Thursday, January 28, 2010

lego mania

Legos are currently a major part of my free time. The love-hate relationship I have had with legos has turned a corner for the better. I am thankful to say that I am beginning to see the thrill of them...not necessarily for myself, but for my boys. Yes, there are other things that I enjoy more. However, time spent with my boys sitting on the floor watching them work so hard at putting together a masterpiece and seeing the joy on their faces when it's completed...that is what I treasure the most. I like being the one that helps find the pieces they are needing. Everyone needs a hero and it might as well be me. :)
Just yesterday a Lego Club Jr. magazine arrived in the mail. What excitement stirred up around me over one little magazine. This was a special thing, though, for Tim. This magazine was just for had his name on it. Apparently, Lego Club Jr. is only for those legolovers who are 6 and under. Seeing his name on the magazine brought a big smile to Tim's face. He did a wonderful thing, though, and willingly shared his special item with his brother. Alex is in the Lego Club, too, but his magazine hasn't arrived yet.
Inside was an advertisement about a lego contest where those 6 and under are invited to make a creation of something that lego firemen can use to get their job done. We are to take a picture of it and the builder and send it in by Feb. 15th for a chance to win a prize. I could see the wheels turning as Tim started taking this all in. Off and on all afternoon, Tim would ask questions about the contest and ask for clarification on the rules and how it all worked. By five o'clock, Tim came out of his room where he had been busy for a little while, carrying in his hands, a fire boat complete with a motor he built and little lego firemen standing on the sides. I am not for sure who was more proud of him at that moment, me or him. Was it a prize winning creation? Maybe...or maybe not. But, it was his creation and to him it was great. I thought it was great, too, of course, but even as his mom I didn't see it the way Tim did. He made it and knew its potential...its purpose...better than any onlooker.
We are God's creation. The way we view ourselves or each other does not change how God sees us. He looks at us with perfect eyes...eyes that see our potential way before we do. (Psalm 139) He looks at us through loving eyes...He gave His only Son to be the Savior for us so that we could live with Him for eternity. (John 3:16; I John 4:13-15) He looks at us with eyes full of justice...everybody has the same rules..."Jesus answered, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but through me.'" (John 14:6). Oh, to know how He loves us and cares for us...everything falls flat in comparison! When we know God, we become more like Him and are able to better see people and things as He sees them. We rejoice in the things that bring Him glory and joy and hate those things that are sinful and displeasing to Him. We seek out truth. We shed light in the darkness with His Word. Take a moment today and look around you and try to see things as God does...let His truth set you free. (John 8:31-32).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

trust me

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:25-33

God is so awesome. He cannot help but reveal Himself in all things. He is in all things and He holds them together. As He opens my eyes to how He does this (and has been doing this since long before I ever arrived on the scene) I stand in awe. And am also humbled that He cares for me and about how I am doing.
Last night, thinking over what I've heard/seen/read the past week...truth, praying the Scriptures, faith, the Star of Bethlehem, removal of strongholds, trust...God, being the awesome God that He is, interrupted my thoughts at that point for a little conversation. It was along these lines...
God: That stonghold in your life would dissipate if you would just trust me.
Me: Which stronghold?
God: That stronghold.
Me: I trust You...(ever so quicky changing the subject, as if...)
God: Not totally. You would let go if you trusted me.
Me: I am afraid of losing something precious to me...
God: I understand, but I need you to trust me with everything. I love you and want the best for you. I am able to give you immeasurably more than you can ask for or even imagine.
Putting it that way, who can do anything but repent and start walking down the road of humility, totally dependent upon God to handle everything in His way, in His time. It's not going to be easy, but it can't be any more difficult than holding onto something I couldn't handle on my own. It's quite gracious of my Father in Heaven to want to bear my burden for me...His mercies are new every morning.
I have a friend who's own blog encouraged me just yesterday morning as I read of her own conversation with our God. He does love us and takes time to reveal Himself to us. It's in these God moments, we realize just who really is in control and why that is. Events leading up to this blog are in and of itself a will remain untold at this time as I am a work in progress. One day, though, my prayer is to share the work God is doing in my life for His glory...that others may see and believe in Him.
Dear God, thank you for being the rewarder of those who diligently seek you. (He 11:6) I believe you to be who you say you are...the One who is faithful to complete the good work you began in me. (Philippians 1:6) Forgive me when my trust falls short and I am afraid to let go. Help me to say as the psalmist David, "When I am afraid, I will trust in you." (Psalm 56:3)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

a need-to-know basis

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

Psalm 119:105 has been on my mind the past few hours. Aside from reminding me of Bible Memory Camp and wearing 20+ years' worth of t-shirts with that verse on them (yeah, that many and hopefully many more to come) that verse brings to mind that God's looking out for me and is offering His light as a guide. Life happens, but I have God's Word to help me on my pathway through it.

