Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It's Summer Vacation!

Went round and round with myself. Take the summer off blogging? No? Part of me fears it would be blog suicide- what if you lovely readers never come back? The other part of me knows Jesus has raised  people from the dead before and He can do just that with a blog as well.

On the beautiful days, I will want to be outside. On the crappy days, I will have to keep my children from annihilating one another. And it's going to be mighty hard to play sheriff if I'm frustrated that I'm missing some sort of self-inflicted deadline.

Then there's all the family road trips.

Plus at this point I'm tired and not desiring to churn out "stuff" just because I have to, regardless of quality.

Ya see what I'm getting at? I guess I'm on summer vacation too.

Here's what I hope to do this summer for you all: I hope to keep posting on Facebook. I hope to put up some archived "oldies but goodies" for your perusal, in case you missed them. I hope to keep reading other blogs, yours, and be inspired. I hope to write things down as I go through life and get fresh ideas for the Fall. Sound good?

But before we part ways (and we never really will because I think about you all the time and keep you in my heart and prayers) for a time... I had an issue with my daughter the other night.

I was less than gracious. She has a nightlight right by her bed. Right. by. it. It was on.

So was the hallway light. I opened the door just wide enough that it would illuminate just her face and not the whole room. I didn't need the littlest one woken by the light.

Her issue- there were parts of her room that were still dark.

My solution- LOOK AT THE LIGHT!

But she wouldn't. It was right there and she could only cry that the darkness 5 feet from her bed was impenetrable and malicious.

Compassion was still in bed, so I was left with only Impatience.

But not God. Jesus' light is all over Scripture. We're always told to keep our eyes on Him, the author and perfecter of our faith. To focus on what is True and Lovely... To stare directly at the Son.

Because we have tendencies to act like my preschooler. To be overwhelmed by our circumstances. By the atrocities happening every day in this sinful world. By our own sinful desires and actions.

And satan beckons us to observe darkness, and to despair.

But God's solution is far different. First, look into the light. Read the Word. Find peace in the Truth of His power, love, mercy.

The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

And Second, realize that this light is a portable thing. Not meant to just plug in beside our beds. The Power Source is supposed to be taken out into the world. Because we have put on Christ, we put on His servanthood, His sacrifice, His new life. 

So that darkness "over there" becomes light because God made us into nightlights for Him.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:5

If you find yourself peering in the dark, I hope this blog has been a nightlight of yours. I pray you find comfort in spending time with God the Father and His word. His Spirit. His Son. I pray you live in the victory that is ours in Jesus Christ! I love you all and pray your Summer is a blessed one!

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Last link up of the Summer with Simply Beth

Monday, May 12, 2014

Marigolds and Miracles {What to do When This Mess of World Steals Your Peace}

The husband is back! Safe. Sound. Here. Praise the Lord.

In his absence, my parents ventured north to help me around the home. Thank you thank you thank you...

My parents each have a specific set of skills and I know that. So I made lists. Mom and I went grocery shopping, and she assumed the role of "Laundry Fairy." My dad's list consisted of fix-it type stuff that needed to be done that we just never get around to doing. That and gardening.

"You still have a rabbit?" His question referred to the rabbit residing in our backyard our first year here. The animal was huge and destructive. And impossible to intimidate. It was because of this rabbit that I started planting marigolds. Even after the rabbit disappeared marigolds have kept their vigil and rabbits have kept away from my garden.

This past weekend, as I put my garden in the ground, sowing seeds and plants into the black earth, the marigolds stood small sentries.

Then I thought of my children.

Little sprouts growing, bearing fruit.

It is enough to scare the daylights out of me. Because I'm not guarding them against ravenous rabbits, but a lion seeking someone to devour.

And Christ's admonition falls heavy on my shoulders, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them..."

If Christ was talking about simple Sunday school and church, I could rest easy. Check and check. Enroll them in VBS... Check. After-school church programs... Check.

But something tells me that Christ is talking the walk. 

And I am easily convinced that if anyone is hindering their walk with Christ, it's me.

Casting stones and careless words. Is that really giving my children Jesus?

Not to mention a world ravaged by wars, strife, struggle. Abroad. Domestic. Human beings are capable of such atrocities and I am one and the same. What can my feeble efforts do to stop the world from breaking my young ones to bits?

I drown in thoughts, reaching toward scriptures until I surface. I am buoyed by one in particular:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Philippians 4:8

At one time I hastened through this verse, summarizing "just think about the happy things," as though pixie dust and happy thoughts would carry me over cares.

But that's not what it says. Focus on what is true. I list the truths, deliberately. The Truth illuminates the dark dread. The Beauty of Christ is the antidote to the fear poison.

I can worry myself sick. Fears consume in ways no "happy thoughts" can battle. But when I focus on what is true, just, pure, lovely, commendable... I am reminded of God. Of His love, power, mercy, providence. It has never depended on me. That was never the point. All along I was only to plant the marigolds and trust the Maker. 

Relief. Release.

Plant marigolds. Build fences. Resist the fear that would compel us to smother our sprouts "for their own protection." 

Instead, trust the Only One who has overcome the world. The One who began this good work in us in the first place, and Who promises to bring it to completion. 

Where His truth reigns, there reigns peace. Where His wisdom prevails, there prevails peace. Where His peace permeates, the world cannot overcome.

And it is in His peace that the big kids and little children of the world encounter Christ.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
James 3:17

Monday, May 5, 2014

My Apologies Etc.

Right. I have been less than faithful in my blogging as of late, but I have a really really good excuse!!!

The hubs is in Kenya teaching and preaching the Gospel. How cool is that?

And I have family in town helping me out so we aren't all by our lonesome- also cool!

But that means I'm encountering a temporary shift in my priorities. Not that you all aren't a priority- you really are. I think about you and pray for you everyday. I'm not just saying that.

It's just that correspondence will have to wait a few days to resume. I will be back with you next week.

In the meantime, please pray for the team in Kenya and the teams back on the homefront. We will take as many prayers as we can get!

God's Wild Woman