Saturday, January 31, 2009

A thin line.... real or pretend?

I don't have a lot of time. I want to finish this post and my house cleaning before my sweet man comes home from taxi service. He is picking up our youngest at one birthday party and delivering her to another one. Such a busy little life. What a sweet man to do that so that I could stay home and clean the house... or blog.

I have been thinking about something since last Wednesday night. Actually, I have thought about it before... but I haven't come to a conclusion yet.

I believe in being real. I have learned that God desires for his people to be real. The world is hurting... the world is struggling... and if they look at us and think that we are "perfect"... then they will never think that they can measure up or be "good enough" to be a christian. Does that make sense??? So... I believe in being real. If you have read my blog much... you know that I have allowed God to use our struggles to show His power and what He is doing in my life. The inside is what counts. Eternity is what counts.

Anyway... with that said, last Wednesday night as we left church... I could sense there might have been a little problem when I got into the car. I could tell that my man was a little "undone". As it turns out... my teenager was a little too honest and critical when asked by the childrens' pastor how she thought youth group was going now that we have a new youth minister. Her sweet answer was, "boring". Now... I am sorry... I want my children to learn to be honest and real. I don't want them to learn to "pretend" about everything in their life... to make others think that things are just hunky-dorey... when they are not. I think that pretending leads to more pretending... and I don't like that. BUT.... neither did I like the humiliating feeling that came over me when I found out what she said. I gave her a little "talking to" about only saying things that are nice.... keeping her negatives to herself. To put that beautiful smile on her face and act like she loved it. To be happy while she was there.

Gee... I realized I was telling her to wear a mask while she is there. What??? That doesn't sound like what I believe in. But first of all.... everything short of text messaging 8000 times per month is boring to her. So... boring is probably not an accurate description of what is going on in youth group. But... the whole time I was talking to her... I kept feeling my insides cringing because I want my chidlren to learn to be "real". There I was telling her to put on a mask and pretend. Maybe.... I just want that later in their life. But can practice pretending for 20 years and then change cold-turkey and open up and be real with others?

Does that make sense?? I think there is a thin line between being "real" and pretending. I guess I want the real to be about their lives... not their opinion of others lives.

I was quite embarrassed. I wanted to just crawl in a hole. Maybe... I won't see the childrens' pastor for a while... and he will forget about their conversation by then.

This is just a quick thought on the matter.... I will continue to ponder it. I just think that it is a thin line trying to teach this to my children. When to be real... and when it is okay to pretend.


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Monday, January 26, 2009


One of the things that I love most about God's Word is that it speaks to you differently at different times in your life. While I was working through my Bible study this week, I read a verse that I have read so many times before. Only... this time it didn't just speak to me... it screamed at me. It was a loving scream... but it was loud.

In Luke 5:12-13, this is what I read...

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leporsy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" And immediately the leprosy left him.

I thought about the man's statement...

"Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."

The questions wasn't IF He could heal Him... but was He willing?? He knew that Jesus COULD heal him. He knew He was ABLE. The question was.... "you are willing". We were asked in our study to complete the following sentence...

Lord, if You are willing, you can ____________________________.

I came up with many things that could go into the blank space. I could have filled up the whole page. I know that my Lord is able to do all things... even the things that seem impossible. Nothing is too hard for Him. It really all boils down to... "are you willing?" So then I was pressed to think about what would influence His willingness. Will it serve His purpose? Will it bring the biggest glory to Him? Will it grow me for future Kingdom work? Will it fit into His perfect plan set into place before the foundation of the world? His will.

Unfortunately... God didn't just leave my thoughts there. He turned them around on me to say...

"Lynn, if you are willing, you can___________________________.

I can be the wife that God wants me to be... IF I am willing.

I can be the mother that God wants me to be... IF I am willing.

I can make a difference on my street... IF I am willing.

I can put my husbands needs before my own... IF I am willing.

I can love difficult people... IF I am willing.

I can minister to others... IF I am willing.

I can love unconditionally... IF I am willing.

His list just kept on going too. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead... is the power that enables me to do God's will. (Ephesians 1:18-20) He will give me the power to do what He wants me to do... through His Holy Spirit... IF I am willing. So there the question remains.... Am I willing?? Oh... I want to be willing.

I know that God could fix our financial problems.... if He is willing. If it will accomplish His eternal purpose.

I know that God could turn my angry teenager into a loving healthy young lady... if He is willing. If it will serve His eternal purpose in her life and those around her.

I know that God could give my friends the baby that they long for... if He is willing. If it will serve His eternal purpose.

I know that God could have healed my friends mother of cancer... if He had been willing. If healing her here would have served His greater purpose than taking her home.

I know that I can do the things that God has planned for me... if I am willing. Oh... again, I want to be willing.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Up and running...

Yahoo!! My computer is up and running again. Brian the computer guy worked a little miracle on it... and here we are.

I am on my way to bed now... I worked all night... and boy am I tired. Hopefully I will be able to get back on for a regular post soon.

God is good.... all the time!!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Where did my joy go ?

Well... actually I still have THAT joy! But the joy that I get from sitting at my computer reading my email... other blogs... and posting on mine... well, this is the joy that is missing. Oh how I wish I really understood computer stuff. For the last couple weeks I have noticed that everytime I log on the computer there is a pop-up window that comes up telling me about a threat to my computer. Something about a Trojan Horse???? Sounds like a history lesson to me. I just ignored it, until this past Saturday when my one little pop-up window turned into a full size desk-top window and two other small ones. So.... I broke down and called Brian, the computer guy. He sounded a little distressed when I described my problem to him. He really didn't give it a good prognosis. He will try his best. So... without a computer at home... well.... I feel so out of touch with the world. Right now my only computer time will come while I am at work. (that just sounds... "not right", doesn't it??)

