Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Making a Mark...

Psalm 147:10-11
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
Nor his delight in the legs of a man;
The Lord delights in those who fear him,
Who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Several years ago, I broke my leg while roller skating at my nieces birthday party.  In the months I spent recovering with pins and plates holding my leg together,  Psalm 147:10-11 became my life verse.  At the time, it was very relevant to my leg situation.  There was no delighting in my legs at that time…I wasn’t allowed to use either of them.  It was the obvious application.  As time goes on, though, this verse has gained deeper meaning. 

I stayed home with my kids.  I am very thankful that I was afforded that privilege.  I wouldn’t change those years for anything.  But the world doesn’t admire stay-at-home moms.  And let's be honest, the kids don’t really admire them either.  It’s a thankless and tiring job.  There is a lot of sitting on the sidelines…literally and figuratively.  While I was sitting on the sidelines of a soccer field, other moms were climbing the career ladder, gaining notoriety, making a mark.  Every time I tried to do something “bigger” I felt God telling me to stop…then the verse.  Sometimes it read something like this: “I do not take pleasure in your accomplishments or talents, I delight in your obedience.”  Sometimes I would argue, “But you gave me the gifts, I need to use them!  NOW!” Didn’t God realize the train of notoriety was leaving the station and I was stuck doing the dishes?  Did He really want me to miss out?  I finished the dishes and read my kids books and went to countless track meets and band concerts.  I wasn’t unhappy to do it, but I wanted more.  I wanted to make a difference in the world.  I wanted to be somebody.  I wanted to have an answer to the question “What do you do?” that didn’t make me shrink with anticipation of the response, which was usually something along the lines of “oh, is that all?”  My verse reminded me that what was important to God was not my title, God isn't impressed with busyness and accomplishment, He desires my obedience.

Now that my kids are grown and gone, I am able to pursue the other things that my heart has longed to do.  Things I believe that God put in my heart to do…eventually.  I realize that I’ve made a mark in the lives of my kids...in my marriage…by doing what God called me to do when he gave me my children.  And really, I do not make the mark.  God does.  His love reaches through me to touch the lives of others.  

I still have longings of mark making…and so I write.  My life verse speaks loud and clear…in a new way...

My pleasure is not in the things you do, or the way you write,

I delight when you trust me and cling to my unfailing love.

This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for God's patience with my impatience.  I'm thankful for my husband and children.  I'm thankful that I have purpose even though motherhood is no longer a full-time job.  And most of all, I'm thankful for God's Word.   

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Wake-Up Call

I’ve been very passionate about the election. 
I’ve had strong opinions about the candidates—and my opinions have changed and re-changed as accusations and videos and emails have dropped like so many bricks.
I’ve been upset and anxious and…I hate to admit, faithless. 
Until recently.
At some point in the past couple of weeks I couldn’t stand it any longer.
I had to let it go.
I woke in the night and prayed…night after night.
And peace has covered my anxious heart.
Peace and a humbling conviction.
The words that come to mind as I pray are…
Be bold.
As I’ve pondered and sought answers I’ve discovered that we are in this predicament due to our own complacency. 
We dropped the ball.
We shrugged our shoulders at depravity.
We winked at sin.
We have listened to false teaching.
We have looked upon ugliness.
And then we have the audacity to ask for favor in this election.
Now that we find ourselves facing the consequences our own negligence, we ask God to save us?
That’s one kind of bold, I suppose.
Brazen is the word I would use.
God doesn’t owe us a godly leader. 
He gave us this incredible country founded by men of faith and principle.
Maintained by bravery and ultimate sacrifice. 
We’ve let it rot.
This election is what’s known as a wake-up call.
Wake up, Christian!
Stand up!
Buck up!
No matter what the outcome of the election is, we have to get busy with the work we were put here to do.
We have to stand up for righteousness. 
Tell the truth, even when it’s not easy.
Love with grace.
And…be bold.

2 Peter 3:8-12
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:  With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

It doesn’t matter who wins the election. 
What matters is what we’re doing to share God’s saving grace with the lost.
Our country did not end up in this condition because we were actively doing God’s work. 
We fell asleep on the job.
I fell asleep on the job.
I’m awake now. 
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