Tag Archives: joy

Circumstances

Standard

My circumstance doesn’t change His presence. My circumstance doesn’t change His presence. My circumstance doesn’t change His presence.

I’m not losing it, I truly meant to type that 3 times because it needs to be my mantra. And probably yours. I’m taking some liberties in assuming (please don’t say it. You know what I’m talking about.) because I see so many people so down-trodden. I don’t think I’ve ever used that word before, but a very clear picture comes to mind when you see it. It’s where every one of us has been and some continue to stay there. Lift your head. Your circumstance does not change His presence. What’s in His presence? Peace. Ahhh, peace. Do you remember what that feels like? Joy. What’s that? I’d be willing to bet there are so many, believers and not, who have no clue what real joy is. Unspeakable joy, true happiness, and great pleasure. His joy comes in the morning. Maybe not this very morning, maybe not tomorrow morning, but that’s a promise God doesn’t intend to break. The waves and wind still know His name. It is not random the trials you’re facing. He has been preparing you for such a time as this. You don’t even have to be strong or “toughen up.” God’s going to be strong for you and you’re gonna get to the other side, knowing full well that you could not have done it without Him and His power. Rejoice, REJOICE! This day is coming. It’s coming on this earth, it won’t be long, we’ll see the results of our faith. I promise. And best of all and more importantly, God promises.

Advertisements

His Will and Caffeine

Standard

Leave me alone, I grumble under my breath. Get out of my way, I say in the most polite way possible. STOP talking to me, I think to myself, as I reach for my first cup of coffee. I just want some time, no, NEED some time to myself. To think, to wake up, to scratch. Instead, I have 2 toddlers, 1 much like me (cuddling in the lazy recliner grunting to any passersby) and the other, much like her father (awake, alert, ready to take on the day joyously). “Mom, do cheetahs lay eggs? What’s your favorite color? Can I have a cereal bar? One time, at school, my cookie was melted and I had to wash my hands. Can I have another cereal bar? Mom? Mom? MOM!?!”

I have always been one to enjoy my quiet time. I don’t feel the need to fill up every moment with words. I like to reflect, ponder, and pause. I have found that if I don’t, I am a grump. Unfortunately, I have not had the time. And yes, my facial expression resembles that of Oscar from Sesame Street. I am in no way ready for my day if I don’t make time to check in with myself and God.

This brings me to what I believe God asked me to do: Get out of bed AND get out of it EARLIER. (To which I said, “Whaaaaa? I don’t think I heard You correctly.” I then proceeded to give a list of excuses, including, I have 2 toddlers. (I’m pretty sure He already knew this, being Creator and all.) I go to bed late. (Simple fix, I heard.) I’m exhausted already. (Because you’re not doing what I asked.) Um…uh…Ok, OK. Begrudingly, which is far from cheerfully if you know what I mean, I agreed. So, tom morning, I will be waking at 5. I tried for 6 and even 5:30, but God isn’t the typical negotiator. Grr. Ok, 5 it is. The absolute hilarious side of this enthralling story is I’ve done this before. I woke at 5, every morning because God told me to. Know what happened? I got TONS accomplished. I had more energy than I knew what to do with. I talked with God, laying all my fears and worries out in the open. Then I listened to Him reassuring me of Scripture like Phillipians 4:13 and that I could do anything as long as He was with me. I learned things I couldn’t possibly have learned from any other book than His Holy Word. Why, you may wonder, did you stop? Exactly. All I can figure is it involves what the Bible calls “flesh.” I had to kill it then, meaning I don’t always do what I want to, I do what HE wants me to. I would much rather lounge in bed, contemplating how I can procrastinate cleaning out the fridge yet again, but God wants us to give Him the firsts. First fruits, first of the day, first 10%. (That’s another day’s article.) So, tomorrow begins a new journey. One that God’s leading the way, with His dear disheveled daughter padding behind Him in holey house slippers, searching for His will and caffeine.

