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!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Day 94 – What a tangled mess! No, I'm not referring to my life. I am talking about an actual tangled mess – my daughter's hair!!! I kid you knot (lol – yes, I know I spelled that wrong)…the knots in her hair rival the state of Montana. No exaggeration – it was one huge mess. So, as I asked her if she had combed through her hair after her shower, she screamed at me and said, "OH MY GOSH MOTHER!!!" as she protested that she had done as I had asked. It was clear that she hadn't since it looked like she was hiding small rodents in the caves of her hair. She went off to get some detangler and a comb. I started to comb and quite frankly, I'm surprised the comb didn't break in half. It was truly a royal mess.
How often are our lives like that? We go along just lightly brushing the surface – meanwhile a huge ole mess is brewing beneath. We hope that no one will notice as the mess becomes larger and larger. Eventually, we fall apart because the mess is causing us to crumble inside.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD,
for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.
Instead of getting caught up in hiding from ourselves – we need to place our trust and hearts in the Lord and know He will take care of our big mess. Otherwise, it will continue to grow out of control until it chokes us to death.
Monday, April 12, 2010
I began thinking about when Jesus slept. He WAS human after all. Ok - superhuman but you know what I mean. I'm sure he was tired after healing all those people and walking from city to city in sandals no less. In my wondering, it took me to the story of the Samaritan woman in John.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Day 92 – So often things happen in our lives that we just do not understand. I got a text from my best friend this morning asking for prayer. They board horses and one of the horses they just obtained was pregnant and due any day. Unfortunately, she delivered and the foal didn't make it. They have no idea why and it just caused a shockwave of grief to the owner. She wailed and screamed and held onto the little foal trying to will him back to life. She couldn't hear anyone around her or understand reason.
There is so much that we face that we won't understand until we cross over to the other side. I don't always understand death or life for that matter. There are people that live in such misery and that is difficult for me to understand. However, I do cling to God saying that he works all things for good. If I hadn't seen it for myself, I am not sure I would completely believe that.
Bottom line, our healing lies with Him. We can only do so much on our own without Him healing our hearts from things we have faced.
1 Peter 2:24
"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed."-
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Day 91 – Places – Places everyone! Today, we had drama rehearsal for our Wizard of Oz production. It strikes me so many times to not get overwhelmed because there are so many moving parts to a play. Every moving part relies on another moving part to make the entire production work and look good. While we are the middle of production, it is hard not to feel like it is one big mess. Instead, I try to step outside of it and have an overall vision or else it really will be a mess. As director, I have the distinct ability to see how pieces will come together to make a beautiful picture but I'm sure those that are involved are sometimes confused as to how their part is important to the overall picture. An example would be a talking tree and how small but how important that part is. If even a small bush is out of place, it can impact how an actor walks in and out of the set. Therefore, EVERY single prop, costume, person and set piece is critical.
I imagine God's perspective is much the same. He has an overall picture of how everything weaves together to make a beautiful tapestry. Each thread (person) relies on another to make a picture to reveal His glory. Sometimes we don't understand what our role is in the whole picture but we need to sit back and understand that we each play a part that is so crucial to what He needs us to do. We don't need a starring role to be important. EVERY part is a starring role when He lives within us.
Colossians 2:2-4 (The Message)
2-4I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God's great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we've been shown the mystery! I'm telling you this because I don't want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or "the Secret."
Friday, April 9, 2010
It is really more of a statement regarding people with their head in the sand. I have two friends on crutches right now and it floors me how people will see them struggling and yet not bother to help with a door or even let it slam in their face. Even last week when I was chasing a receipt and no one offered any help. Have we really become that dead?
Perhaps the reason why people cannot see miracles in everyday activities is because it has to knock them off their feet for them to get it. The very fact that we wake up and can breathe is a miracle. The fact that our brain tells various parts of our bodies to just operate without a single thought is a miracle. And yet, we cannot open our eyes to the amazing things around us. Instead, we become so self-focused that we cannot see what is right in front of our face. Even as simple as someone struggling to get around and cannot open a door.
I don’t want to be dead and I certainly don’t want to be lukewarm.
Revelation 3:16 says:
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Let us WAKE UP to hear and see God all around us so that we are alive in Christ and on fire with His word so we can wake the dead around us. Most people are not aware of the spiritual warfare going on all the time around them. Imagine if we could hear that chatter and see the actual battle. However, most of us cannot appreciate the pure and simple things around us so we certainly can’t see the great battle for our hearts and souls. Do NOT sit back and be dead any longer, wake up and really SEE what God wants you to see in your life. Listen more intently and see more clearly as He is trying to reveal many things along the way.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Day 89 – As my 100 days draws quickly to a close, I have been reflecting on my days spent with God. So many things have been revolved around reconciling different feelings and thoughts I have with regard to God. I know that I needed to take these 100 days and appreciate the time with Him as well as understand just how close He wants me to be with Him. It is for that and the lessons that I have learned that I am thankful.
It has been a rather full day and I am so incredibly grateful for every waking moment.
The Bible verse that came up today was:
For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Isn't it fun how that verse came up in the midst of reconciling things with God?! God is good! I pray that you can grasp the magnitude of what He has done for you and how he loves you THAT much!!!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Day 88 – Home sweet home! The girls and I left a foot of snow in Colorado to come home today. The wind was pretty severe as was the snow at certain times. When we got on the plane, there were a few people that were very concerned about the bumps we might feel in the air. They kept wondering if they would die. When you are on a plane, dying is kind of out of your control. However, at what point is dying actually in your control?! As in true form, our flight was extremely bumpy and made people very nervous. I just closed my eyes and slept. I could hear the woman behind me say, "How can she sleep at a time like this?"
While I am thrilled with knowing where I will go some day, I can't say that I can imagine myself dying now. There is so much more to experience. I want to watch my kids grow, enjoy my grandkids and travel some more of the world. I know that I would be going to a much better place, but it is so hard to fathom the end being now. So, I usually enter a plane with anticipation of landing. I say a prayer and leave it in God's hands. I guess I need to do that with more than just a plane ride.
