Friday, November 29, 2013

Filled to the brim.......with HIM???

Hello all.

Hang on to your hats, this is gonna sound like a rant.

And I believe it is. It is time for it. It is for me, and perhaps you as well.

It all began a few years ago now. When I found a cool book club for ladies and followed each weekly reading and video. It was an amazing book. AMAZING. God used that book to really change my view of Christianity as a whole.

It was great, there was this emotional connection to these gals and I as we read it together. EVEN though they had read the book like, six months prior......ANNNND  prerecorded the videos, ANNNND never met me. Yeah. Like that.

I found blogs. I followed. I cried. I laughed.

And a year went on and I am at this place now where I have grown weary of following,


Women love to be a part of something. Something big. They love big ladies meetings, BIG door prizes, Big lunches and even Big shopping sprees.

I get it. I am one.

There finally reaches a point where Bigger isn't better. Ok, unless you are talking about Mallow Cups. Just.cannot.get.enough.of.them

But besides them, bigger is not better. Sometimes, many times, smaller, quieter, unnoticed is better.

I found that this fantastic woman who writes, takes pictures with really expensive equipment, has narry a bad hair day, yeah, she loves God. That's great.

But she's also meeting her besties several weekends out of the year to just enjoy each other. Flying down south for private teas in gardens, just to know God. Travelling without Littles hither thither and yon eating delish food and hanging out with a whole bunch of other ladies for a week who pay to hear them just "share."

If I could gather twenty of my besties for a weekend every few months, I'd be writing the next bestseller too.

Catch my drift???

When I pop on twitter or instagram and see that no one is caring about the pic itself, but where they can find those boots, those skinny jeans and for Pete's sake that hair color, it just turns my lip up and reminds me that people are people.

Even people who love the Lord. Like, a LOT.

Women helping other women is important. Older women teaching, guiding, loving on the younger women is part of God's design.

But all to quickly, we can look to other women as some kind of Hollywood stars, place them on a pedestal that they themselves might not even want. They comment on OUR comment and we swoon.

Look, I've been there.

Approval from someone we admire is great.

But it's not necessary.

We've swapped it all for the Martha Stewart Christianity thing again.


Because of the spotlight and book promotions we have been drawn to that perfect woman and away from the lady down the street who is so unbelievably wise.

We have forgotten our Pastor's wife who loved us through our ugly cry over not being able to handle one more discipline problem.

We somehow think that the glam makes someone more wise, more adoring, more spiritual than that Mom of four behind us in church who will never see worldly promotion.

Her boots will never be coveted, Her hair color never matched with fervor, Her written words never poured over.

And that is a terrible shame.

Though I never make the NY Times list, my writing is still valuable, and so is yours. If God enables you to do something, do it with your might, though no one may ever know.

Buzz around people takes our eyes off of Him who has always been sufficient for our every need.

He knows our hearts better than a best selling writer.

He wants to meet with us more than hundreds of ladies at a conference.

He IS our BIG NAME speaker.

And you don't need tickets to see Him. You don't have to wait for a sale to nab his latest masterpiece of a book.

You can conform to Him all you desire and find real peace from Him who changes not.


Click out of Twitter. Get your face out of facebook. Forget that book that will be sure to make you the best Christian wife, mother, friend, sister, neighbor, car pooler that you could ever be in the whole entire existence of mankind.

Remember that it's not "them." They don't even know your name.

But He does.

His bestseller will change you and I more than any book known to man.

Sure, they are great in their own way. God used them, terrific. No hate to them.

But good people can be bad people if they keep you from the best PERSON.

My thoughts today.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Self-reliance gets a thumb's down

This week I had a Doctor's appointment. After a ruptured appendix in college and six littles surgically removed from this body in the span of nine years..... I am plum tired of them. Doctor's that is. :)

And though I love what they do, I hate seeing them.

You anticipate the visit, you get all sweaty waiting in the waiting room with day time soaps blaring and people trying not to stare at one another all equally disliking the fact that they are there as well.


So, not my favorite thing to do.

I was wayyyyyyy overdue for a checkup so it was scheduled and on the calendar and I feared it like the plague.

On the way to the office I began to ponder all the things that my mind just hadn't had quiet enough to let settle. You Mom's know what I am talking about. This is why, on any given night, when you and your husband have just polished off the last of the brownies he catches you with a furrowed brow and a tear beginning to emerge. He asks you what on earth could possibly be wrong when you just ate half your body weight in chocolate. Any woman's dream.

You choke out that you were "just thinking" about whether or not your second grader will ever learn to tie his shoes and avoid public humiliation, combined with the fact that the washing machine part you need to stop it leaking costs more than you have in the budget.

He may think you half crazy, but it's in the quiet that those brain nags come and take.over.

