Name It!

It never ceases to amaze me how sneaky the lies creep in.  You never see them coming.  All is well, things are rolling along, and then all of a sudden, there they are staring you in the face.

Today is like that.  This afternoon, as we ate lunch, we talked about how the disciples felt on this day.  How God may have felt on this day.  How we should feel on this day.  The day he was separated from all He knew – the day he was suffering for my sins.  The day he was in Hell.

But by late afternoon, I am bombarded with the lies in my head.  Lies of inadequacy.  Lies of not enough.  Lies of if only….

I was feeling completely overwhelmed, but not sure by what.  That should have been my first clue.  If I cannot identify what is plaguing me, then it is not okay, it is not natural, it is most likely a lie.  It is not worth this feeling of gloom and despair. 

And then, I saw the letters.  They were laying on the counter because they keep getting blown into the sink when the window is open. 

The letters.  T T R E G A I U D.  Jumbled they seem meaningless.  Kind of like my life – all mixed up at times.  In the wrong places I put things.  My focus, my energy, my hope.

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So while I stole a moment of quiet, had a cup of tea (yes, hot, and yes, it is in the 90’s today) I grabbed the letters.  I also grabbed the scrabble tile holder and set them on the table next to my tea time partner.  She asked me to spell TEA – and I was happy to find that word in those letters.

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Then I fixed them – all together – all in order.  All right.

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GRATITUDE

That is what they are supposed to spell.  They are to remind me in all things choose gratitude.  And I try.  I fail many times, but once in a while I catch myself and before I fail – I choose to thank.

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And then it hits me.  The origin of my feelings.  The root of my overwhelmed sense.  I have not thanked today.  Or yesterday. Or for too many days.   And yet, there are so many (too many if that is possible) reasons to thank – most of all this weekend. 

When we honor/celebrate the GIFT he gave us, and the promise it gives us!  And yet, I have been busy.  And when I get busy, I stop thanking.  I stop counting.  And because counting makes me, oh, so aware of all that I have to offer thanks for, I really need to do it.  But when I stop counting, I start dwelling on all that I do not have or do not know.  I borrow.  I borrow trouble from tomorrow instead of thanking for the lack of trouble I have today.  Make sense?

So I grabbed my journal.  And I started counting again….

~ an unplanned visit with a grandfather

~ a successful first JMG meeting

~ a breakfast from the coop, a lunch and dinner from the garden

~ time feeding the fish in the evening, on the dock with just Robert

~ screen doors that were fixed & the 3 sets of hands that did it

~ children who know what this weekend is all about {honestly it does not get any better than that}

So, I am not a “Name it and Claim it” kind of girl – not that kind of Christian, because honestly I cannot support it with the Bible.  But I am a name it kind of girl when I see the lies.  I have not been claiming HIS truth as I struggle with this feeling of being overwhelmed.  And it stops right now. 

I serve a Victorious Savoir!  Tomorrow in church I will proclaim along with all the others there – He HAS RISEN!!  And indeed he has.  So I am not overwhelmed, because God does not give me more than I can handle.  I am not lacking, because every good and perfect gift comes from him – and good and perfect can never be “not enough.”  And “if only…” is a myth and a lie.  I am…, I will…, I do…. – words of power and strength – because I am a daughter of the Risen King!!

Blog World

I enter into the blog world at different times each day.  Most days it is not until my morning quiet time, breakfast, and kick start to chores and such.  Other days it is not until after schooling with little ones, or really just life. 

I try to be very discriminate of the blogs I read.  I try to choose ones that will encourage me along on this journey.  Convict my heart, but not add onto the guilt that I already carry.  Words to inspire whether through fabric, glue, a sewing machine, food, or even books.  Those are my favorites.  My most favorite is Ann’s simple, humble and yet amazingly PROFOUND blog.  I could live on her blog.  I could just stay there and bounce from current post to past posts, just drinking up the words that spill from her keyboard.  I feel inspired, encouraged, and loved there.  How?  Because this sweet, simple woman loves the same ONE that I love so much, that she opens herself to allow him to fill her up, her days, her home and her words.

So when I read that she struggles with the mess of little ones, I can sit and know that she is REAL – not just a blog personality that looks good.  When she shares how she needs to pray more in her days, I am, again, pointed to Him and not her – and am reminded that we share this journey she and I.  This journey to love our kids, to be Christ-like in our actions and to seek more of him all the days of our lives.

I am grateful for this technology that we can all share here – in this big world.  It draws us closer, like maybe we could be cyberspace neighbors, and some of are “in real life” neighbors still enjoying the words shared on blogs.  And some of are family keeping up with the routine of daily life across the many miles.

Words, again.  Words.  They matter.  Each of them.

I hope to continue on this journey, watching and choosing my words.  Trying to choose ones that will encourage life in my children’s hearts, will build up little ones into Big ones with character and truth, will teach love even when we do not feel it but still choose it.

Thanks for accompanying me on this journey.  Sometimes it is harder than others, but no matter what we never trek alone.  Whether we know it or not, there are so many others out there on a parallel journey, feeling so many of the same things.  And no matter what else, we walk this journey with one who has walked a similar one before us – one who did it perfectly, without blame, without sin, he holds our hand through it all.

~Jesus~

balance??

Most days I am comfortable being comfortable. Most days.

But more often I am finding myself wondering. Wondering if comfortable is really where HE wants us. I mean, we are Americans living the “dream” but is this really what it is all about? Is it all about living in our comfortable homes, with cute stuff (that we honestly have too much of and do not really need), going through each day as if that is what matters.

