Thursday, June 19, 2014

Get Fit (Wisdom)

I'll be honest.  My time in scripture has been a struggle the last couple of weeks.  I recently finished going back slowly through the NT start to finish highlighting and taking notes.  Having completed the Bible in 90 days program multiple times as a reader and as a leader, I craved the going back through slowly and soaking it in.  Finishing left me floundering with "what now".  I couldn't get back into a rhythm and my focus was lacking.  I tried a couple of "plans" but didn't last more than a day or two because I just couldn't connect.


He took me back to Proverbs.

One of the places He can work the greatest power in my life. 

This morning, He reached in and grasped my heart and started shaping and directing and I'm  ready to see what He has waiting.

He really grabbed me in the beginning of chapter 2 (specifically verses 1-5). 

Though I've read those words numerous times, they really got my attention today.

Those verses are COVERED in action verbs.  Every few words are words that require action.

If you want to lose weight, get healthy, etc...  you have two ways to effectively do it and it last long term.  No quick fixes, but real long term lifestyle changes.  You change the way you eat and you get active.  To get fit, you have to change what you put in your body and how you move your body.  No overnight miracle drugs.  No quick results.

After reading those verses, the same thing hit my heart about wisdom.  I have to change the way I feed my mind/heart and I have to get active. 

ACCEPT my words
STORE up my commands within you
TURNING your ear
APPLYING your heart to understanding
CALL out for insight
CRY aloud for understanding
LOOK for it
SEARCH for it

....THEN you WILL understand the fear of the LORD

The rest of the chapters goes on to tell about the incredible benefits of His wisdom.

It doesn't say wisdom will just happen.  It doesn't say it's a gift handed over without effort.  Not arbitrarily given. 

Weight loss doesn't happen by just looking at the scale. 

Wisdom isn't going to happen just by holding His word in my hand.  It HAS to be in my heart.   I have to crave it.  I have to seek it with all I have.  Put His word into action.  Walk in His ways obediently. 

I can't do that if my eyes are off of Him and focused on circumstances, doubts, or fears. 

I can't do that if I'm harboring bitterness, anger, jealousy, etc...

I can't do that if I'm not applying His words to my life. 

It just isn't possible. 

I can't sit down with a gallon of ice-cream or box of doughnuts if I want to be healthy. 

I can't sit on the couch with my feet propped up if I want to be heart healthy.

Neither can I act in wisdom that I greatly desire if I'm not actively pursing Him.  Running after Him.  Feasting in His word.  Fasting from worldly pleasures. Pouring out of myself to find Him.

It's just not going to "just" happen without the effort. 

Nor are results going to happen completely overnight.  Granted, I believe that He does pour out wisdom at times because I've experienced His strength in my weakest moments and His direction spoken clearly to my heart when I've needed it most. However, if I want that to be the NORMAL instead of the UNEXPECTED, I have to actively be getting fit.  Fit through Him. 

A daughter seeking wisdom.

His child.

Soaking Him in.

Accepting. Storing. Turning. Applying. Seeking. Calling out. Crying out. Looking. Searching.

Monday, June 16, 2014

"Let it Go!"

It's been a month of being "quiet" so to speak. 

Not much in the blogging world and not so much in facebook world other than posting pictures of life with our family and life with our sweet littles.


Oh my.

My heart has been anything but quiet.

It's been screaming.  It's been screeching.  It's been tugging.  Pulling. Reshaping.

I finally found the right words to describe where it's been. 

"Let it Go!"

Now, if you haven't been living in seclusion and have any access to children, these three words may haunt you, especially in sing song form.  If you've been around any children in the last few months, you've probably heard this song from "Frozen" a few hundred million times.  As a matter of fact, this song may have been sung or lip-synched by ADULTS just as many times. 

I realized that these words have become the anthem of life lately. 

It's been a process of letting go.


Holy goodness is that hard to do sometimes!

Letting toxic relationships go even though I grieve for what could have been and SHOULD have been. 

Letting go of "my" plans, "my" dreams, etc.. so they can be realigned into HIS plans.  As our specific plans for the mission field have taken a door temporarily closed sign, we impatiently patiently wait for the correct door to open.  Looking for direction and "the" path  He has chosen.  We know without a doubt it is there, we just wait for the correct steps and direction. It most likely looks differently than we expected, but that doesn't make our desires wrong.  He just has a different plan.

