Friday, April 29, 2011

Perspective

A word keeps appearing in my life lately.  It keeps coming to mind in certain situations.  Perspective. 

I have found myself with the wrong perspective lately.  Which is probably why God wanted me to evaluate the word & ponder it for a while.  It's been a rough few months...still.  It's starting to get old to me.  I want my husband to find a job.  I want things to stop being challenging.  I want everyone in my family to stop getting sick.  I'd really like my cough to go away!  I want to stop having difficulties with EVERYTHING!  Nothing seems to go the way I want lately.  I feel like that cartoon character with a rainy cloud above her head everywhere I go.  Pity party for Becky.  Anyone get their invitation? 

This is when I've begun to realize I'm viewing everything from the wrong perspective!  It helped to see the movie, "Soul Surfer".  If you need a new perspective on life, go see the movie.  A girl with big potential and a big heart has everything ripped from her grasp.  Life is hard and everything is challenging, but she rises above because she changes her perspective on what's important in life. 

I've decided to stop seeing my life as challenging.  I'm going to view things as a lesson to be learned.  I'm back in school...the school of life.  And I'll have my PhD by the time all this is over.  I'm going to stop seeing myself as a victim of attack.  I'm going to be empowered by understanding that I am standing firm for Christ, therefore, I'm going to be attacked.  I'll consider it an honor of doing the right thing and being exactly where God wants me to be.  I'm going to stop focusing on what we don't have and focus on the gazillion things we DO have!  Those things far outweigh the things I think I don't have.  I'm going to remember a verse my children have been learning in school this year, Philippians 4:8, " Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."

Just a little perspective switch.  We can all use one of those every now and again.  Right? 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ride the current....dude.

My husband can make correlations out of just about anything!  But the one he made most recently really makes sense!  I'm sure all of you have seen the movie "Finding Nemo" at some point.  If you are like us, we watched it about 100 times when Alex was a toddler.  It was one of her favorite movies at the time! Well, let me show you how you can equate a scene in "Finding Nemo" to living in God's will!  Curious?  Well, read on.

Michael and I are doing a bible study together called "Experiencing God".  We are learning a TON!  We are therefore teaching what we are learning to our college/young adult lifegroup.  Last week, Michael was talking about how to know God's will.  So many of us ask God, "What is your will for my life?"  When the question should really be "God, what is Your will?"  Let's go ahead and take the selfishness out of that question.  We always want to know how things apply to us...what's the benefit for me?  What do you want ME to do?  Instead, God really just wants us to look around and see where He is already at work and just jump right in and join Him there.  That is God's will.  He's at work all around us.  Find where He is working and join Him.  Simple, right? 

It is as simple as a kids movie.  In "Finding Nemo", Marlin is searching for his son and ends up in the East Australian Current.  In that current, the super cool sea turtles don't really have to do anything.  They just ride the wave; let the current take them where it will.  God's work is like that current.  We just simply need to hop in and ride.  Let God take you wherever He wills for you to go!  Of course, you'll have to let go of some of your control issues.  I think the popular phrase is "Let go and let God." 

So, hop on the back of a sea turtle with me and let's ride the wave, dude! 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A poem from Alex

Alex' class was to write a poem about the crazy snowstorm today.  I thought it was super cute and wanted to share it!

"April Showers Turn into Snow"

Today is April 15, 2011.  Last week it was sunny and warm and birds began to swarm
into my yard they'd go while the flowers began to grow.
But today on this Friday no one knew what to say
when we woke up and saw not rain but snow we weren't sure if to go.
I got up, got food from the fridge
hopped into the car and went across the bridge.
As we went across the water flooding, I told my brother the flowers were budding.
When we were at school the wind felt quite cool
as we were in class the snow kept coming while my heart was numbing.
The snow piled and piled and no one smiled.
Today was not a pretty sight.  I sure hope it stops tonight.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Lesson

So, I learned another lesson this past week.  This time, though, it wasn't painful...it was kind of humorous.  Let me give you some background first.

