Saturday, May 23, 2009

Seeing through someone else's eyes

My husband and I just celebrated our 22st wedding anniversary. We dated for almost 7 years before we got married... so we have been together for a LONG time. Like most married couples... we have had some really good times... and some really bad times. But to the Glory of God... we are still loving each other.

One thing that I really hate is.... I think I have stopped "seeing" him. What I mean by that is that I just go through my days... not noticing what he does. Let me give you an example.... I have noticed several times over the last couple months that I catch people talking about the "good things" he does.... that I didn't even notice. Several times I have caught some of my Tuesdays bragging on him. (my Sweet Tuesdays are my Bible study ladies) Like... he vacuums for me most Tuesdays before they get there... He will often cook enough food to share with them while they are there... He will run through the living room to catch the dogs so that they don't get in the way of our class.... (like he is not a distraction as he runs through.... but it is the thought that counts, right?). One of them has even pointed out that he needs to give lessons to other husbands...... I have realized that I don't really give him enough credit for all he does to help me. I don't always notice when he loads the dishwasher.... or empties it. I don't always notice that the clothes that I left in the dryer are folded and in the baskets... I don't notice how he seems to not mind at all that I don't cook him supper. And I don't seem to notice all the times that he makes tea. (which we discussed MANY years ago... and it is clearly my job.. AND I don't mind) The other day, one of my friends pointed out how sweet he was to cook us dinner and then clean up the kitchen while she and I went for a walk... the list seems to go on and on. Hearing someone else brag on your husband for something that you didn't even notice is quite sobbering. I don't like that... I don't mind at all when they brag on him... I just hate that somehow I have stopped seeing it. I am trying to watch for those things now... and give him the kuddos when he deserves it. And... I am sure that I still miss many opportunities to thank him.

I know the same is true for the "world" that I see. I don't always see it through God's eyes. I am looking through my eyes. The frustration. The inconvenience. The people. The needs. I filter them through my eyes... and my perspective. Not God's... which is what I need to be doing. How else can I try to make a difference in the world if I am not seeing things like God does??? I have really been thinking about this a lot lately. I need to put on my "God" glasses so that I can see more clearly.

I want to thank my husband for all the sweet things he does for me and our family. I want to let him know how much I love him and appreciate what he does. I want to stop looking through my eyes... and look through God's eyes. Then.... I think things will become much clearer.

Thanks Brad for all the things that you do for me and our family. You are a good man!! I am sorry that I don't tell you that as often as I should. I'm am blessed to have you!! And... thank you for putting up with me for the last 29 years. I love you!

AND... not only have we celebrated our wedding anniversary... this is my 100th post. So... in honor of this post... I will have a giveaway on May 28th. Just post a comment about something or someone you are thankful for. I can't wait to hear from you.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Moving like a snail...

There is just something about getting older. I weigh more... I don't have the energy that I used to... not as active... can't see without granny glasses.... and the list goes on and on. I had talked to God about this a while back... and knew that He told me to start walking some. But I just hadn't started it yet. This past week in my Bible study we were challenged to think of something that we had inquired of God about... gotten His instruction... and we were still waiting to obey. Well... He so graciously reminded me about walking. So a week ago... I started walking in my neighborhood. I don't do it everyday... my work schedule messes me up a couple times a week... but I have started.

The first day... I walked in silence. I could hear the birds singing and had time to think about lots of things. The second time... I walked and quoted my scripture memory verses. Then yesterday... I decided to use my daughters i-Pod. There is a great album on there of Francesca Battistelli. It was all I could do to walk... quietly. I wanted to dance. I wanted to jump up and down. And... I wanted to sing.... loudly.... like I do in the car. But... I like where we live... and I want to stay here. So I tried REALLY hard not to sing. I'm not sure if I succeeded or not. Anyway... while I was walking one of those days.... I saw a snail working to hard to cross the road.

I stopped and watched him. He was barely making it. He was moving so slow that I couldn't tell if he was making any progress or not. I thought to myself.... poor thing... he has to carry his house on his back. Then I tried to imagine how it would be if I had to carry my house on my back. There is no way I could stand under the weight of it. The more I thought about carrying things on my back... the slower I walked. Then I thought about all the things that I have carried on my back... that I didn't have to. Guilt. Shame. Unforgiveness. Jealousy. Struggles. Anger. Bitterness. Hurt. Man... it is amazing that I am still standing. My back should be broken in half by now. And... sometimes I would take it off my back... and just pack it away in my baggage... and just pull it around with me.

The thing is... God is more than willing to carry our "stuff" around for us. He calls out to us in
1 Peter 5:7...

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. (NLT)

So why don't we do that?? And what about the times we do give them over to Him... and then we go back and pick them up again?? God has offered to be our caddy... to carry our heavy load for us.

Also in Matthew 11:28-30...

Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light".

When we weigh ourselves down with things that God would carry for us... we move slowly just like that snail. Our walk with the Lord may slow to a crawl as well. Our shoulders weren't made for that load... but God's were. Sometimes life is just too heavy.

Why, Oh why.... would we carry around a bunch of stuff we don't have to?? I so want to give all my cares and burdens to the Lord. I want His light load. I want rest for my soul. And something tells me that if someone were to offer to carry his house... that snail would take them up on it.

And... now I know why God was so insistant on my walking... He has so much to teach me.

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Spiritual Banking....

I will be the first one to admit that I don't always do really well with my checkbook. There have been many times that I have forgotten to write down a debit card purchase... only to realize later in the week that I am overdrawn. Now.... I don't know about you... but if I am overdrawn... I really don't have any extra money to give the bank for the fee. But... they take it anyway. Which only makes my bad situation worse. My checking account has money going in.... and money going out.

Imagine my thrill this week while I was listening to a Beth Moore teaching CD on the book of Romans. She was teaching in chapter 4. This is what verse 3 says...

"What does Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness"

then in verse 9...

"Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumsied? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness."

and yet again in Genesis 15:6

"Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness"

She explained that the word "credited" is a banking term. It is added to our account. Like our spiritual checking account... picture that.... God making a deposit into MY account. I was thrilled to think of God filling out a deposit slip for my account. That was enough to make me jump up and down.

She then moved down to verse 7 and 8...

"Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."

The word "count" is also an accounting term. She explained that this verse tells us that our sins are not counted against us... they don't get deposited into an account. They are gone. There is not a "sin account".... only a righteousness account. Well.... that thrilled me again.

God is not making a list of our sins... they are thrown into the sea of forgetfulness. Sins that are confessed... God promises to forgive them. (1 John 1:19)

The only thing that gets deposited into our spiritual righteousness account is when we exercise our faith. It is our faith... that makes God get out the deposit slips and make a deposit into our account. Okay... I could grasp that..... BUT then she said....

"not even our righteousness gets deposited into the righteousness account..." Did you get that?? All the righteous things that we do don't even make a difference in our righteousness account. The only deposits that are made is when we exercise faith.

Now... I don't know... that might not do a thing for you. Or maybe you had already thought that one out before. If so, just pardon me while I get excited about it.

Think about it... when we exercise our faith... our account just gets bigger and bigger. When we sin... it doesn't decrease the balance in our account. When we "do" all those righteous things that we do... our account doesn't get bigger. Just faith... Believing God... Trusting God... makes our account get fatter.

Maybe if my regular bank account worked like that I could keep from overdrawing... deposit... deposit... deposit.... nothing coming back out. Don't you wish it really worked like that at the bank.

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