Monday, February 28, 2011

Reflections...


When I look into a mirror, what do I see?
 Who is it I see, staring back at me?

I don't see me yesterday...
for those days are gone...
They have taken their toll, left some scars,
and moved on.
I don't see who it was that I used to be,
The old me is not what I see.

I don't see me tomorrow...
Those days have yet to come.
I don't see silver hair and wrinkles
although I'm sure I may have some.
Who knows what the future may hold...
But I don't see me today as old.

This day is what matters.  It isn't my past.
Though I see the scars...how God has healed them is what lasts.
It isn't my future and what it may hold,
Over those things only God has control.
But what matters is today, right this very minute
Not the skin that I am, but the Jesus in it.

Am I living in yesterday and all that it was
Am I waiting for tomorrow, hoping it soon comes
Or am I living today from Beginning to the End
The Alpha, The Omega, My Counselor, My Friend
Am I living for Christ, ceasing every breath He gives
And living to be living proof that My Savior lives
Am I taking every moment to not just look at me
When I see my reflection,
Is it Jesus that I see?



Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tag...you're it


What a beautiful picture I was reminded of at a children's ministry banquet last night.  I had seen the familiar painting in fliers up in the church all month...but I failed to remember where it came from...  Michaelangelo's depiction of God reaching down to touch the finger of Adam...Creation.

The slogan for the banquet, "Tag...You're It", left me pondering in amazement.  God's hand reaching down to touch my own?  Can I conceive of even the mere brushing of His glory nearing this unworthy vessel as His finger touches that of my own. My mind soaks up the thought as it takes me to a familiar story.

Ezekiel 37:1-3
The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones.  Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry.  And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"


The hand of the LORD came upon Ezekiel and took him to a place where death lurked in abundance.  Right before his eyes...all around, and there were many dry bones right out in the open.   And God's question for Ezekiel was astonishing.  CAN THESE BONES LIVE?

Ezekiel played it safe and his answer reflected his wisdom.  "O Lord God, You know."

Then the Lord told Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones and he obeyed and they rose with Ezekiel speaking to them the breath of the Lord.

The hand of the LORD came upon him.  The hand of the LORD came upon him.  The hand of the LORD came upon him...those words resound in my heart...   If the hand of the LORD came upon him...can it also come upon me.


When the Lord's hand is upon us, it is for a purpose...His purpose. He causes us to see a need for life where death lingers.  He takes us to a place and opens our eyes to see that there are people in the valleys of life who lay helpless...hopeless.  And often they have been right before us and we've been blinded by ourselves.  And God asks, CAN THESE BONES LIVE?  And He calls to us..."What are you going to do about them?"

These valleys are everywhere in front of our eyes.  Poverty, Hunger, Human Trafficking, Abuse, Divorce, Gang Violence, Disaster, Ignorance, Homelessness...IDOLATRY...Persecution...

I answer as Ezekiel, in that only by God's will is life restored...but when He reaches out His mighty hand to us and says, "Tag...You're it...will we be willing to go into the valley of dry bones to be the breath He can use to speak new life where only death and hopelessness dwells?"

Tag...You're It.

Superman

3 of my Superheroes

A magical transformation happens in the life of a 3 yr old when he is robed in the cloak of a superhero...there is power in the cape and gloves...His little dimples, hidden behind the mask...he laughs in the face of danger!  "I'll save you from those Bad Guys, Mom!"  "CHARGE!", he shouts with one arm high in the air as he runs with all his might to defeat the infamous enemy, whoever the bad guys may be that day.  And I have no fear, because in the mighty hands of my Superman, I know the bad guys wouldn't dare to dance.  

When the day is through, though, outside of the costume, his bravery melts away and my little Superman crawls snug in my arms with his thumb and his blankie, ready for me to pray away all the monsters and boogie men and other things that go bump in the night.   Without his sword (aka an empty paper towel holder) he is just my little soft snuggly teddy bear, afraid of the dark and all the things in it.

Reminds me of myself...  so often afraid of the dark and all the things in it.  The evil of the unknown...

Wouldn't it be nice if all we had to do was put on someone else's cloak to have a whole new identity..to brave our giants, battle our storms, and defeat our bad guys?

I have discovered GREAT NEWS!!!

In 1 Samuel 18:3 it reads:
Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.  And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and belt.

As Jonathan removed his robe and placed it on David, along with his armor, sword, bow and belt as a symbol of the covenant that David would promise to count Jonathan's family as his own, his enemies as his own, his being as his own (and vice versa)...Jonathan didn't know it, but he was prophesying what was to come...he was giving his identity to David as heir to the throne. 

