Thursday, October 30, 2008


I think I lied in church, but since it was my own understanding at the time, it can't really be a lie, can it? Pastor Guy asked the question who came to know God as a result of us pursuing Him, and I raised my hand, along with a few other people. When I really started my journey to the Lord 5 and 1/2 years ago, I was seriously searching for something. As I cried out in frustration, "I can't do this by myself anymore" and clearly heard, "You don't have to" I know it was God calling me to come to Him. But, since He had been waiting for that day longer than I can fathom, does it mean He showed up because I pursued Him? Or did He speak up because I finally noticed Him standing there? Are we really pursuing Someone who has been there all along? This question has been rolling around in my mind since Sunday.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fire Works

I happened on to a new blog that I am really enjoying. Her real name is Heaven. Not only does she have good posts, she is a for real person. The things I think, she writes. I am liking being challenged by her. Her last post was about freedom. It made me think about when I used to feel really free. Not in a 'do whatever I want' kind of way, but the free you feel when a giant weight has been lifted off your shoulders. The free you feel on the first day of summer vacation. Giddy and excited and limitless. As I'm writing this, my mind is racing. I am beginning to understand Jesus' desire that we come to Him like little children, full of anticipation. Jesus is not asking us to come to Him so we can be filled with complacency. He wants us to have joy, life to the full. Not status quo.

My prayer for myself, and you, is that we are filled with the fire of our Living God. To stop being so busy in dotting the i's and crossing the t's that we miss out on the big adventure of following Christ.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Story of "God of This City"

Being a huge Chris Tomlin fan, I listen to everything he sings. His new song God of This City has the most amazing story behind it. There is an Irish band called BlueTree that was visiting friends in Thailand. Without being overly graphic, anything and everything of a sexual nature is for sale there, with women and children being exploited to an unbelievable degree. This band finds themselves able to play a set at a bar frequented by prostitutes and out of town business men. They are allowed to play for as long as they keep buying sodas. They sang every worship song they knew for hours, over and over. Suddenly they began singing this song, one they had never heard or played. It was like a word straight from God to the hopeless and the lost, in a place that needs the light of Christ more than anything. I can tell you personally, when I heard the story behind the song on KLOVE,I got some serious Holy goosebumps. I couldn't speak for the tears running down my face. I know beyond anything I have known before that the Lord Himself delivered this song to that band in that place. Enjoy the video! By the way, I got my Chris Tomlin tickets to his January 31st show in Madison, 16th row!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Game I Can Play

You know those email chain letters that ask you 20 questions and want you to answer it and forward it to 5 friends? Well, I usually fill myself in on the question "Most likely not to answer this" and send it back. Frankly, I don't think anyone cares what color shirt I'm wearing today or what the last movie I cried during was. A well timed long distance commercial can get that award. Anyway, I think I found something useless but fun to be excited about:

The Six-Word Memoirs.

How would you describe your life in six words? Click here to see some funny ones, and the book they came from.

I have lots of ideas, but I'm having trouble choosing the right six words. Here are some finalists:
  • I'm dazzled by my own humility.
  • Slow start but a strong finish.
  • Psalm 40, but is that cheating?
  • But it was a real recipe...(that was for my girls!)
  • I gave it my best shot.
  • This is harder than it looks.
  • So that's where they come from.
  • Lived well, laughed often, loved much.

Just for fun, leave a comment with your own Six Word Memoir. I promise not to send you any emails asking what you had for dinner or where you went to grade school. But in case you are wondering about me, frozen pizza and JE Jones in Cudahy. Yes, I said Cudahy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fresh Air

Did you ever just need to get outside of yourself, to experience some of the BIGNESS of God? I felt like that this weekend, and got to achieve it to some degree. During worship time at Bible Study, there was a picture of a woman standing on a hill overlooking a body of water, her arms outstretched in worship. Looking at that picture, I almost felt physically unable to stay confined to the chapel. I had this need to get outside, get to the highest point, and shout out to God. I felt like I wouldn't be able to get high enough, or close enough to stay sane.