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."-
I need to just have faith in God and let Him live out what life he needs me to live while I am still here.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Today, I visited a former youth grouper that used to babysit my girls. I was one of her leaders back when she was 14 and 15. She is now married with a son and living a wonderful life. She was not one of my wayward teens but it is so nice to see her grown up and living a Godly life.
We don't always get to see those seeds but we need to keep planting them. If we don't take the time to plant, then there won't be a harvest. Even when we think we don't have the time or are concerned with what someone will think of us, the time spent (seed sown) in God's name will be watered in His due time. It isn't up to us to water - but to just plant.
31He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches."
33He told them still another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough."
Monday, April 5, 2010
We started in a little town where my grandfather lived the final years of his life. Even though I had not been there since I was 15, I remembered exactly where he lived. Even my mom struggled to find it. We drove by the church where my great grandparents had gotten married which is now a restaurant. Then we stopped by the church where my mom was confirmed. More stops included my moms old college, an Indian museum, my mom's old house and Bent's Fort - a trading post in the mid 1800's. We even came back to the restaurant (church) and had some pie. After the day was done, I sat and thought about how I felt during the whole thing. While those memories were in the past, I decided to make today a new memory and a step forward to let go of the past. I'm grateful I didn't feel anger, hurt or anxiety while there. Today was a day about my mom and my girls. It was a good feeling!
2 Corinthians 5:16-17
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
How often do we get caught in a loop of looking back and feeling the pain that was associated? Satan would like nothing better than for us to not move forward. What a blessing to be able to move forward and know that Christ can heal those wounds and hurts. Looking back can have benefits IF we use it to propel ourselves into the future rather than holding us back. I was able to let go of a very painful hurt today and replace it with a precious memory with my girls. Thank you, Jesus!
Sunday, April 4, 2010
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace”-
Nothing like Easter! Being away is always interesting on Easter morning because hearing a different preacher can bring new perspective. First, we walked in and the church was in circle formation with a GIGANTIC cross hanging from the ceiling. It was a beautiful reminder that Christ was in the center of the day.
I was grateful to hear my parent's associate pastor today because she approached the morning from the standpoint of when the women went to the tomb to do final burial ritual for Jesus. Clearly they were going to find a dead body. Not really sure how they were planning on rolling that stone away - but nonetheless, they were going to see a dead body. When they got to the tomb, they saw that the stone was rolled away and that Jesus was not there. The angels are sitting there saying, "He told you this...were you not listening?" How often do we do that? Start down a path thinking that we are going for one thing and find something very different when we trek down a few miles. How often are we not totally paying attention.
Today is a reflection on our LIFE. God sent Jesus to die so that we may live. We walk along doing mundane things not really living. We are surviving and just phoning in our lives. We are not actively living but just biding time until we die. If we are not fulfilling the great commission, then what are we doing? We are supposed to be showing His love and sharing His heart. We are missing the boat and need to get off our butts and start living.
I am so grateful to have a Savior that would have taken the punishment just for me. If today was my last Easter, at least I can praise Him and know that He lives and He truly is my Lord and Savior. The best thing I can do is LIVE like there is no tomorrow and share the heart of Jesus.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”-
Today was blustery in Colorado Springs. They had winds up to 70 mph at certain points. I left my laptop cord at home and needed a temporary fix so my dad and I went to Best Buy. After zero help from the sales people, I found what I needed, went to the checkout and walked outside. I knew it was windy outside so I put my receipt in my bag. The second I stepped outside, the wind picked up, blew through my bag and before I knew it - my receipt was flying in the air. Normally, I wouldn't care about a receipt but it was for electronics and had my signature on it. I knew I needed it back in case the cord didn't work. I took off after it. It was a busy parking lot, the wind was gusting and I had on boots with 2 1/2" heels. As I looked like a fool running after the receipt, I noticed people were just watching me. They could've gotten the receipt - but instead they just stood and watched. Then, the piece of paper hit the ground and did a dance as if to tease me and taunt me to come closer. I got closer and then twisted my ankle and did a half fall while throwing my bag forward to land on the receipt. A man stood there without asking me if I was okay, without helping me up, and looked at me like I was a moron. I slowly stood up with receipt crushed into my hand and realized I had re-injured my knee and hurt my ankle as well.
I know that doing my mile was not a great thing to do on an injured knee but I wasn't about to let Satan step in on day 84 and win! I did my mile very slowly this evening and thought about the day. Now, I realize on the day that Jesus was mounted to the cross, it was God's plan. However, how many stood by? How many thought to offer to take his place? I know they couldn't but was there ANYONE who tried to help? I know that what was meant to be was - but it just causes a pause to reflect on how horrific the situation was and yet they just stood and watched.
How often are we standing by and not helping or lending a hand? How often is God calling us to be the one to stand in and help? As we reflect on the awesome resurrection for tomorrow, I just lie here with gratefulness that we can be on this journey and that God chooses to use us even though we do stupid things like just stand by and watch. I don't know about you - but I don't want to be on the sidelines wondering how to help the team - I am armed and ready for the fight.
Thank you for your precious gift of life and for your son who allowed us to have an eternal home with YOU.
Friday, April 2, 2010
As I was doing my mile today (in much thinner air), I was reflecting on how the last few hours must have been in Jesus life before resurrection. As I was huffing and puffing and enjoying the Colorado altitude, it struck me how the simplest of tasks can be difficult when we are faced with outside forces.
Jesus knew what he was facing and even though his disciples had heard him intimate his death, they just didn't get it. They did not grasp the magnitude of what was about to happen. I wonder if the air was thin that night making it hard to breathe. Did they anticipate the struggle he was about to face? How would I have felt feeling the death of sin in the air? I was feeling the heaviness today for a reason.
