Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Ever since I was a little girl, I've had this crazy notion that I'm supposed to get something right the first time. In addition to that, I've thought that if I learned something the first time, I should be able to get it right every time. Well, you can imagine how many times I've hit the floor, only to have gotten back up again, my stubborness and strong will proving to be a positive asset.
I distinctly remember being 12 years old, sitting at the kitchen table at 9:30 at night, sobbing over my math text book, pencil in hand, so extremely angry and upset that I just simply couldn't figure out those problems! My mom would either cry with me, or throw her hands up in frustration, not sure what to do with her dramatic, over analytical daughter who was so intelligent and mature for her age, and yet could not figure out how many minutes verses miles it took for charles to get to Texas going 65 miles an hour, or how in the world x didn't indeed equal 1o, even though I did the problem step by step, at least eight times.
Where in our human capabilities do we think that we are supposed to get it right the first time? Why do I expect this of myself, and why do I fall apart when I fall flat on my face the first time, thinking that it's "over" or "I'll never get this"?
Sonora and Al ( This incredibly hot, gorgeous son of her boss) train this wild stallion in an effort to show Al's father ( the owner of the diving show business) that Sonora could dive horses, and be promoted from being a stable hand. Al told her if she could make a "moving mount" ( mounting the wild horse while the horse was running), she could become a diving girl.
Sonora fell again, and again and again. But each time that she did, she kept saying "Again." She absolutely refused to give up. She was going to make that moving mount. And you know what? She did. (I've posted the link to the movie clip from youtube, go to minutes 3:45 for this scene. It's powerful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Wp6TapXIK0&feature=related )
I think that sometimes, we need to accept and know ahead of time that we won't get it right the first time, and that maybe, just maybe, God uses that time to teach us that not only is it ok, but it's neccesary. It teaches us perseverence, trust, but most of all, I think it teaches us acceptance. When we accept life on life's terms, we gain peace. When we accept the fact that we aren't going to get it right the first time, we have peace. When we fall down and hit the ground so hard that we aren't sure if we can make it up again, all we have to say is "again". There is a lot of power in the word "again". It is a word that could be viewed as repetitive and boring, but I choose to view it as a word that God uses to keep us going. When we are absolutely positive that we simply can't do it, we can do it, with the strength and the help of our Heavenly Father. If we got it right every time, what would we learn, and how would God prove to be so much greater, so much more capable than we are?
Friday, August 20, 2010
God bless my "happy place".
I retreated there this evening with so much on my heart, and a need for space to breathe and think. I know that God meets us wherever we are at in every sense of that phrase, but for some reason I feel like He really meets with me in my "happy place". Do you have such a place? I certainly hope so. Everyone should have a place like that.
For the past couple months, I've been reading "Quest For Love" by Elizabeth Elliot. Tonight I dove into it again, and God certainly taught me something tonight that I hope is beneficial to you as well. My aim for this blog is to not merely write, but to write about things that will benefit and penetrate the hearts of my readers. I hope that this post is no exception.
In one of the chapters of Elizabeth's book she shares a story that took place in the 1800's about a missionary by the name of Hudson Taylor. Hudson was in love with girl #1. Girl #1 was also in love with Hudson, but didn't share his calling and passion for the mission field. Both Hudson and girl #1 thought that they could change each others minds, but to no avail. Hudson left for the mission field, and came upon girl #2. He liked girl #2 and pursued her, but she did not return his love for her. Hudson was living in China at the time, and the likelihood of finding a suitable mate in that part of the world seemed slim to none, until he came arcross Maria. He didn't spend much time with Maria, but grew to love her and proposed marriage to her. To make a long story short, they lived happily ever after.
However, here is the excerpt that hit me like a ton of bricks:
"Hudson's career had shown his compulsion for love. His muddled attempts to end loneliness had led him to make offers which, if accepted, would have snuffed out the flame of his pioneering zeal. His existance cried aloud to be organized, to be understood: his natural impatience made him flounder about trying to construct a partnership which could only come as a gift."
