Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's January

I have not blogged in so long, I don't even know where to begin. So I'll start with today. It is cold! It is well below zero and it is just plain cold. I don't think two weeks in California over Christmas helped me to prepare for the frigid temps we have had the last few days.

I took this photo yesterday for Carolyn. Sorry, no cute kids standing outside in this stuff. It was - 26 when I poked my head outside to grab a photo. We watched as the wind blew and drifted snow up against our house forming all kinds of fun shapes.
I loved Hunter's comment, "mom it may be cold outside but the snow is beautiful, especially the snow that has not been touched." He is right! The kids have been home from school for two days. I think they had cabin fever more yesterday than today. But then again I was gone for part of the day and maybe it was me.

I have been thinking alot lately about the start of a new year. I love a fresh clean page in a new journal or the look of an empty canvas waiting to be filled in with vibrant colors. For the last several weeks I have had a hopeful expectation over things.

In December I started working my way through Nancy Guthrie's study book on the Book of Hebrews titled, "Hoping for Something Better." But I couldn't get past the words, "In Jesus" in the second verse of chapter one. I was stuck. I knew that I needed to plant myself there and just let the words soak into my heart. Nancy says in her book, "In Jesus, God is saying, "I want to show you who I am." We would never know God if he did not speak to us. and he wants us to know him for who he really is, not for who we want to make him to be. So many times we want to make him into a God who suits our liking. We hear people say, "Well, the God I believe in would never.... or I believe God is....almost as if we can determine what God is like merely by the whims of our own imaginations. God doesn't need our help in designing his personality or deciding what he should be like. He is I AM, the eternal, self-existing one. And he wants us to see him and know him for who he really is." Nancy then takes you through the character of God. And this is where I am planted. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. I feel like a wilted plant sometimes who is instantly propped back up once I have been given a drink of the Living Word.

Last week as we watched the introduction video on the Book of Esther, Beth Moore shared with us that the book offers tremendous "hope". She defined biblical hope as an anxious expectation. I love when God ties things together for me and keeps speaking the same things over and over. It sometimes takes a neon light flashing "hope" to get my attention.

Tomorrow marks a year since I received a phone call that my dad had died. My heart still aches at times over what I never knew. As a young teenage girl I had always dreamed of spending Christmas with my dad, just once. I never did. I know why God wants to teach me about hope, His hope. He desires to bring hope to those places in our hearts that only He can fill.

In Christ, I have tremendous hope for 2009. Without Him there is no hope.


12-arrows said...

welcome back, friend. You have been missed. Excited about your new study, I begin the Patriarchs next week and am anxious to sit under the teaching of Beth again.

Keep warm, we have frigid temps here too! and loving the fact that school was cancelled!

Melissa said...

Has it been a year already?

It's not supposed to get out of the 20s here today, which is rare for us and I'm so excited! I love cold weather (maybe because I don't live in it all the time).

I'll have to check out that book by Nancy Guthrie. It sounds wonderful. Here in my town, people are questioning God because of the school bus accident. It's in times like these I want to defend Him and can't find the words. Then again, He doesn't need defending! I just need to learn more about who He is.

I'm praying Psalm 27:4 (Amplified) this year:

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.

Blessings, dear friend...good to have you back!

Heth said...

That part of the intro to Esther intro spoke to me too. Hope.

Susanne said...

There you are. We've missed you.

"He wants us to know Him for who He really is, not for who we want to make Him to be"

What a powerful statement. And isn't that the way of our world in a big way right now. We want God, but we want to dictate who and how He should be, how we have imagined Him in our finite minds, rather than taking the time to find out who He really is. But who are we, the creation, telling the Creator, how to be?

Sorry, you really got me dwelling and checking my heart. Which is a good thing. My I've missed your posts. :v)

Mocha with Linda said...

WOOHOO! I've missed you so so much! Welcome back!

Our ladies just started Esther on Wednesday and watched the Intro. I can tell it's going to be a great study.

I love where you said "We hear people say, "Well, the God I believe in would never.... or I believe God is....almost as if we can determine what God is like merely by the whims of our own imaginations. God doesn't need our help in designing his personality or deciding what he should be like." What a picture of today's "any belief goes" society.

Excellent words, my friend.

Beth@playinwiththepaulsens! said...

wow, I just read the post of your father passing, wow, thank you for sharing. really, thank you, it is a story that is painful and real. We all get to benefit and grow learning from you. THanks.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you today. Stay warm!

Amie said...

I love listening to your heart, Chris.

carolyn said...

Thank you for posting that picture for me. It makes me excited to go to the snow in a few weeks. I bet you have some creative ideas for staying inside with 5 kids!

melanie said...

thinking about you and praying for comfort during such a tough time.
each year when that day roles around in my life, it's like a wave of emotions of thougths memories made and long to have been made.
love to you.

Lisa Spence said...

Wow! Look at that snow!

Looking forward to the hope of all that Christ is for us!

Anonymous said...

I'm still so sorry for the loss of your dad last year. I wish you could have had more time with him.
You are such a beautiful woman of God and what you have been through gives such depth to that beauty. The enemy would have liked to use that to embitter you and scar you, but by God's grace, you have become more Christ-like. You have such a humble, teachable spirt.
I admire you so very much.

Anonymous said...

I have missed coming here and reading your words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing your heart so openly out here on the scary scary internet-world. People (Myself included) are very blessed by you.