Friday, March 16, 2012

I went to class in Canada last week and on the way back across the border...there was a line.  For those of you who do not cross the border, we play a little game up here...guess which lane is going to go faster.  Did I make it before that car?  How many cars are ahead of me?  How many cars are ahead of that car? My competitive spirit rises to the top and that day the line was really backed took 1 1/2 hours to go across the border.  You can get a lot done in that time...

I looked at the lines and watched as that car wedged itself across 3 lanes of traffic right in front of me.  I thought he was really rude and pushy!!!  So, I had time, took out my school book and read.   Then it started...I would look and find that car and read.  I kept a look out for him.  He was making way better progress than I was but by the time I realized he picked the right lane, he was across the border and I was still waiting.  So, I did what came next...picked another car to be ... that car!  At one point, I thought I would "rest my eyes" only to wake up and see 3 car lengths ahead of me.  I couldn't understand why the guy behind me didn't honk...checked the rear view mirror and he was sound asleep too!!!!  Mouth open sleeping.

This went on for nearly the full time...look... check on that on that car until... I turned my head and my focus changed.  It wasn't a grey day any more.  It wasn't wondering if I would "win"!  It wasn't about someone else or ME! 

It had rained all day.  The direction I was looking was gray and colorless.  But out on the water, the sun was peaking through and there before me were millions of diamonds dancing on the water.  I was stunned by the beauty.  I loved watching the waves toss the gems from wave to wave and it suddenly came to me.  I miss so many of God's blessings when my focus is on the grayness of life.  

The writer of the Hebrews says: Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.  It is all about focus.  I could have kept my eye on the line and that car but praise Him, I changed my focus and enjoyed His gift.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Set a goal...dream a dream

April 21,2012....Graduation from ACTS Seminary....
May 26, 2012.......turn 62 first Social Security check

What is next Jesus? I can hardly wait...thanks Jen*...I love this!

*One of my MOPS moms sent this to me today...yep...LOVE her....

Monday, March 12, 2012

A gift not yet received...

The Gifts....oh, God is so great and He has given me so many gifts. I was wondering tonight if it is right to praise Him for something that I haven't yet received. It took overnight to figure out the answer because this morning, I know it is more than okay, it is anticipating the gift!

I am involved as a Mentor mom for the MOPS program that meets in our church. I love spending time with them and if they were to read this, it is NOT just because I get to hold their babies...but let me tell you THAT is a perk!

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of leading a Bible study for them. Devotions without guilt. I remember the times in my life when connecting with God was difficult. I remember days would go by when I would not spend time in the Word of God (and still do). I remember times dropping exhausted into bed at the end of the day and whispering a prayer, not finishing it because I had fallen asleep.

I also remember speakers and friends who put me to shame because I wasn't having a quiet time and instead of motivating me, I felt guilty. Who was I that I couldn't find time to worship the very God who created me and loved me and sent His son to die for me? I also remember the sweet times when I would hold my baby girl and sing hymns and pray her to sleep. I remember times when I was able to pray with our girls and show them that Jesus cares about every aspect of their lives. I remember the sweet Spirit that would fill the nursery when I rocked them to sleep and I still felt guilty.

Two weeks ago, we met and we will meet again today. I have heard from several of them. Potty training, illness, the busyness of life has made it difficult for these moms to connect with God and they desire to do it. I have also heard from one mom who changed kissing the "hurts" away to praying with her child in addition to the kisses. Focus...Fix our eyes on Jesus. Changing our vision from earth to heaven. This morning, we will meet again. God has a work to do in the lives of these moms. He loves them and He also desires to show them on a daily basis that He craves their attention.

My! Meeting with young women who want to be godly moms. Seeing encouragement change their lives. My gift today...MOPS moms. They are another reminder in my life that He has so many gifts for me and I just have to focus on what they are. Today is like Christmas eve! I know that the gifts that I will get will be fun and exciting. New things always are exciting. Today...God will work in a very special way in the lives of these moms. So, for this gift...I praise Him before He gives it to me...expectation, anticipation...His presence this morning is going to be amazing.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Poppa, read me a book...let's cuddle in bed!

This is the picture that brought joy to my heart today. God is so good! Steve was laid off work but he is in North Dakota and Nebraska for the next 17 days. This morning, Emma woke up Poppa and snuggled next to him to have a story read to her. She opened the door to a room that should have been empty. Someone waved to her...Poppa!!!