I talked my husband into going for a walk at Minooka Park with the boys on Saturday. There is a spot all the way up the road that comes out at the top of a hill. Not a huge hill, but big enough. The view was beautiful with all the trees giving glory to God in a burst of color. Even Connor commented that the trees must be really happy to look like that. We just spent some time running up and down that hill, enjoying the view and the fresh air. While I didn't shout out to God, I did thank Him for His bounty and goodness in our lives.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hand Holding

"For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you,
"Do not fear, I will help you."
Isaiah 41:13
Warning: This post is not a slight to left-handed people, just a thought that was laid on my heart as I read this scripture. Being a right-handed person, I couldn't help but find personal significance to me in this promise. If God had not specified a hand to hold, I would have offered my left hand, because I don't use that one as much. He wouldn't get in the way. Yes, I know how bad that sounds. All the important stuff, writing, stirring pots, wiping noses, it is all lead by the right hand. With God holding that one, He gets to be involved in everything I do. I picture a three-legged race, except with arms. Every step I take, He takes. If He only got what I offered, I would just drag Him along behind me like a slow-poke child. Totally not fitting for the God of the Universe.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

And I Thought No One Was Looking

Apparently my secret gluttony of the previous blog is not such a secret. And also apparently, there were Hershey kisses still in the wrappers even, somewhere in the cupboards. After calling Justin's name when I hadn't seen him for a little while, I saw movement under the dining room table. There he was, a pile of shiny foil next to him. When I asked him what he was doing, he said "Me having a party." I was obviously not on the guest list. By the way, those kisses must have been way up in the cupboards because I never found them...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Call It What It Is

Does this kind of dreary, rainy weather make anyone else want to eat like there's no tomorrow, or is it just me? Until this morning I never considered it a sin, more of a quirk. I was reading about sin in my Bible study,gluttony in particular, and I think I've discovered I'm a glutton. A selective, seasonally-challenged glutton. Selective because it needs to be something sweet and salty, or crunchy, or maybe just sweet, but definitely not fruit or vegetable based. Unless it's a Frito, which technically is derived from corn somehow. Seasonally-challenged because I could live on watermelon and ice water all summer, but the minute the thermometer dips below 60 degrees or the sun stops shining, you'd think I was getting ready to go into hibernation.

Anyway, I'm actually not sure why it is a sin. (I hope I didn't just burst any bubbles out there, but I don't really know everything. I just play someone who does in my public life.) I'm sure it has something to do with self-control. Wanting to eat my head off is no better than more serious addictions or sins that we use to fill an empty spot. It does probably signify a deeper need that as long as the bag of crunchy stuff is planted firmly in front of me, I don't need to deal with. So what is a mid-western corn-fed girl to do?

Pray. Ask for that power that is mine to utilize, through Christ''s sacrifice. Remember that when God knit me together in my mother's womb (Psalm 139), He did not have a wooly mammoth in mind. Since sin is anything that separates us from God, He has given us an amazing resource to deal with it. Kratos refers to the power to overcome the sin in our life and live in victory. Even if it is victory over the cupboards. I will be praying that I remember who I am in Christ no matter what the weather or temperature, that I will seek to fill the empty place with the Holy Spirit, not salty things that only satisfy for a few seconds. I will also be praying for strength enough for today, and try not to dwell on the fact that it is only the first week of October. I can make a good choice for today and let tomorrow take care of itself. Also, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to relearn how to crochet. Keep those hands busy...
Disclaimer: I am not against a well-deserved treat. It's the frantic unloading of the cupboard hoping to find a Hershey's kiss still in the wrapper or at least not too dirty frenzy that I am talking about.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tribute to Laura

