April 26, 2011

He is my rock and my salvation!!!!

April 26, 1986.  That is a day that I will never forget!  That is the day, during a revival, that I walked the aisle and gave my life to Christ.  That had been a rough year for me.  If you read some of my earlier posts, you know that my two best friends had died that January when their house burnt down.  It had been 4 months and my life had been changed forever.  I rarely went outside, didn't play much with other kids, and just generally didn't know what do to with myself.  But, God used that moment to wake me up to the fact that, even at 7 years old, I was not guaranteed another day, another morning, another breath.  He also showed me very clearly that I had no personal relationship with Him, that He was not Lord and Master of my life, and I knew that meant that I was headed straight to Hell.  But the day that I walked the aisle, I walked knowing confidently that He would change everything!  Light was shining in my heart once more and He was taking over!  There are two things that I very clearly remember after that.  First, I went right outside to our little swing set first chance I got, looked at the sky for even the slightest hole in the clouds, and very proudly declared to Georgie and Chantel that Christ was now in my heart and one day I would see them again. (I must admit that now, as an adult, I really have no idea the state of their spiritual lives, but do hold out hope they were both truly saved).  Second, I remember sitting down with the Precious Moments Bible my parents had gotten me for my baptism.  The first verses I remember reading from it were Psalm 30:5, "His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life.  Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning."  Wow!  How true those words were for my life in that moment!  Weeping had started on that cold day in January when Georgie and Chantel left this world, but that sweet day in April, joy had come!  Today, as I am celebrating 25 years of knowing my Savior, I read Psalm 30 again, and the last two verses leapt off the page, "You have turned my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever!"  All I can say is, "Hallelujah!"

April 20, 2011

Everything (non-spiritual) I needed to know about life, I learned in my Acting 1 Class

Oddly enough, these thoughts came to me this past Sunday in our Marriage God's Way Sunday School study.  As we were talking about communication, etc. with married couples, these random thoughts popped in my head.  But, I promise I was paying attention to you, Bro. Jeff!

1) Acting is reacting.   It sure seems life is mostly about reacting, huh?  I mean, very rarely are we ever truly in control of anything, we're just reacting to things around us.  And those reactions reveal much about us.  It reveals our true hearts, most of all.
2) You are never "just" doing anything. On stage, you're never "just", say, pouring tea.  Your character is pouring tea, serving their master, eavesdropping, and thinking about their fiancee, all at the same time.  Such is life.  Even when doing something as simple as watching TV, are you ever really "just" watching TV? 
3) If context is King, SUBTEXT is Queen! For those of you who may not have taken an acting class I'll explain subtext (don't be surprised when you think, "Gee!  I've known about this all along, just didn't have a word for it!")  Subtext is basically what you are really thinking, feeling, or trying to achieve, whether that's what you say out loud or not!  See, I told you you knew what it was!  You can't tell me you don't know how important subtext is!!!  How many arguments have erupted from the fact that we try to hide what we are really meaning, but the other person clearly understood what we really meant?!?!?!
4) Ape acting. OK, there's really no correlation here, I just wanted to see if you were really still reading.  I do remember Weast reading us a story about how apes act when there's danger or something, but I have to admit that I don't remember the application!  Don't kill me, Weaster!
5) Always yawn just before going on stage. Doesn't that sound silly?  Well, try it next time!  It loosens your jaw and lets out a lot of anxiousness and just calms you down before you step out into the spotlight!  And you know what, we would all do well, the next time we're really upset about something, to step to the side and have a big yawn.  Then, once we're a little calmer, go back and handle the situation!  I know I could stand to do that more often!  Of course, in those situations, it may take more than one yawn!  ;)
6) The director has the final say.  I think it's pretty easy to see the applications here.  First, those in authority over you are to be followed.  If you can't follow the authority, then you need to leave the job or whatever.  The other obvious correlation, God knows all, sees all, and is all.  He also controls all.  In the end, He wins. 

