Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Morning Mercy

Psalm 71: 8
"My mouth is full of praise and honor to you all day long"
I have always been amazed by runners. Not table runners PEOPLE runners. I am talking about the folks who can strap on a pair of Nike's and start to run. And keep running. And keep running... There is just something facinating to me about "the long haul". That is thing that requires focus and concentration and energy and determination. It requires preparation and motivation. For me, that thing that requires all that inner strength and drive is ... MONDAY MORNING! I don't like them and I don't do well. Mine starts way to early and ends way to late. It is the busiest day of my week and I live out my Mondays in a rush of coffee, traffic and emails. So often I run through my marathon Monday, collapse into bed and realize, I lost the race. The God race. I never stopped to praise Him or honor Him even once. Never mind doing it "all day long".
This verse reminds me that God pursues a relationship with us that is living and active. A relationship that invades everything we do and say. All Day Long. So today.....
Lord, may my mouth be full of praise to you while I am in traffic, at my desk and on the phone. My I honor you while I love my children, find their homework and make sure they are fed. May I lift a song to you when I hit my 3pm slump and want to quit in frustration. May I be infused with your Holy Spirit in the most unlikely of places like the laundry room. And when the day is done and my marathon complete, allow me to raise my hand and give you Lord, my running buddy and victory "high five"!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"And on the seventh day the Lord RESTED"?

Really? Like does that happen anymore? 'Cause let me tell you something, Sunday is a work day for this old girl! Most of the time I fall into bed on Sunday evenings exhausted by the events of the day. See if this rings a bell for you:
6:30 am - feet hit the floor and the mad dash for the coffee pot begins. By 7 am I have peeled 3lbs of potatoes, and seasoned the chicken for frying after church. 7:30 and the dishes are done and I have started making the rounds to wake up the people who were sleeping while I was doing dishes! 8am - Jump in the shower ( water is cold because the people who stayed in bed while I did the dishes are now all in the shower at the same time as me!!). Between 8 and 8:45 I dry my hair throw a casserole in the oven and apply approx. 1/2 lb of Bare Minerals. ( The results are nothing short of miraculous!) Grab Bible, Grab children, crate the animals and jump in the car.
After we get to church I prepare my heart for worship by running around like a chicken with her little head chopped off gathering music and looking for members of our Praise Team.

By 9:45 I am leading rehersals and praying mercy over our sweet sound man who bless his heart cannot seem to make us all happy!

Worship begins at 10:30 and I am lookng forward to the sermon as it will allow me to sit for 30 minutes.

After church I hug the necks of friends and strangers alike while running out the door for home to get dinner on the table. By 1:30 we have eaten and the Rev. and I are out the door to the local hospital to see a brand new baby boy and his sweet parents. Then home again. Plan the service for tonight and help with college son's laundry. (Don't even say it!! It is the one thing he still needs me for and I Love IT!)

Church tonight and I am back home in bed and exhausted but get this, I am also RESTED! How does that happen? I think it is because for one whole day I have particiapted in things that are bigger than me. It is a sweet thing to get a family to church on Sunday morning. It is a beautiful thing to raise my voice in the worship of our King. And those necks I hugged, well I love those necks because they are attached to people who are dear to me. It is a precious thing to see my family all around the same table at the same time. And a hospital becomes Holy Ground as you touch the face of a newborn baby and know that his parents are undertaking the most sacred of jobs.

Thank you Lord for the kind of rest that comes from getting our eyes off ourselves for just a little while and setting our hearts on higher things. It is an amazing thing and you are an amazing God!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bloggy Confession

For the last several months I have become increasingly addicted to reading blogs. Many of the ones I frequent leave me feeling challenged and inspired and encouraged. But sometimes.. something else creeps in. I begin to look at the lives of other people and feels downright envious. There I said it. The green monster called envy wants to settle itself in my heart as I read about women who can save 20 gazillion dollars with coupons. Women who find the time to bake cookies, keep their laundry caught up and churn homemade butter. Women who live on a ranch. Women who live on the beach. Women who seem to have it all and getting more of it all the time. I begin to focus on my own issues. Like the fact that I work 40 hours a week. My laundry is never done. We are in debt (SSSHHHHH!) and I drive a van with a dent in it. There is dog slobber on my wall, my baseboards haven't seen a scrubbing in forever and I feel overwhelmed and incapable most of the time. I don't have a stash of bulk groceries and I haven't seen my "hair girl" in months! *SIGH*

But then...... I get myself together and realize that no one has it all together and I find comfort in that. I have been in the ministry long enough to know that very seldom is someone's life the way they make it out to be. We are masters of disguise when it comes to showing people who we really are. After all, it is much more satisfying to our HUGE egos if we allow people to see only what we want them to see. Then we can make the picture pretty. And sweet. And yes, uncluttered.

So here is to being real. And being thankful for what I have. A precious family, everyone healthy, a frozen Pizza to have for dinner and yes even said "slobbery dog". The next time I want to be like someone else I will just look in the mirror. That girl looking back at me has got it pretty good!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The list of school closings is as follows:

Sevier County. Third time this week. My children went to school 6 days in the month of January. This is as smart as they are gonna get.

Monday, February 2, 2009

It all came to a screeching halt!

For those of you who see snow on a regular basis you cannot imagine what it is like to live here in the south and see the chaos that ensues at the first falling snow flake. We generally lose our minds. Schools begin to let out early, businesses close up shop and everyone hits Kroger for milk and bread. As for me, if I am going to be snowed in my last minute run to the grocery store will garner for my family chips, dip, soda, popcorn, Doritios and salsa. (Also an extra roll of toilet paper because, well, you know! ) Anyway, after we sweep the gas stations to fill up our tanks we hunker down. And then we watch it snow. For an hour. And then it stops. But we are thrilled that there is a dusting on the ground and that alone may get us out of school and work for tomorrow. I LOVE THE SOUTH. It just doesn't get any better than this!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

This is my daughter. She is lovely and sweet. Always concerned about her appearance and is careful that her hair always looks good. She is pretty quiet and unassuming and is mortally afraid of being embarrassed. She nevers wants to be the center of attention and does not like for people to fuss over her. She is a shy little flower.


Wake up! It's Morning!!

Okay. I'm back. During the Christmas season I just didn't feel very bloggy. I began to suffer from something I like to call "holiday blog envy". Everyone in the blogosphere went to work posting beautiful holiday pictures and sweet stories about "shelf elves" and home made decorations and i just began to feel, well... inadequate. But the truth is that we had a beautiful Christmas and a great time with family and friends.
It is interesting how the new year began for us. Instead of looking forward to the New Year, J and I did a lot of looking back. We had to face some difficult realities about how we have managed our lives up until now. Sometimes you just have to take stock of how things really are. We did. And we have a plan. I love the sweet verse in Lamentations that reminds us that God's mercies are "new every morning". Those same mercies are yours and mind every time we need to start over. I am thankful for the voice of God that calls me back to where I need to be.