Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Simple Pleasures

I love when my kids remind me of the simple pleasures of life...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Love is Patient

Love is patient. And I am not.

God was patient with me and continually showed me His grace when I was searching for the truth. And he continues to be patient with me as I stumble through this life and seek affirmation in all the wrong places. He waits for me to bring my burdens to Him and submit to His will for my life.

My husband won his way into my heart by being patient with me. He was content just being my friend until I came to the realization that he was the man God had chosen for me. He is patient with me still as I learn how to fulfill the great responsibility of being a wife and mother.

Yet patience is something I lack. I’ve heard the analogy many times that as Christians our job is to plant the seeds and God’s job is to grow them. Well I feel like I’ve done so much planting and I’m discouraged because I never see the growth. Am I a poor planter? Or am I just not being patient enough to allow God to do His work? Just once I want to know that I’ve been used to change someone's life for eternity. There are so many people that my heart just aches for. I want them to know the peace and joy that I have found. I know God loves them way more than I do and is working His plan, but I want to SEE it! Is that selfish? I imagine God patiently waiting for these children of His to turn around and run to Him. But I am not as patient.

Father, fill me with YOUR love for your people. Inspire me to show that love wherever I am and to patiently wait for you to grow any seeds that are planted. Also grant me patience for the work that you are doing in MY life that seems painstakingly slow at times as well. Thank you for being patient with me~

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Honoring Your Word

One of my favorite lines from Shrek 2 is spoken after Shrek drinks the magic potion to make himself handsome and finds he needs new clothes to wear. After stealing two noblemen's clothes he declares to them "Thank you, gentlemen! Someday I will repay you...unless of course I can't find you, or if I forget." What makes it so funny is that he states out loud what is all too common reality. There are a few people I know who I can trust to follow through on what they say. If they tell me they will pray, I know they will do it. If they say they will show up somewhere, they will be there. But then there are so many others I know who may or may not do what they have said. Maybe they intend to, but for whatever reason it doesn't happen. Are you faithful to do what you say you will do?

And I always find it odd when people are sworn in or put under oath by placing their hand on the Bible. Doesn't God hear the words that come forth from our lips all the time? What difference should a hand on a Bible make? Here's what Jesus had to say about that..."You're hopeless! What arrogant stupidity! You say "If someone makes a promise with his fingers crossed, that's nothing; but if he swears with his hand on the Bible, that's serious." What ignorance! Does the leather on the Bible carry more weight than the skin on your hands? And what about this piece of trivia: "If you shake hands on a promise, that's nothing; but if you raise your hand that God is your witness, that's serious?" What ridiculous hairsplitting! What difference does it make whether you shake hands or raise hands? A promise is a promise. What difference does it make if you make your promise inside or outside a house of worship? A promise is a promise. God is present, watching and holding you accountable regardless" Matthew 23:16-22 The Message

Although I'm not perfect, I place high value on following through on my word. I don't need to make promises or offer reassurances. My friends know if I say I'm going to do something, it's done. And I expect the same from them. What would your friends say about you?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Woman of 25,000 Words

I recently read that research shows the average woman speaks close to 25,000 words each day compared to the average man's 10,000. Gary Smalley concludes that women have a need to connect through words and men simply don't have a need to talk as much. He gave this example, which I could easily relate to..."When the husband comes home in the evening, he's already spent his 10,000 words at work and has no energy left for communication. The wife, on the other hand, may be home with the children all day, and she is just warming up because she's got to get in her 25,000 words with an adult before sundown!" That's how I feel sometimes after being at home with the kids all day...I can't wait for Jeremy to walk in the door so I can tell him everything I've thought about all day long :) That's why having some close female friends to chat with (or email) during the day can be so helpful. Women simply need to communicate.

Then another passage in this book caught my eye...this one is for you husbands. "Start talking. She needs to talk. It's necessary to her happiness, her security, and even to her health. Whether you want to talk doesn't matter. If you love her you will want to meet her deepest needs. Start talking and make sure you are truly engaged in the process, not merely mouthing words from a sense of duty...If you withdraw into your own comfortable silence, the enemy is sure to fill the communication gap and talk to your wife. She will lie awake at night wanting so much to understand your heart that words will come into her mind to express what she thinks you are thinking." And the stuff the enemy has to say is never good, or true. (I Promise by Gary Smalley)

My husband does a great job of listening to me when I simply need to talk. But on days that he is busy with other responsibilities, I am thankful for my girlfriends and my man Jesus, who frequently fill in the gap so that the enemy doesn't get the chance.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life - Proverbs 4:23