Saturday, May 31, 2008

Deep Roots

Last night I was able to do one of my favorite things that I rarely get to do.

Little girl was in bed and hubby had to run to Lowe's. So I headed out back, folded up in my favorite adirondack chair and listened to the locusts serenade as dusk slowly faded into evening.

As I was gazing up at the majestic trees in our neighborhood, I was admiring the varying shades of green. And then I thought, "I wonder if they know summer is coming? It will be hot. And dry."

But then it also dawned on me that in the heat of a Texas summer, when my landscaping has long succumbed to the 300 degree temperatures (or something like that) those trees will stay green.

And then as I was pondering why that was, the gentle answer came:

Deep roots.

In the unrelenting summer heat those trees endure because they're pulling their sustenance from a deeper, unseen reservoir.

Anyone see the spiritual connection yet? :-)

Forming deep roots takes time. A tree doesn't decide to dig deep just in time for summer. It spends years - season after season - forming a stronger connection to the life-giving underground flow that sustains it.

Our spiritual life should be much the same. And I can only say that as one who is very much in need of this lesson. I should be spending every season of my life - whether winter or spring - forming a stronger connection with my Father that sustains me.

And then when summers come, and things around me are wilting, my roots will sustain me. The deeper, unseen reservoir will feed me.

Lord, give me deep roots!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Word of the Day

This is one of those not-so-deep posts . . .

When I was in elementary school our principal would come over the loudspeaker every so often (um, maybe more often towards May) and say, "The word of the day is CALM. C-A-L-M. CALM."

Of course, we were VERY mature 6th graders and never mocked this attempt to restore sanity in our classrooms. No. Not ever.

So just for fun - if you could have a word-of-the-day today, what would it be??

Monday, May 26, 2008

But I Neeeeeeed It!

I heard someone say once that God creates all His own visuals to accompany the lessons He's teaching us.

Need a reminder of God's majesty and creativity? Check out the sunset.

Need to remember that God makes all things new? A little thing called Spring.

Need to understand God as our Father? Listen to a child.

My own daughter provides a plethora of illustrations in my daily life. Lately, one of her favorite phrases is, "I need it!" Well, actually it comes out something more like, "I neeeeeeeed it!!!"

No matter how often I explain that, no, she really does not neeeeeed to eat a cookie for breakfast it usually doesn't do any good. She becomes upset at the situation and also at ME for not giving her what she wants.

Is this what I sound like sometimes to my Lord? Does He get tired of hearing me say, in so many words, "I neeeeeed it!"? And then maybe He rolls His eyes when I become upset that the answer wasn't "Yes"? When, really, like my toddler I just don't understand the whole situation?

Eventually, we hope that our daughter will accept our "yes" and "no" without argument based on our character - that our decisions are always for her eventual benefit. However, it's so hard for ME to accept those same answers from my Heavenly Father at times. Even though I know His character (faithful, loving, unfailing) when I get a "no" from Him I still tend to whine, "But I neeeeed it!!!" and throw a good ol' spiritual fit.

When our daughter throws a fit we know just to stay close by and it will pass. Then she'll be ready for a snuggle and to move on to the next thing. I'm so glad our Heavenly Father is the author of that strategy - He's had much practice waiting out my own tantrums and is always waiting with open arms when I'm ready to go sneaking back into His lap.

Thank you Father for your "visuals"! Give me eyes to see and ears to hear . . .

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Good Running Music?

I've always enjoyed running (I know - sick) but have really gotten away from it the last several years.

Last Fall, just a few days after we suffered a very personal loss, my hubby ran his 2nd half marathon. I so admired his determination to still get out there and run in the midst of our intense grief. In fact, he was the very picture of Hebrews 12:1b
" . . .let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us'

It was so inspirational to watch him be a living example of a spiritual truth - persevering and enduring the path chosen for us one step at a time. I remember thinking that I could turn my grief into something positive and start running again as a reminder to keep persevering.

Well, 7 months later I finally held myself to that thought. Better late than never, right?

I have found that I LOVE running at dusk. The sun isn't beating down anymore, the neighbors are out walking dogs, and I can reflect and run off the day's frustrations all in the glory and creativity of God's glorious creation all around me.

I always, always bring my iPod. Must. Have. Music.

Right now I get so pumped starting my run to the David Crowder Band's "Everything Glorious". It's awesome rounding the corner of my street, matching the pounding steps to the pounding beat while my soul gets a lift from the awesome lyrics.

So. I need help with finding some more great running music. Any suggestions out there? Doesn't necessarily have to be Christian but most definitely positive and uplifting. What tunes get YOU going???

Friday, May 23, 2008

What Our Lives Are REALLY Like . . .

On phone with hubby discussing me flying out to meet him while he's on a work trip . . .

Wifey: "So, I haven't bought my ticket yet."
Hubs: "What time are you thinking of flying in?"
W: "Not sure yet. Why?"
H: "That will make a difference whether or not I pick you up. In rush hour that will be a long trip for me."
W: "Ummm . . .So how else do you propose I meet you after I land?"
H: "Ummm . . .Taxi."

