Wednesday, June 30, 2010

yes, Lord!

the path of the righteous is level; O upright One,
You make the way of the righteous smooth.
yes, LORD, walking in the way of Your laws, we wait for You;
Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.
My soul yearns for You in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for You. ~isaiah 26:7-9a

hubs and i feel as though we're in a very important place in our lives and in our walk with Christ. i've had someone even point out that it sounds as though we're in a "crisis of belief." if you're familiar with blackaby's experiencing God this will make sense to you. if not, blackaby defines a crisis of belief as “a crisis of belief is not a calamity in your life but a turning point where you must make a decision. you must decide what you truly believe about God.” in addition to blackably's quote, i thought this summary from another blog was great, "we all face opportunities to increase in faith. the problem is that often those moments don’t feel like opportunities at all. they are times when we must grow, when we must believe, when we must step out and trust that God will go before us, that He will step with us and that He will carry us every moment of the journey. these moments can be scary at first simply because they are new. they often take us completely out of our comfort zone and even test our belief system." whew. that pretty much sums up where j and i both feel we are at this moment. God is doing some big stuff in our lives regarding our relationship with Him and i am most often astounded and just flat on my face overwhelmed that He has been so good to us to continually confirm the steps that we should take.

does this mean we have any specific answers right now? ummmm. no, we don't. i can say this, though, i have honestly never been in a more exciting or thrilling time in my life with my relationship with Him. the fact that we don't have clarity on most things in our life right now pales in comparision to hearing from Him and growing in my knowledge of Him. He has, though, confirmed to us that we are walking in the right direction even though we're taking some small baby steps because we are waiting on His instructions...not our own.

does this mean that i don't sometimes get distracted by fear and uncertainty? i wish i could say that i am in a constant state of trusting Him 100% of the time but i'm just not always in that place. i'm human + not a very patient person + wanting everything organized, planned, and details mapped out = not a great equation for always trusting. i have asked the Lord to refine me and thankfully, He is at work in my life regarding these (and a myriad of other) imperfections. i have to tell you that His goodness and graciousness overwhelms me because in my moments of fear, anxiety, and doubt, He has provided Truth from His word to sustain me. my Scripture memory verse for this week?

He is your constant source of stability; He abundantly provides safety and
great wisdom; He gives all this to those who fear Him. ~isaiah 33:6

see? simply amazing.

does this mean that our lives will go through some huge change? maybe...i don't really know. i think the real key to all of this is that we are willing to do whatever He asks of us and we are willing to go wherever He would ask us to go. perhaps He just wants us to be in a place of willingness or perhaps He has something else for us.

"in his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." ~proverbs 16:9

so what's the plan? we wait and we continue to ask that He refine our wants and desires to fully align with His. for someone like me who struggles with a lack of patience and always wants to know what's going on, the process of waiting can seem almost impossible. frustrating. irritating. confusing. a waste of time. it doesn't have to be that way, though. i'm sure that you can just twiddle your thumbs and wait or stare at the sky waiting on the Lord to give you numbered directions and a complete outline in neon letters but i wouldn't recommend it. i heard beth moore teach on psalm 37 last august and something she said that back then didn't fully resound in my heart until now (i found it in my notes the other day). she pointed out that while we are to wait patiently on the Lord it does not mean that we are to passively wait. saying or reading that phrase doesn't make waiting easier or better but it does encourage me to be active while i'm the Lord, pour out my heart to Him, sit quietly and listen to Him. more than anything, i want to be able to say to Him, "yes, Lord" to whatever He asks.

God is God. because He is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience.
I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will, a will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to. ~ Elisabeth Elliot

Friday, June 25, 2010

worth the wait

*originally posted in august of 2007. anna is now 9 (can you believe it?) but it's funny how even 3 years later, we can find ourselves in similar situations where the Lord is working to teach us to wait patiently on Him!*

for the last month and a half or so, my niece, anna, has been waiting on a surprise promised to her by my dad (her "poppy" as she calls him :). 6 weeks is a very long time to wait on a promised surprise for a six year old (good grief, who am i kidding? it's a long time for anybody!) but especially a six year old little girl whose brothers have already received their surprise. now, my dad wasn't trying to prolong the wait or anything, i know for a fact he was in search of the perfect surprise for anna. daddy wanted to give the kids (andrew, daniel, and anna) something from him that they could keep...something that would always mean something to them. the boys gift was a given...what else do you give 12 and 10 year old boys that they will treasure forever? knives. yes, that is right, my dad bought them knives (which are kept out of their reach, by the way). well, last week sometime, daddy decided that he would give anna a locket (all girls love jewelry, you know;); so, he made the trek this morning to the jewelry store. i wasn't there when he gave anna the much anticipated surprise but was later told that after she opened it, daddy asked her, "anna, wasn't this worth the wait?" and she told him that it was. after my dad left my sister's house anna approached my sister and said, "mommy, what does 'worth the wait' mean?"

i think there are lots of things in life that we wait for and some of those things we anticipate the moment happening so often that we miss out on all the stuff that happens while we're waiting. God has been working in my life in a specific area...patience...and i hate to admit that in the last few days, i've failed miserably. so, today, after i heard anna's story i started thinking about whether or not i'm making times of waiting worthwhile. am i enjoying and savoring the small moments that happen or am i impatiently sitting on the sidelines missing life and lessons as they're passing me by. don't get me wrong, waiting times are important times but i want to focus not on the end result but on the lessons to be learned...while i'm waiting.

"waiting times are growing times and learning times. as you quiet your heart, you enter His you sense your weakness, you receive His you lay down your will, you hear His calling."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

daddy's girl

if you know me, you know that i am a daddy's girl (but i am also super close to my mom, too). anyway, in honor of father's day, i'm dedicating this post to my daddy.

i know that God blessed me with an amazing daddy who has taught me what it means to be loved unconditionally by my heavenly Father...a man who has never claimed to be perfect but he is a man who follows the Lord consistently and faithfully. my daddy set the bar high for the standards i looked for in a potential mate and the Lord was so gracious to provide me with a husband that not only met but far exceeds those standards! i am blessed that my daddy loves my husband as his own son and it has been such a neat experience watching their relationship grow and develop over the last few years.

i still love to hang out with my daddy...we have some fun and we looove us some sports :). in fact, that is one of my favorite things to do with my dad---watch sports. we've started a tradition where every year or so for father's day we go to a braves' game and this year we're going to the last home game of the season and we are thinking it will be a great game! one of my favorite memories of my dad involves me (8 yrs. old), my dad, and a basketball goal. i decided that i wanted to learn how to play basketball and so i remember talking my dad into putting a basketball goal in our backyard. we drove to service merchandise (does anyone remember that store?) and picked out the perfect goal. i "helped" him put it up in our backyard (which took all day, i believe). i have more memories than i can count of playing h-o-r-s-e in the backyard (or p-i-g if my dad had his was a shorter version ;). unfortunately, my practice in the backyard didn't help my basketball career but it did help me capture some treasured memories of spending time with my daddy.

i am so thankful to you, daddy, for being a Godly man who was involved in our lives; you not only told us how to live justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God but you lived it out. i love you!