Monday, July 20, 2009

musical monday

I am definitely a bit of a control freak. Ask just about anyone who knows me and they will probably tell you I am somewhat high maintenance. I don't go with the flow naturally, instead I plan and prepare and organize what I can. My kids have a very routine and expect that all the time. I know what to expect during most aspects of my day and prefer it that way.

God has really been working on this in my life. The area of surrender is so important to living life to the fullest yet an area that is under constant attack. I love God and want everything I do to be for Him yet I so often keep things in my control. The definition of surrender is: to yield (something) to the possession or power of another; to give (oneself) up to some influence, course, emotion, etc.; to give up, abandon, or relinquish (comfort, hope, etc.); to yield or resign (an office, privilege, etc.) in favor of another.

Those are not things that come easy to someone who wants to be in control of everything and I dare say they don't come easy to anyone. I know that to show my trust and faith in God for all He has done and all He will do I must surrender to His will for my life. I need to yield control of my life to God. Considering all He has done for me this should be easy but it is not. It requires diligence to come to God each moment of the day and ask for His guidance and grace to do what He wants me to do.

I can tell when I write a post like this that is really important to me that I am a very inadequate writer. I am a verbal person who has a hard time translating my thoughts to paper but I know that God wants me to share with others because so many people can relate to the struggle of leading a fully surrendered life. The words to this song speak more eloquently than I to living a life of surrender and the many reasons what God deserves a fully surrendered life.

Jeremy Riddle - Sweetly Broken
From the album Sweetly Broken

To the cross I look, to the cross I cling
Of its suffering I do drink
Of its work I do sing

For on it my Savior both bruised and crushed
Showed that God is love
And God is just

Chorus:
At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

What a priceless gift, undeserved life
Have I been given
Through Christ crucified

You’ve called me out of death
You’ve called me into life
And I was under Your wrath
Now through the cross I’m reconciled

Chorus:

In awe of the cross I must confess
How wondrous Your redeeming love and
How great is Your faithfulness



Friday, July 17, 2009

Possibility

What is it about a good movie, book or TV show that draws us in? The excitement, the drama, the unexpected and so many other things. I really do enjoy all forms of media and can easily get too caught up in them when I don't set limits on the time I spend with them. I was not disappointed with the new Harry Potter movie this week nor the other movies I watched while visiting a good friend this week. I think the one word that really captures the essence of why we like books, movies, TV, etc. is escape. The ability to escape out of our own mundane, hectic, complicated and sometimes very difficult lives.

I believe that escape, or at least the desire to escape is a rather universal concept. Though escape is so much easier in a fast paced media fanatic world like ours, people from all walks of life from all around the world share a discontent about the life we have. Discontentment with jobs, children, status, position, money, marriage and host of other things battle within us and in the end many of us choose to escape the reality of life for fiction.

If you've been reading for awhile you know that I challenged myself to read more this summer. I've been doing pretty well. I've finished some good fiction and kept reading non-fiction like normal but added one more genre to my list: biography. I love reading biography's as a boost to my spiritual life. I find the difficulties, struggles and victories real people live out to be fascinating and inspirational. One of my favorite biographies (on a short list of those I have read) includes Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place. Corrie grew up in Holland and her family provided refuge for Jew's that were trying to escape the Nazi regime. She and her family were placed in a concentration camp which she survived. Her courage and story are an amazing testament to the glory of God.

I have no doubt that she wanted at times to escape her life and she had every reason to want to. One such time where escape would have been by all intents and purposes excusable was when she was met face to face with one of the guards from the concentration camp. After she was released she went all over the world preaching the love and forgiveness of Christ and at the end of one of her meetings she saw the face of a guard she recognized. At the end of the meeting he came forward to talk to her and told her where he had been a guard and that he was accepting the forgiveness that Christ had to offer. At this time she knew she could not forgive this man, she just couldn't. In my own words, she wanted to escape it all. The amazing thing is that she didn't choose escape because in her heart God did amazing things. She knew she could not forgive him but the God who lived inside her could. Nothing of her own could do what she spoke of doing but God is so much bigger than mere words, thoughts and feelings. She chose to escape into the possible of what God would have for her.

The possiblity to escape our day to day life is at our finger tips each moment of the day. I am in no way saying that enjoying the things life has to offer us is sinful, it's not. I am however challenging you to escape into the possibility of what is real, what is avavilable to each of us through a realtionship with Christ. There is never a dull moment when we let possibility become our daily escape.

Friday, July 10, 2009

vacation

Vacation was so much fun! We had a really great time in Williamsburg with my parents. We've gone on vacation with them for the past 5 years now and are very grateful that they are so generous to give of their time and finances to afford us the opportunity.

We had a lot of fun just hanging out by the pool, eating food, shopping, playing games and all around relaxing. We even got some sleep! The car ride there and back went really well. The girls entertained themselves with books, coloring pages, music, a movie they watched on a borrowed DVD player and sleeping. When we got there it was raining and cool so we hit the favorite shopping spots of The Goldfish store (Pepperidge farm discount store), Yankee Candle and The Candy Store. How these places are at all exciting to kids is beyond me but they are must see in our little family.

The pool was the place to be from then on. Lydia loved it and by our last day was swimming on her own (with floaties) and loving every minute of it. Emma on the other had took a long time to warm up to the idea but finally on our last swim she was standing on her own and having fun. Justin and I got to go out on a date and enjoy some time alone while the girls stayed with Hoppy and Manna. We did make it down to colonial Williamsburg on evening to see the Drum and Fife band parade through the streets. Lydia loved this and couldn't keep the smile off her face. We also got to see the horses that were in the pasture there and I even fed one some grass.

Not too much thought went into this post but just an update on how our vacation went. Overall it was a very fun trip that hit the spot of getting out of the ordinary daily grind. I loved every minute and hope everyone else has the opportunity to have some fun time this summer.