Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Doing Good Things


Doing things.

Doing noble things.

Doing good things that honor God.

Doing noble, honorable, good things that come before God.


If you're a Christian and you read that, you know the last line doesn't fit in. You know that it's not right, and that anything that comes before God is an idol.

But I've come to realize that it's very easy to place a priority on things and we truly don't realize it's coming before God.

Having you been putting effort into something lately, and it's just not going the way you want it to? You're working so hard, it's such a good thing, you want to honor God with it - it really is your heart's desire. Why is it not working out?

God spoke so clearly to me last night about something I've been putting a great deal of effort into.

"I can NOT and I will NOT honor something that is taking my place."

Ouch. But I realized it was true. Change began today, and I hope and pray that those words continue to resonate with me in the coming weeks and months, that my heart will not grow faint.

What are you placing first in your life today?

I encourage you to search your heart. Not only will you find peace and joy in God's presence, but God cannot honor anything that is taking His place.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hannah, a Hero

Hannah is a woman in the Bible whom I've been able to relate to many times in my little life. I remember after Rob first went back to Canada, way back when we began our one year long distance relationship, I was a wreck. I was so upset I didn't eat for 3 days. Then I read the story of Hannah and was so encouraged by her faith that everything in my life turned around that day, and it honestly set the course for the rest of my year.

And I find myself once again being transformed by her life.

Now this is a great summary, but to read it in its entirety, check out 1 Samuel chapter 1 :-)

For years and years Hannah prayed for a child, but her womb was closed. Year after year when they went up to the house of the Lord, it says she wept and did not eat. This particular time the priest came upon her weeping and confronted her. And in her turmoil she replied that if God would give her a son, she would give him back to the Lord all the days of his life.

Long story short, she became pregnant with Samuel and when he was 3 years old, she took him back to that priest to be raised by him. She gave Samuel to the Lord as she had promised.

Pause. Did you catch that?

She didn't take him to the church to be dedicated, and then went out for Sunday brunch. No. She GAVE HIM to the Lord. If you are a mom, can you even fathom that? I can't.

But the Lord saw her obedience and blessed the fruit of her womb and gave her many more children. Samuel went on the be one of the greatest men of the Bible.

So how does this relate to me, why am I so encouraged? While my story is NOTHING in comparison to Hannah's, it draws distinct parallels in my life. I want nothing more than to be a stay at home mom. My heart and desires totally changed while at the Honor Academy, and I knew I was never going to be a career woman. I knew without a doubt I wasn't supposed to continue with college.

But right now I find myself having to work. I don't have the opportunity to be at home raising Josiah (just a side note - I thank God that Rob is at home with Josiah and he's not at some daycare being raised by strangers - Rob is an incredible Dad). I'm setting aside my greatest desire and trusting the Lord with His plans. And by seeing how Hannah was blessed in her sacrifice of her son, I too have faith that God also will pour out His blessings in the future and give me the opportunity to be at home with future children.

Just some things I'm thinking about with a quiet, empty office on a rainy morning missing my family.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Life Lessons from Pounding the Pavement

I had a very early morning this morning. Josiah had another tooth come in, so he was a cranky hot mess and was up three different times. Finally on the third time I said forget it, I'm just gonna go for a run if I'm gonna be up this early.

There's nothing like pounding some pavement under a dark, starry sky before the world wakes up. The only other thing teeming to life are sprinklers across the many lawns, anxious to water the ground before the hot Texas sun steals their drink.

When it's that dark, obviously I pay careful attention to the ground in front of me. It would be so easy to trip on a raised surface or a rock. Towards the end of my run I came around and up a steep hill, and at the end of that hill I noticed sprinklers spraying across the sidewalk. I thought Ah yes! Sweet relief is ahead! And in that split second of taking my eyes off the pavement in front me, I tripped on a raised area of the sidewalk and slammed into the ground.

I sat there for a minute, shocked that I actually fell, and then thankful no one was awake at that time of morning to see me fall! Then I just started laughing, and immediately saw the metaphor.

It's easy to look for the next best thing in our lives, or dream of what lies ahead. We can get so distracted that we forget how important it is to live in the present. We aren't promised tomorrow, and in a split second the very air we breathe can be taken from our lungs. I'm gonna blink one day and Josiah is gonna be graduating high school, or getting married, and I'll look back at these simple days and I'M GOING TO MISS IT.

Yesterday as I was driving home I had a moment that I became so utterly overwhelmed with God's love and goodness, and I just wept the whole drive home, so full of thankfulness. I don't want to miss out on the blessings I have right now, right in front of me.

You know, we learn some really good lessons when we fall flat on our face sometimes.