What a blessing that Jesus took OUR sin upon himself so that even one could live. I cannot be thankful enough for my life and for the God who created me and gave his son to save me despite my faults. Thank you!!!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Day 82 – You're kidding me…right?! Man what a day it was! Another one of those days where anything and everything could go wrong…did. Some of the goofy highlights were that my dog peed on our bed followed by him peeing all over paperwork for my doctor's appointment today. Nothing like walking into the doctor and saying, "The dog peed on my homework." They probably haven't heard that one yet nor will they again! I actually was stupid enough in the middle of the day after a myriad of other things that went wrong to say, "The only thing that would top off the day would be one of my kids getting hurt" I kept thinking my oldest would be at drama – so it wouldn't be her, my son would be with me but my middle daughter was running track. After she got done – I thought we were in the clear. WRONG! Not even 15 minutes after getting in the car, I got a phone call from my oldest saying that her eye was swollen shut and she was in a lot of pain. Normally that wouldn't be an issue but we are flying in the morning to Colorado. We needed treatment tonight and she wasn't getting out of rehearsal until 10. The only place open at that hour is the ER. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!
All that to say…she is fine. She has some goofy virus and antibiotic drops. I could go into many stories surrounding that and everything else today…but it isn't the point. The point is to turn everything over to God even when it is difficult and coming at you like spears from an enemy. It truly was a day full of attacks from the enemy. There were moments when I fell prey to it and other moments when I could sit there and say, "Really?!!"
It is just another day learning to continue to turn it over to God. The blessing through this journey has been to see how clearly He has walked with me every step of the way even when I am being a goober.
2 The LORD looks down from heaven
on the sons of men
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Day 81 – Tonight, I was truly not looking forward to my mile time primarily because I was physically not up to it. Spiritually, I was looking forward to the time with God. However, I waited until the last minute (just nature of the crazy day I had) and instead of carving out time at the beginning of the day – I waited until I had nothing left to give back to God. Funny how you can go 80 days and still have the same issues.
I think that is true for almost everyone. There are moments when we will kick one habit and eventually it will rear its ugly head and reappear. You will think that habit is long over and suddenly you are right back to day one. Today was that day for me. I know better than to wait until the end of the day to give anything to God. It isn't that I didn't pray throughout the day or spend any time with him. However, that dedicated time was last today instead of first. Makes me sad…
It is so important for us to take that time and start the day that way. It is important to keep Scripture in front of us. So many people have asked me why. The reason is simple…the Word is living and breathing. Go to John 1 if you don't believe me. It says:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
The Bible also talks about how we need to keep that word close to our heart and help our children understand it as well.
Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.
I know that God knows my heart and knows it was not intentional to start the day without Him. I'm blessed to know that while I have slip ups – He forgives me. I tell you this – I can tell the days where I don't start with Him. They are always more trying, tiring and lacking the sweetness of other days. Ah…live and learn…even on day 81!!!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Day 80 – 50 seconds….that's exactly how long I can hold my breath while watching my children doing track. Track season officially started today and both of my older girls are doing track. I learned last year that I basically hold my breath during most of their events. That worked last year because my oldest did high jump, long jump and the 4x200. Well, high and long jumps are only seconds between each jump. The 200 was only 30 seconds of asthma inducing breath holding. This year, my oldest has been put in the 400 in addition to jumps. That's slightly longer to hold my breath. My middle daughter got put in the 400 and the 800 – so more breath control there as well.
I don't have any delusion that I can somehow effect the change in their performance. I just can't help it when I want them to do well for their own self-confidence and worth. It is exciting to see them do well and see the smiles on their faces along with seeing their friends cheering for them. I also skip a breath when they don't do well because I know how disappointed they are in themselves. I know that they think I will be disappointed with them but my heart just breaks for them when they don't do their best.
I wonder what God thinks or does when we, his children, are doing well or not well. I don't suppose he holds his breath since he isn't human but you know it must bring a smile to his face every time we shine his glory. No need for him to boast as he made all of us and he can just sit back and enjoy his creation.
Matthew 10:30-32 (not necessarily the verse I would normally choose)
30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
32"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.
I pulled out that set of verses because it shows that God takes time to pay attention to detail even the number of hairs on your head…so for those of you who think he doesn't have time to sit and watch you and just enjoy – he makes the time! He wants to be there for your highest moments and your lowest of lows. You are His wonderful creation and YOU ARE GOOD!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Day 79 – On certain days, I am more tired than others. I only slept about an hour last night and today would be a day where I feel a little tired. Then, after having drama today, I kind of hit the wall. I wanted to take a nap but knew that I couldn't because I might not sleep tonight. Such the dilemma!
I thought about how Jesus walked EVERYWHERE! How his journey must have seemed long and tiring! Not to mention the fact that he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders – I imagine that he was really tired.
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
While the physical man was tired, God will not grow tired and weary. There is nothing to small for him to handle and our understanding of him is so limited. So, while we get tired from time to time, we don't work 24/7 without ceasing. We complain about a few minutes to spend in the Bible or time with Him and we forget that he is always on the job and there with us even when we ignore him.
So, even when I'm tired and don't feel like I have the energy, He picks me up and gives me the perseverance to press on.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Day 78 – Have you ever eaten yourself into a food coma? I did that tonight….and man am I beyond full. Why I did it isn't really that important but it really made me reflect on today's message from church.
Our pastor talked about how much we fill our cup with sin and how once the cup is full – how do we appear clean? Once the cup is full (which technically could be one sin) you cannot fill it with anything else. The only thing that could remove that sin from your life and clean your cup is through Christ. He took it on and bore every lash in our place.
I have seen so many good illustrations with this over time. One of my favorites that I used to show the youth group was using two cups full of clear liquid (one water and the other not). The first one represented our life and then I would add different food colorings to it until it looked like dirt. Then the other glass represented a pure life (Jesus) and how filling your life with that was the only way to clean your heart. So I would pour part of the pure liquid into the dirty liquid and it would all become clear. Then, I would pour more food coloring in the original cup that looked like dirt and it would immediately disappear. The point was that if you accepted Jesus into your heart, he washed you white as snow and covers you with His righteousness.
So, as I was filling myself more and more with food tonight…I was thinking about how we fill ourselves with THINGS to try to make ourselves happy. Whether it is food, material things, or people…we look to the wrong things to fill our cup. Inevitably, we will come up with an empty cup every time because it will never fill us the way that we need. Jesus paid the price and is the ONLY thing that will truly fill our cup.
