Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Playing the Fool

So far, this week month is coming close to putting me in the funny farm...thankfully, Grandma's Home Health therapists and nurses have not felt led to call DFACS upon leaving my house!  ;-) 

God's strength and grace are sufficient!  So why is it that there are moments my attitude doesn't reflect that truth???  Because sometimes I play the fool.  The Bible has much to say about fools...

My frustration and weariness over being constantly talked to or needed by someone is overwhelming me right now.  I JUST NEED 10 MINUTES ALL BY MYSELF WHERE NO ONE CAN NEED ME!!!  I don't know about you but when my insides start screaming this message, my outside soon reflects it.   Now, while some time alone to refresh can be beneficial, most of this message coming from within my heart is full of selfishness.  (Right now, my toddler who has only cried when put down for a nap maybe twice in the last year is crying...really, Lord?  really?  Totally not what I want right now.  Nap time is for ME!...and she only naps about 45-60 minutes...that can't be too much to ask)  You hear the selfishness there? I do.  Loud and clear.

I can't believe how hard this dying to the flesh stuff is.  How constant.  And how diligent I must be in my walk with the Lord.  I just need a break!  Well, the promises within God's word for breaks or strength or lifted burdens don't say "turn to yourself" or "take time for yourself" or "you deserve a break"...on the contrary, to have our head and spirit lifted, we are to look away from ourselves.  Time away from the demands of this life is not about us.  It's about receiving what God has for us so we can get on with the Father's business. The focus is to always be on Jesus.  He puts our circumstances into perspective.  He tells us to keep going ("keep going" was the message of my morning devotion and this should have been my first clue to the kind of day I would have).  He reminds us of His sovereignty.  He holds us and loves us.  We can't experience His awesome love unless we are looking at Him, relying on Him, focusing on Him, listening to Him.

So, here I go...I shall take my 10+ minutes all by myself and somehow end up in the Chick-fil-A drive-thru (I can't help it that the Physical Therapist came at lunch time which happened to coincide with my meltdown).   I begin crying.  Releasing. And then unloading.  Now, I'm a big fan of honesty...the Lord knows what is in our hearts and I'm not afraid to go to Him with my messy heart.  But I was angry.  I was ranting.  Wait a minute...the Spirit has been preparing me for this.  "Stop", He says.  "Remember the verse I gave you a couple days ago?"  A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.  Proverbs 29:11  (Isn't it just like God to be right?!?)  Apparently, full venting of one's anger is not productive and certainly not biblical.  The Bible has much to say against anger. 

Just what I want to hear when I'm venting.

Okay, so it actually is what I want to hear when I'm venting, or sinning in any way.  God's voice.

He speaks to me!  To me.  A fool.  My heart wanders.  My faults abound.  My selfish flesh is strong.  But, there is a God in Heaven!  I am His child.  He will guide and direct my paths.  He will strengthen me.  He will be my joy.  He will be my portion.  Kinda sounds like this life should be all about Him...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Count it all Joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  James 1:2-3
Apparently, I'm slated for Perseverance 101; Teacher - God

What an adventure my family has begun.  As crazy and chaotic as our lives have been and as often as I've been overwhelmed physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, my joy is in the LORD and He strengthens me and gives me peace.  I appreciate the moments of laughter and sunshine found in our present difficulties.  Go ahead, laugh with me...
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.  James 4:17
Do you think that verse applies to retrieving Grandma's dentures when she asks?  LOL  In order for this not to be gross, it must be funny!

Along with Grandma and husband, Chuck, came their poodle...a boy poodle...a boy poodle named Buffy.  Seriously?

Grandma has NEVER kept a balance in her checkbook, and the only transactions she records are checks she has written.  This must remain in the laugh-it-off category so that I don't scream!

Madelynn knows how to turn off Grandma's oxygen machine. Okay, so that sounds serious rather than funny but we have resolved the issue.  It happening one time can be funny.  ;-)

I have much to rejoice over! 
Wonderfully supportive and involved husband
Fabulously loving children
Opportunity to live out Christ's amongst the lost
Precious moments of renewed perspective
Friends praying and cooking for us!!!  (great demonstration of Christ's love for the lost to see and yummy)

Today, most of all, I'm rejoicing over my God being a God of details.  I marvel at His faithfulness to me.  What He orchestrates just to reach my heart and refresh my soul amazes me.  He reminds me that I'm not the center of the universe (I need to be reminded of this frequently) and, yet, He reminds me of His personal touch in my life. 
Yesterday He sent a sweet friend, Claire, to be His mouthpiece of confirmation and encouragement. 

Today, I silently worshiped Him as my Bible study ladies sang my most favorite hymn.  I love singing to the Lord but I was unable to today.  I just listened to His praise from the lips of His daughters.  Kings and kingdoms.  Oh, they'll all pass away.  But there's something about that name.  Jesus.  My savior, friend, and intercessor.  He intercedes for me!  Because of that...

I have learned the secret of being content...And I can do everything through him who gives me strength...even take care of dentures!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I wouldn't consider myself a servant, not even of Jesus.  I'm pretty selfish!!  Sure, I do things for other people and God has been WORKING on my servant heart and attitude.  I work at being kind and considerate to my husband, my children, and those I connect with on a regular basis.  I'm sure that loving my family and friends is pleasing to the Lord but...what about truly serving when it is not so easy.  In Matthew and Luke the Bible says that even sinners will display love when it's easy.

