Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I really am alive

I told myself tonight was the night that I would finally sit down to my blog.

Unfortunately, a bitter war was waged between me, the washing machine, and the wall. 2.5 hrs later my washing machine technically "works". It just can't be left unattended or it will bountifully spew water all over the electrical outlet which is, quite handily, right next to the drain hose.

I'm in the house. Just a few more days of adjusting and I'll be back posting again!

Meanwhile, I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In process

I'm in the process of moving.

Which means, I'm getting all my stuff ready to be moved.
On a certain day I'll put all my stuff in a truck and move it.
Some days, even though my stuff isn't quite ready to move, I wish moving day was today. I wish it were today so that it would be done with. It's difficult to pack, but not pack some things because you still have to live here.
When I do move, this house will be better off for the long process of waiting and planning and preparing.
One day though, the planned day will arrive and me and my things will move and it will be accomplished. Then I will begin a whole new world of preparation for life in the new house and all it will entail.

Many times in life that planning, preparing time is when we look around and say "Where is God? What is He doing? Where is He taking me? Why does this feel like a standstill when I should be doing something?"
Because often, the preparation time lasts longer than we imagine it should.
But it's all in Gods purpose, it's all in Gods plan. And you, and whatever He's preparing you for will be better off for having had all the preparation.

Much like moving, I can either sit here and do little, waiting for the day to get closer and moving day will be a miserably hurried, last minute stuff kind of harried rush-around.
Or I can use each evening, and plan and prepare so that moving day is left for simply the actual work necessary for the day - which will be more than enough anyway.

I've been in that place before, wondering why it felt like something should be happening when I felt like I was standing still. I think it helps to put it in perspective with this move. Hopefully, at least in the future, it will come to mind when I am tempted to think God has forgotten to update His agenda for me.

It leaves a great deal of responsibility on my plate though.
It's my job to use each day to be prepared, to grow, to be ready.
I'm in process.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers day.

I made my obligatory phone call home today, called and asked my dad about his moving progress and wished him a happy fathers day. But today meant something totally different to me.

At lunch time, we all bowed our heads as my brother offered thanks for the food to God, and in that moment my heart said "Happy Fathers day Lord, You've been everything to me this year..." it was sudden, and quick because the regular prayer ended soon with "Amens" agreed upon and hamburger buns beginning to be passed.

A joking discussion even began about it because apparently I wasn't the only one to feel that way because my sis-in-law, Glenda, tagged onto the "Amen" her own "Happy Fathers day". It became a joke around the table, but it wasn't a joke to me and I don't think it was to her either.

There are a lot of people that don't have fathers anymore. Maybe they just aren't in your lives because you don't have a good relationship or perhaps they've passed on - whatever the cause - I want you to know simply this:

God has been my Father.
On those bad days when my heart has broken, I was able to cry on my Fathers shoulder.
On those discouraged days when I didn't want to do what I should, I encountered the unbending will of my Father.
On those happy days when the world just couldn't seem to get any brighter, I was able to simply sit with my Father and tell Him how wonderful everything was.

When I needed a Father, He was there.

I didn't worry about waking Him at 3am, using up His resources when I wasn't sure how my bills would get paid, or that my emotions might make Him do something that He couldn't handle. Even when He didn't make the choices I wish He had made, I know now that He's always made the right ones - no matter how much I pressured Him for a different outcome.

There have been times in my life when I sat in a corner of my house, knees pulled tightly to my chest and my head buried and cried and prayed that some sorrow or fear might go away - and there are times in those moments of my worst brokenness when I had the unmistakable feeling of being held.

I know people that are willing to give up on me, walk away when the going gets rough - but no matter how many times I walked away from Him and waited for Him to let me go - He never did. I even adamantly declared a little over a year ago on this blog that I was DONE, I quit God, NO MORE.
He loved me even then. Oh how He loves me.
Oh how I love Him.
I don't quit. And God knows I'm sure not done.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

3 Lessons about a blind mans story

I was reading a story from John 9 about the blind man, and I want to share it:

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?
Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.

