Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What Would My Response Be?

"You are to have a son" - the angel.
"May it be so" - Mary.

Do I live out my faith? Do I make a conscious, daily effort to live God's way and not my own?

Naturally at this time of year there is much talk of Mary and Joseph and their faith, but I don't think I've ever looked at it so deeply before. What it must have been like for both of them I cannot even imagine! For Mary it might have been dealing with the thoughts of others, how they thought the worst of her, but for Joseph, what must they have thought? Probably that he was the father, and maybe they were both trying to make up for their mistakes by continuing on with the marriage even though according to everyone else they were no longer pure before the Lord. And yet they were, both of them, and they both chose God over the thoughts of others, over the looks of disapproval and possibly loss of friends and maybe even family who didn't understand. What a faith. What trust in the Almighty One, in our Provider. Though the Lord does promise provision, I find it is often difficult to trust, or to see it when it is right in front of me, because often His provision is different than what I would have thought it should be. And yet every time it is always enough, it is always exactly what I needed, I just have to open my eyes and be willing to see it. I am a planner, so I have all these pictures in my mind about how I think life should turn out, often times those "plans" are the very things that keep me from seeing what God has given me because it does not look like what I had "planned". What He must think of me as He watches me struggle through my plans blind to the ones that He has laid down right before me...

The Lord is so patient with me, and I am so grateful for that patience. During this Christmas season He has challenged me with what my response might have been if I had been in Mary's shoes, or if tomorrow He asked something "outrageous" of me. What would my response be? Though an angel has never come to me and told me that I am to have a son out of wedlock, I have had my challenges, and I have acted in faith. Maybe not every time, well lets be honest, of course not every time, I am not perfect. But I have trusted that the Lord knows better, that He is greater, and that He has a plan. I struggle through my trusting, I take back certain things that I have given over to Him, but I do always come back. I always end up at His feet, kneeling and wondering why I take things back when it never does any good. Why do I feel the need to be in control? Why do I have the desire to know exactly how every decision is going to turn out? Why? Because I am weak, and yet in my weakness He is strong. I am in awe of His love, His mercies that are new every morning, His patience which I constantly seem to try. What a Savior, what a God. I am one who trusts and yet fails in my trusting. I am one who hopes and yet worries in my hoping. I am one who loves but one who often fears in my loving. I am sinner. I stumble and I fall. I make wrong decisions. I worry. And yet here I am, a child of God, sitting at His feet crying Abba, crying Father.

Here's a song by Shane and Shane, it's called Without You, I hope it touches your heart.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wherever you are, be all there

Life has flown by these last weeks and I have allowed it so without taking the time to savor, to enjoy. I haven't hurried but I haven't "been all there". You know how you can look back on a day or a week and wonder "Where in the world did the time go?!", well that's how it feels now. I wonder how my last post I was sitting, waiting to finally be back in Charlotte, and yet now, here I sit in Ingersoll, all moved into our new home sitting on our new couch. How did that happen? Where did the time go? Well, I can tell you where the time went, every day comes and then it goes, there isn't a day that is more or less than 24 hours, and yet somehow I seemed to have missed so many. I have missed moments. I have been too worried or preoccupied with the "what if's" and the "oh that will be here soon, better get ready!" that I've missed out on the right now moments. I am sad, and yet I don't want to miss this moment because I'm focusing on what I've missed. I just want to be more aware. I want to stop, I want to enjoy, I want to be all there. I want to watch the snow flakes fall like I did this morning, I want to sit and soak up every word I read from my Bible, from Jane Austin, from Brennan Manning, from Ann Voskamp. I want to relish in the washing of dishes and cleaning of floors, of washing and drying clothes in our own home, in the new oven that burnt our bacon and the amazing cabinet space that we have in our new kitchen. I want to experience every moment and not let them pass me by.

Christ calls us to a life of joy, and how can joy not be found when we enter into life, enter into each moment that we are given and give thanks in and for that moment? Giving thanks makes each moment greater, it gives each moment a greater depth of meaning, each moment becomes a sanctuary. Joy is found in moments of thanksgiving. Peace is found when I give over my control, that I only think I have, and lay my moments at His feet, and trust Christ to be my Provider, my Wisdom, my Healer.

Jesus, allow me to be "all there" as I live this life that You have given me. Let me see You in new ways, let me see Your wonder, Your beauty that You have designed for this life. Give my a heart of thanksgiving so that I might keep my focus on You rather than becoming distracted with the fast paced life the world offers. I want to enter every moment and savor it, cherish it, and see Your grace and provision in its midst ~ Amen