As I thought of this I realized that this is what God wants from us. Not a formal stiff time, but a time when we snuggle up next to Him and listen expectantly to a story that He has to tell us. He has so many, you know. There is the one where He parted the Red Sea and all of Pharaoh's army were drowned...boy that was exciting...couldn't put that one down! Then, there was that one where there was a baby in the manger and a teenage girl...turns out that baby was God in flesh. That was some pretty exciting stuff. There are happy stories that He can tell us and there are stories that make us weep. But He has a million.
One of the stories I like to hear is how He rescued me from a life of sin and turned me into a whole new person...that one seems like it is a never-ending story! He always has a chapter or 2 to tell me about that is new and I don't know how that one turns out.

He loves each of you and loves it when you recognize Him in the very mundane of your lives. To see Him when your grandchildren are snuggling next to Poppa, to see the spilled milk as the Sea of Galilee, to look at the oatmeal that is crusted and stuck to the cupboard as a day when the sun didn't shine but He was faithful. He loves you and loves it when you snuggle next to Him.

Today, as you look for things in the day He has given you, watch for Him. Seek His face. Feel His presence. He IS there with you. He loves a good story and He listens to our heart. Enjoy Him. Snuggle next to Him and have Him read you a book... is going to be just what you need.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Commitment relies on Intentionality = discipline

This morning I was reminded that anything that is new…whether a new habit or eating plan or whatever you decide on needs to have first a commitment to begin. This year I did have the commitment to write on my blog every day. To share the many gifts that God has given me…then along about the middle of January, life exploded.

It began on an ordinary day. I went to pick up Steve at work and found that the unemployment statistic had just hit our home. Steve was laid off. 3 days later he had surgery. 6 weeks later…God has shown us over and over that He is in control of our world even when we think it might have been tipped off its axis.

So…along with commitment comes intentionality. I intended to write. I have thought about the gifts He has given us daily. Here are just a few of them:

1. 1. Winter snows covered purple blossom in January…Praise You for the new life you bring.

2. 2. Scary words like cancer have been replaced with contained…no spreading to other glands…Jesus, how you show us your love for us.

3. 3. A robin on the fence which brought a smile because in North Dakota Robin Red Breast meant that spring wasn’t far away. It reminded me of so many things from North Dakota.

4. 4. Sun…a week spent in Phoenix and Tucson with the sun blazing…not hot…just shining. Oh, how I love the Son that shines in my life every day.

5. 5. Mentor words of encouragement.

6. 6. Guidance for papers written and assignments completed.

7. 7. Friends who surrounded me with love and support. Friends who understand when only a word needs to be spoken. God-given friends who call and sit and serve and eat and pray with us. What perfect gifts from God.

8. 8. Young mothers who are struggling to find balance. And me…struggling to find balance in my life. God is so good; He can direct and get me started on the path that He wants me on.

9. 9. Mountains capped with snow rising majestically in the distance, yet it seems some days they seem that they are close enough to reach out and touch.

10. 10. A new life with new expectations and new experiences. A new beginning for a relationship. As each day is Saturday for Steve and me in his “retirement” we are enjoying the things that we have wanted to do.

11. 11. Future…though we don’t know what our future holds, He allows us to look forward toward events and days and weeks and anticipate the joy that is ours to behold.

12. 12. Awakenings…God has awakened me several times in the middle of the night this week to sit at His feet and worship Him and for that I praise Him.

13. 13. Quiet…How I love to experience the quiet. I seek to find a holy and quiet place and I find it in our home.

14. 14. For noisy coffee shops where the din of the conversation blends into an ebbing hum.

15. 15. Prayer…for 1 hour of prayer that slipped by in seemingly seconds. For that holy time of worship and praise for the things that He does in our lives. For the holy ground that we can set our foot on when we come before the throne of His grace.

16. 16. For sweet pictures of children. My children. My children’s children. What an amazing love escapes each time I see a picture or hear a story. My heart soars and explodes at the thought of these precious gifts.

17. 17. For precious times with women of God. Listening to what God is doing in their lives. Looking back over our time together and seeing His hand in each of our lives. We are strong when we are weakest. We are bold when we allow others to see our fears. We are because Christ IS!

You see, I have not been lost in wondering what gifts I have received from Him. I just haven’t shared them here. Could I list more? Oh, yes! My eyes and my heart search to see His footprint, His face, His grace, and His presence in each day. I quiet myself so that I might hear the still small voice of God speaking to me.

So, this morning I was reminded Commitment…to make a statement and then to have the intentionality to follow through with that commitment. And that, my friends is the beginning of a walk in discipline. Will I write every day? I don’t know. Will I see God in every aspect of my day? It is my prayer. I praise Him that when you seek with all of your heart, soul and mind that you will find Him. When you desire what He desires, He gives you the desires of your heart. When you seek to submit and follow…praise God…He is the greatest leader.