Monday, 28 November 2011

A different kind of Remembering

Forgetful. That is what my middle name should be. If I had been born a Pilgrim and rode across the Atlantic on the Mayflower, I do believe that is what I would have been named. You know those Pilgrims were always naming their children things like that. Oh, yes I forget and have forgotten just about everything (thankfully none of the children...yet). I'm the girl that misses birthday wishes, forgets to call back, misplaces the keys, leaves her wallet random places, buys at least 2 brushes a year because all the other ones have been left at the places we have visited, writes down the appointment on the wrong day...wrong time...wrong everything.

I have been told by one of my wisest friends, however, that this might be caused by sleep deprivation and that once the kids all start sleeping through the night you start to remember things again...but then they start driving....

Thankfully, the Lord has given me a husband who usually just laughs at me and helps me remember the things I so often forget.

But what about forgetting what is most important of all. These lessons of grace, humility, dependence on the Lord, where to draw strength, being thankful...this list of lessons is long and I'm afraid that not only am I forgetful, I have spiritual dyslexia sometimes. I see things backwards through a lens of pride and independence, drawing strength from others and myself and only being thankful for the things I deem good.

Like those Israelites wandering in the desert, here I am wondering around in my own selfsufficancy, remembering the things I should forget...leave behind...and forgetting what is matters most. It isn't enough. It will, I will never be enough. I suppose I know this. I KNOW this. And I believe that they did too.  How is it possible to know and forget at the very same time??

Then the Lord, whom I do believe has a wonderful since of humor, puts me in that same situation where all of those lessons He is teaching me should be lived out and the light of Christ shines through. What is found is not the light of Christ, but self pity and defensiveness. Then you know what? He does it again...and again...he is testing me because, well I'm a forgetter and that lesson of humility is hard to swallow and he LOVES his children.  It causes me to run to Him...to chase hard after him...to work it out...to struggle and then....then, when that light does shine it is He ALONE who gets the glory because he's chosen to use a wretch like me.

Thank You Lord Jesus for loving me enough to teach me the same lessons again, for picking me up when I sin and fall, for your patience and long suffering. You alone deserve the praise for any good that shines through me.

391. journey mercies: to Frisco, then to Hale Center
392. time w/ my Papa who loved his Murr
393. early morning smooches from Gideon
394. watching Christmas movies with the kids
395. Advent challenges
396. singing Christmas songs
397. laughing hard, and long talks with my mom
398. the first TX snow
399. muddy shoes
440. trampoline jumping kids
441. time together with extended family
442. waiting for Justin to finish
443. going to the Nutcracker Ballet with Jordynn: true bliss
444. heaters to warm the house on cold days
445. grace...immeasurable, unmovable, undeservable grace


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Giving Thanks...for life

Today is the day where you gather around a big table, with a big ol' turkey, with your big ol' (or maybe not so big) family or friend and give thanks. It's one day of the year and for some of us maybe it's been a month of "giving thanks." Thanks and giving: they are not mutually exclusive. They ebb and flow together and I believe that the Lord intended it to be so. And at this very moment I humbled and ever so thankful that my mother gave me life. Thankful, I'm so thankful that God gave me to her and she thankful herself, she gave me life!

It's something that maybe I take for granted sometimes...or maybe all the time. My heart beats, I breathe in and out all the day long. But at one time...one moment in time I was just this idea (maybe not the greatest of ideas ;) ) in God's mind. There I was this idea and then at another moment in time there I was a life, a human life...a baby in the womb...growing and changing with every moment...a true miracle and blessing.

What spurred me to think upon these things is the following video (you'll have to click the link.) I don't mean to be political...that's not the point. The point is to see life....to SEE life....maybe differently than you had before...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y2KsU_dhwIou


Thank be to God, the giver of all life, the wanted and unwanted, for giving my mom the courage to give me life. ~amen

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Remembering

There are these moments in time when I am almost transported back to who I was before Christ became my Lord and Savior. It could be a place that I am visiting, a person I haven't see or talked with in awhile, a dream or oddly enough sometimes I hear songs that remind me so strongly of that girl I used to be that if I was looking in the mirror I might just think I was still her. Silly isn't it? How something like music could do this to a girl?!

