This made me cry. Enjoy.

Morning Story and Dilbert

Dilbert

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, “Hi there.” He pounded his fat baby hands on the high-chair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin. He then, wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man with a tattered rag of a coat; dirty, greasy and worn. His pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but…

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What are you waiting for?

In prayer this morning I heard, “Wait on the Lord” so I sat there expecting to hear something else. After a few minutes of sitting in silence…. Nothing. I started to open mouth and continue praying and I heard, “No, Wait on the Lord”. Simultaneously, the image of a high end restaurant popped into my head. Complete with a tall, polished, lean waiter carrying a silver platter.

I got it! God was not telling me to Wait; (1. Stay where one is or delay action until a particular time) which is what I was doing.  Nor was he telling me to Wait; (2. Remain in readiness for some purpose) a definition that this walk has made me VERY familiar with. Instead this time,  he was telling me to Wait; (3. To act as a waiter or waitress, by serving)

My prayer changed I began asking, Lord what would you like? What can I do for you today?  What do you need?  My heart was so full and my focus was on pleasing Him.  All day long I was like a little love pistol, loaded and ready to ignite wherever He pointed me. I told my hubby I wanted to go outside and hug people!  I spent extra time talking to those I usually just say “Hi” and “Bye” to and the conversations were very fruitful.  God used me to encourage and uplift today.  On a day when I should have been very tired, I still feel energized.  It’s amazing.

Who knew being willing to serve could be so liberating?  Go ahead, try it what are you waiting for?

Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord.  Psalm 27:14

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Is your heart longing?

” All of creation longs for the Creator”

This is something I say all the time.  I’m not sure if that’s my original quote or if I’ve heard it or read it somewhere and it’s stuck in my subconscious.  Either way its something I believe to be true.  I’ve always been intrigued by those adoption or switched at birth stories that make national news every once in a while.  The children in these cases always talk about how they longed to find their birth parents.  In the cases where the children did not know that they were in the wrong family, they mention things like: “I always felt different” or “something inside me knew I was not complete”.

In my own life, I grew up with an abusive dad.  I was removed from him around age 7 and have not seen him since.  Almost 26 years later my heart still longs for him in many ways.  It’s weird but I believe it’s only natural.

This principle applies even in nature.  Penguins for example are born in very large groups yet they never get “switched at birth” and they can always find their mama.

What about a more classic example, “Are you my Mother?” The story where a hatching bird can’t find his mother and goes around asking an irritated cow, dog, hen and kitten if they are his mother.   When the animals refuse him, he gets desperate and asks a plane, boat and power shovel….”Are you my mother?”

Crazy huh?  But it goes to show that humans, animals, and illustrated characters will do whatever it takes to find the one that created them.

The bird in P.D. Eastman’s story may seem in need of a psych evaluation after asking things that look nothing like him, if they were his mother.  Now the airplane, OK maybe I can see the resemblance. But the cow? C’mon that’s a stretch.

Genesis 1:26 says we were made in His image.  Everyone. Not just a few of us.  So we are ALL longing for God, our Heaven Father whether we acknowledge Him or not.

Much like the skinny, half baked bird…We often search after things that don’t resemble us or reflect our Heavenly Father. How many times do we desire to find temporary comfort in the arms of another person, a financial increase, or perhaps an addiction?

When we’re lost, or simply confused about our life, it’s natural to search…But eventually it’s time to come home.

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.                                                                                                             Jeremiah 29:11-14

 

Additional Scriptures:

Matthew 11:28

Galatians 3:26

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No Escape

Psalm 139:7-16 is such a beautiful passage.  Today I’m marveling in the fact that I literally can not escape God.  He knew me before I knew myself and His plans for us are sure.  Be encouraged…

Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me

were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

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Trick or Treat?

For most today is Halloween, at my house it’s hump day.  A regular boring Wednesday, no candy, no costumes, no compromises.

As a family we have chosen not to celebrate Halloween.  Fear, even in its most subtle forms will never be welcomed in our home.  And we’ve been through enough to know that the spirit realm is real and evil is not something to be played with.

My husband and I have 4 children 10 and under (My, that sounds better than the times I used to say 4 children 6 and under).  For the most part my children understand the choices we make and why we make them.  My oldest has always done a very good job of leading the younger children.  Tonight was a little different,  it started around 3:00 she asked, “are we doing anything fun tonight?”  I didn’t quite pick up on her question until I was making dinner and she came in and asked, “did you celebrate Halloween when you were a kid?” “was it fun?” Now, I was aware of what was on her heart.  I answered honestly, “Yes I celebrated Halloween as a child and yes it was fun.”

I went on to tell her the funny things I dressed up as, the time I went to a haunted house and almost peed my pants because I could smell the gas from the chainsaw.  I told her how my mom would drive us to the “rich” part of town so that we could rack up on the King-Sized Snickers.