...So Christ is the everlasting Covenant with us...


Isaiah 61:10
I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness...

By this covenant, Christ has given us His identity... His strength, His victory, His glory...His righteousness...He has given us His identity as heirs to the throne.


Are you living as though you are adorned in the righteousness of  Christ?  If you have received Him, He took off His robe and wrapped it around you with loving arms...you died to yourself and became Christ...We don't have to live in fear, our Enemy is in His hands.  He is our SUPERMAN and with His robe comes His power!

Sweet Jesus, You gave all so that I could live. You removed yourself and gave You to me.  Help me now to live as You...to reflect the identity that you gave me in the covenant sealed with the blood of the cross. Amen.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

If you build it...they will come



"Who built the ark?  
Noah, Noah!
Who built the ark?
Brother Noah built the ark!"

I can hear the song repeating in my head as I read the all-too familiar story.  Two-by-two, rain, rain, rain. A dove flies out, a rainbow flies over. Not to minimize God's Word at all, but this is my wanting-to-skip-over-it attitude as I read through Genesis.  How many times do I need to hear this one?  I can tell it back-to-front with my eyes closed.

Silly Girl!

Oh, how His mysteries are ever revealed through His Word and though it never changes, His revelation for me is fresh every morning!  

I came to a point in realizing the obvious...a light bulb went off...I had a "DUH" moment.  God spoke to me directly as I asked...

Just how did Noah get those animals to come to the ark?

I mean, for umpteen dozen years he's been pounding away at building this big wooden box that he, his family and the animals were supposedly going to live on while it rained... Didn't he wonder what in the world rain was?  I mean the man had never even seen rain!  And did it ever cross his mind just how he was going to get all of those animals in that boat and then make it float?

NO!  God gave Him a plain and simple command:  Build an ark.  He outlined every single detail of Noah's task in the dimensions of the ark.  But, God said nothing to Him about getting the animals on it.  And Noah just hammered away, day after day after ridiculing day and he never questioned...

That would've been the cracking point for me in my mental illness of "CONTROL"...I would've gone absolutely crazy wondering.  I can hear myself in Noah's shoes asking,"But God, what about the animals?"  Somewhere in my warped mind I hear the answer in a deep, mysterious voice, "If you build it, they will come..."

And when the day came, sure enough, so did the animals.  Noah accomplished what God had given him to do and as promised,  God did the rest.  They just came...parading onto the ark like it was all they knew to do.  

God Speaks:  "When I give you a job to do...all you need to know to do is to obey.  You be concerned only with obedience.  I'll take care of the details.  I'll worry about those things which you have no control over.  I will handle the how-to's and what-ifs...you just obey.  Don't worry about the ridicule or the unanswered questions, just do what I've asked you to do and do it well.  Give up control and obey!"

Is God giving you a task but withholding some of the surrounding details?    

Perhaps it is because they are unnecessary details.  Perhaps it is to protect you from senseless worrying over something that He has already planned out perfectly.  Perhaps it is because He just wants you to trust Him... All He desires from us is obedience...He'll take care of the rest. 




My Whole Poop Family

So okay, if you don't have little boys this may not humor you...in fact, it may down right offend you...but I just have to share.

My 3 year old comes waddling excitedly out of the bathroom, pants around his ankles.  MAMA, MAMA, COME LOOK...I MADE A WHOLE POOP FAMILY!

So, like any good mother would, I went in to reward his proud moment.  Sure enough, 4 little poops and 1 big one.  He points at the smallest...SEE, MAMA, THAT'S BABY JUSTIN...And then to the next to the smallest, THERE'S ME, MAMA...And to the next sizes up, THERE'S BUBBA AND TIMMY...And to the biggest, AND THERE'S YOU, MAMA!

Hardly able to contain myself, I try desperately to keep a straight face as I dare to ask, "But, where's Daddy?"

His reply, Oh, He's at work.  :)


There you have it folks!  Our whole Poop Family!

PS. If you know any mothers with 3 year olds, say a prayer for them right now.  They need all the Jesus they can get to get through these moments of near insanity!





