Monday, May 27, 2013

Best Summer Ever

There’s a phrase we girls coined last year. “Best Summer Ever”. Yep.. I think I threw that out there on the first day at the pool. I was confident that I had reached a point with my children that we would be having little to no meltdowns and I was even more sure that I would be pleasantly surprised by their cooperation skills.

Fast forward a few weeks into the summer grind and you could hear momma after momma snicker as we would throw out the “Best Summer Ever” phrase while one after the other would tote theirs to the bathroom for an attitude adjustment. A string of summer fails could be met with “BSE” text from all of us.

By the end of the summer we wished we had penned a “Best Summer Ever Memoir”. Guaranteed a best seller.

So here we go again.... “Best Summer Ever part 2”. That’s right. I declare a do over. My hopes are set high for Summer 2013. I’m going to stare it in the eye and conquer it with mad ninja skills.  Here’s how……

    1.   The ol’ Chore Chart. I’m fairly certain this will be met with gnashing of teeth but I will prevail in my efforts. Three easy peasy chores are all I will require of my children each day. Maybe I will look up at the end of the week to a clean home.

            2. Activity sheets. Oh to be a teachers child. My mother was convinced that if we didn’t use it we would lose it. “It” being our mad math and reading comprehension skills of course. I assured her that we were the only lame kids on the block that ever had to do worksheets during their summer break. Well…now my kids can be lame to. Welcome to the club kiddos.

    3.     Outdoor/Indoor planned activities. If its not planned then it will not happen around my house.  The intention may be there but if it’s not prepared for then we all end up watching too much television all summer long. That ain’t happening.

    4.     A little more lingering. I attend an amazing bible class on Sundays. This past Sunday our teacher challenged us to take time and linger. Linger in our relationships, conversations and God’s Word. Essentially the word “Linger” means to be slow in parting or in quitting something. To be reluctant to leave. I feel freakishly fast paced in my day to day. Very little time to sit and converse with friends. Even more so in my reading of Gods Word. Just to linger.

So I’m curious how you handle your summers?  Do you have an survivor kit action plan?  I’m more than anxious to hear your ideas.

Peace Y’all 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Why we should all be running

I remember when I hated running. It was always for conditioning purposes back in high school. Five down and back, 21 across, line drills, blah.. blah.. blah.. yuck! It was hot and always very hard and I complained the whole time. I remember telling my dad I wanted to quit basketball because I simply dreaded the first few weeks of straight up hard work.

A few years ago I had a close friend that tried to talk me into running. I kept telling her “I’m just not a runner”. My mind would take me back to those hot August days in the gym where I wanted to puke my lunch up on the gym floor. I was perfectly happy as a “speed” walker as my choice of cardio. (My high school friends are puzzled that I even used the word speed.)

But then I gave it a shot. A few laps around the track one cold December morning paired with girl time had me hooked. And now I have a few pretty medals from a few races to show off. I’m pretty darn slow but that’s not the point okay.  I enjoy running when its 60 degrees on a flat road with no wind preferably no heat and no humidity. That’s all. 

This got me thinking about my salvation and how long I spent my life perfectly content as a walker.

I grew up in church my whole life but I can safely say that it wasn’t until high school that I fell in love with Christ and his word. I was smitten with Him and his grace that he extended to a pathetic loser like me. 

So I began walking.

Walking is great isn’t it?  One foot in front of the other gets us right where we want to go. There isn’t much labor in walking. It’s easy on the body and good for the soul.  
That’s exactly how my faith looked for most of my adult life. Attend a bible study, worship on Sundays, and read my Bible when I needed to check that off of my list too. Walking is comfortable.

But then I started reading His word. I don’t mean reading it just to check it off my list but taking small bites and REALLY chewing on them. Talking to the Lord about the things in my life that didn’t match up to what His word says. Asking Him to grant me wisdom and knowledge to understand it. And most importantly praying His word back to Him.

I’m convinced that when we continually dig into Gods word that it activates the Holy Spirit within us to move. He places passions and affections within us that at one time had no place in our lives. He gives us a righteous anger towards the things that make Him angry. And He gives us eyes to see the grace he covers us with so we too can show grace to others.

Then we lace up our running shoes and start running.

