Thursday, April 28, 2011

Relationships...

This week we celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. I normally don't blog about things like this. But it has me thinking about relationships. My relationship with my husband was prayed for. It happened because we were both asking God for the person He had for us, waiting on God to bring it about. As I look back over these past 13 years, I believe that I realize much better today than I did on my wedding day just how perfect we are for each other. I am not always easy to live with. In fact I was so strong willed at the time that we were about to get married that my dad warned my husband about how stubborn I can be! But God knew that He would use my husband to shape me and help me to be stubborn about the important things instead of being stubborn about most everything!

Funny enough one of the verses we chose to have read on our wedding day was Romans 11:33-36. "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the LORD, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."

We chose these verses because we marveled at His ways and the ways in which He had brought us to each other. But now we marvel at His wisdom in bringing us together. At 13 years we are just truly beginning to see how He has molded us and shaped us in our marriage and is bringing our individual talents and gifts together to be used for His purposes.

This causes me to reflect on many other relationships in my life, particularly friendships. It's easy to be friendly with anyone. Most people you can at least have a small conversation with about spouses, the weather, children, jobs, church, or common interests and hobbies. But if I really think about it the best friendships I have are deeper than that and like my marriage, came about because God brought us together. They are the most valuable to me because I am being challenged by them to be a better wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, and Christ follower. This is what Proverbs 27:17 means when it says " Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

Isn't this the way we should be? Shouldn't our relationships with others be real enough and deep enough that it produces growth in us and in them? After all, isn't that real fellowship?

So today I see God in my relationships. I am blessed by the ones that He orchestrated, especially the one with my husband. But I am challenged to keep myself continually open to new friendships so that I can be challenged and challenge someone else.

Finally, thank you to all of my friends. You know who you are and I am ever so thankful for all of the sharpening that has come my way because of you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One Day...

I have been angry most of the day today. The local paper listed the names of the teachers being furloughed. At first we were told my husband's name wasn't listed there but later we found out it was because friends and family started calling. I was angry because it adds insult to injury for him and his coworkers, its completely unnecessary, and it upset the students and teachers at school so much that it made for a tough work day. I was angry because the more information I get the more I realize how unjust all of this is. Everyone is suffering but the people who caused this mess in the first place.

I am still at peace about the job loss but I have been angry today about the injustice of it all not just for us but for everyone else too. But here is the thing about being angry at injustice... if you let your mind go too far down that road you can begin to feel hopeless, and very grumpy. That is how I began to feel toward the end of the day. I longed for quiet but there was none to be found because I have two girls who like to talk and even when they weren't talking my brain wouldn't shut up! And on top of that I had to take one of them to dress rehearsal for Easter service.

As I sat and watched the rehearsal, two of the singers began to sing a song called One Day. I have heard this song before and sung it in church. But the last verse really snapped me out of the funk I was in. The verse was: " One day the trumpet will sound for His coming, One day the skies with His glories will shine; Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing; Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!"

One day...
One day there will be no more injustices. One day there will be no more diseases. One day there will be no more goodbyes. One day all these things that matter so much to us now will be put in their proper perspective and we will wonder why we even concerned ourselves with them. One day our eyes will see His face and all will be more than well. But without Christ's death and resurrection there would be no "One Day" to look forward to! Because He conquered death we get to look forward to His second coming .

I have celebrated Easter for years. I have gone to Good Friday services and remembered the cross. I have rejoiced on Easter Sunday as we celebrated Christ conquering death. But this is the first Easter that I am reminded that those two things also allow me to celebrate His future return.

So as you celebrate this Easter be thankful for what Christ did and be thankful that there is a "One Day" to look forward to!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Adventure...

Yesterday we received the official news that my husband is one of the 125 teachers being laid off at school. We had pretty much figured he would be so this was not a surprise to us. I truly am not upset and neither is my husband. We both feel very calm and peaceful. My husband even said he was excited to see what God would do next. That's what got me thinking...

