"My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours. Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track, you and I,of these stories of who we are and where we have come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories, in all their particularity,as I have long believed and often said, that God makes himself known to each of us most powerfully and personally." -Frederick Buechner

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Last week my daughter sent me a link to a blog she follows saying it was a MUST READ. She's right. I know that many of my blog posts are not my original writings but one of my life mottos has always been if I can share something with you that saves you a few steps in the learning process why not?  I live by that motto. If someone else has already said what I'm trying to say - listen to their words.  I've got to say this blog post says something I believe and am just now really learning to live by.  Before you even read the post please take in the blogs title. "Everyday Miracles".  I LOVE IT!  We need to live everyday expecting and watching for the miracles in it. There ARE miracles everyday in every life. 

Check this out and let me know what YOU think!  http://miraculouschaos.blogspot.com/2011/03/choosing-joy.html

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ask or Just Do It?

A couple of days ago I finally got some "catch up" time with one of my best friends. It had been awhile since we had gotten to talk, just the two of us. It was great. We have known each other for 5 years now and we established a long time ago that we could talk about anything without having to defend ourselves. I think everyone needs a friend they can be honest with, feel safe and not analyzed but expect honest feedback coming from a base of God's love.  I'm fortunate enough to have a couple of these gals in my life. ANYWAY, my friend shared that she has felt led to stop praying God "help me" become who you created me to be. She is praying "make me."  At the time I'm sure I properly oohed and awed at what a great spiritual sign of growth and maturity that could be and then the conversation moved on. However that phrase has shadowed me ever since. What difference does a couple of words mean? "Make me" vs. "help me" hmmm.

Yesterday morning I was reading Psalm 51 for a Bible Study I'm doing. It's believed to be written by David after he was convicted of adultery and is a pretty well know portion of scripture. What struck me was he doesn't ask God to "help him".  He tells God to have mercy on him according to your unfailing love. He states "Wash away all my iniquity."  He knows God is the only one who can do that, who can forgive his sins.  Okay, most of us "get" that part. God is our salvation. The only one who can forgive and free us of our sins. So we ask for forgiveness and God's mercy when we are convicted of our sins.

So that's fantastic but then he goes on. "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."  He doesn't ask God to help him be better or make better choices next time. He says, just do it God. Make a pure heart in me and renew that steadfast spirit that believed I could slay a giant with You leading the way. Wow, that says alot to me.  One thing is this whole Psalm is a testimony to the fact that we all sin, even those of us who really love the Lord. David is called a man after God's own heart. He did kill Goliath. He did calm Saul's crazy spirit with his music. He did become the king God anointed him to be. He also committed adultery and murder. BUT, when convicted he made no excuses. He didn't ask for a 10-step program or a book to read to learn more about living a Godly life. He basically said, I'm here God. I'm willing. I'm all yours. Do YOUR thing. Make me the way you intended for me.  Now that's challenging.

I pray for forgiveness. I pray for God's will to be done. Honestly though I can't say I often just say, "do it Lord. Do whatever it takes to make me the person you created me to be, in Your time and Your way." I think that is called complete surrender. I think I usually surrender parts of me.  What about you? Can you think of a time when you really surrendered yourself or a situation over to God giving Him the freedom to do whatever He deemed necessary? What happened? Do you want to? Am I crazy? Am I over analyzing? What are you thinking?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Glorious Riches

The sun is shining and temperatures are going up and it reminds me SPRING IS COMING! I really like the change of seasons, all of them. I'm almost always ready for the next season when it gets here. It is a physical reminder of those "new mercies" God shares with us each and every day. I love it!

I'm working on memorizing my favorite (okay, in reality I have lots of favorite verses and songs) passages of scripture. Ephesians 3:16-21  Verse 16 starts I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you...(emphasis mine).  There is just so much there. But to me the first challenge is do I pray realizing that it is out of God's glorious riches the answers will come? Or do I pray like I have to figure out the answer, do the work and then get the answer? It's not me. I don't have the strength, the patience, the wisdom or the ability to figure out anything. BUT, my God does and I'm really trying to remember that and live like that.

