True Riches

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged…my excuse list is long ūüôā¬† To be honest, many days of this past month have been filled with fear, discouragement and questions.¬† I feel like I’ve¬†been in a battle (spiritually speaking).¬† Isn’t it so much easier to be positive and “trust God”¬† when everything is going like we want it to go?¬† We have had some setbacks in “our plan”.¬† Our motorcoach still hasn’t sold.¬† We¬†have had sickness.¬† Our renters in FL are moving back to OH.¬† Davids job (which we arethankful for) is commission and not yet¬†at full potential.¬† I have to admit, last week was rough.¬† I had just dropped Bethany to her volleyball practice and heading home, when all of a sudden at my green light, a man ran into me on the front left of our van.¬† His light was red, but he didn’t see it.¬† I was rattled and shaking and assessing damage.¬† In some ways, from a human standpoint you would think it would have nailed the coffin shut on discouragemnet.¬† I mean, what bad timing.¬† But actually, it was an unbelievable reminder.¬† I wasn’t concerned about our financial troubles.¬† I was instantly thankful for life; thankful to be.¬† I’ve been so blessed!¬†¬† The people in my life amaze me.¬† I get email reminders from my family about their love for¬†me and know they pray for me.¬† I¬†received an unexpected email from a friend in CT.¬† I had a long talk with my sweet mom today and then a phone all from a dear friend in PA.¬† Each person¬†I encoutner each day¬†has encouraged me.¬† I was in the chiropractors office yesterday with my family.¬† The receptionist said “I can’t believe how rich you are”.¬† She wasn’t talking money.¬† I knew what she meant and I am starting to understand it more than ever.¬† I am rich.¬† Rich in Christ; Rich in life.¬†I have an awesome husband and family.¬† I have true friends that pray for me. I have no right to complaints.¬†I’m trusting God to take care of the green stuff we call money.¬† It’s all his anyway.¬†The bills are still there, but then again, so is my, awesome big God!

My friend “Transition”

While emailing a freind today I had a few thoughts about “Transition”.¬†

‚ÄúTransition‚ÄĚ and I are really good friends ūüėČ It didn’t start out that way.¬† Actually, when the doorbell rang, I had no intention of even answering the door.¬† He was a stranger (and¬†we all know that we should stay away from the unfamiliar, right?) ¬†But I had to¬†answer the door eventually, or I would be trapped in my own home.¬†“Change” had already come and we needed to get milk for cereal, so I had to venture out.¬†¬†“Transition” gave¬†his spiel…and somewhere in there I actually felt like I needed what he had to offer.¬†¬†“Change” liked him too, and I thought that was strange.¬†He’s rarely that friendly at first.¬† It started with¬†“Transition” saying that he needed me, but then in the end, it was me needing him.¬† Weird, huh?¬†The most becoming quality about him¬†was that when¬†I allowed him to¬†visit, he ‘right up front’ assured¬†me that he would not over-stay his welcome.¬† That made me feel a little better.¬†I forgot to tell you, that when¬†I opened the door, a huge burst of fresh spring air burst right in;¬†It almost took my breath away, it was so strong, yet so invigorating.¬† The house air was so stale.¬† I didn’t even realize it until I breathed so deeply at the open door.¬† In that burst of air, ‚Äúfear-fly‚ÄĚ tried to make an entrance, so beware; he taints everything.¬† Such a pesky little thing.¬† Fear-fly is so small, but you wouldn’t believe the damage!¬† He makes you want to keep everything closed up.¬† That’s how the house became so stale.¬† I didn’t mean for it to get that way.¬† I was just trying to avoid a problem.¬† But I really needed the air that “Transition” brought me (just like I needed the sunlight that “Change” brought) and I’ve found a really good swatter for fear-fly.¬† It’s called perfect-love. ¬†If you get that, fear-fly won’t even try to get in.¬† Look, I know strangers are scary, but sometimes they do have just what you need.¬† You have to be discerning.¬† Don’t throw them all out just because of one bad one.¬† There have¬†been rumors about “Change” too, but let me tell you, just like “Transition”, he will¬† be a true friend in the end. Just when I was really ready for “Transition” to go (so¬†I could entertain “Normal”-he would stay forever if¬†I let him),¬†I realized how much¬†I needed Transition around. He has become¬†my friend.¬†¬†He made¬†me laugh and cry at the craziest things and for no reason at all.¬† He¬†allowed¬†me the freedom and courage to explore.¬†He took¬†me to places¬†that I would have never gone alone.¬† He seemed and looked so mean at first.¬† He was so very demanding; making¬†me¬†accompany him¬†on these excursions (even in bad weather).¬† I was so tired and cranky.¬†¬†I thought that he¬†was being so selfish. But at the end of the hike, he stopped me from looking down and asked that I take a look around me. I looked up and saw the most beautiful place.¬† How did he even know this was here?¬† Why hasn’t anyone told¬†me about it before?¬† Can I come again and bring others with me?¬† ¬†I¬†will never forget that place.¬† “Transition” left a few weeks ago and “Normal” has been my only guest, but I think he’s leaving today. ¬†I¬†hope “Transition” comes back soon.¬† He usually comes right after “Change”.¬†¬†They might be on the way right now.¬†¬†¬† I better start getting my hiking shoes on…and this time I’m bringing a camera!

