Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I have a picture that hangs on the wall in my living room. It has been there for seven years. This picture is about 48" x 30" and is of a little girl standing in a doorway. I saw it at Menard's one day when I was shopping for paint for my then new house. I was mesmerized, couldn't take my eyes off it. I felt like I totally had to have it, even though it didn't match anything I owned. It also cost a chunk of change. I went back to look at it probably 4 or 5 times; finally I bought it. It has hung in the same spot in my living room since then, and I still love it.
Fast forward about 5 years. I had just become (gulp!) a grandma and was struggling with the demands of having my own one year old and trying to feel "grandmotherly" towards this new baby. I was reading in my Bible and came across Matthew 18:5, which says "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." I was really convicted of needing to be more welcoming to my granddaughter and I wrote her name under the verse in my Bible to remind me of that. Sophie.
Fast forward another year. I was in the Garden of Readin' at Elmbrook. There on the wall, was the picture that hangs in my living room. On a plaque on the front of it was Matthew 18:5. It was my verse for Sophie on the picture I had to have. God really spoke to me that day, telling me that He knew everything. I knew when I saw my picture at Menard's that I was to have it, and now I knew why. It's my Sophie picture.
Fast forward to tonight. I was telling a friend my "Sophie picture" story. On the way home I realized that I didn't know God or have a relationship with Him when I bought the picture. He has been whispering in my ear all my life, and I have finally tuned in to hear it. He has always been a part of me, even when I didn't know it. Always.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
- The Prayer of Jabez: Big thing for me. I do pray for God to bless me, to use me, to always lead me in that, and to keep me from evil. The understanding of that prayer has changed. I am not looking necessarily for categories to be answered individually, if that makes sense. If I am blessed with an opportunity, I pray that God lead me through how it should go, that it is through His resources that His will is accomplished, and that the sin nature I could bring to a situation be kept from His mission. If that makes any sense. It does to me. He has blessed me with opportunities to impact others for Him, and with the resources to make that happen. My prayer is that my own pride and control freakishness stay far from this.
- The Love Dare: Still doing it. It is a 40 day challenge, and I have been doing it on and off for about a month, so I am on Day 16. Some days just don't lend themselves to checking off a dare, but everyday has been eye-opening. One day I was supposed to ask my husband for a list of 5 things that bother him about me. If someone asked me for a list, I would probably be challenged to stop at five. I waited anxiously for his list. He surprised me by starting his list with 5 things he loves about me, then a few things he would like to see different. I was really floored, and chastised, that he would handle the opportunity to complain about me that way. The biggest take-away so far is to view him as holy, that is, set-apart for a higher purpose. Actually, every day has been eye-opening and convicting. You should all get the book, if not to do the dares, at least to read each entry.
- Chronological Bible: Still reading. It is April 24th and I am on April 14th. Still in the ballpark. Once Bible study is over I can get caught up. I do really like the format though.
- Beth Moore Challenge: I am right on track. At this rate I will have memorized 26 new verses by the end of the year, and kept them all memorized. I am at eight now, and doing pretty well. I know if I say quiz me when you see me I will get all tongue tied, but I can do them outloud by myself. The biggest challenge is choosing something that I haven't already memorized. On the other hand, it has challenged me to search God's word for new treasures. Every verse I have chosen has chosen me. They have all spoken a truth I needed to hear.
I am an exciteable person who likes a challenge. That being said, I am also a person who gets really hyped up about something, until something else catches my eye. A friend of mine always says, "Look, a butterfly!" whenever I go off on a new tangent. I am trying to finish one thing before moving on to something else. Finish strong, right? Don't get sidetracked in the middle of the race. I kind of feel like these are all things that please and honor God, but that if I am not careful, none of them will be able to complete their full work. It is my prayer, for me and for you, that we stay excited about the things God wants us to be excited about, and that the rest of the things fade away. I am excited about my life, my challenges, the opportunities God has given me, and the place He has taken me to in my journey. I couldn't ask for anything more.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Me, only one foot away: I am looking. (Not really, though, but I still know what is going on.)
Justin: LOOK! MOMMY! Watch this!
Me: I am looking. I can still see what you are doing.
God: Does this sound familiar? I have promised you that I will always be looking, that I will always be with you, that I will always see you. But you still feel better when I tell you I'm looking. So stop what you are doing and look at your child, just like I do for you.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Afterthoughts: Thanks, Luanne, for your wise counsel. That, combined with the Voice of Hope class that I attended last night, gave me a lot of room to think. I probably do come across like a ton of bricks, instead of gently and with love. A quote by St. Francis of Assisi seems appropriate here: Preach the gospel to everyone, using words rarely. Or something like that. Stop talking, in a nutshell. Pray more. Stop acting like it all depends on me to hold everything together. Be quiet and give God room to work. Not easy for a self-confessed control freak.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
12:40 am: Technicolor jelly bean puke all over MY bed.
3:00 am: More puke.
7:30 am: Connor is eating saltines and feeling better.
9:30 am: Connor has Justin in a head lock. When I tell him to apologize, he says "I'm sorry Justin...that you smell like a monkey."
Noon: Connor again, "Can I color on Justin with a marker? It's peach, so it won't really show up." While I appreciate the considerate thought, the answer is still no.
Anyway, I sent my husband an email asking him if he could take a day off this week to set me free. Still awaiting news from the outside.If anyone wants to bake me a cake with a file in it, or share some good ideas so I don't lose my mind, let me know. I'll be the one in the orange jumpsuit.
Update, 12:23, same day: My husband's new boss said yes, as one mom to another, she understands my pain. Thankful for the new boss and my husband for asking in the first place. I'll still take a cake though if anyone has started baking...
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Here is the song, but at the service it was set to the Crucifixion scene from the Passion.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I would challenge you not to look away. Stop living in the land of Baby Jesus and accept Him for Who He is, the Risen Son of our Almighty God. Accept the power of the cross in your life. Accept Him for Who He truly was, is, and is to come.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
The verse I chose for this just really calls to me. I can't explain it. It just speaks to me. It speaks to the wanna-be risk-taker inside me. It challenges me to live within the power, love, and self-discipline that the very Spirit of God fills me with.
I am grateful to this Beth Moore challenge for encouraging me to memorize more scripture consistently, and to let those words of truth be in my heart at all times.