Thursday, April 30, 2009

34: My ABCs of the Moment

Anxiously awaiting my parents' arrival tomorrow

Beautiful day outside my window . . .should really get the girls outside to play today - it's hard though with a forest-y backyard and no fence

Chocolate . . .need . . . chocolate

Dark chocolate preferably but will take anything

Endless list of things to do around here running through my head

Frustration that this house is a constant state of mess no matter how much I clean

Got to find older daughter some summer sandals today

Hoping to stumble upon the sale of the century for above mentioned shoes

I have a feeling that will not happen however

Joe from Blue's Clues is distracting my daughter

"Keep eating, Sweet Pea"

Lunch in front of the TV today was not a great idea but it's allowing me to blog

Mother's Day coming . . . need to have girls make something for grandmothers

Not feeling crafty today

Oh, but that's what Google is for

Pedicure . . . feet longing for pedicure

Questioning how much I should panic over this whole swine/Mexican/N1H1/Whatever-you-call-it flu

Read part of Hebrews this morning about entering God's rest . . .need to remember this all day, every day

S-t-u-p-i-d dog is the official name of the household canine here . . .bless her heart she can't help it I suppose

The s-t-u-p-i-d dog is in her crate after pouncing on older daughter today. NOT okay with me.

Unless we figure out a way to get the energy out of s-t-u-p-i-d dog I don't know what we're going to do

Volume of little one's voice confounds me . . .where in the world did she get such lungs?? Loud or soft though she is sweet as can be

Wondering if we will ever indeed get out of the house today . . . my goal was to leave at 9:30. It's now 11:50.

Xactly what word starts with X besides Xylophone and X-ray??? Neither of which will enter my day today.

Yelling from room to room drives me crazy

Zzzzzz . . . coming from little one's carrier . . .breathing kind of heavily . . . hope she's not getting sick . . .

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

33: Lazy Night

One of the best things my sweet hubby ever did was to institute "Lazy Night" at our house.

It started several years ago when I was pregnant with our first little one. We had just sold our house and were living in an apartment while searching for a new house. So, a first pregnancy (anxiety) plus not knowing where we would be living (more anxiety) plus teaching 4th grade (completely exhausting) was wearing on me to say the least. Hubby was working full time and going to grad school in the evening while spending weekends studying. Talk about exhausting.

One night I was complaining about how tired I was only to come home to have to grade papers, do dishes, etc. Hubby, equally tired, decided we needed one night a week to do nothing. No house work, no school work. We would order pizza and give ourselves permission to just veg out in front of the TV for a night. We jokingly dubbed it "lazy night" but the name has stuck ever since.

It's taken different forms over the years . . . sometimes ordering pizza, sometimes Ben and Jerry's (sometimes both). One summer we trekked to Sonic once a week with the rule to order a different drink every visit. But whatever it looked like, "lazy night" has always been something to look forward to every week. A time to make ourselves relax and reconnect in the middle of the week.

We all get so busy and life seems to speed up the older I get. Any excuse to slow down, even for a night, is welcome in my book.

Feel free to steal the idea . . . "Lazy Night" is too good to keep to ourselves :-)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

32: Random Acts of Humor

Overhead in the Kohl's checkout line tonight:

Cashier: "Hi there. Did you find everything you needed?"

Customer: "No . . . I was looking for a million bucks and couldn't find it nowhere in here. . ."


I love when random people make a whole bunch of other random people smile.

And with the cruddy news all around us these days couldn't we all use a little more humor in our day?

Go make someone smile today!

Monday, April 27, 2009

31: My Brain on Tired . . .

I seriously considered filling this blog with "blah, blah, blah" as I have nothing, nada, zilch, zip to say tonight.

Hmmm. Look at that. Nothing to say and this is already my 4th sentence.

Wonder how long I can stretch this out.

Ooooo. Six sentences.

Does "ooooo" or "hmmmm" count as sentences???