-John C. Polluck, Hudson Taylor and Maria
Nearly my whole life, I have heard the following phrase "Sarah, God witholds nothing good from His children." and this is a promise from God, as it is written in His word.(Psalm 34:10). In fact, I pray that in my daily prayers every morning. "Dear God, remind me that you withold nothing good from your children, and that which you withold that is good, is of greater good at that time." But tonight when I read the excerpt written above, the highlighted portion allowed me to go a step beyond that concept; that step being that when we are disobedient, when we insist on our way or what appears to be exactly what God wants for us, we actually take away the opportunity for God to give us His precious gifts. Don't get me wrong. Our God is a God of mercy and grace, and He works and moves in our lives despite our lack of obedience. However, I desire to receive gifts from God. Gifts that I cannot compose with my own resources and sheer, stubborn will, but gifts that can only be designed, formed and crafted by the ultimate gift giver. I want to be like the surprised little girl on her birthday that was only expecting the Barbie Doll that was on sale, and instead given a beautiful porcelin masterpiece that far outshined the plastic bimbo that she wanted in the first place.
That is how I can describe this last month of my life. Nothing really makes any sense, and what I thought made total sense no longer makes any sense at all. Make sense? :)
Very little "feels" good right now. I find myself fighting back tears as I go through my days at work, trying to "be grateful for my assigned portion"(Psalm 16:5) and "trusting Him in the least thing shown." Friends, I'm here to tell you that God answers our prayers, especially the ones that our human flesh doesn't really want answered. You know what prayers I'm talking about "God, please give me patience", and then He gives you a whole plateful of opportunities to practice patience.
Here is what I've learned: Trusting God means just doing life, even if you don't know how in the world it's going to come together. Trusting God doesn't "feel" good. It's not a "mountain top experience", and when you trust God, satan is going to come right in there and do everything he possibly can to break that trust apart. There is a contemporary Christian song that goes " I don't want to go through the motions". Although I appreciate the song and I understand what the author is communicating to his audience, sometimes you have to go through the motions when you trust God. Sometimes going through the motions is trusting God.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Being on one's knees is probably the most ultimate of a vulnerable physical position. Being in that position makes it difficult to rise up quickly, verses elevating quickly from a sitting position. To obtain eye contact with a small child or a wheel chair bound person, we must make an effort to bend down from our comfortable standing position. Being on one's knees communicates at least four things: 1) surrender 2) vulnerability 3) willingness and 4) respect.
Last spring at a women's faith conference, I was challenged by one of the speakers to pray on my knees as much as possible. Prior to hearing that, I had done it a few times, but had not made a habit of it. On several occasions within this year, I have found myself on my knees as kind of a "last resort", but quickly learned that powerful things happened when I prayed in this manner.
I don't think that God really cares in what form we pray. We can do it in our heads as we drift off to sleep at night, in writing within the pages of a journal, outloud alone or in a group, or through music. But I have learned that there are specific deliverance methods of prayer that make a greater personal connection for myself. I cannot assume that this is true for all people, but because this is my little corner of the world, I will share my personal thoughts and I hope to get feedback from those who will be reading this.
I have found that when making the personal effort to physically get on my hands and knees before my Savior, I am brought down to the lowest physical point. This in turn connects to my emotions, and the understanding in my heart that I cannot be effective, function or truly experience the peace and joy found through my Savior, without Him enabling me to do so. I have also found that by conquering my weird little hang up about praying out loud by myself, there are words and requests that flow from my lips that are not of myself.
On My Knees
There are days
when I feel
The best of me
is ready to begin
Then there's days
when I feel
I'm letting go
and soaring on the wind
'Cause I've learned in laughter or in pain
How to survive!
I get on my knees!
There I am before the Love
That changes me
See I don't know how
But there's power
When I'm on my knees
I can be
in a crowd
Or by myself
and almost anywhere
When I feel
there's a need
To talk with God
He is Emmanuel
When I close my eyes,
no darkness there
There's only light!
See I don't know how, but there's power
When I'm on my, oh, when I'm on my
When I'm on my knees
Sunday, August 1, 2010
"It is good that we should have to submit to what we do not understand. It teaches us the laws of faith and hope.It is good that we should have to do what we should rather not, in circumstances not of our choice. It is good that there should always be something to prick us on, something to remind us that we are in enemy's country, belong to a marching column. It is good that we should meet with checks and failures in what we undertake, to keep us humble and prayerful. All these things belong to sowing in tears. God seems to laid out the order of things in His Church, not for general and brilliant triumph but for the hidden santification of the individual souls which compose it."
Janice Erskine Stuart-"Prayer in Faith"