Monday, November 18, 2013

Sky Gazing

At a funeral service I attended last week the minister shared that the sweet lady who had passed away kept a copy of this story in her bible:

The Best Day of My Life
By Gregory M. Lousig-Nont, Ph.D.

Today, when I awoke, I suddenly realized that this is the best day of my life, ever! There were times when I wondered if I would make it to today; but I did! And because I did I'm going to celebrate!

Today, I'm going to celebrate what an unbelievable life I have had so far: the accomplishments, the many blessings, and, yes, even the hardships because they have served to make me stronger.

I will go through this day with my head held high, and a happy heart. I will marvel at God's seemingly simple gifts: the morning dew, the sun, the clouds, the trees, the flowers, the birds. Today, none of these miraculous creations will escape my notice.

Today, I will share my excitement for life with other people. I'll make someone smile. I'll go out of my way to perform an unexpected act of kindness for someone I don't even know.

Today, I'll give a sincere compliment to someone who seems down. I'll tell a child how special he is, and I'll tell someone I love just how deeply I care for her and how much she means to me.

Today is the day I quit worrying about what I don't have and start being grateful for all the wonderful things God has already given me.

I'll remember that to worry is just a waste of time because my faith in God and his Divine Plan ensures everything will be just fine.

And tonight, before I go to bed, I'll go outside and raise my eyes to the heavens. I will stand in awe at the beauty of the stars and the moon, and I will praise God for these magnificent treasures.

As the day ends and I lay my head down on my pillow, I will thank the Almighty for the best day of my life. And I will sleep the sleep of a contented child, excited with expectation because I know tomorrow is going to be the best day of my life, ever!

It reminded me of how simple life should be (and could be).  As we’re already beginning to feel the holiday frenzy, I am thankful to know that keeping perspective is really not complicated, although it takes a lot of discipline and forethought. 

It also reminds me of this scripture in Habakkuk chapter 3:
His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth.  His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden.

One of the things my friend, Summer, got me hooked on is sky gazing.  It’s become a habit of mine to stay watchful for beautiful scenes painted in the sky.  She and I often share sky photos with each other.  It’s a pause in the day to remember that God’s POWER is like rays that flash from His hand.  Here are some of my favorites:

This next one is my absolute favorite.  I took it one morning as I was walking.  I didn’t feel very well and had the spiritual and emotional “blahs.”  Yet this was the sight as I neared my house (that’s my house in the picture).  It hear a choir of angels singing in my head and heart when I look at this picture.  

I was reminded that in all the gloomy gray clouds (in the sky and in my heart), God still finds ways to reach out and touch me.  How stark in contrast the rays of the sun (Son) are to the gray clouds over us.

 Life Stuff

Things are going really well.  I think I’m at the point where I can accept the new me!  And it’s the simple wins… Jonathan’s been traveling a lot and I’ve taken the kids to life group, church and Awana on Sundays by myself 3 of the last 4 weeks.  I volunteered in Awana this “semester” at our church and only missed 2 Sundays (one of those I was in Mexico).  I can drive most places most days.  I still have to pace myself but honestly I’m glad for that.  I feel like God has given me the gift of a physical infirmity to keep me reigned in, to keep me focused on what matters and to keep me depending on him for EVERY day.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Fog

I was driving the kids to school one day last week and it was really foggy; so foggy that we couldn't see the school until we got right up on it.  As we were driving through the fog, Lydia said, "I wonder if the school disappeared." Beau said, "No, I can still see the outline of it."  I was busy looking intently right ahead of me so I wouldn't wreck.

I realize that sometimes when we're on the road of life, God has plans for us even though we can't see them.  They're on the road up ahead somewhere just beyond our visibility.  On that foggy day, God reminded me that even though He may have plans that I can't see right now, there are still things right under my nose that are clearly visible and need my attention.

This is WAY personal but at this point I've pretty much laid my life out there so I guess I won't stop now.  When I pray and journal I often just open the page and ask for God to give me guidance and when I write it's the stream of thought that comes to me; although it's not an audible voice, it's how I feel God communicating with me.  Here is my journal entry that followed that foggy morning:

Journal Entry

Sometimes I am like a dense fog.  I hide the things you can usually see.  I allow this fog to settle so that you literally can't see (or think) too far ahead.  You have to take each step (moment) of the day as it comes.  Do not get ahead of yourself.  Don't think about where you will serve next - serve me now, where you are.  After hearing two sermons on parenting the last couple of weeks, your Legacy Path book you're reading and the New Kid by Monday book you're reading, you've got plenty right here in front of you to focus on - I want you to focus on your family.  I have given you a gift that I have not given to anyone else you know - the gift of TIME.  Use it wisely.  Use it to minister to the things close by and right in front of you.  If you keep looking further out, all you see is fog.  Stay here - become the best mom and wife you can be.  I will help.

This is just another way that I feel God giving me peace to quietly serve my family and not to seek out other "flashy," more-prominent ministry opportunities.  Maybe those are out there covered by the fog and maybe not.  I realize that the gift of time is precious and priceless and that moms that have to work outside the home have a tremendous amount of pressure to fulfill their many roles.  I am truly and humbly thankful that God has bestowed this gift on me and I pray that I will faithfully fulfill my roles as wife and mom to His glory.

Ephesians 5:15-16:
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity...