Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I've Been...

Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Well, ummm, busy.

Busy searching.

Looking high and low.

Behind every door...

In every closet...

Under every rug...

I've moved every piece of furniture that has been there for so long that no one sees it any more.

I've been examining...

My life. The life I created for Barbie and Ken so many years ago. The dream, the dreamhouse and the dreamy life have all been dissected, analyzed and appropriately, renamed, after real people not Barbie dolls.

As I was comparing the life I have to the life that I dreamt my life would be, I started with the dream life...

Christian Barbie and Christian Ken would get married and have Christian kids, lots of them. They would serve one another and serve God in the church and in the world. They would dress their kids in coordinating outfits to lead others in worship. Barbie and Ken would have a wonderful traditional life worshiping the God they loved with their whole hearts. Just the beginning of the dream, but the part where I woke up screaming...

Would somebody please tell me where Barbie and Ken went?

The life that I had meticulously planned out many years ago before I ever lived one of the days has changed. It looks dramatically different from the blueprint I created.

As I watched those around me live out what I thought my life should look like, I adopted their plans, worked them into my blueprint.

Mine was a life built on the firm foundation of God's Word. What I failed to scrutinize were the motives behind the plans. What I discovered was a life that served myself and my broken places more than it really served the God I love with all my heart.

A couple of months ago, I sat in a place that I really didn't want to be sitting. I sat there out of obedience to God. I willed my heart to yield to His Spirit. I forced my body to obey as I waited for my heart to come into compliance. As I sat, I heard God's voice. He said, "If you yield to me in obedience, I will make you more successful than your wildest dreams." (More on this experience in a later post.)

That's it. He says it over and over again in Scripture. He said it to Abraham, Elijah, David, Solomon, Nehemiah, Samson and many other men and women throughout the ages. As I heard it I reasoned it in my mind. I measured success. I defined it in my way. I thought I didn't need success.

I was wrong.

Or, the success I thought I wanted is not what God says I need.

This is where the searching frenzy began. It began with the realization that the life I am living looks nothing like the life I created. I kind of freaked. I mean the resemblance is there but my original plan has been drastically altered.

In the throes of my frenzy I made a few discoveries.

What I discovered was that the Master Architect has much more than my platonic happiness in mind when he designs, builds and remodels a life.

What the four walls of my life look like are much less important than what the inside of my heart looks like.

The roles I play and the routines I create for my days are of much less value than the motives and attitudes with which I live them.

There are many laws in God's Word that are written in black and white. There are many other questions we take to the Lord that we can break down into black and white issues. Although the issue in question remains a question. Thus, what might be sin for one is not for another. Ultimately, if we can do something without sin in our hearts and sin on our hands, we are free to do so. Just because something is different doesn't make it wrong. If God is calling me to do something, I must obey. My body must obey until my heart willingly accepts the circumstance in which I live.

What I found when I examined my life was a life built on a firm foundation of Scripture, but a life that I was also using to serve myself in many more ways than I cared to admit. I must constantly take time to listen to my heart, question my heart and purify my heart in order that God's purpose may be fulfilled in my life.

So, the searching is over and completed for now. My blueprint has been destroyed. The Architect has been consulted. I am trusting the Words of the True Professional and my hammer and nails have been placed happily in His Hands.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Happy J-Day!

"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15

This is it. The verse I prayed over and over when I was pregnant with Julia.

Some translations say inexpressible gift, too extravagant for words.
Truly, this is how I felt about becoming a mother. I knew the verse was talking about Jesus, God's gift to us, the sacrifice of his only son, freely bestowing on us a right relationship with him.
I thought I was going overboard, or crazy, until I received countless cards and even her baby book has this verse on the cover.
After I had held her, I knew I wasn't crazy or going overboard. After all, what parent wouldn't feel this way about their child? Especially Julia. The firstborn. The leader.

I don't know all that this gift entails. I know that I love this gift and hold her out to the Lord with open hands daily.
I know that this day will always be a day so very special because the day Julia was born so was a part of me...the Mommy part, a title I proudly wear and humbly offer as worship.
Happy Birthday, Julia!


Eight years since you made me Mommy.

Eight years since I dragged my tired, sore body to the NICU to hold you, rock you, nurse you and marvel at you.

The nurses all said I should get rest while I could. I couldn't take my eyes or my hands off you. You were so perfect, so beautiful, so soft.

You were so alert. Even as a newborn people commented that you looked somehow older, more mature than regular newborns. You are anything but regular!

Eight years ago as I held you for the first time, I never imagined how wonderfully unique you would be.

You are bubbling over with a zest for life. Thankfully all those you touch seem to share it when they are around you.

You have a youthful zeal that I know we all should possess. Little things thrill you...small gifts, one soccer goal, a tiny bouncy ball, a straw that whistles if you blow in it...Truly, you see value in the little things.

Your teacher has told me two things about you this year. "She's a perfect student," and "She loves to run with the boys." She failed to mention how you can outrun all the boys too, but I've seen you on the playground.

Not only do you run footraces at recess, you look great doing it. You are my style-conscious, fashionista, rock star diva. Everyone comes to you for fashion advice, already! May your heart always be prettier than your outfits!

I love how you are not afraid to get your hands dirty. Mud pies, sports and art are all for you and you are all covered in it when you play. You certainly participate with your all in all that you do. Imagine the difference you can make when you're willing to get your hands dirty!

This is why I love to watch you play soccer, basketball, ballet, paint or sing. Whatever you do, you do with all your heart. I pray you do it all for the Lord!

You love High School Musical (1&2 as you like to say), Hannah Montana, soccer, running, games, Awanas and music in general. As you rushed through your bath recently you said, "I have to hurry. I just can't live without music!"

As a matter of fact, you have choreographed a dance to a High School Musical song, organized boys and girls from your class to play each character and put together costumes for each one. You are truly amazing. You would definitely be an actor turned director. You're right at home making sure that great idea is put into practice in a very great and dramatic way! May you always be a great worshipper of God!

I love you so much and hope that eight-years-old is all you ever hoped it could be. I love a zillion more things about you but today I'm celebrating your competitive edge, your zest for life, your flair for the dramatic and your ability to lead the troops.