A picture of me, Picturing Him, picturing me





I sit in awe of the beautiful picture my little boy colored in Sunday School...Jesus as He knelt to pray. Now my son is 3 and though his motor skills are pretty sharp for his age, the masterpiece of scribbles isn't what left me in awe this time.  My Jesus.  He is so incredibly beautiful.  I ponder in utter disbelief as I mentally argue with the remembrance of scripture as it says in Isaiah 53:2:
 In our eyes, there was no attractiveness at all, nothing to make us want him.  or in another translation, He had no form of splendor that we should look at Him, no appearance that we should desire Him.  
Now, I know this color sheet is only a depiction of what one artist thought of His appearance, but He is so beautiful.   My heart is nearly exasperated in love for Him as I sit in adoration of this picture.  Splendor is precisely what I see. Call me vain, but I just can't imagine Him not being a gorgeous man, tall, dark and handsome with long, wavy hair gently blowing in the breeze over his strong, broad shoulders.  Perhaps my visual perception is a bit idealistic, but in my heart I just can't see my Savior as anything but perfection...even in His looks.   And truly, I think this verse in context implies that His appearance was that of an ordinary man and not what made people follow Him.  But, never-the-less, I see Him as beautiful!

Perhaps my visualization and how I picture Him comes more from the beauty I see in Him, as He is in this picture...picturing me.  He is kneeling, praying in the Garden of Gethsemane...picturing me.  Picturing me, as He anguishes the destiny He knows is before Him.  Picturing me, as He bears the sin of my wretchedness.  Picturing me, as the sweat and blood pour from His brow. Picturing me as He cries out to the Lord, I WILL TAKE THIS CUP because I love her more than I love Myself.

How do you picture Christ?  Do you picture Him, picturing you?  He is. 




I can't wait to gaze upon Him in all His glory and see His true splendor as He looks upon me laying prostrate before His throne. Until then, His beauty will ever remain in the eye of this humble beholder.




Saturday, February 19, 2011

Let me be a woman...

I am in a season of my life where my days are filled with not-so-glorious things...

Like wiping green slime from little boys' noses and cleaning toilets and the surrounding area when their precious little selves (or big selves) miss-aim their shot.  Trompin' through the woods and baitin' fishhooks as I try desperately not to look as the worm guts pop out...(Sorry Sis)  Possums and squirrels that are brought in for me to see and that I am expected to be proud of as my little hunters come in from their long day's work.  Cleaning up boo-boos and not-so-precious poo-poos and peanut butter and jelly-smeared high chairs.  By the end of the day the hair is a mess, the clothes have a beautiful fragrance of Clorox and Pop-tart spit-up and what little bit of makeup that went on has been rubbed off with big sloppy kisses and sticky little hands.    

I love every minute of it!

But every now and then, I need a hot warm bubble bath with candlelight and roses
Pedicures and pearls and ribbons and curls and all the things little girls are made of...
Every once in awhile, I need to be noticed for the glimmer in my eyes and the dimple in my smile
For the beauty in the beauty I see, as girly as it may be.  
Every now and again, I enjoy a dance as I'm seronaded with the sweetness of my man's voice in song of his undying love for me.  

All of the time, I love being a mother, a housewife, and helpmate...but every once in awhile...
Let me be a woman. 

Let me be a woman...
With a gentle embrace 
A woman with all of the softness of grace
A woman that's quiet 
A woman that's pure
(A woman whose back, neck and feet aren't so sore!) 
A woman who is draped in fine linens and jewels
(whose clothes aren't stained with spit-up and drool)
A woman who is cherished
and raised up and called blessed...
Gentle and lovely
in her tenderness.
Let me be a mother as long as I can
But, let me be a woman 
whose soft, fragile heart 
is forever revered in the palm of your hands...
And let me be the woman that I am. 


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Under Construction

When I walked into Kindergarten, I very independently declared to my teacher, "I can do it myself!"
The cursed self-motto has unfortunately become the evil in me and once again I pull out my hair in the self-realization that NO, I CAN'T DO IT MYSELF!

After hours of trying to make my blogspot look more like my life and personality (I know, that is scarey...) ...I throw in the towel and go back to a pre-designed template until I can get further help...  Please excuse my mess as I am under construction...PRAISE THE LORD...He isn't finished with me yet!

A curse or a gift?

This morning my 22 mos old was in the bathroom thoroughly enjoying the watermelon scented shampoo that his brothers left open and unguarded. I suppose he saw the watermelon on the bottle and decided it must be a yummy treat because when I asked him (rhetorically) what he was doing, bubbles began coming out of his mouth with his attempt to make up some sort of gibberish explanation in baby-talk.  When I rushed to take the bottle from him, it totally traumatized him and he fell to the floor in sobbing mortified grief. (he is practicing, he'll be two soon) "Saudey...Saudey, Maw"  he muttered through his tears. (Translation--"Sorry, Sorry, Mama")   He came in repentance and loved on me, repeating, "Saudey, Saudey, Maw!"  I washed his face and mouth and then saved the day with a banana, a real banana that he could eat!

