Sunday, August 24, 2008

With Thanksgiving...

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Phil. 4:6-NIV)
I have read this passage so many times in my walk with the Lord. I have heard teachings on it countless times over the years. Today, for the first time, I think I really understand it...thanks to my two-year-old son.

It seems, at first glance, very straight forward. I have always taken this verse to mean that we need to remember to thank God for all He has done (that goes without saying), or I have heard teachings about thanking God for what we are asking him for IN ADVANCE to build our faith. Each of those scenarios are fine and, I believe, accurate. However, I re-read this passage today after an encounter in the car with my SWEET baby, Zeke on the way home from church. It went a little something like this:

I had just unwrapped a BEAUTIFUL Hershey bar to nibble on during the drive home. Sugar tends to make me nauseous in large quantities, so I was just sucking on a square here and there. Zeke had a perfect view of me from his car seat so, of course, it wasn't long before I was being petitioned for a bit of my "neenee," as it were (Zeke-speak for CANDY). I could spare a square, so I handed it back to him and he squealed with delight. Under normal circumstances, if Zeke wants more of something, he just screams and yells until either we fold and he gets his way, or until he runs out of steam and gives up. Either way, it is never a quiet or pleasant experience....and during these events, it is NEVER compassion that moves me to oblige his demands. BUT, today Zeke put on his sweetest face and started saying to me in an emphatic and hopeful tone (while holding out his chubby little hand expectantly for more chocolate goodness),
"Day-tu, Mommy, mo chokit!!!! Day-tu!! Oh SO yummy!! Day-tu mo chokit!"
(Translation: Thank you, Mommy, for more chocolate! Thank you!!...). In case you don't understand the visual, let me provide you with some insight:
I was SO delighted with him and his genuine gratitude BEFORE he even received what he wanted, that there was NO WAY I was going to withhold more chocolate from him. He wasn't kicking and screaming for his way, he wasn't crying or panicking, he wasn't the LEAST bit apathetic in his approach. Just expectant and JOYFUL because he could SEE that what he desired was in my hand. He had NO DOUBT that I was going to give it to him. My heart was moved because he is MINE; his approach was impeccable!
I know this is probably an elementary example, but I am a very visual learner and I LOVE that the Lord never lets a teachable moment pass by. This year we have been working so hard to get out of debt. I don't know how many other ways to beg the Lord for what we need/want. I've tried the kicking and screaming, the crying, the apathetic "thanks in advance," even though I didn't think anything was going to happen. Now, I want to look into the Word and remind myself of all the things that I can SEE is in God's hand for me and then put on my most genuine look of love and, unashamedly, with my hand out, appeal to His heart that delights in me just because I am His. And THANK HIM, genuinely, because I KNOW he loves me enough to provide all that we need...and He WILL. I just know it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Festival in the Desert?

In light of my last post (which I think concerned my husband when he read it), I must say that I just read a blog post from "97secondwithgod" (one of my favorite blogs) concerning a season in the desert. Encouraging....

I didn't make it passed the first verse of this chapter without getting stopped. Here is an excerpt of what Moses and Aaron said to Pharaoh:

This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the desert.'

Isn't it interesting that the first thing God wanted His people to do was go into the desert to hold a festival for Him? I mean the desert isn't typically known as the best place to hold a festival. It's hot. It's desperately barren. It's the kind of place where people die if they get lost. So why did God want to hold a festival there?

I think it's because there aren't any distractions in the desert. It's quiet. It's empty. It's the kind of place where you can be still enough to actually hear God.

Sometimes, in our own lives, we find ourselves in the same place. We're alone and empty feeling and desperate. We're in the desert. And it's tempting to run. To see the desert as a bad place. As a place to flee from as fast as we can.

But maybe God wants us there for a reason. Maybe we're exactly where we need to be. Maybe God brought us there for a festival.

So...more news from the desert later as I keep an eye out for this upcoming festival.....

Friday, August 22, 2008


Have you ever felt like you are on the outside looking into your life? Lately, I have felt totally disconnected from everyone and everything. I'm not sure why. I don't even know why I would blog about it. (As you can see, I am not the savvy blogger yet).

I have felt the slight urge to write music again but, since I am the farthest thing from a "real" songwriter (ie: I have never written one ON PURPOSE), I don't know exactly what that entails.
The CD I recorded 5 years ago, seems like an eternity passed. So much life has passed by. I am aging----daily----and am a home school mom with a mountain of laundry staring me in the face. I am getting too old for all of this music nonsense. So, I laugh and shrug it off. BUT, the Lord keeps bringing to my mind the passage in the Bible where Sarah is told she is going to have a baby in her old age and she LAUGHS in disbelief. I can't think about anything right now except, "What in the heck am I going to make for dinner tonight?" Quite frankly, I feel a bit useless in the Kingdom of God right now. This is not a "whoa is me" pity party at all. It's just where I am.
I feel less like I know who I am right now than ever before in my life. I feel that the Lord has lead me into the dessert. It is hot and dry and I am about to burst into powder if I don't find some water. I have no doubt it is only a season but, goodness, what am I supposed to do while I'm here??

I was going through some old files today when I happened upon a CD review from The Phantom Tollbooth (2003). Was that another lifetime? Did I really have anything worthwhile to say?
It made me remember that I once had a plan and some passion, for goodness' sake. The fire in my belly is still there, it is just a bit doused by water from the dishes and from the laundry. A bit covered by dust bunnies rolling across the floor of a house that might get up and walk away b/c it is so messy due to lack of time to tend to it. Don't get me wrong, I am so utterly in love with my family. I am married to the sweetest man I have ever known and I am surrounded by three sons that I could not be more proud of. I love being a mom. I just feel that I have lost every other part of me. The part that was wooed by the King. The part that sang with abandon for hours and dreamed of ministering to those in prison and overseas. The part that.....thinks clearly and can complete a thought, for goodness' sake.

John 12 :24 says: "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives."

The world doesn't need another song; it needs PEOPLE willing to lay down their lives for other people. Apart from the Lord I am nothing. I have nothing to offer. I don't want the past. I want the RIGHT NOW. I don't want to languish for lack of faith to step out. I want this seed to die to produce more fruit...there I said it. And I mean it. Now excuse me, I need to duck and cover.

Monday, July 7, 2008

What, me blog?

As I sat on my front porch tonight, taking in the sites and smells of another humid summer night in Georgia, I found myself wishing that I could have my friends sitting here with me...just to talk. Anyone that knows me at all knows that I love nothing more than an in-person visit with my dear friends and neighbors. What a treat it is to sit with no agenda and nowhere else to be, enjoying the company and conversation of another.

Now I find myself with a comfy new set of porch furniture (half price at Wal Mart---thank you very much Amy McC). A love seat, two cushy chairs, and a little table (on which to set our drinks and prop our feet after a long day) have recently been added to my collection of two rocking chairs and now they sit, awaiting the tush of a loved one.

As I sat tonight, I decided to start blogging from my front porch. It's my favorite "room" in the house. So, in short, I have a blog now. I don't know what I am going to say but, rest assured, I'll think of something (I'm rarely at a loss for words).
For now, let me just say that I am so thankful for life-long know who you are.

"The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense."
(Proverbs 27:9)