Monday, May 31, 2010

Our Children Are Not Our Own

Since we’ve lived in this house, the same little bird family builds a nest in the same place every year. I suppose we should feel flattered that they return to what they think is a perfect place to raise a family year after year! Yesterday my daughter came and found me to tell me that she saw a tiny bird that was so cute, “come see Mommy.” We peeked out the guestroom window to see a little baby bird on the ground and as the girls oooed and ahhhed over the tiny wonder I began to cry. I tried not to let them see my tears. They marveled at the sweet baby while I observed the frantic mama bird and papa bird panicking as they flew about. The little one tried to hop along a bit, obviously not ready to fly yet. I don’t know the whole story – did he fall out of the nest? Was there a problem with his wing when we took his first leap to fly? The only thing I knew was that something was wrong and the parents were terribly upset. They couldn’t pick him up and bring him back to the nest. In my adult life I’ve had two close friends deliver still born babies. I can’t imagine what that is like to panic at the news of a lifeless baby, to struggle knowing there is nothing you can do to return that little one to safety. All of these thoughts flooded my mind as I watched this bird family struggle. I then remembered the words a mother spoke at a funeral for her daughter who had just completed her PhD and flew home to be with family for the holidays. When she arrived home, she went to bed and didn’t wake up. At her funeral, her mother spoke and I’ll never forget what she said. She thanked the many people who sent her words of encouragement and comfort over the past few days. Many grieved over the fact that our friend died young. Who was the man she would have married? The children she might have had? The students she would have taught? Her mother simply said, “my daughter was not here for them. She was here for us.” Wow. I could not believe the strength, peace and wisdom of this mother who had just lost her daughter. Obviously she knew all along what I hope to know as a mother – that our children are not our own. They belong to God and are on a brief loan to us for such a time as He sees fit. Sometimes He only allows us to have them for a very brief moment. Psalm 139:16 says, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” I find comfort in this verse that tells me God knows the span of our life and his timing is perfect. I didn’t see the baby bird today. If he’s not flying around, I trust that he’s flying up in heaven!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

When All Gets Quiet

Sometimes as a Mom we savor the moments when all gets quiet. All the children are asleep, a moment alone in the car, or even a midnight feeding. Then there are times when all gets quiet and we begin to panic! Then children are off playing and we hear nothing – what kind of trouble is going on? The other day this kind of quiet came over my home and part of me was tempted to go see what kind of mischief the little ones were into. However, the other part of me just wanted to let them be, regardless of what was going on, and let them relish in the moment of being all alone, doing whatever they wanted! It was a gamble, but I won! I let them alone for about 45 minutes and then peeked in to find a magical moment. They had dressed themselves up in silly clothes and were playing so nicely together with beautiful, innocent imaginations. My heart was full.
I had a brief day dream about God when all gets quiet in his home –
when He hasn’t heard from me in awhile.
When all gets quiet on my end of life does He panic that I’m getting into trouble?
Does He sit back and let me go, only to peek in on me later to find me serving Him quietly?
I want to be found honoring God with my life when all gets quiet.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fruit Of The Spirit

As the fruit trees in our backyard continue to produce beautiful fruit, I’ve been thinking about the Fruit of the Spirit and a Sunday School lesson I once heard. When talking about the Fruit of the Spirit, many people call them the “Fruits of the Spirit.” Perhaps this is because there are multiple virtues: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control. We often select one virtue and try to work on it in our life. My favorite one to focus on is self control!! But really, these virtues are not separate attributes that we can select and try to achieve in our life. They are a collective result of God’s Spirit in our life. The Fruit of God’s Spirit means the evidence of God’s Spirit – the result. If we want these virtues to be evident in us, then we don’t need to single them out and try to master each one, we simply need to be filled with God’s Spirit and then all of the Fruit of His Spirit will be demonstrated in us.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spare Key
I recently locked my keys in my car, in the garage! I always leave my keys in the car when I’m at home so they are exactly where I need them as I’m running out the door. My husband was out of town for the week and I somehow managed to also have the spare set in my purse, which was locked in the car!
What do we do in life when our “key” or our plan A fails? Do we go to plan B – our “spare key”? But what if plan B also doesn’t work? Then what? As I called AAA to come out and unlock my car so I could go pick up my daughters from school, I started to think about the “spare keys” of my life. I realized that I sometimes treat God like my spare key, or my back-up plan. When my plan fails, I go to Him and ask Him to rescue me. But really, God isn’t a back-up plan, He is the plan! His ways are perfect. Sometimes it may not seem like it as things get tough and don’t always make sense, but God can see the larger picture and His plan for us is the best possible plan. The reality is, when God is the main key of my life, there is no need for a spare key.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother’s Day
I always thought my mother was pretty amazing, but I never knew how super human she really was until I became a mother. My mom is someone that everyone should have the privilege of knowing. She is a “magical” person – once you meet her, you’ll never be the same. I am so honored that my mom is the woman that so many other women strive to be like. She is an extraordinary cook, she keeps an impeccable home, she dresses to the nines (most of the time!), she sings beautifully, she paints with whimsy, she keeps a lovely garden, she’s kind, she’s generous, she’s never met a stranger! She laughs all the time, freely gives compliments, always puts others first, keeps going beyond what anyone else can do, and lives life to the fullest extent. But, in the midst of all those fabulous things, her finest quality is that she radiates joy. She truly glows all the time with a power that sucks everyone in! Her secret – Jesus. My mother is a God fearing woman who clings to Him at any cost. She loves the Lord and serves Him faithfully and thus is filled with the joy of the Lord and His strength that is so attractive to all who come in contact with her. I’ve learned so much from my mom and continue to do so everyday. I hope and pray that I will be just like her and that my children will see Jesus in me as much as I see Him in my mom. Some people spend their whole lives looking for a best friend. I’m lucky that I was born to mine. I love you Moma, Happy Mother’s Day.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

As If It Were My Last
I just spent three days with my Grandma in the nursing home where she was recently moved into. It was a powerful and convicting visit. God answered my prayers for a few good conversations with my Grandma where she was alert and as sharp as usual. One day she seemed to think that she was in heaven. My Grandmother is a strong Christian woman who has served God faithfully her whole life. She played the piano in her church for at least 30 years, she served the missionaries, and has always been involved in the church. I was amazed at the things she was saying on her “day in heaven.” “Have you seen God Raeanne?” “Not yet Grandma. Have you?” “No, but I can’t wait to fall at His feet,” she said with a smile. Through tears she continued, “I’ve prayed for this my whole life. Can you believe it? I’ve waited so long for this.” Then she started naming the people that she needed to look up, friends who are already in heaven. She quoted scripture, sang hymns, and glowed as she basked in the peace of being in heaven where she didn’t need to worry about a thing. Only a day before she cried as she told me, “I love life,” knowing that hers is coming to a close. She insisted that she didn’t want to be in a rest home. But now she was tapping into what she’s known her whole life and longed for – her true home. Everything she has been filling her soul with was now the reality and source of her peace. I was convicted. What am I filling my life with? In my final chapter, what will be in the forefront of my mind? Will it be the excitement and anticipation of seeing God? Will scripture that I’ve memorized flood my mouth as the words ring true and bring comfort and peace? Will I hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”? I am inspired by my Grandma. Her faith and love of Jesus has challenged me to get on it! To once again let the roots of Scripture sink down deep and become the foundation of all that I am. To live today as if it were my last; not indulging in my material cravings, but studying scripture and living with excitement and anticipation of seeing His face very soon.


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