Seems like it has been forever since I sat down to write a blog. There have been many times that I have wanted to, but never really felt like there was anything to say. Many times I had something to say, but didn't have the time to sit down and write it. Of course, I also didn't write those thoughts down anywhere, so they are lost in the abyss of my overly crowded, yet somehow empty brain!
I think I have said before that our small group has been doing "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. It has been a good, tough, exciting, scary, full of questions journey for me. I mean, I always think that I need "me" time...time to just relax with a book or watch a movie or just have 5 minutes of not thinking about anyone or anything else...but is this true? Is that really how God would want me to spend my time, even 5 minutes of it? I mean, we see Christ taking time away from other people, and yes, he did rest, but pretty much anytime we see him going off to be alone, it's in order to pray and get closer to the Father, not to have "me" time and not have to help or think about other people. And I always like to think that I have done enough, given enough, it's now someone else's turn. But, is that really possible? I mean, if Christ is our example, He gave all He had, including His life, shouldn't I be willing to do the same (though giving my life wouldn't bring salvation to anyone, that's not what I am trying to say). I mean, if I truly believe that God is sovereign and can do and provide all things, then should I not be willing to give everything I have (which isn't really mine in the first place) with the faith that He will provide what I need when I need it...and if He doesn't provide it, I probably didn't need it. I mean, when you look at Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego (not sure if those are spelled correctly), you see them standing at the fiery furnace, without their spiritual mentor, and they look it head on and say, "King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” They were fully trusting in their God, no matter what the end result may be. Believe me, I am far from that! I am much more worried about my safety and the safety of my family than I am about declaring Christ to the world. I guess the biggest question that this book has left me with, and I am praying through everyday, is where is the line between being wise and using the brain God gave me and living a life full of faith that no matter what, God is in control and has all things in His hand? How do I live with wisdom and faith at the same time?
Very excited about Christmas this year. As I said in another blog post, we decided to do less presents and to choose items from the Samaritan's Purse catalog as a way to teach the kids how to be giving and loving and less self-centered. It has been very fun and I can't wait to do it again next year. I am also very excited about finding a way to do something like this at least once a month. God has really shown me that my kids will never learn to be giving, loving, and unselfish if they don't see it in us first! Of course, this is a little out of my comfort zone, but I am praying that God will grow me in that.
I am also looking forward to seeing family this Christmas. Because we are so involved at church, we don't see either side of the family nearly as much as we would like to. But, this year, I think we'll get to see pretty much all of my side of the family (though we'll be missing Uncle Mel and Aunt Marlene who just moved to Hawaii...but we'll be celebrating 10 years on 20130, so maybe we'll head over for a visit! ;) I am very excited. There will be lots of kids and lots of noise, which I don't always do well with, but I will do my best to put aside the claustrophobia and enjoy time to see all the kiddos playing together!
Well, it's time to get dinner going, so I better stop writing for now. Hopefully I'll get better about writing more consistently in the future!