Monday, February 28, 2011

Be Still

"Be still, and know that I am God...."Ps.46:10

Be Still!

The exclamation point is not a quote from the Bible - it is my own.Lately I have been thinking about this.I feel as though when I get all uptight about life and start to worry ridiculously about stuff that is going on ( it's often self-consuming) I picture God, with love in his eyes but yet concern for me saying sternly, "be still"!

Always before when reflecting on this verse I thought of a more gentle tone,a softness.But I think(with me) it takes a firm "listen to me" tone to get my attention sometimes.Why is this?

Along the same lines,I have been considering the idea that different temperaments and personalities pray differently.I wonder why at the age that I am, I still struggle with focusing and not losing my train of thought while praying..I begin my day wanting to get this thing right,I sit with my Bible ,read than begin to pray trying this thing of "being still", before I know it my mind is way somewhere else.Oh, I have read plenty of plans and schedule ideas for being organized in prayer  which only confuses and freezes my free spirit mind all the more.*sigh* So yeah, is there anything to this idea? I have asked my children who all  have different personalities how they stay focused during prayer.They all answered differently! Logan listens to music,Courtney prays with her eyes open looking around and Grant pictures things in his mind.

These facts I know:

  • Prayer is how we communicate with God
  • Focused prayer is necessary
  • We were created by God to worship Him
  • Though worship is a must, not everyone worships the same
  • Prayer is a form of worship
So, I admit this is one of those areas that I can get my mind in a tizzy wondering about.I feel guilt.I work myself into a stew than I hear God say "just be still!".

Simplicity.Conversation.Prayer. Yet,I make it so difficult.

How do you stay focused?

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's Monday -where did Sunday go?

Monday Morning.
What a weekend! I feel as though it came and went without me in it! It was so full .Don't get me wrong- I had a good weekend ,just packed full!
Saturday was spent in Clearwater Courtney's basketball game.Her team went to states, which in itself is an accomplishment.They made 2nd place.Now let me tell you they brought plenty of battle scars along home! The other team was brutal! I say kudos to them for having a great season. We have a great coach to thank.
 Sorry abou the teeny tiny pictures! But I am a proud momma!The pixels get all messed up if I try to make it bigger!

                                                             The team
                                                        In play...Courtney is #3

  This morning I was  am feeling overwhelmed with things to do and a jumble of thoughts crowding my mind.Some things I love to do and other ones...wish I had the money to hire someone to to do them.
   Earlier,I went to the LPM blog and was encouraged by this word ,

"TAKE ONE THING AT A TIME! God’s grace really is sufficient and He really does meet all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. As much as we want to see all that manna heaped up in a mountain of provision a week in advance alongside those upcoming demands, His promise in Philippians 4:19 is to meet each one AT THE TIME WE NEED IT. Thank You, Lord. If we could learn to live in this present moment with this present provision, oh, man, life would be so much less stressful, wouldn’t it?"

I tend to look at everything at once and feel as though there is no starting point.So...A list.That's what needs to be completed(I already started one).Step2 ,prioritize pray! Pray over the "things to do" list and ask for wisdom while prioritizing. Step 3, GET BUSY, And don't look back! 

At the end of the day, I hope to be able to review my day and know I accomplished much.But most importantly that God can say "well done- I blessed with this day and you have used it wisely".

Philipians 4:19 (The Message) "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."

Have a great Monday and a wonderful week!-Because I said so-(lovingly)!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Action+ Love = Success

I love Valentines!
It doesn't take much to make it fun - Red and pink construction paper cut into heart shapes with little messages hand written on them.A table "dressed" nicely with pretty dishes and a tasty meal.Maybe a few candles or if you have a dimmer switch, just turn the lights low! Some chocolates and strawberry pie for dessert!

Even though 2 of our children are teens it's still fun to make it special -just toned down a bit on the construction paper hearts.When they were younger I would hang them from the lights above the table plus make place mats from from the red and pink paper... Now-just a few hearts will do.Although they don't say much I think they still kind of like it...:)

Two truffles and a paper heart on each plate

A love note to my family .........and fresh strawberry pie!

The menu was Mexican .I cheated and bought pre-made enchilada casserole from Stauffers,  side dishes of re fried beans and salad. It was tasty!
  Another thing that obviously changes when the children grow older is the conversation at the table.It's become a great interaction time.  Tonight after supper we read "The LOVE chapter",( 1 Corinthians 13) from "the Message" The discussion  after was rather interesting ....

