Words stir me. Both written and spoken words have shaped, motivated, challenged and encouraged me. As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ it is no wonder the power of words in my life. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1,4-5 (ESV).
As a mom and teacher of children I know the power of words in shaping those most impressionable. Often an expression on a child’s face shows the affect of spoken words. With just a few words a simple disappointment can turn to defeat when harsh words of criticism are uttered. With just a few words a simple disappointment can be turned into the courage and confidence to try again.
The power of written words began stirring me at a young age. With her words, L. M. Montgomery made a young girl come alive in my mind. The qualities that I learned from a character instilled ideals that I still hold: daydreaming is necessary, imagination a gift, and independence should be exercised with prudence. As I grew older it was the written words of intelligence with imagination that captured me when I read the works of C.S. Lewis. Difficult truths of God’s Word suddenly made sense in a new way.
As I hold the Bible and read, through the power of the Holy Spirit, I am moved. More of my Savior is revealed and my filth made plain – which in turn makes my salvation all the sweeter. A holy God, majestic in all of his ways, cares for this world, each person in it, our individual hearts – he knows. He chooses to reveal so much through his inspired written word.
Thankful - that God has given my husband the desire of his heart ~ to work for orphans.
Wrestling - too often with wanting things my way, rather than surrendering my will to my all-knowing, sufficient Father.
Graced - by women who love the Lord and I get to watch them live out lives of obedience (struggling of course!)
Spurred on - when I hear from our friends who labor in hard places in the world for God's glory.
Hearing - two boys bang the wall, laugh out loud, whisper...my son & nephew having a sleepover!
Pondering - what it would really be like if I lived a life denying myself and following my Savior unashamedly.
A refreshing morning, routine in every way, I walked to water the flowers by the mailbox. As I walked back up the sidewalk something caught my eye. There in the flower bed amid the flowering bushes and ornamental grass were...weeds! What? How can that be?! I just pulled those weeds last week. I am certain that I got them from the roots too. In frustration I knelt down and began to pull those same weeds, making sure to get them from the roots again. My morning just went from refreshing to one of dismay. With sweat beginning to bead up on my brow I grumbled to myself that it just wasn't fair. I did this work last week.
Later as my routine day continued, I went about my work. It only took one thought. Suddenly, feelings of being overwhelmed swept over me. "I should be doing this. I should be doing that. BUT I am only one person!" Wait. Didn't I deal with this last week? Didn't my best friend tell me that I was the only one putting these expectations on myself? Did I not lay this at the feet of my Savior? Did I not confess this pride of feeling like I need to do it all? Yes. I knew in my heart that I had gotten to the root of these feelings - my pride. I confessed it, had been forgiven, and felt the peace of Jesus completely.
God is teaching me. I am a slow learner. Weeds, like sin, must be dealt with daily. Once a week will not get it. Of this I am certain, "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23
Who knew? Clearly, not me.
Perhaps I planted a little too much in my small garden space!
Disclaimer: the corn was not from my garden, but from the grocery store - maybe next year!
Time spent preparing for and teaching students "Why must we be born again?" left me marveling at God's love toward me. He chose not to leave me for dead - dead in my sins with my heart of stone, a child of wrath, a slave to sin, unable to see, unable to accept the Gospel - it was folly to me. My natural self without a saving faith in Christ Jesus - I embraced darkness, loved it, desired it. The light I hated, shunned. So did you, perhaps so do you.
" were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience - among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and by nature were children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
BUT God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in or trespasses, made us alive together in Christ - by grace you have been saved - " Ephesians 2:1-6
Because of His great love, His grace - he caused a new life in me. My eyes were open to see that thing that I cuddled, held dear to my heart, convinced others was a treasure was, indeed a cockroach all along.
My putrid sin made clear, in disgust I want it no more. I fling the cockroach in disbelief that that was what I held so dear. God has given me a desire for the light, truth, Himself. That is why we must be born again - a work of God, not of myself.
Thought to ponder, prayer to pray - May God open our hearts (take from us a heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh) so that we see clearly the cockroach we cuddle, and cause us to want it no more. What am I cuddling?
So when you check this one out and there is nothing new be sure to head over to www.familiesanchored.blogspot.com because each week I post a new blog there.
Coming to a blog near you, aka Mercyville, a post on gardening! That is correct. My daughter (well she is suppose to be participating) and I planted a garden! More on that soon.
Just a couple of weeks ago my daughter and I were sitting on her bed, brushing hair and talking life when my husband walked in with a heavy sigh..."I am done for the night, I am exhausted," was his cry after a very long, stressful day of working with an orphanage in Haiti.
So being the doting wife that I am I offered, "Would you like me to run you a hot bath?" (This is his cure all, I think his mom must have done this often when he was young). Of course, he nodded yes and walked slowly out of the room.
Then my daughter turned to me, her eyebrows raised, "He can't run water?"
I erupted in laughter. Then I explained that running her daddy a hot bath is just a small way that I can serve him. Then gave her a list of ways that her daddy serves her each day.
The next morning we were sitting at the breakfast table (it was a saturday morning no real routine everyone eat breakfast at your leisure kind of morning). Again, my daughter and I are just having girl chat, comes frequently with a nearly 11 year old, as we sat at the breakfast table. My husband walked into the kitchen and headed for the pantry, opened it, stared, then turned to me and asked "Will you make me a bowl of cereal?" My daughter's eyebrows went up, she gave me a knowing look and said, "He can't pour milk either?" Laughter erupted again, as my husband tried to explain to both of us all of the little ways he serves us!
Truth is, he does! Truth is, I enjoy serving him in little ways (it speaks his love language the LOUDEST)! So I am trying in little ways to cultivate a servants heart in my children at home. Hopefully, when my daughter marries the man God has set apart for her she will love to serve him in little ways. But I have a feeling he better know how to run his own water and pour his own milk!
Note: this is on the heels of me posting on http://familiesanchored.blogspot.com
Just keeping it real!
This photo was taken last Sunday morning as they were heading out to church. That morning no one would have imagined the earth trembling, quaking, and buildings crumbling two days later. We are so thankful that each of their lives were spared when the earthquake and aftershocks hit Port-au-Prince. Words cannot describe the devastation all around them.
Our hearts cry out to our Lord this day for our children in Haiti, for all of those there. My heart aches, yet my mind knows that God is sovereign, and he "so loved the world." In His great love for us, his children, there will be suffering.
May I allow the words of a young 25 year old survivor challenge each of us. Her words spoken this past Saturday, after finding her entire immediate (and several cousins and aunts) dead on Friday.
Neyssa has no earthly family left, no home to return to...yet she has a living hope. She knows her Savior and wants Him to be known.