Friday, June 13, 2008

God's Plan

Yesterday I had a play date planned with my friend Sonya and our children. Sonya & I don't get to see each other often. She has 6 children and home schools. I also keep a busy schedule with my 2 kids and various volunteer activities. It's hard to find time on the calendar to get together, so we only see each other a few times a year and it is treasured time. We were excited about getting we had lots of planning to do as we are attending She Speaks together next week, (God willing!)

When she emailed me on Tuesday she'd been up all night with a sick child...the 5th child to come down with the throw-up bug, I gently suggested we reschedule...germaphobe that I am! I'm sure she was disappointed, and I was too, but it seemed like the right decision.

On Wednesday I received a phone call from another friend. She was feeling down, desperately sick with morning sickness (all day!), exhausted and just out of sorts. I suggested her kids spend some time here on Thursday (my cancelled Sonya day). It's rare I have a big slot of free time like that - but there was Thursday wide open. I picked up her kids and they had a ball over here. They played so well with my kids, that I had time in the kitchen to make a dinner to send home with them for the evening.

While I was initially disappointed to miss my fun day with Sonya, I know God's plans prevailed. People sometimes say "if you want to make God laugh, tell him YOUR plans." My plans didn't go as expected yesterday, but I'm glad that I was able to help out a friend in need...God's plan, all along.

James 4:13-15 -- Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."

Proverbs 19:21-- Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Jeremiah 29:11 -- 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.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

If You're a Mom...

A funny video, "The Mom Song." My favorite line, "you're a doctor, a cooker, your man thinks you're a looker!" But of course the truth is in the line "The bible that you hold can shape these little souls, You're a Mom, if you have the most important job in the world, You're a Mom."

But, if you're not a mom, don't despair! Know you can still help shape lives through sharing Jesus Christ in the world!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Miss Fix-It

I am not good with a hammer and nail. I'm not so great with a spatula and pan. I'm terrible with a needle and thread. So what am I good at fixing? People!

Yes, ma'am - if you've got a problem just head my way. I will try and fix it. I will give you scriptures, I will tell you "if you'd just do this" or "if you'd only do that" it would fix it. I am a life long fixer.

I think it started when I was about 8, and I told my dad that I was scared by my mom's drinking. (She is an alcoholic). He said "you should tell her, and then she'll stop." Wow - am I good or what? Just tell her and I can fix her! But I must have done something wrong. Because no matter how many times I told her, she never stopped. And there couldn't be anything wrong with her, cause she was my mom. And my dad, well he couldn't have been wrong, cause he was my dad. That left only one must have been me. I must have been the broken one.

So, you see if I can fix someone else, maybe, just maybe it will fix me. And I won't be broken anymore. Except for one thing. I can't fix you. And I can't fix me. There is only one fixer - Jesus Christ. He is the true Mr. Fix-it.

So if you are feeling broken...don't let me try and fix you. Old habits die hard, and I will. And I'll feel a wee bit better about myself if I can help. But we both know the truth. Jesus "fixed" us with his death on the cross. And on the last day we will all be raised up to perfection, no longer broken, but restored.

Psalm 34:18 "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (NIV)

Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." (NIV)

Colossians 1:18b "...all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross. " (The Message)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Time For Everything

A coincidence is defined in as "a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance." As Christians, we sometimes refer to this incidents as God-incidents instead of coincidence, as we believe God is working things together for his glory, and certainly not by "mere chance."

On May 23rd Lysa Terkeurst blogged about "Deep Grief" on her website. This is the type of grief caused by the loss of a child, sibling or spouse. On June 5, I ended up visiting the website of LeAnn Rice (another Proverbs 31 ministry leader) and her blog was on How to Help Someone Who is Grieving. And Sunday at church, my bible study group, which is studying "Facing Your Giants" by Max Lucado did the chapter on grief. We even had a special speaker from a Grief Support Group.

Now these are mighty interesting God-incidents, don't you think? Today, I am heading to the funeral of my aunt. I hadn't seen her in probably 10 or more years, so while I feel sorrow over her loss, and for my dad who has lost his sister, I don't personally feel deep grief. But I pray that this is the God-incident that is these reason I've been giving all these "links" to learn about grieving, because to consider anything else is...unthinkable.

I'm 40 years old and have yet to experience a great loss of a loved one. I know it will happen sooner than I'd like. And I pray I can stand firm in the faith of a loving Father to be my strong tower, and a Savior who has experienced grief himself.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

John 11:32-35 {Lazarus Death} When Mary [sister of Lazarus] reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. "Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied. Jesus wept.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The REST of the Story

Last week the local pool held its annual "Parent's Day Out." (It's called Parents Day, but it's really MOMS Day Out. ) We moms wait for this event all year. Childcare is provided in the clubhouse while the moms lay by the pool and enjoy a catered lunch. Best of all, we can rest and close our eyes. Any mom with little ones knows you never, ever close your eyes at the pool. It is the most relaxing day of the year.

But is it biblical to rest? Should we feel guilty for taking time out of our busy schedules to rest? Rest is first introduced in the bible in Genesis 2:2, yes the second verse of the bible. God rested on the seventh day, making it a holy day, so that all should rest. Do you think God needed a rest? I doubt it! He is all powerful! Yet, he was setting the standard that we should follow. My friend Sonya blogged about this here, and challenged her readers to get their work done in six days so we too can observe a day of rest.

An Encouraging Words devotion I received reminds us that in 1 Kings 5:13-14 it says "Then King Solomon conscripted a labor force of 30,000 men from all Israel. He sent them to Lebanon in shifts, 10,000 every month, so that each man would be one month in Lebanon and two months at home." Finding a balance between work and home is increasingly difficult for both men and women. Perhaps these verses give us a clue as to a healthy pattern: work one-third of your time, and let the rest be for home and personal time. In fact, the typical eight-hour day reflects this balance.

But what about the New Testamant fans. What did Jesus have to say about rest? Jesus often encouraged the disciples to come away with him and rest. An example of this is found in Mark 6. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Yes, I took a day off last Wednesday at the pool. A day of rest. And I'm a better wife and mom for it. This week, I encourage you to find some time and rest.

Ezekiel 20:18-20 "'Then I addressed myself to their children in the desert: "Don't do what your parents did. Don't take up their practices. Don't make yourselves filthy with their no-god idols. I myself am God, your God: Keep my statutes and live by my laws. Keep my Sabbaths as holy rest days, signposts between me and you, signaling that I am God, your God." (The Message)

Matthew 11:28 "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." (The Message)

Mark 6:30 "The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, "Come off by yourselves; let's take a break and get a little rest." For there was constant coming and going. They didn't even have time to eat. " (The Message)

**I'll be publishing an additional blog tomorrow (Tuesday) on the subject of grief. It's not a fun subject, but in this case a timely one.