Friday, March 26, 2010

Attitude is attitude!

Remember to pause the music on the right before you hit play!

"...throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy." Ephesians 4:22-24

Man, this guy was an encouragement to me today. No pity parties allowed! Find out more about him at

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My hidden person...

What a hilarious week! Up, then down- then up again! Steve got a job! Woot woot! Full time, great place, great peeps- but it is temporary for a bit so just praying it turns into a permanent position. God knows, right? The weather was breathtakingly gorgeous here in the 'Couv and we filled the days with walks, and gardening, and more gardening. Loved every minute of it.

As I was potting seeds and bulbs yesterday, I was thanking God for all the ways He provides for us. Big ways and little ways, He provides abundantly. With this job, Steve even said we can keep our gym membership! I was like YES. I know, sounds weird, but it is something the kids and I love to do together. Plus, I would like to not feel like a beached whale when I am digging weeds up. Bahahaha! So as I am getting dirty and grinning at the funny ways of God, He gives me another funny. Well, it wasn't so much funny but a "Say What???" moment.

Background: I am doing a Colossians Bible study right now and love it. It's one of my favorite books, thanks to a great mentor I had years ago. The funniest thing though, is the author of this particular study spent a couple days in Colossians 3, then out of the blue pulls in Proverbs 31. Oh YESSSSS, ladies. How we all love that chapter of the Bible. I truly do love these passages, but I just wasn't expecting to open up my Colossians study and get thrown into Proverbs. But, oh- how my heart needed it.

Anyways, as I was digging and thinking, and digging and thinking- God popped this into my heart "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her... She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." Proverbs 31:10-12
What?! Umm...could you bring me a pretty little verse about the "lilies of the field" or "you are fearfully and wonderfully made"? What do you want me to do with THIS verse? Steve and I are doing great, why should I work on this?
Then another doozy..."Your adornment must not be merely external...but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God." 1Peter 3:3-4
Nice, right? :) I guess now I have an excuse not to work out! Hehehehe

It was actually fantastic, and God gave me a distraction free afternoon to chew on it. Steve was totally having a heart attack over health care reform, Jordan was taking full advantage of my garden love to play games, and Jazz was off with a friend. I just kept thinking that if I worried less about getting things done and done RIGHT, and more about how I can show my husband my HEART, we would get along a lot better, and many of my insecurities just might disappear. If he could see the "hidden person" in me- the one that is precious in the sight of God, how would our married life look? Not that it's bad, but I think God was saying- "Girl, it could be so much BETTER." Oh, thank you, Lord for that!

Later that night, God gave me a wonderful time to spend with a dear sister in Christ, to hash over marriage, our hearts, and the concerns of life. The whole time, these passages kept running through my head as I looked at my sweet friend and just prayed that she would see herself as God sees her...precious...and that God's love for her would flow over into love for her husband. No matter how stinky our men can be- it doesn't change God's design for who WE are to be.

THEN- guess what I read today? Yep- another mind bender. This was more from the author's comments, but I felt like she was sitting on my porch, drinking a cup of tea and lovingly reminding me what I should be doing. She shared a story of being a little girl and telling her Mama how beautiful she thought she was. Her mom was elbow deep in dishwater, and the author has no idea what her mother was wearing- but she remembers her mama saying " You just think I'm pretty because I'm you're mommy." And the author realizes now- it was her mother's HEART that she loved. So sweet, yes? The author's conclusion is so great, I have to share it:
"If a wife- or a potential wife, wants a husband to love her, perhaps she should be prepared to do more than care for children, pay the bills or accomplish specific jobs each day. Perhaps we should place higher value on meeting with God every day. He's the only one who can create in us a beauty that's imperishable. Meeting with a trainer, carving out time to get our bodies in shape has merit. Yet, meeting with God is free and has greater merit...I want to be like this; to have what Peter describes as 'the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit'. What about you?" (Debbie Taylor Williams "If God is in Control, why am I a Basket Case?" page 180)

What a question, yes? If you know me- the words gentle and quiet don't belong any where near my character traits. But I don't think God means we all have to be soft and cuddly. We all need to have PEACE, and that joy that transcends all understanding. We have all met those people that you just want to be around...because it feels good. How nice would it be to know that your husband wants to be near you...just because your quiet spirit "feels good" to be around?

Chew on it, and do something with it. And don't throw tomatoes at me if you decide you hate it. It's God's throw tomatoes at Him. He can take it. :) But He might throw back!

Do you think I get bonus points with Steve if I listen to the Bible on my Zune AND drag my big buns up and down the stair climber?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gotta love little girls....

Great email that made me laugh. Things only a mother would know. :)
Cup of Tea.

One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me.
I was maybe 3 years old,
and someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a gift.
It was one of my favorite toys.

Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought him
a little cup of 'tea', which was just water.
After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mum came home.
My Dad made her sit quietly in another room,
so mum could watch me bring dad the cup of tea, because I was so cute.
Mum waited, and sure enough, I came walking down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy.

Mum watches dad drink from the tea cup...
Then she says, (as only a mother would know......)
'Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water, is the toilet ?'

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Delight and Misery-reasons to breathe.

