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.