According to the MJV (that's Ms. Janet's Version) that verse holds a few truths. One, it infers that I have to keep walking...keep moving forward. Two, it is understood that as I keep walking, the pathway before me will be lit for as far as I need it to be...not necessarily as far as I want it to be. Three, outside of God's will is walk in the light, I have to stay connected with the Light.

Recently, God has impressed upon me that I'm on a "need-to-know" basis. I am guilty of straining so hard to try and see far down the pathway, I've overlooked the lamp at my feet for the here and now. In the boys' pediatrician's office, while waiting on the LNP to come I was reading to them out of one of those infamous "Bible Stories" book that you see everywhere. (I wonder if the first book is free to lure you to buy the set...I have never found any other one). God had a reason for this one on that day.

I was reading about Adam and Eve and how they had to leave the garden, but that God gave them a promise. Speaking to the serpent, God said, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." Genesis 3:15 A promise is here made of Christ as the deliverer of fallen man from the power of Satan. We know that, but at the time, Adam and Eve didn't know who it would be. God provided them a lamp unto their feet...and a lighted path ahead of them with a promise. They had no idea if it would be the first child...a grandchild...or beyond. They had to walk in faith...and keep walking along a pathway that held a promise. Like me today, they were on a "need-to-know" basis. They weren't around for the fulfilled promise of Christ's coming...and we have yet to see the ultimate fulfillment which will take place when Christ returns...but a promise is a promise. Enough light is given to encourage me to keep walking.

The Bible is full of such examples of people who lived by a need-to-know basis...Noah, Abraham, Joseph come to mind right away. With such a history of God's provision of what people needed at just the right time, why do I doubt at times and stumble around in the dark on my own selfish trail?

When I can't see very far in front of me, I still have the lamp at my feet...and there's always enough light for the next step.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

unforgettable moments

"A mild breeze, sunshine, and a cup of coffee--unforgettable moments..." ~a friend

Cheers to all the unforgettable moments in life! Those moments we catch on film or wish we had anyway...those times we are participants in something bigger than ourselves in which we find such joy and peace...those days of sorrow when nothing seems to help with the pain. They are unforgettable for unique reasons and held onto in hearts and minds with the hope that the feelings about them never disappear...or sometimes it might be better if they would.

The earliest memory I recall is my 5th birthday party...and the latest memory to hold onto is the birth of my nephew, Vincent Van Roth. Welcome into the world, little man! May your days be filled with unforgettable moments.

There are moments out there to be made memorable still...take a chance at making the most out of every one!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

God is matter what!

God is not who you think He is; He is who He says He is. –Clarice Fluitt

God is good...even when I don't understand what He's doing. Nothing in life changes His goodness which is a concept that I'm learning anew. It's one of those "understood" things about God that one day just hit me like a ton of bricks. Yes, we all know the saying..."God is good - all the time!" But a message from a friend of mine not too long ago made me realize even that God is good...when I'm confused...stressed...happy....lonely...confused...worried... You can fill in the blank with any words you choose and God will be good no matter what. It is a constant that is taken for granted and sometimes altogether forgotten. God gets thrown under the bus, so to speak, when life gets hard. All of a sudden our circumstances are affecting how we see God. Our circumstances do not change God. He was, and is, and always will matter what. Our circumstances can change us, however...and most times they probably should. I read a passage on refining gold and silver last night. It's a hot, longsuffering job to purify them. So can our circumstances be used to purify us...bringing the bad stuff to the top so it can be skimmed out of our lives. Not fun, but necessary.

