Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Still Waiting

God promises us in His Word that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  He also says that no father who loves his son neglects disciplining his child, and that likewise, He disciplines us.


I think I have never felt His discipline as acutely as I am right now.  It came out of nowhere, and it just keeps - on - coming.

It's becoming comical, almost.  Simply because there is no explanation other than knowing that my Father who loves me is weeding right now.  My flowerbed of a life has lots of weeds, and He's a-pluckin'.

I never knew it could hurt so much.  Owwwwwwwwwwwwwww . . .

But oh, so faithful is He.  So true is His love for me.  So good are His plans for me.

So I'll keep on waiting!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


 But let all who take refuge in You be glad,
         Let them ever sing for joy;
         And may You shelter them,
         That those who love Your name may exult in You. 
Psalm 5:11
Have you ever battled your flesh during a hard circumstance?  On the one hand, you feel sad and discouraged, but you know the truth, that in Christ there is joy in ALL circumstances.  

How about this: have you ever thanked God for a trial that you're facing - while you're facing it?  I think most of us can look back at trials and see how God worked in our lives and be grateful for the work He did in us, even if the trial itself was miserable, but thanking him right in the midst of it . . . that's not easy, friends.

I know.  He's teaching me right this very minute!  I don't like being in the middle of a yucky circumstance.  I don't like feeling hurt.  But I'll tell you what, feeling Him intensely - needing Him intensely - is pretty powerful.  Seeing him change parts of me that need to be changed is exciting.

It's funny though how we ask God to change things for weeks, months, years - and then when He does, it's not at all like we envisioned.  I prayed for the first 10 years of my marriage that God would make me a better homemaker, because my husband needs a neat and orderly home, and it just wasn't that important to me.  I'm not sure exactly how I thought he would change that in me, but it sure isn't happening like I thought it would!  Guess what He did?  He changed my heart, and now when the house starts to get a little hairy, I start to feel a little harried.  Yeah, you guessed it - he actually gave me a desire for a neat and orderly home!  Who knew He'd do that??

He does this in so many arenas of our lives.  We ask, He answers.  Not always the way we think He will, and it sure isn't always pleasant, but His desire for our lives isn't that everything always feels just fantastic.  His desire for our lives is that we are conforming to His will more every day.  That we're buddying up to Him more every day.  That we are more like Him every day.

So friends, when I tell you that you can trust your heart in His capable hands, it's true.  I can't promise it will feel good when He chips off those rough edges, but I can certainly promise that His glory will shine through.  

And that feels amazing.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

When Deja Vu Falls Apart

Do you experience deja vu?

I do, and it's unnerving.  It's not often - maybe a few times a year.  But when it happens, it's right on the dot - I just stand there in sort of a daze, watching a scene unfold and knowing precisely what is going to come next.  I know what each person will say, what sounds I'll hear, how I'll respond.  It's bizarre.

But every time, there's that moment that it all starts to fall apart.  When I don't know what's coming, or when what I think is coming isn't what happens at all, and nothing feels as familiar as it did a few seconds before.

Then I am both disappointed and relieved.

I am so thankful that I'm not the One who knows all things.  Can you imagine?  EVERY moment is deja vu for God.  He knows exactly what we will say next.  He sees every triumph and rejoices with us as it happens, and he anticipates every sadness and weeps with us then, too.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you 
and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, September 10, 2010

Being ok with being this and not that

A long time ago - years - I was really into scrapbooking.  I was pretty good at it, too.  As I got better I began to seek out like-minded hobbyists and found a message board with lots of talented scrapbookers.  They were SO talented, in fact, that many of them were and are the ladies behind the gorgeous, creative layouts you see in the scrapbooking magazines.

I got good feedback from those amazing ladies, and started to think that I could be one of them.  I submitted a few layouts and didn't get published, and that was just fine.  But the thing that started to happen is that every time I thought of scrapbooking, I couldn't get motivated.  It became less about the delightful records I had been keeping for myself and my family and more about the talent side of it - is THIS a layout that could be published?   Is this too boring?  Is it creative enough? 

Pushing myself to be among the top scrapbookers robbed me of the joy I had previously found just in the act of scrapbooking itself.

The same thing has happened to me with blogging, and I've only begun to recognize it.

As you well know, there is a WORLD of talented bloggers.  Some are witty, some are funny, some are Bible scholars and gifted teachers, some are decorating or hair or makeup gurus who know all of the best ways to do those things.  Most are talented photographers, and their posts are graced with magazine-quality photos.

That's a GOOD thing!

But man, trying to come up with a witty, poignant, interesting, scholarly post with amazing photographs to accompany it?  Is not the reason I blog.  When I reminded myself of that, the weight of the world was taken from my bloggy shoulders.  I want to write good posts.  I want to take beautiful photographs.  I want you all to enjoy reading my blog. 

But more than that?  I want to look back at this and have memories that I will cherish always.  The silly, cute, smart, amazing, horrible and awful things my kids do may not be the stuff of the Top 100 Blogs of All Time, but they're top in my heart, and I intend to blog much more often simply to keep them there.

Here's to less pressure!