It's odd that I am at peace because I am not a very adventurous person and I tend to not like change. Actually, that's putting it mildly. I tend to approach major changes that are like this one, kicking and screaming. When there is a change I put up a fight. So I asked God why this time it's different. He reminded me of a prayer that I prayed several years ago. It was a prayer I prayed because I didn't want to ever become a stuffy or complacent Christian. I wanted to be challenged and I didn't want to grow bored. I had been in a woman's Bible study at the time and we had just finished talking about having "peace like a river" versus having "peace like a pond". We learned that peace like a pond is complacency. It's not real peace because nothing tests the waters everything just stays still and stagnant. Peace like a river is real peace because it's hard to be at peace when you are in the rapids of the river or have a strong under current. If you can have peace when tested in these ways, then it is God's true and lasting peace. We were also asked to think about whether we wanted a stagnant walk with the Lord like the pond, or the adventure of a life time riding the river rapids. I wanted the river. I was sick of the pond. So I prayed the poem from the book we were using. The poem is called River of Delights and it's written by Beth Moore:

I want to drink from your river of delights.
I want to dance before Your throne.
I want to chase You to the depths and the heights.
I want to live all my way home.

I want my eyes to be open till they're closed,
and faith gives way to holy sight.
But while I've the dust of Earth between my toes,
I want to live with all Your might.

I want to shout hallelujah while I can,
living in the abundant and beyond.
Splashing in Your Spirit and lifting up my hands,
I want peace like a river, not a pond.

I want to drink from Your river of delights.
I want to dance before Your throne.
I want to chase You to the depths and to the heights.
I want to live all my way home.


I may not always be thrilled to be on the adventure depending what's going on. But I am secure in the love of the One I am on the adventure with and that is why I have peace. We have been in the rapids together many times since I prayed that prayer and I have never been disappointed at the outcome of those adventures. How about you? Do you want peace like a pond or peace like a river? Do you want a stuffy, boring Christian walk? Or would you like to take a chance on the adventure of a life time even if it means testing your faith?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Wait...

This week has been and continues to be all about the wait. I don't like waiting do you? I don't like to wait for possibly bad news and I don't like to wait for possibly good news. When I have to wait for something it just seems as though the time that use to pass by at lightning speed no longer does. In fact it passes so slow it can seem torturous! But this past week and the week that lies ahead of me is about the wait. So what am I waiting for?

I am waiting to find out if my father in law has cancer. If he does all of our lives will change in one way or another as we see him through it. I am waiting and watching to see what opportunities God gives me to be there for him during his wait.

I am waiting to find out if my husband will lose his job. We are supposed to know within the next week or two. I am waiting to see how God will provide for us and lead us in the future should this happen.

I am waiting for an answer from a Pastor who canidated at our church. I am waiting to know whether or not he will come and be our next Pastor. If he does I will be waiting to see how God uses him to continue us on our journey as a church.

I am waiting for Easter break. The kids and I REALLY REALLY need Easter break. I am waiting for Easter break and anticipating that after a few days of it my sanity may very well return and my girls will be nicer to each other!

We are all waiting for something. But what do we do during the wait? How do we take the torture out of the time that passes slowly? Where do we go with our minds that keep going at night long after our eyes have closed in the hopes of getting some sleep? We go to God.

I don't know whether my father in law will have cancer, my husband will lose his job, the pastoral canidate will agree to lead our church, or Easter break will restore my sanity. There is no point in taking up time and energy stewing over these things. When the wait is over I will have the answers.

I think the reason we hate the wait so much is because of the uncertainty it brings. That's why we need to to look to the One sure thing, Christ. I found a poem the other day that expresses this well. It's written by Beth Moore.
The title is I May Never Walk on Water.

I may never walk on water,
but I'll never drown.

God may never part the oceans,
but I'll stand my ground.

My faith is not in my beliefs
but in the One I've found.

His word is sure,
when I am not
His heart and mine are bound.

How about you? What are you waiting for? Are you waiting alone or have you gone to God with your wait?