Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Wanna Be...A Tree

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” - Jeremiah 17:7-8

Yes, a tree. You get it now, right? I mean, after reading that verse it kinda makes sense. A tree...firmly planted and rooted in the soil, producing good fruit. It's simple. So why is it so hard? I mean really, do you think about "producing good fruit" every time you open your mouth or do you just let stuff come out with no consequence to the fruit it is producing? Do you talk without thinking or carry an angry look on your face and refuse to smile sometimes? Weeelllll, with my hand raised high in the air I will say, "I do, I do!" Not that I'm proud of that. But I just have to be honest.
It's tough to constantly be thinking about the little things. But guess what? Paying attention to detail is most definitely a plus. It's these little things that we don't think about that non-believers are watching. Really. Not kidding. They just look for those little contradictions that can say we aren't who we say we are. And really, is that "good fruit"? Nope. Not only that, but it does affect our thoughts and our actions. You get too used to that angry face you're carrying around and you start becoming angry b/c everyone is REACTING TO YOU b/c you LOOK angry! ***WHAM*** That one hit me in the face just the other day.
I know it sounds like I'm off topic with the verse above...but I think the little things fall into the category of "it's leaves are always green". I want to be a tree whose leaves are always green...constantly producing fruit. That takes discipline. Keeping our eyes on the little things. Questioning ourselves and the little things we do. I think when our faces, our thoughts and our hearts all line up together, with the word of God, we are green. Green trees...producing fruit.
Sooo...I wanna be, I wanna be, I wanna be...a GREEN tree! :P

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Still Guessing...

Ever have one of those days where the lyrics to a song seem to just say it all? Well, I do and today is one of those days! One of my very favorite recording artists is Francesca Battistelli. Not only can I sing along with her quite comfortably but I love how her songs speak to every day life. Things like getting a speeding ticket, running late, have a few "dents in my fender". That's real life. And I love how she portrays it in song. So, here's my real life in her words...Keeping Me Guessing.

Coffee cup waking me up I've got to board a plane and fly away sometimes
I feel like I'm going the speed of light. Can't relax I'm moving too fast
I want to find the gold but I don't have a map. I wish that I could know what you've got in store for me.

I try and try to read your mind 'cause I forget that patience is a virtue.
You're teaching me to hold on tight.

'Cause I don't know how the story ends but I'll be alright 'cause You wrote it
I don't know where the highway bends but I'm doing just fine. 'Cause You're in control even when I don't know where my life's gonna go you're keeping me guessing.

So slow me down, show me around I want to see the world that I've been without
I am here and now the future is out of my hands.

I'm trusting you and how you move I won't forget that patience is a virtue.
You're teaching me to hold on tight. Seasons come, and seasons go, but you decide.

'Cause I don't know how the story ends but I'll be alright 'cause You wrote it
I don't know where the highway bends but I'm doing just fine. 'Cause You're in control even when I don't know where my life's gonna go you're keeping me guessing.

Sometimes I think I tend to forget that God has it all under control. He's writing my story, I just have to trust and obey. So many times I let circumstances dictate how I live out my story. I decide to stay stuck in places that aren't healthy for me instead of moving up and onward. I have to make an effort to trust that God is there. It doesn't come easy sometimes. When you are looking at an impossible situation, impossible dispair, impossible finances, impossible relationships, impossible grief...you have to remember WHO is writing your story...and He wants each "impossible" to have a VERY happy possible ending!

I read this verse this morning in my devo time and it just brings so much hope to my heart! It helps to know that our struggles are not in vain, doesn't it??

"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:1-5

Here's another one...

"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:58-60

Wow! Praise God that he uses every trial and tribulation...and victory...for His glory. That everything we go through can build character and produce endurance. It's so much easier to be in a place of "guessing" what God has in store when you TRUST the one writing your story!

Are you trusting God to make a beautiful story out of your mess today?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bless this mess...

Lord, bless that which is a mess in my home.
Lord, bless that which is a mess in my life.
Lord, bless that which is a mess in my head.
Lord, bless my kids that are a mess and those that they also make.
Lord, bless me and my mess so that we can BE a blessing!

Yes...it's one of those days. You wake up and you want to groan. "Do I really have to get out of bed today??" You know the answer. It's the rhetorical question on the lips of EVERY Mother at some point in time. When life seems overwhelming, things aren't going as you'd like, but those littles STILL want you to get up and act as though everything revolves around them. *sigh* It's exhausting.

Since it was one of those mornings for me I don't have lots of time to sit and ponder the questions of the universe. Instead, I'll be "entertaining" Captain of the Universe, Miss Universe and What IS the Universe again? until the sun sets on this beautiful day.