This past week has been a whirlwind to say the least.  More on that later.  Our family is making arrangements for my grandmother and her husband to come and live with us temporarily until something long term can be figured out.  Dramatically changing the family dynamic... Dramatically

The whirlwind has made quality time with my girls and husband sparse this week.  We've been making a concerted effort to connect and communicate.  Sometimes you just gotta step out of the whirlwind, spend $20 and have lunch as a family so that you can talk, laugh, cry and sing.  Yes, sing.  Not a corny-musical-break-out-into-song singing (although I do love a good musical).  Beautiful singing.

We asked our big girls what they were thinking about all the changes happening for us.  What do you like best?  What do you like least?  What scares you?  What worries you?  Their answers were honest, but some were unexpected.  They're scared that my grandma and husband are going to die without knowing Jesus.  I was kind of expecting to talk about many of the "inconveniences" we will experience because of all of this and help the girls desire to unselfishly serve.  No, they are ready to love, to serve, to continue pouring the Gospel into lost souls.  I explained that this is a wonderful opportunity to serve.  God wants us to continually humble ourselves and consider others more than ourselves.  I said that we get to do that on a continual basis to some family that don't understand the love of the One True God...to ones maybe not so easy to love and serve...

My Charlotte...my sweet Charlotte started singing
Make me a servant, humble and meek;
Lord, let me lift up those who are weak;
And may the pray'r of my heart always be:
Make me a servant, make me a servant,
Make me a servant today.

and I started crying.

Nothing could be sweeter than that.  The love of Jesus coming out of your children.  How God must feel when He's able to pour His love out of us.  But to pour out His love, we must first be filled with it. 

I could hardly keep from blubbering and going to the ugly cry.  My children get it.  I'm sure they will remind me when I forget.  I get to serve alongside my children.  How awesome is that!

Friday, October 5, 2012


I love people.  I'm a people watcher.  I mentioned that I enjoy a good opportunity to ponder.  Observing people can lead to some deep thinking.  I've been thinking on some categories that contain both people I know as well as strangers only known by my momentary observation of them.

Logically straight-forward - The people who say what they mean and mean what they say and they make sense while doing it, for any other way to act would be nonsense, of course.  My sweet husband and dear friend, Christina have blessed me with their logic!

Welcomers - People like my parents.  Always looking for ways to add to their family tree as they love and welcome all who are sent their way.  True hospitality.

Oblivious - The ones that drive in the fast line of the highways knowing no one else is possibly on the road with them.  The ones that take up the entire aisle at the grocery store without batting an eye.

Fun - The ones that always make you laugh!!  The ones that will break out into song with you at any given moment.

Interesting - A little "off".  You know the ones!!!!  ;-) 

Runners - People running their race with endurance, like Lisa.  Taking everything they learn along the way as fuel to keep going and share and bless those they're running along side!

Sickeningly sweet - People that will manipulate and excuse any behavior with a southern accent and a smile...

Listeners - Those like my Audrey that not only hear your words but always seek to hear your heart.

Rude - Those who cannot take their eyes off their electronic devices to look into yours.  (kind of a huge pet peeve of mine)

Anonymous - Those who have blessed our family without earthly recognition.

Broken - Those whose ashes have yet to become beauty.  Seek the Lord.  He will bind up your wounds and do AMAZING things.  Isaiah 61!

Prayer warriors - Those that will storm Heaven for you.  Those like Mandy, that will come and find you when your husband is going to have emergency surgery and be the arms of Jesus, holding you while you wait.

Close - Those close enough to your heart to actually hurt when you are hurting and rejoice when you are rejoicing.  Many have had this role for me but none like my sister.

There are many more.  Some that encourage, some that tear down.  Some that drive me crazy, some that drive me crazier.  Some that cause pain, some that mend my heart.  The thing is...all of them can have the same purpose if I let them.  I choose whether my encounters with those I know, those I love, and those I don't know make Jesus my focus or my feelings and circumstances my focus.   
I choose

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  Proverbs 4:23   Let Jesus be the filter for what goes and in and out of your heart.  I pray He will heal the wounds and confusion left in the wake of my sinful nature and I pray He will guard my heart.  You couldn't ask for a better Protector!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Beginning of Ponderings

Well, here goes. 
I fancy myself a over-analyzer ponderer.  I soak things in.  Deep.  In fact, I've been over-analyzing blogging for quite some time.  Time.  And purpose.  That's what I've been waiting on.  I'm not sure what shape this blog will take but I know that it will offer me a way to organize some of my ponderings.  If I'm the only one that actually reads the words, I'm okay with that.   If there are few or frequent updates, I'm okay with that. 

What I desire is to put what is within my heart in black and white; be it beautiful, ugly, silly, inspiring or worrying.

I am seeking after the Lord and finding how pure and beautiful that is.  He is growing and changing my heart and I hope I never ask Him to stop, even though a dear friend and I frequently discuss bringing the easy flannel-graph-Jesus back into our lives to make things easier.  ;-)  Fluffy Jesus.  The Jesus that doesn't go any deeper than being your Savior.  Oh, how the fact that I even need a Savior is deep and enlightening.  Although staying in the shallow end seems appealing, it leaves me moving Bible figures around on a flannel-graph and wasting this vapor of a life I have been given.

Deeper.  Real.  Defaulting to the things of the Spirit and not the flesh.  

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language...Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Colossians 3:8 & 12 These verses tell me that I have a long way to go but I hope I never stop moving closer to the Heart of my Creator, Savior, Friend and Lord.

The things the Lord has led our family to change or be more faithful to obey in have been painful only to the flesh...How beautiful I have come to see obedience.   I didn't say easy.  I said beautiful.  Beautiful is seldom easy.  Look at the journey from caterpillar to butterfly.  Hold a long-awaited newborn.  Look at God's plan of redemption.  Beautiful...

I hope that getting a glimpse into this journey that I am stumbling along will cause you to smile, seek the Lord, encourage others, but, most of all, to ponder!