"These griefs have been God's gifts. For only by such
severe suffering has my loving Father broken me free of some of my deeper
idolatries. In the nights' watches, while others sleep, my wakeful heart
must find rest in Him or it will find no rest at all. . . . 'When I am
afraid I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust;
I shall not be afraid' (Ps. 56)." ~M.R. Talbot
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
Once upon a time there was
a level toenail named Zimbabwe.
She walked out to the allowance one morning and saw a temperature
jumping around in the acorn.
She threw up her
hands and yelled Yowsers!!!
Mr. UPS heard her greeting
card and came to rescue her from sure cavity.
When he came to her, she looked at his Christmas cactus and said Idiot!
He erased and said Sup?
He whisked her away to the notepad and as they were leaving on his ice
cream she exclaimed what?!?!
(MADLIB by me - words by Amber)
There once was a puppy who always wanted to be
named Sassafras and to forge with an unbelievable family. One day, a squirrely boy took him home and gave him yummy food to grovel and all attention his heart could desire! The boy
even gave him a name: Humperdink, but he usually just called
him, “Hey, sneezy Yarn!”
When the postal
service brought the nacho cheese, the puppy learned to blast at the mailman. When a storm would come, the boy
would whisper dandelions in the puppy’s ears. When the
boy would eat dinner, he would wobble a bit of wiggleworm to the puppy. This was the life only a kooky puppy could dream of!
(MADLIB by Amber - words by me)
Evidence of how exciting my Friday afternoon has been. Amber and I (don't know what I'd do without her on afternoons like this!) decided to give each other our own, made up MADLIBS. I remembered a time when I was visiting her in Louisiana, back in the days of our childhood, and we spent HOURS doing MADLIBS together. So, here's to a silly Friday afternoon at work and yes, you can call me the dork that I am!
Monday, April 16, 2007
...century that is. Yes, for those of
you who haven't known me since I was a scrawny, loud (still am), spastic afro
puff, yesterday was my 25th birthday. I had every intention of posting an entry
yesterday, but by the time I sat down at the computer, it was my bedtime. PandaMom asked
me last night if it was weird as I was considering the fact that SHE was 25
when we met. She was 25 and I was 14...yes, weird. It seems like just yesterday,
too, that I posted my thoughts from my 24th birthday last
year as the Fall 2006
semester of school was approaching.
Last year came with the realization that
I was no longer a college student; my perspectives were drastically changing and
the Lord was opening my eyes to things I had not previously considered.
This year has come with the realization that I really am an adult. Some of
you may snicker at the statement, but I am going to guess that I am not the only
one who has spent time reflecting on such a reality. I really am an adult
now. Some aspects from the past seem as though I just lived them
yesterday, and others seem more like distant dreams of which I have rather faint
and less frequent recollections. I struggle to write out a thorough
summation of the thoughts that have gone through my mind since yesterday
morning, but there is one thing I have neither difficulty nor hesitation
The Lord is good and He is
faithful. I have realized all the more this year how my life, and how He
has worked therein, is so much more evidence of His grace than I ever give Him
credit for. I think of my imperfect being, my imperfect family, my
imperfect friends, and cannot help but cry out thanks for how He so intricately
works in the lives of His people. How often I miss His continuous work and
steadfast love for us who are at His mercy--and He IS merciful! I am
wicked, and I can see the many ways in which I have failed to honor my parents
and miserably fallen short of being a good friend to those who know me
best. But in spite of my sin, He called ME, the sinful person I am, into
His marvelous light. I did not choose to walk out of the darkness and into
His light--a dead person can't make himself alive. But God, through the
blood of Jesus Christ, has called me His own. He has given me a new name,
a new heart, and new life. This is the one thing I am sure of and where I
find rest. All secondary issues in this life pale in comparison to the
realization that He has given me the very breath that keeps me going.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
but thy cross has brought me near,
- has softened my heart,
has made me thy Father’s child,
has admitted me to thy family,
has made me joint-heir with thyself.
O that I may love thee as thou lovest me,
that I may walk worthy of thee, my Lord,
that I may reflect the image of heaven’s first-born.
May I always see thy beauty with the clear eye of faith,
and feel the power of thy Spirit in my heart,
for unless he move mightily in me
no inward fire will be kindled.