I am sure there are more, but at this moment, I can't really think of them!

April 17, 2011

I've Got a Full Heart and an Overloaded Brain!

Wow!  What a week this has been.  So much is on my mind and heart that I have no idea where to start or even how to put into words all that I am feeling and thinking.  So, I think I will just randomly spew forth things as they come to mind!

-Is it possible for a person's (or a group of people's) decision to be divinely foolish?  By this I mean, is it possible that a person can make a decision that, in the human mind, is so dumb, so foolish, that the only way they could have reached that decision was through Divine intervention?  Someone I love was on the rough end of one of these kinds of decisions this week.  Truly, there is no way that this decision would have just popped into some one's mind, but that the hand of God placed it there for them.  It's clear to see His hand, when you look past the awkwardness, fear, anger, and shock.  I have been so impressed and proud with this dear friend and how through every moment she has turned all glory, worry, fear, joy, shock, and every other possible emotion over to God!  What an example she is to me.  Lord, allow me to learn grace, humility, and faith from this wonderful woman!!!!  Use her family to spread your name in ways they never thought imaginable!

-I have been reading through Leviticus this week...wow...it is so hard for me to keep plunging ahead in this book.  On the surface, it's just a bunch of rules, regulations, and directions that seemingly have no impact on life today.  Each day as I have been reading it has been so tempting to just skip on ahead to something that's a little more interesting, that might impact me a little more.  But, two things hit me today as I was reading....1) the importance of obedience.  Not that obedience is the main idea from those passages, but I couldn't help but see that they were given very strict, detailed instructions.  If God didn't want them followed, He wouldn't have given them, right?  If He wasn't planning to show us more of Himself through the tabernacle and the sacrifices and offerings, He wouldn't have cared to give them such specific details.  It was only through obedience to the commands that He had given them could they see more of Him and could we then see how Christ was the fulfillment of these events.  I guess the obedience issue jumped out to me mostly because we have really been working on immediate obedience in our house.  If you aren't doing what you are asked, when you are asked, with a good heart attitude, then it's not obedience.  That seems even more important when it's regarding the tabernacle where God received sacrifices, offerings, and met with His people.  2) It made me so much more grateful that Christ was the one sacrifice for all.  I don't think that I could ever remember all the rules and regulations and get the right sacrifice for the right sin and at the right time and what not!  I would have been stressed out the whole time!  At the same time, I love seeing how Christ is the final fulfillment of every  one of those rules and regulations!  And that means even more so close to Easter.  Hallelujah!  Thank you Lord for all You've done!  Thank You for standing in my place for my sin.  Thank You for taking the punishment for my bad choices.  Lord, remind me every day of your grace and mercy!

-Before I start this next thought, please note: I am not trying to start a debate or fight in any way, just trying to share what's happening in our lives right now.  Kevin and I have been praying and thinking through whether to home school or send Sophie to public school.  The list of pros and cons for each are long and convincing, which just leaves both of us even more confused and not sure just what it is that God wants for our family in this regard!  We covet your prayers as we seek God's plan for us in the education arena!

-We've been doing family worship time for a little over a week now.  I have to admit, it has been hard to carve out this time each day, which is both embarrassing and telling!  We both want to make it more of a priority and have really enjoyed this time with the kids.  Sophie especially seems to be grasping several new things with the catechisms we've been doing.  Ethan loves the songs.  He just lights up every time Kevin pulls out the guitar.  What a joy this time has been and I look forward to it everyday!  It's one of the things that is making our school decision even harder.  As hard as it is to make sure we do this everyday now, how will we do it once she has to be at school 7-8 hours a day?  Ahhhh!  So many things to think about!

