Thursday, February 24, 2011

Receiving Means Giving

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the church. -- Ephesians 5:31-32 

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My life makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble and afflicted hear and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. -- Psalm 34:1-3

I will do my best to communicate what the Lord is showing me. It may be difficult to express, for I feel that I, myself, am only just beginning to catch a glimpse of all that is there for me to grasp onto and grown into.

This morning I finished reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. The Lord is using this book to transform me and completely change the way that I think and see.

Through this book, God has been teaching me so many things. Some of those things are that if He is good, He is always good. That He loves me and wants me to be in union with Him. To be in union with Him, I have to accept His love and receive the ways He shows His love for me. I receive them, by seeing them, accepting them and giving thanks for them. I need to let Him love me.

The picture He gave me was of me standing in my kitchen working at getting supper ready for my family. This is a time that my husband likes to come up behind me and wrap his arms around me and burrow his face into my neck. He is showing his love for me. All he wants me to do is to accept it and respond in a loving, grateful way. He feels loved when I receive his love. But, the majority of the time, I shoo him away, telling him that I am busy and that he is keeping me from getting what I need to get done.

Was God trying to show me that all around me, every day, He is showing me He loves me, but was I rejecting His "advances" because I didn't like how He was showing me His love?
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. -- Isaiah 55:8

Fortunately, God does not do things the way I think He should. And for now, while I am on this earth, I see things through a clouded glass. So, I do not always see how what He is allowing in my life is good, or evidences of His love. But He is ALWAYS good. He will never stop loving me. He works everything together for my good. He will never leave me. He will never forsake me. I am never out of His care.

I can trust Him.

How do I show Him love?

By giving thanks.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pulled Away

I am in the midst of learning several new things.

The Lord has so evidently led our family to do Classical Conversations — a community of families learning to educate our children in the Christian Classical Education method. We are in our third week and we are happy there. We fit. But, it is a new learning curve. It is stepping up and working daily on our Memory Work and English Grammar and Writing and Presentations and Math Facts. While the kids are happy at CC, this is a new learning curve for them as well, so I am needing to encourage them, and work with them as they learn new things (hmmm sounds like homeschooling/life, huh?)

The Lord also has been teaching me about living a life of gratitude. I am working at learning to open my eyes to see evidence of Him through out my day/life.

Also, I am working at learning how to stay more connected with Jesus through out my day.

I've been working at being more compassionate and empathetic, because recently, I have been reminded that I am not very good at either one of those qualities.

I have been working at training my children and working on character issues they each are having.

Do you see a word that is jumping out? (hint: it's bolded)

I love CC, I want to be closer and more connected to God, I am doing things God wants me to do.... I know it.


As I sat in my chair this morning ready for my quiet time (with my toddler in tow) I felt tired and sad and overwhelmed. I began to wonder if possibly I was on the edge of depression, something I have struggled with in my life. I wondered if there are so many good things in my life, and I was working at staying more connected with Jesus and working at being more purposeful in being grateful, why was I so sad and tired and overwhelmed.

I just started to share my thoughts with Jesus. And asked for help. I pulled out my iPod and my headphones and found the worship song we sang at CC on Tuesday morning, "Our God is Greater", and sat and listened and then began to sing along. Worship drew me in and opened my heart and my eyes.

As I read from Luke this morning, these verses popped off the page.

She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word He said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. -- Luke 10:39-40a msg

I had been pulled away from Jesus by all I had to do.

I had taken over, working in my own strength, my eyes focused on my "work", on my failures, on all that I "had" to do.

"I will instruct you, and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." -- Psalm 32:8 niv

I had followed Jesus to CC. I had followed Him to begin learning about gratitude and focusing on Him. But somewhere along the line I took over and went my own way. I wasn't following Him any more, waiting on Him to show me the next step.

He will show me each step to take, He will give me what I need, He will give me rest. I need to sit at His feet and hang on His every word.

Keep your eyes open for God, watch for His works; be alert for signs of His presence." -- Psalm 105:4

Monday, February 7, 2011

God is Love

Painting by Gracie, age 6

This morning I feel a little melancholy,
maybe it's the grey, drippy weather,
or maybe it's because I didn't sleep well last night,
I don't know. I just feel a little blue. 
As this year has begun,
and we are now into the second month,
God has been whispering 
His Words to my soul.

He is calling me to draw closer to Him,
to rely on Him more,
to unclench my fists and let go,
to open my eyes and see Him all around me,
to give thanks and give thanks some more,
to choose joy every day,
and to trust more and more.
This morning He used my sister 
to send a reminder 
of all that He is teaching me.

As I read, tears came 
and a picture of His love for me
developed in my mind's eye.

When I was a little girl
going to school was so hard for me.
In kindergarten, I cried every morning. 
I just wanted to be home,
I just wanted my mom.

This morning I had this picture
come to mind.

I was a little girl again
standing outside a school.
It was grey and drippy,
and I had to go inside.

Jesus was standing there with me,
and for just I moment 
I expected Him to say,
"Go on, you need to go in by yourself."

But instead, 
He gathered me up in His arms
and tucked me close to His chest
and carried me inside.

I am not supposed to 
take a deep breath and
gather all my strength
and march forward into 
my day.

I am supposed lift my eyes 
up to Him.

I am supposed to lift my hands
up to Him.

I am supposed to 
lean hard into Him,
relying on His strength 
to do His work in me
and through me.

"God is love and His love will never fail me."

-- The Innocence Mission

God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel:
"your salvation requires you to turn back to me a
nd stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. 
Your strength will come from settling down 
in complete dependence on me!" 

Isaiah 30:15 msg

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, 
you must continue to follow him. 
Let your roots grow down into him, 
and let your lives be built on him. 
Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, 
and you will overflow with thankfulness. 

Colossians 2:6-7 nlt

Sunday, February 6, 2011

May the Mind of Christ, My Saviour...

My prayer for today and always....

May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.

May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go.

May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.

-- Kate B. Wilkinson

Friday, February 4, 2011

Live in the Radiance

Keep your eyes open for God,
watch for His works;
be alert for signs of His presence.

Psalm 105:4 msg

Today's entry Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:

"Bring Me your weakness, and receive My Peace.
Accept yourself and your circumstances just as they are,
remembering that I am sovereign over everything. 
Do not wear yourself out with analyzing and planning. 
Instead, let thankfulness and trust be your guides
through this day; they will keep you close to Me. 
As you live in the radiance of My Presence
My Peace shines upon you. You will cease to notice
how weak or strong you feel, because
you will be focusing on Me. 
The best way to get through this day
is step by step with Me.
Continue this intimate journey, trusting that the path
you are following is headed for heaven."

The LORD gives strength to his people;
   the LORD blesses his people with peace. 

Psalm29:11 niv

“The LORD bless you and keep you; 
the LORD make his face shine on you
   and be gracious to you; 
the LORD turn his face toward you
   and give you peace."

Numbers 6:24-26 niv

But I trust in your unfailing love;
   my heart rejoices in your salvation. 

Psalm 13:5 niv