Lesson 1: I am he.
Too often when we get saved or pulled out of our addictions and filth we pretend "That wasn't me". We hide our nasty past, the filth and stain. We hide that we begged on the street corner. We hide that we hid our Playboys under the mattress. We hide that we did jail time. We hide that we were people that you wouldn't want to know.

Not this man. Is this he that sat and begged? They weren't sure, but he made sure they knew. "I am he."
Claim your past and all it's gory nastiness to the glory of God. You were who you were, but now you ARE what He's made you.

The story continues...

Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?
He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

Lesson 2: "A man that is called Jesus..."
That's how his story starts. Mine would have started with "I'd been blind for a long time and was begging, but I'd heard about this man called Jesus that could heal..."
He took the "I" right out of the story and began the focus where it should be. It's words that give me tingles when I imagine how many stories can start with that. What happened?? "Well, let me tell you - A man called Jesus..."
When people asked how your life turned around, how black sin became white as snow - they're not really asking about you. They're asking where to get some. Start the story where it belongs.

And the story goes on...

Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.

Lesson 3: "I don't know"
Give me one good encounter with God and I'll write a thousand posts on how to get close to Him and enjoy His presence. But the truth is, sometimes there are questions about God we can't answer. We just don't know. Forget human answers, and when you don't know simply tell the truth. "I don't know." There are bookstores full of man-made ideas on how to find peace, how to live your best life now, how to run your home and family and remain pure and keep your wife happy. We're a generation with answers. If we don't know we'll simply google it and have an answer in 0.28 seconds with 1,992,375,092 results.
Learn to say "I don't know." Because truthfully, we need to stop looking to pastors, teachers, friends, supports for all our answers about God and how to find Him and walk with Him - and ask God. All those supports are good, but when used as an alternative to simply asking God they are a poor substitute that leave you lacking the real answers you need.

*Story found John 9:1-12 and beyond*

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Being where God wants you.

I feel introspective about everything I've seen and experienced this weekend, so I hope you don't mind this post. If anything, it's just my way of musing out loud to find a resolution in my mind. All that to say - it's going to probably feel a little scattered. :)

This week I learned that my dad has been inviting his soon to be next door neighbor out into the street to fight. He's been in a contest of wills with the neighbor over the volume of his offensive music. My dad winces when he stands up. The neighbor his a strong young man. I've witnessed my dad in a fist fight once - ironically enough it was on the way home from church - he lost. Mom can't afford for him to be wrong.

Speaking of mom, I'd go into debt with medical bills in a heartbeat if dad would allow me to get her treatment. They don't have insurance, and about 2 months ago she broke her ankle (my amature diagnosis) I took photos of her leg going straight down, and her foot about an inch off to the side. It's crazy to look at. I keep intending to show the pictures to some nurses I know, (at least they might have a less amature opinion or could give advice) but it hasn't worked out yet. God knows. This is a situation I absolutely wish He'd change.

But it makes me wonder if that's not why He's got me in San Antonio. If I were there, perhaps I'd be pushing for things that for some reason God wants left alone. I know if I hadn't moved to San Antonio my life would certainly have taken a different path this last year as I would be dedicating most of my time to her life. But I'm not there. It's just the two of them trying to somehow manage together. And I'm in San Antonio praying to God with all my heart that He could please just let her die. End her fear and confusion and suffering and let her go. If He's trying to teach dad something, teach him some other way - Mom's done enough. Please God let her go. Please.

I couldn't even write that without the tears again.... daughters should never pray that for their mothers.

I see myself going back one day. Back to my small town, back to my small church - they are both "home" to me. It's a long story, but I had a police officer ask me this weekend if I felt safe where I was (I was in my small town at the time) and I realized that I felt safer there than anywhere else. Perhaps God won't permit my return until my mother is gone. Perhaps He won't permit my return until I've learned all that He's got for me to learn from living in San Antonio.

