Thursday, March 22, 2012

Change...

A month ago I was "mommy" to both girls. Now I hear "mom" coming from my oldest. Two months ago she was still playing with her Liv Dolls. Now she has packed them up and given them away to little sister. Gone are the Barbie Jet, the Cinderella Castle, the Liv Doll House, and the Littlest Pet Shops. Stuffed animals that once crowded her bed and book shelves have found a new home out of sight on the top closet shelf. She has even paired down her elephant collection! There are many empty shelves in her closet now due to lack of toys.

Today I went in to fill the empty shelves with clothing from her dresser. She no longer wants the dresser in her room. She wants to put an old vanity in its place for when she is old enough to sit and do her make up! MAKE UP!!!! (Can you hear my silent screams from where you are!?)Thank God we have time before that is allowed to happen! As I was in the closet a stuffed animal fell on me from the top shelf. It wasn't just any stuffed animal. It was Teddy! Teddy of all bears had been place out of sight! Can you believe it? Teddy with the well worn fur from 10 years worth of love ! So I paused and hugged Teddy tight. I just wanted a moment to remember the tea parties we had with him, the many out fits he wore, and the little girl who once slept with him every night. Then I prayed and thanked God for those moments and apologized for all the wasted ones when I was too busy doing to enjoy the girl and her bear.

Teddy is back up on the shelf now and the girl is in her room listening to music. I am sitting here thinking about what I can learn from all of this. I am not one to wallow in wishing the kids would be little forever and sit around boo-hooing about it. I only allow myself what I need and then I move on making a conscious decision to celebrate the inevitable changes. It's that word that has me right now..change.

Our world is full of changes. It is rare that anything or anyone stays the same. The seasons change, governments change, churches change, employment changes, health changes, our children grow and change, and we change. The only one who does not change is God. Psalm 55:19b says this, "God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change". I don't know about you but I find that comforting. Change can be uncertain sometimes. Our God does not change so this means that He is certain. He is steady, reliable, dependable, and secure. No matter what changes we are going through we can look to God and know that He isn't going anywhere.

As I sit here and let this soak in I am thankful. I am thankful that even though my girl is changing her God is not and He has her through these changes and the ones yet to come. I am also thankful that He isn't going anywhere. I will need Him for any future moments that may involve make up, boys, and Teddy falling out of the closet again! What about you? What changes are you trying to embrace? Need some help? Look no further than your unchanging God. He isn't going anywhere!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What You Feed Grows...

We have been enjoying some very nice spring weather here. The weather has brought out all kinds of creatures. There are plenty of bugs coming out from hiding. As long as they stay out of my house they won't meet the same fate as the giant spider the other day! (I am forever grateful to the inventor of fly swatters.) The trees are beginning to bud. I have even found some flowers in the back yard. There are signs of growth everywhere and it has me thinking about what I would like to see grow in my own life.

I want to be like the tree in Psalm 1:3 " He will be like a tree firmly planted by the streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and its leaf does not whither; and in whatever he does, he prospers." I want to be firmly planted and yield an abundance of fruit in my relationship with God. The kind of fruit I am looking to yield can be found in Galatians 5: 22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." In order to do this I need to have the proper nutrients just like any tree does. If I am properly nourished I will grow and be able to bear good fruit. You know that saying, what you feed grows? As I sit here thinking about what kind of fruit tree I would like to be, I have to consider what am I feeding on?

This life offers many opportunities to feed. We can feed on or fill our minds with, what we find on the internet. There is always something on the television we can feed on. We can fill our minds with lyrics to any number of songs that we hear on the radio. We can even allow our minds to feed on the words of other people. These things offer both good and bad ways of feeding. The internet, television, and radio offer televangelists, christian songs, and family movies. They also offer pornography, Rush Limbaugh, and reality television. The people we surround ourselves with can offer both positive and negative things to feed our thoughts. They have the opportunity to feed us encouragement, love, and wisdom. They also have the opportunity to feed us gossip, criticism, and judgement.

When I was a kid my mom would often say, "Input, output, what goes in is what comes out". It's true. What we allow into our thoughts is what will come out of us. If I want to be this tree and bear this fruit then I need to guard what I am feeding on. I need to guard what I am allowing into my thoughts. Philippians 4: 8 says this, " Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things". This verse describes what I need to be feeding on in addition to God's Word in order to be a firmly planted tree and bear good fruit.

The season of spring is a season of growth. What are you growing? Look at what you are feeding on and you will have your answer. Will you join me in making a conscious effort to be mindful of what I feed on? Perhaps we could use the verse from Philippians as a way to measure what we allow into our thoughts. If it doesn't line up it doesn't get in.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Who Are You Waiting For?

We are all waiting for something. We wait for answered prayer, a visit from a loved one, wisdom for the future,or a prodigal to return. Life is full of waiting. There is no getting around that. Some things we wait for with anticipation and others we wait for with fear and dread. Sometimes we wait on pins and needles hoping that we will get the answers we are looking for. Then we get them and find out that the waiting was actually easier than receiving the answers. Often times we feel as if we wait alone and our questions and frustrations during the wait fall on deaf ears.

Just as we are ready to cry out to God like the people did in Isaiah 64:1 "Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at Your presence.." God comes and our wait is over. We find ourselves in awe of what He did, how He did it, and who He is. Then we can proclaim as they did in Isaiah 64:4 "For from the days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him."

"The one who waits for Him", it's this last part of the verse that gets me. In my waiting am I waiting for Him? Am I waiting for Him to act? Am I looking to Him to do the impossible? Am I simply waiting for circumstances to change, another person to change, or a prayer to be answered a certain way? Waiting for all of those things can lead to disappointment. When I wait for Him I am never disappointed. His presence alone in any given circumstance is worth the wait.

I find myself in the wait again. I wait to know if my husband is on the list to be furloughed. I have been here before yet it is different each time. Last year I waited in dread to know the answer. This year I wait to know what God will do, how He will show up, and what it will look like. I wait with an odd sense of anticipation certain that I will see His faithfulness again no matter what the list says. I know that there truly is no other God besides Him, "who acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him". The difference this time is that I wait for Him instead of waiting for my prayers to be answered or my circumstances to change. How about you? What matters more the answers or the Giver of the answers? Who are you waiting for?