I'm pretty sure "Look at that" is incomplete or structurally weak or something.

Sweet. Ten sentences.

This post is getting hefty now.

Who knew I could write a whole post about nothing???

Hopefully I'll have more than nothing to write tomorrow.

(This is the 15th and last sentence. Awesome. Oops - 17 now. Is "Awesome" really a sentence?? I can't stop myself. 20.)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

30: Unquenchable

Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.
Song of Solomon 8:7a

I've long adored the above verse. In the midst of the romantic dialogue between Solomon and his bride this verse stands out to me as an ideal picture of love. Unquenchable. Unmoveable. Standing strong against whatever forces try to sweep it away.

A beautiful example of godly love between husband and wife.

But today I heard this verse as part of a praise song in church and it made me think of it on a different level.

I know God's love for us is big, but I forget how much God really loves us, pursues us, desires us.

Unquenchable love.

Unmoveable love.

No matter what forces try to sweep it away . . .

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
Isaiah 43:2a

The tumultuous waters of this life are never enough to quench the love, the passion God has for each one of us. The rivers of emotion, of circumstance, that continually rise and threaten to knock us off our feet will never sweep over our head so that God's love cannot reach us.

That is breathtaking.

Read it again now:
Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.

The unquenchable, unmoveable love of God.


**Updated to add this video of the praise song I mentioned above that got me thinking on all of this . . . Although you could find a better video of the actual artist (Misty Edwards) doing this live and/or extended I liked being able to see and share the lyrics . . .an amazing song***

Saturday, April 25, 2009

29: Thankful

Some time ago, I read the suggestion to make a "Five Things I'm Thankful For" list at the end of every day. It's been awhile since I actually put it into practice, but it was always a nice way to close out the day.

So tonight I decided it would be a great way to close out this day as well:

Five Things I'm Thankful For Right Now . . .
1. Saturdays - a break from the routine of the week
2. A quiet house with two sleeping beauties
3. Absolutely gorgeous weather today
4. A great movie to watch (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe . . .LOVE the Narnia books and movies!!)
5. A nice, cozy bed calling my name

How about you? What are five things you're thankful for right now?? (Or one, or six . . . whatever!)

Friday, April 24, 2009

28: An Oldie But Goodie

So this is kind of cheating on my 100 post thing, but the following is actually a re-post from a few months ago. But I wanted to re-post it with good reason . . . I need to hear it again.

I went tonight to try to find some post-baby clothes for summer that actually fit.

Need I say more????

Without further ado . . .

(Originally posted 7/31/08)
Well, it only took me forever to follow up that last post! We have been in the midst of moving and, well, just general chaos.

But I've so wanted to post the following list. It was given to me on a bookmark during a fabulous Bible study and I have read it over and over (and over . . .) And you can be sure I've been reading it even more lately. Thank you Lord for your beautiful promises!

Who The Bible Says I Am:

The salt of the earth (Matt 5:13)
The light of the world (Matt 5:14)
A child of God (John 1:12)
Part of the true vine (John 15:5)
Christ's friend (John 15:15)
Chosen by Christ (John 15:16)
A personal witness for Christ (Acts 1:8)
A slave of righteousness (Romans 6:18)
Enslaved to God (Romans 6:22)
A daughter/son of God (Romans 8:14-15)
A joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)
A temple where God's Spirit dwells (I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19)
Joined to the Lord (I Cor. 6:17)
A part of Christ's body (I Cor. 12:27)
A new person (2 Cor. 5:17)
One in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-29)
An heir of God (Gal. 4:6-7)
God's workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
Righteous (Eph. 4:24)
A citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
Hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
An expression of the life of Christ (Col. 3:4)
Chosen of God (Col. 3:12)
Holy (Col. 3:12)
Dearly loved (Col. 3:12)
A daughter/son of light (I Thess. 5:5)
A part of God's holy family (Hebrews 3:1)
A living stone (I Peter 2:5)
Royalty (I Peter 2:9-10)
Part of a priesthood (I Peter 2:9-10)
God's own personal possession (I Peter 2:9-10)
An alien and stranger in this world (I Peter 2:11)
An enemy of Satan (I Peter 5:8)
A sheep in the Lord's pasture (Psalm 23 and 100)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

27: Sacrifice

Springtime in Texas brings blankets of bluebonnets to cover the sides of the highways and empty fields. Texans love bluebonnet time - we stick our kiddos in the middle of them every year for pictures - and of course it's the state flower.

