This is so funny! Anita Renfroe is just hysterical. If you ever get a chance to see her live - GO!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
So, I just finished reading the Time Travelers Wife for my book club. http://http://www.amazon.com/Time-Travelers-Wife-Audrey-Niffenegger/dp/015602943X/ref=pd_bbs_2/103-7418235-4503005?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1190600657&sr=1-2
It was a good book! It's the story of a guy named Henry who time travels involuntarily into his own past and future. He actually meets a young girl named Clare while time traveling and later in his present life he marries her. She remembers him but he does not remember her when they meet in the present. Hard to explain - you will have to read the book. That was the hard part in following all the time traveling and where they were in time. The author does pretty good job of keeping clear their ages and such. If you do read it, just stick with it for a couple chapters and you will get the hang of it. Anyway, it actually turned out to be a sweet love story. Clare spends a lot of time waiting on Henry and their time together in the present is actually not long.
It really got me to thinking about time and how relative it is. The author wants you to get this feeling of the infallibility of time. My friend wonders how can we measure time - what is time to God? Our life is measured completely by time, when really time is nothing to God. What if I knew how long I would be on the earth? What if I time traveled to find out I only had say 12 years to live. 12 years with the love of my life? 12 years with my kids? my friends? family?
Would I live life differently than I'm am living it now? Would I love more, do more charity, travel or just party it up like a rock star?
It really goes back to one of my first blogs where I write about what my life story will be. What story will I leave behind when I am gone? And why do I think I have so much time to live out this story of my life?
In the book I am left with the feeling that we really don't know if we have 12 minutes or 12 years left on earth. And to me it matters how I live that time. I have to wonder if I just kept that thought in my head all the time, if I would treat each day differently. hmmm.... Oh, I love a good book that gets in my head like this one did.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Oh, my last blog. It really is refreshing to go back and read that! How sweet it is when you can just rest in the blessing of a perfect day or two. Then it happens. Life. It comes at you fast.
The rest of the week proceeds a little like this.
My 14 year old niece is assaulted. Not hospitalized, but badly injured. It is an entire post in itself, so I won't go into it, but what a disturbing story. She is away from home and I can't even hug her or take care of her. All I can do is pray. Her pretty face is posted to the right with my daughter. I can't imagine the cuts, bruises and swollen eyes she now has.
My 3 year old son got in trouble on his 4th day of preschool. Apparently, he was saying potty words in class and actually had to be taken out of class. Okay, so my little sweet boy is changing. He is defiant a lot, he is wild a lot, he says words he is not supposed to say and is basically testing boundaries all over the place. Age 3 is not my favorite. It was hard for me with B. and it proves to be difficult with L. And on top of it - boys are just different. Oh, parenting - what a humble experience.
I balanced my checkbook only to realize I spent too much - AGAIN! So, I had to ask my husband for more money only to hear him remind me of how much I am already spending. Again - humbled.
I was late in picking up my child and her friend from the bus stop. Her parents were to be late coming home that day and asked me to take her home with us. They were a little disappointed in me to find the girls on thier doorstep alone and me not yet there. (It was only a couple minutes) Oh, so humbling!
And for that matter, I've been late every where I have been this week. "Sorry, I'm late, please forgive me." Humbled yet again.
Snapped at my husband over nothing - "Please forgive me." Humbled again.
And the list of the little aggrevations in life and humbleing experiences go on and on. Not anything life shattering, but certainly different than my earlier "high on life" post.
My test this week? Can I find blessings in it all? Can I still worship God and love God, like I was in my last post, in light of all the crud that happens daily? The bible tells me yes! Yes, I can and I absolutely should.
My friend reminds me of this scripture. James 1:2-4 (The Message) Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
And then this in James 1: 5-6 (NLT) If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
Well that certainly rings familiar in comparison to my last post. Jeremiah 29:13 - seek God with all your heart. James 1:6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.
Oh, isn't it challenging when life comes at you fast? It is so challenging for me to not depend on my own ways to deal with the yuckiness of that life sometimes brings, but to continue to look to God. To seek only Him and his ways when dealing with those aggravations.
