01
May
09

Egg Redeemer

Easter.  What comes to your mind when you hear that word?  Maybe , chocolate bunnies, or white fuzzy bunnies. Or spring chicks and white lilies.  Could it be new dresses, and baskets filled with eggs?  Some would say they think of the cross, the story of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.  Whatever came to my  mind before, has been changed forever by an event this past Easter celebration.   Let me share the story with you. 

My daughters and I were in the midst of our yearly traditional egg dying routine.   The youngest was holding an egg on the flimsy wire egg holder that is included in the package to dip the eggs into each container of dye.  Our dying station was a bit crowded, and she is known for attempting “risky” maneuvers,  so to no ones surprise, her egg jumped right off the wire holder, on to the cabinet, knocking over the yellow and green bowls of dye. 

My oldest daughter and I were upset–me from the completely preventable mess, and her, because that would be one less egg for her sister to dye and get to hunt later.  We also informed her the egg was now ruined, would have to be eaten or thrown out, and could not be beautifully dyed like the rest of them.   After the initial fuss, the mess was cleaned up and we were back to our task.  The “egg dropper”  left our scene and was quietly at work in her bedroom.   After a few minutes, she arrived with an egg in hand.  There, covering the crack was a band-aid, and the rest of the white shell was now under a layer of blue marker.   She placed it in the egg carton with the others and said, “see I saved it, and it is good as new.”  

Of course her sister and I just smiled.  Just as we are never surprised by her “bull in the china cabinet” moments, we are never surprised at her sweet attempts to redeem the situation.   I told her that she had just redeemed that egg,  just like Jesus redeems us.  He takes our broken hearts, our broken spirits and binds them up.  He takes the plain, the simple, the thrown out, the left behind, the “ruined” and makes them beautiful. 

Redeemed Egg

Redeemed Egg

“Praise the Lord, O my soul…..who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion…”  Psalm 103:4

May we walk as redeemed, and may we believe that He has redeemed us, and may we see others in their redeemed state, not as the broken, cracked, ruined, worthless.

06
Apr
09

Choosing to be better

In the past, life with my youngest daughter could be summarized by a single word–Battle.  As a mother you hate to even admit that, but it is true.  Until recently I woke up everyday ready to go into battle with her at least once throughout the day, with the trigger being different everyday.  One day my momma told me, “this little girl is sick and that affects everything.”   Even with that knowledge, our whole family struggled with our little “bear.” 

Just before we began a new daily regimine, I was on a stress-relieving bike ride in our small town crying, begging the Lord that this would be our last battle.  I was ancipating WWIII to break out in our home as I had to convince her to take suppliments, and eat certain foods while taking out most of her meal-time favorites.  I was pleasantly surprised by what actually happened.  Once she started the process, she began to feel so much better.  As she felt better,  non battle days have become the norm.  The key is  that she is choosing to take the steps to be better.  Even in her 6 short years she can discern that her choices affect how she feels.  

Here is the thing, we spend plenty of our days  knowing what will improve our spiritual health, but not choosing to act in a way that would leave us better, healthier.  How many days are such a battle?  I wonder if that is because we are like my daughter–sick.  When we don’t feel well, when we are not spiritually well, we can bet on a battle everyday.  Why won’t we choose to praise, choose to worship, choose to believe His promises, choose to not be of the world, choose to be grateful, choose to see our lives as gifts, choose to walk humbly instead of entitled, choose to live simply and love much?   

May we choose to be better.

26
Mar
09

He did it!

I have to start this post with a “back story.”  (that is a term frequently used by one of my dearest friends)  My youngest daughters’ life has been dictated by chronic illness.  Our elders have prayed over her, we have prayed, along with throngs of friends, family, and friends of family.  We have spent most of her life in Dr. offices, having tests run, even a couple hospital stays.  This past week, we started a new plan of action that requires her to complete a host of tasks each day.  Fortunately her determined personality has been a positive influence this time. 

Today we saw some signs that all this work is making a difference, that she is getting better.  Of course we all were doing a happy dance.  On our way to school during our morning prayer, I praised God for the meds and things we were doing to make such healing possible.  Immediately my oldest daughter adamantly said “He did it!  He was the one who healed her.”  

I’m not at all surprised by her reaction, because we are a family that believes that Jesus still heals today, and our first response is to pray when we are sick or hurt.  What stunned me speechless was her faith.   She has been on this journey with us.  She comes to all the doctor visits, has listened to our frustrations, and concerns. She has watched her sister sit with IVs in her tiny hands, and  listened to her cry time and time again.  There has been every opportunity for her faith to be challenged, and for her to become cynical.  For her to depend more on modern medicine than the healing power of God–like most of the rest of us.  Yet, she still sees this as God’s work, not something we did or anyone else for that matter.    

