Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Heard at My House...the profound edition


"The Lord has given this land to us,
I need to fuss
He knows what He's doing,
The Lord...."

You astute VeggieTales officiandos out there will know that the second line of this song is actually "NO need to fuss." But that is not how it is sung at our house. And it is sung at our house at least twenty thousand four hundred and one times a day, so this is heard at our hosue often. As I went to correct the girls for the umteenth time, I begain to see that they may actually be singing reality.

fuss: a: a state of agitation especially over a trivial matter b: objection, protest c: an often petty controversy or quarrel (according to www.Merriam-Webster.com)

How often do I see that God is at work in a situation and instead of rejoicing in what is happening, I choose to fuss? Maybe God chose to work differently than I would have chosen, so I get indignant. Maybe His time table did not comply with mine, so I get frustrated pace and fret. Maybe I am just disgruntled because someone else is getting the blessing instead of me. Maybe my excuse is that I am just being human, but that really translates into just being selfish.

There is often a sense that I need to "fuss"--fret and object--out of some misguided sense of injustice. Other times I "fuss" around--fidget, interfere, agitate--and get in the way. I say that God is working in my life but I don't act like He knows what He is doing. Worse yet, I act like He needs my "superior" skills to accomplish things. What a joke! What a sinful, prideful, selfish person I can be. And although my words may be saying "God is doing great things" if my actions are saying "I wish He would listen to me", what are people hearing? I think they more often hear the actions than the words. I want my actions to demonstrate my trust that "The Lord is giving (whatever we need) to us....He knows what He's doing."

Leave it to the children to teach us the lesson.

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. Psalm 28:7

An added note, after I wrote the above I went to the dictionary to get the actual definitions (as quoted above) instead of my in-my-feeble-brain definitions of my rough draft. In addition to the ones listed, there is this definition:

a: needless bustle or excitement b: a show of flattering attention

I realized that sometimes I "make a fuss" over what God is doing and in the end over-analyze it to the point of almost minimalizing it. The key words here seem to be "needless" and "flattering". It is important to recognize God's hand and to give Him the glory. But often I need to just let God be God and not try to explain Him. He doesn't need my flattery, He deserves my worship. That is the fine line that He is teaching me to define. Seems to me there is more heart-work that I need to do here. Maybe I'll write about it more in the future.

Blessings today! Thanks for coming by!

photograph courtesy of www.morguefile.com; artist=setapart

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

In Other Words---A Mother's Prayer

"Momma prayed, momma cried, momma laid awake at night.
She would fight my battles while I slept away
Cause momma knew life is hard
without somebody on your side
I don't know how, but there is power in the way,
The way my momma prayed."

words and music by Jeremiah Olson of 40milesNorth

I grew up in a home of believers. But the only time I ever remember prayer in my home was grace before meals. I know that my mother would disappear into her room to have her devotional time, and I assume that she prayed during that time, but I never saw her or heard her pray for my brother or me. I have friends that speak of always knowing their mother was praying no matter what they did. They tell those stories as they tell of the protection they had or the draw back to Jesus (for the more wayward ones). There is always a comfort level and an awe as they speak reverently of their mothers' prayers. I don't have that in my mother. I have it in my grandmother. I know that she spent hours praying for her grandchildren and I could call her and tell her anything because she would be praying into it. I am grateful for that. Yet, I'm sad I don't have those memories of my mother.

So this is one area that I want to parent differently than my mom. I want my girls to know that I pray for them. I want them to see me pray, hear me pray, trust that I pray. We pray at the start of schooltime, and it thrills my heart to hear them offer their prayers alongside mine. We pray at mealtime. I make certain that I don't disappear behind a closed door for all of my devotional time--I want them to see me open my Bible, read, journal and pray. We pray at night before they go to bed. And you know what makes me most content as a mother---when I hear them pray over their dolls before they put them to bed. I know that they are receiving a heritage.

Someday, they will grow up and take steps into the world on their own. At that time I want them to have the security of knowing that their Mama is praying for them, like she always has and always will. That is one of the greatest gifts I can ever give them.

We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
his power, and the wonders he has done.

He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our forefathers
to teach their children,

so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.

Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.
Psalm 78:4-7

Father, protect my little ones today, physically and spiritually. Even now in their tender hearts I pray you are planting seeds that will grow into faith and obedience. I pray that I will be a role model of an honest seeker and disciple. I pray that as they see me succeed and as they see me fail, they always see me turn to you. Help me to teach them Your ways and Your deeds of the past and today. Please give me wisdom as I help these young hearts to grow and know You. In Jesus' name....amen.

Heather at Titus 2 Woman is the hostess this week for In Other Words. Please come join us and be blessed.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What is Beautiful?

"Go do something beautiful, in the name of Jesus, do something beautiful
God do something Jesus would, do something beautiful."
Graham Kendrick
Copyright © 2002 Make Way Music

For the last several weeks at church we have been singing this little chorus. In some ways it is a theme song for this period of time in the church. I've been reflecting on whether or not we as a congregation, and especially me as an individual, have any idea what we are saying. I suspect that there are others who would join me in saying "I'm singing a lie." (Or as Casting Crowns sings "Am I the only one in church today feelin' so small?")

