Friday, November 12, 2010

Emotional Thoughts....

Driving home last weekend, I was expressing some worries/fears about the upcoming week and how I would react to circumstances.  My very wise husband gave me pause.  He told me that between the time that something happens and time that we react, there is a moment when we choose what that reaction will be.  Our response to a stimulus isn't default, or beyond our control.

I didn't like that.  It rubbed me wrong.  I had to think about why.  And, what I discovered what that I didn't like it because it made me responsible for my actions.  It removed my excuse for self pity.  Every time I reacted emotionally to something, it was my choice to do so, not just the justified response to my circumstances.

I don't like the idea of self pity.  I know it is silly and even loathsome to me, however, I enjoy wallowing in it anyways.  Ouch.  That is not something I like about myself!  Perhaps this is one of those things that, as Paul says - I do not do what I want to do, and what I do not want, I do!  Don't you love those self-revealing moments?  I think I was a little grouchy about it all for a bit.

As time has gone by, however, and I've had some time to adjust, I see the wisdom in what my dear husband said.  I want to be a wise woman, that fears the Lord.  I want the fruits of the Spirit to be manifested in my life.  One of those fruits is self-control.  By knowing that I can choose how to react to my circumstances, and by actually making the God-glorifying decisions, I move toward both of those goals.

Proverbs talks about the fear of the Lord being the beginning of wisdom.  A friend shared some thoughts with me that provoked me to make one definition of fearing the Lord to be fearing His displeasure with me/my decisions more than I fear/desire anything else.  Fearing Him is choosing to honor Him instead of myself, choosing to honor Him instead of knee jerk reacting to my circumstances, choosing self control over self pity.

Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.
- Helen Keller

Never give way to melancholy; resist it steadily, for the habit will encroach.
- Sydney Smith

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pop Tarts

So, pop tarts have no nutritional value and are actually quite bad for you buuuuut, there is hope for the pop-tart-loving, want-to-eat-healthy people out there.  Nature's Path makes a toaster pastry that, while not quite the same as a pop tart, is quite good (see link above)!  They still aren't the best thing in the world for you, but, they are made with real ingredients at least and won't do much harm in moderation!!

Oh, and they are BOGO at King Soopers thru Tues of next week!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Early Morning Thoughts....

I couldn't sleep, so got up early this morning and am sitting at the kitchen table, looking out at the just risen sun.  It puts a golden tint on the field and trees.  Cool air is coming in the back door - so refreshing before the heat of the day.  I was reading in Matthew Henry's commentary and came across this thought provoking/convicting passage:

Note, Many that attend on the word come rather to see and be seen, than to learn and be taught, to have something to talk of, than to be made wise to salvation. Christ puts it to them, what went ye out to see? Note, They who attend on the word will be called to an account, what their intentions and what their improvements were. We think when the sermon is done, the care is over; no, then the greatest of the care begins. It will shortly be asked, "What business had you such a time at such an ordinance? What brought you thither? Was it custom or company, or was it a desire to honour God and get good? What have you brought thence? What knowledge, and grace, and comfort? What went you to see?’’ Note, When we go to read and hear the word, we should see that we aim right in what we do. (Matthew Henry, on Matt. 11v7, where Jesus is speaking of John the Baptist)

I do this so often (the bad part, not the good part) and it reveals my heart of pride, selfishness (in only thinking of how I appear or sound, instead of how to benefit others), and self-love.  

This brings a question to do you apply the lessons learned in quiet time, church, fellowship, or wherever else?  I suppose one answer is in review,continued reflection, and prayer - asking the Lord to convict my heart and drive the lesson home.  And then doing the hard work of application when the opportunity arises, and repentance when I realize it did arise and I didn't do it right - which will no doubt happen often as I am not in the habit of doing so, or of calling the circumstance to mind later.

In Stepping Heavenward, the idea is put forth of offering all you are and have to God each morning, then having a time of self-examination in the evening to review and determine if you did so and repent as necessary.  As I am not in either habit, I'm not very good at this, but, think that the idea of offering the day up to God - the little and big things - and asking Him for His hand upon me at all times, reminding me of lessons learned, may be an effective means of such application, preparing me for those opportunities to practice throughout the day.  And self reflection provides the opportunity to focus and realize where I erred and repent (if I have not already), and perhaps keep me from falling into the same sin again.

