Thursday, November 6, 2014

Confession Time

     I have awoken and been convicted of my selfishness the last few days, but rather than be sad and mourn my sin, I am rejoicing because I feel Jesus changing my heart.  This may sound really trivial and just might show you how far I have to go, but last week my husband was given this.  It’s called a People Pleaser.  He is very sentimental and likes to keep things.  When he got it from his sister it was in pieces and no longer had the string holding it together to hang it.  When I saw the pieces I thought they would make nice trivets to hold some hot pans on the table and store away in a drawer the rest of the time.  They didn’t match my décor.  When he saw them, he wanted to fix it and hang it proudly on the wall.  I balked at that and let it sit for a couple of weeks on his dresser.  His mother made it.
     Today I cleaned the house and while I was dusting I came across the People Pleaser again.  I felt ashamed and angry at myself as I dusted his dresser.  My heart ached when I thought about my attitude and all of the other times I have acted that way about such small things, but at the same time HUGE things.  This wasn’t just a decoration to him, it was a memory and a special keepsake of someone that he loved very much who is gone, but her legacy lives on.  This is part of that legacy and it’s something for him to look at and cherish and love because her hands created it.   I dug out my twine and got to work.  It now adorns the dining room wall and I have to admit that it pleases me very much.  Turns out, it’s kind of cute. 
      This isn’t the first time this week that Jesus has taken over my selfish nature.  Yesterday at Walmart I stepped out of my comfort zone and helped a stranger, all the while feeling afraid of them and skeptical of their intentions but steadfast in my step of faith.  Nothing bad happened and I was able to pray with her and it felt wonderful.  The mature Christian, which I should be right now, already knows that obedience brings such amazing peace.  That I am amazed by this shows me how much I still have to learn.  It's not me that does the work, it's him living in me.  I have held it back for far too long and the freedom I feel giving up control is indescribable.  I want more!

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:1-4

Monday, July 21, 2014

R.I.P. Wilbur

     Yesterday our guinea pig of seven years breathed his last.  Wilbur was an impulse buy one day when we went to the feed store.  I was younger and more naïve then, I guess and when I saw him, his cuteness won me over.  He was only $9.00, of course after we got him and all of his other necessities it was more like $79, but he was a good pet and we loved him, so I guess it was money well spent.  

     I know he was only a guinea pig, but as Abbey held him in her lap yesterday as her BFF, Peanut looked on with concern, I couldn’t help but get nostalgic.  Watching her pet him for the last time and thinking about the first time she held him and how young she was.  She gave him a name and took care of him every day, as faithfully as a little girl ever could.  He even got baths when he got his cage cleaned, complete with bubbles.

     I thought about the many videos when he was the star, complete with an English saddle.  She taught him to jump little fences, poor Wilbur.  I thought about the first time she saw him “popcorn” and we had to google it to find out why he was doing that.  We were glad to find out it was a happy gesture and that he was excited and not having some kind of health problem.  I thought about when she saved up her money for a play pen so he could go outside and eat grass.  So many hours of her childhood included Wilbur.  He was her friend.
     I knew when I got up yesterday that it was his last day.  I thank God that she came home early from church to hold him one more time and that she was here to comfort him in his most difficult hour.  He waited for her so they could say a proper goodbye.  It was right and it makes me glad.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Rut is Not an Abyss

     Sometimes my mind gets in the wrong place and before I know it this rut that I find myself in feels like a bottomless pit.  My head swarming with all kinds of lies like, "I'm helpless to change this....I can't do it.....It's too late....I can't stand myself for getting into this mess...." , and so on.  I could go on with all of these nasty phrases the enemy likes me to believe.  This gets me nowhere fast, so the better choice is to look for truth and what my Father who loves me more than anyone wants me to know.
    It's amazing how getting into His Word and His affirmations can make a mountain seem smaller.  So many verses tell us that.

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.  Ephesians 3:20

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

     When I'm in a rut and full of despair I feel powerless, but these words remind me that I don't have to have any might of my own.  Christ's power is perfect and more effective than trying to do anything independently or on my own strength. I really accomplish more when I stop trying to "do" something and I rest at his feet in prayer and sit down with a cup of coffee and a Bible and listen to him.  I'm really "doing" something when I surrender and do that.  Peace washes over me when I hear them and it makes my problems feel smaller.  Little by little and day by day, I see a change and before long I've reached solid ground again.  

     As Christians, I think we all want to meet the potential that God has ordained for us, but worrying about it and trying so hard that we feel discouraged all the time, holds us back.  He has a better way and He tells us how to get stronger and more confident.  We look to Him each day and He will give us what we need.  Change doesn't happen overnight for most of us.  So press on! 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matthew 6:33