I follow along with many bloggers out there. Some  of them have had some life-changing experiences lately and between them, and a few amazing authors I am starting to really wonder if we have gotten it all wrong? 

Kristen went off with Compassion International and if you go here you will see she is having a hard time going back to who she was before that life-changing trip. Or you can go here and read about that trip.

Ann went on another trip and here she has similar sentiments.

Jennifer went a while back too –and you can find her posts over here.

Then I read books like Crazy Love and I sit back and realize that I am not living out a Crazy Love kind of life toward others – or really even toward God.

 

 

Next I pick up Radical – still reading through it – and again I seem to feel that I am not living out what I should be.  So there is the struggle.  Are we trying to balance a life that we are called to live by our God with what this world is calling us to live?  Or are we trying to simply live a life glorifying our Creator in all the facets and aspects of our lives?

 

 

What is balance really?  We are all so quick to say we are trying to “balance it all” but really should we be balancing anything?  Was God unclear when he laid out how we are called to live?  Did he say “make sure and balance it all just right?”  Or did he simply say “GO?”

 www.dictionary.com put it this way:

bal·ance

/ˈbæləns/ Show Spelled [bal-uhns] Show IPA noun, verb, -anced, -anc·ing.

–noun

1. a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.

2.  something used to produce equilibrium; counterpoise.

3. mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.

4. a state of bodily equilibrium: He lost his balance and fell down the stairs.

5.  an instrument for determining weight, typically by the equilibrium of a bar with a fulcrum at the center, from each end of which is suspended a scale or pan, one holding an object of known weight, and the other holding the object to be weighed.

6. the remainder or rest: He carried what he could and left the balance for his brother to bring.

7.  the power or ability to decide an outcome by throwing one’s strength, influence, support, or the like, to one side or the other.

 

I keep seeing the term “equilibrium” pop up when defining balance – and yet I do not recall the Bible ever saying we needed an equilibrium with respect to His word and the world. 

So, the question I struggle with, that I watch others struggle with, that I read about even more struggling with.  How do we live that out?  How do we go about putting up new curtains in the kitchen when I could feed someone for a month through say, Compassion International.  I am frugal by nature, but still I seem to be struggling with more purchases, more of my “want”/need” list, and just the day to day living life in America.

I can be like everyone else and justify – can’t we all do that?  I can justify that God has “blessed” us so he must want me to have a nice home – with new curtains – right?  Or has he blessed me so I can turn around and bless the next person?  That is my question, how to I live a life to provide a home or refuge for my family, yet ensure that I am being the best steward I can be with all I have?

I read blogs of people who go with Compassion International to these third world countries and see so many people with less that I have in my bathroom – let alone new curtains in the kitchen.  We are following this amazing youth minister as he travels through India – and man this stuff will make your head spin!!  Like 700 families live in this one poor village and none have a bathroom!!  None!!  And I have been pining away for that 3rd bathroom for years.  Man, I seem to be missing the BIG picture here!!

Finally as the holidays approach, will you join me (and many others) in being intentional about our choices?  And check out this video – it will make you think.   Again this year, I challenge you to consider the Advent Conspiracy.

One of those days

Gosh! I am having one! You know those days when everything feels like it is wrong. No matter what you do you feel like it is all a tower of tooth pics about to blow over – not to mention the number of times you get poked! That is today.

Sometimes it comes on like a storm – with no warning. This time is has been creeping up on me and I have been trying to figure out where it came from. And WHY! Isn’t that always the question?

You know what? I have not gotten answers to either. But I got something better! I split up the kids to their “corner” for some quiet time. I did some journaling and listened to some praise music and that helped a bit. Then I just laid down. My mind races every night, I go through my whole day and what is to come. I “over” analyze every conversation or thing that happened and often times I lose precious moments of sleep. So I laid down to do this this afternoon and to just pray and talk to God.

I think (okay I would say I know) that Satan has a radar to our weaknesses and just when we start to get beat down by something, he drops what he is doing and attacks full force. TO say this I mean that he whispers in our ear all the things wrong, the things we don’t do well, all our insecurities. Not to mention he gets the kids involved and tells them to step up their assaults too! And we get beat down even more.

While talking to a friend today during my “dark moments” I kept thinking this is not what God has for me. He does not desire that I sulk or dwell in those dark places. He does not want me meditating on the things I do wrong or poorly, but he delights in me. That may just be my theme this year because it sure keeps coming up. He delights in all the things I do well – all the ways I serve my family and love them. He delights in the things I try to do well even if I do not always succeed. He delights in me just like we do when we look in on our sleeping children. They are not “doing” anything and we cannot help but smile and feel the complete and perfect love we have for them. And that is God with us, except I am sure he feels it more often than when we are sleeping.

So maybe when things are going well and we are just cruising along, he allows these bumps in the road to redirect our focus – to realign our steering – to get us looking back to him. I am conscious of the fact that I lean more on Him when times are hard than when they are easy and good – you know? And that is not what he wants for us. He wants that dependency and intimacy when times are good and bad – all the time.

So here I go – I keep learning the same lessons over and over – and I keep growing closer to my Savior – and let me tell you – it is worth every “dark moment” I have to make my way through to see the light of Jesus shining on me and calling me out of that darkness. I am so thankful for a God who knows everything about me, who loves and delights in me, and who never leaves me!