How do you apply what you learn?  Do you have a structure for study and reflection and application of what you hear/read?  Please do share!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


This morning I was tired. Just sleepy. And headed back to work after a three day weekend, I wasn't sure what to expect - perhaps insane busyness, especially as J and I had to leave in the middle of the day for a baby appointment. As I sat down at my desk, I determined to, before I opened emails, to first read the TGIF email (Today God Is First).

I booted up, and, and as I waited, took a look at a note I have on my desk:

Each day, offer yourself - all you are and have - to the Lord.  If it seems insufficient for the days duties, do not fear or be anxious.  Know and trust that He will multiply your effort to meet the requirements He has placed upon you.

Remember the feeding of the 5,000!

I committed the day to God there, asking Him to provide what I needed.  When my computer booted up, I read over the two TGIF emails I had in my inbox (and, sadly, remember little of what they contained), then moved onto the affairs of the day.  God answered my prayer.  I was able to catch up on almost everything before we left, then keep up easily throughout the afternoon.  Not once was I overwhelmed with work.  God made my burden light today.  How gracious He is!

Some other ways He manifested His goodness today...

-Everything is fine with baby!  Just where it should be.

-I cut J's hair!  And it came out decent - he didn't have to take the shears to it when I was done :)

-Energy this evening to cook dinner, cut hair, and make cookies.  This feels like a rarity these pregnant days.

-Mistakes were caught at work that could have been no fun, but instead, just made a little bit more work.

-When they took blood today, it was a one-shot deal - no multiple pokes, and no moving the needle around in my arm!

-Another day with my wonderful husband/best friend ever.

A fitting end to my day (and this post)....

Psalm 148
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!

Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!

Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the Lord!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

We serve a Great God

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

His mercy and grace to us - to me - is unfathomable. That the God who is holy and perfect, created the universe with a word, could look at me before the world began and see how I would fail Him, spit in His face, despise His teachings and His ways, even after He saved me, and yet still send His only Son to DIE to redeem me and bring me in as a beloved child...There are not words to describe that kind of love and mercy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lent...only not...

So, I started this post talking about Lent, which I really know nothing about, other than that it is 40 days of deprivation. I had hit a bit of a wall, wondering what to type next (hard to expound on something you know nothing about), when, my computer went "boop". I looked, and had a message from my little sister on gtalk.

Mar: yo, this is my encouragement to u today:
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.

It stopped me in my tracks. God grabbed my heart and squeezed it, overwhelming me with His grace and mercy. He is calling me to change, calling me to become more like Him, and I AM SO LAZY. And, as odd as it may come across, I get so discouraged by my own choices to sin. Like I'll never be able to do it - to change. I, such a wretch, am so utterly undeserving of His mercy or time of day. But.

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.

How can I deny it? How can I doubt His care and love and desire for me? When He interrupts me from my totally pointless rambling to just tell me that He IS doing what I ask of Him, changing me. That there is hope that I can do what He wants me to do. Indeed, that, despite my sluggardliness, my stubborness, and my rebellion, He is giving me not only the know-how and skills to do what He wants - but He is giving me the very DESIRE to do so. Even if I don't see it. What mercy. And what hope.

It welled up tears in me. Just His love. His care. For me. What a God we serve.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

February is almost over...

Wow, can you believe February only has a bit over a week left in it? It's been a crazy first part of the year, between work and Ruth going to Florida, car issues (I do NOT recommend renewing your car registration online on the last day of your grace period!), lodge trip, robotics tournament, three family birthdays, dance lessons, church, Homeschool Day at the Capitol registration kicking off, not to mention just good ole times hangin out.

The Lord's been working on me the last couple months...right around the end of the year, He really gave me the umph to go and seek accountability on sin that I just couldn't/wouldn't kill. It's been kinda tough, but, I hope for good fruit.

I've been convicted about not praying much. I mean, I pray for specific things throughout the day or as they come to mind or whatever, but, as for concentrated, serious time talking to my Father, well, there sure isn't much. Tied into that is not spending much time with the Lord, period. I do not have any sort of consistency on doing time in the Word and prayer at all. I want to, I want to study and learn, but, for some reason, I just don't. I guess it's like Paul says in Romans: I don't do what I want to do and what I don't want to do, I do! Hmmm, as he goes on to say so eloquently: What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

That's my only hope folks - rescue by Jesus. His blood has covered me and I can rest knowing that, though there is war within me between flesh and spirit, I have a helper and eternal life is assured me at the end of the fight. Ah, Lord, that I will fight and be worthy of the crown in the end!