Friday, March 18, 2011

Willing to Take a Stand

At a revival service this week, the musicians sang "In God We Still Trust". A patriotic song by Diamond Rio. At the end of the song, one of the singers began reciting The Pledge of Allegiance. I anxiously looked around for a flag, but it wasn't in the sanctuary that night. I knew I should stand, felt compelled to stand, but I continued to sit. So did everyone else. Until one older lady slowly stood to her feet with her head up and her back straight, all by herself. All around her others began to stand until by the end of the song everyone was on their feet.

I was ashamed. Ashamed that though I thought I should stand, I didn't. Ashamed that I cared what other people might think or say about me if I stood up. Ashamed that I wasn't willing to take a stand, by myself.

I was also heartened. Heartened that this one woman made a difference. Heartened that her actions spurred a room full of people to do what they felt they should.

My thoughts are not about patriotism or standing for the pledge. They're about me. They're about who I don't want to be. More importantly, they're about who I do want to be and what I want to accomplish. I don't want to sit in my seat waiting for someone else to make a way. I don't want to wait for someone else to blaze my trail. I want to be brave even when I'm afraid. I want to lead others to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

When God says, "No"

What good is prayer? What good are my prayers? After I found out that our Doodlebug died when I was 10 weeks pregnant, I didn't see any need to pray anymore. That's not to say I didn't pray; I still prayed, but I didn't expect those prayers to be answered. I didn't even realize I felt that way until my hubby mentioned praying about something and how I really felt popped out of my mouth, "Sure, ummm, you know what? There's no need for me to pray. God isn't listening to my prayers lately."

I've always known that sometimes God says, "no." I've always accepted that God knows best. Not this time. I couldn't have prayed anymore sincerely. My children prayed. Daily we asked that Doodlebug would grow strong and healthy. When I lay on the bed in the ultrasound room after the technician told me that she was sorry but she couldn't find a heartbeat, I prayed and cried and begged that the little heart would beat, that an arm would wave or a leg would kick. What kind of Daddy would say no to that prayer?

This morning that question was answered. The kind of Daddy who knows that His will is best. The kind of Daddy who could watch His son, His only son sweat great drops of blood while begging to not be crucified. The kind of Daddy who allowed His beloved Son's blood to cover my sin. The kind of Daddy who didn't allow me to be lost. The kind of Daddy who is love and must have suffered terribly while Jesus prayed.

The kind of Daddy who hurt with me while I prayed. The kind of Daddy who works all things together for the good of those who love Him. I don't understand, but I rest in His love for me.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Dear Landlord,

What did we do to offend you? Why didn't you warn us before beginning the eviction process? Under your desk was such a pleasant place to live. No one noticed us. No one bothered us. For once no discriminated against us.

Until today...

Today the books were removed from the floor. Books we lived in and around and under. Some of us were injured when our webs were ripped apart by the moving books. We had taken such care in decorating the calendar that had fallen behind your desk. drug it out with the broom and snatched it up, destroying the patterns we'd drawn in the dust. Many of us were destroyed when you brandished your broom and dustpan.

We don't know what your problem is, but we will not be recommending your accommodations to our friends. In fact, we will suggest to our cousins living in other parts of your home that they seek other places to live. We hope that you will give more consideration to them than you did to us.

Spiders and Dust Bunnies

Monday, July 19, 2010

Just the other morning my son called me, "Mom, come quick! You've got to see this really fat bird!" I hurried over to the window to see a very small bird (it did have a round belly) perched on the rail of the front porch. I was surprised that it didn't fly off after both boys and I noisily crowded around the window right next to its perch.

There are butterfly bushes planted beside the porch, and they are just about as high as the porch rail. Suddenly, the little bird lunged at one of itty-bitty butterflies. It lost its balance and missed the butterfly, but the bird quickly returned to its spot to wait. When another butterfly flew close, the bird flapped its wings and went after it.

It was very interesting to watch the bird hunt in my butterfly bushes. I have to admit that I was a little glad he wasn't successful at catching his prey. As I went on about my day I thought how smart the little bird was. He was hungry; he went where the food could be found.

It wasn't long before I realized that I'm not nearly as smart as that wren. When I'm dissatisfied, sometimes I seek to fill that with facebook, friends, food, reading, tv, or any number of things. Often my dissatisfaction arises because I haven't been spending enough time with God. Why does it take me so long to recognize that I'm not filling up on God's Word and His presence, that I'm not even close to what I need? I'm so grateful that He is always there when I come to Him.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Brokenness and a New Year

There's a Joel Engle song we sing in church called "Nothing Left of Me".