Though, I didn't want him to eat the shampoo again, I didn't take it away from him to scold him or punish him, as he thought.  I did it to protect him.  And after cleaning him from the act of desire, I gave him a fruit of which  he could eat, that wouldn't harm him.

In Genesis, God's Word tells us that there were two trees placed in the middle of the Garden of Eden.  One was the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and one was the Tree of Life.  Adam and Eve were given specific instructions to eat of any of the trees in the garden, including the Tree of Life, but they must not eat of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, for if they did, they would certainly die. (Genesis 2:16-17)  Along came a serpent who cunningly tempted the couple to do exactly as they knew they shouldn't and God knew immediately of their disobedience.  God gave each of the involved parties their due consequence, but then He threw the couple out of paradise and was so determined to keep them out that He placed an armed guard at the gate...(Makes me think they must've been teenagers...I know my Daddy probably wanted to do that to me a time or two during my teenage years:)

Looking further at the Word, though, I realized, this wasn't part of the curse at all, but another gift of God's great love.  You see, before their disobedience, they could eat of the tree of Life...meaning they could live forever.  But when they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, if they then ate again from the Tree of Life, they would have known evil forever.

God loved them so much, He took away the fruit that would now harm them...He removed them from the way of eternal destruction...and though there were heartbreaking effects, He saw the big picture of His provision through taking something good away from them that would cause disaster for their future with Him.

Keep in mind, He later sends Christ to redeem and cleanse our sin and promises in Revelation 2:7, 14 that
7 I will give he who overcomes the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right [to eat of] the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.


Maybe you are dealing with a heartbreaking absence of something God has removed from your life...Be encouraged, 

He is bound by His covenant!

I know the plan I have for you, says the Lord, plans to bring you good and not to harm you  Plans to give you a hope and a future.  Then you will call on Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the places from where I banished you. I will restore you to the place I kept you from. 
                                                                                              Jeremiah 29:11-14 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Broken Lamb

Sheep often stray from the masters.  I recently heard a story that a wayward sheep that strays often will have its leg broken by the shepherd in order to keep it from wandering.  The shepherd will then bind the leg and carry the sheep until the leg is mended. During this time, the sheep develops such a close bond with the shepherd that it stays by his side for its lifetime.

Though I have not been able to validate the truth of this practice, what a beautiful picture it paints of God's Word in its truth.  We are wandering and wayward sheep, deserving of brokenness.  And we are broken...though, not by the shepherd; but by our sin.

We do, howeverreceive chastisement from the Father.  Not to force us to stay close to Him; He wants us to do that because we love Him and want to know Him more.  We receive His discipline to make us more like Him...that we may live in His sight.


Listen to Hosea 6:1-2
Come and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.  After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. 

During the exodus out of Egypt, Moses was given specific regulations from God regarding the Passover lamb. Hear what He says:


Exodus 12:46
In one house it shall be eaten. You shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones.    
Also, Numbers 9:12
They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones

The sacrifice that was made to remember what the Lord had done had to be unbroken... A sheep that had not gone astray...

Who then could be our sacrifice?  Only someone righteous who had never gone astray.


Psalm 34:19-20 says
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.  He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken. 

And hear what the Word says about Jesus at the crucifixion:

John 19:33,34
And when they saw He was already dead, they did not break His legs.  Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear and out of Him came a sudden flow of blood and water. 

 He suffered...many were His afflictions...but His bones were never broken; instead He was pierced.  The flow of blood and water was a result of His heart rupturing as he hung on the cross.

But why did He suffer, if He was without sin?

Isaiah 53 tells us that:
Surely He has borne OUR griefs and carried OUR sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  But He was wounded for OUR transgressions, He was bruised for OUR iniquities; the Chastisement for OUR peace was upon Him and by HIS stripes WE are healed.  ALL WE LIKE SHEEP HAVE GONE ASTRAY; We have turned, every one to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

As sheep that have gone astray, we are wayward and should be disciplined, broken even to death...but as Christ says in  John 10:11,
" I am the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep."  

