Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Keeping Peace in the Midst of Change


“True peace comes from embracing what is,
not from ceaseless striving to change everything around me
to make my life more safe, secure, comfortable.”
Dan Meadows in the Mosaic Bible

We had been in the UK for two years. Our work visa was due to expire. No one could get any confirmation that we would get an extension. I had a newborn. And I knew in my heart that we were not going to be going anywhere--although all the signs pointed to needing to leave. We were not even looking for a job in the US as a "back up plan." Someone at church asked how we could be so calm in the time of the unknown. I answered that it was either faith or denial, but I knew we were staying. I felt totally at peace with all that was happening. I totally celebrated and breathed a prayer of thanksgiving when the extension came through---but I had never lost the feeling of peace. I could have panicked and worried during those weeks, but it would have done me no good. By not striving to change anything while waiting on God's timing we ended up leaving a testimony that I would never have anticipated--one of patience and peace in the unknown.

Nine years later as we were waiting on paperwork to clear for our move to Ireland, and I discovered I was pregnant, I again had a perfect human right to panic and worry about what we were going to do. Instead we took the attitude "it is what it is" and that God was not surprised by the timing of any of it. With that mindset, we were able to remain calm in the turmoil of an international move. We could have waited until the baby came but we would have missed the blessing of the help that God had already prepared for us. We could have fretted and worried, but then the girls would have missed seeing a move as God's plan and began to see it as something that was to be avoided. By embracing the life given with all its crazy timing we were able to demonstrate a level of peace that others noticed.

Our life is often filled with the unexpected timing or humanly unplanned changes. We have chosen to keep an attitude that nothing surprises God and to welcome whatever he throws our way. I can testify that in that acceptance, peace has come that has provided the strength and perseverance to accept the changes. I hope that continues to be my testimony. I pray that it may also be your testimony of peace.

And, if you see me panicking over some unforeseen something in my life, please be my friend and point me back to this post. *smile*

Tami at The Next Step is our amazing hostess this week. Go and visit, I know you will be blessed!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Marriage Monday...Celebrating Women

Today's Marriage Monday is to learn more about the participants as women! Go here to get the prompts and join along.

I am the honoured mom of three (still hard to type that).
I want time to write!
I have great memories of all the places we have been.
I wish I could see the Northern Lights, someday.
I hate bureaucracy.
I miss girlfriends who live in other countries.
I fear something happening to one of the children.
I feel blessed to be in this beautiful place.
I hear happy gurgles of nursing baby.
I smell toast cooking.
I crave a group of women to study Bible alongside.
I search for treasure chest printables for birthday party.
I wonder who I will be when I cease being SAH Mom.
I regret a hard-lost friendship and the reasons it had to die.
I love watching the sea.
I ache when I think of a lost vision from God.
I care for friends and family, near and far.
I always choose chocolate for dessert.
I am not patient.
I believe God forgives my impatience.
I dance when no one is watching.
I sing in my baby's ear but not for others to hear.
I cry when I read poignant moments in stories.
I don’t always have my quiet time.
I fight the clock for enough time.
I write because it is as vital as breathing.
I never dreamed I would be married, or have children, or travel abroad.
I listen to dreams of others knowing God can far exceed them.
I need to stop writing and teach my children..
I am happy with our new life in Ireland.

Monday, January 09, 2012

In Other Words--Why my Mind needs Transforming


”Without the renewed mind, we will distort the Scriptures to avoid their radical commands for self-denial, and love, and purity, and supreme satisfaction in Christ alone.”
~ John Piper ~

This morning I gave Jewel a couple of chores that I wanted her to complete before we started school. She promptly passed the chores on to Flower, who set off to do them muttering under her breath the entire time. When I asked her what was wrong she said "Jewel makes me do everything." I reminded her (again) that Jewel was not the person in our house who could give her chores...but that if she chooses to take on the chores that Jewel tells her to do she is the only one to blame. Then I called Jewel and reminded her that I told her to do the aforementioned items. She then said to me, "you only said you wanted them done, you didn't say by who."


Why does she have to be so....human.

It seems at times as if it is wired into our human nature to avoid all responsibility. Eve did it in the garden. Saul did it to the sound of bleating sheep. Peter did it by a warm fire. I do it more often than I want to admit. Twist words. Play a semantics game. Push responsibility. Anything but taking Scripture at face value and simply following it.

God knew that we I could not read Scripture and put into action his calls in my original human form. He knew that my instinct would be to say "you said you wanted it done, but you didn't say I had to do it." Radically love? That is for those people specially gifted with patience. Sacrificially give? Must be a command for those folks down the street because I really need to save for (whatever). Tell others about Jesus? Nope, only gifted evangelists must do that. Semantics games to get out of the tough callings. But that is not the intention of God. So, he made a way to change my original form.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

The more I allow Him to transform me, the more I see the world's needs through his eyes. The more I get my eyes on the needs of others, the less I feel like I need to keep for myself. Transformation of my mind is the only way I am able to honestly read, understand and follow his word. and Reading his word and allowing the Holy Spirit to make it a living part of me is the only way to transform my mind. Guess I need to stop playing semantics games and spend more time allowing his word to permeate me. It is the only hope I have of not being so....human.

Father, forgive me when I use excuses to not follow your teaching. Holy Spirit come and illuminate the word to me as I read it. Make it a part of me. Transform my mind to see the world's needs as you do. Amen.

Urailak at Living for God is our hostess this week. Please visit and see what others are saying about this week's quote. Bless you!