Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Like a Castle

Sunday my 5 year old daughter, Lydia, stayed with me in "big church." Every now and then she likes to stay with me. She likes the music and usually I let her play a game on my phone during the message. This kid amazes me. She's the sweetest, smartest, coolest 5 year old I know. Oh and she makes me crazy! Haha! Seriously though, she's awesome. During the service the pastor asked this question, "What is the Kingdom according to Jesus." So I asked Lydia. (This very moment she's singing along to Kim Walker's Show Me Your Glory.) I asked her what she thought the Kingdom of God is. She said, "*sigh* Mommy, duh, It's like a castle where our Father God is the King and I'm the princess....Oh and Jesus of course is my big brother the Prince" Then she tells me all the cool things about being in God's family like the fact that Noah, her best friend is also in our family. That Jesus lives in our hearts and can make us feel better if we have any hurts or if we're scared and makes us feel safe.

Like What?! Wow! I did not prompt her or prepare her for the question in any way and that was her answer! Thank You God! What revelation. The Kingdom as God intended is like a castle where He is the King and we are His princesses. What else do you need to hear. It's kind of everything. If you take that literally, He's the King with a king's resources. And we are His kids. We have His favor and His consideration and His ear. He holds our hand. He lets us climb up into His lap. He is capable of taking care of all our problems. Think of President Obama's girls. Do they lack in any way? I think not. Do you think they are afraid to come to him with anything? They have a special relationship with him that none of us can imagine....well actually we can because we can have that with our Father the King.

I want to make more of an effort to see my life through the eyes of my daughter. He's the the King and I am His princess. We are His children. Thank you God for making it so.

Luke 22 MSG
29-32"What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don't be afraid of missing out. You're my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.

Monday, August 29, 2011

God of Hope

I was thinking about the prodigal son last night. We have probably all been there and probably all know someone who is like the prodigal son. I was praying for this certain someone in my life.

Feeling hopeless.

"God what if they never come home?"

You know what I believe He said?

"I'll still be watching. Hoping."

God hoping? Does God hope? I mean, yeah I guess He does but I never thought of it like that before.

He gave His Son. Hoping.

The Father stood there on his porch waiting for His son. Watching. Hoping he would return. Knowing he may never come back.

Even though nothing changed about this person in my life, my perspective did. No matter what, God doesn't give up. Why should I? Can I trust Him enough to fall back into the ocean of hope that is the Father's love? For today. I can chose hope and joy and love. For today. That's all He's asking of me. His grace is enough for today.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Looking for Love?

If anybody's looking for love in all the wrong places
If you've been searching for love, come to Me. Come to me.
Take up your cross. Deny yourself.
Forget your fathers house and run. Run with Me.
Cause you were made for abandoned wholeheartedness
Cause you were made for Someone greater, Someone bigger, so follow Me.
And you'll come alive when you learn to die.

Lately I've been overwhelmed with this song. It's called Arms Wide Open by Misty Edwards....

Arms wide open, He was bleeding, bleeding
Loves definition
Loves definition, was looking at me
Looking at Him. Hanging on a tree
I began to weep and weep and weep and weep
This is how I know what love is.

If you can take 10 minutes and listen to the song. Sit and surrender your heart to Him. You'll be changed. Maybe not in an instant but for today. Well you just can't walk away from His presence unchanged.

This is a simple blog post I know but what can I say. I just love Him and could fill post after post with my thoughts of quote Misty "I could not escape those beautiful eyes."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why Wisdom From Dandelions

Recently I've noticed more more people viewing this blog or sharing it. This is totally awesome and amazing to me. Also very humbling and causes insecurity to rise up. And so I remind myself of Hebrews 3.
13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 
This is really what it's about for me. I want to encourage you daily in your relationship with the One who loves you most.
I've been asked many times why I titled this blog Wisdom From Dandelions. I guess now that I have so many posts new viewers don't want to start at the beginning, not that I blame them, that's a lot of rambling. So I decided to revisit Dandelion Wisdom, my first post.
A couple months ago we moved to a new house and I decided I had better start working on the backyard. It's full of these huge, ugly weeds. They have thorns and are really difficult to pull up.
As I'm huffing and puffing and yanking and tugging I began to consider what it must be like for Father God trying to yank weeds out of my own heart. "Let it be easier then this Lord," I prayed. I realized that the weeds in our life are very similar to the weeds in my yard. Some were small, easy to pull out. Some were clustered together like they were clinging to each other. In one corner all the grass had been chocked out and only big ugly dandelions remained. I know there are things in my life that need adjusting and changed. My heart is still full of weeds. That's OK, weeds happen. I pray my heart will be fertile soil and the weeds don't take root. I'm so thankful for the Master Gardener. He's so gentle.

He has a beautiful vision of what His garden can be. He doesn't see the messy weeds, the dry and brittle grass, or even the poison ivy. He sees the flowers, the fruit, the peaceful fountain. He tends my heart with a kind, knowing hand. The pruning sometimes hurts but I trust He knows what He's doing, that He sees the bigger picture, and only wants the best for me.
All this runs through my mind as I'm sweating and laboring away. After a while I tire and give up until another day. How glad I am that He never gives up, He never tires of tending for the ones He loves.

Mark 4:
16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

His Favorite One

The other day my best friend and I were planning on going to another friend's house. My best friend asked me if I wanted to go get coffee before. I, of course, said yes. Both of us are moms with small children so talking face to face without children is a rarity. I really enjoyed myself even though it was only for about 15 minutes. Initially after about 10 minutes I asked if we should head out. I thought we might be running late. My best friend said that we still had time. It was a cool feeling to know that I had favor with her. We could have left right then and even gotten to our friend's house early. After all, we both enjoy our mutual friend's company. 

But in that moment?
                                    She chose me.