I also told her about the time my girlfriend and I spent hours decorating sheets of paper with bible scriptures on them to pass out instead of candy.  Even my mom thought I was weird! I was 16 when I had my first conviction about Halloween. I don’t know what sparked it, but I was convinced that everyone who came to my door that night was going to leave believing in Jesus.  The next morning we woke up and saw, I’m sure what was 90% of our lovely scriptures thrown on the grass or lining the streets with rest of the candy wrapper litter.

My daughter is getting to the point where things have to be real to and for her.  I can’t say, “Halloween’s Bad” like I can to my 3 year old and that be the end of it.  She’s dealing with feeling left out, missing out and wanting to experience what the masses and even some of her close christian friends are experiencing.  I understand that and it was written all over her face.

After we talked she walked away and I could tell our talk had not satisfied her.  Sure enough a few minutes later I heard a soft whimpering in the stairway.

I found her and held her. I said I want you to have fun, it hurts my heart that you may not have the opportunity to do some of the things I did as a child, but I am responsible to God for you and this is how I believe God wants our family to live.  We are set apart from certain things.  I held her a little tighter but I could tell she was still not convinced, I let her go and told her to ask God to reveal His plan to her.  She wiped her eyes and agreed.

The night went on like normal, we ate dinner, laughed and talked like we always do.  At bed time my husband requires that the kids read a chapter of Proverbs and do sit ups and push ups.  I told you in yesterday’s post, Running the Race he was a fitness guru!

Right around 8:30 the kids all rushed downstairs eager to share with us what they learned.  My 6 year old summed it up like this, “if you go left you’re wrong, if you go right you’re wrong.  If you make a U- Turn you might be ok just as long as you stay straight!”  I wanted to laugh so hard because I was wondering how he came to that conclusion.  It was so cute but I dare not insult him with laughter because he was serious about this revelation.  Everyone had a turn to share, I finally asked, “Umm, where exactly were you guys reading from?”  My oldest daughter brought clarity to it all.  She read Proverbs 4:25-27 from her Student Bible:

25 Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.

She went on to explain that she has look straight ahead and think about the path that her is own path. Not the path of anyone else.  She understands why we don’t celebrate Halloween and she said now she believes she knows what God wants her to do.

Thank you Lord! You are a better parent than I could ever be.  My daughter was content, and I could not have given her that if I tried. What real a”KING-sized” treat. I was touched by her words and understanding and I pray you are too.

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Running The Race

My Husband surprised me with a new pair of Tennis Shoes, yesterday.  SOOO Sweet. Now he’s a fitness guru, he’s Mr. Consistent.  I on the other hand am pretty fit overall but I go through my seasons.  For the last few months I’ve been going to the gym regularly without a problem.   But the next few months ahead will test my diligence….the colder temps, the holidays (yummy), and the kids home from school, lets see what other excuses can I think of? 🙂

What my husband didn’t know, is that by giving me the shoes, he also gave me a little boost.

My mouth said, “Aww, thank you honey.” But my mind was thinking, “Shucks, now I have to keep working out, I cant let these shoes go to waste.”  (Scratch: “Shoes too old” off the excuse list)

God knows sometimes we need a little push.  I’m grateful for the encouragement and the reminder that consistency is the key.

Check out Fringe Girl, her post on running this race really blessed me.  31 Days of Living by Faith, Day 31 – Running The Race.

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Be Magnified

I say these words,”Lord Be Magnified” all the time. In some ways it’s a habit, it’s what I’m used to hearing.  It’s kind of like saying, “Hi, how are you?” to a passing stranger and not awaiting the response.  Most of the time we’re  not asking how the other person is really doing, it’s just something we’ve tacked on to the end of Hi because Hi was too short.  The same is true of religious sayings.

What does it mean for God to be Magnified?  As I was thinking about this, the only image that came to mind was a magnifying glass.  In my mind God is already big so I was a little confused about what it meant to magnify God.

Ding!  Imagine me with a light bulb on top of my head.

I got it. I realized that God was big to me in theory, but when I looked closely at my life there were many things that I had allowed to become bigger than Him.

This morning my sleep became bigger than Him. It’s just starting to get cold here and I figured instead of getting up to pray, I would meet God under my covers.  We could get nice and cozy, I’d close my eyes and we could talk there.  I’m sure you know the rest of the story….I went back to sleep.  I missed out on my time with Him and had to rush into my day.

On Tuesday I might let a financial worry become bigger than Him, on Wednesday it might be an emotional one.  At some point there is something in our lives that wants to parade itself bigger than God.  We get fooled into thinking that other things are more deserving of our time and attention.

I understand now that, “Be Magnified” is not just an endearing term, it is a reminder to us.  God is already enormous, so those words don’t make Him any bigger.  Instead they challenge us to make Him larger in our own lives.

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;  And let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified!” Psalm 70:4 

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