One of my favorite children's picture books (and I have MANY) is "The Legend of the Bluebonnet" by Tomie dePaola.

The story, in brief, is about a young Native American girl whose people are experiencing a great drought. She herself has lost all of her family and has only a much-loved doll with blue-jay feathers in its hair to remember them by. The shaman receives word that the people must sacrifice their most prized possessions for their drought to end. One by one the people decide that surely it is not their special possession that is required and nothing is sacrificed.

The orphaned young girl decides she must sacrifice her doll so as to save her people. She tearfully burns it in secret one night, scatters the ashes to the four winds and then falls asleep in that very spot.

When she awakens, the fields are covered in flowers as blue as the feathers in her treasured doll's hair. The drought is ended and the people are saved by the little girl's selflessness.


It's easy to require of others while digging our own heels in the dirt, sure that the Lord must not require our possessions, gifts, talents, time, resources, etc.

The story is a good reminder to me that the Lord will do beautiful things with great sacrifice.

Which brings me to a question:

Has someone ever sacrificed something for you? Have you given up something treasured (material or not) for someone else's benefit? What good resulted? Or is it something where the fruits have yet to be seen?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

26: Be Still

Be Still.

Stop moving
Cease chatter
Turn off noise
Abandon striving
Release shoulder tension
Unknot stomach
Calm fidgeting
Slow down thinking
Stop thinking
Close eyes
Deep breath
Deep breath
Deep breath

Be Still.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

25: My Life in Thirty Lines

I have:

1. hiked in the Grand Canyon
2. been caught in a flash flood in the "Grand Canyon of Texas" (Palo Duro)
3. watched as our cabbie made a drug drop in Jamaica. awesome.
4. climbed a waterfall
5. experienced the miracle of birth twice
6. been humiliated at a rodeo
7. been the only 4.0 graduate in my class
8. had a black eye
9. never been stung by anything
10. cried over my students
11. been saved by Jesus
12. married the man who smeared ice cream on my face during our first date
13. been lifted out of a pit. more than once.
14. been pulled over twice
15. never gotten a ticket.
16. gotten fertility advice from a mayor
17. worn out the DVD of "Emma" and had to buy a new one
18. watched dolphins swim in a bay
19. worked as a secretary
20. driven to Roswell, NM and back in a day just to say I've been there
21. put my fingers inside a pig heart and pretended not to be mortified
22. attended an inner-city church and loved it
23. toured the Blue Bell ice cream factory
24. hidden in closets during tornado-producing storms more times than I can count
25. met Mickey Mouse
26. run in the rain
27. learned to two-step
28. read every Jane Austen novel
29. been to Luckenbach, Texas
30. been skeet shooting

How about YOU? What things have you done in this life??

(I totally stole this idea from Mandy!)

Monday, April 20, 2009

24: Lesson Learned

I feel like I'm mostly an optimistic person but I have to admit I really don't care for Mondays.

Mondays are Hubby's busy/early days at work so I take both the night feedings with the little one. This way Hubby can maybe function with at least most of his brain cells on Mondays.

(He is so sweet and helpful, usually taking at least one of the late feedings most other nights while I snooze. In fact, one night he woke up to our dog getting sick all over her crate, cleaned all that up, fed the baby and rocked her back to sleep. All while I was completely oblivious in dreamland. He's a good man, that man of mine. But I digress . . .)