Jesus took the brokenness for OUR waywardness.  He was the only spotless Lamb, never going astray, the only one worthy to be made our Passover Lamb...God guarded his bones because of His righteousness ...He was the Shepherd himself, and out of His love for His sheep, He laid down His life.

And though Christ didn't suffer from broken bones...He suffered from something much worse...


...a broken heart.  

But the story doesn't end...

Now look back at Hosea 6:1,2
Come and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.  After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. 
After the third day, Christ was raised that He could return to the Lord and live in His sight...and all this to be so that we, too, may return to Him and live in His sight.  

Are you the wayward sheep living astray?  Return to the Lord that you may live in His sight.

Are you feeling broken by your sin?  Lay it down at His feet.  He was broken to make us whole.

Are you living under the chastisement of the Lord?  Rest assured, He allows us to be torn, but promises to heal.  And He took the ultimate punishment for your sin so that you may be made more like Him.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just Do It!



They are the best and worst things in my closet...Grass-stained to the max...sole-torn at the toe...Shoe strings frayed at the ends...insoles--virtually non-existent, maybe even dry-rotted, I think...

MY NIKE's---Had 'em since 1996 and just can't bare to part with them.

I find if I put them on when I wake up, I tend to get going on the day better... I work better in shoes... barefootin' makes me lazy...Just like the Nike slogan says, Just Do IT!  I really do find when I have on my sneaks, I tend to Just Do It.  Don't think about the overwhelming tasks of the day, Just Do IT.  Don't complain cause it never gets noticed and will be undone within 5 minutes of completion, Just Do IT.  Don't question the purpose of the task at hand, Just Do IT.  Don't be afraid that you won't be able to do it perfectly or to the world's standards, or that I may get hurt in the process, JUST DO IT.       

When God calls us to the task, it's a good slogan to have, JUST DO IT. Don't worry about the details, He already has those figured out...JUST DO IT!

Like an old pair of tennis shoes, though, sometimes we get so comfortable in our old ways that we don't want to part from them.  We settle into our pits and let all of the enemy's questions keep us there.  God calls us to remember the past only in what He has done for us in it... But, He also requires us to get up out of the sleep of our pit and get into the uncomfortable

Maybe God has given you a call today that asks you to put on a new pair of shoes.  Don't let the enemy question His command for you...Just Do IT!!!



The Wind Beneath My Wings



I love how God reveals to us His nature in even the tiniest specks of His creation.  I learned recently from a sweet sister that the eagle, instead of flapping its wings to fly, will wait for bursts of air from the earth, called thermals, and then soar nearly effortlessly on these warm currents of air created by the surrounding terrain.. Eagles do not soar on their own strength and are thus able to go distances without growing weary.  In His Word, God reveals to us that if we wait upon Him, we will renew our strength and mount on wings like eagles.  (Isaiah 40:31)


Not on our own strength, but on His.

I love this illustration and was in awe of His design, but the mother in me went back to the cartoons of little mother birds teaching their babies how to fly and I wondered how this might look in the eagle world.  Here is what I found:
Unlike many of God's creatures, learning to fly and hunt are not instinctive skills naturally inbred in these birds at birth.  The young eaglets must learn to perform these tasks by observing their parents through a process called imprinting.  When an eaglet hatches, the first moving object it sees becomes its model for life and it begins to mimic its teachings.  When the baby eaglet loses its baby feathers and begins to gain its flying feathers, the mother eagle will hover over the nest, flapping its wings.  The baby will then mimic its parent and flaps its wings.  The subsequent wind the the parent makes, will cause the baby to rise slightly above the nest as the baby is also flapping its own wings. This process is continued and the hungry baby is enticed with food held high above the nest until fear is overcome with desperation to eat and then confidently, it is able to soar on its own. 
Deuteronomy 32:10-12
He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.  As an eagle stirs up its nest, Hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, Carrying them on its wings...

 As I read, tears streamed down my face.  Mama.  The one who rocked me gently in loving arms and kissed away my tears with her sweet lullabies.  The one who taught me that my dreams were never too big, but reminded me that no matter how big they got to always remember the little place from where I dreamed. The one who showed me how to stand strong in the midst of trying circumstances and to never let others take me away from what I know to be truth.  The one who wrapped me in her comforting arms and held me up when I didn't have the strength to stand on my own.  The one who covered me with her wings, imprinted a life of wisdom on my heart, hovered over me as she gracefully lifted her wings and gave me...
the wind beneath mine.  The one who continues to encourage me to know that it isn't on my own strength that I soar, but on the strength of a loving, mightily-able God. The one who reminds me that, 
"So the Lord alone leads..." Deut. 32:12

A moment of thanks. A lifetime of gratitude.

