Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A night to Remember...

Have felt so uninspired lately. It never ceases to amaze me that right when I choose to say "Bring it on, Lord- I want to grow!" He actually does, and I curl up in a ball and whine about it. My last post was about "choosing the town", walking alongside hurting people through a fallen world- and I have now spent the last 3 weeks wishing I was in the meadows...alone...and peaceful. What a dork.

Eventually I will finish the 5 posts I have started over the last few weeks, when I can be sure I won't sound so depressed you institutionalize me or so jaded you excommunicate me. In the mean time, tonight was a night I want to remember, because God reminded me so clearly of the assurance I have, and it felt good.

I read the other day a story about a blind hymn writer, Fanny Crosby, in the 1800's who wrote one of my favorites, and I remember thinking at the time how amazing it was to hear her say "when I see His face". How much more meaning does the word "see" carry for a woman who has never "seen" a face? In the same way, how much better do we see the blue sky after a week of clouds? Or enjoy the coolness of a lake after a day of sweating and manual labor? I know in my head that we see our blessings best through struggle, but my humanness would prefer not to struggle.

Tonight, thinking about the uphill battle so many have- God reminded me that the only way to get that amazing "mountain top view" is by hiking the hill, through sweat and tears sometimes. Fighting hard, and never quitting or turning back. And I know it will be so worth it.

If you have time, go check out the full verse of this hymn, Fanny was kind of a genius. Below I posted my favorite part though, "But purer, and higher, and greater will be our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see." I hope whatever battle you are facing, you remember that Jesus has assured you a glorious, bright future if you trust Him.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.
Praising my Savior, all the day long.

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see." Fanny Crosby Blessed Assurance

"Our light and momentary troubles are ACHIEVING for us an eternal glory that FAR outweighs them all." 2 Corinthians 4:17
(Pics are from our Christmas tree hunt. We were really roughing it. Walked about 10 feet from the car, made the kids do all the work, drank hot cocoa. My kind of Christmas tree.)

Monday, December 5, 2011

The field or the town- Which do I choose?

After the whirlwind couple of weeks we have had, I have decided slowing down is just never going to be a option. My heart has been stomped on, squashed, pinched and thrown aside this last week, and that's O.K. In the midst of it all, I know God is doing His thing- showing me my own mistakes and teaching me more about who He is- full of grace and compassion, love and forgiveness. I wish that was my first reaction all the time...maybe someday.

I pulled out an old devotional I have always loved for my girl today, she was needing the encouragement and "Streams in the Desert" has always been a comfort to me. So funny God had me choose this book on this day- He knew I needed the message more than she did. This daily devotional book was originally published in 1925, and still feels so relevant. Check it out sometime, it's a great way to start the morning.

December 5th's message was simple- stop trying to show God how to get where you want to go, let Him take the lead.

"I said, "Let me walk in the field";
God said, "No, walk in the town";
I said, "There are no flowers there";
He said, "No flowers, but a crown".

I said, "The sky is black,
There is nothing but noise and din";
But He wept as He sent me back,
"There is more," He said, "there is sin."

I said, "But the air is thick,
And smog is veiling the sun";
He answered, "Yet souls are sick,
And your work is yet undone."

I said, "I will miss the light,
And friends will miss me, they say";
He answered me "Choose tonight,
If I am to miss you, or they."

I pleaded for time to be given;
He said, "Is it hard to decide?
It will not seem hard in Heaven
To have followed the steps of your Guide."

I cast one look at the field,
Then set my face to the town;
He said, "My child, do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for the crown?"

Then into His hand went mine,
And into my heart came He;
And I walk in a light Divine,
The path I had feared to see. -- George McDonald

Weeks like these, I long for the empty fields. It's easy to live Christian alone, with my horses and roses surrounding me- comfort and pleasure as my mission field. But I choose the town, Papa. Where I get to walk alongside your people, to love them and work for them and serve them everyday. No matter how hard it gets, or how much it hurts. Because this is where you want me.

"I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct His steps." Jeremiah 10:23

(Pics were a glimpse of the Hawaii trip. We hit the ground running, so I really haven't had time to process it all- but someday I will give you the details...QUITE the adventure!)