Oh, I don't want to sing a lie. But I suspect that I also don't define beautiful the same way God does. "Go do something Jesus would..." What did Jesus do? Well he touched the untouchable, he loved the unlovable, he confronted the pious, and then he sacrificed himself for those who were rejecting him. The world would say that that was a wasted life. Yet, from this side of the cross, I would say that all of those things are absolutely beautiful and absolutely necessary. But they are costly, and I don't know that I'm always willing to pay the cost. If "beautiful" was defined by the world's standards it would be easier--because that would imply that there would be accolades from the world for doing it. But the things Jesus did, the world really prefers to ignore. The world likes to deny that there are poor, or untouchables, or truths that need to be upheld. Doing something beautiful is often overlooked by the world, and if it is seen it is sneered. Doing what Jesus would costs.

I've been following the blogger Compassion trip that Shannon and BooMama and others are taking. What they are doing is beautiful. And what Compassion is doing is beautiful. They are touching people that most of the world try to ignore. I am touched by their stories. I've laughed with them, cried with them and prayed for them. Most of all it challenges me to look outside my comfort zone. In challenges me to look at people the way Jesus would.

I don't have to go to Uganda to see people as Jesus does. They are all around me. Last week the most beautiful thing I could do was take care of whiny children who could not articulate how bad they felt--so they acted out. Keeping hold of my frustrations while entertaining them and keeping medicine in them was beautiful--because it is the service God called me to at that moment. Yesterday was spent at a "newcomers lunch" at my church. My comfort zone is not introducing myself to new people but I did it--because it was where I needed to be. Tomorrow I will take Jewel to swimming lessons. I am certain that the teacher and the parents of the other kids are not believers. I'm praying to see them as Jesus would--and reach out as he leads. Doing what Jesus calls us to do is not always taking big leaps of faith or doing huge tasks. It is being aware. It is seeing needs. And it is being obedient when He prompts us to act.

I'm praying that I can do something beautiful this week. Praying that you can too. Are you willing to take that step of faith? Blessings to you!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's a Holy Grail kind of weekend

This is one of the most important weekends on my calendar. Can you guess why?

You probably would not know this about me--since I come across as quiet (hee hee) and reflective (ha ha) and well you know the mousy type that stitches and quilts and studies and not much more--but the truth is I am not those things. Well I do stitch and quilt and study, but I am also a near true fanatic Motor Sports fan. February 17 has been marked on my calendar for months now, well since November, because it is the true start of the year for me. Yes, I will be taking a spot in front of the telly in a couple of short hours to watch the Daytona 500. Yippee we are going racing again.

Are you shocked?

Don't be embarassed. Most people who meet me in real life don't peg me for a race fan either. That is until I start talking racing.

To give you a taste...I subscribe to 100 blogs in my reader--7 of them are Motorsports news blogs that tell me the same thing, German subscribes to AutoWeek magazine but he doesn't get it to read until after I've read the NASCAR section, and I have been known on many occasion to check NASCAR's website before I check my own email. It's addictive.

This year I am a little lost about who I want to win. I have always been a Mark Martin fan...and it definitely had to be Ford powered. But now not only does Mark drive a Chevy but he drives the #8 and, although not a Dale Jr fan, I refuse to support DEI. So I need to choose a driver, like in the next 90 minutes. Leaning toward Carl Edwards, but not convinced. But I can't wait for the season to begin.

But this weekend ended up being Motorsports heaven. Yesterday we spent the day at a MotorSport Rally. It was held down the road from us (we are actually close enough that we could hear the cars for 3 hours of racing after we left the course). I have not paid much attention to rally racing except to know that it was a timed event and that a co-driver is used to tell the driver the course that is not known in advance. May I just say that it was a blast to watch. The stretch of the course that we could see was really very contained, so the speed was great. But the agility of the cars and watching them slide through the hairpin curves was totally cool. We watched for about an hour before we got in out of the cold. And we have already noted the dates for next year. *gleeful clapping *

Fast cars, the smell of racing fuel and burning tires, and that sound of the engine. What more could a girl want?

Enjoy the race!

(sorry there are no pictures...our first rally race and we forgot the camera and the few on the phone camera just don't capture it)

Mom is not allowed to be sick

*ugh* I am sorry I disappeared on everyone! I managed to miss the memo that mom's are not allowed to be sick--and made up for it all at one time. I cannot think of a time, ever, that I spent two days in bed ill. Really who has time for that? With this wonderful bug that invaded my home I spent five days in bed. FIVE!! And three of those the girls and German were also in bed sick. And they stayed in bed three days past me. *double ugh* The doc said it was *just* a respiratory virus. Except Flower who had tonsilitis as well. But then the doc did not hear my cough that would last three minutes minimum each time I coughed. So, obviously, blogging was not the priority.

But we are back in the land of the living. Actually we have been back in the land of the living for a week. But between Mt. Laundry and the wonderful task of disinfecting my entire house to GET RID OF THIS BUG, I still haven't had a priority of blogging. I am soooo glad to be back. Thank you to those of you have checked in on me. I promise I'll try not to disappear again.