Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Trust and Obey"

I'm back from my blogging sabbatical, what a month it has been. February was super busy with a marriage conference, parenting conference, and a respite away in Oregon. Things around our house are adjusting back to normal, we're swinging back into a routine and my planting addiction has returned now that Spring is officially here! Planting and weeding affords lots of time to think great thoughts about God and lots of sun rays to absorb His character. The sun has a way of lifting my spirits and the dirt calls me to action - like digging up two huge shrubs so I could have more planting space in my front courtyard!

Enjoying God's creation takes me right to the heart of God - the Creator of all things. I love the designs, the variegated variety, and complex nature of life. I was thinking today as I plopped in the most beautifully perfect white petunia into the soil, "How does God keep the flowers so white and without stain?" Here there are covered in mud one moment and purely white the next - never a stain. I send my boys out into the yard for 2 minutes and their white shirts are ruined forever.

The Lord has been teaching me many things so far in 2009, but the common theme throughout has been Trust and Obey -- Leave the rest up to Me! I am a control freak and have had periods in my life where control was easier to give up than others. I just love my plans, and my routine, and my predictable life. Unfortunately, with all my planning and scheduling there isn't much time for serving God (unless its planned). My husband is such a good example for me, he purposely looks for people to help, he isn't too concerned about time and loves to give generously of his time to others. So, this past month I've been working on enjoying life and all its curve balls that don't align with my agenda. Thus, the persecution has begun.

Below is a random list of the stresses that I've tried over and over to give to the Lord. Some day's I pick them back up and try and carry the load myself, then I fall into bed exhausted, grumpy, and empty. Other days I gracefully succeed. But, most days I wobble between prayerful moments of obedience and self directed cross carrying.

:: Letting go of my plans for our family - the husband who works 8-5 and comes home to a prepared dinner - that dream is not my reality. John's schedule varies from day to day, moment by moment - it has since we were married 6 years ago. By looking ahead and planning, it leaves lots of opportunities for disappointment. Instead, I've been trying to look at the bigger picture - my boys love being with their daddy just as much as being with me. He spends more hours in each day with them than any other father I know. Our boys LOVE their daddy and his influence in their lives is priceless - no amount of money or routine is worth not seeing them grow into godly men like their daddy.

:: Letting go of my organized, planned work week - since December I've been working on a project and my portion of that project is dependent on someone else completing their portion. This has created so much stress and anger and resentment in me! My organized, get my work done the night before life has been non-existent and the stress of work has coagulated into our family life. My attitude has been tested, tried, refined by fire, and I am finally seeing some possible light on the horizon. I'm thankful that I've got a 5 day weekend coming up to re-group and not think about work! Work seems to have consumed my life since December and I'm giving that frustration to God. Lord, may it calm down soon.

:: Letting go of my goals and just being content with today. I love planning and shifting my plans and goals onto my family. They however are not as enthused! So, my goals for 2009 will be only for myself. This allows me to grow, but not be disappointed because others have messed up my plans. For example, Drew's education is coming along well, he isn't the smartest kid on the block, but he is the most polite! Drew loves numbers and inventing and designing. He hates to memorize scripture but loves music - so scripture to music has become a huge blessing. Drew loves to serve and just be with others. He enjoys a day where all we do is play and read books. What a wonderful child I've been blessed to raise. He isn't reading or even interested in knowing his letters, but he is always asking "why" and often rambles on about various books he has been "reading."

:: Letting go of my husband - yes, he graciously asked me if it was OK if he took a week off and went to Mt Hood on an ice caving adventure with his brothers. Seeing as I've been working on letting go I told him I didn't think it was wise, but that whatever he decided I'd support him in. Well, he chose to go and God has so graciously given me a spirit of contentment! I'm actually really glad he went and am enjoying the quiet evenings to read my next challenge - Knowing God by J.I Packer. The book is a classic and one I've always wanted to read but didn't think I had the time to digest. Tada! Now I do and I'm loving the book - the nature and character of God has always fascinated me, its something that Christian's must study and know in order to have an accurate picture of God. Knowing God has taken me to the next level in my faith and is pushing me into thoughts and realities that I never would have come up with. Pray for me this week as I parent and work alone! Also pray my sweet husband comes back to us in one piece! He has been in Texas 6 years now, he's not really accustomed to hiking and walking in snow.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Psalm 84:11,12,
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield:
the LORD will give grace and glory:
no good thing will He withhold from them
that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts,
blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee.”

(Pictures from my weed free garden with my new Nikkor Lens)

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