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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Must See...Again

My husband and I went to New Hampshire for our honeymoon.

If you have never been there, let me tell you, it is stunning.  The mountains, the waterfalls, the hiking trails, the moose-sightings, the cozy bed & breakfasts.  It left us so breathless that we decided to go back again a year later, and then again 2 years later to bring our new born daughter to see it, and then yet again several years later to let our second daughter see it, too (along with practically my whole husband's side of the family!) We just wanted to share it with everyone!  

Some might say, why keep going back?  Just take some pictures.    

But, no picture can do it justice.  It's one of those things you have to experience.  The majesty.  The colors.  The smell of mountain air and the snow (yes snow!) even in the middle of May, as you walk up the trails of the huge mountainsides.  As much as we would want to remember it all, we forget.  Our senses have the memory of how we felt when we took it all in, but daily life back in the suburbs clouds it  -- which is why we want to go back and relive it all over again...and again...and again.

I compare this to my breathless moments with God.  Moments that I tell myself I will never forget.  The wonder.  The majesty.  The speechlessness as I gaze.  But, when I come down from that mountain, though I have the blissful memory, I realize that memory is not enough.  I have to go back and see it again.  

And, every time I do, it never disappoints.  No matter how many times I take in such Majesty, 

I am always left speechless.  
I am always left wanting more.  



Saturday, August 27, 2011

The one who is wise prepares. 

He does not wait for the rain to fall to begin his preparation. 
He begins while all is still well -- when there seems to be no obvious sign of anything coming.

He moves in faith. 
He moves steadily. 
He does not sway in his decision to be ready. 
He does as he knows he should -- without doubting. 

He does so because he knows he is not following what his eyes tell him...

but what his heart is pressing him to do.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Couldn't Care Less

There was a boy who loved baseball.

He ate, drank and breathed baseball.  He invested much into the game and in turn the game gave back so much in joy and pleasure.  There was nowhere else he'd rather be than on that field doing what he loved.

But, he got hurt.

It was the bottom of the second inning and while at bat, the pitcher threw the ball right at his knee.  He was injured so badly that he was told he could never play again.

The boy was devastated.  All that he loved was taken from him in an instant.  He was so sad that, though his parents offered to still take him to the games and watch from the stands, he resisted and stayed in his room much of the day.  

His heart grew numb.  In an effort to dull the pain, he began to act like he didn't care about baseball at all.  It was the only way he could cope... hardening his heart and refusing to feel anymore.


****

It's easy to want to shut off -- to pull the 'emotions switch' and become numb and hardened about something you actually still care very deeply about.  A failing marriage.  A career crisis.  A relationship with a friend, daughter/son, or parent.  Your place in society or social group.  The giving up of something you love.  It's easier to not care -- than to face the pain.

I think what's important to remember when being in 'shut off' mode' is that you are aware that you're in 'shut off mode'.  Be at least honest with yourself that you aren't allowing yourself to be honest about how you feel.  Coping is one thing, but don't fool yourself into thinking that this is how you really feel.  If that happens, you might never reach out and find healing, health and restoration.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

I'm watching you...

An interesting fact in training your Labrador.  We read in our dog training book that everything we do with our dog teaches him something.  So, even when we are not necessarily trying to train him, we are.

I believe the same thing is true with our children.  I might not want to teach them to lie, but if they see me lie, I have taught them that in some way I'm OK with the idea of lying.  Same thing with cheating, talking bad about people, being disrespectful to authority, etc.  Their eyes and ears are more tuned in than I even know.  And, even beyond their conscious learning, they are absorbing.  I've heard them say things verbatim that I have said at some point in time.  I hear myself come out of their mouths.

Knowing this makes me even more aware of who I am and what I do and say on a daily basis.

I think, often times, the strongest motivation in life to do what is right is based on your audience.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Life Is Like...



Life is like watermelon.  It's sweet, but sometimes you get a mouthful of seeds.

Life is like the game Twister.  It's not always comfortable, but at least you're not alone.

Life is like a Christmas tree -- how beautiful it is when you step back and take in its beauty.

Life is like a skunk.  No matter how much you perfume it, it still stinks sometimes.

Life is like cayenne pepper.  Sometimes it 'bites ya back'.

Life is like a barter system.  It's a give and take kind of thing.

Life is like sitting in the dentist's chair.  You might have a lot to say, but you have to be patient until the opportunity is given.

Life is like a pizza.  We're all given a pie.  But, it's our decision what toppings we will put on it. 

Life is like an electrical outlet.  There's power available to us.  But, if not used properly, someone can get hurt.

Life is like going through a fast food restaurant drive-thru.  You don't always get what you ordered.

Life is like a box of chocolates...  which might be why I love life so much!




Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Come & Get Me

When you really want something, you reach for it.  You focus in on it.  You make an effort to move toward it. 

Maybe it's a career.  Maybe a romance.  Maybe it's as simple as trying to catch a good sale before it's over.  Or, maybe it's a life-changing or life-saving action.

Whole-hearted reaching goes a long way.  Passive reaching (which actually sounds like an oxymoron to me) does not.  

Seeking is similar.  You're either seeking or your not.  If a child is looking for his father, he is either calling for him or not.  If you're looking for something you need, you are either looking for it or your not.  I've never met a person that found their keys without some amount of looking.


