Wednesday, March 25, 2009

attitude adjustment

Well, I'm still trying to get back into the swing of things with posting blogs. I have a couple I need to edit and post and several back logged in my brain but I am putting them on hold right now to blog what is going on in my life.

I had a really bad day yesterday. It was one of those days where nothing is really wrong but the way you react to the things that happen. I chose to have a bad attitude and wallow in my own selfishness. The saying goes "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" and well, it is very true. The girls just followed suit and threw tantrums and fits all morning. I was able to collect myself during my quiet time during the girls nap and when they woke up felt much better. I confessed to a friend on the phone later about my attitude and that was also a big relief.

It so happens that the topic we are studying this week in Starting Point is Grace. I think the message Andy Stanley delivers on grace is perhaps the clearest and best gospel presentation I have ever heard. There is so much about grace that I take for granted, for instance, just how much I NEED IT. As I reflect on just how awful my attitude was yesterday and how it affected my behavior I realize that I need His grace to change and I need His grace during this refining process. I don't want to have a complaining attitude. I desire to be a woman who is grateful for the countless blessings I have.

In order to really "get it" I started reading the book Lord, Change my Attitude (before it's too late) for the second time. In it the author says "Realize this: that very adversity that you so often complain about is the thing God wants to use to keep your heart close to His. In His grace, He grants adversity to bring us close to Him." I don't really want to go into what my poor attitude was about yesterday but I'll tell you these words really spoke true to my heart. How can it be that His grace is the thing that leaves us in a difficult circumstance or situation? How does that really bring anyone closer to Him? Choosing the right attitude means a lot to God. One needs to look no further than the nation of Israel in the Bible to see how God feels about right and wrong attitudes. So for now I am working on adjusting my attitude to what is right and choosing to have a grateful heart rather than a complaining one. I don't know what adversity you are facing now but it is possible that it is not a mere coincidence that you are experiencing it right now. God has a plan and a purpose and although it is not always easy His grace is sufficient to see you through it. Thanks for letting me share.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Musical Monday

I am selfish. I don't want to be and wish that I wasn't but I am. I think I have always known it but am continually seeing how pervasive it is in my life. Getting married certainly peeled off the first layer of recognition of my selfishness. I had someone else to consider and think about. Kids, well that is a whole bunch of layers there. Recognition that I not only have someone else to think about but that they are learning and modeling what they see. That can often be a scary thought. I desire to be selfless and to love others above myself. That is not an easy thing to do since my sinful nature wants to put self first. Reflecting on 1 Cor. 13 and putting my own name in place of the word love quickly puts into perspective just how far I have to go towards truly understanding what love is. I am so grateful to serve a God who is selfless and has gone to such great lengths to show me His unconditional love.

Justin just put some JJ Heller on my zune and I heard this song and knew immediately that I wanted to share it. As I listened to her music I was thinking that if I was a song writer I would write like this. I could so easily relate to so many of her songs. Since I am not a song writer I will let her words speak for me.

Lyrics to Only Love Remains :
Scenes of you come rushing through
You are breaking me down
So break me into pieces
That will grow in the ground
I know that I deserve to die
For the murder in my heart
So be gentle with me Jesus
As you tear me apart

Please kill the liar
Kill the thief in me
You know that I am tired of their cruelty
Breathe into my spirit
Breathe into my veins
Until only love remains

You burn away the ropes that bind
And hold me to the earth
The fire only leaves behind whatever is of worth
I begin to see reality
For the first time in my life
I know that I’m a shadow
But I’m dancing in your light

Teach me to be humble
Call me from the grave
Show me how to walk with you upon the waves
Breathe into my spirit
Breathe into my veins
Until only love remains

I still couldn't link the video to my blo but here is the youtube address if you want to hear her sing it. I highly reccomend using 3 minutes to view it.

Still here

Yes, I am still here. I have meant to blog so many times but have chosen other things (sleep) over the need to update. I have so many things to share but will have to put them in several different posts.

It has been a busy couple weeks. Justin has been down and out for about a month and although he had surgery last week he is still having a hard time recovering. It is amazing how much I depend on my husband and have even taken him for granted. It has been a hard couple weeks not having his help around the house and with the girls and wish him a speedy recovery for himself but also selfishly for me.

I will take more time to post later but wanted to let you know that yes, I am still here. Thanks for all your prayers!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Kids are fun

I am a long time fan and collector of children's books. I had several classics before we had kids and obviously have quite a collection now that I have an excuse to buy them. I find that reading kids books and watching kids movies is one of my favorite things about having kids. I may be a sap but each time Marlin tells Dori that he has to tell Nemo how old see turtles are, I cry. I get chocked up each time Jr. Asparagus sings about how much God loves him on both his good and bad days. However, since we don't spend too much time in front of the TV around here (at least I try) my favorite thing to do is read books. I have read to the girls since they were infants and they love to read. I definitely know I have done something right when Lydia asks each day when she will learn to read and when Emma wakes up and the first thing she asks for is a book. Both the girls read books alone, together, with us, in the car, with anyone who has an open lap and, well you get the idea. Often the girls fall asleep with books and Emma doesn't have a lovey but always wants a book in her crib.

I am always amazed at how much God speaks to me through children's books. Maybe that is because that is the level I think on but I like to think it is because He always intended for life to be simple. Notice I did not say easy but simple. I think so often we are the ones who complicate and make life difficult. My favorite kids books range from Diary of Worm to Giraffes Can't Dance, classics such as Frog and Toad collections to Harry the Dirty Dog. Dr. Suess books stand at the top of the pile. Seeing how today is his birthday I thought I would reflect on his writing.

Lydia's recent obsession has been with Horton Hears a Who. She watched the movie when she spent the night at her grandparents and has talked about it ever since. The message of the book is simple. "A person's a person no matter how small." How true that is. I can think of many spiritual applications to that statement.

Galatians 6:2-3 - Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

Romans 2:11 - For God does not show favoritism.

Matthew 7: 1-2 - Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

I know that if I just applied that truth, a person's a person, I would have to think and act differently than I sometimes do. God's grace and love don't care about status, position, title or age. He created us to know Him and does not care what is going on around us but what is going on in us. I think that is God wrote that sentence it might read more like, "A person is loved no matter how far." He traveled the distance from heaven to earth to be in a relationship with us.

Since I spend so much time reading kids books I am always looking for life principles that fall in line with living life the way God intended it to be lived. I could go on and on about all the lessons I have learned through my kids books but I don't really have the time right now so I will leave you with this, next time you pick up a kids book allow your heart to hear what God might be trying to say to you.