Anyway. So Mondays usually find me more sleep-deprived (read: grumpy) than usual. And it's always kind of a let down after a fun weekend to go back to "normal".

I was throwing myself a grand pity party this morning with the Lord explaining how tired I was, how I wasn't looking forward to this day, etc. Oh, it was a big shindig. Party hats and all.

Then the Lord chose to use my three-year old to speak to me. I think He greatly enjoys using my little girl to teach her mommy lessons about throwing tantrums. How ironic.

Little girl has been watching the Veggie Tale version of David and Goliath quite a bit lately. Aside from having to explain that, no, Goliath was not really a big pickle and, no, he didn't fight David with boxing gloves it's a pretty accurate retelling.

When I went to say, "Good Morning" to her my daughter informed me she wanted to tell me the story of "Dave and Goliath."

Okie dokie. I sat and listened as the pint-sized preacher proceeded.

When she got to the end of the story (after doing a really great job might I add!) our conversation went like this:

"So who won - David or Goliath?"


(Me feigning shock) "What?! Even though he was so little?"


"And even though Goliath was so big??"


"How did David do that? Who helped him?"


"Oh, so we can do anything with God on our side???"

{Insert God hitting me over the head with a heavenly-sized mallet at this point and saying a very gracious DUH}

It's now five hours after I originally started this post and, honestly, the day has not gotten any easier. In fact, it's thrown me a few more curve balls and I've, in turn, thrown at least one more fabulous pity party.

But as I came back to finish this post I'm once again reminded that I can indeed "do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13)

I can get through this day, take care of my children, handle disappointments, just function through Christ who strengthens me.

Good stuff.

Wonder what my daughter will preach on tomorrow?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

23: To Be Honest . . .

I'm sssooooo tired tonight. It's been a long few days as the little one has a cold or something (oh, please let it be too early for teeth!) and needs constant attention. Add that to the constant attention the older little one requires and, well, that's a whole lotta "constant" around here.

So this is a total cop-out post. Sorry. It really shouldn't even count towards my 100 posts in 100 days.

But it's my blog.

And it does.


Hopefully I'll be back to some "real" writing soon (whatever that is) as I do miss it. And hopefully the constant 24/7 running around here will dwindle back to, I don't know, say 23/7. That would be more like normal.

(I'd be remiss not to mention that although I feel bone tired that the Lord has provided around every corner. Even something like my older daughter being in a great mood today made a HUGE difference and I definitely don't want to be ungrateful. It could always be worse. I am oh so aware of that . . . Thank you Lord for perspective even as I write this!)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

22: Smells Like . . .

Isn't it amazing how different scents invoke specific memories?

To me:

Hot asphalt in the summer=spending countless days at Six Flags over many summers and Spring Breaks

Cherry Blossom from Bath and Body Works=the days right after my first daughter was born

Making enchiladas at home=my Grandma's kitchen in San Antonio

April Fresh Downy=home, as in my parent's house

School gymnasiums=many, many years of basketball camps, practices, games, off-season . . .

*indescribable*=Hulen/Clement Hall at Texas Tech. Can't explain the smell but it smelled the same when I lived there as it did when my sister lived there 8 years earlier. And I bet it smells the same today. Not a bad smell. Just unique.

How about you? What scents bring back memories for you?

Friday, April 17, 2009

21: Faith

When you come to the edge of all the light you have known, and are about to step out into darkness, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen; There will be something to stand on, or you will be taught to fly.

True? What do you think?

(By the way, I tried to search for the original author of this quote and found several versions and authors . . . who knows.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

20: When in Doubt . . .

. . . post a cartoon.
(In my defense I actually started a different post SEVEN hours ago and am just now getting back to the computer. So as not to completely ignore my poor husband all night I'm making this a quick post. And I'm officially 1/5 through my 100 post challenge!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

19: My Blog's Identity Crisis

This blog has a problem.

It doesn't know what it wants to be when it grows up.

