Friday, July 17, 2009

Words of hope for difficult times

For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your wellfare, not for your woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call Me, when you go to pray to Me, yes, when you seek Me with all your heart, you will find Me with you, says the Lord, and I will change your lot.
Jeremiah 29 11-14

What beautiful and powerful words of hope God has given us! This is one of my favorite passages from the Old Testament. It is a flat out reminder that God is in control of our lives and has a plan for each of us. In difficult times, I think its natural to question why these problems are happening to us. Sometimes, questioning leads you to see your mistakes or areas where you can improve. But other times, only God knows the reason. And those times are when faith and trust come into play. Know that God has a plan for the development of your soul.
Consider it like this. If you've ever done a painting, you know that it starts out looking terrible. You may want to give up on it. But as each new stroke is overlaid, a beautiful painting begins to develop. Or if you do needlepoint, you know that the underside of the fabric can look rough, with knots and tangled threads. That's the side of our lives we can see as mortals. But flip it over and its gorgeous, thats the side of life that God sees.
So as you go through tough times in your life, bring to mind God's words of hope.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Decluttering as a spiritual exercise... or Why do I own 25 coffee cups?

Leave it to our kids to bring us back down to earth, right? LOL, your post made me smile because my kids would say the exact same thing!
I was thinking about your decluttering day. (BTW, when did declutter become an official word?)

Anyways, this is an area where I really struggle. Believe me, I've watched enough episodes of "Clean House" to know that I'd fit right in with the people on the show. For example, why DO I own 25 coffee cups? There is myself and my husband using them on a regular basis. Once in a while, my kids use them for hot chocolate or I'll need a couple for guests. Not that there is anything wrong in itself with having so many cups, but it is a symptom of a larger problem of too much attachment to material things.

I need an "attitude adjustment" as my dad would say. I've got to get around this mental block. I know in my heart that I don't need all this stuff and, in many ways, they make my life more difficult. So I'm going to try a new perspective.I'll try to view decluttering as a spiritual exercise. Similar to the way that tithing seperates you from materialism and too much attachment to money, I hope that decluttering will help to seperate me from too much attachment to my possessions. After all, I have what I need most in my faith, my family, my dear friends, my health, and my memories.
I'm not saying this new perspective is going make it easy or any less painful. But maybe it will help me to take baby steps. By the end of today, I'll only own 24 coffee cups.

Deuteronomy 12

Then to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name--there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the Lord.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes or.....showing my true face

This week I've been busy cleaning. Cleaning & decluttering to be exact! Not only am I cleaning in the privacy of my own home, no I'm cleaning in cyberspace. You see I posted this information on my facebook page, because the world had to know. ( I hope you know I'm laughing!)

My thinking was this would be great accountability....did you do it? are you all done? etc. I got a whole different lesson, thank you very much.

You see my dear friend from high school (who happens to be the better part of our duo here) complimented me on my organization & cheered me on. Just as I was congratulating myself, breaking my arm to pat myself on the back...I'm organized, I am a good mom, I must be a good person.....What, not a natural jump for you???

Well it was for me! Ugh. Why do we have to be so human?? I want to be humble, I want to be meek, I want to be the Proverbs 31 women! But that lesson is one that we have to learn & re-learn daily. You see my pride got the better of me! As I was enjoying my compliment a little too wonderful, beautiful, & oh so honest children brought me right back down to earth with one sentence......Mom, who's coming over??

Yikes, my children associate me cleaning with others coming to share our home. OUR HOME! The place we share our meals, laugh, sleep, & for us learn. Ouch! My moment was over as quick as it had begun. I am not so organized, I could be a better mom, & I'm trying to be a good person. My true face without the distance of the internet. That's the real facebook

She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27


Tonight, as I read my kids thier daily devotional, it really gave me pause. The story was about a dad and his daughter out fishing. As they drifted away from the middle of the lake, the dad uses that moment to speak with his daughter about how easy it is to drift away from God.
This is so true for me as a mom. It's so easy to get caught up in my daily activities. My worries and my "to do" list. So easy to rush through my prayers when I'm tired. So hard to not let my ramdom thoughts interfere with my focus during my prayers. So easy to speak the words and not think about what they really mean. So hard to remember to lift my thoughts to God throughout my day.
I feel like this is what happens to a lot of people. It's easy to do in a world that is so shallow and focused on instant gratification. It happens so gradually and quietly. If you are lucky, you wake up one day and wonder how you let yourself become so seperated from God.
So today, I promise myself and my God that I will take 30 minutes a day. I will use it for quiet contemplation and reading/study about my faith. I will take a moment each day to think about how close I feel to God. How about you? Are you drifting?

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Colossians 3:2

( I use Keys For Kids as thier daily devotional. I receive a booklet in a 2 month format and my kids love it. You can find it at from CBH ministries.)