" To be born is to be exposed to delights and miseries greater than imagination could have anticipated; that the choice of ways at any cross-road may be more important than we think; and that short cuts may lead to very nasty places." C.S.Lewis upon writing about John Bunyan

What a delicious piece, yes? I obviously have been enjoying Mr. Lewis a bit much this weekend, but I can't say I regret a minute of it. God blessed some writers with a grasp of language that literally reaches off the page and grabs your a comforting confidante or a terrifying stranger. I try to remind my kids that what they read will leave an imprint on their hearts...oh, how I wish I could be sure they listen. :) Imaginations...thank you, Lord for that. How else could we get thorough some days with a smile?

The cherry and plum trees are in full force and doing me good. It is like a promise- that a new day is coming and the world will blossom again...maybe right before my eyes! Every year it surprises me, and I don't understand why. I know this sidewalk or trail. I know this old tree- yet as I round a bend, the flowering trees still surprise me and take my breath away.

Talk a walk, friend. Enjoy the glory of our early blooming things and know that Jesus is so in love with you. Set the misery of yesterday aside for a moment, and embrace the delight of a new day.

" Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves..." Psalm 68:19-20
You think He means only salvation from death? Or war? I doubt it. I know that the Creator of Imagination means He can and does save us from monotony, dreariness, heartbreak, passivity and even insignificance. Hallelujah!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Roll with it...

Yesterday was a first. Steve made the very wise executive decision that we need to cancel our gym membership. Not my favorite words to hear, but in light of the current job issue, he is right. As usual. So, disappointed girl, but $60 a month for the kids and I to go mess around really could be spent better elsewhere.
Me listening to my husband wasn't the first yesterday. (I know, shocker, right?) The first was now with no treadmill, I had to head to the Greenway to run with no kids...and no dogs. (The rat chihuahua doesn't count as a dog in my book) I didn't think it would be that big of a deal, until I hit the actual trail. I made the first turn and realized I didn't have to keep up with Duke. It brought tears to my eyes to see the gray heron on the other side of the creek, standing perfectly unmolested by Samson. I looked at that big goofy bird for the first time without him taking flight- because there was no monster dog bounding into the water and trying to catch him. The robins stayed about their business within a foot of me, because there was no fuzzy white beast running as fast as he could to chase them back to the air. Not only was I missing my kids, who should have been there as they always have been- riding their trikes, to their "big kid bikes" and now mature enough to keep up on foot- but I literally had two hands free and perfect quiet all around me. And I hated it.

My idea of a perfect run or walk on the greenway is at best my kids yaking away with me, two giant dogs on my left, and an occasion splash into the creek with those crazy dogs- just for fun. Second best is a friend by my side, chatting away for 6 miles. I love tormenting all the boring other walkers with my noisy family- hey if you want to watch birds, get out there earlier. I love to laugh as the cyclists flip me off because Duke is fast enough to beat their pace (no offense, Nancy, I understand why dogs are a nuisance to cyclists, but I still laugh!). He rip roars in front of them when I let him off his leash, then promptly turns sideways and waits, because he knows they will go around- hollering "You are the best, fastest, smartest dog ever!!!" and waving with one finger at his mom. Makes my day!

So yesterday was a first. In the last 15 years, I truly can't remember the last time I took a walk completely on my own. I spent the first two miles literally mourning my loss. What a dork, right? I wish I could know what the other walkers were thinking- fat lady chugging her way down the trail, bright red in the face with tears streaming down. No. Maybe I don't want to know.

But as I fought the urge to throw rocks at the herons and kick at the robins, God gave me a good slap. My TAG girls and I traveled through Philippians this week and I had asked them to write down one verse that struck their heart. Well, as I behaved like a big baby, God brought the verse I wrote down to the very front of my mind: "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Phil 4:11 (FYI- Pauly was in prison when he said that. Yeah, makes me feel like a big goob for whining.)

We made our choices, I know they were the right ones- so why am I still mourning? Why do I cruise along just fine, and then freak out because of one little thing? (If you are thinking PMS- don't say it) Right answer: because my focus is on comfort and life, not on truth and eternity. Jesus is and always will be the greatest, most fantastic, happiest place for me to be. So stay there, girl. Easy to say, but hard to do. Thank God He loves us enough to whack us every once in awhile.

Needless to say, I spent the rest of my time on the trail LOOKING at the little wild things, indulging in the solitude and quiet, and writing my God Stop down when I got home: "No poop had to be picked up and no dirty paws were washed today". There are blessings to not having over 200 pounds of dog flesh to wash every day, and 70 pounds of that being a double coated, never willing to dry without a commercial blower, hyper active rug of a dog! Will I probably always miss my horses and especially my dogs? Yes. Do I have to remember it sadly or can I enjoy the good times and thank God they are with wonderful families now? I choose the latter. I can see Duke anytime I want, and my in-laws are loving making him a fat, lazy, good for nothing but a hug, lap dog. Samson has a whole slew of kids to kiss him, a mom who thinks he's hilarious and a sweet black lab for a girlfriend. I guarantee you they don't miss me- so I can be so glad for them. We are in a different phase now, with teenagers and city life. And it doesn't have to be a bad thing.

Next time I hit the greenway, I am bringing a smile, a great verse to memorize, and maybe even some bread for those that they don't fly away as soon as they hear me. :)

The other verse God gave me as I cooled down. Oh, LORD, I am in awe of your incredible love- and your jealous devotion for my heart. Make it completely yours.
"continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." Philippians 2:12b-13