~Valley of Vision, "Need of Jesus"
I have several books sitting on my nightstand with the intention of serving as rich, devotional reads either as I am waking up in the morning or just about to close my eyes before falling asleep. Just how good are my best intentions when I am not following through day after day after day? Countless mornings and evenings seem spent with the same passing thought, "I should definitely read that tonight." A fellow book-lover and friend gave me the gift of Valley of Vision awhile ago, and I have opened the pages to a specific prayer on occasional nights. There are divisions in the book, directing the reader to a specific topics and correlating prayers. I climbed into bed this past Friday night and happened upon "Need of Jesus." After days and weeks of kicking myself in the pants, this Puritan prayer resonated deep within my spirit. I am an undisciplined, doubtful, untrusting, hesitant, feeble woman who regularly acknowledges these things about myself, but I fail to regularly turn to the One who has redeemed me and called me His Bride. He is the One who gives repentance and turns my affections toward Himself, and He loves me! How can I love Him and love others when I hesitate to receive His love for me?? This Puritan prayer speaks the words of my own heart, words I utter much less eloquently.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Anne Shirley of Green Gables frequently referred to her bosom friend, Diana Berry, as her kindred spirit. While they were from two completely different walks of life, not only prior to meeting but also during the course of their friendship, their hearts connected from the moment they met. Kindred spirit...well, neither the dictionary nor Wikipedia do the term justice, so when I want to be reminded of what the endearing title encapsulates, I simply pull one of my treasured, tattered Anne books from the shelf.
The Lord graciously provided the means for my own kindred spirit to pay a brief visit this past week. Amber Shae and I have been friends since the age of five, and only attended school together for one year. Not that we are identical to the Misses Anne Shirley and Diana Berry (i.e. I'm not an orphan, and Amber doesn't have money out the wazzoo), but I am still reminded of some sweet parallels in our friendship. We do come from completely different backgrounds with completely different family situations, life-happenings, and we are currently in different seasons of life. I occasionally look ahead, wondering when I will ever be finished with school (don't get me wrong - I love it!), while Amber's husband is graduating in a matter of months just days after their first baby is expected to arrive. Amber has always been slow to speak, gracious and courteous in her approach and hospitality toward others, and seems to illustrate that which the New Testament refers to as a "gentle and quiet spirit." I, on the other hand, well... I'm still learning.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Every accountability group has one--that person who is always bringing up
the same issue time and time again without much progress. In my small group, I'm
that person. But I bet if you asked a few other people in that same group, they
would say they are that person.
We all are, in fact. Change is not easy.
Some patterns in our lives are seemingly corrected overnight. Others have deep
roots, which appear to be connected to far more issues than we would have
initially discerned. So we dig, to see if we can get at those roots. Or maybe we
are just digging ourselves deeper into familiar ruts of sin and temptation.
Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. Last week, in my caregroup's
women's meeting, we talked about those areas of chronic defeat. We could have
come up with another "plan for success" drawn on human wisdom, but instead we
looked at how we fell short of asking God for help. Each of us realized that
with some of these long-standing temptations, we weren't even pausing to do
battle. We would see or experience the temptation and just fall down. We
wouldn't even try to resist. Oh, sure, in the past we had sought counsel or
enrolled in courses or read the leading books on whatever we wanted to change,
but right now we weren't availing ourselves of the mightest weapon in our
arsenal: the grace of God. Whether the temptation was another cookie, another
hour of watching TV, or another angry response, we were giving in and finding
ourselves deeper in the well-worn ruts. So we decided that for the next two
weeks, we would simply concentrate on resisting temptation by asking God to help
us to change. . .
"Do you not know that in a race
all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may
obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to
receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly;
I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under
control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified" (1
Corin 9:24ff). . .
What this looks like can vary a bit from person to
person, but this passage teaches us three important things: 1) We must live
purposefully, 2) We must live humbly ("Humility demands we examine the idol
feasts in our lives."), 3) We must live dependently.
He promises to give
grace, to give an avenue of escape, and to give the power to endure so that the
temptation will not overwhelm us. If we don't depend on His faithfulness in these
areas, we will give up. . . This passage provides such sweet hope to us
shadow-boxers, doesn't it? For all those areas in our lives where we are only
making half-hearted efforts to grow and change, where we are beating the air and
running aimlessly, there is a way of escape and the power to truly change!