Hopefully I will be able to get back on soon... till then...

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

I've got the joy, joy, joy.......

Gee... its been a long time since I have posted. I'm not quite sure what I have been doing... but the computer has obviously not been a part of it. I am sure that my family wouldn't believe that.

My Tuesdays and I started a new Bible study on January 6th. We are doing Jesus The One and Only. (Of course it is Beth Moore.) Today I started on Week Two... and I nearly had a fit when she led us to this scripture.... that is... a Holy, Hallelujah fit. It was soooooo good.

One question was,

Why was Christ not sent for the nation of Israel alone??

She sent us to Isaiah 49:6... this just thrilled my soul.....

"He says, It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."

Okay.... did you catch that????? It was TOO SMALL A JOB for Him to come only for the nation of Israel. Now, that just sent me into a Holy Fit!!! I just squealed. I could picture all of those old beat up pick-up trucks that drive around our town with signs that boast of their services... saying.... Handy Man... no job too small! Please tell me that you love that.... it is not just me is it??? Well.... maybe it is just me... me and the Father. We had a great time with it!!!!! Beth's next statement was....

"It would have been too small a thing for so great a Savior!"

I also love it when Old Testament "stuff" is shown in the New Testament in Jesus. And my study was full of that too. It was a great day in the Word.

Also... I just want to share something else that God has done for me. If you have read my blog ever... you know about our financial struggles. And... no, we didn't win the lottery or even gain anymore income. BUT.... I have gained a much closer walk with God... and if that is not enough.... He is now laying ME on the hearts of His other children in order to bless me. I received the sweetest email the other day from another blogger explaining that God had put me on her heart and she is sending me a set of CD's by Beth Moore and two other teachers. I was absolutely thrilled..... God is the only one that knew that I needed that exact thing that she is sending me. I also received a gift card from my Mother-in-Law for Christmas.... and I have been trying to decide between a couple different sets of CD's and DVD's from the Living Proof website... soI decided to ask her for advise.... and she told me that she has those too... and will send those as well. Well.... that just blesses my socks off. God is so good. Ya'll... He brings me to my knees in praise.

I spent my of my ride to work tonight thinking about His goodness. I just kept saying to myself... ummm... ummmm...uummmm. Praise you Father!!!

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Beginnings

Happy New Year!!

This morning as I sat down to have my prayer time, I already knew just what I was going to say. And I did.... I told God that I hadn't really enjoyed 2008... and I wanted 2009 to be better. I allowed myself to list words or phrases that came to mind when I thought about our 2008, here are some of them....

Hard times
Financial disaster
Humbling (is this the right spelling?? it doesn't look right, but spell check says it's fine)
Struggles with my children
Sending my children to public school after years of homeschooling

Then my journaling began to look more like this....

"But Father, I must confess that the journey that you and I have been on has been good. A more consistent quiet time, a deeper trust in ALL circumstances, a greater desire and longing to know you, hopefully less pride, more honesty and "real", more desires to be used by you... So all in all... from eternities viewpoint... I guess 2008 wasn't a bad year after all."

I did add...

"the financial battle has been hard. And, I am ready to be DONE with it. Finished, never to return again. I hope that we have graduated from this class. I don't want to take it again."

Then my 2008 list began to look like this...

Real spiritual growth
Saw what real friendship is like
Saw His amazing work in my "Tuesdays" (Tuesday night Bible study girls)
Saw one of my "Tuesdays" receive Christ as her Savior
Saw one of my "Tuesdays" fall in love with His Word
Learned to trust Him no matter what... even when circumstances don't change... He can
change me.
Being in a better place with HIM than ever before.

As I sat there, I realized that maybe 2008 had not been as bad as I thought. By the worlds standards... oh yeah, it has been bad. But by God's standards... it actually was good, better than good... great. I am a different person going into 2009 than I was when I started 2008. For that I am thankful.

So as I started my list of hopes for 2009, they started like this...

To bring in more money, to get ourselves straightened out financially... to be able to save
money , to actually have money for things like car repairs, vet bills, taxes, to be
able to share more money, etc........
A stronger marriage
Better relationships with my children
To see each of my children start a real "walk" with Him

As I sat there in the quiet of my "spot"... I realized that had it not been for the "bad" of 2008... I might not have been in a place to see the "good" of 2008.

And... if all of my hopes become realities in 2009.... will I really be in a place to see growth in my relationship with the Lord?? Knowing Him was on my list of things for the upcoming year... but it was underneath all of the other things that I hoped for. Will I be able to see it if I am busy enjoying all the other things???

My attitude this morning completely changed... I realize that no matter what 2009 can bring my way, as long as I have Him... I will get through it. It may be hard... it may not be what I wanted... it may be more painful than this past year... OR it may be just what I hoped for... but no matter what....


Seeking Him is what I want for 2009. All the other stuff is what will make me who I am IN Him. Whether is be good or bad.... I want to be found in Him. Deeper. Trusting. Loving. Following. Obeying. Desiring more. Never satisfied with what I have of Him... always wanting more of Him. And the best part of all of this is... I know this is exactly what He wants for me too.

I ended my prayer time with this...

"I will praise you no matter what!!"
"I will love you no matter what!!"
"Grow me!" "Use me!" "Change me!"

"I am yours!!"

I am still looking for a "verse" to call my life verse for 2009. I will let you know when I find it. Last year I know that God spoke this one over me... Philippians 1:18b-20. (starting with Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,...........) I am not going to type it all out because I want you to go read it for yourself... see if you can decide why it was my verse for 2008. I didn't "get" it until about half way through the year... but it was my lifeline. My anchor. My promise from God.

May you have a Holy New Year... I think that "happy" is overrated.

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