I'm kind of making this a big deal I know but I do have a point. It really made me think of how God is with me. Sometimes I wonder how He can be everywhere, with everyone, love everyone the same all at the same time. When I'm with Him, He makes me feel like there is no one else.
                                            Like I'm His favorite one...
                                                                                                         because I am.
Do you ever feel that way?
                                           Because you are.                      
                                         You are His favorite.

It's like He says to me, "Come sit with Me a while. I have no where else I'd rather be. It's just you and Me." He's saying that to you too. Right? I know! Isn't it cool how He can be everything to all of us at the same time? I mean, He's just everything. He'd rather be spending that extra 5 minutes of intimate time with you then with anyone else.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Homeschooling Adventure

This is Day 1 of our homeschooling adventure. My mantra today? "It's just kindergarten, it's just kindergarten." I woke up this morning feeling pretty good about this homeschooling idea...then it came time to actually do some "schooling." I feel so unprepared! What was I thinking? "It's just kindergarten." I love that my daughter is home right now. This very moment she's being so silly, making faces, cracking both her brothers up. She's so sweet, and kind, and loving, and fun! I love this kid!

I'm not planning on turning this blog into a homeschooling blog. There are plenty of those out there but since it is our first day I thought I'd journal it. I never thought I'd homeschool. NEVER. EVER. Didn't have anything against it, just wasn't for me. ME? Homeschool? Absolutely not! *sigh* Well here I am...homeschooling my daughter through kindergarten. I honestly don't see myself homeschooling past the 3rd grade but at this point I'm not making any plans. Just going to take this homeschooling thing a year at a time. HAH! A day at a time.

I realized that I'm totally fitting into the stereotype though. So funny! My 2 year old is running around in nothing but his tighty whiteys because we're potty training and my daughter is wearing a hand made dress! I bet there aren't too many pink haired homeschool moms though!

If you are reading this and are a homeschooling mom would you post a comment with a pearl of wisdom? I'd love to hear from you and I need all the help I can get!

It Really Is Joy

I love Sundays. I think I always have. I love church. If I could I'd be there any time the doors were open. Sundays always inspire me. Isn't that kind of the point though? You go fellowship with your community, spend time in corporate worship, brag and love on the Father, listen to an encouraging, inspiring, challenging message, more fellowship, food, family. How could you not get inspiration from that? The message this Sunday was about Matt 13:44.

  “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. the parable of the man who sells everything he owns so he can buy the field where he found a treasure.

The message was awesome. Our pastor talked about how not only is the Kingdom the treasure but that we are the treasure also. God gave up everything for us. We are His treasure. It was beautiful. I could hardly contain myself. Do you ever feel that way? Some times I just want to burst up and say "Thank you God! Take all of me!" I could go on and on about how much He loves us. It's so totally the point of everything. But for the sake of not making you read all my ramblings I'll move on.
The important idea I took away from the message was this give and take we have with God. This continual exchange. About two years ago I went all in with God. I basically said whatever I have that I'm clinging to, my pride, my pain, my everything, it's not worth it. I took a risk and jumped in. I closed my eyes, held my nose and cannon balled into His great ocean of love. And He rescued me. But back to Sunday, I realized it's not enough to do that once a life time or even once in a while. It's daily. I have to jump in daily. Sounds easy right? The hard part is He shows us those things we hold on to. Why do we cling? Why? Do you think for a second that anything you could possibly possess is worth more then what He's offering? So this was all running through my mind last night as I'm desperately clinging to something in my own life. *sigh* Yep, that's me again. Failing. For me it was unforgiveness. I was holding on to my hurt. Nursing it like a nice big cup of coffee. Taking a little sip of bitterness every time I thought about it. I could feel my Father tugging on my heart. Kind of chuckling the way I would if I was trying to give my child a new toy and they were desperately clinging to their broken mess. Like "Come on. Really? It's not worth it. Give it to Me, Trust Me. You won't be disappointed. You won't regret it. I'll take your pain and brokenness and give you something new. Joy. Joy. Joy. So much better then bitterness and resentment." I said ok. I took a deep breath and jumped. You know what? He was right. HAHA! It's joy. Can I propose an interesting observation? If you're not in joy maybe there is something you're holding onto. This exchange we have with God goes something like this: Seek, Celebrate, Offer. (This was from the message Sunday so not an original thought.) If we aren't in the process of one of those three we're off. We seek Him, and of course we find Him, so we celebrate. It's JOY! We offer more of ourselves to Him (more joy). But you know what? It's not one sided! He's seeking us! He celebrates! He offers Himself! Joy! Joy! Joy!

Luke 11 NASB
   9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. 11 Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Team Ruthie

I've decided to join CureSearch Walk on Sep 24th with Team Ruthie. Who's with me? Register to walk here. Find out more about Ruthie's journey here. If you can't walk you can still donate, just click the link on this blog.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nothing Inconsequential

This morning I noticed Bret has a little scratch on his finger. With out thinking I smooched it. Poor sweet baby has an owy. owie? ouie? He has a boo boo. I immediately felt compassion for him. I didn't care where he got it, or how he got it. He wasn't even acting like it hurt but I'm sure it hurt at the time. The point is I'm his mommy and I care if he gets a scratch and all I want to do is make it better.

Do you ever feel like your hurt is inconsequential to God? Like it's such a small thing compared to world peace and starving children? But you know what? I think He does care. Even about the smallest things. I believe this because in that moment, when I saw Bret's little tiny scratch on his little tiny finger, it mattered to me. Don't you think our Father is that way? He doesn't care how big or how small our hurt or our pain is. He wants to make it better. He doesn't even care if we got it while we were misbehaving. He just wants to pick us up and make it better.

   "I'll live in them, move into them;
      I'll be their God and they'll be my people.
   So leave the corruption and compromise;
      leave it for good," says God.
   "Don't link up with those who will pollute you.
      I want you all for myself.
   I'll be a Father to you;
      you'll be sons and daughters to me."
   The Word of the Master, God.

