Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
We had a full weekend. Andrew celebrated turning 40 by skydiving!! Yeah, my husband jumped out of a plane and didn’t leave me a widow so I celebrated just a bit too.
The skydiving place was so crowded and so busy it completely minimized the fact that people were jumping out of a plane. They took a plane of about twelve people every twenty minutes and we had to wait two hours. They said they were packed until after 7:00 that night and we got there at 11:00 AM. It felt more like waiting in line to ride a roller coaster at an amusement park. Weird. I’m still thinking on that one.
The comic relief happened on Sunday morning. We decided to go to early church because watching the Texans game was one of Andrew’s birthday activities. We actually did it. When we arrived at the church people were still actually going inside, the golf carts were still driving people to the door and we were a tad elated. This was the first time in history we have made it to early church before the sermon has started.
The giant golf cart stopped at our car and we all piled out of the car and onto the golf cart. Except the boys. Andrew called from the full-of-people cart, “What’s the problem?”
Hunter’s little head pokes out the back door, “Palmer forgot his shoes.”
The entire cart erupted in laughter. I even had a good belly laugh. Sometimes laughing at yourself (or your inability to parent) is the best kind of heart medicine.
Palmer was embarrassed. He didn’t want to get out of the car and kept whispering in my ear that he wanted to go back home. In his defense, his red and white football socks matched his red shirt really, really well. At home we had all commented on how great his socks looked with his outfit. You know, they could've been the purple spider socks that match nothing. So I wasn't really upset at all. He matched. Yaay!
It made me think back to raising three preschoolers while I was pregnant with Palmer. The girls never wore shoes. Anywhere. We were attending a small church at the time and everyone knew that the kids with no shoes were the Smiths. Funny how some rest and a few years not being eternally nausea and pregnant can give you a little perspective. In my defense it was summer and their flip flops were in my purse. They just always came off the second their little feet hit the carpet.
One of the ways I knew my children were growing up was how they just woke up and got fully dressed without complaining about it one day.
So it is true what they say. Your child will wear clothes, be potty trained, or (you fill in the blank) before they go to college.
"Don't you see that children are God's best gift?" Psalm 127:3a The Msg
Friday, September 24, 2010
Jesus is the Bread of Life.
He feeds the 5,000 in order to demonstrate who he is.
"When the people saw this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, "Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!" John 6:14
There are so many truths to be learned from this one miracle.
Have you ever felt like there were masses of people around you all needing something, all needing too many things for you to supply at one time, things you couldn't give?
I feel this way all too often. My husband, my children and those in my sphere of influence who make up each close relationship in my life all need things from me. Sometimes just five hungry people overwhelm me. I can't imagine five thousand!
This must have been how the disciples felt when Jesus told them to feed five thousand hungry people who had come to hear Jesus teach. They must have been thinking, "No way!" Actually, they almost said it. "Philip replied, 'It would take a small fortune to feed them!'" John 6:7
So many times we figure the task God is asking us to do is impossible so we proclaim to God how hard it is and we stop. We do nothing.
When Jesus asked Philip how to feed all those people, He already knew what He was going to do. He was only asking to test Philip. Wow! He didn't really expect an answer or an argument. Jesus expected an agreement.
"Jesus soon saw a great crowd of people climbing the hill, looking for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, "Philip, where can we buy bread to feed all these people?" He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. John 6:5-6
We should answer God more like Andrew did, "Here's a little, it's all that's around." Andrew gives the Lord all he can scrounge up.
It is a little boy's lunch of five small barley loaves and two small fish.
I believe it is amazing this boy shared at all. My boys certainly don't willingly give up food, especially when they're hungry!
But, this young boy gives all he has and God multiplies it so much that all 5,000 were fed and twelve whole baskets were leftover!
Jesus commands the disciples to gather up the leftovers so that none will be wasted. He not only multiplies it to meet the current needs, He multiplies enough to meet future needs.
Feeding the 5000 is about taking a little bit, a small amount that is hard to give, and letting Jesus multiply it in our lives. This is my time, my energy, my knowledge, my affection, anything that others are asking me to give. In order to multiply it, I must sacrifice by giving to others.
Jesus gives me a little and requires me to give that little bit sacrificially to my multitude and somewhere in this process multiplies it around to everyone and none of us go away needy.
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other ... Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 3:12-13a & 15
Dear Lord, give me the courage to stretch myself today. Use me to meet the needs of others. Teach me to give my all for You. Amen.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." Colossians 3:23
I keep wondering how I can work with all my might and still fail. Sometimes doing my best still isn't saying very much. But isn't this how we become capable of doing more? We do something that seems impossible struggling through all of it. Then the next time it's a tad easier until one day it becomes a mundane task.
Whatever the case, I found this from last year and thought it was fitting for me today. I hope it fits you too.
Essentially, I know the outcome of this poker game. (Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.)
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Late nights. Homework. Tight schedules.
Once again, expectations get a reality check. I love having the neighborhood kids gather here for baseball games after school. I'm really glad they feel free to raid my fridge and invite themselves to dinner. I hope they see Jesus in this household and not just sibling rivalry, piles of laundry and a mommy nursing a migraine.
I try to take time to talk hang out with them a bit after school instead of locking myself away with those piles of laundry. Today I told them they could come straight from the bus stop but it would be a study hall. I loved hearing my children say things like, "We have lots of quiet places in our house," and "Studying isn't that boring at my house," and "We can get our homework done really fast and then play."
I have some want tos on my list this week. Want tos that can make me stressed and frustrated if I let them. The answer is clear as I sit down with my priorities today. The want tos just don't always fit in with the larger picture. I will have to let a friend know this. I pray I am not too much of a disappointment in this. I am recognizing my tendency to over commit in areas that are not true priorities. I just can't seem to say no to some things.
I realize that as I make the internal choice to say no and move forward with other things, I am free to say yes in ways I haven't before now. I like that. Remembering my top ten is becoming very beneficial.
"So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 7:21-25
Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Does my calendar match my priorities? Do I have realistic expectations of myself, of my time, of my goals for this season?
Frustration is my constant companion these days. That tells me I need to change my thinking a bit (okay a lot) or remain grumpy. The turmoil is caused by the tension created by saying yes to God while still managing my chaotic and rather strong-willed crew.
God has called and I know God has a plan; a doable plan that probably relies more on Him and less on me! The trouble is I have heard His voice, I think I understand and I have formulated my own plan. My plan is wreaking havoc with my life so I think I need a new plan. His doable plan will suffice, if I only knew exactly what it is. I’ve been crying out for an answer. Begging for the space. Rearranging for the time. Pushing for results.
Last night I realize maybe I’m going about this the wrong way. Again.
As I open my journal this morning a verse in my own handwriting speaks to me in a new way. An answer to my constant questions. For the first time in a long time I feel silence in my heart. I smile. The raw honesty inventory reveals isn’t heartbreaking anymore it’s freeing. I’m a work in progress.
Trying to make this overwhelmingness of the soul about me is so well, me. My mind isn’t all a jumble because of what I need to do. It’s that way because I’m still learning how He works. I’m still learning to recognize His workings. I’m still learning how to let Him do things for me and in me. I’m once again reminded His work is light; it’s not a burden.
God’s promise to us is this, “I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:30 The Msg)
We will learn together.
“As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work.” Colossians 1:11a The Msg