1 Timothy 2:5-6
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time."-
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Day 77 – There are some days when I can fully appreciate a "normal" day.
When I was growing up, my closest friend and I used to joke about what "normal" really was. We used to say that there really was no such thing as normal because it was really abnormal to be normal because no one is completely normal. Did you follow that?
Anyway, after last night and this morning, I can truly appreciate a "normal" day. As you know, I have mentioned how I have struggled with some sleeping issues over the last several months. One of my blogs even documented my goofy sleep test where I'm happy to say I did not have sleep apnea. Woohoo! No funky mask or ear blowing in my head all night! However, I did have massive sleep disturbances. My doctor decided she wanted to get me back on track with my sleep with a mild sedative that I would take for a month and then wean off. Sounds innocuous doesn't it? NOT!!!
I waited until my husband was home from travel just in case I had an adverse reaction. Boy, am I glad that I did that. I took it for the first time last night and got sleepy pretty quickly. Then, I woke this morning at 7 and could hardly open my eyes. I closed them again and woke again at 8:30. Again, it was impossible to open my eyes. I tried so hard to wake up but I just couldn't. Then, when I did try, I saw double and was dizzy. I had the most difficult time trying to get up. My husband was kind enough to go get me coffee at Starbucks to try to help me wake up. He even got me a Venti which is the largest one. Normally a venti would have sent me through the roof jittery wise. This time, it just took the edge off the meds…no impact from the caffeine. NOT good! Let me just say – NEVER again. I will just have to deal with the sleep issue another way.
How often do we trade one problem for another one in effort to make things easier? When we try to ignore things going wrong in our life – we often will choose a different path that has another set of problems attached. We think we are choosing something easier when in fact it is just making our life more difficult than it was.
God truly has made it pretty simple…so why do we make it so difficult? We run away from facing our issues in hopes that they will go away and in turn gain more problems. When we rest in Jesus, we can fall on our knees and know that Jesus will help us not only face ourselves but move beyond.
"My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge."-
Friday, March 26, 2010
Day 76 – There are people that come and go in our lives – sometimes with a whisper and sometimes with thunderous sounds. There really is no rhyme or reason to it in our eyes but it is clear that God brings them into our lives for a reason.
The question is – what do we do with the time when we are with them? Do we make idle chit chat or do we find out where their heart really lies?
I was thinking today about how we are surrounded by people ALL the time. We don't know their life stories, we co-exist with all of them, and yet we walk through life without really knowing most of them. God can use our moments that we are around people and use them for His glory. Whether it is a cashier or someone waiting on your table – we need to take the time to see God at work even in those little situations. It isn't an opportunity to bash someone over the head and tell them they are going to hell…but there is a reason it says in the Bible, "They will know us by our love".
Last week, I was in the counselor's office where I am going for the A.D.D. and a man looked at me and said, "Have we met – because you look soooo familiar!" I laughed and wasn't sure. Anyway, my son retorted by saying…"Mom, everyone thinks that you look familiar and that they know you." He and I talked about it on the way home and I told him that I would like to think that the familiar part they see is the Christ that lives inside of me. I pray that it isn't me they see at all. He liked that idea and agreed.
We just never know those God moments and when they come. We never know when our divine appointment to act on the behalf of God is on our doorstep.
In Esther it talks about "such a time as this"… She had no idea why she was being crowned queen when she was a Jew and how God was going to use her to free her people. How would she have known? The point is, there will always be moments that cross our path and it is up to us to realize that this might just be "such a time". I don't know about you – but I want to be aware and awake when I talk with people and experience life to not miss God standing right before me.
14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Day 75 – You know it is funny how this whole project started and I suppose the ending is not going to be any different. I started with a question that I have had for God for quite some time. It is something I haven't received an answer to for years. He made it clear to me that I would start to receive an answer if I went on this quest. Today, I received part of the answer. It was calming and there were no bells that went off at the event. I just calmly received what I have awaited and not heard anything on until today.
I realize I am being a bit vague – but the question isn't what is important here. It is that God's timing is perfect and that sometimes we need to wait. We don't always get the answer we want and I don't know about you – I'm ok with that. I just want an answer even if the answer is no. Waiting is so difficult and yet it teaches us incredible perseverance.
So, I am sitting back and thanking God for the blessing of answering even a piece of what I have been asking for so long. I am grateful to move forward knowing that it is in God's hands.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Day 74 – Such a beautiful day today…the sun was shining and I was able to spend time with my son. We decided to go to the Akron Zoo today. It is so inexpensive in the off season and it sounded like a great plan with the wonderful weather. I was all set to go when he asked if his two friends could go (my best friend's kids). I debated for a few seconds and realized I could help my best friend out as she had a doctor's appointment. Furthermore, she is on crutches and probably didn't want them to come along for the ride.
We set off for Akron and because it was the off season, were able to park within 10 spaces of the door. Woohoo! We paid, got our map and we were off and running…literally. Let me say, it has been awhile since I have been to the zoo with a 9, 10 and 12 year old. I wasn't aware that the zoo was a race…did you?! We began near the Flamingoes and before I knew it – all three of them were off and running to the next exhibit. That was fine at the beginning as the exhibits were close together but the further into the park you got, the further the exhibits became. They ran from thing to thing and I just enjoyed the sunshine and a leisurely walk. I am grateful we were one of maybe 15 people in the whole zoo mind you but we each enjoyed it in our own way.
I kept thinking about how we are such a fast food society. We want information, food and life quickly and often at a touch of a button. How often are we running through life just getting a glimpse instead of really sitting and enjoying the sunshine and scenery? We expect everything given to us on a silver platter…and make it FAST.
Here is a fun set of verses…but only fun in The Message version
3-6Woe to you who are rushing headlong to disaster!
Catastrophe is just around the corner!
Woe to those who live in luxury
and expect everyone else to serve them!
Woe to those who live only for today,
indifferent to the fate of others!