Acceptance

¬†I started reading an article that referenced Ecc. 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:¬† A time to…”¬†¬† (insert your life here).¬† How does this truth play out in my life?¬† What if I don’t want a time for______?¬† This is a call for me to accept.¬† Accept what?¬† Accept that God has a time for ______.¬† There is such a peace that comes with acceptance.¬† Acceptance is the action part of trusting God and his sovereignty.¬†¬†¬†I don’t want this to be true.¬† I want to say that I trust; all the while being the one in control.¬† Do I have to know all the answers before I accept?¬†¬† That’s the way it plays out…me as the final authority.¬† Why do I sometimes feel like a toddler pitchin’ a fit on the floor?¬† What is¬†my hang-up?¬† I KNOW it is with me and my clouded understanding. ¬†I see¬†Gods¬†hand extending a gift to me that I do not want.¬† We’ve all seen it…birthday party…gift opening…beautiful package…then a revelation of the recipient either not wanting what he¬†has opened¬†or not knowing what in the world the gift is.¬† An immature child will react openly and say something like “I already have one” or “what is it”?¬† But what does a mature person do?¬† He graciously accepts the gift, all the while being truly thankful for the person who took the time to be so thoughtful.¬† It is so much more about the relationship than about the gift.¬† Knowing God more intimately forces¬†my hand in this scenerio.¬† It is all about the relationship…all about the trust.¬† He is giving me something, and whether or not I know it; I need it.¬† I’ve read before that “you can’t learn what you think you already know”.¬† Maybe it is thinking too highly of my ability to discern what I need/want that hinders my acceptance.¬† There is no peace in self-reliance. There is great peace in acceptance.¬†My prayer today…”Lord, help me to be not only open-handed, waiting to receive your gift; but in the moment that I think I don’t need this gift; help me to be there in all honesty;¬†smiling, knowing that your gift is perfect, timely, necessary and beautiful.¬† Help me to be as overwhelmed with your love as I know I should be…unworthy of any gift.”

Held

¬†A song came on the radio that got my attention.¬† After hearing it, I looked it up online.¬† It’s not new, just new to me.¬† I’ve cried every time I listen or see it on youtube.¬† It is simply called “Held” by Natalie Grant.¬† We are promised no more than we can bear; we are promised that we will not be left alone; we are promised a way of escape from sin; we are promised never to be left alone.¬† But truthfully, sometimes¬†my earthy, limited understanding causes¬†me to question.¬†¬†I am supposing that faith in the truth of God and his promises is the very lifeline to seeing his hand in these troubled times.¬† ¬†Knowing that God even has me on the radar at all is most astonishing.¬† To think that He holds me is almost too much for my mind to comprehend.¬† The lyrics of the song you need to go listen to are as follows:

Two months is too little.
They let him go.
They had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Is appalling.

Who told us we’d be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We’re asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It’s unfair.

Chorus:
This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

This hand is bitterness.
We want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow.
The wise hands opens slowly to lillys of the valley and tomorrow.

(Chorus)
This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

Bridge:
If hope is born of suffering.
If this is only the beginning.
Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?

(Chorus)
This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

If you can watch on youtube, you should.  Take a moment to relish in the knowledge that the God of heaven holds us.

