plans

I began a post for FMF back at the beginning of March, but never finished posting it because I was tucked away in a tent that weekend, hidden from the world, but not all the kids.

The word to blog about: plan

A white, crisp blank calendar is a thrill to my heart.  I love to look upon the days laid out before me, to imagine, plan, and dream of the excitement that they may contain.  I thoroughly enjoy jotting out the ideas, the things I want to see come to fruition.

Plans are so much fun.  The what if, and the how, the lists, all of this doing brings about a thrill in my heart.  I actually really love to plan.

Plans are full of expectancy, hope, greatness.

But the reality of what is met in the middle of the excitement of planning to the execution of the plan, well that is another story.

In my zest of planning, I seem to over plan.  Then, I struggle to meet those expectations that I’ve put upon myself.  I often think I am failing others, but I’m not sure that I am so much as not meeting my own ideals. Perhaps, I’m just more keenly aware of all that is left undone.

I find myself flustered over my plans in the end. Overwhelmed.  Wondering why in the world I ever thought I could muster up the energy or the ability to do whatever it was that I had planned.

I’m so thankful that scripture teaches that man makes plans, but God directs the steps of man.  So thankful that He will set me on a right path, even though the plans I make seem to be failing.

Good

It’s time for 5-Minute Friday Post.  Where writers bravely write for 5 minutes on a word put forth by Kate Motaung, the host of 5 Minute Friday.

Good.

I never feel like I can get there.

Always striving. Always missing the mark.

Now good enough. Sometimes I make it there.

Mismatched socks.

Piles of stuff undone.

My “want -to’s”pushed to the side.

I settle often, but I never quite feel like I achieve good.

I guess because the word has been cheapened.  We were told as kids, heck I tell my own kids, “be good.”  But realistically, one can not be good.  Scripture tells us this foundational truth, “there is none who is good, no not one.

There is a yearning in many people to achieve goodness.  But apart from Christ we cannot be good.

Something that seems like it should be so simple is to just be good.  We so nonchalant with the way we use this word.  Yet it can not be accomplished apart from Christ.  We are in a desperate need for Him for there to be any goodness, any beauty, any good work.

 Oh, how we need Jesus.

Because what He has done is good.  He finished His work of creating us and He said it was good.

He completed His work on the cross and said it was done.  And that was good.

But I spend my days striving to accomplish more in attempt to feel as if I am good, and yet what I really need to do is run to Him. Let His goodness cover me.  Allow Him do that work that He has begun in me. Trust Him to finish what He desires to finish in me because He is good.

Thanks: The Example of Jesus

My need to grow in thanksgiving has grown more and more evident in my life.  For years I have had a thankful journal.  This week, I determined it was time for me to start a topical Bible study on thanks during my quiet time. I would like to share what moved my heart this morning.

This morning, I found myself studying out of the book of Matthew.  Jesus is at the last supper.

Then HE took the cup and gave thanks and gave it to them, saying “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remissions of sins.  – Matthew 26:27-28

Here we see Jesus give thanks for the wine in the cup. But he also gave thanks for what it symbolized: His blood, His sacrifice, and His ability to pay the price for their sins.

Oh, what a great love.

He was not complaining, resisting, dragging His feet.  No, he was giving thanks for what was to come. He was giving thanks for the betrayal of Judas, the denial of Peter,  the trial to come, the beatings, the cross. He was giving thanks for the greatest pain- the separation of Him and the Father as He bore the weight of the world’s sin on His shoulders.

He knew all this was to come; that He would be able to shed His blood for the price of the human race’s sins. Yet He still gave thanks. 

Oh, what a great example is our Lord!

Prayer: O, Lord.  Thank You for such a precious gift.  Thank you, Jesus that You loved your disciples, the whole human race, so much that You were found giving thanks for the torture that was to come.  Thank You for the great example to give thanks in the midst of life’s hardest trials.  Thank You for the beautiful picture that You are and give.  Oh, how great is Your Love.

Restless Place

I have little to offer in my post this morning except just honesty on where I am.

I find myself in a restless place.  As I pray and read scripture these last few days, there are verses that jump off the page, moving my soul in ways I grasp for words to explain.

  • Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.
  • Psalm 33:13-15 The Lord looks from heaven;  He sees all the sons of men from the place of His dwelling. He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.
  • Philippians 2:13 – for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
  • Psalm 28:14 – Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.
  • Philippians 1:12 – but I want you to know brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out from the furtherance of the gospel.

Words from my prayer journal this morning:

Disturb me Lord, if I need to be disturbed. Convict me Lord if it’s sin causing unrest in my soul. Jesus I do want to move when you say move, I want to stay put when You call me to stay put.

Lord, help me to look to You, not myself. Jesus, You are good.  You will gently lead. You will guide my steps.

 

 

Opening my eyes

Another week of Five Minute Friday, where writers come together, to put thoughts to written word in five minutes of unedited writing.

 

This week’s word:  OPEN

Light filters in the crack of curtains, dark.  Eyes squint trying to adjust to the light peeking in.  I open the curtains and give time for my eyes to adjust, to be ready to open to the day.

Have it my way, many mornings I would stay in the dark much longer, lingering, delaying the opening of my eyes.  Content to stay put.  Stay still.  Stay quiet.

I find life parallels the spiritual.  Too many times, I would rather stay closed, shut.  Not letting Light in to those places that need light to shine.  Instant light hurts.  It reveals sin. Yet just as I want to hide from light during the morning, I thrive from the warmth of the light as it filters into a room.opening-my-eyes.JPG

The same way with the Light of the World.  As I allow my eyes to be opened by Him and His light to filter in, there is comfort. Healing.  Warmth.  Forgiveness.  Life.

Jesus.

 

5 minutes up.

“Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your Law.” – Psalm 119:18

Hop over and read some of the excellent writing on the word open.

 

 

Praying for Leaders/ Loved Ones/Others

photo (2)We are commanded to pray for and others.

We are also commanded to pray for our church leaders.

We are told also to pray for our political leaders.

And we are to pray for believers.

I pray.  But I get overwhelmed.  There are so many to pray for.  And sometimes I forget to pray for others – especially political leaders.

I needed a system to help me to pray for all that we should pray for but everything that I had tried in the past did not work.

But then I thought about the systems in our house and schedule that already work.  I thought about using the Memory Box system as a way to activaley engage the kids and me in praying for others.

I started by putting the pictures from all the Christmas Cards we received this year, behind the various divider cards along with the memory verses that we are working on.  If a family we know is going through a particularly difficult time, or if they have asked for special prayer, we put them in daily or every other day.  Others are sprinkled through out the file system to remind us to pray for them at different points during the month.  I also added in some of our political leaders (though I need to complete this task).  We are not limited to only praying for who is on the schedule, but it has helped us to remember to pray for others as a family.

We’ve been using this system for several months.  I have been blessed by being able to pray with my children for our friends and family through using this method.  I also am hopeful that this will help develop a habit in their lifes of praying for their leaders that they will carry with them through throughout their years here on this earth.

Memorizing God’s Word

I meant to post this over a year ago and just found it in the draft section of my blog.  

I have tried many methods over the last few years to actively hide God’s Word in my heart.   In highschool and college it was easy.   In highschool when I would finish the assigned work given in class, then I would pour over the Bible.  I learned many scripture passages  by spending hours a day in the Word.  In college whenever I got bored with listening to the lectures (which was quite a common occurrence), I would flip through all the index cards that I had written the verses on which I wanted to memorize and read through them.  Then I would spend time writing the verses repeatedly.

But once I had kids I found it very hard to memorize scripture.  My mind was always busy……with interruptions of a child who needs a drink of water, or a diaper that needed changed, or a fight that needed to broken up. You get the idea.

About nine months ago I read about a family who has a file box for memorizing scripture.  I decided that might just be the key to helping the kids and I to do hide God’s Word in our hearts.

I have been amazed at the amount of scripture our kids can memorize following this system.   I have also done a much better job of memorizing.   I am very thankful to this family for sharing their method.

We also use this system to memorize poems,  and catechism.  After lunch we stay at the table and go through our memory box.