The most beautiful thing happened last night, and I didn't even realize it until I woke up this morning.
Actually, let me back up and give you some insight into how I have been feeling lately. And by lately, I mean for at least the last eight years.
So I've been feeling inadequate, falling short of being special to anyone, just kind of "there." I have mainly felt inadequate in the eyes of my husband. Mind you, he has never told me I am inadequate, but his [perhaps] inadvertent actions speak loudly. That's a whole other show, though, so I won't go into details. Let me assure you that I love my husband. He is a good man.
So I woke up this morning, and these words were in my head: "He sings over me." What? I frantically searched my brain to find where these words came from. I wanted more. Oh, please give me more! So I prayed. God, please show me where these words came from so I can go to that book or that magazine article or wherever to find more. He showed me these words written on a piece of notebook paper. Hmm. So I sat quietly. And then it hit me. This was in my dream last night!! How cool! So I tried to remember more of my dream, but to no avail.
So what next? I turned to the computer. I searched for "He sings over me," and I was led to Zephaniah 3:17:
"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." (NIV)
Then I thought I'd check the Message translation:
". . .don't despair. Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he'll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs."
And then I found this song, "The Father's Song," by Matt Redman.
I've been looking to the wrong source, wishing for more from my husband when all along, God has been loving me the way I need to be loved, singing songs over me, calming me with His wonderful love. I realize all I have to do now is be present, be still, be accepting of this intense love that He offers me. Only He can fill this hole in my heart. Only He can take away the pain.
Does this mean I'm done feeling inadequate in my husband's eyes? I suppose not. But I am hopeful I can get to that place. Will I stop hoping that my husband will do/say things that make me feel special like he used to? I suppose not. Will I still be crushed when my husband does/says things that make me feel inadequate and hopeless to ever measure up to his standards? I suppose so.
But my heart's desire is that this verse, which has just found its place in my heart, will allay the pain in the future. I will take refuge in the presence of my Warrior who sings songs over me. When I seek His face and sit at His feet, He doesn't just allow me to be in His presence. He rejoices over me with singing!!!!! The Creator of all sings over me?
Heavenly Father, please allow this verse, this truth, to sink into my heart and reside there forever. I pray that you will allow me to see how special I am in YOUR eyes. You are so faithful, Lord, and I have fallen short. Not only have you forgiven me, but you saved me, you delight in me, you wash over me with your peace. You sing songs over me. I am humbled by your grace. Please fill my life again. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Our trip to Maine was our kids' first time meeting the ocean. Our daughter wasn't so sure about it, while our son just jumped right in! After a few minutes, they were both loving it. Love the picture of my son when he found his first dead crab. Excitement!!! :)
Monday, June 8, 2009
In my quiet time this morning (a rare pleasure!), I was reading a devotional from Streams in the Desert, and I'd like to share an excerpt with you today.
The Bible verse to focus on is 1 John 5:4. . .Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
If a person allows it, he can find something at every turn of the road that will rob him of his victory and his peace of mind. Satan is far from"Be keenly aware of the surrounding conditions," I love that. Gosh, it is so important, and it's something about which I need to be more vigilant. There are temptors everywhere, and depending on your vice, you can be bombarded seemingly at every turn. Commercials, billboards, magazines. There are a wide variety of sins that can be carried out just by looking at one of those three things.
retiring from his work of attempting to deceive and destroy God's
children. At each milestone of your life, it is wise to check the
temperature of your experience in order to be keenly aware of the surrounding conditions.
If you will do this and firmly exhibit your faith at the precise moment,
you can sometimes actually snatch victory from the very jaws of defeat.
God is still on the throne, and He can turn defeat into victory in a split
second, if we will only trust Him.
But I was enlightened the other day while having coffee at a friend's house. There were three of us there, all Christian women seeking to further their relationship with Christ. Not a place I would expect to be sucked into sin. Sure enough, we got to talking, and by the end of our several-hour-long conversations, we were all convicted that at the beginning of our talk, we were gossiping. We recognized the sin and turned from it. We now have a plan to have a Bible verse or Christian topic to be the focus of our future discussions.
Whatever road you're traveling today, I pray that you will stop and pray before each turn.
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)
Thursday, June 4, 2009
So as I lay awake in bed in the middle of the night (this morning), I began to reflect on my behaviors, attitudes, actions and thoughts lately. In particular, God showed me that I have fallen way short in the areas of patience and self-control (in many areas of my life). I snap at my kids, my husband. I then berate myself for snapping. I recently joined a Fit by Fall challenge, and I have been eating like a madwoman ever since! I, again, berate myself for lacking self-control. Nothing comes fast enough. Everyone is on my last nerve, including me!! :}
So I was laying there wondering, Where has my patience gone? My self-control? God gently reminded me that these two characteristics are fruit of the Spirit. [Edit: After re-reading this post, I realized that it is not just those two characteristics I'm lacking. I'm lacking in all of the fruit of the Spirit. If I am lacking in one of those areas, I am lacking in all of them. They are all intertwined. I've never looked at it like that before! Thank you, Lord, for opening my eyes.]
Well, friends, I have not been tending to my Spirit. Like a garden, my Spirit must be cultivated. I've barely touched it in the past couple weeks. I went on vacation, brought my Bible with me and never even took it out of my suitcase. Just like I can't expect my flowers to bloom if I don't water them and feed them, I can't expect the Spirit within me to bear the fruit God so desires for me if I don't feed it the Word of God.
So I go into this Thursday, and invite you to join me, with Galatians 5:22-26 close to my heart:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Our family just took a trip to beautiful Maine. It was a bittersweet trip. My aunt has cancer, and we all wanted to spend time with her. She is my mom's twin, and it was their 60th birthday while we were there. So about twenty adults and kids flew to Maine. We rented a nice house on the ocean for about a week. It was a peaceful trip. The picture above is the path that led from our street to the ocean. Aaaahh. . .the memories.
My aunt has a wonderful outlook on her situation. She is a beautiful person. Makes me want to be a better person. . .live in the moment. . .not take everything so seriously. . .lighten up.
I love the ocean. On our last day there, I went down to the water, walked a little, sat down a little, thought a lot. One of my thoughts was: I really need to think more. :) Very seldom do I make the time to be alone and reflect on God's creation that surrounds me, who He wants me to be, what He wants me to do. It was easy to reflect at the ocean (especially at 4:45 a.m. when no one else was around!).
I took a trip to Maine one summer when I was in high school, and I have longed to go back ever since. It is so beautiful.
When we returned to our home in Iowa, I felt an almost immediate feeling of stress, tension, uneasiness. I'm pretty sure that's not how God wants me to feel in my own home. I need to figure out where that is coming from. It really is good to be home. I do love Iowa. I think maybe it has to do with the fact that we just moved and half of our stuff is still at our old house (that we just sold two days ago -- YAY!), so there is a lot to do, in addition to the already-busy days of a homeschooling mom (or any parent in any situation, for that matter).
Okay, enough with the random thoughts. I sincerely hope you are all doing well and feeling the love of Christ in you today. I have missed my blog friends and hope to catch up with you all soon.
Blessings to you all.