Woe to the playboys, the playgirls,
who think life is a party held just for them!
Woe to those addicted to feeling good—life without pain!
those obsessed with looking good—life without wrinkles!
They could not care less
about their country going to ruin.
Whoa! That is pretty straight forward isn't it?! Thank you for giving me the enjoyment of resting in your Sonshine today!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Day 73 – Ah….another Spring Break day with my son. We did a variety of things – nothing exciting except going to see a movie. Diary of a Wimpy Kid ….ugh…what can I say about that movie except that it is virtually 2 hours of my life I can't get back again.
HOWEVER, there truly were some life lessons to learn. Not everyone will grasp these lessons within the movie…so let me save your pocketbook and time by sharing them with you.
- Don't ever assume that you are benefitting a friend that seems lower on the totem pole than you. Often it is THEM that you need and THEY are the ones that help build and lift you up.
- Don't take the easy road to make yourself look better.
- Friends are always better than a reputation
- And finally….(drum roll please)….Middle School just stinks!
Ok…now that I have saved you time waiting in line, your waistline from popcorn and candy, and your brain from rotting…let's get to the real lessons.
I don't know about you but middle school holds mixed emotions for me for so many reasons. Most people that I talk to would not EVER repeat those years. However, the one thing I recall so clearly was that true friends became VERY clear during those years. Some people became followers to look better or to fit in. Others tanked and became moody for whatever reason. My true friends rose like cream and showed their true colors when the chips were down.
I truly think middle school is our first battle ground to learn trials on our own. Up until that point, our parents hold our hands and help us along. Suddenly, middle school brings independence and self-reliance. I wish I would have understood at that point how much I really needed God instead of myself. Those trials are meaningless unless we are able to learn and grow closer to Him.
I can sit and joke about middle school and laugh about how those 3 years were a blur of awkwardness but in reality it was training ground for the real world and what Satan would throw my way.
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."-
Monday, March 22, 2010
Day 72 – What a tough lesson today! Where do I even start?! Let me start by saying that I'm sure I am going to sound scattered in writing tonight. My heart is a little sad and I am trying to wrap my head around everything I am learning and feeling.
My son has been struggling with A.D.D. for some time now. We had been able to cope with it up until this year through various means. However, whenever he grows he seems to get much worse. It has become more of a struggle than a maintenance issue this year. It has caused me to do a lot of reading and reflection.
When I was in elementary school, I started to struggle in school when I was in my massive growth stage. It was so difficult because I would test off the charts IQ wise but in the classroom – not so much. My teachers just thought I wasn't meeting my potential or that I had personal issues that impacted schoolwork. NO….that wasn't it at all. I actually did better in my harder classes than in my easier ones. I would forget assignments and lose things on a regular basis. Hmmm…what's wrong with this picture? So, then the question became – is she just bored? Needless to say, I was clearly exhibiting signs of ADD even early on. However, they didn't diagnose that when I was a kid. They might diagnose a child that was beyond hyperactive but it was rare. There was no such thing as Autism or Asperger's or the various other things that are diagnosed now. I just felt helpless at times which then leads to self-esteem issues and feeling like you can't succeed. It took me the longest time to realize I was actually smart – I just needed to learn how to tap into my brain.
In this effort to help my son, I realized how long I had been dealing with A.D.D. and how it explained so much of what I've been through and where I am still at. I even started seeing a counselor about this so that I can get treated. She had me read a few books and after reading one today, I have just sat struggling all afternoon with thinking about the things that could have been different if I had been treated early enough. I know that I should just be beyond thrilled that I understand myself better now – but in truth – I am sad because of what could have been different. I know that we cannot go back and change things and that timing is what it is. My heart just hurts because I could have done so many things better had I understood what impact I had on others around me. I also could have known the pitfalls and been alert to the dangers that come with that diagnosis. All I can do now is try to move forward and try not to look back as it hurts too much. I will try to advocate for my son so that he doesn't have to face the same pain and can know he isn't alone.
"[The Armor of God] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."-
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Day 71 – It was a quiet day and as always full of blessings. I went to church and just enjoyed the morning. We were blessed with a message about how Jesus trusted his father even under great pressure right before he was taken captive. He struggled and prayed in the Garden shortly before that time frame. Our pastor showed a clip from The Passion. He showed that time before Jesus was taken captive and how Jesus stamped out the temptation before him. The figure representing Satan had a snake (referencing back to Genesis with Adam and Eve) slither beneath his cloak and start towards Jesus when he was on his knees. Jesus stands up and stomps him dead….just like he will in the end.
After church, I sat with great anticipation waiting for my son to return from his 3 day camping trip. They were a few hours late but he came back very excited. He and one other new scout put up their tent together the other night (at midnight) and had a great time together. I got to hear stories and see how much he had accomplished in the last few days. It just made me realize how much I could let go (to a point) and trust that he is growing up to be the man that I know God will have him be.
"But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."-
Our trust in the Lord is secure and those things that interfere and get in our way will be stamped out.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Day 70 – Did I just type the right number? Is it really day 70?! I will be honest with you – when I started this journey…again…I wasn't sure I would make it to day 7 let alone day 70. It is so critical for my ADD to see this through to the end.
I cannot tell you how many ways I have been distracted along the way to try to pull me from my mile. It is such a routine now – I'm not sure I can give it up. That time during my day is such a breath of fresh air…sometimes huffing and puffing…that I think I might be sad without it. It has truly shown me how empty we can truly be without that time with God. You do truly start to crave that time and for more of His Word.
It truly has been funny to watch scripture pop up in different places and at different times. If you haven't ever believed that the Bible is living…just try the experiment that I have been doing. There are times when I will have written something the previous night and then at church, the scripture is identical. Or, someone will say the exact words that had just crossed my path in the mile.
The scripture that popped up today is so appropriate and I think you will see why.
1 Peter 2:2-3
"Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good."-
The Lord is good and every word is like a beautiful feast.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Day 69 – Tonight, I watched my son become a man…well…sort of. We went to his ceremony where he crossed over from being a cub scout to a boy scout. I cannot tell you how happy I was for him but how sad I was that he is growing up so quickly.
