Friday, January 27, 2012

The Dirt on SSMTC

One week ago I was telling my sweet husband about how God had spoken to me at the Siesta Scripture Memory Celebration over the most amazing hot chocolate I've ever had! My sweet husband drove me to Houston for the SSMTC, since I have issues with highway driving. And we had three sweet sets of friends who took in our various children Friday and Saturday.

We got to the event just in time for me to change clothes in the Suburban, thanks to a fun trip to Ikea and some Beck's Prime. I found a seat and got ready to worship. And God spoke! One of the first songs we sang was "Your Name." And God reminded me that His Name - God Himself - IS a strong and mighty tower and my best protector. Then I realized that when I resort to self-protection and self-preservation, I am stepping away from God's protection. I am essentially saying that I am better able to protect myself than the God of the Universe!!! How dumb is that! I CAN trust Him to protect me. That doesn't mean that nothing bad or hard will ever happen to me. It means that God will enable me to handle those things. They might still happen, but they won't crush me. Oh, how I need to live this out!!

Beth spoke a wonderful and challenging message from 2 John about walking out our faith. I am so prone to letting my knowledge remain in my head, so I needed to hear this! Some of my favorite points were when she told us how abiding in 2 John isn't just sitting still, but is keeping in step with Jesus. It also really spoke to me when she talked about investing our whole lives into love. I so want to really LOVE God and other people! 

God was so kind to me on Saturday. Another Siesta who had come alone (from Pennsylvania!) sat next to me. Jean and I enjoyed getting to know one another and each of us said all 24 of our 2011 verses to each other! We had each asked for God to give us someone to spend the conference with, and He was so faithful! I'm so thankful for my new friend Jean!

She ended with a challenge to bring some dirt from Houston back home with us to signify the ground we are taking back from the enemy. My dirt is in a bag on my dresser. I want to display it in a pretty jar or vase to remind me that I am going to fight to take back all the ground I have surrendered. 

Even a flat tire on Saturday couldn't mar the wonderfully refreshing time God had given me!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's Really a No-Brainer

I started Beth Moore's James study a couple of weeks ago. I've done most of her studies and have enjoyed every one. This one is no different.

In yesterday's homework we read James 1:2-4. The consider it all joy during trials verses. This is something that does not come naturally to me! As the lesson concluded, she asked her readers to write down three possible responses to a trial we are currently facing, encouraging us to have obey James 1 as an option. Then we were to predict what the consequences of each would be five years from now.

When I did this, I realized just how LAME my other possible responses really are! One of my options is to withdraw from the situation and pout. I know, so mature! But it's one I've chosen many a time. The five year fruit of this one is regret and marred relationships.

Another of my stellar options is to be resentful about the situation and blame others.  Yeah, that works so well! (NOT!!) I know this from experience as well. I don't think resentment has ever made my life or my relationships better.

When compared to the alternatives, considering it pure joy when I encounter trials doesn't seem so crazy after all! 

I've faced numerous trials during the year and a half of this church planting journey. And, I'm ashamed to admit that pouting and resentment have been my response far more often than considering them pure joy. But God's mercies are new every morning. And I'm seeking His help to respond to each new trial with joy and faith! The rewards will be so worth it!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January Is Slipping Away

Can it really be January 10? I had so many good intentions of keeping the blogging going without interruption in 2012. I really did. Then last week happened!

Paul was in Atlanta all week for Passion. He left Sunday after church, and my sister and her family arrived for a one night stopover Sunday night. Everyone except Patches enjoyed the visit. Patches was NOT HAPPY about another cat being in her house! She slept with me that night and woke me up by making a horrible noise when my sister's cat dared come in the room. 

We started school back after they left, but we made Monday a catch-up-on-projects day. Our favorite project was to have tea time, complete with homemade scones and freshly whipped cream! In addition to school (and dance and piano) the girls were preparing for 4-H contests held last Saturday. Faith, Joy, and Grace all sewed things for the sewing contest. All four entered pictures in the photography contest, and they all baked something for the sugar cookery contest.

We stayed up late working on projects more than once. And then I would just veg by watching some of the Passion sessions online or Downton Abbey on Netflix. I thought about blogging, but my brain was too tired!

Paul got home Friday in time to see our frantic last-minute preparations! I know he must have felt a bit overlooked. We spent Saturday morning at the contest. Each of the girls won at least one ribbon. There were a few tears when Joy realized that Grace had won more than she had, but they didn't last too long. I'm so proud of all their hard work!

This week hasn't been quite so busy, so I hope to share my 2012 words soon. (I know I could have today, but my mind is fuzzy from some major sinus/allergy crud I'm having!)