Enter deafening silence

W: "Taxi. You want me to take a taxi rather than have to come pick me up???"
H: "Nevermind. I'll come get you."
W: Decibals increasing"TAXI? You really wanted me to fly to a strange city and take a TAXI rather than fight rush hour traffic???"
H: "I'll pick you up."
W: "TAXI???"
H: "How long are you going to go on about this?"
W: "Possibly for quite some time. TAXI. I'm SO going to blog about this."

I'm claiming insanity in his defense - he's been under a lot of stress. And by the end of the conversation we were laughing so hard we could hardly talk . . .ahhh - the absurdity of everyday life . . .

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Seeking Explanations

We just returned from an out-of-town trip with our toddler. The hotel room where we stayed was actually a two-story room with a loft and another hotel room below us. Needless to say, the stairs were a BIG draw to E. She constantly wanted to go up, down, up, down.

The first night we were there my poor girl had a horrible time actually falling asleep. As she was bouncing across the room - literally - at midnight I reminded her not to jump because "there were people below us".

She stopped. Big eyes. Crawled into my lap.

I didn't stop to think that to a 2-year-old "people below us" sounds kind of scary!

From that point on every time E wanted to go up the stairs and I declined she knowingly said, "People."

"No, baby, there's no people upstairs. I just don't want you to go up there."

She would stop and think and then say, "Somebody else's turn."

"No, baby, it's no one else's turn. I just don't want you to go up the stairs."

More thinking. "People."

I couldn't help but wonder at this point if this is what we sound like to God sometimes. When difficult circumstances arrise in our lives we are often quick to offer explanations that make sense to ourselves while overlooking the need to just trust God's decisions for us. (As if knowing the reason would change the situation but so often it seems like it would help.) Perhaps our reasons and explanations sound as nonsensical to God as "People" sounded to me regarding my daughter's desire to climb up the stairs.

We crave answers. We want explanations and reasons. I am the queen of seeking these out. But Paul tells us
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12

My daughter eventually needed to accept that she couldn't go up the stairs just because her mommy had said "no". Maybe my Lord is waiting for the same trust and obedience from me . . .seeking HIM and not only His answers.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Modest is Hottest . . .

Saw that on a t-shirt once and it stuck in my head.

Okay girls - MUST READ this post on modesty at The title alone will catch your attention . . .

It sure made me re-evaluate every outfit in my closet. I like to think I'm a fairly modest dresser. There are a couple of shirts that I've questioned if they're too low, too tight, etc. but usually wear them anyway because they're not "that bad".

No more.

Someone may have to hold me accountable because I really love some of those shirts. But it's not worth stealing the purity of my brothers in Christ even if that's not my intention. Let me emphasize - NOT that I think anyone's looking or that there's anything to look at - ha! - but, well, just read the above post and for sure read through the comments and you'll get my thought process here.

Apparently men are VERY visual. I knew that to some extent but did not realize just how much of a struggle they face every stinkin' day. Besides TV, internet, movies, women out in public, the LAST place they need another battlefield is because of their Christian sisters' choice of dress. Yikes.

[Randomly - I remember a good friend of mine telling me in college to never, ever hug a guy, man, whatever full on from the front because they can feel, well, "the girls". Always, only the good ol' one-armed side hug. Didn't know that till then. Oh, man. I'm so clueless when it comes to males apparently!!!]

Okay - enough of my blabber. Read the post and comments and then let me know your thoughts . . .

Sunday, May 4, 2008

How I Get Perspective

I hide in my room with the pillow over my head.


Sometimes all the thoughts in my head added to the chaos around me combine for a potentially combustible situation.

So I go hide under my pillow and wait for perspective.

Today it came in a reminder from Beth Moore's Believing God (read it! read it!). She has a little pledge of faith she recites to herself a gazillion times a day:
God, you are who you say you are
You can do what you say you can do
I am who you say I am
I can do all things through Christ
Your word is living and active in me
And I'm choosing to believe you, Lord

Her point is that just about any spiritual attack from the enemy is really an attack on one of the above truths.

The voice of truth vs. the lies of the enemy.

I know the Lord is always speaking the truth. Sometimes it just takes me being under a pillow to hear it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Better Day

After losing a dear loved one this past Fall I've been doing quite a bit of thinking on Heaven.

Questioning, asking, seeking, wondering, pondering, picturing.

I know some core truths about Heaven from the Word but the Bible also says
However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"
I Corinthians 2:9

Y'all - a better day is coming. And it's gonna be GOOD. Even if we try to imagine how good it will be our finite minds fall short. We can't even conceive how amazing it will be. It's not harps and clouds. Not an endless church service. It's everything good you know but better and then some. Is anyone else's spirit a-stirrin' right now??!!

I just heard this song for the first time in church on Sunday (M.L. you ROCK!) and it gave me chill bumps and brought tears of amazement and joy to my eyes. I can't stop listening to it because in the midst of chaos it centers me on what's coming. And, I'll just say it again, it's gonna be REAL GOOD. Just try to listen to this without either falling on your knees or throwing your arms up toward the Lord . . .
(Apparently I'm in a video-posting mood lately)