Letting go of things I can not control.  Whoa, baby---that's tough for a reformed control freak. Learning that though I say I trust in God (which I whole heartedly do), I still have sticky fingers.  I give it to Him and take it back.  Just like the back and forth motion of a rocking chair, you just don't really make forward progress that way.

Letting go the weight of knowing you can not heal a broken person, broken marriage, broken heart, etc... of those you love and care for.  I can pray and I can support, but the "repair" can only come from Christ and the Holy Spirit.  As a fixer---that's a hard spot to constantly find yourself in. 

Letting go of having things "my" way---and seeking to walk in His grace and mercy instead of demanding things line up "my" way.  Whether it's in regards to future planning, a new school year, scheduling, ministry, daily responsibilities, behavior of those I care for, etc...  Stepping back and learning to let my grasp be held a little less tighter.

Letting go physically as our children move into new stages of life---one nearing adulthood, one about to step into the teen years, and one beginning to make independent choices.  Trusting God with the future and where HE wants them, what HE has designed for them, and completely entrusting....that's a heavy weight, but a necessary one to release.

Letting go as WE are physically entering new stages of life.  As a couple, we approach 40 and 50 this year.  We will have been married 20 years next year. We definitely see ourselves in new ways (most GREAT) and we are learning to let go of who we were, who we are, and seek to be who He wants us to be. 

Letting go of thinking that it "all" falls on me.  Learning that I am responsible for planting the seed, cultivating the soil...BUT HE is the one that makes it grow.  This is becoming especially important in matters of the heart and soul of my children. 

Letting go (though EVER so slowly) of the lies that have plagued my heart for years from listening to the world's version of what my life should be like, the lies of Satan, or the doubts/scars that have taken so long to heal. 

Letting go as the grieving process continues.  Father's Day hit me unexpectedly hard again yesterday.  I keep thinking it won't, but it never fails.  So many losses have been heavy on so many hearts this year and especially recently.  Grieving has become a path that so many are walking.  Life has become heavy for countless.  Teens from my community back home have died in very recent days and recent months, extended family is going through grief from the murder of a young father, multiple families are going through illnesses that medical intervention no longer can help, etc..  Letting go to know that the only way to navigate through such heartbreak is to know that our true place of comfort and rest is in Him.  As I talked about often through our journey with Dad, we for years had talked the talk of faith and now we were having to walk the walk.  Continuing to walk that faith walk and keeping my eyes on Him when my heart gets blinded by the brokenness.

Though I've been letting go, I'm learning there are things that I do not EVER want to let go of.

Just last night, my little guy was snuggled in next to me just before he went up to bed.  The day was officially ending on his 8th birthday (ouch!!!---my youngest is not so itty bitty now!). He hugged me tighter and tighter and I was squeezing back until we both were about to pop.  He said, "Mom, I just don't want to let go."

Oh my. goodness....

If he only knew what his Momma's heart was thinking.

I don't want to let go of those sweet moments either. Just so precious.

I'm not going to let go of the joy that life brings even through disappointment, struggles, and heartache.

I'm not going to let go of my faith in Him.  My desire to know Him more and my desire to be less of me and more of Him. 

I'm not going to let go of the values and beliefs that I hold so dearly, no matter what direction the world says is normal. 

I'm not going to let go of loving passionately and completely, even when at times that love and care from others isn't returned. I'm not going to stop caring and offering of myself, even when it seems one sided effort. This one has been a TOUGH one lately.

I'm not going to let go of raising our children differently.  God entrusted us with these precious blessings and has called us to parent under His direction. 

I'm not going to let go of putting my marriage second only to Christ because of the lessons learned from not having those priorities in proper order. I'm not going to stop being my husband's greatest supporter and cheerleader.  Not going to stop thanking God every single day for the blessing he is in my life.

I'm not letting go of the belief that when one door closes, another one opens.  God's "no" is just a "yes" to something greater. 

Letting go and not letting go. 

That's the dance we are learning. 

And yes----I make no apologies to those that now have "Let it Go" stuck back in their head.

Go ahead. 

Sing it out loud.

As a matter of fact, stand up and dance. 

Big hand motions have bonus points.  After all, one of my two year old littles not only knows the song word for word, but also knows exactly what hand motions to do! She'll also let you know QUICKLY if you mess up on the words.

But I'm singing and dancing anyway.....

I just close the blinds first.