I can honestly say that a refining process has begun in my life. It's not easy, but I know it's for the glory of the One who created me. He wants the best for me and cannot allow the impurities to remain. My circumstances do not change His goodness...His goodness changes me. God loves me enough to do this for me. "He's still working on me to make me what I ought to be..." and I'm thankful to Him for loving me so much!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Snow Day

"When I no longer thrill to the first snow of the season, I'll know I'm growing old." Lady Bird Johnson

I find it comical that my definition of a snow day has changed so dramatically since moving to GA. A friend commented "we call that a frost" when seeing what amount of snow in which we were playing. Only 3 times in the 8 years that I have now lived in GA, has it snowed...I'll enjoy any amount that comes my way. This year was different, however, in that, a cold snap has kept the ice/snow around many days. I like it better when it leaves within a day or so...I love my snow, but I love warmer weather even more. :)

The boys and I were so excited when the first flakes started to fall. We started making plans for the morning light. We were prepared this year for snow since we had purchased snow pants during our trip to MI last January. Thankfully so, too, because it was only 20 degrees and very windy.

We awoke to about 3/4 of an inch of snow in most parts of the yard...with a fine layer of ice underneath. Enough, by GA standards, to sled. The boys and I were layered up and outside by 8:30. We have sleds thanks to those who gave us some for Christmas presents last and this year. Boy, was it cold...but so worth it. The sunshine was a bit deceiving, but so nice to see!
We spent the morning outside then went in for a late breakfast...only to be outside again in a couple of hours. It had warmed up a degree or two by then. :) This adventure time was spent zip-lining at the neighbor's, exploring the woods, playing on the swings and at the treehouse. All fun again since they were covered with snow, of course. We ended with more sledding in a spot that had more snow, but the dreaded gumballs as well. Not a great thing to sled over, the boys found out. I spent a few minutes clearing the track of as many gumballs as I could for the boys. We also found that they could go further with me pulling them instead of just pushing them. It was fine...a good workout.
We do love snow...but now bring on spring!

Monday, January 4, 2010

silver lining

n. "A hopeful or comforting prospect in the midst of difficulty."

That's the definition I found for silver lining. The funny thing is, it's not a sure thing, but only a prospect and yet it's enough to make one feel better. I know my silver lining moment today made me feel better. It doesn't take much sometimes and today was one of them that only took the very tops of daffodil leaves poking through the ground to make me feel hopeful in the days to come. I have the same reaction to the rosebud holding onto life at the end of its branch in these cold temperatures. Difficult circumstances, but it's holding on; offering itself to be used for the Creator's glory. That's a lesson to be learned and applied more often in my own life.

Yesterday was "one of those days". Everyone has them (at least I hope it's not just me)...overwhelmed, stressed, gets in the way of living kind of days. Reading in 2 Corinthians last night before bed, I was reminded (gently reprimanded probably is more like it) that "we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5) I cannot say every thought I had throughout the day was taken far, I failed. In my pity party I lost focus of my Rock...the One who holds the answers and has a way of parting waters to make a dry path for His children to walk upon. DRY land...not mucky, messy mud...dry land. Why was I wasting my time wallowing in the mud of self pity and doubt when I should have been kneeling to my God who knows me best and cares for me far more than anyone else can? Because I'm me, that's why. So, I fell off the faith wagon; time to get back up, dust myself off and find my mind set on things above again.
Today, those few green leaves I saw gave me hope renewed. No matter how long "winter" lasts in my life, hope springs forth. Although clouds come, the sun still rises and sets as God directs. He is the One I am to turn to when the burden is heavy...and my heart aches...The great "I AM" is all I need. I know trials are to come, but as much so, I know God will provide a way through them - on dry ground!

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." I Peter 5:8-10

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." Psalm 126:5-6

"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD." Psalm 40:1-3
" 'You are my witnesses,' declares the LORD, 'and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,' declares the LORD, 'that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?' " Isaiah 43:10-13

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Hello 2010!

A look at the past year...
...winter road trip to IN, OH, and MI to Mexico
...See Rock City/GA SNOW/Sarasota
...t-ball/Providence Canyon/camping
..."Turtles"/deep sea fishing (3 sharks)/Panama City Beach
...Bible Memory Camp in Ohio
...ALASKA: take 2 & CityPass: ATL
...Florida and Michigan
...Hot Air Balloons & Family Visit
...SUPERHEROES / Alex's 7th B-day
...Smoky Mountains
...Tim's 6th B-day/Playdates/Christmas
2009: a year of goodbyes...yet a year where sweetness and happiness were found.

A look to the New Year...

" 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' " Jeremiah 29:11
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal." Psalm 26:3-4
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8
2010: a year of hope and expectation

Come, Lord Jesus. Come!