A Breath of Fresh Air

Glimpse the Living God.

Location: Virginia, United States

Thursday, May 26, 2005

An "Ah-ha" Moment

Last night, I set my alarm for 4:30am - just like I do every night. The idea is that I will get out of bed, exercise for an hour, and spend time with God for an hour before getting ready for work. It's a time just for me to get focused and energized before getting swept away by the tidal wave called life. However, in the last two or three months, I haven't been able to drag my sorry self out from under the covers. There has been no exercising and no time with God.

My life lately has been so busy that I haven't had a day to myself in I don't know how long. The house is a total wreck, my poor hubby and I have been living out of a laundry basket for quite some time now, and dinner usually consists of a bowl of cereal or an egg sandwich. Yeah, I'm just going to go ahead and kiss the "World's greatest Wife" award goodbye for this year.

So, this morning, I finally got out of bed at 6:30am. After completing all the usual morning tasks - shower, dress, make-up, pack lunches, and pray with my hubby (I'm not a totally incompetent wife), and before dashing out the door for my hour long commute, I had 5 minutes that were unspoken for. (singing) Alleluia! I got down on my knees before my God right there in the living room. I said nothing, but waited expectantly for Him to speak. Even if He chose not to say anything, I knew that no time spent in worship to the Lord is wasted.

After about a minute, I began to confess to Him all the things that were overwhelming me in my life. I spoke about what I wished my life looked like, how I wished so badly that I could get up and exercise and spend time with him. "I don't know what's wrong with me," I said. "I have the desire, but I am incapable of making good choices!" And that's when He spoke. "That's right" was all He said. "I am incapable" I said again. "Uh huh" he answered. I let it sink in. "But, God is capable" I listened. Nothing. I thought about how Christ died for me so that I could have abundant life. My life was looking more like government surplus rather than abundance. Then, I saw a picture in my mind. I was a cartoon character bowing at the feet of Jesus, only the feet took up the entire picture - I'm talking huge - like 40 stories high. And then, descending from the top of the picture, came these great big hands. They had nail scars in the palms, and they were cupped as if offering to take something from me. So, in keeping with the verse in 1Peter - cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you - I started to put everything that was overwhelming me into the capable hands of my savior. I was timid at first, reluctant to let go, as I watched the word "laziness" slowly slide over his fingers. I watched as it bumped and jumped over the folds in his flesh until it came to rest at the bottom. It looked so tiny is His massive hands. I reached for the next one, and with a toss, "I"m a slug" landed inside those loving hands. I felt like a little child who has made an amazing revelation as I looked up (way up) into the smiling eyes of my Heavenly Father. My heart was bursting with excitement as I turned around and began throwing things in left and right. As fast as I could, I flung all my burdens into the hands of my savior - in went fear, disappointment, frustration, pictures of my cluttered house, overgrown flowerbed, messy car, appointment book, etc. Once I got tired of throwing everything in one at a time, I just picked up the entire box of crap and dumped it in. Once again, I stuck my head over the side and peered in. His hands were not full. Not even close. All of those things that were so huge to me, that I could not possibly lift (let alone carry) on my own were tiny little specks inside the mighty, powerful, loving hands of Jesus.

My God is HUGE! He is smart and fast and strong. He is capable and mighty. The best thing is, He loves me. I am his child, created in His image, and His hands are always open.

*This article was published in the January 2006 edition of Cross Times*

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Who Me?

I feel completely inadequate to be writing this blog. I have not been spending quality time with the Lord lately. I'm not even sure why. I love reading the Bible and I love basking in the presence of my God, but life is running over me like a heard of elephants! These are not the typical elephants either, they're those big suckers from Lord of the Rings! Every time I lift my head and struggle to my feet, I'm pounded into the ground again. I need to take control of my life - learn to say no - and let go control of that which does not belong to me.

I've begun to realize that I don't really trust the Lord at all. I don't trust Him to be who He says he is - I let life circumstances override what I know to be true. I don't trust that His way is the best way, or that He has my best interest in mind. I have enough head knowledge to teach a class, but when it comes to actually living what I profess to know, I fall dramatically short. I say, Lord use me in any way that you want to. I'm your servant here to do your will. Then, when He tells me - I want to meet with you daily and I want you to write amazing plays and books for my glory - I have so many excuses about why I couldn't possibly do that.

What I know is that He begins where I end. He knows what I don't. He can do through me what I can't do on my own. His love, mercy, compassion, joy, and strength are never ending and at my disposal. He is able to do exceedingly more than all I ask or imagine. The next step is to choose to believe it. To take a step of faith and trust God to be what He says He is. To trust that He really does love me.

I don't fully grasp His amazing love for me; I probably never will, but what I do need to hold on to is the concept that God loves me because I am his child - not because of anything I've done (or not done). He wants to spend time with me for some reason. I may never know why, but what I need to understand is that I don't do Him any favors by withholding myself from Him. I hurt His feelings, go against His perfect plan for my life, and cheat myself and Him out of the best relationship in the history of the world - creator and creation.

Lord, Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts and your ways are higher than my ways. Teach me what it is to truly and completely believe that. Decrease me until there is no me left - only You.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

True Beauty

1 Peter 3:3-4
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

I am basically clueless about fashion and makeup. Most of the time, I'm thankful for that, but sometimes I wish I knew more about accessories and how to fix my hair - especially on those days when I get so frustrated that I'd rather shave my head then have to deal with my stupid hair! Sometimes I stand mezmorized by women who can match everything in their outfit - hair accessories, necklace, bracelets, shoes, and purse. It looks amazing! I always wonder if they have all that for every outfit. I wonder too, as I watch such women walk by my desk every day, if they know that there is more to them than the outside. Do they realize what wonderful people they are? Do they sense their value in the world? These days, so much worth is placed on a woman's appearance. I just want to shout - women of the world, God loves you for who you are inside!

I'm not what I would call really attractive. I can be cute - on a good day. Today is not a good day :-) I have about 5 pimples popping up (do to too much chocolate yesterday) and my face is pale since I've been sick and have not exercised in a while. However, I feel beautiful because God loves me. He says I'm beautiful b/c my beauty bubbles up from the inside. The Lord is still working on me to perfect that beauty (I am not always a nice person - I can in fact get pretty ugly at times), but it's so freeing to know that it doesn't come from me. It's a wonderful thing to be beautiful on the outside - as long as your beauty doesn't hinge on a good hair day!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

All I Know

God is real.
Jesus Christ lived - God in the flesh.
He died in my place so that I may live.
He loved me before I even knew Him.
He loved me after I met Him.
He loved me as I slapped Him with my words and spit in His face with my actions.
He rose from the dead.
He loved me when I couldn't love Him back.
He loved me when I wouldn't love Him back.
The Bible is the living, breathing Word of God.
It changed my life.
I am a new creation.
The Holy Spirit lives inside me - God in the Spirit
He guides me with His still, small voice.
He is performing daily, intricate surgery on my heart so that I may be transformed into the likeness of Christ.
So that I may love others though I may not know them.
Love those who can't love me back.
Love those who won't love me back.
My purpose in life is to love the Lord my God with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength; and to love my neighbor as I love myself.
I have peace that passes all understanding
I have unspeakable joy - even in the midst of sorrow.
God is real.