BUT...before I go tackle my hair (you should see it...sooo not prit-dee) I wanted to share this with you...

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

TADA!!! Did you feel it??? That little jump of hope, peace, security and love all flood your heart at the reading of God's promise for today?? WOOHOO! Forget the coffee...God's word just jump started my heart! (Ok, no. Don't forget the coffee, it's vital for today...but you get the point I was trying to make, right?)

In Him we have hope...even for the worst of days. We have a reason to rejoice and say, "This is the day that the Lord has made. I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!!" Look to the hope of the cross and the security that comes from knowing God has it all under control.

In the midst of your mess this morning, REJOICE! God has it all under control.
If your hair won't be tackled and it's sooo not prit-dee (like mine) REJOICE! God has it all under control!
If your littles are driving you up the wall, REJOICE! God has it all under control!

I know some of you are saying, "That's easier said than done" BUT NO, IT REALLY IS THAT EASY! :P

Relax, laugh a little, TAKE HEART and let God (and the Littles) be the center of your Universe today. Rest in knowing that He has already overcome the world AND ALL of your messes!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oh Quiet, How I Love Thee...

Well, it's been an unusually quiet morning here at the Zoo. (translation: my littles are still asleep...wooohoo!) I've taken this time to color my hair, don't be schocked...it's not natural and that's ok :P...and get some much needed alone time with God.
I recently had the opportunity to hear some wonderful wisdom from a great group of people on the importance of "quiet". How we often neglect to just be still and listen. I've been purposing to be "quiet" more often (and for those who know me, you can imagine how hard that is!) and just listen to the voice of God. In a home full of noise and so many things needing to be done, it's really hard sometimes to do. In this group we were asked to spend 5 minutes of quiet time just praying and hearing from God. It was hard! After a while it seemed uncomfortable. And then, I purposed to stop all the thoughts running through my head and really focus on quiet. I felt peace. Quiet doesn't just pertain to what's going on around us or the noises coming out of our mouths, but also what's going on in our heads. We can have the appearance of quiet and our mind is still shouting at us! Quieting our minds is sooo very important for God to speak. Most often, when I think of being still before the Lord, a certain scripture comes to mind:

Psalm 46:10 - He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

This past week I've come across a few others that I like. They exhibit how when we are "still" before the Lord, He can work on our behalf!

Psalm 37:7 - "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes."

Exodus 14:14 - "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

1 Samuel 12:16 - “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes!"

Being "quiet" before the Lord allows us to hear from Him. We receive guidance and direction, peace and understanding, when we allow Him into the quiet to make His heart known to us.

I encourage you today, to MAKE time to be still before the Lord. Seek his heart and let Him guide your steps! And in the process He can work through your mess!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Boinga, boinga...

...Yes, that is me jumping. Jumping? Yes, jumping...onto this bandwagon of blogging Moms. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I ALWAYS have something to say, so why not blog? Alrighty, I will.

In my blog I'll be sharing about the "messes" in my life...the ones that God has used mightily to either impact my own relationship with Him (and myself) or those that God has used to bring freedom to someone else confined in "Expectation Jail".

Sometimes we have such high expectations for those around us and we lock each person up into their own little cell. Pastors should act this way, spiritual leaders should act another, sinners should act appropriately and so should self professed perfectors. And when you hear that someone has stepped outside of their "Cell", well, there are two reactions...shock or freedom! Have you ever been talking to the woman who looks like she has it all together; beautiful hair, spotless kids, GQ husband and immaculate house, when all of a sudden she starts talking about the piles of laundry on her couch and how she has to clean for days before letting people come over?? You just want to start giggling with FREEDOM right there on the spot! She has just become REAL to you, not someone to be put on a pedestal. Her mess revealed squashed that little cell you had her in and she became human!

Now, there is the flip side, when good and proper expectations are shattered by bad decisions or innapropriate comments or actions. I'm not saying we don't have expectations that are there for a very good reason. But I'll be talking more about the ones that blow your socks off...in a good way!

I like to think that messes are God's way of keeping us grounded. They help us all work together to further HIS kingdom. When we rejoice in our messes, or trials; as the apostle Paul called them, we live out our faith by allowing God to be God and work all things together for His good! So, when put into God's perspective, our messes can bring blessings, not only into our lives, but to the lives around us that are watching how we handle that mess. I've been blessed more than you know by how others around me live out their faith!

So, tell me...What are you doing to bless others with YOUR mess?? And believe me...they ARE watching!