2 Corinthians 6:18 MSG

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another Running Metaphor

Today is my running day, which I hate by the way. I really do. I hate running. I hate my treadmill. BUT for some reason just doing yoga is not getting rid of a certain fat problem I'm having so I run. Usually for the first 15 minutes I'm battling myself. "I hate running, I hate running, this is stupid, I'm never doing this again...blah blah blah," something like that. Then I notice that my goal is totally within range and suddenly the little voice in my head has an attitude adjustment. "You can do it, you can do it, keep it up, keep it up." Then when I do hit my goal I have this burst of exhilaration. I jump off my treadmill and do a little happy dance saying "take that treadmill"....*sigh* this is all totally ridiculous I know. Let me get back to my reason for blogging. Last night I scratched my little toe on my right foot. Not a very big scratch, in fact I barely noticed it. However, today, with my tennis shoes on, I totally noticed it. Arg! It was awful! This little tiny thing on my little toe totally changed everything during my run. With every step I took I felt a little sting of pain in my foot that radiated up my leg. It changed the way my foot landed, the way I took a step, my stride, and talk about a jumbled up head space. For 15 minutes all I could think about was my little toe! I had to quit. I quit. I got off my treadmill. It won today. I did not hit my goal. Not even close. *sigh* Can anyone relate to this? Literally or metaphorically?

Let me break it down this way. How incredible is it that something so tiny can set us off track. Just a little scratch can change everything. I was thinking about my life and current struggles and how sometimes such simple things can make a huge difference. Can cause me to take my eyes off Him. This scripture came to my mind while pondering this and since I don't really get how it relates to this situation I have to believe it was from heaven.

Col 1 NASB

13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
 15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Alright so I don't know how exactly to put it all together and make sense of it. I guess just thinking about those little things can make you feel frustrated and hopeless. What kind of Christian am I if I let something so silly get in between me and my Beloved? I think just reminding yourself, your spirit, your soul, whatever you want to say, just keeping the idea that we were rescued from the dominion of darkness by Christ is uplifting. He's big and strong and powerful and He's on our side. He saved us because He loves us. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. No little evil dart or smudge of sin can separate us from that. Don't quit. Don't step off the path. Turn to Him with your struggle. You think it's too big for Him to handle? You think He's surprised by your sin?

21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven,

He has reconciled you to Himself. Don't move away from the hope of the gospel.

And finally my favorite, verse 27: God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Midwife or Kingdom Warrior?

This is going to sound kind of weird but this morning I woke up thinking about Israel. Specifically about what happened to them after Joseph died and before Moses. I mean what happened? They were all doing good and then they were in bondage literally overnight. So I got my Bible out and skimmed through Genesis. It's not until the very end that Joseph dies. In Exodus 1 it says that a new king who didn't know about Joseph came to power. The whole story is very fascinating to me but the reason for this blog is because of this scripture:

Exodus 1 NIV
15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?” 19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.” 20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

Ok so many things stick out to me as being totally cool. First off though, Pharaoh was a punk wasn't he? I mean sending a couple of women in to do your dirty work. These women feared God over the king which is pretty incredible since I'm sure the he could have killed them for disobeying. Then when the Pharaoh asked the women what happened they came up with such a clever response that they were able to fool the Pharaoh and insult his people and get away with what they did all at once. What wise women! Who were mentioned by name by the way. Think of the thousands? millions? of people who lived during this time and these two women were named in the Bible! So God was kind to them and the people become even more numerous and because they feared God, He gave them families of their own. I wonder what their story is. Were they longing for husbands of their own? Or maybe they were barren? I actually did a search for these women to see if they popped up anywhere else and Puah actually does. Well her name does. One of her descendents later "rose to save Israel" (Judges 10:1). I'm not saying it was the same woman but wouldn't that be cool?! I really love the Old Testament.

*Edit Note: I just did a little more digging and the other Puah was probably a man. But who knows? Maybe he was named after his freaking awesome Aunt Puah the midwife??*

Anyway I guess the main thing I took away from this is fear God above any other and glorify Him in whatever you do. You never know when history is about to be made. This song says it perfectly. I especially like the first verse ;)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This Beautiful Storm

My mom took this pic after a storm rolled through. My parents live in the Virgin Islands so large storms are kind of a big deal there. I thought this pic was absolutely beautiful. When I look at it I think of how awesome God is and how there really is beauty in life's storms. He works all things out for good and there is always something to be gained from life's struggles. This pain is temporary. We look up at a storm but He looks down on them. His perspective is the big picture. He sees the blue skies just beyond the dark clouds.

Isaiah 54 10-17 MSG

For even if the mountains walk away
   and the hills fall to pieces,
My love won't walk away from you,
   my covenant commitment of peace won't fall apart."
   The God who has compassion on you says so.
 "Afflicted city, storm-battered, unpitied:
   I'm about to rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
Lay your foundations with sapphires,
   construct your towers with rubies,
Your gates with jewels,
   and all your walls with precious stones.
All your children will have God for their teacher—
   what a mentor for your children!
You'll be built solid, grounded in righteousness,
   far from any trouble—nothing to fear!
   far from terror—it won't even come close!