I originally started this blog after I saw the need to password protect my family blog. I wanted to keep the pictures of my kiddos and family protected (too many creepos out there!) but yet I still wanted a public blog that anyone could access.

So my only rule for this particular blog is that I don't post pictures or use names of friends and family. Beyond that, I'm not sure what I'm doing here.

I have no trouble finding things to post on my family blog - there's no shortage of cute kid pics or funny things they've been up to.

I struggle a lot with what to put on here though. I feel like I need a mission statement of sorts for this blog - what's my purpose? Am I trying to encourage people? To entertain? To communicate?

Honestly, I don't have a clue. :-) So please excuse the scatteredness of the posts to come as I try to flesh out the purpose of this little bloggy.

(Um, and if anyone has a mission statement I can borrow - I'll take it.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

18: Love My Friends!

Today was a hard day. Many tears, tantrums and yelling.

And that was just me.


Very rarely do I ever feel the way I felt today but I was truly at my wits' end.

And then the Lord provided a return phone call from a dear, dear friend that turned my afternoon around. By the end of the phone call I felt sane again and not so alone. I am so grateful today for that friend in particular, but it got me thinking about how the Lord created us to need one another. He never intended any of us to try to "do life" on our own but always in community with others. Don't we serve a loving, wise Father that provides good things for His children?!

Short post today for several reasons (emotionally drained, hubby needs computer and I waited until last minute to try to post - whoops!) so although my words don't seem very eloquent or flow-y tonight (is that even a word?? i'm so tired.) the Lord knows how grateful I am for my friends tonight and I hope you are, too. Give your loved ones a hug tonight (and sorry for the scattered post. this 100 post thing doesn't always - or ever? ha! - result in fabulous thoughts.)!

Monday, April 13, 2009

17: New Life


What was dead is now alive.

On the heels of yesterday's celebration of Easter and Christ's resurrection, check out this blog I found that is the very picture of new life.

My jaw still drops when I think of what this couple went through and how Christ redeemed their marriage. Truly astounding. Go read and be encouraged that the Lord who conquered death is still bringing new life.
(Go to the Quick Links section on the right side to read their story)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

16: What More Can I Say?

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.
Matthew 28:6a

The death of death.

The hope of Life.

What more could I add to THAT??!!

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

15: The Day After

The morning after a very personal tragedy and loss is so indescribable.

I remember waking up the day after we miscarried in a complete fog. Slowly, the images of the day before started rolling through my still-sleepy mind and slowly I started to remember what had just transpired.

It was an awful feeling.

One that makes you want to crawl under the covers, shut your eyes tight and will yourself back to sleep just to forget for a little while again.

I have to wonder if Jesus' followers and friends felt much the same way on this day, the day after the crucifixion. Did they wake up in a fog only to have the bloody images of the prior day start flashing through their mind? Or did they even sleep at all, too traumatized by the sights and filled with too many questions to afford them even a few hours of slumber?

Being on this side of history affords us the luxury of knowing that Sunday indeed comes. That Christ rises to fulfill every promise and prophecy. And while the Lord spoke of these things to his disciples I wonder if they really got it until they saw him on that Sunday.

Saturday must have been indescribably difficult.

Friday, April 10, 2009

14: Not Sunday Yet

It seems fitting that it's raining here today, Good Friday, the day we remember Jesus' gruesome crucifixion on the cross.

I don't know about you but it's an uncomfortable day for me. I'd rather just fast-forward to the celebration of Sunday.

But it's not Sunday yet. And Jesus very much suffered through Friday first. It's easy to say "Jesus died on the cross" without putting much thought into what that really looked like, sounded like, smelled like.

The bruised and bloodied face.

The back that bore the whip so violently that it more closely resembled ground meat than human flesh.

The smell of human blood, constantly present.

The pounding of nails. The scream of agony.

Is your stomach in a knot yet? Mine is.