So, here they are: The blessings in this week:
- My neice is coming back home to NC and was not injured worse.
- I was able to talk with my son's teacher and show her my heart a bit. I was able to get to know her better and agree to share in the trials and successess as my sweet baby grows into a little boy.
- I am able to start understanding the differences in my girl and my boy - I need to parent differently.
- I am convicted again that I need to manage my time and my money better. This is a constant battle for me and just when I think I have it all under control I am reminded to give up the control to God - again - in all areas of my life.
- To be humbled is a blessing in itself. For me it keeps pride at bay.
Seeking God, giving up control in all things, finding his blessing in all situations - it takes practice.
I have a favorite song that we sing at church. "You are Good!" Always good. It is the kind of song that when our worship team sings it, I want to raise my hands to God to worship Him. And I am not normally a "hand-raising" kind of worshiper. I prefer to fold my hands in prayer and close my eyes most of the time. I guess I am more quiet in that way - the only way.
Anyway, that's how I feel coming off the weekend we had, like raising my hands to God to thank Him for being good - always good. The blessings that are in my life seem like a fountain that just keeps spitting out cool clean water.
My husband was baptized this past weekend. He shared his story of why he made the decision to be baptized (again as an adult), that brought me and many others to tears. I guess it was that he spoke from his heart and shared that how he surrendered his life to God. For so long he has sought peace in his life. I think that he realized the peace was there and all he had to do was believe and have faith. I have to say that there is not much more in life that could make me love my husband more than to see him publicly share his love for Jesus. I just wanted to run up on stage and wrap myself around him. To see a grown man surrender and let go of the control he tried to maintain over his life is just a beautiful thing.
This brings me to one of my favorite verses and a little history. Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plants to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future." For a long time I read that verse without reading the rest of the passage. That verse was something I hang onto so that I could, well, hang on! I so wanted to live out the promise of the future God had planned for me and He was telling me to hang on to that hope. At a time in my life where I just began to actively seeking God, many things in my life were in turmoil. My husband was suffering through a major trial in his life, I was dealing with much anger and frustration in my life and had not yet determined where it was coming from. My marriage was suffering, of course, and honestly, I just kept looking for something to make it all better. I would look at other families, their lives, their homes and even other cities, just seeking a better place for us to live. I thought it was all because of our very busy business and the things we had accumulated in our life that were holding us back from living a peaceful life. I thought he worked so hard so we could have all this stuff thinking it would make us happy. I guess we fell into that trap like so many other young couples. I would often tell my husband that we should sell it all and move to a place in the middle of the country somewhere. Maybe a farm or a little double wide with a big garden behind it. Our kids could run around the land without worry and we could sell vegetables by the side of the road. Not that there is anything wrong with this. I still wonder if this simpler way of life would not just be a welcome respite in this busy world we live in. BUT, that was not what I was seeking. It was not what my husband was seeking.
A good friend of mine, who's had a great deal of influence in my Christian walk, would often share with me the rest of the passage - more importantly Jeremiah 29:13, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Ah ha. It took me some years to figure this part out. And my husband too. I think in his story this past weekend, this is what he was saying. We were seeking peace in all the wrong places. Isn't there a country song about that???? Anyway, the funniest thing has happened in our life. It is busier, so much busier, than it was those years ago I was talking about above. Our business has grown, we have an additional kid and they are busy, we have family close by now, we have many more friends and we have a great church we are actively involved in. Our life is full by many standards. But we don't want to move anymore. We don't seek a more peaceful life by running away from it all. I don't look to other families and want what they have. I want MY family, MY friends, MY house, MY LIFE! The one God gave me and wants me to live and enjoy. I want to be who He wants me and my family to be right now - HERE and NOW - TODAY. The difference - I think it is that we seek God and the peace only He can bring. Our full life is full of God and His blessings. They are everywhere.
So today, as the Fall weather starts to blow in and the sun shines in the bluest Carolina sky I have ever seen, I feel peace, I feel joy. I feel God affirming our life and where we are going. It is a hand raising, full out day to worship my God. He is good! Always good.