In the ceremony, they have the parents approach with the Cub Scout. The scout then shakes hands with all of the mentors he has had for the last 5 years. After the shaking of hands, he steps up to a bridge which symbolizes crossing over. He approaches the bridge alone, salutes the cub scouts where he is leaving and then salutes the scouts where he is going. Daniel looked so big as he reached the top of the bridge and then so tiny when he was among his new brothers in his new troop.
The tradition in his new troop is to go camping the minute the last boy crosses over. So, it wasn't enough for mom to watch her son walk away from her but then to put him in a car with a bunch of young men for 3 days. In all honesty, while it was hard, I know the troop he is in is full of Godly men and he will have an awesome time transforming into the awesome young man I know he can be.
Now, I know my son isn't going off to synagogue to preach and has not lived a perfect life. However, I can only imagine how Mary felt at moments when she looked at her son and realized her son was growing up before her eyes. I can't imagine the emotions that went through her head and heart when she had to see her son crucified on a cross.
I am very blessed to have every minute with my son and grateful for the lessons I learn about myself in the process of him growing up.
See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Day 68 – The one word I rarely pray for is "patience". There is a reason for that! Whenever I do pray for that – I get it in huge quantities and not in the way that you would probably hope. I know that when I pray for that, I usually am hoping for a reprieve from the situation. It is funny how we think that patience means a break from stress.
Our Bible study has been studying Esther and learning how she had to wait upon God. Clearly there isn't a book written about me and my effort to further the kingdom of God. The patience and waiting on the Lord would probably be severely lacking in those writings.
In effort to try to just sit back and listen to God, I have learned enormous amounts of patience without asking for it. I probably still won't ask for that in prayer. In my mind – it is still considered the "P" word. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed the daily respite with God to learn what He has for me that day.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."-
I guess I realized that even though I desperately try to entrust God with everything – I inevitably don't because I don't let go and just trust the patience process. I want what I want when I want it…don't you?! Truth be told, I have been praying about certain things for so many years – it is hard to count. However, as we learned in Bible study today, …am I waiting upon the event, a heart change or truly waiting on God's timing in the whole process? Well, in honesty..probably not waiting on God's timing.
I really like the verse in Romans because as we learn to just trust Him and his timing, we are filled and overflowing with the power and hope of the Holy Spirit. May we all feel so blessed! I will continue to work on that process and maybe even pray the "P" word periodically.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
There are certain days where I feel like I do not do anything right and today would be one of them. Instead of focusing on me and the negative, the verses that came to mind were:
“[A psalm of David.] The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.”-
While these verses are normally read at a funeral (no, I don’t feel like dying)…it is rather peaceful to think about. God is the one that escorted us into this world and he is the one to whisk us out. He will be the only one there and he will restore our soul. The thought of quiet waters will be what I think about as I drift off tonight.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Day 66 – As I write, I am sitting in a hospital room …I mean sleep study room that is made to look like a hotel room. They would probably get away with the look except for the fact that I had to pull up to the hospital and walk through the door that said SURGERY in giant letters. As I was walking up here, I passed a sign that said, "Minimally Invasive Surgery" with an arrow pointing. What exactly IS minimally invasive surgery?! I mean really…is there such a thing? Certainly there isn't a sign saying, "This way to Majorly invasive surgery".
In all sincerity, other than where I am presently, I have had a pretty good day. I don't really like being here at the hospital. I don't sleep well in the hospital as it has horrible memories for me. I am praying that I sleep at all.
The biggest thing I learned today is about being kind and compassionate. My poor son really struggles with ADD and he really struggles more when he is in a major growth spurt. Let me tell you – he is there right now! He left half of his homework at school and lost half of what he needed for anything else. He was so hurt and upset and was lashing out because he was frustrated. Instead of losing it too much, I stopped and immediately took him to school. His teacher was there and she tried to be understanding. She gave him extra papers and he came home and worked very hard to get through them.
God gives us compassion and kindness….couldn't I afford my son that as well?! I was irritated that I had to drive back to school and deal with a small issue. How stupid of me!
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."-
Monday, March 15, 2010
Day 65 – Ahhh….the lessons that we learn if we truly listen! Today AGAIN was a challenge. You must think I am whining by now. I really am not….or at least I'm not intending to. I am truly amazed by the constant stuff being thrown my way. Today's lessons were blessings in the long run but nonetheless, a challenge.
The morning began at 2:30 AM when I could no longer sleep. Sleep has been somewhat of a commodity for the last 8 months or so. My alarm was set for 6:30, so I choose to think I was just early for my alarm! I awoke needing to fix a hose to our dishwasher as it began leaking last night. Long story made short, our house was built by people that shouldn't be in the business of building and there are MANY things in this house that are complicated. Our water lines are just one of many things I could mention. When you shut our main water line off – the water still flows in certain areas and not in others. I'm no plumber – but that is BAD! Luckily, the other night – I had bought a special shut off valve (called a no sweat valve – so you don't have to sweat getting to the main) specifically for just that hose so that I had a fighting chance of shutting off the leak. Thank goodness God planted that idea in my head the other night. It afforded me time…time to get other things done before tackling the hose.
Then, last night – our computer crashed. My poor daughter could not print her paper that was due and there was not even a hope of trying to fix it in a short bit of time. I am pretty computer savvy and this problem seemed virtually unfixable. The computer wouldn't even boot up. She was so distraught and I tried to e-mail her teacher but her response was that she would learn a hard lesson as she had asked ALL students to put their work on USB drives so they wouldn't have this issue. My daughter didn't and as a result had to pay the consequence. I felt sad for her but knew that this wasn't horrible in the grand scheme of things. What was horrible was that I had several tax documents that were on that computer and our taxes are due NOW. I contacted the accountant and begged for time and thankfully, he had no problem with that.
I am not trying to chronicle my life to whine….REALLY!!! I want to share my little victories in today.
- I was able to get to Home Depot and Lowes and buy the right sealer to get my pipes sealed properly. God had me look at the right things and check the right information and it made it possible for our dishwasher to work again.