I remember watching "The Passion of the Christ" several years ago. It is hard, very hard to watch. Not a movie you cuddle up with popcorn for and then slip into an easy slumber. By the end I was sobbing (and grateful for DVDs and the privacy of my own home) because I could not wrap my mind around why.

Why would the Lord endure what I had just seen for us? Were we worth it? Really?

And I know the answer is "yes" not because of our own goodness (no such thing) but because God just genuinely loves us.

However, my human mind wants to implode on itself at such a conclusion because I simply cannot grasp such a selfless and ardent love.

The joy and triumph of Sunday is coming - Hallelujah - but let us not forget the solemnity, the sacrifice, the sorrow of Friday.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

13: Liturgical Calendar

My daughter came out of Sunday School last week holding, among other take-homes, a large green construction-paper leaf. In my confusion I noticed that she had been practicing her cutting skills around the edges, creating a fringe. On one side the teacher had written "Palm Branch" in black crayon.

I wanted to smack my forehead. Of course! It was Palm Sunday! In the business of that morning and, honestly, of just life in general it had completely slipped my mind.

I didn't even know until a year or so ago that some denominations follow a liturgical calendar. Not having been exposed to that either growing up in my particular church or now in our Bible church I wasn't aware of such a thing until I saw it mentioned on another blog.

While I appreciate having the freedom in Christ to worship Him outside a structured system of days and seasons I can also see how following such a calendar year after year would be beneficial - creating discipline and focus. (And perhaps I wouldn't be so prone to forget things like Palm Sunday.)

What do y'all think? Did anyone grow up in a church that followed a liturgical calendar? Opinions? Just curious :-)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

12: One Day

I saw her as I rounded the corner of the frozen section in Target and instinctively sucked in my breath.

The same oversized sunglasses.

The same stylish silver hair done perfectly.

It looked just like her.

But it wasn't her. It wasn't my Aunt Sis.

And even though I know Aunt Sis is leaping down the streets of gold, and has been for several years, I had to will my feet to keep walking that linoleum lined grocery aisle rather than envelop this uncanny look-alike in a warm embrace.

With every conflicted step I took in the opposite direction, and with a lump forming in my throat, I became increasingly grateful.

So grateful that one day I will round a corner. And it will be her. And I won't have to walk the other way.

But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
2Peter 3:13

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

11: Because It's Good to Laugh . . .

(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc -

Monday, April 6, 2009

10: Blooming

(Okie dokie then . . . 10 posts down, 90 to go!)

In a gift shop once I ran across a greeting card that brightly proclaimed, "Bloom where you're planted!"

I bought it and have had it posted in several places over the years - in a home office, by my desk during my teaching days, in a collage at home. There's just something about that phrase that not only resonates with me but seems to be something I need to remind myself of over and over.

Spring is among us again and God's paintbrush has been dotting the landscapes with technicolor displays of his glory. Azaleas, pansies, daffodils and lilies line the roads pronouncing the season of splendor has arrived.

This particular beauty is a type of daylily . . .

Most people might refer to it as a "Tiger Lily" but others prefer the name "Ditch Lily".

Apparently this floral phenom has a great fondness for growing in . . . ditches.

Talk about blooming where you're planted!

So often I feel like I'm in a ditch.

I'd rather be in my ideal garden with nice cozy mulch to nourish my roots and a predictable sprinkler system to keep me thriving.

But, no. I'm in a ditch. Where I have to rely on the unpredictable rainshowers to bring relief and I might get trampled by a passing cyclist or even a stray dog.

But the Father knowingly allowed me to be here for reasons I may or may not ever get to know. What I do know is that He provides the rain, the sunshine that allows me to grow here. Who am I to refuse to bloom and display His glory?

People may expect lilies in a garden, but not in a ditch.

