you try. After the meet, we got in the car and I had the heat on full blast but was still cold. And while I was cold, I can only imagine how cold my daughter was wearing her track uniform and some longer Under Armour clothes.
When we die, our bodies become cold and stiff. While we could become incredibly scientific here and know that it is because blood isn't pumping and every part slowly dies – we know that it is because the spirit is no longer alive inside. For those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Savior – we are truly alive with Christ. That warmth takes on a whole new meaning as we know that we are slowly dying without it inside.
1 Corinthians 1:18
"[Christ the Wisdom and Power of God] For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."-
I don't ever want to be cold or viewed as cold because that warmth and love is what defines us. We can feel that sweet warm spirit all the way to the deepest part of our bones and soul. May we always be blessed with His warmth and knowing that He is Lord.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Day 97 – Have you ever looked at your past and reflected on a time when you hurt someone or you didn't get to thank someone? I do this periodically and it causes me to feel like I have some small holes in my heart. I have been in this mode a lot over the last year. Thankfully, Facebook has afforded me the ability to reconnect with a few hundred people from my past. I have taken the time to thank a few people for things as well as apologize for some. It is quite a humbling experience to apologize for something that may have happened 20 years ago. However, it is also somewhat freeing. When you go to apologize for something, usually people don't remember what you are even talking about. Yet, you carried the guilt for all this time. It is so important to not carry that and let it bog you down. After each time that you hurt someone and don't apologize or not forgive someone for something, it is like strapping another 50lb weight on your back. Pretty soon you are hunched over with pain.
The Bible talks about not letting the sun go down on your anger, but what about when you are the one that did the hurtful task? God wants us to cleanse that sin and move forward so that we can truly be a wonderful vessel for Him.
"[Love, for the Day is Near] Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law."-
I have really enjoyed going back and apologizing and thanking people from my past. I would love to tell you that it has always been a great experience – but sometimes the pain runs too deep for the other person and they are not able to forgive. You just need to know that you followed through and did the right thing even if the ending is not happy. I would encourage you to take a step out and do what God says. Do not let any debt remain outstanding…move forward and love one another.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Day 96 – Did you ever play the game of telephone? You know – one person starts to tell a secret in someone's ear, then they pass it on and inevitably leave parts out or exaggerate what they thought they heard. Then the last person repeats what was said to them and it really has nothing to do with the original secret or statement.
When I was a teen, I decided after one too many secrets getting out that I would not tell anyone anything that I didn't care about getting back around in some way. I tried not to talk behind people's backs and I didn't tell any secret that I didn't care would be let out. You tell one person and ask them not to tell and then it ALWAYS comes out somewhere.
I have been badly burned by secrets along the way and have been very hurt by them being shared often behind my back. That is why I will NOT ever do that to someone else. If someone tells me a secret – I do not share unless I have their permission to do so. Too many things can be misconstrued and inevitably hurt someone else. It leaves a feeling of betrayal and triggers other things from my past where I have felt violated and THAT is the reason why I won't do that to someone else.
I really thought long and hard about this today and how Jesus must have felt knowing Judas would betray and "out" him in those final hours. Here was a friend and companion that turned Jesus over for 30 silver coins. Now, we know that it HAD to happen that way – but the real human emotion that is involved with that has to be a feeling of betrayal. We often don't see and feel the emotion that Jesus had but he had human emotion. He had to hurt even though he understood what was about to happen. He was not void of those feelings.
"What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility."
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Day 95 – On certain days, only scripture can adequately express what I am learning.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10
8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I wish I didn't struggle with weaknesses – not because I don't want God to work through me and through that but because I don't want to hurt God or others because of areas where I struggle. Never my heart or intention to do that and yet I continue to make the same mistakes again and again in my life. I guess tomorrow is another day and another new beginning. Pretty sad that on day 95 – I still need that reminder!