Tonight, there I was standing in that pizza parlor waiting for my nephew's end of the year football banquet to get started, watching my two youngest covet the candy and toys in the 25 cent machines when I hear this song. Funny now, I can't even recall the lyrics or the song even, but the feeling: that I do remember. You know that feeling when you go over the first big hill on a roller coaster ride? Yup, that's the one I was feeling.

Ironically, I was trying to listen to my brother-in-law who was addressing the team because he helped out all year as an assistant coach. Ben, my brother-in-law, has a very commanding voice...deep and rich. I was trying to focus on what he was saying...something about sports teaching us about life. Standing there wanting to listen to what he had to say my heart ached because I couldn't block out this song in the background and this sick feeling in my stomach telling me to remember what I was. 

It was tempting, in that moment, to start to feel helpless and flog myself...again...for some of the choices that I had made, but instead I stepped a bit closer to the open room where Ben was speaking. Again, I step closer and could hear clearly now. The music was merely a muffle in my mind.  I knew it was there, but was not shaken by it.

I have often said that I wished that when Christ saved me that he would have saved me from the memories...that I would like to forget who I used to be. But it seems that grace wouldn't be so amazing if I couldn't remember who I was before I was found in Christ...before I really tasted grace for myself.

There will always be these times when every once of my being wants to forget. As long as my focus is the Lord; the One who commands my attention I don't have to wallow in despair I can now approach the throne of grace with boldness through His Son; just move closer. I am now able to glory in Christ alone and remembering only brings songs of praise from my lips for His grace, mercy and love.

"Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14 

361. journey mercies: to Wichita
362. my sister, my friend, my mentor; always pointing me to Christ
363. cousin time...again...in Wichita...Yay!
384. KU games in HD TV
385. hard bedtimes; then silence
386. silly made up stories
387. deep conversations
388. visiting my sister's church family...finally
389. a reminder that remembering doesn't mean dispair
390. Jesus: the solid rock

Monday, 7 November 2011

Nothing

This Monday, I must confess...I've got nothing. Just thanksgivings...this is always enough....

347. cousin time, oh my sweet cousin
348. passionate conversations
349. 6 boys, adorable boys, playing together in cowboy hats
350. country music
351. my husband, my Love, my friend
352. strength, perseverance through the wariness
353. enjoying time with family
354. kids memorizing Bible verses
355. listening to a cousin's heart, her passion
356. freedom to worship
357. AWANA leaders
358. gentle reminders that meekness really is strength
359. discernment
360. Jesus: the bread of life

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Psalm 100

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

 1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
 2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
   come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
   It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
   we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
   and his courts with praise;
   give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
   his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Increase your name oh, Lord and decrease ours. My our lives be a mere reflection of your grace, love, mercy and truth. Help us, dear God to be thankful for and in all things, not because of a holiday, but every single day and especially on the hardest of days. Give us hearts that submit and open hands to you, receiving with praise and thanksgiving to whatever it is that you have for us. Mold these wisp of lives into ones that see your goodness overflowing in every situation realizing that even every breath we take is in your hands. Oh, Father you are Lord and always good. Truly, truly your mercy endures forevermore. Thank you Abba Father for your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

318. three alike, and yet SO different

319. our 3rd little love, what would we do with out him??!

320. this quiet, contemplative boy...just like Dad

321. Daddy's love

322. this one growing strong

323. the BEST big sister in the whole world!

324. going on a "treasure hunt"

325. learning patience

326. that smerk

327. these four, handed...given to me for just awhile...heart full of agape love
328. Jesus, the Light of the world
329. chocolate
330. late night, good nights from a tired Love
331. answered prayer: believing friends at training
332. the van is H.E.R.E!
333. writing down prayers
334. rosy cheeks
335. rubbing the rough patches in relationships smooth by serving
336. trick or treat fun
337. warm jackets
338. curling Jordynn's hair...will she always let me do this???
339. cousin time!
340. AWANA
341. a faithful pastor, preaching the Word in season and out
342. shoes
343. running, clean water