Fitting In

Standard

I don’t fit into any group. It’s occurred to me today that I’m not old enough to be considered an “elder woman” and I’m not young enough to hang out with the young’ in’s. (maybe because I call ’em young’ in’s.) I am “older” than the typical parent of a 2 and 4-year-old  which places me in a different zone altogether I think. Which is ok…I suppose. I really don’t have to fit into any group. It doesn’t bother me until I get into my head and think, I don’t fit in anywhere. I truly don’t mind because in all honesty, I fit in everywhere. I can hang with the kids, possibly as a role-model-esque-type person, but still, I can hang. I adore the elder folks who have so much wisdom that should spill over onto us each and every day, even if it is something like, “Don’t eat that second bran muffin.” I like the 20-year-old’s because life is still somewhat-new, yet not, and people aren’t looking to them to be too responsible. “They’re still young!” after all. It’s when you hit your 30’s that people expect more maturity and knowledge regarding IRAs, mortgages, and such. In your 40’s, I guess you’re supposed to have it all together because if you don’t, people view you as a mess, but after the initial “OH. MUH. GUH! I’m 40.” sets in, I think you start to become happier with who you are in general. Then come your 50’s, you get all comfy, but see your nest emptying to a point. 60’s? The eternal “they” start to announce your “next chapter” and you’re supposed to retire with grace and gratitude. Then in your 70’s, they start talking about your “final act.” Now that has to be scary. It has to be an eery feeling looking back on what you’ve done, what you haven’t, and wishing you could change so many things, and being thankful that you can’t at the same time.

Today I’m thankful that I have a chance to experience things that so many haven’t. I get to live, breathe, work out, listen to my children’s laughter, doze off while “watching” a movie, hug my husband, and praise God above for all the little things that add up to huge blessings. Cheers (Gatorade) to fitting into every group and loving it!

Salvation Secured

Standard

I heard today that a lot of people, based on a certain statistic, think that Christians are just “hate-filled hypocrites”. And I’m sure that’s exactly what the enemy would have all who will listen to believe. But I have to say, and maybe it’s just because I’m one of them (one o’ them thar Christians, you know) that I don’t see any hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is defined as “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense” and some synonyms include empty talk, dishonesty, and insincerity.
I can understand how this would get annoying. After all, I get annoyed at the way some Christians act (red cup, anyone?) but in all honesty, I believe a lot of it is they aren’t secure in their salvation. I was a Christian for years and still did all kinds of things that would make a lot of church-goin’ folks blush. But here’s the deal: God didn’t lay out every part of His “moral standard” for me at that point of my journey. He knew I’d be completely overwhelmed. I couldn’t possibly live up to His idea or beliefs about who I was in Him when I was in that place. So maybe that’s what some individuals see as hypocritical. They’re living by a different code because maybe they don’t have difficulty in the same areas as you do. Their 2 X 4 is something different than yours. All that being said, the Christians I know and the ones that I hang around, know full-well of who they are. Both who they are with God and without Him. They don’t shade the truth or cover up their human tendencies and forget what Jesus did for them. They’ve accepted the fact that without God’s help, without the Creator lining up their days, that they would indeed be hypocritical. They would go back to their old ways, whether it is drugs or alcohol, or lust and sex, or finger-pointing and a judgy, critical spirit, whatever the case may be. The Christians I know are all learning to trust God in each of their personal trials. They don’t stand and say “No, I never do that and I don’t think you should either!” The Christians I know say “Oh yeah, left to my own devices, that’s exactly what I would do. Without God’s help I couldn’t make it through a day without a drink.” Or “There are times when I’m tempted to go back to the drugs, but thank God I don’t.” Because that’s not what they look to anymore. Those leave us feeling hollow, searching for more. It’s no surprise that addicts don’t keep doing the same drugs and the same amounts; it takes more. And more. Then more. Because that’s not a hole-filler. The Christians I know look to God for their help because He is our strength, the ultimate Hole-Filler, and He is their joy. They don’t feel like they’re better than everybody else. They feel very much like they are everybody else. The Christians I know have experienced the freedom that no man and no 12-step program could ever give. They are free. I am one of them.  He is my strength and He is my joy. I was addicted but now I’m not and that is because of God.  So, that being said, if people from “yesteryear” see me “nowadays” (where do these terms come from?)  then yeah, they may see a hypocrite. They may look back and remember what I used to do and what I used to be, but that’s not me now. And it’s not the Christians I know.

