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Archive for July, 2010

Writer’s Block/Break

So I’ve started and stopped so many posts over the last week I’ve lost count. I’m not sure what the issue is. I feel this general malaise. Something is not quite right.

So until I can get back in gear, I thought I’d write up a praise report for the past week.

We were able to overhaul half of our water system, including the water heater, without going into debt.

Got to hang out with my Mom and kids on the put-put course and watch my baby get 2 holes in one.

Got to snuggle with all my babies (including my big guy)

Got to get all girlie and have a nail painting extravaganza with my girls (thanks for the inspiration sis!)

Got to show support to a neighbor whose wife is not doing well.

Got to talk to God daily.

What happened in the last week worthy of praise in your life?

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Relay Results

So I went to the Relay for Life on Friday. It started out by raining. I learned some new things: 

rain+ridiculously high heat = a terribly uncomfortable, muggy, icky, sticky time for me. 

Example A: 

 

note stringy hair and basic unkempt appearance. 

Secondly, even if my discomfort level is ridiculously high, I can still find something beautiful. 

  

This was the sunset that evening

 And I can find a moment to reflect on battles fought that were both won and lost. 

Laminaria Ceremony

And while I’m not sure if I made any impact, I did make some new friends. I stayed up all night  selling our various items. My personal fave was the ice cream that went from being vanilla ice cream to vanilla frosty to milk 🙂 

I got home at 7am and snoozed a little over 2 hrs before we had to tackle our plumbing. That is another story that I may share later.  

 

 

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Today

Today I will be participating in the relay for life with my church. This has been a really odd week for me. My kids got home from their vacation, and we are all settling back into our rhythms. So yesterday as I baked a billion cookies for the bake sale today, I was pondering why I was doing this. What possible impact could I make doing this? Most likely I’ll show up and be that awkward new kid that doesn’t really fit in with the crowd. Even after months of attending the church I still am the odd outsider. Honestly have never even had a conversation with the pastor other than to say “Hi!” as he walks by. And all of that is normally fine by me… but for some reason my emotions are all out of whack this week. So all that being said, I was really touched and comforted by my friend Michael’s blog today I Want You to Know and have decided that I am going to declare some things for myself today.

Today I will open my heart and seek God’s face.

Today I will make myself available for God to use.

Today I will show up.

Today I will be encouraged by the strength of others.

Today I will make an impact – if only in my own life.

Today I will please my Father.

What will you do today?

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You Are For Me

A powerful reminder of how good our Father is to us.

So faithful. So constant.

I know that you are for me.

I know that you will never forsake me in my weakness.

Hope you all enjoy this song as much as I did.

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Everyone has someone like this in their lives at some point. You know, the person that is totally unreasonable. Unfairly judgmental. Sometimes flat-out mean. Set in their own way. Aggravating to the  point of screaming.

Arghhh! Sometimes loving one another is not easy. Sometimes I just want to throw my hands up and walk away. As frustration bubbles up, I try to remember what Jesus had to say about this:

Matthew 5:43-45

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[h] and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[i] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.

Hmmmm… so I need to pray for those that are driving me bonkers. And then he points out why:

Matthew 5:46-48

46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

And that makes so much sense. It really does.

So. I am praying for patience, wisdom, and understanding. I am praying that my pesky person has an encounter with Jesus and just gets enveloped in His  love. And I pray next time I won’t even get to the frustration point, I’ll go straight to the praying part.

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My reading this morning brought me to Deuteronomy 18:9.

 9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.

This struck me as an important thing to think about. If we are going into the darkest places to shine God’s light, shouldn’t we give some thought as to the balance between being accepting and showing grace to those we are trying to reach and mimicking what they are doing to a certain degree so we can reach them.

Where is the line between trying to meet them where they are at and entering the dangerous territory of imitating their ways? Or trying to fit into others culture so as to be accepted versus imitating ways that are not pleasing to God?

I don’t really think there is a definite answer to this. All I know is that God warns us not to blindly follow what those around us are doing.

I guess the key is to test all new things we introduce into our lives and pray for guidance on the merits of them.

I would think this would apply in a big way to missionaries as they are immersing themselves into different cultures. Any thoughts?

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Heat Wave…

There is nothing quite as uncomfortable as a summer heat wave. During the day you swelter and sweat and are just basically uncomfortable. At night it is hot and humid and every kind of uncomfortable you can imagine.

 

As a kid, I would get very imaginative in my ways of “beating” the heat. Turning the backyard into a lake from having the hose on for too long. Crawling into any bit of shade I could find.

It strikes me that as an adult, when I feel like God is spotlighting an area I need to change (especially if it’s one I really don’t want to give up) I have the same basic level of discomfort. I get squirmy. Feel miserable. Tired. Restless. And I try to find a creative “fix” for the issue.

Sometimes I feel cranky and want to stomp my foot. But just like my mom making me come in to cool down was the best thing for me, so is following God’s prompting. The comfort and rest to be found in the shade of God’s grace is well worth the effort.

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