Monday, August 15, 2011

God on Line 1

I'll be honest. The last few days have been kind of blah. Can't explain it really. I had this huge high last week after church and have just been slowly falling back down to earth ever since. What can I say? I'm a bit of a junkie when it comes to experiential encounters with the Father. I start to go threw withdrawals after a while. It's been super busy around here the last few days, which means I have not had my quiet time and I've had nothing interesting or inspirational to write about. My youngest turned one on Tuesday which was pretty rough for me. *sniff* My husband also had a birthday on Saturday. Saturday was actually crazy busy but super fun. I went to a lovely women's event at church then a day date with my hubby and ice cream with the family to celebrate. We weren't able to go to church on Sunday because Bret had a fever and since I had a ton of shopping I needed to do Lydia and I had a mommy/daughter shopping day. It was so fun and great to spend time with my sweet girl. But when I can't go to church I always feel a little dry the next week. I really look forward to corporate worship and fellowship and a stinking awesome message from one of the pastors. So since I did not go, yeah, well blah. Does anyone else feel this way? I thought I'd share how I get through these blah days. I recently learned a bit of terminology that can help explain. I just ask the Father for my daily bread. I don't expect crumbs but a basketful. I trust in His provision. I think it's really important not to allow yourself to stay in the "blah" zone for too long. We all have our ups and downs but we have so much to be thankful for and that alone should lift our spirits. Forget all the obvious stuff like the air we breath and water and food. He's given us life. He's given us His Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. All those things are inside me and I have the ability to walk in them everyday. Thinking of what Jesus did to be able to give us those things will pull you out of any spiritual funk you may be in whether it's been a day or a year. We can choose to walk in His light and joy.

Even though I had an awesome week and weekend with my family, and I love them, and enjoy spending time with them. I love my Father more and I miss Him when I am unable to connect. He misses me too. How cool is that? God, creator of the universe, misses you when you don't get around to meeting with Him. Hah! How crazy is that? That's like keeping President Obama on hold while you go about doing the laundry, loading the dishwasher, watch your favorite TV's like hello? We have the ear of the Father! You don't put the King of kings on hold so you can read a magazine or go get groceries. Fortunately for us He's not annoyed or irritated when we finally get around to making time for Him. He's there with open arms and whispers of love. He draws us to Himself, pulling on the little string that attaches our heart to His.

If you're feeling blah, make some time for Him. Whatever that looks like for you. 5 minutes, an hour, praying, reading the Word, sitting quietly, listening to His voice. Maybe this happens while you load the dishwasher or make lunch. That's ok. We just can't expect anything less then blah when He's not in our life.

I read the following scripture. I know it might not have a lot to do with this post but it was beautiful and was my "bread" today.

Zephaniah 3 MSG (actually the whole chapter is pretty awesome)

16-17Jerusalem will be told:
   "Don't be afraid.
Dear Zion,
   don't despair.
Your God is present among you,
   a strong Warrior there to save you.
Happy to have you back, he'll calm you with his love
   and delight you with his songs.
 18-20"The accumulated sorrows of your exile
   will dissipate.
I, your God, will get rid of them for you.
   You've carried those burdens long enough.
At the same time, I'll get rid of all those
   who've made your life miserable.
I'll heal the maimed;
   I'll bring home the homeless.
In the very countries where they were hated
   they will be venerated.
On Judgment Day
   I'll bring you back home—a great family gathering!
You'll be famous and honored
   all over the world.
You'll see it with your own eyes—
   all those painful partings turned into reunions!"
         God's Promise.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Little Girl Hearts

I spend a lot of time in prayer. Well I hesitate to even say "prayer" because to me praying is just talking God and since He's my best friend I talk to Him often. But I know that usually if you say "pray" you get an image of sitting in a closet on your knees praying. That's awesome but I don't spend a lot of time doing that. I do spend a lot of time talking to God. It usually involves praise, lots of thankfulness, and thoughts for my loved ones. I'm not asking for a pat on the back or anything just giving you some background because recently while "praying" I realized, or maybe was enlightened by the Spirit that I never ask Father for anything. By that I mean, stuff like physical stuff. I ask for a lot of spiritual things. I really do just want to know Him more, to love Him more, to trust Him more, to see Him more. All of which are good but I felt the Father tugging on me to just ask Him for something. Anything. So I'm sitting there thinking about what I should ask for. Believe it or not I was having a hard time. Still am. Isn't it selfish to ask for stuff for myself? Isn't it frivolous to ask for stuff when there are starving children out there? Hurting people who don't know Him? Still thinking....obviously this thought can not be from God. I reject it. I praise Him more. It crosses my mind again. "Just ask me." *sigh* "Ok well I guess I should ask for wisdom...but even then I don't care so much about that. I just want to know your ways Father." If it's possible that you can hear God sigh I did. Haha!

Why am I at this place that it feels selfish to ask my loving Father for something just because I'm His daughter and I know He loves me and delights in bringing me happiness? Am I the only one in this place? He cares about the things I care about, even the silly simple things. If we can't be real and honest with God then what's the point? Of anything? I know this can all be taken the wrong way. It is selfish to constantly just ask God for stuff that really has no meaning in the Kingdom. I'm not saying we should treat God like Santa Claus. But He put us in a physical world and is not surprised by our desires. Like my daughter asking my husband for a new doll. A toy doesn't contribute to the family at all. No one else will enjoy playing with it and doesn't she already have a couple of dolls? Doesn't the fact that she can ask for it anyway speak of the closeness of their relationship? She trusts him not to throw it back in her face that she's being selfish. She knows she might not get it but maybe she will. And doesn't her daddy delight in saying yes? He loves seeing that smile on her face when he brings home something she's been asking for just because he loves her.

I guess I'm just talking about a new level of intimacy with the Father. Most of us have come from such a broken place that trusting Him with basic stuff like love and grace has been hard enough but lets allow ourselves to grow a bit and trust Him to know our motives are pure and if they're not to lovingly get us back on track. If He really is my best friend wouldn't it be natural to talk about, well, natural stuff and not just spiritual things? Why would I want to keep any part of myself from Him just because I am afraid He might think I'm selfish and silly? Oh there's that word I hate, "fear." UGH! Does it all come down to fear? Insecurity? And if that's true doesn't it really all come from pride? If so would you join me in surrendering that today?

