Posted in Meditations & Meanderings, Thankfulness, Thoughts

Distraction

Distraction.

My mind goes everywhere. I begin to read, and I relish three verses. Then suddenly I’ve “read” three more without awareness.

I want to pray,
but instead ponder the day.

I want to praise,
but instead wonder why this or that has happened such and such a way.

I want to confess,
but I end up justifying.

Distraction.

It’s my enemy. And I let it right through my gates. I open the doors wide in welcome.
I let it turn my attention from You.

It’s not the electronics and the diversions and the family and the to-do list. Those are just the enablers. Those are just the things I keep around as scapegoats.
The problem is me.
My refusal to be disciplined.
My lack of willingness to invest in this relationship.

Who am I as a wife when I allow this destruction in my marriage? Who am I as a parent when I don’t listen to my children? Who am I as a friend when I allow silence to build between us?
You, my Lord and Savior, surpass them all. Yet here I am, as I am many days.

Distracted.

But not You.

Never.

You are always here. Always speaking. Always nudging. Always disciplining.
Not passively waiting. You’re too good a Father to leave it up to me.

You are active.
Pushing.
Urging.
Calling.
Speaking.

Thank you.

Today I honestly and fervently confess this choice of mine. This sin. And I feel the immediate peace of Your forgiveness. I know without asking that You will help me. But I ask anyway because I know that’s the first step – or the second after repentance – to conquering this sinful habit of distraction. And I know Your Spirit will nudge me each time I fall.

So, I ask.

Help me, Lord, to be attentive to You and conquer this beast.

I love You.

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Posted in Thankfulness, Thoughts from Life

Thankful for Growth

I am so thankful for salvation. On a regular basis, I find myself utterly overwhelmed by the realization of what I have as a child of the King. I cannot imagine life without Him.

But yesterday as I worded prayers of thankfulness for my salvation, my thoughts took a turn they have never taken before. I realized that there are areas of growth I would never experience were it not for that salvation.

I thought of certain people I am currently praying for. I pray for some to discover the beauty of the peace that can only come from the Holy Spirit. I pray for depths of joy. I pray for trust. For wisdom. For rest.

As I thanked the Lord for these people and then began to pray for them, I realized something. I get to pray for growth in these people because they are children of the King. My brothers and sisters in salvation.

Oh, what delight! Because of salvation, they get to experience growth! Because of salvation, I get to experience growth, too! I get to learn how to hear His voice more clearly. I get to grow in joy. I grow in peace. In truth, wisdom, and rest. Oh, what joy!

Growth is not always an easy thing. Sometimes it is painful. We grow through struggles and trials, and they are never fun. But, true growth is also such a gift! It is something that can only come to those who have received the salvation bought by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Without salvation, we cannot possibly grow in peace, joy, trust, wisdom, and true rest.

Yes, I am still in awe of the salvation I so greatly do not deserve. It still causes me to be overwhelmed with thankfulness. But God did not stop there. He took our overflowing cups of blessing and poured even more into them when He gave us the gift of growth.

Thank You, Lord, for growth!

Posted in Thankfulness

Thankful for…

…the celebration of new life. This morning it was a baby shower and in just about an hour it will be a wedding. Precious times!

…peace in the midst of craziness. Only God can do that.

…answered prayers.

…only one child who is afraid during middle-of-the-night thunderstorms. The other two typically don’t even know a storm came through unless it was really loud. One big sister will wake up to li’l brother’s cries quicker than she’ll wake up to thunder. That’s precious to me.

…a husband who loves to do little things to make people laugh in stressful moments. But, he also knows how to not go too far and add to the stress instead of relaxing it. This afternoon he put on his UPS tie when he went for wedding pictures. The groom works for FedEx. (And yes, he hid the “real” tie – one that coordinates with the wedding colors – in his pocket to put on once the joke was made.)

…opportunities. The ones God opens up without any “help” from me are the best. The more I stay out of the way, the better they are!

…friendships.

…family time.

…hubby & me time.

…down moments in the midst of a busy day/weekend.

Posted in Thankfulness

Thankful for…

…the incredible blessings of 2011.

…the flexibility we’ve had to enjoy the past two weeks of Christmas celebrations.

…safety in all our traveling.

…the return to routine that is coming next week.

…fresh starts, even if they are just dates on a calendar.

…the blessing of life in a place where we truly feel at home.

…the promise that God is going to be in every moment of 2012, so I don’t have to fear any of it – even those parts that already seem rather intimidating.

Posted in Thankfulness

Thankful for…

…every loved one I have the delight to be with this Christmas.

…the joy I’m seeing in my children as they give – even more than as they receive.

…the first Gift. The Reason we give gifts. I cannot imagine life without my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May my heart truly celebrate Him this Christmas and through the upcoming new year. There is no possible way I could celebrate Him enough.

Posted in Thankfulness

13 Years

Christmas is now officially less than a week away. The gifts we’ve made and bought for one another will be wrapped this week. We’ll celebrate at home, with extended family, and with our church family. We’ll sing. We’ll eat. We’ll make a point to remember why we’re celebrating and why we give gifts.

We have spent much time preparing and anticipating the celebration of Christmas, knowing that it has been and will be a very delightful celebration indeed!

But, starting in December of 1998, Christmas preparation began to be “interrupted” each year by another event. That first year, it was a wedding. Six days before Christmas.

It was a bright, sunny, rather warm day. And, in typical Arkansas fashion, it was five days before a nice, big ice storm hit the state. But, for that day, we got to enjoy the warmth. Not only the warmth of the weather, but the warmth of the love of a very young couple and all of the family and friends who came to celebrate this new marriage together.

Now, thirteen years later, only two of us still celebrate the day annually, although we always receive many well-wishes from our wonderful family and friends.

So, today, in the middle of all of our Christmas preparations, we’re taking one day to celebrate one of the most amazing gifts Christ gave to us next to our salvation – our marriage. Thirteen years of it. It seems such a short time, but every year has been precious. Every year has been a victory. Every year has marked the faithfulness of God to us and the way He has increasingly bound us together with Him.

I celebrate the fact that an amazing man has chosen to love me faithfully for thirteen years.

I celebrate the three children our marriage has produced.

I celebrate the growth we’ve seen together as a couple.

I celebrate the faithfulness God has shown to us, growing us, molding us, providing for us, using us.

I celebrate the encouragement we’ve received from other couples and have been able to pass along.

Thank you, my beloved husband, for thirteen years. You are not the man of my dreams – you are the man who so greatly exceeds my dreams that it seems ludicrous that I ever desired such lesser things. I am so thankful for you! I love you!