Bloom where you're planted . . . even in a ditch.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

9: The Music in Us

"Too many people die with their music still in them."
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

I love this quote but it also brings to mind a favorite joke:

A tourist in Austria came upon an old cemetery. As he came closer, he realized there was music coming from a particular gravesite. The tourist realized it was Beethoven's 8th symphony but being played backwards. The tourist thought this very odd and decided to come back the next day to see if it happened again. The next day, the tourist returned to the gravesite only to hear Beethoven's 7th symphony also being played backwards. The tourist returned day after day, each day hearing the next symphony in reverse order and always backwards. One day, as the tourist was listening to the 3rd symphony, backwards of course, he noticed the cemetery's gardener close by. The tourist stopped him and said, "You'll never believe this! Every day I come and every day I hear music coming from this grave! It's the most remarkable thing - first it was Beethoven's 8th symphony being played backwards, then the 7th and so on. Today it's the 3rd. Isn't this unusual??"

The gardener nonchalantly shrugged his shoulders, returned to pruning the shrubs and said, "Oh, that? That's just Beethoven. He's decomposing."


Do you know what music is in you? Do you feel like you're letting it out or keeping it in "until" . . .until you have the time, until you have the money, until [fill in the blank]?

Of course, there is a time and place for all things. Maybe now just isn't the time to let that particular music make its debut. But there's a difference between prayerfully considering the timing and plugging our ears while singing "lalalalalalaican'thearyoulalalalala" for fear of actually having to DO something about that music.

Oh. So been there.

There now actually.

What about you? Is there something in you burning to get out? Is it a timing issue or is it a fear issue?

(I can only ask because I have been delivered from the pit of fear countless times and always seem to find a way to jump back in . . . It's sadly a familiar place for me but the Lord is so gracious to continually yank me back out.)

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all let our "music" out - whatever that may be - before we start, um, decomposing? :-)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

8: Prayer

So my last post got me thinking a lot about prayer.

I have a lot of thoughts and questions on the subject (well, mostly questions) but today I'm curious about your thoughts . . .

What do you think the role/purpose of prayer is?

(By the way, I started reading a great book on the subject quite a while ago. Haven't gotten all the way through it but I'd highly recommend it . . . "Prayer" by Philip Yancey)

Friday, April 3, 2009

7: Mighty - to Save or Not

This morning I was reading about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being rescued from the fiery furnace (Daniel 3) and was again reminded that God is indeed mighty to save. (When He does a work He does it 110% - the Bible says that not even the smell of fire was on them.)

But what amazed me this morning was a part of the three friends' response to the king that had escaped my memory.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were Jewish exiles living in Babylon. The Babylonion king, Nebuchadnezzer, had created a huge idol of gold and decreed that all must bow down and worship it or else be thrown into a fiery furnace. When the king received word that these three exiles (government officials even, thanks to their friend Daniel's favor with the king - see Daniel 2) refused to bow to the idol he was furious. He gave them one more chance to deny their God and worship the golden statue. This was their response:

"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Daniel 3:17-18

Did you catch that? "Even if he does not . . ."

We pray faithfully for God's saving hand in many ways - for situations we're facing, for people we love, etc. And it's right to do so. I Peter 5:7 tells us to "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

We rejoice when the answer is "yes" but what happens to our faith when the answer is "no"?

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had great faith in the ability and mightiness of their God to save them. But they were also prepared to accept that their deliverance might not be part of the Lord's plan. Either way, they refused to turn to any other. Either way, God was their God. Period.

It's so hard to receive a "no" from the Lord. It can be a real blow to your faith but then there's a choice to make: to stay the course and continue to worship God or to turn to another.

When we miscarried a year and a half ago it was the biggest "no" I'd ever received from the Lord. I had pleaded with Him for the pregnancy but still received the gentle but devastating "no". We went straight into that fiery furnace of grief and loss.

Oh, how I struggled with that "no". And not always gracefully. In fact, it was downright ugly sometimes between me and the Lord.