- I was able to get the computer fixed…even though it wouldn't even boot up. God gave me the right things to look at during the right time and I was able to get it to work. I am under no delusion that it was me. The irony in that was that I had told my daughter that as soon as she re-typed her outline and other items needed (which took 2 hours), the other computer would probably reboot. Guess what?! Literally 5 minutes after she got done and printed – it rebooted. It was a wonderful opportunity to share with her how God was probably working in that situation to have her learn.
These may seem small but they could have completely robbed me of joy today. Also, I learned some wonderful lessons along the way. It was NOT an easy day but God walked with me every step. I tried to thank Him every step as well. He blessed me with a wonderful Drama practice today and with great discussions with each of my children. He blessed me with calm and peace tonight and peace of mind with the computer and dishwasher. Sounds goofy – but I probably wouldn't have slept tonight knowing that there were things that could be worked on.
As I was doing my mile (yes, I really do them), I was thinking about the armor of God. I love that set of passages in Ephesians 6. However, I love what he says right afterwards:
19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
As we go through each day full of challenges, it is an opportunity to show Christ. I will work diligently on not complaining or whining but rather share the victories that are in each day. May we all be fearless as we bring the mystery of the gospel to life.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Day 64 – Have you ever had a moment that happened which was beyond your control? Of course you have. Today – that really defines my day.
I was so blessed to start my day by going to my best friend's daughter's baptism. She planned it last week and I was so happy that I was able to go. I was unable to attend the party afterwards because I had a full afternoon planned that had been scheduled prior to knowing about the baptism.
Then, I went with my daughters and a friend and her daughter to see Pride and Prejudice – a play at a local playhouse. A friend of ours was one of the leads and we had planned on going for a little while. We had tickets and I was so looking forward to seeing a play as a spectator instead of a director. Unfortunately, what was also scheduled this evening was a membership class for a church that we have been attending. I had a short window to make it from the playhouse to the church. If all things went well, then we would have plenty of time to make it. Well, the play started almost 15 minutes late…sigh! Then, during intermission, instead of 15 minutes – they took 30. In the middle of intermission, I realized what a pickle we were in and my friend went and traded our wonderful 2nd row seats for 5 seats in the back row. The women with whom we traded were so thankful and their seats afforded us the ability to stay as long as possible before slipping out early.
The time quickly passed and we left with probably 15-20 minutes left in the play. I was so disappointed but knew that ultimately, there was no choice. My eldest daughter glared at me like I had committed a crime and my middle one was not much better. I felt so helpless and so sad. It wasn't like I was choosing to leave early – I really didn't have a choice. My friend was a blessing as she left early to take me and drop me off.
Then, when I got home – my computer refused to reboot and is completely hosed. What? I mean…really??!! My kids couldn't print homework and suddenly I had a new project waiting for me.
I bring this up because there are ultimately many things going on around us that we really have no control. I felt like all I did today was disappoint people and let them down. Satan tried so hard to drain me of any joy in the day. It was such an awesome day to see another life saved and I refuse to let him have control even though it was such a day full of obstacles and hurt.
My daughters did end up apologizing and I have been able to sit and focus on only the joy that Jesus brought to the day. Tomorrow will be another day and again, I CHOOSE to focus on joy. I cannot choose the stupidity that happens around me – but I can choose the attitude and focus of my heart.
2 Peter 1:5-8"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."-
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Day 63 – Have you ever wondered why we started the whole Daylight Savings time thing? I decided to look it up since it is such a horrid practice in the spring having to move ahead an hour and lose sleep. What's that about?! I know we get more daylight in the afternoon – but I don't like messing with the whole sleep thing.
I looked up in Wikipedia (not the greatest news source – I realize) and this is what it said:
Although not punctual in the modern sense, ancient civilizations adjusted daily schedules to the sun more flexibly than modern DST does, often dividing daylight into twelve equal hours regardless of day length, so that each daylight hour was longer during summer. For example, Roman water clocks had different scales for different months of the year: at Rome's latitude the third hour from sunrise, hora tertia, started by modern standards at 09:02 solar time and lasted 44 minutes at the winter solstice, but at the summer solstice it started at 06:58 and lasted 75 minutes. After ancient times, equal-length civil hours eventually supplanted unequal, so civil time no longer varies by season. Unequal hours are still used in a few traditional settings, such as some Mount Athos monasteries and some Jewish ceremonies. During his time as an American envoy to France, Benjamin Franklin, author of the proverb, "Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise", anonymously published a letter suggesting that Parisians economize on candles by rising earlier to use morning sunlight. This 1784 satire proposed taxing shutters, rationing candles, and waking the public by ringing church bells and firing cannons at sunrise. Franklin did not propose DST; like ancient Rome, 18th-century Europe did not keep precise schedules. However, this soon changed as rail and communication networks came to require a standardization of time unknown in Franklin's day. Modern DST was first proposed by the New Zealand entomologist
George Vernon Hudson, whose shift-work job gave him leisure time to collect insects, and made him aware of the value of after-hours daylight. In 1895 he presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society proposing a two-hour daylight-saving shift, and after considerable interest was expressed in Christchurch, New Zealand he followed up in an 1898 paper. Many publications incorrectly credit DST's invention to the prominent English builder and outdoorsman William Willett, who independently conceived DST in 1905 during a pre-breakfast ride, when he observed with dismay how many Londoners slept through a large part of a summer day. An avid golfer, he also disliked cutting short his round at dusk. His solution was to advance the clock during the summer months, a proposal he published two years later
I don't know exactly why we are following the practice of someone that in his spare time – collected insects and noticed how great the extra sunshine was in the later hours. Nor do we utilize candles as our primary source of light – so no need to conserve those. Am I supposed to pick up golf so that I can appreciate that time change more?
Ok – the truth is that I am whining about having to move my clock ahead. We are very blessed to have every minute of breath and in Ohio – every minute of sunshine. I will suck it up and deal with the time change.
