Thursday, July 31, 2008

Change of Seasons

Sorry I have been silent for a while. My life is seeing many changes right now. I guess the last few weeks were just a time for me to be silent and listen. I thought I would share today what I have been learning. I will return to our "bowl of fruit" next time. Thanks for being patient with me.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

It is funny how the seasons of life change. Some changes we are fully aware of and completely ready for. Others happen when we least expect and we are not even looking. It is not that they are things we wouldn’t expect to happen but the timing is often not how we had envisioned. I have been going through a change of seasons lately. Some of it I have handled well and was fully prepared for (like no more diapers, diaper bags, bottles, etc…) Other things have caught me so off guard my head is spinning and I am not handling them well. I have had two children move out of my house. One on good terms, one not. We got rid of our 12 passenger van that I loved. That van that represented my large family and many wonderful memories. I have a dog that is nearing the end and he has been my constant companion for 14 years. These are just a few of the things I was not prepared for but prepared or not they are happening. Deciding how to handle changes, not if there will be changes, is what I need to be doing with right now. There is no use living in denial or burying my head in the sand. Times are changing. I can choose to embrace the next season and praise God or I can choose to be grouchy and bitter. I have decided after a few grouchy and bitter days that I better just start praising God. I need to not long for what is no more but praise Him for the time I had. I also need to thank Him ahead of time for the next season. For the opportunities He will bring my way. I need to be fully yielded to Him and His plan. My plan needs to go. It doesn’t work and it never will. We need to drill that into our heads. Repeat after me: OUR PLANS DON”T WORK! His word clearly tells us to be ready for change and that there would be a season for everything. My days as a big van driver, 7 kids in the house, and 2 dogs running around are over. I just have to tell myself it is ok. I have been blessed with a beautiful new vehicle. I am sure there will be more dogs. And kids are supposed to move out. Not only that I am not living for this world anyway. This is all just temporal. I am preparing for eternity. Remember “we are just passing through”. I know that Lord willing my life will see many more changes. Some in the not so distant future. I will need to just keep going until the day I meet my King in the heavenlies. O what a glorious day that will be. I CAN NOT WAIT!

Prayer:
Lord thank you for all the blessings you have given me. Help me not to hang on to tightly to things that are just temporary. Help me through the change of seasons in my life. I give you all praise and glory for the things that have been in my life and for the things to come. I love you Lord.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fruit Bowl Living (part 2)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23


Now let’s talk about joy. I know I have written a lot about it before but I want to just add a few more thoughts Anyway, love might come fairly easy to us but for many joy is another story. I love to wake up my kids singing. One song I sing often is:

This is the day (This is the day)
That the Lord has made (that the Lord has made)
I will rejoice (I will rejoice)
And be glad in it (And be glad in it)…….

One day my son looked at me like I was crazy and asked me how much coffee I had to drink this morning. I laughed but as I walked away I wondered how much joy he has really seen in me lately. Do I get up every day and say, “This is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!” Or do I base everything on circumstance? If things are good and everyone is cooperating I will rejoice and if not you better stay out of my way! This is not what the song or the verse that the song is based on (Psalm 118:24) is saying. It is saying let us rejoice because this is the day the Lord made and that does not matter what we feel like or what is going on. People will not remember everything you said or did but they will remember how you made them feel. If you’re truly joyful others around you will pick up on that and it will make them feel pretty good. True joy is found in Christ alone. When we seek Him and His plan for our life true joy will come and people and circumstances will not be able to take that. We need to ask ourselves if we are truly joyful. If not what are the things that “steal” our joy. Are we too tired? Are we spending quiet time with God? Does our “talk” exceed our “walk”? If any of these or anything else is a joy “stealer” for you it’s ok. Recognize it. Confess it. Seek Him. He will make our joy complete.

Prayer:

Thank you Lord that you promise to make our joy complete. Show me today what is “stealing” my joy. Help me to weed out the things that aren’t important. Also give me a peace about the things I can not change.

Amen

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Living Life in a Bowl of Fruit?????(Part 1)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23


How do I want to live? Or better yet how should I live? It’s better to ask myself that question since my want to and my should don’t always line up. Whenever I start thinking about this God brings me back to the same passage of Scripture every time. I always come back to the fruit of the spirit in Galatians. For many years I thought it was the fruits of the spirit and even though I was willing to be loving or kind I was not so good at patience and I figured that was pretty good because I apparently wasn’t given the rest. That is until I realized it is the fruit of the spirit. The fruit we will display because we have the spirit dwelling in us. We aren’t just given one or two but with the Holy Spirit we have the ability to display all of them in our life. It is the living proof that God is dwelling in us. It is how others will know. I want others to know don’t you?

So let’s start with the first one - love. I know we all feel love for others. We tend think it’s pretty simple. But is it really? I mean we can love little babies and puppies and things like that but what about the unlovely people in our life? Or the people that for one reason or another just make us crazy? Are we loving everyone unconditionally? Or do we put certain conditions on how much we love on someone based on what we get in return? People will disappoint us and if we don’t purpose in our hearts to love them unconditionally we are not really loving them. We are told in God’s word that love is only from God. So our unconditional love is just one other way to point people to our savior. Nothing we do separates us from the love of God and people around us, especially our children, need to know that nothing they do will stop you from loving them. Because of God’s love for us He does not repay us according to our iniquities or our sins as He should but instead He is the forgetter of wrongs and so should we be with those we love. Let’s all be real intentional today to love people like crazy and love them unconditionally. Well more from this fruity lady next time. (hey if I’m going to be a fruit it might as well be a good thing right???)

Prayer:

Lord thank you for the help of the Holy Spirit that we having dwelling in us. Help us to love like crazy whoever you put in our path today. Thank you that you first loved us and that love only comes from you. We all have the ability to love like this and I pray we would remember that even when someone in our life is difficult to love.

Amen