I came to a pivotal point when I read this in Beth Moore's "Get Out of That Pit":

"God thinks of His children continually. And when God thinks of His children, He only thinks in terms of what can be used toward our good, toward His plan for us, and toward the future. His intentions can only be pure. Right. Full of hope. Promoting peace. Listen carefully. God did not haphazardly or accidentally let Joseph's brothers throw him in the pit. He had already thought it out in advance. Considered it. Weighed it. Checked it against the plumb line of the plan. He had looked at the good it could ultimately accomplish, the lives that could be helped and even saved. Then, and only then, in His sovereign purpose did He permit such harm to come to His beloved child. Had the incident not possessed glorious purpose, God would have disarmed it."

Those last two sentences still put a lump in my throat. I know them to be true but it's still really, really hard to reconcile myself to. It's a daily work. However, I feel like wrestling with the Lord over that particular "no" brought me to a place of trust in Him that I never would have got to otherwise. In a way that was a healing - just not the one I expected or even preferred at the moment.

God's "no"s are just as glorious as His "yes"es.

Just because He is mighty to save doesn't mean He will. Or maybe He does, just not in the way we understand or expect.

And that is a really hard lesson to learn. A lesson, I have a feeling, that is not a one-time thing. Probably more like a life-long journey.

My prayer for all of us (myself most definitely included) is that when we come to that crossroads, when we're in need of saving, that we will be confident that God is mighty.

To save.

To not save.

But always mighty.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

6: Names

I love names.

I love the meanings behind them, the stories.

I'm a firm believer that you never, ever make fun of someone's name. (Well, we really shouldn't be making fun of anything about a person - but most especially their name.) That's their core identity, something so deeply embedded in their very being that to damage it renders a deep wound.

My 3-year-old is in a phase where she loves to pretend to be her favorite cartoon character of the moment - so much so that when I kiss her goodnight she requests for me not to use her given name but rather her animated alter-ego's name.

I usually comply, but always have to sneak her real name in there somewhere - which of course completely irritates her - because I just can't call her by anything else. I love the name we gave her and to hear her refer to herself as anything else just doesn't seem right. It's not who she is.

Sometimes I think of all the people, in all the world, and wonder how is it that God even notices me much less knows my name?

Isaiah 43:1 says:
But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine."

Of course, in this context, the Lord is speaking of His people the Israelites. But as New Testament believers we know we have been grafted in (Romans 11:17) to also be His people.

We also are told in the Psalms that God knows us intimately, having knit us together in our mother's womb (Psalm 139:13)

So I feel like the above verse from Isaiah is one we can claim for ourselves as well - God knows each and every one of us. He knows our names. He calls us by our names.

And the best part of that verse I think comes next:

We are His.

I think "Child of God" is possibly the best name of all.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

5: Nothing to Say

So, today is Day 5 of my little 100 posts in 100 days challenge. And I'm already struggling for something to write about.


Really, it's awfully discouraging and downright fear-producing in me. I'm already imagining how difficult the next 95 days will be if I can't even come up with something on Day 5.

(Oh, and please know that I understand in the whole scheme of world-wide tragedies that me having nothing to write on my blog is pretty darn low on the list. BUT since it's a leap of faith and something between me and the Lord then it's a pretty big deal to me.)

I know logically that anytime we act in obedience the enemy will not be far behind and that could well be at least partly responsible for my sudden case of writer's block. I'm pretty sure he's definitely behind the fear part that's leading to a shameful season of doubting.

Um, how many times have I told someone that if the Lord calls you He will equip you?

Dang it. I hate when I have to take my own advice.

So, I really have nothing to say today except this is already harder than I thought it would be.

(Although I have to interject here that "Tomorrow" from the movie Annie just popped in my head . . . this is random but I so used to love that movie. Anyone else?? My friend and I had matching Annie dresses. And an Annie wig. And Annie dolls. And Annie clothes . . . I should also interject here that this was when I was in preschool. Just to clarify that this was not recent history. Although my Annie wig would have looked better than some of my past hairstyles. But I digress . . .)