1" If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2 If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.

Love doesn't strut,

Doesn't have a swelled head,

Doesn't force itself on others,

Isn't always "me first,"

Doesn't fly off the handle,

Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn't revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompleteas will be canceled.
11When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
12We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love."

Gives one a lot to think about and strive for.

My own valentine version of this ....

If I made my own chocolates ,bought cards and gave the most beautiful flowers without love ,it would be of no value . If I cut paper hearts, decorated with glitter and hung red streamers but didn’t love I may as well wad it up and throw it away. I could give the gift of words in the form of poetry, sing a song or say words of adoration if it was all done without love I might as well go into a cave where and holler at the top of my voice .  If I made a delicious meal of pink and red foods, jello in the shape of hearts, red punch, served this all on beautiful china in candlelight to my family without love, I may as well bang pots and pans together,sit in a hole and eat dirt.

Hope your Valentines day was a great one-remember to show love every day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Maybe now!

  One of my least favorite things in life is cleaning.If I had to clean for a living I do believe I would sell all I have,live on rice and beans and live with the least amount of money I possibly could! I know there are people out there who really do love to clean. I can only imagine that emotion attached to that chore.
  What I do love , yes, I admit it-is fashion! I like to watch trends,wear what's "in", love a  perfect pair of shoes with an outfit, and big earrings. I like to feel "put together" . I do shop goodwill ,and rarely buy anything full price.Which is probably how I ended up at the dollar store.That leads me to tell you about my treasure I found .The treasure that may be the missing link to my great dislike for cleaning and love for fashion.

HERE IT IS.....The missing link!

What do you think? Is this the answer? O please,wouldn't that be the grandest? If NOW I would  rush to the laundry room grab my rags,cleaning solutions and bucket , put on these  gorgeous  "fashion cuff" gloves, and head into the kitchen .When the kitchen is sparkling I head into the bathroom. Time would fly!In fact I  would forget about the time !Before I knew it, the afternoon would be over.
Before you get this grand image in your head of a "June Cleaver" like character,smiling and flitting around in my fashion gloves , or even being that perfect Proverbs 31 woman,the truth is -Yes I did clean today and yes I used those fashion gloves but only so my hands wouldn't smell of bleach and so my "press on" nails from Target wouldn't scratch. The fashion part was sorta fun.They went real well with the rest of my ensemble -my PJs !C'mon it's Saturday and I am home almost all day! :)

Even fashion gloves do not change the fact that I do not enjoy cleaning. what can changr though is  my attitude towards cleaning ."Do your work willingly, as though you were serving the Lord himself,..."Col.3:23(CEV)
I am also thinking about the "love" chapter which is 1 Corinthians 13 .Go ahead take some time to read it today and be blessed!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Falling fences

  Haiti.It's been over a year  now that the devastating earthquake shook the city and broke apart homes ,communities and  families lost loved ones.I cannot imagine the fear something like that would bring to me. Especially the people who were already living in poverty than to lose what little they had ,plus family members! But yet, there are stories out there of good that came from this  tragic event.

  Really, Caroline? Yes really. When bad things happen it seems impossible to find ANY good from it but if we wait long enough soon stories erupt  from the muddle.Stories of kindness,reaching out,and God's glory shining where before it was missing.
  A few weeks ago I saw a video taken in Haiti.The video consisted of some of the poorest people saying how they had been blessed by MCC.(Mennonite Central Committee) . In the video , a  Haitian  woman was explaining how she had been helped  In this statement she said ,

"This my families yard ,everone's fences fell so we accepted everyone".

    The presentation was several minutes long ,but those were the words that spoke to my heart.


    They are good. High fences  give us privacy. Unwanted animals are kept away from gardens, in some cases animals are corralled and kept safe.Of course there are lots of good reasons to have fences.But I must say I had to think about that comment and wonder," How often do I have fences built around me so others can't get in.I'm talking about my life,my heart.Do people see that "line" I have drawn that says "stay out". Am I unapproachable? Am I so busy maintaining that "fence" I have no time for relationship with others who have a need that maybe through my life, God can fill?
  When that earthquake happened,the fence in that woman's yard fell.She than went on to say " we give them our help,we have water pipes ,so we give them water".She was saying that everyone was helping everyone,sharing what they had in the time of need. I know I have a lot to learn from this.
  A disclaimer. I am not for tolerance when it comes to Biblical morals and the things we stand for and believe.I am talking about reaching across the fences,tearing down the fences we build around ourselves and live secluded lives when there are so many connections that can be made and help given in the healing of others and ourselves.
  A beautiful picture  in a earthquake torn country. It's an oxymoron which is so typical of the way God works isn't it?

