Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Time Well Spent

I was talking with a friend the other day about the commodity of time, and as I listened to her present its value to me from an eternal perspective, I became increasingly aware of how I spend my own time.  Since then I have been joyfully driving my husband crazy by letting him know that "I'm spent" (my newly adopted favorite phrase) when I have to spend too much of my time explaining something to him that I feel he should already have gotten.  My newly found appreciation for the time allotted to me each day has been the object of considerable amounts of teasing and playful eye rolling on his part, but I'm not dejected; instead I am inspired and encouraged to take fresh inventory of how I spend each of my days.  Though we all know that yesterday can never be retrieved or repeated or redone, we don't often spend time thinking about actual time as it is handed to us by God. But I think we should.  We take great note of the hundred dollar bill we spend at the grocery store or the donation we make to our church, but we fail to notice the five minutes we spend berating someone we love when they let us down or leave us disappointed.  The difference is - we can earn that hundred dollars back and receive double for what we gave to our church, but we'll never get back those five minutes.  How did you spend your last five minutes as you happened across this blog entry?  Was it time well spent?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Falling Sky

Several months ago I sat in church one Sunday morning and listened to our church's mission team coordinator talk about her trip to Medellin and Bogota in Colombia just weeks before. She talked about many things, both good and bad, but of them all I can only recall the story of heroin addiction and other abuse among children as young as six years old. As she talked my eyes filled with tears and I could see nothing in my mind except my own six year old son, accompanied by the image of a grown man or woman injecting a narcotic filled needle into his precious arm. I quietly began to sob as I sat in my chair and listened to her speak. I wanted to go get my son out of the childcare room and wrap him in my arms, but I wasn't able to move from my seat yet. Little did I know at the time, God was keeping me there to hear every word for a purpose. I kept listening, and as I did I saw more clearly than ever my son's face, but I didn't see it as it is everyday. I saw it as one of the children's faces over in Colombia that was being described from the front of the church. In my mind, he was bruised, battered, addicted, and recruited into a life of crime as a child soldier. He had a bomb strapped to his chest and was sent to be killed as the bomb he wore killed those around him. With just the right amount of heroin flowing through his veins, he did as his recruiters instructed and without arguing. Moments after following orders, his life exploded. This was the horrific image I saw as I listened to our mission team coordinator describe this lifestyle for kids my own son's age, and this is when my heart shattered and my sky fell.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"I Am Who I Am"

 You know that feeling you get when you're so overwhelmed you start crying but in the midst of it you're able to burst into laughter? I had such a moment earlier this afternoon when I set out to accomplish the tasks before me.  I'm in completely new territory with the ministry God has called me into, and as I rise to meet the challenges it often presents, it's not unusual for me to start feeling overwhelmed and burst into tears.  However, in the midst of my mini drama tear shedding scene this afternoon, God pointed out the utter absurdity of my whining and complaining.  It was as if He opened a door into the spirit realm of my life over the last 10 years and I saw how completely precious and God ordained it is that I'm here where I am given where I've been.  In an instant my newbie angst over the daily grind of ministry work was washed into a deep and hearty ocean of laughter mixed with fresh tear drops of joy and gratitude.  I playfully envisioned what it must be like for God to work with me on a daily basis (exasperated slaps to the forehead, eye rolling, shaking of the head from side to side, etc), especially during my more intensive growth seasons, and I imagine at times it gets hysterical.  He is so patient with me, and it's during times like now, when my faith and ministerial abilities are being stretched further than ever before, that I am literally brought to my face in praise and worship.  What an indescribably amazing God we serve, and it was during work today when I was tasked with finding an actual picture of "GOD"  that I really offered deep reflection to the mystery of our Lord and Savior.  "God, what are you?" I whispered softly as I tried to envision what I will actually see on that day when He and I stand Face to face.   As I scanned the pictures that Google offered after typing in "pictures of God" I sat in awe over this amazing God, Who, when asked to identify Himself by Moses, replied with "I Am Who I Am."(Exodus 3:14)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Year of the Bird

(Scroll to bottom to start music)
So with the commencement of a new year, I have been feeling like I should somehow be writing something new and fresh and hip, but the more I pushed to come up with something, I became increasingly aware of the fact that I'm just not "hip" anymore.  It seems my once swag m.o. has given way to that of humble sensibility. God help us all, it seems I'm growing up. Grown up or not, however, I've tried more than once to start an entry since January 1, but until a few days ago when I decided that this was going to be my "year of the bird" I had nothing, nada, zip, zilch.  It all changed though when I recently went out on a walk with my son.  From the minute I opened the door to the time we returned home, I heard birds singing at unprecedented volumes. It was perhaps one of the most delightful walks I've ever taken.  The community mowers were just finishing up so the air contained the sweetest smell of freshly cut grass, and combined with the most natural music of various birds in the nearby trees, I could do nothing but smile as I walked with a newly found skip in my step. It was one of those moments when you can actually taste and see that God is good because I could actually taste the goodness of what I smelled and smell the beauty of what I saw. It was absolutely remarkable.

"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." - Psalm 34:8