Father would you sweep us away in Your loving arms today? For every person reading this would you give strength and security? Forgive us for holding back anything from you. We know You hold our hearts in Your loving, gentle hands. We trust You with them. We surrender to You. Our will. Our desires. Our little girl and boy hopes and dreams. Shine You light on us today. Thanks....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Yesterday while I was blogging I was trying to find a specific scripture and I'm glad I couldn't find it right away because I found one that totally inspired and moved me to tears. It comes from Matt 11 and the context is, I think, that Jesus was basically fed up with all the places He had been that did not repent. He starts off with a tribute to John the baptist, basically mocking everyone who didn't get just who John was. Then suddenly like He can't take talking to humans any more He starts praying and, to me, it seems like His whole attitude changes. I mean in verses 20-24 He basically says all these cities are doomed to hell and then He prays and then calls out with compassion to those who are fed up with religion. It's beautiful, the heart the Father has, His love seems to even affect Jesus here. Read it in the Message and then in the NASB.

25-26Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."
 27Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. "The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.
 28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. 26 Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 27 All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
   28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Ok so a few things really stick out to me. (I love that this is so totally my blog and that I can say whatever I want without having to explain myself. I'm no theologian these are just my thoughts so you shouldn't take anything I say as more then that.) First, I really, really love the idea of learning the "unforced rhythms of grace." What does that even mean really? It's so beautiful and speaking as someone who pretty much lacks grace in every way besides the grace the Father has for me, it's so touching! I'm moved to tears by this, I can't explain it. Are you tired? Worn out? Let the Father sweep you away! You'll recover your life!

I also really love the way Jesus prays here. As a mom I often talk to my husband about something in ear shot of my kids that's really meant for them to hear and not so much for my husband to know. Does anyone else do this? For example "Oh daddy I'm so glad I decided not to go to the park today. Everyone was just too grouchy, we wouldn't have had any fun." It seems like that's what Jesus is doing here. I don't know I could be wrong. I just really love His prayer. I don't have to know it all to come to Him, in fact He wants me to come to Him simply and ordinary, like an infant. He's prepared to go over it all line by line with us. I just love it! It touches something so deep inside me. He takes time and care with us. He's already prepared for us to not get it or understand it.

YOU. Whoever you are. He's coming for you. You don't have to fix yourself up, or try to figure it out. If you are carrying something heavy or ill-fitting, it's not from the Father. Lay it down and go to Him. You will find rest for your soul. Come learn the unforced rhythms of grace with me.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Gift

My 3rd child, Bret is 1 today so I wanted to tell you a story about him. Let me back up a bit and give you some history. My first child, Lydia was an absolute surprise that changed my whole life in ways so wonderful I can't really articulate but my pregnancy with her was really rough. I was sick every day for 6 months and then again the last month of pregnancy. I carried her to term but was so huge I literally good not get off the couch the last week. Her delivery day was the best day out of the nine months. She was born healthy and beautiful at 8 lbs 11 oz. My husband and I knew we wanted another child but were back and forth about timing. Finally we agreed and Alex was born just two weeks before Lydia's 3rd birthday. My pregnancy experience with Alex was literally hell. I was horribly sick for 5 months with absolutely no relief. I was still working during that time, we were trying to sell our house, and we had a very rambunctious 2 year old. It was really rough. After I stopped feeling so sick I started to get really depressed, suicidal depressed. I had to start seeing a therapist and taking an anti-depressant. All of these things caused my marriage to be, well volatile may be a good word for it. Haha! I went into labor at 35 weeks with Alex but didn't start dilating until 37 weeks. I was having contractions every 3-5 minutes for 2 weeks without much relief at all up until the day before he was born when I felt really great and had had the best sleep. I had an extremely easy and uneventful labor but Alex did not transition well, had underdeveloped lungs, and had swallowed meconium. This resulted in a 13 day NICU stay where he was int-abated and was not allowed any stimulation which meant I didn't get to hold him for 6 days. This is not an unfamiliar story for many women out there unfortunately. Alex was a much more difficult baby then Lydia was. For 5 months we struggled with breast feeding and lack of sleep, which made a volatile marriage even worse. Around 9 months things in our life finally started to even out. We found a church that we absolutely loved, I started my healing journey (which meant a lot of counseling) Alex became a much happier and easier baby. Then suddenly I discovered I was pregnant. Honestly I was absolutely devastated. I cried a lot. I was afraid, terrified actually. I just didn't want to go through it all again and what would people think? All of our family and close friends knew what we had been through. How could we be having a baby again? Ok, I do actually know where babies come from, which I had to say many times to those who couldn't believe I would get myself pregnant again. Thankfully after a few weeks of freaking out I surrendered to my Father and let Him whisper to my heart. I cried out to Him that I didn't understand His plan. I thought I was supposed to do "great" things for His kingdom. I had grand plans of being in ministry, traveling, sharing the good news. What was God thinking?? Will I ever learn? He very lovingly reminded me about Jesus' disciples who were arguing about this very thing. They wanted to do something great.

Matt 18 NIV
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
(I'd like to note here that while I was skimming through the gospels trying to find this specific scripture I am overwhelmed with Jesus. He is so good. His love is so big.)
I realized that this new baby was that "something great" I was longing for and that the responsibility of raising him was greater then anything I could have ever imagined. It was a very humbling yet beautiful experience. Jesus took a child in His arms and told His disciples that to be great you have to serve that child. Can you imagine? This is my high calling. 