And did you notice that the riches are not only his, but they are "glorious". Pay attention to all the adjectives in scripture. God's riches are not skimpy or bland. They are GLORIOUS.

We have some new challenges in our life, but then don't we all? So this time, I'm praying from the start, believing that the God who sent His son to save me can handle our day to day lives too.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Every Morning

So I've been mulling over a life lesson. Years ago when our son was in 4th grade we moved across the state leaving his two best friends behind. He had a tough start at his new school as he became pretty sick the week we moved in. Honestly he missed more school than he went to that first month in the depths of winter in Iowa. He had a bad respiratory infection but I believe it was greatly induced by his aching heart. His teacher was very kind and he met other kids quickly but he just wasn't his usual self. One of his old friends got to come to visit for his birthday about 2 months after we moved. That was a great weekend. Sometime after that when He was home from school, sick again I found him just sobbing.  I held him close and asked what hurt, with no response. After some time had passed, more questions and finally the sobbing slowed to just tears He told me he had met some new friends. He was so upset because he believed if he made new friends he would have to let go of the old friends. I assured him that that was not how friendship worked. While you may only be able to have a very few "best" friends, you can have lots of friends with love for all of them. They probably fit in different places in your life.

 Great lesson for life. I've thought of that scene often in the past few years of my life. Life moved us again 6 years ago from a place we had lived for 10 years. Great friends. Great ministry. Great memories. Life. But life goes on and new memories are made. Yesterday was our first son-in-law's birthday. Cancer took him from all of us way too soon. Honestly, I miss him and all of his quirky, sly looks. But just as in our son's life, we are blessed to have new friends AND a new son-in-law. We love them all - the old and the new.  Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness  Lamentations 3:23

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Thing or His Thing, Focus!

So while on vacation, away from home and work it was so "natural" to focus on loving my husband. I wanted to know what he was interested in and what he wanted to do. I wasn't "worried" about whether or not we'd get to "my" thing. I just knew we would. We're home now and I don't want to lose that ability to not "worry" about me and "my thing".   As I've processed these thoughts, I feel like God let me know that is how He feels about me sometimes, a lot of the time actually. He'd like me to focus on loving Him, watching for Him and being interested in what and when He is doing something. Then He'd like me to join Him!

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in you sight O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14 (NIV)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Much Needed Break.

So I know you probably haven't even noticed, but I've been gone for awhile. No really, we went on a vacation to warm sunny beaches.  The fact that I've been gone may not be "life changing" for you but you know what I hope it will be.  When was the last time you took off more than a day or maybe two?  Why is it so hard to do?  I asked a good friend that today when we visited on the phone. She had called while we were gone. I called her back today to find she was packing for a 6 day away trip for her family.  She mentioned that due to her husband's traveling for work they had frequent flier miles and for the past two years they have spent them (willing) on their girls. However, it was time for them to be included. Her husband has been working 7 days a week for months now. Break time!  Her answer to my question was that it costs so much to travel.  Okay, that's a valid point - the one that holds us back the most. However, I have come to a realization that God did not create us to work all the time.  In fact a Sabboth day was God's original idea.  He set us up on a cycle starting with sunrise and sunsets, a natural beginning and ending cycle.  Then I was reading in Scripture today about all of the festivals in the Old Testament. A part of them was to spend time NOT working and just worshipping our Lord.  As a nurse I see exhausted, stressed out people all the time. Exhaustion has severe repercussions, so why do we push ourselves so hard?

I'm back from a greatly needed break.  I was SO ready to go and you know what?  I was SO ready to come home too. I feel like I have a new outlook on things and today has been very productive.  Let's talk. What keeps you from taking more than a day or two "off"?