Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More than a sabbatical...

Boo hoo... God is calling me to stop blogging (writing posts or checking other blogs) for a time.... how long? I don't know..... but I don't really wanna give it up! This is painful! But I sense Him calling me to a deeper dependency on Him, with fewer distractions. I'm really kind of sad about this... but I've felt it coming on for awhile now... and I'm finally just obeying.

So, I guess this is.... well, it's not good-bye...... it's see ya later! Please know how much I have enjoyed this sweet fellowship with you, my fellow moms! You have ministered to my heart in the most beautiful ways...

With love,
Sara K.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lighten up a little, I say!

I received this as an email. Don't know that it's very edifying...but perhaps worth a grin or a chuckle, at least! :)

In this life I'm a woman. If I ever had a "next life" I'd like to come back as a bear. When you're a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that too.

When you're a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you're sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.

If you're a mama bear, everybody knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too.

If you're a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He also EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.

Just sorta makes me want to be a bear. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Being led somewhere new, deeper...

I get the sense that God is leading me somewhere new in my faith. A deepening. He is reassuring me of His goodness and love. And He is leading me to discover more depth of Who He is.

The process is not quick, and at times it is rather uncomfortable... which makes me want to rush it along! But God is a gentle leader, and He takes me by the hand and walks through it with me. Even when He seems silent, I still know He's there.

Last Sunday at church we sang a song called You Alone Can Rescue, and the first verse goes like this:

Who, O Lord, could save themselves?
Their own soul could heal?
My shame was deeper than the sea;
Your grace is deeper still.

The third line, "My shame was deeper than the sea," really resonated with me, as I had lost my temper with my boys when we were heading out the door for church that morning. Tears started to fill my eyes. Then I sang the line, "Your grace is deeper still"—but the Spirit nudged me when that line didn't resonate as strongly as the one about my shame. It became abundantly clear to me that my shame is bigger in my mind than God's grace!! Yikes! So I've been praying about that...

I just finished reading a book by Larry Crabb called The Pressure's Off. This has been part of my "process" too. The author points out that many of us Christians can get hung up seeking God more for His blessings than just to enjoy His presence, and how we get caught in a trap of trying to do everything "right" so God will bless our lives (i.e. follow these steps for a perfect marriage, perfect kids, etc.). But that's not accurate theology! God is sovereign and He has a purpose and a plan for everything in our lives, especially the difficult and painful stuff.

Here are a few quotes from the book (from ch. 19) that revealed my heart on a few things...
As a culture, present-day Christianity has redefined spiritual maturity. ... We're so committed to discovering and applying God's principles for making life work that we no longer value intimacy with God as our greatest blessing. ...

We seem more interested in managing life into a comfortable existence than letting God spiritually transform us through life's hardships.

...Jean Pierre de Caussade...believed that everything that happened to him, both blessings and trials, led him to God.

...all things in life...are part of a grand design. They're intended by an uncontrollable, mysterious, and relentlessly single-minded [God] to immerse us in His relational life.

Doesn't that just cut right down to the bone? It helped me see that I had gotten off track. My deepest passion in life is to love God and live my life for Him, but somewhere along the line (during my difficulties with parenting and my self-loathing) my focus had shifted to my desire to have an easier life, and seeking God more for blessings than simply enjoying being with Him! I'm glad my eyes have been opened to this. It is changing the way I pray. Not that I don't ask Him for help anymore, but I am trying to focus more on Him and His wonderfulness than on what He can do for me. It is a beautiful thing!

Lord, I do not want to settle for the happiness that comes from an easier life. I want to encounter You more than I want blessings from You!

[Sorry my posts are often so long! I try to be concise...but I imagine it as being like sitting down for coffee with you in fellowship. ☺]

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fearfully and wonderfully made

Recently I was at my chiropractor's office having a session of therapeutic massage. Oh, glory! I had a kink behind my shoulder blade for over a week, and it radiated down into my arm... youch!

During my session, I could hear the receptionist—a bubbly woman in her early 50s—laughing just outside the door, and it made me grin. Her laugh is just sort of contagious. And I started thinking, "She has such a buoyant personality—always a sunny outlook." (And to think she had just told me she has breast cancer would be having a mastectomy the following week!) I found myself wishing that God had made my personality a little more merry, like hers. It made me wonder what the world would be like if more people's personalities were more cheerful and uplifting. Couldn't God use more personalities like that? Wouldn't you think He'd place more value on an outgoing, cheerful personality?

But then I remembered how God made us as individuals—Psalm 139 says He knit me together in my mother's womb—and further, in Genesis 1:27, that we were made in His image. We each have our own distinct personality that HE chose specifically for us... why? For His good purposes, for His enjoyment, and for His glory!

So I have concluded God must have His reasons for making everyone so different, and some of us less naturally sunny than others... and He values them all! He delights in us (Psalm 149:4). And He can use our personalities in beautiful ways when we surrender ourselves to Him and allow Him to channel our natural tendencies toward being sensitive, or bossy, or laid back, or gregarious. :)

My husband is downstairs presently, playing his guitar and singing "He loves us, oh how He loves us..." (a David Crowder song)—and how fitting as I sit here pondering how to conclude this post. Thank you, God, for loving us so completely!