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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are you really happy? A lesson from my two year old.

Every once in a while, my two year old daughter, Grace, puts her tiny little hands on my cheeks.  She searches my face then smiles.  "Are you happy, mama?"  When I smile, she nods knowingly with a big grin.  My two year old has the soul of someone who has lived a full life and has the wisdom of the ages to prove it.  She amazes me for so many reasons however this one inspires me.  Every time she does this, I think to myself,  "Are you really happy?"  Regardless of my life's circumstances, Grace reminds me what true happiness is.  It has nothing to do with whether I can afford that new pair of shoes or a fancy new car, it has to do more with deep in my gut.  My joy does not have to be based in my circumstances. 

We as a culture collect stuff, we love to go out and buy stuff.  For every holiday, every special occasion even if that special occasion is Tuesday, we love us some stuff.  But once we have that, "I'm gonna die if I don't get this" thing, how long does that feeling last?  Toys get worn out, cars lose their new car smell, gadgets are outdated before they leave the store.  After you've had the "stuff" awhile... really, where is your joy? 

So what happens, of course, is that we find something else to pin our hopes and happiness on.  "The next big thing".  Our neighbors got a new fancy car, WE need a new fancy car.  The devil just keeps spinning that in our heads and in our guts:  "You are not good enough unless you have..." 

I hear conversations like this a lot lately.  Where we all know we should not allow objects to fill our happiness void.  Yet I admit, I can still do it.  I have spent the last three months learning not to allow my joy to be based in my circumstances.  When bad things happen, I pray for the strength to be happy regardless.  When we don't allow the devil to win, he will eventually retreat.  I do not want my life to be filled with stuff just to make myself happy.  I don't want to spend my life craving something that once I have for it a while, I need something else.  I want that void to be filled completely.  Jesus died to give us that.  I'm learning to remember, none of that stuff will fill the void left just for God.  Like my own little God shaped hole that He fills completely.

Before you allow your mind to fill up that God shaped hole in your heart, ask Him, "Is this need something you put on my heart, or can you fill me up?"   He will fulfill all our needs in an unbelievable way.

He fills my needs when I look at Grace and she is holding my face smiling and nodding.  "Are you happy mama?" 

"Yes, sweet Gracie.  I AM happy. Thank you for teaching me"

Friday, April 22, 2011

Let go and let God. Wait, what? You mean I'm not in control? Hmmph

Sometimes God amazes me. I stand in awe of His kingdom. Think about just the clouds in the sky, the patterns they make, the colors they reflect. Think about the tiny pink apple blossom buds that are popping up by my house (now there's a miracle right there, I thought winter will NEVER end!). Look at someone you love dearly in a new way. Maybe just the strands of their hair or the shape of their hand...tell me that creation was random.

The point to my romantic ramble is this: I did not want a blog, I had no idea what I would write about should I finally succumb to writing a blog. Then, when I DID write a intention for content was nothing like what came out yesterday. Proving more to me that I AM NOT IN CONTROL.

You know the person who sits in the passenger seat while you are driving, and puts their hands on the roof and screams "The cars are all stopping!"? Yeah, I'm that girl...just ask anyone, they will tell you...I'm annoying.

You know the person who asks you to help them, say clean up the living room then after you have finished she goes behind you and straightens the way she likes it? Yeah...that's me too. Sorry, just ask my husband, it's irritating.

Suffice it to say, I'm a control freak. It would be rather lovely to have things my way all the time, but that's not Gods way. I'm pretty sure that the lesson I've been walking around in the desert like the Israelites is to "Let go and let God!"

Obedience is key here, yet another of my fabulous strongholds. Gods small still voice will help you through life, but you must settle your heart and listen.

There are a couple of key points in that statement. You must settle your heart. Matthew 6:6 states "And when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to the father, who is unseen. Then your father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you.".

This says a few things to me. Number one, go somewhere where you will not be distracted...turn off that tape recorder in your head. But it also makes it clear that God knows our hearts so there's no need for dramatic prayers and flowery words done out loud so others hear. Just go somewhere quiet and talk to your God. You will know somewhere in your belly what Gods wants you to do. Whether it's forgive someone, pray for someone, or start a blog!

It's amazing when you pay attention to what God has been trying to tell you, everything falls into place. So sorry fellow control freaks, we don't run the show. However, here's the good news, when you "let go and let God" prayers are answered in a way that you never imagined and couldn't be more satisfying.

Thanks to you all for the warm welcome to blogging!



Thursday, April 21, 2011

Today is the day!

Do you ever wake up some mornings with the fire in your belly.  No, I'm not talking heartburn, I'm talking excitement!  Purpose!  Well today was that day for me.  I have been writing for years, never sure what God's plan was for my work. 

Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

I have known for a long time that God wants to use the gift of writing for His purpose for a long time, so hear I am, Lord!  Send me!  I am a full time working mother of one amazing two year old, Grace, and wife to a hard working husband, Dennis, who is following his dreams and encouraging me to follow mine.  And by encouraging I mean harrassing daily... 

At any rate, we are given special talents that God wants us to use and share with the world.  For years I thought that meant I had to move to Africa and be a missionary because I had a gift of being friendly.  Clearly misguided (although some of you do feel the call on your life to be a missionary and Africa) through prayer and waiting on God, I now know that I was meant to share through my writing.  Which is extremely relieving because giant bugs and heat are not my thing.  I need coffee and retail therapy for survival. 

My heart has always been in words, from a child I was writing books and reading books.  God gave me a passion. God gave you a passion too, He wants you to use it for Him.  If you aren't sure what your passion is, come with me on this journey.  We can walk together as I prayerfully work through the passion God gave to me and help you find the excitement and gifts that God gave to you.  I encourage you to pray, seek His wisdom and read His word.  He will reveal to you guidance and step by step, we will living out our purposes.  FYI - I'd be careful following too closely to me, I've been known to be clumsy.  Wouldn't want you to get hurt.