Proverbs 13:7 (MsgB)
A pretentious, showy life is an empty life;
a plain and simple life is a full life.
Caleb and I had a rare date today. Nothing extravagant...just a trip to the chiro, the library and the post office. Simple errands for sure, but looked at through the eyes of a 5yo they became a source of joy!
You see, Caleb had actually never been inside the post office before. I am sure that's hard to believe, but I usually have all the kids with me and they wait in the car while I run in. Couple that with the fact that it's a place I generally try to avoid like the plague, and his chances of ever having stepped foot inside were destined to be slim. He was mesmerized while taking it all in and asked a million questions.
He grinned like a mule eating briars at the mail clerk as she helped us...partly because she was putting postage on a letter to his friend, Gracie. Gracie is the one he says he is going to marry and they have become pen pals of sorts. So we posted his letter, bought a book of stamps and I let him dump the stack of bills in the mailbox on our way out.
As we exited the post office he sighed and said, "This is the best day ever! That was so fun and I can't wait to come here with you again!"
Proof that a simple life IS a full life when looked at through a thankful lens!
Thank you, Papa, for the simple joy of going to the post office today. Thanks for using a 5yo first-time experience to stop me in my tracks and help me re-align my perspective from the drudgery of the mundane to a cup that's overflowing!
Caleb Mac and the object of his affection ~ Gracie!
Monday, July 27, 2009
Psalm 92:4 (MsgB)
You made me so happy, God.
I saw your work and I shouted for joy.
It's hard to see a sunflower and not praise the Lord for His wonderful works. Evidence, by their upturned faces, that all creation does sing His praises!
This morning I am exceedingly grateful that his mercies are new and His grace is sufficient as I, once again, remember the need to live from God and not for Him! As Tim shared with a group last night...
Fruit doesn't grunt, it just abides!
Monday, July 20, 2009
I am convinced God has a sense of humour, but I am not sure if today is evidence of it or not. Having posted about Interruptions yesterday, I'm thinking it just may be!
A few weeks ago the fridge started falling apart. Last night the freezer started falling apart and, just after I discovered that, my very necessary glasses broke. They are (temporarily I am sure) super-glued and I am at least able to use them. I worked hard last night at maintaining an attitude of thankfulness, but today pushed me to the brink when...
the washer FULL of VERY sudsy towels QUIT!
Okay, to say it quit may be misleading...it actually has a faint grinding sound that indicates it still has a little bit of some kind of life left in it, but for all intents and purposes it is useless.
So, I am happy to report, I just spent 1 1/2 hours rinsing and re-rinsing and wringing out a washer full of towels. I must say I am so thankful that Third Day was available to serenade me and I have the assurance that I just completed a killer forearm workout! I would have had one of the kids take a picture of me perched on a stool in the middle of the spa tub, but I wasn't exactly sure how to determine what my best angle would have been at that point!
I have prayed for many of you while I worked and I now have a renewed, very keen, sense of appreciation for my "servant girls". While they are obviously under the weather, I am praying they make a speedy recovery...hopefully right after the appliance guy leaves this afternoon.
Now, if only the appliance company had an on-site optometrist, I could knock out all my troubles in one fell swoop! Guess I'll have to make a treck to Wal-Mart for that one, though.
1 Thes. 5:18 (MsgB)
Thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
"The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's "own" or "real" life. The truth is, of course, that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life ~ the life God is sending one day by day; what one calls one's "real" life is a phantom of one's own imagination. This is at least what I see at moments of insight, but it's hard to remember it all the time." (The letters of C.S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves ~ 20th December 1943)
Wow! I have been chewing on this quote for quite a few days now. What a powerful and true statement.
I find myself so often getting frustrated because things keep happening and my best laid plans fall by the wayside. "My best laid plans..." Who do I think I am?
Proverbs 16:9 (NASB-U)
The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
Forgive me, Lord, for telling YOU how I think my day should go! Forgive me for assuming that the steps you direct should be according to my plans! Lord, I desire to walk according to your direction. I desire to follow you, not try and lead the way!
With one husband, 5 children, a home to run and a ministry life to maintain, interruptions are the norm rather than the exception. This IS my "real" life, though! This is the life I prayed for, hoped for and rejoiced over when the Lord allowed it to come to pass!
Help me embrace each day, each moment ~ each interruption ~ as part of your divinely wonderful plan for me, Lord!
Friday, July 17, 2009
If you follow me on FB at all, you know that I try to be consistent in my workouts and have taken to wearing a weighted vest much of the time. Today, I set out walking/running, wearing my lovely addition. (Okay, so I am not very fashion-conscious when it comes to my workouts! ;O) )
I had not gone very far when the Lord brought to mind a scripture, tucked away in the recesses of my mind, and struck me with the profound truth of it all...
Hebrews 12:1 ~ "Let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us".
The first thing that hit me was the beauty of His Word and the need to read it and tuck it away in our hearts so we can, at a later time appointed by Him, meditate on it and allow it to impact the way we do life.
As I pondered this passage, I realized how sin is like that weighted vest...it bears down on us and makes the everyday aspects of life much more laborious than He ever intended them to be. Whether it be lust or porn, gossip or pride, an adulterous relationship, or even the sin of self-depricating thoughts, walking out our day-to-day lives becomes a chore.
As I came to the end of my 3rd mile (up the hills backwards, of course), I began to imagine the freedom I would feel as I shed that vest, an innocuous seeming amount of weight but a weight none-the-less, and completed my final mile. I just knew it would make the going easier and the strain less obvious!! I was right in part, but I truly was unprepared for the intial reaction my body had...
Removing the vest felt wonderful until I took my first steps. I was shocked at how quickly my mind had adjusted to the weight and tricked me into believing that it was necessary for me to feel balanced as I proceeded. The first quarter mile of my final lap, I felt like a new calf testing my legs for the very first time. My mind had become conditioned to the feel of the weight and had made the necessary calculations to continue on in a seemingly productive way. I had to retrain my body and my mind to walk/run without it!
Sin is so similar in the way it draws us in and settles over us with a familiarity that breeds the unconscious adjustments we make in life. The process of laying aside that sin, choosing to walk in the truth of His Word, requires a conscious effort on our part and initially causes us to feel somewhat out of sorts. The ensuing freedom we experience if we persevere makes it all worth it, though.
The final truth I realized as I wound up my time was the fact that without the experience of added weight, I may not have truly understood the freedom that came with laying it down. We can become discouraged and consumed with guilt because of the sin we involve ourselves in, instead of looking at it as an opportunity to rejoice in the knowledge of the freedom we experience by laying it aside!
1 Cor. 9:26 ~ "I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got. No sloppy living for me!"
Lord, I desire to run in such a way that I may be productive in all I do. Please help me recognize and lay aside any sin that may be weighing me down and causing me to run in a defeated way. I want to make it across that finish line and I want to hear you say, "Well done my good and faithful servant", when I get there!