How grateful I am for the gift He gave.

He created us, too, with an instinctive need for imprinting.
 Ephesians 5:1,2  Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
He gave His beloved Son to be our example, to be our strength, to remove the eternal covering of our sins and clothe us instead in His righteousness.

Have you found yourself growing weary?  Perhaps it is because you are trying to fly in your own strength.


Seek Him. He encircles you.  He instructs you.  He keeps you as the apple of His eye. He hovers over you, spreads out His wings, takes you up and carries you.  Follow His lead.  He has imprinted you on the palms of His hands. Imprint His ways in your heart.


Is there a person in your life that has been your eagle?  Take time today to tell them how they've helped you to soar.  




Are there little eaglets waiting on you to teach them?  Be able to say to them as Paul said, 


1 Corinthians 11:1 "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." 



Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Father's Voice

My Nathan has been gifted with an amazing instrumental voice...one so pure he could sing an angel to sleep in lullaby.  We love to gather around as he plays the guitar and listen to him sing praises as we all join in on an occassional chorus.  All of my boys gather up their instruments: guitars, drums, pot and spoon, whatever they can find.  Drew especially loves to play the guitar with his Daddy.  He gets real serious and watches ever so closely to see just how fast or slow Daddy will strum and how soft or loud he will sing, so he can mimmick perfectly.   

He has always paid close attention to his Daddy's voice, even in the womb.  Of course Nathan would talk to my tummy or sing in my presence while I was pregnant with Drew.  And when he was born, Drew entered into the world having perfectly good use of his lungs...screaming and crying. At the first utterance of Nathan's voice, though, our little Drew immediately quieted.  The nurses of course wanted him to cry, but his Daddy's voice offered a soothing familiarity in an unknown new world. 

When Drew was about 2yrs old, Nathan was singing a solo in church.  I snuck Drew out of the nursery long enough to hear his Daddy sing.  We weren't sitting in clear vision of Nathan, and Drew's attention was drawn to the wooden cross overhead the baptismal pool.  "That's where Jesus died, Mama!"  Then Nathan sang the first note...immediately, without hesitation, Drew rejoiced and turned in the direction of his Daddy's voice, "That's MY DADDY!"  He exclaimed with excitement!  Still not being able to see him, he turned back, pointing to the cross.  "He is singing 'bout that ain't he, Mama?"

Oh, to know my Father's Voice so well above all else that without hesitation, when I hear Him call, I can exclaim, THAT's MY DADDY!  That my focus and attention will be immediately drawn to Him at the sound of His voice and that even when I cannot see Him, I can look to the cross without doubt that there is where He leads me.

My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27
Even the sheep know the voice of their shepherd and will not be led by another.


Do you know your Father's Voice so well not to mistake it for any other?  Are you eagerly listening for Him to call?  Do you follow where He is leading?    Are you teaching your children to know that even when they can't see you, they can always look to the cross, for it is there where you are leading?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Quality Time

So my love language without question is "Quality Time"...I crave it... I need it...Without it my world is out of sync...turned upside down. 

This week, my pit grows deep.  A funk lands itself on the downside of my roller coaster.  I long for quality time.  Real Quality time.  Purposeful.  Intentional.  Chosen quality time.

And I pout.  And I even hurt a little.  And I cry some, too.  Motivated to do nothing.  Wanting to do anything.  Reminded I can't do everything. 

Darkness lingers like a thick fog at midnight and I long to see some glimmer of light to give hope that I am going somewhere, not just wandering about aimlessly. My days of monotony are closing in on me, one lonely wall at the time.

God speaks.  "You are made in my image, you know.  You desire that which I desire.  Quality time.  You long for his love, his full attention, his choice to be you over everything else of this world. I long for that from you.  Yet, in the fog you have somehow lost sight of My light, in search of his."

My heart breaks with shame.  In my pit I wallow...that's why they call it "pity" you know.  And in my deepest, darkest pit where no other life would dare to enter, He is there.  Holding my every moment.  Never leaving my side.  Waiting for me to breathe Him in...desiring intimate, quality time with me.  Can I wrap my mind around that?  He wants me.  He wants to be with me.  I am the center of His affection.  And I failed to give Him the center of mine.

Lord, be my life love.  You fill my every need. Forgive my moments when I don't fill my emptiness with You.

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