I realize now that I was so content walking because I never truly understood the gospel. I’m not quite sure that if we understand the gospel that we are able to walk.

How can we NOT run?  RUN to the needy, RUN to the oppressed, RUN to the hungry, RUN to the lost. When we understand the gospel there is no time to walk.

Jesus’s words about this hits me hard every. single. time.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take you inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sister of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:34-40 (NIV)

I’ve seen some pretty cool runners lately. Families who are going on mission trips, people opening their homes to foster care, adoption, women determined to bring awareness to a community about sex trafficking, ladies who serve at the pregnancy resource center. I cannot leave out those that serve in the church week after week.  I could go on and on and on.

Sister, are you a walker or runner?

If you are content with walking this thing out until the end you are missing out.  Running a race is hard. There are hills, wind, heat and blisters. But crossing the finish line and throwing that medal around your neck is a feeling like non other.
Start grabbing the walkers along the course and show them how much more rewarding it is to run the race!

Get out there and RUN!

Would you share the areas that stir your affections for Christ that cause you to run? 

Peace Y’all  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blind Spots: Calling a Sister Out

Relax! I’m not calling anyone out. Chill.

Remember when I wrote about encouragement. If not then you can take a look at that here.  We are so willing to put ourselves out there to be lifted up by others aren’t we? Not sure I’ve ever run across someone who doesn’t like a pat on the back or a kind word every now and then.  But there is another side to that encouragement coin and it’s rebuking. The word rebuke just sounds harsh and unkind. But Gods word says differently.

If we use Gods word to direct us to what rebuking looks like then it would be something like what we find in 2 Timothy 3:16

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)

This gives a perfect picture why we are called to rebuke fellow Christians. So we can be equipped for His good works.

My guess is that we all have blind spots. Not driving blind spot where you change lanes too soon and drivers pass by with evil glares. Those folks need to just’s never on purpose.
I’m referring to the blind spots that encompass the dark places where we are unable to see the sin in our own lives.

What if we ALLOW a close sister to shine some light into those dark spots?

Psalms 141:5 says:
Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head.

Proverbs 12:21 also:
Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor rather than one who has a flattering tongue.

This is a tough issue to tackle because I know if this is not handled in a loving manner (Galatians 6:1) I will be the first to get defensive and throw out every justification for my “blind spot”. For the sake of transparency let’s just go ahead and throw in pride, arrogance and hurt feelings.

We should be careful not to become stumbling blocks in the way of our own correction.

That word rebuke also means reproof- which means convincing a man of his sin.
To correct by restoration and to set right again.

It doesn’t look so bad now does it?

I’m convinced this is one of the truest forms of friendship. To expose a sin so one may be restored for their good works for Christ. 
Now that is some straight up good girlfriend love right there. 


Monday, May 13, 2013

Get to Reading!

Can you feel it coming? Ready or not its quickly approaching and if your anything like me..You must be prepared. I have to have a game plan. 

I'm stuck in this middle spot where I have no concrete feelings about summer yet.

On one side I see fun days spent at the pool, little or no schedule, vacations, grilling out with friends, bumming boat rides to the lake with friends, tan legs, pool days that count as baths most nights and big tomatoes slathered with mayo. 

Then on the other side I see little or no schedule, scorching hot days that force you inside, snakes, my attempt to keep those tomatoes alive and my lead role as referee.

Here's one thing I know. I must limit my screen time during all of this free time. So here's some books I'm reading and I would love for you to join me! A book club of sorts...

Cleaning House:  A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement 
by Kay Wills Wyma

A Disruptive Faith: Expect God to Disrupt Your Life
by A.W. Tozer

Orphan Justice: How to Care for Orphans Beyond Adoption 
by Johnny Carr

Subversive Kingdom: Living as Agents of GospelTransformation
by Ed Stetzer

Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning
by Rebekah Lyons

Unconditional Love: Radical Love, Real People  
by Ben Stroup

Compelled: Living the Mission of God 
by Ed Stetzer & Phillip Nation

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy 
by Eric Metaxas

I've realized in my old age of 30 that when you stop reading you stop learning. Let's keep our minds sharp and our hearts open. I hope you will join me and hopefully we can do a bit of discussion about the books listed above. 

Peace Ya'll