Wish I Had Time To Write

Standard

Man I wish I had time to write. My teachers and parents succeeded, I guess, in instilling the importance of reading and writing. I can’t get enough. If I had a week, I’d lay/sit around, reading and writing. Waiting for the breath of God to flow down and rejuvenate. There is nothing greater than the presence of God. And by Tuesday, I’ve forgotten what it feels like. Sunday was amazingly great, worshipping with 100s of fellow believers, Monday was reality when schedules change and nothing is as planned, and Tuesday is begging for a refresher in God 101. So as I sit typing like a madwoman before my kids discover I’m in the den, I ask God to come down and renew me in the next 3 minutes, as that’s how much Curious George is left. I have dishes to wash, clothes to clean, and training to do. I have work and plans and dinner to fix. I have money to make and lives to change and I don’t have time to not have any God. I’m doing my best to ignore any symptoms that inevitably come up. I’m trying my best to let go of hurts that people have caused because I know this is not conducive to healing. The mercy we show others is the direct line of mercy we will be shown. I feel like I need my brain replaced some days, to erase what I don’t want and to start fresh. While typing that I think of the guy on 50 First Dates in the institution who introduces himself every few seconds…I’m pretty sure that’s not a good plan either. How do we get into the presence of God when the busy-ness of life consumes?

Dingin’ Dinger

Standard

So the radio in our truck died. After telling my brother, he says, “Who listens to the radio anymore??” I raise a hand, wondering if anyone did indeed listen to the radio anymore. I can’t imagine life without the radio. Christian radio builds me up. The songs have Jesus’ words in there and I can’t get enough of ’em. Some days, they keep me from going off the proverbial edge. And I don’t want to choose every song I listen to like you do with an iPod. I want someone else to give me some variety in my life…it’s spicy I hear. Nonetheless, this epiphany doesn’t change the frown-causing fact that my radio is broken.
Since this dreadful day, I have found myself, not only creating new songs, but utilizing beats that “naturally” occur within the vehicle. For instance, I am guilty of failing to get my seatbelt on within the allotted amount of time before the “dinger” starts “dinging.” I do this simply so I can hear it, whereby getting a good beat going. I have always wondered why some people enjoy songs where the same thing is sang repeatedly and I think I now get it. It’s so I can get it! (A multiple-epiphany day! Hooray!) When we repeat things over and over in our heads, (i.e. “meditate”–don’t be scared of that word. It doesn’t require yoga pants. Although I find these to be a refreshing addition.)
God said He wanted to hear a new song and I’m taking Him at His Word. I have been virtually forced to entertain myself (did I mention the Bluetooth is on the fritz too? sigh…) and have sang myself giggly and joyful. God has to be laughin'(at me or with me, I’m not sure) as I come up with my own lyrics to some old favorites. It has also never been so obvious that I don’t know as many lyrics as I thought. “I’ve got the wonder-washing precious blood of Jesus, down in my heart…” I’m thoroughly convinced that is NOT how that one from Bible school went. Or try a nice marching beat, sometimes provided by the bumps in the road: “Jesus loves me, yes He does, Jesus loves me, just because.”
Anyway, turn off the radio (or iPod, or CD, or whatever) check in with your Creator, put a new song in your heart, and make up some lyrics today. I pray you’re blessed with giggles and a case of the sillies.

Spoons and Legos

Standard

I just found a spoon under my keyboard. A green, plastic spoon. Life as a mom is full of occurrences such as this one. Mason jar lids in the bathtub, floss picks in bed, and of course, the old standy-by, Legos on the floor (that turn into razors at nighttime, as the joke goes). I never thought my life would change quite so much when I was blessed with two small human beings to go on this journey with. I’ve never been quite so anxiously nervous, worriedly careful, spontaneously following a schedule and scheduling spontaneity, in my life. As it turns out, kids try your patience. Who knew? And why didn’t you tell me? Eh, I wouldn’t have listened.

Being a mom is an everyday roller coaster of emotions. “Ahhh, they’re finally sleeping. Dang it! They’re awake. Where do all these dishes come from? Yes! They love what I cooked! That DOES NOT go in the toilet!! NOTHING goes in the toilet! Welllllll….Nooooooo, don’t write on the TV! Ugh, will you pleeeeeeeeeeease listen to me? I mean it, it’s TIME for bed! NO, YOU CANNOT HAVE ANOTHER CUP OF WATER! Ahhh, they’re sleeping.” *Cue door slam or something heavy to hit the floor.

It’s every day and it’s every emotion it seems. God provides strength for each and every day and each and every emotion. If He did not, lemme tell you, I would not be here. He provides strength whether we specifically ask for it or not. I say this because I don’t always remember that what we ask for is ours. It is ours. Can it be this simple? Wisdom, strength, true happiness and joy are ours if we ask for it. Today, ask your Holy God, who also happens to be your Dad, for what you need. Whether it’s strength for your aching back as you attempt to rinse a little girl’s hair in the tub or freedom from the depression that keeps trying to pull you into the pits of hell, He’s there for you. He promised. Put Him to the test and He will not fail you. He can’t.