Monday, June 28, 2010

Leaving the Water Unbroken

During our time in New Hampshire, I was introduced to a really cool insect--the water strider. They look like they're ice skating across the water, because they're so light that they skim across the water, leaving it totally undisturbed. These little creatures never break the surface of the water.
The more I thought about those water striders, the more I realized just how UNLIKE them I want to be (as amazing as they are). I suppose there are people who are content to go through life and come out on the other side having basically been a good person, surrounded by family and friends, maybe even having a comfortable home and an inheritance for their children. Basically an undisturbing life.
Not me.
Oh, it used to be me. And I still have my "water strider moments" when I shrink back in fear. By nature I do NOT like to stir the pot. I relish a simple, quiet life.
And a life of ministry can be messy and challenging. But I'm also finding it to be covered with the grit of God's glory, and -- consequently -- totally worth it.
On the "About Me" section of this blog it says, "We are committed to walking through this life in a way that brings glory to our awesome God, leaving dents in this world on our way home to Heaven." That truly is my passion. And for someone who truly hates to ruffle feathers, when it comes to Kingdom stuff, I am one happy girl when I know I'm "ruffling." THAT is abundant life. I don't want to glide through my time on this earth without disturbing anything. I want the Kingdom of God to be advanced because He was gracious to use me and I was onboard with being used. I want to leave an inheritance of love and faith and trust in a mighty God to my children and to all who come after us, that they may leave dents with their hands as well. Beautiful.
Is this your passion, too? Or has it just been too easy to be a water strider?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Completely Content, Until...

Tonight we were out at a restaurant where Trevor discovered the deliciousness of strawberry milk.

Then later when I offered him good old naturally white milk (Always his beverage of choice), he refused it. "It doesn't taste as good now that I've had strawberry milk," he said.

Amazing how we can be all about one thing until we get a taste of something else. Then all of a sudden, we're not content with what has been good enough all along.

I love, love, love my house. When I'm home, I honestly don't want for more. But there was a time a few years back when we looked at model homes a lot, and when I came home, I'd look at my house through different eyes. Discontent eyes. Which is why I don't look at model homes anymore.

It's why I trash the Pottery Barn catalog when it comes rather than browsing through the pages. Because all of a sudden, I find myself aware of things I never knew I didn't have.

It's why I stay out of the mall. Because I am extremely thankful for our Goodwill wardrobe, and I don't want to begin thinking I need something new.
Lord, breed gratitude and contentment in our hearts rather than contempt for what used to be plenty.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Just Like Kudzu

Never heard of it? Neither had I until we moved to the south seven years ago.

Now I see it daily. It's beautiful, lush, and green, green, green--A stunning sight for a valley girl from California.

But it turns out there's a lot more to kudzu than meets the eye. You see, like a creeping vine, it wraps itself around trees and plants, covering them with its beauty. But what's going on underneath is the choking out of the life of what's beneath it. It prevents the sun's light from reaching and nourishing what desperately needs it to be sustained. One website said kudzu is "deceptive about its true yield, especially to those who do not know it well."

Every month I read through Proverbs, one chapter a day. So every 5th, 6th, and 7th of the month I read through Proverbs 5, 6, and 7. And so over the months and years I've come to know a certain woman described in these three consecutive chapters...
...A woman who is a lot like kudzu.

Pleasing to the eye. Seemingly verdant. And ultimately, extraordinarily dangerous.
It's said her lips drip honey and her speech is smoother than oil. She is captivating and beautiful.
And then she's persuasive and seductive. And, for comparison's sake, deceptive about her true yield.
And then once one is close enough to see her well, she is revealed for who she is:
Bitter. Sharp. Thoughtless. Cruel. Predator. Loud. Defiant. Full of crafty intent. Lurking. Brazen.
And by the time he sees it all for what it is, the object of her pursuit finds himself
Groaning. Spent. Corrected. Disciplined. Ensnared. Led astray. Burned. Scorched. Punished. Destroyed. Required to pay. Shamed. Like an ox going to his slaughter. On a highway to death.
Lord Jesus, have mercy. This scenario is rampant, and real, and no one is above temptation. Strengthen your daughters to be pure and to sincerely want what glorifies You. And protect Your sons from women with impure intent. There's just way too high a price to pay.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Apart From You

I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord;
apart from You I have no good thing"
(Psalm 16:2).

good (towb):

Apart from You I have no beautiful thing.

Apart from You I have no best thing.

Apart from You I have no bountiful thing.

Apart from You I have no "at ease" thing.

Apart from You I have no cheerful thing.

Apart from You I have no fine thing.

Then there's John 15:5 when Jesus says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do NOTHING."

Nothing. Never. No. Cannot. Nay. Nowhere. None. Without.

Without, indeed! Because if apart from Him there is no beautiful best bountiful thing...nothing at cheerful fine that is truly to live without!

To live apart from Him is to do without. But to remain in Him? Beauty. Bounty. Cheer. At ease. His best! :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hidden Victory

This morning I was reading Proverbs 2 and loved this passage:

He holds victory in store for the upright,
He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for He guards the course of the just
and protects the way of His faithful ones.

I was intrigued by the words "in store." So when I looked up the translation from Hebrew, there was a common thread:

lays up
keeps in a secret place

In store. We had a storage unit out in California for awhile. Plenty of stuff in there, but hidden away behind a storage door. There waiting for us, but tucked away.

I don't know about you, but I could use some victory. And to think that it is in store--even though it is currently laid up, hidden, and kept in a secret place--it brings new hope.

Because victory--though hidden--awaits.

I can see a light that is coming
for the heart that holds on
There will be an end to these struggles,
but until that day comes
Still I will praise You,
still I will praise You
"You Never Let Go" by Matt Redman