Wednesday, September 29, 2010

God at the Library...

A few days ago I took my girls to the local library for a home school book club. The goal was to find them friends nearby that share similar experiences, like homeschooling or cyber schooling because most of their friends live 20 minutes away. It's never an easy thing for me to bring myself to a social setting like this. Both the girls and I tend to be a little bit shy in new social settings. But nonetheless we went.

While the girls went to their separate activities I sat at a table with other parents just waiting. Some were talkative others just sat there, like me. As I sat there I watched people come in and out of the library and I noticed that there was a woman with a head scarf on headed right for me. She and her husband sat at the table with me and started asking me all kinds of questions about where I live and what kind of schooling I do, how many kids I have, and their ages. I really enjoyed talking to her but I couldn't get the head scarf out of my mind I figured she must be a Muslim.

So while we were talking I was having an inner conversation with God that went something like this: " I know I wanted friends for the girls but this may be more than I can handle. What do I do if we become friends? How do I share life with her when our beliefs are so different? You know YOU will eventually come up in conversation, how will that go?" Anyway, I enjoyed my time getting to know her a little bit. At the end of the day's activities we parted and I went home.

That night as I lay in bed I had the same questions racing through my mind so I asked God to show me what His thoughts were and went to sleep. I woke up the next day and found an email from a ministry I support. It was about Islam and it challenged me with John 3:16-17 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that it might be saved through him." There was my answer. I saw God in the library this week and He challenged me to love a Muslim and be her friend in order to point her to him.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

God in one of THOSE weeks...

Have you ever been frustrated? Had a really bad week where the kids were acting up and you and your spouse weren't getting along? Maybe a number of people you know called you up to vent? Did you ever feel at the end of that week that you wish you couldn't hear? Your to do list got longer and the days got shorter? There wasn't enough chocolate in all of the United States to satisfy your need for it? Coffee didn't erase the tired? There was no small corner of the house to hide in to get alone time? I think we all have weeks like that where we just feel overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, and tired of it all! I had one of those this past week.

So what do you do when you have one of THOSE weeks???? If you are like me eventually you reach the point of NO MORE!!!! I arrived there Sunday morning as I sat on the end of my bed tired from doing too much, frustrated from seemingly unanswered prayer, and running low on compassion for others. You'll never guess who I met there at the point of NO MORE!!! I saw God. He was there ready to listen as I vented at first in a very angry and frustrated tone of voice with all of my "Why can't I get a minute to myself? Do I have an invisible sign on my forehead that says 'dump here'? How could You let this thing happen and why? How long do I have to pray for these people, it's killing me to watch them run away from you over and over again? And why on earth do You have me teaching a class on prayer this week, when I am now tired of praying?!!!!" Yup He was there listening. And it was so comforting just to have someone to talk to who understands me and has a purpose in those crazy difficult weeks we have.

So I want to encourage those of you who may be feeling some of the same things to talk to Him. Don't be afraid to be raw with Him, He can take it. Not all my questions were answered. For me I think I just needed to come to the end of myself and the beginning of remembering that I need Him in order to persist in prayer for others even when I see no progress. I needed to remember that without spending time with Him being filled up, I can't lovingly listen to others when they need to vent and I will end up wishing I couldn't hear. Spending time with Him beyond just morning devotions gives me a new perspective on the things of life and a renewed love for others. So please, if you are having one of THOSE weeks, or even one of THOSE days go spend time with Him and lay your burdens down.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

God in Not Judgeing Others...

Why do we humans, myself included at times, rush to judge each other? How many times do we pick up the newspaper, tabloid, or hear something someone says and make a final decision about someone based on that one piece of information? How many times do we close out someone in our lives or lable them because of something they have done, or because of something someone says they have done and after all, "Once a _____ always a ____! " You know how the saying goes.

But that saying is true of all of us. "Once a sinner always a sinner!" We will always need God's grace and forgiveness and there is no sin He cannot forgive. As a human I may view lying as worse than stealing. Or stealing as not nearly as bad as adultery or murder. But sin is sin in God's eyes. If I lie I am just as much a sinner as if I committed another sin that people think is worse. So what gives us the right to think we are better or we can stop being someone's friend because they did whatever it is they did that was so terrible? Instead shouldn't we show them Christ's love and extend to them the same grace and forgiveness that He did to us? Then maybe they would know Him too? As Christians, aren't we His representatives?

Okay, enough of my rant for now! I say all this because I am challenged by an example that my mother has set for me without realizing it. This week my mom has chosen to continue to believe the best about a person she knows instead of letting what others say get to her. She has chosen for the past 2 years continue to show God's love and grace to someone who other people have judged and gossiped about. And what I have come to realize about mom is that even if what is being said turns out to be true she will continue to show God's love and grace to that person. And this challenges me as her daughter to do the same with people I come across in life. Thank you mom for letting me see God in you this week and many times before!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

God in Bed Time...

Last week was the beginning of the school year in our home. Also known as the beginning of being very busy! My kids are cyber schooled out of our home. So I have the joy and sometimes the difficulty of being with them all day long. While other moms rejoiced at the bus stop to be kid free at the end of a long summer, I quietly began my school year with them at home somewhat dreading the restraints that a new fall structured schedule brings!

No more sleeping in and doing whatever fun activities we want to do for the day. No more swimming at the grandparents' pool. Now we have to be responsible! It's an adjustment for all of us. And this adjustment has made us all at times a little tired and cranky.

So this week I see God in bed time. Right now it is my favorite part of the day that He has created! Not because I don't enjoy my kids or hate cyber schooling. I like watching them learn and being a part of that. But what is so magical about bed time is the quiet and the sleep that it brings. It leaves me refreshed and ready to be with the kiddos the next day, doing everything all over again! So there it is, that's where I see God this week it's a little thing nothing earth shattering! But I am so glad to see Him there!