Your sacrifice is brokenness
A heart that's full of Tenderness
come and break me Lord
To seek You in Your righteousness
To find You in Your holiness
Come and take me Lord
That I could learn to trust You
In every way to love You

Strip away all that remains for Your glory and Your Name
'til there's nothing left of me
Burn the kingdoms I have made
that You would shine
And I would fade '
til there's nothing left of me'til there's nothing left of me

Your Spirit is the only One
that can conform me
To Your Son
let Him move in me ?
Your grace is written deep in me
You've signed my heart to purity
with Your holy blood

Aren't the lyrics beautiful? I've always sung this and meant it. It turns out I had no clue.

Lately, stripped away is how I feel. But the sweet surrendering spirit I felt when singing this is nothing like I feel now--stripped and bare and raw. I want to cry out to God, "Hey, wait, I changed my mind!" Actually, that probably sounds a lot better than what I've been saying to God lately.

I believe that God is using this very low place in my life for good. I know that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I know that He is good. I know that He loves me. I've always said (well, at least for many years I've said) that He is enough. Enough for my heart. Enough for my hurts. Enough for my needs. I meant it, but...... Now God is teaching me that He is Enough (at this point, that's what I see the lesson being-Irealize that when I'm on the other side of this time I may find that there was another lesson.)

My new year's resolution was going to be to seek God more. I'm thinking it should probably be to seek Him more fully and to surrender completely to Him. See, the problem is: This is not what I want to do!!! I realized last night at church as we sang that my arms were crossed over my chest and my jaw was tight, not only was I sad, but I was really angry. I do not want to be broken anymore. I do not want to surrender my dreams. I do not want to live on faith, stepping when led to step and drawing back when led to draw back. I want to have a plan. I want to know how it ends. I want to be in control. I don't want it to hurt anymore!

Here are my resolutions for 2010:

1. Love and seek God with my whole heart, mind, soul and strength.

2. Surrender control in whatever area God asks (again and again, as necessary) until surrender is complete.

I fully expect that when 2011 arrives, my heart will look much different--if I persevere.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In eight months, I'll be.....

FORTY!!! It occurred to me yesterday that eight months from today I will have my fortieth birthday. It also occurred to me that 40 is the age that "they" say everything starts to fall apart. (It probably is not coincidental that I was using the elliptical during this brainstorm.)

I have a choice to make. I can turn 40 in bad physical health, tired and out of shape (remember, I was on the elliptical.) OR I can turn 40 in the best shape of my life. I'm not talking weight, necessarily. This is more about how I feel.

I'm making a committment to myself and to God to work on how much exercise and rest I get, to eat better quality food, and to love on my family and to be as devoted to God as I can possibly be. I know that for much of my life I've not done all that I could to be healthy, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

I know God has lots for me to do. I want to be able to do those things well with passion. It's hard to have passion if you don't feel well. I hope I'll have lots of grandbabies one day, and I want to have lots of energy to enjoy them. When my youngest children are grown, I want to enjoy my empty nest and time with my husband.

So, my 40th birthday present to me is improved health and quality of life!!! What do you need to do for yourself today? Don't wait!!! Whatever it is that will improve the quality of your life and maybe even the quantity of your life start working toward it one step at the time, today!

Happy Birthday!!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ahhhh!!!! It's already September 21! and I've only written two posts for September. I think there are a couple of problems: it takes a long time to establish a habit and I have not made blogging a habit yet, I don't have lots of brilliant and/or funny things to write about, when I do think of something brilliant and/or funny I think about how it would make a great blog post, but then I don't actually write it.

I am currently working on decluttering at my sweet husband's pushing uhhhmmmm I meant to say encouraging! Most of my books are together on the school shelves. I still have stuff sitting out that I took off the school shelves, but haven't found a home for yet. I'm going to put those things away, clean out the cabinets under the window seat and clean out the medicine cabinet (most of which has been out on the counter for the last two weeks because I was tired of stuff falling out when I opened the cabinet door!!)

Decluttering is hard for me. I get so overwhelmed by all my junk. The more I look, the more I see and I know I can't do it all--not today, not this week, and probably not this month. I can only handle small bites.

What do you need to clean out?