After that experience everything changed. My heart, my attitude. I could talk about my baby with excitement and not fear. Our lives moved forward. My pregnancy was incredibly easy. I had very little morning sickness. I was absolutely HUGE, haha, but I had a lot of help. Bret was induced 2 weeks early, born on August 9th of last year, weighing 10 lbs 6 oz. My induction was really difficult but once I finally got around to the laboring part it was a breeze. He was out after three contractions. I had no tearing and in fact was told by my doctor that I should give birthing classes HAH! Unfortunately Bret did not transition well and was taken to the NICU in Tulsa (I delivered in Owasso at a hospital that did not have a NICU). Thankfully my mom was able to stay with him every minute until I was able to get there. He had a short stay of only 4 days and has been the easiest baby since. He's an absolute delight. Smiles easily, cries little, sleeps and eats well and is content to sit and watch his two Type A siblings run a muck. I can't believe it's been a year already. He is a treasure and a beautiful gift that I will be eternally grateful for. Would you join my family in blessing him today?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 7- Much Love

So it's Sunday the day I've been dreading. I have so much going on and will be around a lot of people. Church in the morning followed by a volunteers meeting and then my youngest child's 1st birthday party. Now you know the agenda let me break it down. I've been soooo nervous about going to church without makeup. I know it sounds terrible but I look forward to dressing up and looking good for church. I get ready for church with the same enthusiasm as when I get ready for a date night with my man. I have been dreading going to church without makeup all week. In fact the reason why I started my fast on a Monday was so I had plenty of time to get used to the idea before Sunday. This opened up a whole can of worms because I later realized that Sunday was Bret's birthday party. If I would have obeyed and started my fast on Friday I wouldn't have had to stress about that.

I was so anxious about church that I almost talked myself out of going several times. Saturday my husband tells me we're going to first service instead of second service. I'm not really thrilled with this. I like the second service even though it is really hard on my kids. We always get out really late, have to scramble through lunch so the kids can get down for their naps before we kill any of them for their behavior. Even still, I really like the second service but I decided I should obey and go along with what my husband wanted after all first service is still really good.

We walk into church and we notice something different is happening. Everything is DARK. Like completely DARK. I thought to myself that we must be having a candle lit service or something until I realized how hot it was. No air conditioning. No electricity. But honestly the only thing I cared about was NO LIGHTS! I mean can you believe that?! On the one Sunday Believer's Church doesn't have power I am stressing about not wearing makeup! What are the odds of that happening?! Not only that, we were at the first service. By the time first service rolled around they got power and lights and ac. Now I'm not saying God sent the storm that knocked out the power just for first service just so I wouldn't feel so insecure. No I'm not saying that....wellll Okay yeah that's exactly what I'm saying. I know that sounds kind of irrational but I don't care. In that moment I felt the biggest hug from the most awesome loving Father. I looked around and saw everyone suffering in the heat and yeah I cared but...well I kind of didn't. My not wearing makeup become completely not the point. The point was that I know without a shadow of a doubt that God loves me, for me and that is all that matters. If I could have turned on the power I would have because it just didn't matter any more what anyone thought of me. I still can't believe that happened. I walked around the rest of the day in a daze, on a cloud. He's utterly swept me away. What other people see doesn't matter, makeup, no makeup, who cares? Not me, the rest of the day I nearly forgot about it.

So for those I've completely lost let me give an analogy. My husband works really hard all day to provide for his family. He pays for our house, our cars, our food, our clothes, and all the fun things we do. Let's say He came home with a new dress just for my daughter, Lydia and told her that the reason He works sooo hard was to buy her that new dress. Yes there are more practical reasons why he goes to work but to that little girl none of it matters. All she cares about is that her Father is thinking about her, that He is working for her to give her good things. Just. For. Her.

At the meeting I went to I met a lot of new people. I didn't even think about not wearing makeup. I looked people in the eye, not confident because of physical beauty but because I know I am loved and all I want to do is shout it from the nearest roof top. When I see someone I want them to know they are loved too.

At the party, which I plan on blogging about later so you'll have to wait for the details, I was surrounded by friends and family. The people I can be most real with. My friends hugged me and told me they were proud of me. We celebrated the first birthday of my baby boy and many pictures were taken. I am completely honest when I say I absolutely forgot about not wearing makeup. I had joy around my loved ones and peace amongst the chaos. For once while people where here I wasn't thinking about my house and how lacking it may be in their eyes. I wasn't thinking about how my party planning skills come up short compared to some of my friends who were even at the party. I was just thinking "I am loved, I am blessed, I am treasured, I am so thankful."

Thank you to all of you who have supported me this week. To some I know it was a very trivial thing but it was huge for me. I would have had an easier time going on a food fast and drank only water all week then go without makeup. I really appreciate the words of encouragement and acceptance.

Love to you all.

Day 6- My Shattered Pride

Day 6 for me was Saturday. Like most people I love Saturdays. I meet with a group of women every Saturday morning for a couple hours and it is like oxygen for us all. We call it a D-Group, meaning Discipleship Group and we talk about our lives and the Lord and the Word and our struggles and we pray and sometimes we even party. It's wonderful. Without these women I probably would not have been able to do this fast. (If you'd like more info on exactly what a D-Group is and how you can start one or hook up with one just leave me a comment.) These women know everything there is to know about me. I've confessed to them, shared my heart and yet I was still completely nervous knowing I was going without makeup up until I walked through the door. Then it was like I literally forgot all about it. These women love me in a way that has absolutely nothing to do with what I wear or how I look, just like I love them. It inspires me to see others this way. To look at strangers and not see what they are wearing but wonder who they are on the inside. To know how God feels about them. That's how I want to be seen. Not for my insecurities or for the masks I use to cover my insecurities but loved for my heart.