  Yesturday was Superbowl there is a good place to tear down fences! I still love the Cheez heads  fans even if   I would rather the steelers had won... Now there is a start :)

Finding hope in Haiti | Mennonite Central Committee

Finding hope in Haiti Mennonite Central Committee

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Smallish things that make a day ...a good day.

Acorn tops.So valu-less.I am sure if I did some research on them they probably do have value in the process of the growing seed - in the end they just lie there on the side walk-so vulnerable and crunchy.That's the part I like -CRUNCHY! 
There is something about that c-r-u-n-n-c-h under my sneaker's probably the same thrill that people get from bubble wrap .My opinion is this is better! Let me explain why. I am walking along at a good pace(this is exercise you know!) when I spot an acorn top over to my right .I have to decide am I going to veer over change my stepping pattern for the sheer joy of the c-r-u-n-c-h or do I keep my steady pace? See, this decision must be made in a split second. Of course,I choose to misstep.Sometimes,  when  I am passing under an oak tree and there are acorn lids scattered to my right to my left and straight in front of me I surely appear as though I had indulged in a drink that burns the throat and causes the mind to go tipsy .At any rate,the delight I get from the crunch is oh so satisfying.

The smallest things that make a day! I know the acorn crunching thrill is really small and not sure that that actually changes my day from bad to good but you's fun ! I 've thinking about making a list of a few of my " things that make my day". I wonder how many I could come up with?

To start:

  • A GOOD LAUGH (I may not have thought of this one but yesterday I was with a friend who is 86 and we shared a throw back your head and laugh moment!)
 That's a start...gets me to thinking. :)

I need to choose to find the things in my day that God puts there for me to smile about and I so often miss because I simply not paying attention or I am so wrapped up in my worries that they go right by me...
I am sure there is a purpose for those acorn tops-to give a few people a tiny thrill!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Heart of God-repost

Lord you have my heart

And I will search for yours

Jesus take my life and lead me on.

Lord you have my heart

And I will search for yours

Let me be to you a sacrifice.

(men) And I will praise you Lord

(ladies) I will praise you Lord

(men) And I will sing of love come down

(ladies) I will sing of love come down

(men) And as you show your face

(ladies) Show your face

(together) We'll see your glory here.Written by Martin Smith ©1994 Curious? Music UK

 On Sunday evening the worship team led us in this great song of worship and at the time I enjoyed the song but didn't realize the impact on my heart! By Monday eve. it had woven it's way into my mind and into my soul. I began pondering about searching the heart of God.
 On Monday while working I imagined the heart of God and what it would be like. Today while running errands I was again thinking about it and the first thing that came to my mind was "He is about'people'".

Think about it, when Jesus walked the face of the earth it wasn't to see how much he could consume,or collect,It was to "draw men unto him".The whole plan was for Jesus to redeem us.When I typed "God's heart" into the Bible search on my blog the scripture reference,John 3:16 popped up "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Love...that is God's heart...For people.About people.

But my mind doesn't rest with that! How do I search his heart?Communication.Real communication with him through His word and prayer. Yet I ask;What part of his heart does he want me to find , search, display ? When I think of His heart I imagine it to be so large with many different avenues. I wonder are there parts that I need to focus on and others that you need to?

Still it all boils down to people.Humans.Flesh and blood.Loving them.I do think the "different" for each person is how we demonstrate it.

I did a little more research on this whole idea and one author stated that first you discover God's heart than follow with obedience.Is what God calls me to different than you?

In the midst of all the pondering I did get some errands done.I also got a call from my husband asking me if I could bring a tool to his job site that he had forgotten this morning.To be real honest I was frustrated because I had my plan for the day.My agenda marked out. I selfishly ranted a bit.That's when I thought about the other part of the song that states "I will praise you" How much easier to praise if my day went as planned .I had prayed earlier "show me your heart",and He gave me a chance to see if I could really demonstrate a part of his heart in real life , I so easily forgot.I ask God and my husband to forgive me.

Well,my thoughts seem a little rambly but I am still not finished thinking about this...but life in my day is calling to be continued would be fitting!