So it was these nags that haunted me on the way to the Doctors. Financial hiccups, scary news, discipline problems, attitudes creeping up, losing hearts slowly..... they just hovered over like a black cloud.

And then, it was an October miracle. The clouds parted and grace covered everything like the heat that had finally kicked-on in the van and began to cover me head to toe. It was divine. No, it really was. God said, "I am bigger." I am in charge. And He reminded me of the devotion I had read that morning about refining.

When I saw the title after finding my glasses and still waking up, I cringed. "Lord. Fire? Refining? TO-DAY of all days???? I just cannot deal with it!" I read on anyway. The way that the author described the refiner and their delicate care moved me. The way the refiner sat and watched carefully, lest the metal would be lost or taxed beyond what it needed was speaking peace to my weariness.

I thought of God, loving me enough to put me through a fire, only to sit and lovingly watch lest I suffered too greatly. Only heated enough to mold.

Only heated enough to mold.


I haven't been the most pliable human being, wife, mother, friend as of late.

I thought of all of this while I drove and while the heat warmed me from the outside in. I walked into the office with a calm and peace of knowing that God loves me enough not to leave me in the fire, but sit beside me with a watchful eye on the fires around me.

Only heating me enough to mold once again.

The visit was fine and I was off to have blood drawn. I could, by personal experience probably draw my own blood, but I sat and offered my left arm and without a wince, watched.

The tingle down my arm and pain shooting back up again brought instant tears. This was not normal for me. I found out quickly that it wasn't normal for a lot of people.

The needle hit a nerve.

In all my years of blood drawn I have never had someone hit a nerve. I never even knew to fear it. I just lived sticking my arm out and letting someone stick something in it. The nurse was obviously horrified and I did my best to comfort her and assure her that it could have happened to anyone.

As a side note, I have this weird way of comforting people who feel badly about a service they have rendered me. I once gave a gift to a hairdresser who chopped all my hair off with all smiles and hugs, only to head home and cry for two days..... Well there could be weirder things I guess....

No instructions were given about what to watch for, how to take care of the nerve... I think that nurse just wanted to go and cry herself and get me outta there like last week's recycling.

I headed home and was just thankful the whole thing was over. That is until the next night after knitting. I could hardly stretch my arm out. I was fearful to move my fingers, especially my thumb, and the pain was back. It was enough of a bother to make you a bit cranky from the pain. I sighed. Then I got a little hypochondriac-ish.

I googled and for fear's sake just read the first post regarding blood draws and nerves. The rest of my nerves were on edge and I went to bed spent with worry.

The next day it still bothered me but not to the same extent. Then the following day I began to wonder if this was going to be a looong road.

I have things to knit! A Christmas craft show to prepare for!

Finally, I ran to the Lord. Joel had the kids on an errand and I had time. Time to finally read deep. The Lord took me to 2 Chronicles 6 and 7. I marveled at Solomon's loong speech regarding the building of the temple after such a long wait. FIVE times in chapter six Solomon asks the Lord to forgive the people when they come to Him with a transgression. That really spoke volumes to me. He didn't just ask the Lord to forgive all their sins. He chose five separate instances where the people might fall and asked Him that when he heard their cry, to forgive them.

Solomon also asks if it is even possible for the God of heaven and heavens of heavens to dwell in that temple; if the temple could even contain a piece of his glory. Wow. That took God out of the neat box I always seem to put him in and reminded me of His infinite power and might. Then in verse 30 Solomon says:
     "Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:)"

He is all powerful. And only He knows my heart.

Chapter seven carries that all familiar verse 14 we hear quoted so often for our nation:

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Many of us fail to remember that this word from the Lord came at night after Solomon had offered the temple to the Lord. The Lord had already accepted the sacrifice of the people. Had already shown them His glory. This word in the night, was more of a reminder to Solomon. And that is sweet to me.

God didn't withhold his glory and blessing from the people until they had met Him and settled some things. He knew their hearts as only He can, and then after blessing came to Solomon and reminded him of what that relationship with Him meant.

We are His temple. I am His temple. And the Lord, in that quiet time, reminded me that it is He that gives my arms strength. It is He who loves me enough to keep me moldable for His purposes. I turned to Him, repented of my idolatry ( making myself a God before Him) , and even making a good pastime the most important thing. He met with me just as He had Solomon, and forgave. In that stillness of spirit, I was reminded of the vastness of God.

He loves us enough to allow the fire to bring us back to a moldable state.

For HIS glory.

I am thankful for a little bit of a bum arm. Will it last? God knows. But I know I am a child of his this day. I am a child that He loves very much. So much that He will allow trial small or great, to remind me of Him and His ultimate plan for my life.

He loves you too. Look for Him in your fire. He is sitting there beside.