Michael and I have led a Lifegroup for many years now.  Our Lifegroup has shifted from a couples group talking marriage and relationships to a Lifegroup this year of college students/young adults.  We go with the flow...wherever God wants to use us is fine.  When we started the young adult group we were making dinner for the "kids" every week.  (I say kids because we are just way too old!) We just had a few so it wasn't a problem.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, chili, lasagna...all foods you can make for a lot of people.  No problem.  Well, now our group has grown and Michael is out of a job.  Affording a meal for 20 people every Sunday gets to be a bit of a stretch.  But you know what?  God always provides!

He has provided through food that wasn't eaten at Riverside, my kids' school.  I work in the lunch room on Fridays and if there is food leftover, we get to take it home to feed our college students.  Isn't God cool?  Other weeks we just have enough money in the grocery budget that it's no big deal to feed them all.  We feel God has called us to feed them, physically and spiritually.  We just have to obey, right?  He fed 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish....I think He can feed our Lifegroup! 

So, the funny part of the story comes in now.  When you hear the term potluck what do you think?  It's just a term to bring something, right?  Doesn't necessarily have to be a casserole you made.  Or anything homemade for that matter.  Well, we thought we would skirt around our "feeding the kids" issue and have a potluck.  Let me just say, don't skirt around the things that God has commissioned you to do.  Of our 20 kids in Lifegroup, only 6 showed up to our potluck!  LOL  The word potluck really scared them off!  God has called Michael and Becky to provide the food for them, not put it on themselves to provide for themselves!  So, we all got a good laugh out of it.  But from now on, the foods on me....or should I say it's on God?!  He'll be the one providing it every week.  I think He wants to show not only us that He can do it, but He wants to prove a point to these college kids that He is their ultimate provider! 

I think this week we'll just bring 5 loaves and 2 fish and see what happens.  Our God is an awesome God!  I'm SO glad He loves us!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I'm such a human....

When Satan attacks, he really attacks hard.  It's no coincidence that the lessons I've been teaching in children's church for the past few weeks have been on putting on the FULL armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-17 tells us to put on ALL of God's armor so that we can stand firm against the attacks of evil.  We are told to put on the belt of truth, the body armor of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. 
 If the full armor is not put on, Satan can wedge in to an unprotected area.  Attacks come in many forms.  Attacks on your self-confidence, your friendships, your very nature of who you are, your abilities, and the list goes on.  Satan has been attacking me like a ravaged lion lately.  Apparently the closer you get to God, the more of a target you become.  But I've been taught just recently, the importance of putting on every piece of armor for protection.  I think I left off a few pieces lately.  Maybe I forgot to put on the peaceful shoes, or I left that shield of faith sitting on the coffee table.  I left my helmet in the closet and let some things enter my thought process that shouldn't be there. 

It's never good to go out naked.  Especially in a battle.  When you go out naked, you get laughed at, humiliated, and you lose all respect.  So, next time, I'll remember to put on all the armor.  Is this example too vague for you to grasp?  Think about what you have let Satan have access to lately.  Your mind, your emotions, your relationships, your self-esteem, your time, your faith...or lack thereof.  When he gets in and has access to an inch, he takes off with me and runs for miles.

I have spent my whole day letting Satan attack my mind. I have sat and listened to him tell me I have no value, no worth, no special talents.  He has told me I am a horrible friend and should just crawl in a hole and disappear.  Well, God has other opinions of me.  God knows that I am a sinner, and God loves me "as is".  God created me and decided he would purchase me "as is".  God knows my heart and He created my amazing talents.  He gave me the friends I have in my life to grow me in this season.  He gave me the friends I have in my life to teach me to put on all the armor in my closet.  Without the armor, I am human.  With the armor, nothing can penetrate. 

Next time you see me, please notice my pretty shoes of peace.  And notice my new, fashionable belt of truth.  I'll be polishing up my body armor of righteousness and sharpening my sword.