Our protector

Friday, July 20, 2012
Enjoying dinner in the comfortable shade amidst the stifling July summer, the golden heads and I are excited for the engineer, daddy, to return home after a week-long work trip out of town. In between the "I miss Daddy," and "What time will he be home?" I become the student.
"I like it when Daddy's home because if it thunderstorms, he knows what to do."
("Mommy doesn't so much.")
"Yea, it's because he cares about us and wants to take care of us."
At first hearing, I am offended, but not when God graciously reveals the symbolism. Their daddy cares about them and wants to take care of them...how much more does God care about them, us, and want to take care of us? What a beautiful analogy. What a privilege we have as parents. And what a blessed woman am I to realize that the engineer is modeling to our golden heads two of God's characteristics: protector, lover of our souls.

Do less...BE more

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
It’s counter-culture really. We’ve been taught to do more. The more you do, the better you look, the more worth you carry. If you work more hours, you’ll move up the career ladder more quickly. If you keep your home immaculate, you’ll be the envy of your friends, not to mention housewife of the year. However, there’s something that doesn’t sit quite right with me. The New Living Translation of Psalm 39:6 pinpoints it, “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.” NOTHING.
In my last correspondence with my mentor, she said, “We have been brought up to DO.  We're not good enough if we don't do.  You're not good enough unless you work hard, unless you garden and can and get up early and clean and bake for others and do and do and do.  What about just being?  What about just talking to God all through the day…”
That thought resonated in my heart for a week. All week long echoing, “Do less. Be more.” Especially with my family: resisting the urge to clean instead of just being with my golden heads. Putting aside my work at 9 o’clock to spend time with the engineer. In visiting with my mother-in-law attempting to share some of my resolve, she offers her wisdom and life-findings, “I realize now, the time is so short.”
Yet the world says, do, do, do. When I reflect on what I’ve learned about eucharisteo, thanksgiving (thanks for God’s gifts that bring joy) there isn’t much do in that. In fact, I believe that doing takes emphasis off the person you are serving and puts it on a tangible task like the Martha vs. Mary debate in Mark 10:38-42. While Martha runs around scurrying to do, Mary sits at Jesus feet and Jesus’ reply is “Mary has choose that good part, which will not be taken away from her,” (verse 42.) Jesus wanted Martha to do less, and look at Him. Jesus wants me to do less, and be more. So often, since this revelation, I find myself saying Jesus, direct my path, (Proverbs 16:9.)
“You do not delight in the tasks I can do or I would do them; you do not take pleasure in a long checked off to do list,” Psalm 51:16, my paraphrase.

“Seek first, the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you,” Matthew 6:33.

Tastes like summer

Monday, July 16, 2012
Summer is here. Awake your taste buds! Try this out when peaches are on sale in your neck of the woods: Peach Salsa.
Peach Salsa
1 c. diced peaches
2 T. diced onion
2 T. diced green pepper
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vinegar
1/4 t. garlic powder
Mix and let marinade at least 1 hour.
So easy and fresh. I enjoyed it on a chicken wrap, on my salad (as my dressing) and I think it would be tasty with tortilla chips...ate it all before trying it though.

Choose life

Monday, July 9
We are given two options in this life: life and prosperity or death and destruction (Deuteronomy 30:15).  What God demands of us isn’t too difficult or beyond our capacity. It’s really quite simple. I recall Lori, my mentor, says that about praying with the engineer, “It’s really pretty simple.” We simply need to put God’s word into our mouth and in our heart so we may obey it.
Camping is fun and great to be in God’s creation, enjoying the lakes He’s given us. But honestly, by day 3, it’s hard for me to choose the life and prosperity. It may be fatigue, it may be that I’m a homebody and want my home, my routine, but whatever the reason, I find it hard to be obedient to God’s Word. I was faced with having to submit to the engineer in a silly matter really. (But when I’m struggling with being obedient to Christ, it doesn’t take much to make me falter.) We had differing views of how to strike camp. I began repeating Colossians 3:12 , “Clothe me in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience,” on a walk with the calculating one. I admitted to her that I was struggling with wanting to do something my way, not daddy’s and asked her to pray for me. As she did, 1 Corinthians 13:5 came to my mind, “Love does not demand it’s own way.” Making my way through the rest of the day, God gave me the grace to respond to situations the way that He asks me to, not the way my flesh wanted to.
And later, I realized, what a gift my golden heads are to me. I often ask them to pray for me when I’m struggling and they immediately stop what they are doing and pray for their momma. I have had friends in Montana who would do that, and I miss their faces dearly, but I felt God say to me, I’ve given you the gift of friendship with your daughters, enjoy them! Thanks be to my Lord for giving me the gift of friendship and the realizing that I have to choose life and prosperity. Oh that You would be gracious and allow me to choose life the next time my flesh tries to overcome me.

First Love

Friday, July 6, 2012
“…you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” Revelation 2:4-5.
Jesus says this to John while he is exiled on the island of Patmos, so that John can pass this information on to the church at Ephesus. I heard Driscoll’s sermon series on the Seven Letters to the churches in Revelation. What I recall most vividly, what etched the deepest into my heart is when Driscoll said, “guard your time with God,” while teaching this scripture. If I guard my time with God, I do not forsake my first love.
Indeed, I have noticed over the past year, that if I do not guard my time with God, I just don’t feel right. I’m often short-tempered, crabby and irritable. I’m not me, and definitely not my best. What I’ve notice in the recent past that if my time is even possibly jeopardized, I get ruffled. It’s no wonder that on days everyone else sees as opportunity to sleep in, I know I need to wake early (possibly earlier than usual) so that I do indeed get my alone time with God.
One character flaw that I don’t know how to file away at is that I’m a pleaser. I often succumb to everyone else’s wishes because I feel guilty if I put my preference over theirs. So when the engineer says, “What time do you want to leave in the morning?” I think it doesn’t really matter when I want to leave because even if I say what time I was thinking and he says something different, I’ll just say, “That’s fine,” so that he will be pleased. Even if it means I have to forego my time alone with God. I don’t know how to work through my dilemma, pleasing people even when it compromises my first love.
Oh Lord, give the engineer wisdom as the leader of our family, of me, and make me a gracious follower. Clothe me with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.