You know what I've heard throughout this whole week? When I tell someone about my fast (which, honestly I didn't tell that many people, mostly I just pretended like nothing was any different) I would always here the same thing "You're not wearing any makeup??" I thought the same thing every time "How could they not know?" How could they not see that this face isn't my best? A lot of people told me I was beautiful but I honestly didn't get it. Especially if I knew them already. If someone saw me with all my makeup and then without and said they didn't notice...??? What? Well I realized that after talking to my D-Group girls that our mask really only covers about 10% of the 100% we're trying to hide. So if a person gets to know us and they see the 90% all the time then when you take away that 10% it doesn't make that big of a difference. I think that is so interesting. We cling to that 10% with all our might thinking we can hide behind it but when someone really gets to know us it's like trying to hide behind a dinner plate. "Like umm I can still see you". And when you remove that shield it's almost like, "Oh good because that was just kind of silly anyway." Does that make sense to anyone else? Maybe that's why it is ok to were makeup ya know? As long as it stays around 10% it's ok because for the most part you really do let people see who you are. I know there are different things that we do hide and are much more successful but when it comes to makeup for me it didn't make all that much difference. I think that's a good thing now. I'm relieved that those who love me still love me without makeup and that it doesn't really change who I am.

This may not have anything to do with anything but I really wanted to share the scripture I was reading. It really moved me. The whole chapter is really good but I highlighted a couple verses.

Psalm 51 MSG

 16-17 Going through the motions doesn't please you,
      a flawless performance is nothing to you.
   I learned God-worship
      when my pride was shattered.
   Heart-shattered lives ready for love
      don't for a moment escape God's notice.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 5- Short & Sweet

There are a lot of really great practical reasons that I like about not wearing makeup. It takes like no time at all for me to get ready, which really comes in handy when I'm chasing after 4 kids especially if I'm running late.

I've also realized that I'm a crier. I used to pride myself on never crying. I thought I just wasn't that kind of girl. Now I see that I actually cared more about the way that I looked then I did about just being "the real me" in that moment. I'd rather stuff my emotion so I wouldn't smear my makeup. How superficial. Again I was at this conference today and was overwhelmed with emotion. It was a beautiful thing. I love the freedom I'm experiencing. That being said *sigh* well I think that even now if I felt released I would totally be wearing makeup again. No hesitation. However I think that from now on, I'm going to let the tears come. If I can go without makeup then I can certainly manage smeared mascara. But I digress. While at the conference I spoke with a woman who had a Word from the Father. She said to me verbatim  "Papa wants you to know that you are pampered with His love, mercy, and grace. You are protected, guarded and directed. His beauty fills you and runs over. You leave a puddle of His love where ever you go. He delights in your uniqueness and radiance."

I have no more words....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 4- Lover or Prostitute

Today I went to a sort of, well for lack of a better word, "christian" conference. I really enjoyed it despite not wearing makeup. Honestly, it was probably the best place to be. I mean the guy on stage had a full beard and long hair. How more accepting can ya get? It was still really hard to be introduced to people I'll most likely meet again and have their first impression be of me free of makeup. Although if you asked them they'd probably say it was the best way to be introduced for the first time. I'm starting to accept this aspect of myself that I never had before. Starting to believe beauty is more then skin deep even though I've heard that and knew it to be true. Not that I'm some "beauty" but you know what I mean. Nothing I do to my outward appearance changes my heart.

Matt 7 NASB
18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.

I came across a really interesting article and got totally inspired. Here's a bit of it (although mostly reworded to fit with my thoughts and my beliefs.) I believe that most American Christians do not know God–much less love Him. The root of this condition originates in how we came to God. Most of us came to Him because of what we were told He would do for us. We were promised that He would bless us in life and take us to heaven after death. We married Him for His money, and we don’t care if He lives or dies as long as we can get His stuff. We have made the Kingdom of God into a business, merchandising His anointing. This should not be. We are commanded to love God, that’s pretty intimate stuff. We are supposed to be His lovers. How can we love someone we don’t even know? And even if we do know someone, is that a guarantee that we truly love them?
This got me thinking... Are we lovers or prostitutes? 
What’s the difference between a lover and a prostitute? Both do many of the same things, but a lover does what she does because she loves. A prostitute pretends to love, but only as long as you pay. What would happen if God stopped paying me?

I want to allow God to search me to uncover my motives for loving and serving Him. Am I really a true lover of God? What would happen if He stopped blessing me? What if He never did another thing for me? Would I still love Him? The issue here is not whether God blesses His children; the issue is the condition of my heart. Why do I serve Him? Are His blessings in my life the gifts of a loving Father, or are they a wage that I have earned or a bribe/payment to love Him? Do I love God without any conditions? I wonder if my desire to love God is always matched by my attitude and behavior. I still catch myself being disappointed with God and angry that He has not met some perceived need in my life. I suspect this is something which is never fully resolved, but I want more than anything else to be a true lover of God.

So what is it going to be? 

Which are we, lover or prostitute? There are no prostitutes in heaven, or in the Kingdom of God for that matter, but there are plenty of former prostitutes in both places. Take it from a recovering prostitute when I say there is no substitute for unconditional, intimate relationship with God. We must choose. And we can't make the choice for anyone else.

Ironically enough I've often thought how thankful I am not to have been born in the age when "makeup" was what prostitutes wore. Not that I thought I would have been a prostitute but have often figured I would have been some chamber maid, never noticed by the prince. Even as I type that last sentence I completely loose my train of thought because I know I have truly been seen by the King...Wow...Humbled...

 Matt 7 NASB
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 3- God Healed My Speaker??