-I have also started growing just a few veggies.  Not sure why, but this excites me soooo much!  I love watching them grow.  I love waking up each morning and seeing more seedlings and that each one is taller than it was when I went to bed.  It has been a great tool to teach Sophie about how things grow and how God has made each little seed and He knows whether or not each one will grow or fail, etc.  And if He knows that much about a tiny little seed, just think how much He knows about us!  If He makes sure those little seeds have the air, water, and sunlight they need, how much more will He be sure that we have all we need, as well?  I am in such amazement of this mighty God!!!!

I think that's all for today! 

April 07, 2011

A Little Something New This Week

Not sure if I have mentioned this before or not, but our small group is reading the book Famly Driven Faith by Vodie Baucham.  Now, I must say that there are things in the book I totally agree with, things I definitely don't agree with, and many, many things that have really made me take a long, hard look at my faith, my lifestyle, and how our family does life.  One of the things his family does really struck home and we have done for the last several days: family worship.  Admittedly, we kind of walked into this blind and didn't really know how to do worship with a 5 year old and a 2 year old and have both of them paying attention at the same time.  While there have been bumpy moments, and I am not sure that Ethan is picking anything up from the Bible portion, it has been a great experience for mom and dad.  I was very overwhelmed with the thought of doing this at all.  I am sooooo not a Bible scholar and I'm not real great at explaining things.  I read scripts, that's what I am good at, but Kevin and I both knew this was something we needed to add to our day and there would be times that Kevin would be gone and I would have to step in and lead.  Fortunately, Kevin has been here everyday so far, but the day will come!  So, I headed to the internet and printed off a catechism we could do toghether.  God is so goood!  On the week that both kiddos had birthdays, we started the week with the questions, "Who created you?  What else did God create?  Why did God create you and everything else?"  It was such a help in bringing the birthday focus back to God, and not just all about "us".  For the music portion of our worship, we decided to use two of the songs the band is leading in worship in church this week, "Our God Saves" and "For Who You Are".  There was some dancing around, and it may have been more about releasing energy than praising, but it sure melted my heart this evening in the car when both kids sang along with the songs when they played on the mp3 player.  There were tears in my eyes!  They really were paying attention, at least to the song.  We'll see tomorrow morning if they can remember what the song is about and why we sing it!

Lord, thank you for these sweet worship times we've been having!  Help us to be consistant and insistent on this time as a family, even as the years make it harder and harder.  Give Kevin and I the wisdom we need as we lead them through the truth of Your word and choose songs and scriptures that will shape their hearts and minds.  Show us how to love our children as You love them.  Show us how to discipline them to lead them to restoration and changed lives, rather than just to not embarrass us at the moment.  Lord, lead us!  Lead our family!

April 06, 2011

I must be getting older...

...because my kids are now older!  That's right, this week Sophie turned 5 and Ethan turned 2.  Wow, where has the time gone?!?!?!?!  Just a few thoughts hit me this week.

First, here are a few things I've learned that boys do not need to be taught (well, at least my boy):
--to laugh when someone burps
--to laugh when someone farts
--to refuse to pee on the toilet, but as soon as you hit the bath water, here comes the pee
--to pick on your sister (in love, of course)
--to love mom like crazy
--to want to be like daddy

And some things you don't have to teach girls (or, we at least didn't have to teach our girl):
--to smile real sweet in order to get whatever it is you want
--to shed tears at the drop of the hat in any given situation (real or fake ones for dramatic effect)
--to not have to go to the bathroom until the grocery cart is completely full and daddy's not there to watch it while we are in the bathroom
--to give mom big hugs when you notice it's been a bad day
--to melt daddy's heart with one look or word

Oh, how precious these days are and oh, how quickly they will fly by.  We are desperately trying to make the most of each day, but each day seems to just go by faster and faster!  Lord, help us to use each moment we get to love them, cherish them, and most of all, point them to You.  Show us how to love them in a way that always points them to You and their need for You in their lives.  Show us how to be stern, yet loving, disciplined, yet sensitive to every need!  Lord, help us to be parents who love our children more each day as we learn to lean on You and trust You with our whole lives.