But while I miss certain things - especially my church - not for anything do I want to step away from where God wants me to be. He's got a plan for my life, and for the lives of the people He will put me in contact with; I just need to walk in it, never turning from the left or to the right.

I want to do what God wants me to do.
And I'm thankful and humbled that Someone as powerful and wonderful as Him - would actually give someone like me something to do.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I am thankful for my stuff.

Lord may I never complain about the task of packing my many items. As I place item after item into box and bag, and surround it by foam and paper so that it will traverse safely from place to place, let me work with thankfulness for each and every item.

May I bask in the joy of having so much that meets so many needs, rather than groan that those things must be packed.

May I revel in my wealth and luxury, knowing how truly blessed I have been by You, rather than groan saying that some items aren't worth the effort.

May I bless You, in how I treat this time of collecting my things. Let me enter and leave this time rejoicing in how much weight You have given me to carry.
May I speak as Jacob:

Then Jacob...divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.
And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.

Monday, June 07, 2010

What if He's there?

I drove 333 miles to go to my parents and help them in their moving progress. Sunday though, I deserted them both and went to my old church to worship God and see many old friends and family.

But one of the two most important ones wasn't there. When I asked, I was told "When I left the house she was planning on coming."

I'm a doubtful person, so my immediate assumption was that she'd found out I was coming and didn't show up. I'd even tried to keep my visit a secret just to prevent that since several of my other visits have been an occasion for her to miss as well.

But simply because I over think things, I wondered to myself - "Maybe, just maybe, whatever stopped her from coming was something small and if you hadn't have been so stubborn and told her you were coming she would have come if she'd known you'd be there."

I don't think so.

But the minute that thought struck me, I was almost floored by another idea.

Why on earth would someone make an extra effort to come to church because I might be there, when the whole premise of church is that GOD is there.

In the Bible times, when someone knew Jesus was somewhere, they didn't stay home if they were sick, they went to Jesus because they were sick. They drug their sick friends and family, did without food, walked days and days just to be where Jesus could teach them. Could touch them.

Yet one of the kids gets a fever and the whole family stays home to wipe his nose.

What if He was there?

What if you walked into church on Sunday morning, with your sick child, spouse, self and said "I'm going to find the hem of His robe to touch today. I don't know what it will look like in todays circumstances, but I'm sure going to find it."

He promised that if two or three were gathered in His name, He would be there. So He came to church last Sunday. And I foolishly wondered if someone might have come if they'd have known I was there.

I think you'll disrupt the service if you go expecting something from God. If you walk in and say WAIT, I didn't get a blessing, I didn't get my healing, I didn't get a touch - LET ME THROUGH because He's here, and I'm here sick/tired/hurting, so He's not done here yet!

But I think it's high time our church services got disrupted by someone actually expecting Jesus to show up.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

A dear friend

I caught up with a dear friend today. When I first saw her, we were surrounded by other people so I stayed away just biding my time. There's something so wonderful to me about our conversations that I didn't want it to be interrupted when I finally got to sit and and tell her everything.

Finally, everyone was gone, and I needed to leave to run an errand before a second church service began. But after I ran the errand I came back and she was still there so I got to sit down and tell her everything. It's been a very long time since we last got to be together, but as we began I remembered things from long ago to tell her. I told her new things, scary things, happy things, and oh so sad things.

I've cried on her more than anyone else in the world has ever seen me cry. And in the middle of pain, or fear and doubt, she helps me think clearly. When I'm happy, and just thoughtful of how blessed I am - she somehow always reminds me of some new idea that takes me deeper into joy and understanding.

I watch her talk to other people and while I see how pleasant and wonderful she is, it doesn't affect me as much as when she speaks for me. When she responds to my thoughts and emotions. Free, uninterrupted time with her leaves me as peaceful and contented as a kitten lapping warm milk.

All too soon my phone rang, and I had business to attend to and couldn't stay with her anymore. But, Lord Willing, that wonderful piano will still be there next time I visit her.
There is nothing quite like her. I wish everyone could have quite so good a friend.