When it comes to Higher things, we are told to take an active part.

SEEK.  "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."   

He's not playing games.  His heart is absolutely wanting us to find Him.   But, He wants our hearts to be involved too.  Can you imagine if a person wanted to marry you more than anything in the world, but instead of wooing and romancing you into it, they decided to just force themselves on you --disregarding how you might feel about a relationship with them? 

He's looking for a response from us.  He's looking to see if we will come and take Him up on His amazing offer.  He's looking to see if we will voluntarily reach out and grab His extended Hand.  He is looking to see if we are absolutely serious about Him or just 'passive reachers'. 

If you want Him... go after Him.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I Have A Dream!

I had a conversation this week with a teenage girl.  Our talk brought me into her world of blissful dreaming.  In 2 1/2 minutes, with stars in her eyes, she told me everything she wants to do when she grows up -- from music to acting to going to medical school.  She was absolutely serious about it and no one could quench her passion.  It was an inspiring conversation for me. 

I walked away thinking about my own dreams. 
And, that lead me to think about His dreams for me. 

There are specific things that God has impressed on my heart about my life.  Plans.  Dreams.  A Destiny.  Dreams He held in His own heart for my life as He crafted me in my mother's womb.  Things He's had planned for me even before the foundation of the world.  Things that would compliment my talents.  Things that would bring much Joy to His Heart.  Things that would bring me closer in my relationship with Him.

It reminds me of Jeremiah's words...  "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

He's declaring it!  

I HAVE A DREAM!  I have a dream for your life!  I have plans that are too wonderful to even imagine -- things you would not believe even if you were told. 

And, the beautiful thing is -- He wants to make these dreams come true for us!  He's not one to play games.  He says, "Seek and you will find." 

But, He also says, "You do not have because you do not ask."

He wants to give us life, and life abundantly.  Are we seeking the Dream Fulfiller?


Monday, August 1, 2011

JUST MARRIED (10 yrs. ago) part 4

10.  Let's talk about...  well, you know...

Sex.  The media and the entertainment world have no problem talking about it, advertising with it, and perverting it.  It should be something that we're able to talk about with our spouse.  But, for some  reason, it feels almost taboo for some married couples to actually talk about their sex life together.  Or, maybe there's never a perfect moment or best way to open up the discussion.  A great way to start might be to just discuss the idea of discussing.  Sounds weird, I know.  But, the only way to talk about it is to purpose to talk about it. 


11.  Oh, I'm sorry.  I forgot.  You're human.

I have come to realize that I expect alot from my husband.  So much so, that I sometimes don't allow him the room to be human.  I'm quick to get frustrated with him and slow to be gracious with his weaknesses.  I start to look more at what he's not doing to meet my needs instead of focusing on all he does do to enrich my life.   He's human.  And, no one is perfect.  He needs as much grace as I do.


12.  If you want him to lead.  Let him.

I told my husband once that I really needed him to take the lead in this certain area of our marriage.  His response was very positive.  "Sure," he said, "but don't give me a hard time if it's not done to your preference."  hummm...  good point.  I wanted him to lead, but only if he did it my way.  Letting him lead means just that.  Letting him.




JUST MARRIED (10 yrs. ago) part 3

#7  Talk to Him before you talk to him.

"In all your ways, acknowledge him..." (Proverbs 3:6) 
Funny what a difference a small discussion with Him makes before I have a discussion with my hubby.  Talking to God first about things helps me unload my burden, clears my head, and gives me proper perspective before I go sounding off to my husband.  Then when we do talk, I know there's a third party involved who says He will guide us in all our ways.


#8  Talk to me while I'm eating.

My husband has low blood sugar.  It took me some time to realize that he can't have much of a discussion when all he can think about is getting his sugar normal.   

When you really need to talk, it's a great idea to do it over dinner together.  No sense in trying to make your point over the sound of your hunger pains and the nagging of your low blood sugar.  It will also help set the tone and bring focus to what matters most about your discussion -- your relationship. 

#9  Sometimes she's right.  Sometimes he's right.

You don't always have to 'win'.  Put down your pride and really listen to each other.  You might find that this time your partner might actually be right!  I remember a time when I really thought I was in the right.  But, my husband was trying to tell me that I hadn't really been listening to what he was actually saying.  When I put my opinion aside and listened objectively, I finally saw where he was coming from.  And, ya know what?  He was right!



JUST MARRIED (10 yrs. ago) part 2


#4  Make time for things you hate.

If it's important to him, it should be important to you. 
If my husband was a bachelor he probably would not keep his desk very organized.  But, his desk is in the same room that I teach music lessons.  He makes time to clean because he knows it's important to me.  (Thank you honey.) 


#5   Keep the Source your source.
He's your husband.  Not your God.  I lean on my husband for many things.  He is my best friend.  But, he can never take the place of my First Love.  Only God can fill the God-shaped hole in our hearts.


#6  Sugar makes everything sweet.

My husband and I are two very different people.  We see life differently and we approach tasks differently.  This can get interesting when we are trying to accomplish something together as a team.  It's easy to lose our patience with each other; It can turn into a war of the wills.  But, there is an ingredient that we can reach for.  Love.  It's the sugar that makes our baked goods complete and beautiful.  Without it, we might still 'make the cake' together --  the task will still get accomplished.  But, no pastry tastes good unless it's sweetened with Love.