Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What I've learned...

There are a few things that I can say that I've learned about myself over the past few weeks.  And a few things that I've learned about life, too.  Next week I'll have a post that's pretty in-depth about the state our family has been in for the past couple of weeks, but I wanted to write something here...

Something specific...

Something of a revelation....

What is a revelation?  I think it's when your heart suddenly fully comprehends an increased depth about something that you've already known in your head.  I don't want to spend too much time here, but I'll give a quick example.  I know that God loves me - but I can point to a few specific moments in my life when it was a revelation to me.  At that time, it wasn't that I was ignorant - just that I wasn't able to comprehend or feel how much that God's loved touched every single area of my life.  When the revelation struck my heart, I was completely overwhelmed.  And I do mean completely!

Here's my something of a revelation - having a quiet time in the morning is a good thing.

Duh!  I know - everyone knows this.  I knew it, too.  Day after day I would hear the alarm blaring at 5am, and day after day I would lay there for "just a couple more minutes."  I'm ashamed.  I know it's awful.  I should be wired and fired excited to get up and spend a quiet hour with the Lord before my house turns into a bussel of chaos as we try to get everyone out the door for work and school. 

And if I exposed myself here, I would tell you that I actually do love that time.  Truly.  But I hate getting up that early.  I don't know what it is.

Anyway, these past few weeks I've made the commitment to 'crucify' the stubborness that wants to keep my head on the lovely feather pillow.  I've made strong determinations to do it.  And I have done it.  Steadily.  And I've found that this quiet little sacrifice has radically changed everything about my day.  You know, it's just a lot more Christlike.  Not that I'm boasting, because I know that there's a lot more Christlikeness that needs to develope in me - just ask my husband.  But I find myself leaning toward better reactions to life.

And then this morning happened. 

In all my stubborn determination to get myself out of bed, when for some reason I was exceptionally tired, I was late.  Ok, I reasoned.  Well, I won't get as much time as I wanted to - but I'll have plenty of time to pray for my husband, then my children, and then my ministry and business.  Out of bed I climbed - turned on Pandora radio to a Fernando Ortega station (perfect for the 5am hour!) and sat in the same spot on the same couch that I've been sitting when I meet with the Lord on these quiet mornings. 

Literally - as soon as I opened my mouth to pray, I hear footsteps.  That's the baby.... and then heavier footsteps... that's the young man.  Out they come, bright eyed and ready to go - the baby running a 102.6 fever, and the 8 year old with his Nintendo game system, wanting his little brother to play with him. 

Where does all that energy come from?  I usually have to PRY him out of his bed to get ready for school.  And before I could force my brain through that, I wonder why moment, the baby was spilling his apple juice on me. 

Ah yes - do you know what the grace of God is?  He gave it to me this morning, as I calmly and gently dried off, and sent them back to their room to play quietly so that I could have a few minutes alone.  It did not go unnoticed, however, that when the day usually starts off like that, it doesn't normally go very well.  I prayed quickly for my husband and children - and it was time to start the chaos routine. 

And then I realized - maybe I didn't have an hour this morning.  But the Lord has given me grace all day long.  Having that time with the Lord every other day has prepared my spirit to respond to life so that, even when that quiet time gets interrupted, I still can hold to the character that Christ is building in me.  I love that.

Thank you, Lord, that you have given me the opportunity to meet with you in the mornings.  And thank you that when things go haywire and it doesn't go the way it should, there is grace to help me through.  Because I have a relationship with you, I don't need to worry about mornings like today.  I trust in your ability to hold me near, even when the baby is sick and fevered when I've set time aside to meet with you.

You are not limited to my hour of prayer, and your hand is not held back ... my heart desires you!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Teaching the baby ~

Okay, so she's not really a baby, actually.  My little girl is growing up so fast, and last night was one of the times when I really noticed. 

The boys had gone to bed, and we were sitting on the couch together.  Just me and my girl.  There is a book that I have decided to read to her called The Power of a Praying Kid by Stormie Omartian, and this was our first night.  I would read awhile, and she would ask questions - all the while I could really feel the open, honest, reality of God's love and affection for her very present in that moment. 

We started talking about how precious she is to God, and I saw the tears welling up in her eyes.  I told her how much he loves her, and that he's always close to her.  She asked Jesus into her heart several years ago, but this was a new moment for her.  It was a revelation.  As we talked, I noticed her curiosity about God was incredible, but the things that really reached her were the personal, intimate things that He is to her.  When I told her that she could pray and He would always listen, even if she were praying silently in her head, she was so filled with joy that tears fell as she giggled. 

Have you ever been that overwhelmed with joy?  - so much that you laugh and cry at the same time?  I have. 

I sent her off to bed and when I stepped down the hall to check on her some minutes later, I could hear her whispering.  I smiled.  She was taking another step in her pursuit. 
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