One year ago yesterday I was sitting at a funeral celebrating the life of someone I wish I'd known better. It has been a year already since Laura Powers passed away from breast cancer. Ironically, or by God's grace, her funeral was on what would've been her 39th birthday. During the journey of her final days I learned more than I realized.
  • Don't wait for a "better time" to befriend someone. I met Laura during our Starting Point class two years earlier. She was coming out of her first battle with cancer and even though we had a lot in common, I didn't really pursue a friendship with her. We ran into each other at church and around town and said we should really get together, but never did. She was either busy being well, or busy being sick. I was busy waiting for the right time.
  • We are all put here by the same God, to serve Him through serving one another. Laura and her husband were gracious in their Caring Bridge website, allowing us a glimpse of what was going on in their hearts. One post I will never forget was written by her husband. He said that even though his heart was breaking, he knows that his purpose in life is to glorify God, and that he is here to be His servant through taking care of his wife, for however long he is allowed to do that.
  • Live every day like it is your last. While Laura was in her final months, she was known in her neighborhood as the "grinning bald woman with too much time on her hands." She would dress up the garden gnomes and flamingoes in other people's yards with feather boas. She escaped from the hospice facility to go to WalMart and the mall, no doubt buying things for her husband and daughters to receive after her passing. During a tribute at her funeral, someone shared what she thought Laura's presentation at the pearly gates would look like: Hello, Laura. Did you get all your work done? No, Father, I was busy playing with the kids.
  • While my own heart was breaking at the thought of a mom having to leave her young children, the Lord gave me a Word. Psalm 34:18 says, "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." Not only was this Word for me, it was a reminder to me that everything is in His hand.

Gentle Reminder

Every now and again I feel like I get a direct word from God about something. Last Sunday while I was sitting in church, even though the sermon was about parenting, I found myself thinking about my husband and how I try to shape him into the person I'm sure he can be. I heard God remind me that Rob is His child, not mine, and that He will take care of the shaping. Hmm.

I was writing in my journal this week and decided to read back over the last year. Apparently God had that same message for me in March, June, and August. And each time I wrote it down like it was a brand new revelation. It made me think of how many times I can tell my own kids something and each time it's like they never heard it before. I wish I could remember all the time that He is the One in control. "Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord." Psalm 31:24

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Spinning my Wheels

Do you ever feel like you are trying too hard? Trying too hard to live the way God wants you to? Trying too hard to be everything to everyone? Trying too hard to be something you aren't for that time frame? This could be a pity party, but I think I'm having a "grass is greener over the fence" kind of day. The only good news is that I don't see anyone's grass looking any better than mine.

I would like to make a deep connection through my Bible study with what the Lord has in my mind for me, but the attention span isn't there today. I would like to get some scrapbooking done, but the desire isn't really there. I am pretty sure I would like to make some cards, but I don't really feel like cutting the paper to do it. I had a conversation with a friend to day about getting overwhelmed by any amount of free time. I get so excited to have a few hours each week with only one child that I make all these plans in my head about what I'm going to do. Then I don't actually do anything because I couldn't make up my mind or get started. Next thing I know it's time to get Connor and I missed my chance until next week.

I try so hard to do something that I fail at doing anything. Which begs the question, am I setting the wrong goals?I am just having a wheel-spinning, unsettled time right now. Let's hope that it's not age/hormone related or we are in for a long ride.
Follow-up: 10/2
As I was leaving for NEST after dinner (which I skipped in lieu of a cup of coffee which I ended up spilling all over my husband's dinner anyway), I couldn't help but laugh. I definitely live in a boy's house. Connor and Justin both had their shirts off and were perfecting the fine art of armpit toots. Then, as I was driving to the church, I prayed that God would show me that He loves me in spite of myself and my sorry attitude. I got out of the car and saw a beautiful rainbow in the field across the street. I couldn't help but cry. It was like God putting His arm around me and letting me lean on His shoulder for a minute. Probably need to seek after that more often.