Well, I’m in the middle of painting 2 of our kids rooms & we’re having some fun learning how this whole project is supposed to work. There are some interesting parallels between painting & God:
*progress requires patience & boy am I grateful that God & others are patient a me as I grow, spill, have failures & learn
*slow work tends to avoid fast & messy mistakes – ceilings, corners, edges all require more precision & care
*its ok to get messy – still trying to get paint off of my hands, arms, legs, hair & the kids. Thankfully God cleans me up better than my best efforts
*you can paint over mistakes – paint has great redeeming qualities with mistakes, but nothing is more efficacious than Jesus’ blood
*keep trying – we’ve got another room to do & I know that I’ll learn even more about this process & I’ll continue to get better 🙂
*painting will not be my fall back career, unless I plan to go on a long-term fasting schedule ,)
I had a really nice chat with some friends this morning over breakfast & we were talking about how our moms are totally for us & want us to succeed & do well. It was a fun to think & talk about that in both the roles of being a mom & being a daughter. This has started me to think about how much God is for us.
- God is for you when it seems like no one else is for you
- God is for you when it seems like everything else is against you
- God is for you when you can’t encourage yourself
- God is for you all the way through His death & resurrection
- God is for you when everything is still & quiet
- God is for you in the racket, noise & bustle of life
- God is for you when you’re on vacation & just relaxing
- God is for you when you make a mistake or when you have an outrageous success
- God is for you when you get tired of your own self
- God is for you when you’re happy or sad
God is for you!!
My husband & I are somewhat different. While we agree upon our goals & values, we don’t always see things in the same way, nor do we always take the same path to our goals. Early in our marriage, when he was still an engineer, we were talking about my efforts to hang wallpaper (which were “sketchy”). He was unhappy about how my wallpaper project had turned out because the pattern was slanted rather than perpendicular as it should have been. He began to ask my about the process I went through to hang the wallpaper & what I had done to properly prepare for a successful project. He gave me this quote, “Proper prior planning prevents poor performance.” I didn’t really care for the the cliche approach & it took me awhile to think through what he was trying to say – even though I didn’t like to admit it, I knew that he was right. This lesson is still being worked through my life even after almost 20 years of marriage.
What is even more breathtaking to me is when I consider that God is the Master Designer & Planner. God is working in our lives to prepare & refine us, growing & challenging us not only for today’s necessities but also for tomorrow’s successes 🙂
I had an interesting conversation with one of my kids about a decision they were making related to a short term pleasure. The problem we were discussing was in relation to pursuing an immediate desire at the expense of a long term payoff. I found that my conversation with my child possibly has had greater impact on me than them.
I think we all wrestle with the challenge of settling for short term pleasure rather than holding out for long term treasure. The immediate can be so alluring while the future can seem so distant. But what I love about Jesus is that He satisfies everything – both the long & short term desires that I have. So let’s go after Jesus & let Him work out the pleasure / treasure balance in our daily living 🙂
I have a friend who lives in Denver, but used to live in Arizona 15 years ago. She’s a very nice friend & our kids get to play together from time to time, but I’ve noticed that whenever we have any types of longer conversations that she always talks about how much she misses Arizona, about her friends & church there, about the great food, etc. Our conversations make me wonder if she has ever really moved to Denver in her thinking. The reason I find this to be disturbing is I don’t think she is living “here & now.” Some people live in the past, some live for the future, some live in different locations, but neglect to be present.
One of the things that makes this such a tragedy is that Jesus is present with us “here & now” and at any given moment, we can have some very rich & fulfilling communion with Jesus, listening & watching for His presence in the context of our daily living. Please don’t miss being with Jesus in your daily living, but dreaming about being somewhere else in time or space 🙂
There are lots of things that I want. I want to: be effective with saving moses, be smart, be healthy, to know God, be a good mom, be a good wife, be strong & compassionate, . . . . . I want alot of things & here’s an important secret to getting what we want: In order to get what we want, we will often need to do what we don’t always like.
I’m reminded of this principle today as I was reading an organizational structure & business book. As I was reading the book, I found myself thinking, “This is why I didn’t major in business at school.” Neverthless, to help saving Moses be all that God has designed it to be, I have to grow in some areas that don’t really excite me. In order to be a good mom, I have to continually improve my communication skills, especially with listening. In order to be a good wife, I need to get better at home improvement projects both big & little. I genuinely believe that God has designed us to some really cool stuff & it seems to me that seeing these cool things become a reality will require our cooperation, even when we may not like the process 🙂
I had an interesting conversation this morning with my daughter about some of the required reading that she needs to do over the Summer. My conversation reminded me of the books & short stories that I had to read in school that I didn’t like. To be truthful, I didn’t like Herman Melville nor Edgar Allen Poe, among others. But my point with my daughter was that it’s good to push ourselves with new things – otherwise, we can easily get stuck in little, tiny, small lives of virtually obsolete diversity.
Maybe this was the mistake that the religious leaders of Jesus’ time made. Maybe they were more comfortable with their legalism than with loving people. Genuinely loving people can get messy for sure, but remember that Genuine Love is based more on the giver than the recipient 🙂
There are all different kinds of pain: a broken arm, a sunburn, rejection, aggressive words, neglectful behavior, perceived exclusion, disappointment, grief, . . . . . When we are in pain or have pain in our lives we don’t like it, not one bit. But in my mind, a significant challenge with pain is not that we have pain, but rather what we do with it & even how we manage it (rather than letting it manage us). Here are a few bullet thoughts that might merit some consideration:
*forgiveness can interrupt the continual cycle of pain in our relationships
*when we have pain, it’s important that we don’t perpetuate our pain by hurting others
*Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted, He is our ultimate Healer
*we must be vigilent to ensure that pain doesn’t become our identity – a painful person
*focus is an important component with pain – it seems to me that the more we focus on the hurt, the worse it gets
*on the flip side, I’ve discovered that when I keep my focus on Jesus, The Healer, the pain decreases in the light of His majesty
May we experience Jesus as our ultimate Healer for every pain in our lives 🙂
It seems that I can be kind of intense & while this can be really great, such intensity can also be hurtful. But yesterday was a small victory for balance. I had a semi-full day w some spkg responsibilities in the morning & I’m doing a short-term modified eating scheme. I’m also trying to get back into a more consistent workout routine. In the past, I would’ve worked out killer hard & then survive the evening with a partly obliterated body & virtually worthless to my family.
Yesterday was different – when i worked out, I didn’t beat myself to shreds. I was helpful & constructive with my family & I was even able to pray with a good friend. Hooray for balance!!
With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, maybe you have some special plans or ideas about how to honor you dad or the person who has filled that role in your life. Currently, my husband is on a diet so the cooking options are extremely narrow & I’ll of course do something nice for my dad. Nevertheless, let me take a quick moment to encourage you to celebrate your dad’s strengths & not sulk in his weaknesses. As I think about my parents, the longer I’m a parent the more grateful I am for them. Yes, my parents are human and flawed – they’ll be the first to admit that they didn’t do it all right when they raised my brother & me. Nevertheless, they did their level best with everything they had & I’m genuinely grateful for how God has used them in all of the different stages in my life. As we celebrate our dads this weekend, let’s be certain to celebrate our Heavenly Father who is perfect, infinite and Genuine Love 🙂
Happy Fathers Day!