Time will not always be available for us to complain and our focus should not be on ourselves. While we lose an hour tonight, we still have time to help others around us. We have time together and time to appreciate and praise God. So while I don't always understand these goofy practices – I know that ALL things are worked for good.
"[More Than Conquerors] And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."-
Friday, March 12, 2010
Day 62 – The new rendition of Alice in Wonderland has hit theaters. This movie is supposed to be what happens to Alice after many years have passed and she is a teenager who has found herself falling down that rabbit hole yet again.
Our lives truly are like that. Often we are walking along, we come along a rabbit hole and while investigating it – we fall in. When we finally hit rock bottom (literally) – we realize we are in unfamiliar territory and look for a way out. We often pinch ourselves to try to wake up from the dream/nightmare but find ourselves still caught in the hole with no way out.
Unlike Alice, we do have a way out no matter how deep the hole is. God will throw you the rope and he will pull you out of the mud. You don't need to be perfect and you don't need to be in a particular place for Him to rescue you. Just ask…
Psalm 40: 1-3
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Day 61 – I want you to stop for just a moment and think about the most outlandish story you have heard from the Bible. Now, remember – this wasn't just a story – this is chronicling someone's life. Some of the stories are horrific. I read one this week about Jezebel and King Ahab that just floored me regarding King Ahab not getting some land for a vegetable garden he wanted to make closer to where he lived. He pouted and whined and Jezebel arranged for the person that owned the land to basically get stoned to death. Wow!!!
Many of the stories we read are about shortcomings and failures and are often quite embarrassing. I can't imagine. The exercise that I used before was to have our youth group kids go through was to ask them how they would live their lives differently if those stories in the Bible were about them. Can you imagine your biggest shortcomings and failings being plastered on a local billboard or worse…a book that has been written for generations to see and use you as an example for what NOT to do? Your name would be synonymous with whatever it was that you did. That is a daunting thought isn't it?! I bet you would probably live your life a little differently if you knew things were being documented about you.
We are so blessed that God can work through our weaknesses to show His strength. I can only imagine the hearts of the people in the Bible and how God worked through them. I'm sure many of them face feeling broken hearted before God worked victoriously in and around them.
3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
It is in our weakness that he shows his strength and that we truly find our way back to Him.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Day 60 – So my husband and I went out for Chinese food tonight. We have this great little place that is a hole in the wall but they serve really good Chinese food. It really is amusing to me that I eat Chinese food at all. For some reason, I was so tired of Chinese food as a child that I didn't eat any for almost 10 years. My parents always loved going to this one Chinese restaurant where my dad knew the owner. I only liked going there because the owner would give me a plastic oriental fan. We didn't eat out much when I was little because it was truly a waste of money (not that it isn't now). When we did, it was often a cafeteria type place or it was Chinese.
Anyway, it was not the most stellar day today and I was looking for some good humor. Where did I turn? …to my fortune cookie of course! My fortune tonight was: "Within the week you will receive an unexpected gift." Cool! Wonder what I'm going to get… Don't worry – not that stupid. However, how often do we look to something like a fortune cookie or the lotto to answer our prayers or give us direction in our lives? I don't know about you – but I don't want to seek out hope in a stale cookie that really isn't from China.
I know I have hope in Christ. It is because of who he made me, where I've been and what I've experienced that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is hope.
I Peter 3:15
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,"-
I will tell you – Satan threw a whopper one at me today and I'm glad to have come out the other side. Not every day is simple and I'm grateful that tomorrow is a new day. If I looked to a fortune cookie or other means like so many do, I would probably crumble as easily as that cookie. It always sounds good for awhile – but inevitably – we usually throw the message in the trash.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Day 59 – Did you ever ride a bicycle that had a flat tire? It is such a struggle to get the bike to move forward and almost pointless because inevitably you are fighting an uphill battle. The more you pedal, the more tired you get not to mention frustrated. It is amazing how just a little bit of air makes that tire and bicycle easy to use. Suddenly, you are able to go miles and enjoy everything around you not even thinking about the effortless ride you are having.
There are people in our lives that can give us a deflated feeling. Sometimes the hurt grows to such a level that just like the bicycle, we can't move forward any longer because it is too hard to pedal. I have had people like that in my life and it hurts my heart beyond what I can begin to say. However, I wonder how often I have been that person to someone else. I don't ever want to be the person that takes the wind out of someone else's sail. I truly want to be an encourager and someone that lifts another up. Let's face it, some people are just not very lovable and those are the times where I struggle with being that wonderful encourager. Nothing I would like to do more than be critical of a person with that kind of demeanor. However, that makes me no different.
Matthew 11:28-30 28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
There are moments when I definitely feel weary while dealing with a flat tire. Thankfully, God picks me up and helps me battle to re-inflate my tires.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Day 58 – I was so proud of myself as I went into the school where my son goes to help my best friend as she is the gym teacher. How exciting! She had injured her knee last Friday and I was happy to be able to help her.
We put up the volleyball net and pretty soon her class came in. She did her best to instruct them from the sideline and I kept score as they played a game. All was going very well until their teacher came to pick them up from class. She pulled me aside to let me know I had a huge split in the back of my pants! Really??!! I was immediately embarrassed and tried to figure out when it might have happened. I know that I had worn those pants the day that I tried to lift a 300 lb dresser up my stairs. Did they split then? Who had noticed? Wait a minute – who noticed and didn't tell me???!!! I immediately went and got my best friend's sweatshirt and wrapped it around my waist.
I laughed it off a little and when I went home later – I changed and threw those pants away. Man, how often are we exposed without realizing it? People are clearly watching but probably don't say anything to us. How often is our behavior questionable and no one says anything. How often do YOU not say something to someone for fear of upsetting them? Let's take that one step further – how often are we ashamed to bring up Christ in certain situations because we are afraid it isn't the right timing?
Jesus took on our shame and if there is anything we should be ashamed of it is denying someone else the opportunity to know him. Romans 1:16 says: 16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
May we always be reminded that our shame is nothing compared to what Jesus took for us. The Gospel message is not something to be ashamed of but something to own and share daily.