Confirmation of Calling?

Some days, do you wake up and wonder if what you have felt called to is really something you’re still called to? Have you questioned if God really wants you to stand up for a certain people, or if it was all just your own thoughts provoking you forward? What about when you choose a different direction from what you knew you were called, does God then give you a new direction or does He sit patiently waiting for you to remember to that which you were called?

This morning, as I was watching a comedy clip, using Romanian farmers as the butt of the joke, I was really moved. Now this may BE my own thoughts, but because God has placed a deep love for the people of Romania, it hurts me when others make an image of them that could be very hurtful. It just confirmed that yes, the draw is still there, yes, the pull is for Christ’s overwhelming love to cover them, yes, God desires righteousness from others & myself, yes, God will provide the way.

Though I am troubled, the people of Romania are still protected & guarded by God the Father, our Deliverer. He will send who He needs, and guide those He calls. So for now, I pray for you and them, that we all remember, “my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent men you save me.” (2 Samuel 22:3)

Black & Blu but NEW

We’ve all seen way too much
But we can’t look away from the sun
A silhouette was burned in our minds
It’s gonna take so much time
To forget what we’ve seen, who we met, where we been

So thinking about the past year, the good the bad, the ugly & yet awkwardly beautiful, these lyrics describe it greatly. They talk about how we all get beat up & bruised, and that it’s going to take a lot to get all the pain & “stuff” off of our lives.

Starting this year fresh, hopefully it will be a year of….who knows what. Hopefully nothing like this year, but yet hopefully a lot of growing too, learning & adventure!

There will always be time to lick my wounds, put steak on my eye & cry more….but there will not always be time to live here, with you & share how God has blessed me. Help me in my prayer that whatever happens this year, that we will have confidence in Christ’s direction & will for our lives. That He will be glorified in what we do & that if we are asked to take a new step forward….that we will.

A Positive Memory

Okay, so here’s something that is good! Some of you know that I work with an 8th grade class at my church, teaching them & questioning them about what they believe about Christianity & the theology in their hearts. Basically, here’s what our church believes, and why….and then asking them to look into the Bible & to discover for themselves what they believe. So two Wednesdays ago, my friend Ellen & I took this group to a memory loss home. We paired off each of the kids with a resident to do a “thanksgiving” craft. For each pair, we had a sketch of a bare tree…then we had the kids ask the residents what they were thankful for & write it on printed colored leaves & paste them on the tree. It was so cool. Afterwards, we took the kids to culvers to talk about the experience. It was interesting to have them open up about how they were intimidated right away & nervous because they didn’t know what to expect. They noted how many of the residents kept repeating questions “like 50 times!” The kids thought it was neat to meet people who others sometimes think is less important or worthy. And they were excited at the possibility to go back again! Then last week, due to outside circumstances, we only had 1/2 hour to brief the kids on the lesson for next week on how we are created in God’s image. I took 8 of them out for pizza and discussion…we talked about which was more important between a puppy, baby, horse or old person. They almost all chose the baby, but then I gave them other questions like…if you were a pregnant teen & your fiance wasn’t the dad of the baby & your parents might disown you, would you have an abortion? Then I asked what if you had twins, one was disabled & the other born somewhat “normal” and you could only keep one alive….which would you choose? And then again, if there was an old person who couldn’t remember anything, and didn’t know any family anymore, would it be so bad if someone helped them to die? The whole point in asking these questions was to get the kids to wonder what it is about us as humans, that makes us special. Is it who we are physically? Mentally? Socially? or is it more than that? If we’re created in the image of God, what does that mean? Why does that make us special & worth something? And if we’re ALL created in the image of God, is it fair or right to judge one person worth more than another? We got into a good discussion, and I think they really “got it” that the Bible is clear about our value in life. At the end of the night, I had each of the kids write their name on the top of a red note card. Then they passed them around the table, and everyone wrote one thing that they thought was unique and special about that person. Then we read Psalm 139. (which when i told them psalm 139, they all wrote psalm 1:39…..thought that was funny!) “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.”

What comfort, to know that God knows us inside & out, upside & down, good & bad, our worth & our sinfulness. He knows us & yet loves us. He chose us. He chose to die for us, to bring Glory to Himself. He alone is worth more than anything we can think of…He is.

TEAR5

This weekend was very trying on me. Saturday evening I took part in a Novembering service at Church of the Open Door. It was beautiful, every part…we lit candles, sang beautiful songs, remembered those who we have lost & grieved with each other as we sat & wept. Maybe not everyone wept, but I sure did. I slept deep that night & woke up crying. Not a hard cry, but just a solemn finality of life cry. Sunday morning I listened as my dad preached on suffering & hope. I did not want to hear about hope…don’t get me wrong, that’s the ONLY thing getting me through each day, but I didn’t want to hear it. I cried the ENTIRE service…from the first songs through the last prayer & beyond. I just would not hold myself back, which I know I should not do, but wow did I hurt. Now, as I write this, my eyes are refilling themselves with tears.

There are many reasons why I write to you my thoughts, emotions, feelings & frustrations. I want to be honest. I desire to share, yet am sometimes unwilling to vocalize. I yearn to heal. I need encouragement. I remind myself that “yes, there are things to hope for & people who care.” I pray that through my honesty & openness that you are able to be encouraged.

This morning, I was encouraged. An email I received referenced a verse I have never read (or at least didn’t remember). While the truth is something I hold onto with white knuckles, sometimes I forget. The verse was Malachi 3:6a, “I the LORD do not change.” Such confidence I can have here, and so can you…. It is interesting. The title “lord” means (in my terms) ruler over my life and death. And so I see that amidst the changes of both life and death, our LORD does not change. He is the same yesterday, today & forever.

My prayer for you & for me, is that together, while we seek out what our futures look like, and how our pasts influence how we grow into our future, that we would bind together as friends, brothers, sisters, encouragers, rejoicers & mourners….that we would come along side each other in prayer & support as we approach God in our weakness. In our brokenness, that we would share with each other realizing our inability as humans to recover from this alone. To see that God has given us each other to lean on while we are walking this earth together.

Here’s a song that touched me this weekend. It’s called “I will Rise” by Chris Tomlin.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yvfso4Q8xg

Change from Sluggish

So….today, I’m sluggish. I watched tv almost straight through from yesterday at 1:30 to this morning at 9am. Yep, my mom asked me if I was in denial and my answer was “no, i’m just not wanting to do anything.” ….aka, yes. I KNOW that I cannot just sit here, but I really just want to try. There’s nothing that really interests me today, except my really good haggen daz carmelized pear & toasted pecan ice cream that’s alone in my freezer. I think literally, I could wear my pajamas until they fall off me….or I’m forced to take them off for the safety of the public.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”-John 16:33

I’m trying to remember this, but then another wave of blah comes closer & I have to remind myself what the heck i was trying to think about. oh yeah I say…hm, oh well.

Someday, maybe not today, I’ll change. This too will make me into a stronger person, right? Sure. Sometime maybe. Not today though.