Did God heal my speaker? I don't know. Let me back up a bit and you can judge for yourself. Yesterday I had an errand to run after my husband got home so I managed to get out of the house by myself. When that happens I crank up the volume in my mommy mobile aka my van. The speaker on the front driver's side has not been working. Not too big of a deal. It does make this rattling sound but you can't really hear it if the volume is up loud enough. Anyway I was grumbling to myself that it was kind of annoying and that I wished it worked. After about a mile or so I noticed that the speaker started working. Totally cool. I'm not saying God healed it but it was still cool enough for me to feel like a dork for complaining about it in the first place. So I'm jamming down to some freaking awesome tunes, ran my errand, and as I head back home I get stopped at a stop light. I noticed the guy in the van next to mine had his windows down. It dawned on me that his air conditioner must not have been working. I immediately felt compassion for him since it was about 114 degrees out at the time. Spontaneously I thought "God if my speaker can randomly start working could you give this guy a little miracle and cause his ac to start working too?" This is probably crazy talk, I know, but what can I say? My mind is kind of a crazy place. Anyway of course my next thought was that I would even be willing to give up my fixed speaker if God would fix that guys ac. I was feeling pretty good about my selflessness in that moment for about a split second until my next thought: "Would you give up your ac for him?" Ouch because honestly before I put any rational thought into it my answer was resoundingly NO. What does this have to do with makeup? Well I think for me it's just another bite of humble pie. The whole idea of this fast is to look deeper and see myself the way Father sees me. Even though I know He created me beautiful I'd like to allow Him to perfect that beauty within and if that means giving of myself, letting go of all my pride then I hopelessly surrender because I know there is no way I can make it on my own.

I took my daughter to have a special lunch date with me and my husband today. Going to meet my husband at a restaurant was really intimidating with out makeup. I like to look good for my man and I like to know I look my best...well pretty much all the time. One thing I found interesting though was that I really wasn't any more self conscious then usual. Believe it or not I'm not super confident in the way I look or dress or speak and the list goes on. I'm loud and obnoxious, I interrupt and I never know for sure if I'm wearing the right shoes. I'm however, really good at blustering my way through pretty much any situation, awkward as they may be. So it was enlightening that the way I felt without makeup was pretty much the same way I feel all the time. It was maybe a little more intense but was still all too familiar. What does that mean? Could it be there is a deeper issue? I say that sarcastically because obviously there is. All I can say is that like everyone else, I'm running to the cross. Praying He changes me from the nothing that I am into something useful He can use. Loving Him, trusting Him along the way. And if I can be so bold (this is for you Liz ;)) as to quote Lady Gaga I'll say that I'm hanging on a moment with Him. I'm on the edge of glory.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 2- The Beautiful Me

My sweet niece Harlee. 
When I look at her I see perfection. Not one thing I'd change. What my Father sees when He looks at me? Perfection. Not a thing He'd change. He created me after all didn't He? He created my heart too. Like my face, there are things that I try to do to my heart also to change it for the "better." And like makeup there are things I need to let go of. Thankfully He never gives up on me. 
He sees my wretchedness and His answer is Jesus. His Amazing Grace.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 1- The Real Me

This is the real me, well sorta you can't see all my freckles, and there are a lot. No make up. Hah! As real as it gets for me since this was taken at 6 this morning. Imagine! I didn't break the camera after all!  
Today I helped a friend by watching her boys while she borrowed my car to take her daughter to the doctor since her car is in the shop. Funny how kids don't care about makeup. I had my four plus two and none of them seemed to notice. Even my 5 year old daughter who loves it when I let her have "sparkly eyes" didn't really care if I had makeup on or not. We played in the sprinkler and I jumped through with abandon, unafraid of smearing my mascara. I literally cannot remember the last time I didn't have mascara on. Putting mascara on is as normal for me as brushing my teeth every morning. It's just what happens, sometimes I reapply it later in the day. I very rarely even wash it off before I go to bed (don't judge). Several times today when I was tired or my eyes watered I had to remind myself that it was ok to just go ahead and full on rub my eye. No dabbing. It sounds so silly when I reread it but it's been so normal for me. One thing I realized today is that I'm going to for sure occasionally go without mascara. It's as freeing as not wearing shackles (ok that may be a bit dramatic but it has been a burden).

Wearing makeup makes me feel feminine and beautiful and I don't think that's a bad thing as long as it's not the source of my beauty. I decided to do something else to help me feel beautiful. I wore perfume. The expensive kind I save for very special occasions. I loved it. All through out the day when I got a whiff of it, it made me feel really good. I want my spirit to be as sweet as that perfume to God. I want Him to delight in me and I'm slowly starting to see how important obedience is to Him. Yes, He loves me anyway, no matter what but is there a measure of joy or satisfaction He gets when I obey? I think so because there is definitely a measure of joy that I feel when I do follow Him. It's a beautiful thing and it makes me feel beautiful.

What's up for tomorrow? Well more babysitting, visiting with family, and a piano lesson. Stay tuned, I know you can barely contain your excitement.

50 First Dates

I have to tell you an amazing thing that happened at church yesterday. Before church started I noticed a young woman, my age sit a few seats away from me. I immediately knew God wanted to tell her something but I didn't know what or if it was for me to tell her. All through Praise & Worship I was really trying to listen for Him and prepare myself. Believe it or not when it comes to speaking to someone on God's behalf I'm not real brave. (Why is that? Thank you Father for not giving up on me.) Then I had an unusual thought cross my mind. The movie 50 First Dates. You can google it if you haven't seen it but to sum it up it's about a woman who had an accident. She wakes up each morning thinking its the day of her accident and doesn't remember anything up until then. This guy meets her and falls in love with her each day but of course she doesn't remember him. Anyway it's not really a "christian" movie so you can understand my hesitance. But I really felt it strongly so during a break in worship before the message I introduced myself and asked her if she had ever seen the movie 50 First Dates. She looked at me kind of strange but said that she had seen it. I reminded her that even though the woman in the movie forgot that she was in love with this man each morning, that didn't stop him from pursuing her each day until she fell in love with him all over again. There were days she pushed him away or ignored him but it didn't stop him. He would just try again in the morning. I told her that's how God felt about her. How He pursued her each day no matter how the day before went. That she didn't even have to do anything or make any effort that all she had to do was respond. She wept and it was a very beautiful thing. I found out later that she was a visitor and that in the car on her way to church she was praying something like this "Please God I know you can't possibly love me with the way I've been acting but, please forgive me." So no wonder she started weeping!! Praise God! Oh how He loves us! It's a beautiful thing for us all to hear. He's in constant pursuit of us.