Friday, May 22, 2009

A quiet place

Over the past several months I have been looking for solitude. I have been looking for a quiet place to reflect, to meditate on the Word of God, to ponder all that He has done and all that His word promises. I have stepped away from certain things in my life like blogging trying to force myself to be still before the Lord. It is hard in the midst of a busy life to be still, let alone try and find a quiet place. But I also realize that other things such as hurt, grief, difficult circumstances and pain cause us to step away from things that we once enjoyed as well.

A friend recently asked me why I didn't blog anymore? I told her the time it takes not just to write a post, but also the time it requires to read others posts. I also told her that I have come to a place where sharing so much of myself (or maybe so little of myself) to the world wide web all of a sudden seemed strange. I am still grappling with that a bit, but praying about where to go with this.

One of the things that has helped is a study I have been apart of titled, "Discerning the Voice of God" by Priscilla Shirer. It has been speaking to so many places in my life. It has been one of those studies that you wonder if she wrote it while listening to your thoughts. I have hi-lighted or underlined almost every page in the book as well as written all over the margin.

She has fabulous quotes in the book and this is one of many: "Whoever seeks God as a means toward desired ends will not find God. The mighty God, the maker of heaven and earth, will not be one of many treasures, not even the chief of all treasures. He will be all in all or He will be nothing. God will not be used. his mercy and grace are infinite and His patient understanding is beyond measure, but He will not aid men in their selfish striving after personal gain. He will not help men to attain ends which, when attained, usurp the place He by every right should hold in their interest and affection." A.W. Tozer

It's those words, "selfish striving" which jump off the page. I see so many places in my life where I strive. Even in that which seems good and right. Recently the Lord brought me to a familiar verse in Psalm 46. Verse 10 says, "Cease striving and know that I am God." It was like a cool breeze on a hot day which carefully moves across your face and brings the comfort you were needing.

Now I am learning how to apply this word to my everyday busy life.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Beginning with the end

In the midst of a very busy season of life I have been completely captivated by the study of the book of Esther. This morning I finished my last few days of homework and I cried. The journey has been incredibly personal for me. One in which I know I need to record but I am deeply afraid.

So, I begin with the end. "God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." (Psalm 18:24, The Message)

This is the last verse in our homework. In session three way back on January 20th, one of the many things that has caused me to look more intently at my life was her point "Remember, destiny appoints one but affects many." She shared this in context to Esther and what she was facing in chapter four. She went on to share, "The revelation of a person's destiny always demands a revelation of the person. Consider the wording "if you remain silent at this time." The Hebrew word translated silent in this verse can also be translated conceal."

Beth Moore went on to share, "One of the most important parts of fulfilling our destiny is transparency and it is extremely risky!"

So, back to the verse in Psalm 18:24. It took me back to a girl who sat on the edge of her bed in a humble bedroom at a tender and very influential age who decided that she would follow God no matter what. Little did she know what this decision would require. As the years have gone by, and so much has taken place, I can still see in myself this young girl, but I also see a woman who has "remained silent". I don't know yet what God wants me to say. I am absolutely afraid to open my mouth. But I have completely entrusted my heart to Him, and I know He can handle my mouth.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

Groceries for finger foods, drinks, and dessert...$23.87

Preparation of wings, veggies, and other foods...1 hour

Time spent eating, laughing, screaming and holding our breath while watching the big game...aprox. 4 hours

Cleaning up afterwards...30 minutes

Husband and Wife dancing during half-time show with five kids...priceless!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Five

Outside Disneyland in Anaheim, California at Christmas

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.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

It's tough being a woman

It began today! I am so excited to be offering this study to the ladies of our church. This morning a wonderful group of women gathered to watch the introductory lesson. There were three newbies to our normal Tuesday morning group and that makes me super happy.
Tonight another group of women are meeting. I am excited to see what the Lord will do with this group of 18 - 30ish year olds. This group is not exclusively for this age group but I hope to address some things women are faced with during this season of their life. Mostly, I pray their hunger for God and His word will increase.
A third group of ladies will be gathering on Thursday night in a home. This is something new and we are praying this additional opportunity will allow even more women an opportunity to study the word together.
If you live in the area...join us!