Sirens

We had a funny thing happen to us during a Christian Youth Theater Production.¬† We were all geared up in the balcony of the auditorium, popcorn purchased, ready for terrific performance.¬†¬† Here we were watching the Wizard of Oz…and to top it all off we¬†were in¬†Kansas (how appropriate).¬† Dorothy was doing a magnificent job.¬† Toto was palying his part to perfection, when just at the appropriate moment sirens began to scream the tornado warning.¬† Instictively, Brooke looks at me with wide eyes saying “I’m scared”.¬† Of course, I, the very calm mother, assure her that this was a great little¬†theatrical move.¬† How creative these folks are.¬† But then…someone stops the scene.¬†¬†Someone came to the stage with the wrong lines.¬† They said something like “I’m sorry folks, we¬†need to take a little break because those sirens are real …there has¬†been a tornado spotted.”¬† What?¬† I¬†had been¬†completely lulled¬†into a false sense of security, all because I believed something to be “pretend”.¬† It was so much nicer to think that the siren was¬†part of the play.¬†¬†I was now faced with a cold hard fact.¬†YUK

Eventually, the play was able to be performed (great job CYT) and I made it home (to the Missouri side),¬†¬†only to¬†awake in the middle of the night because of the wind/storm.¬† At this point, I think I should be hearing sirens.¬† Where is the warning?¬† We are about to blow away?¬† Does anybody care?¬† Is someone sleeping on the job?¬† The siren never blew at my house, even though I thought that it should.¬† Can this become any more backward?¬† It blew and I thought it was a joke, and when I thought it should blow, it didn’t.¬† HMMM¬† I’m seeing a pattern here.¬† Things aren’t always¬†as they seem.¬† Truth is truth regardless of my perception.¬† OK.¬† I’m convinced.¬† “Let God be true and every man a liar.”¬†

Too much God?

Just writing that title made me uncomfortable.¬† Why?¬† Because I could never have too much of God in and on my life.¬† I haven’t blogged in awhile and it’s not beacause I have nothing to say…it’s because I just don’t know where to begin.¬† At every turn Gods faithfulness has been there.¬† At every turn, His convicting power leads me to see my error and turn in His direction.¬† At every turn He is forgiving me and calling me to himself.¬† I don’t have enough breath to speak His praise.¬† Just when I feel overwhelmed by the gray, the clouds part and show a beam of light.¬† I am reminded of Him.¬† Why can’t I live in that place?¬† I wrote a song recently about the fact that there is no rain in heaven.¬† No stormclouds…no burdens, no cares.¬† If I live in His presence, I can live there.¬† The chorus cries my desire “Let my mind go there, where God is on the throne, let my heart hear the calm He’s orchestrating for my soul.¬† He invites me there!”

Let’s go rest in His presence.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

I really need to get my Missouri drivers’ license, so I went online to find out all that I needed to know about this change.¬† It’s¬†become¬†so much¬†more complicated than I thought it would be.¬† You have to prove¬† three things.¬†

  • Proof of Lawful Presence (I need my birth certificate)¬†
  • Proof of Identity (SS card will¬†take care of¬†this one)
  • Proof of Residency (I need a piece of mail with my name on it)
  • Ok, I can do this, can’t I??? First, I need my birth certificate.¬† I’m sure I have this somehwhere.¬† I looked in all logical (and some illogical) places to find it.¬† While on this search, I found files that are now obsolete.¬†(ie…eight year old soccer info, insurance policies that no longer cover our family etc…).¬† I couldn’t believe the little baby clothes that were in my cedar chest.¬† Were my babies really that small?¬† My mind saw visions and memories that accompanied those little outifts.¬† It almost made me weep.¬†I realize that every day is a memory-making day.¬† The clothes are just bigger!¬†

    I wonder if God in heaven sees our growth-spurts as Christians with “misty-eyes”too?¬† After all, we are making some wonderful memories with our Savior.¬† It’s so nice to know that he has our growth chart divinely planned.¬† He knows at what¬†age to make us¬†eat the peas that we keep spittting out.¬† He knows that if we never eat the peas, we will always¬† go for the bananas, and never get any protein.¬†¬† As we grow, we even choose the peas, knowing that it is essential for health.¬†

    Last night, our family sat in the living room and sorted through all of the kids keepsake items into separate bins.¬† It was so neat to see them enjoy the memories of the past while looking through cards, schoolwork, baby books etc…For some reason, when I put these things away, I thought I was¬†putting¬†them away for me.¬†¬† It ends up, after all, that it was for them.¬† Is God going to “present” in heaven a pile of keepsakes for me?¬† I wonder if in my baby state,¬†while I thought I was eating peas for Him, I will realize it was¬†for me after all.¬†¬† Will I see the beautiful cards of encouragements on my journey and marvel that He cared to keep them for me?¬†

    I am convicted, yet committed once again, to place my trust in His plan for me.¬† Looking back is so much easier than looking ahead at the dark places of the unknown.¬† If I can see that He is already there, camera in hand, ready to capture that “faith moment”on my face, I can be encouraged to take the next step.¬†

    By the way, my mom had my birth certificate all along.  Maybe I was supposed to go down this memory lane and rest awhile in the reminders of His care!