God said he would use the simple to shame the wise.  Oh how I wish I wasn’t so “wise” sometimes.  May we be like children having the faith to always believe that He heals just like He says He can.

26
Mar
09

“Just want to be near to you”

My oldest daughter’s whole life has been marked by a need to be close to her momma. Let me clarify that statement. She willingly spends time away from home with relatives and friends. She is not a child who seems insecure or even very needy. She is quite independent in fact. Still, she often doesn’t want me to be away for long and wants to know where I will be and what I will be doing.

Recently there was an occasion that ended with us in a loving tease over her having some kind of homing device on my precise location every moment. In response she simply said “I just want to be near you, to be with you.” Of course any mother loves to hear that her children want to be close to her like a chick under a hen’s wing. What struck me was this thought of just wanting to be near me. She didn’t want me to do something special for her, meet any of her needs, say anything, simply be near her. Just let her crawl in my lap and let me wrap my arms around her. She just loves me that much.

I was reminded of how our Lord feels about us. He just loves US that much. He just wants to be near us. And for us to be near to Him. The best part is we don’t have to DO anything. Sad to say, MY homing device toward Him is broken most of the time. I find myself drawn to other things or actually running in the opposite direction of the one who just wants me to crawl in His lap so He can place His arms around me. Oh how grateful I am that He has no trouble finding me.

May we re-tune our homing devices so that we may find ourselves wanting “just to be near Him.”

26
Mar
09

Whiners not allowed

Mornings are such great time for revelation in our house. Yesterday my oldest was having some trouble with her shoes. She sat there, whining in this state of being that just grates my every nerve. The kind that pulls on your very ounce of patience not to get angry. Most people would consider me to be very patient person, level-headed, and laid-back. NOT when it comes to whiny people. Maybe you can relate.

We try to teach our girls to be good communicators. If they are whining, we won’t help them. They have to ask us with words what they specifically want, in a tone that resembles something as far from a whine that they can muster up in that moment.

There we sat as we went through that process. She asked for what she wanted, I helped. I was reminded quickly of how God responds to us. How much of our time do we spend whining to God? I wonder if our whining grates as His nerves as much as it does mine? From what I know of His character, it probably doesn’t. For that I am grateful. I am grateful I don’t have to come to Him as a good communicator. I am grateful that He takes me as the whiner I can be, and He will still help. There are no conditions on His love. Just that I cry out to Him.

I am convinced that when I am a more grateful person, it is likely I will be less of a whiner.   Aren’t ya glad he loves us either way?

26
Mar
09

No Fear

I bet you are like me, I love watching kids sing and dance. Recently I watched a video my cousin put on-line of her 4 year-old jamming out in their living room. He was jumping around, shaking body parts to the rythmn of beat of the music, without care and completely free. Our girls do the same thing. We have a praise and worship DVD made by some Aussies at Hillsong church. The three of us pop in the DVD and watch a BUNCH of kids dancing and singing as we commence to follow along while standing in the middle of the living room. The sight is quite hilarious, as we awkwardly spin, jump, and do hand motions all while we are singing the words on the screen.

Of course I think my daughters are the Best kids in the world, just like every mom does. But I can honestly say that neither of them are going be up for any singing or dancing awards this year. There are plenty of kids that won’t be, but that doesn’t stop them, they sing at the top of their lungs and dance with every bit of their strength.

What happened to all of us? When did God tell us that it was no longer pleasing to Him to sing at the top of our lungs and dance around careless and free in worship to Him? What are we so afraid of? I have started taking lessons from my little vessels. Sometimes when they are at school I pop it in and sing at the top of lungs and dance with all my strength while praising the One who has set us free.  Find some time today to getcha’ groove on, in worship of the one who loves every inch of your goofy self. 

 

 

26
Mar
09

I am second

My oldest daughter, now 8 and in the 2nd grade, has been blessed with the super speller gene. We are not sure where that one came from. We are guessing maybe her uncle, he’s one of those people many of us wish we were–great at everything. Last year, she was the 1st grade spelling champ, but this year, she found herself second after a long round between she and her good friend, spelling words from the 3rd and 4th grade word list.

Of course we were very proud of her. Her response to the day was what made me even more proud. She told her uncle (the one with the super speller gene) “last year was my first year to be in the bee and I got first, this year was my second year so I got second. This was my friends’ first year and she got first.” She said it without even a hint of disappointment.

Being second didn’t bother her one bit. We live in a world that tells us that anything but first some how makes us less of a winner, less of a competitor, less of a person. So if Christ is first in my life, shouldn’t I want to be second? How often do I live that way? How often is the day about what I want, when I want it, my fears, my worries?

I have run across a pretty great site about being second. Check it out and share with friends who are still working so hard to be first. Iamsecond.com