January 20, 2012

God is Dead...or is he?: Fab Music Friday

If you believed the media, our public universities - or even the cronies running our government these days - you would think God was dead...or at least far, far away.

But he is NOT.

And we need to not only remember that but we need to speak the truth.

And speak it loud.

Whether we use words or not.  Sometimes we will speak it through our actions.  Or we will speak it through love.

Or sometimes, maybe we need to just let the music do the talking for us.

If you can't see the video, please go HERE.

Be brave. Find your voice. And have an awesome weekend!

January 19, 2012

Don't Forget to Remember


They say the first 3 things that go when you get older are your eyesight, your hearing and your...um, I forget.

So...I am a little slow on finishing this post, as you can tell by the "New Year's Eve" reference up above.  Oh, well, life happens, eh? (That was said in my lower-North Dakota-Canadian accent - could you tell?)

But back to the point: remembering...or is it forgetting?  It all depends on how you look at it, I guess.  This past year truly was a blur and, in all honesty, I can't remember most of it.  I want to...I just can't.  But I'd like to think that I remember the important things: Chris' visits home, meeting Miss Mairead for the first time, our family trip to the lake, Colin's first guitar recital, running a 5K with Isaac, shopping at IKEA (OK, I'm kidding about that one. Kind of.)

For many of us, there was a lot that was probably not worth remembering: job issues, family issues, fights, heartbreak, loss, or even death for some of us. But there was also good things: time with friends & family, that new job, a new start, laughter, moments of peace and rest, making up, healing, forgiveness (giving & receiving), blessings and new life.

I think one of keys of living a contented life is learning (and choosing) what to remember...and what to forget.

Because sometimes forgetting is good.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!
   Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? ~Isaiah 43:118-19

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 
~Phillippians 3:13-14

But sometimes forgetting is bad.

You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress. 
~Isaiah 17:10

Forgetting God and all he had done for us.  Bad.  Definitely bad. 

We need to remember...

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. 
Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced... 
~I Chronicles 16:11,12

Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
  Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me. 
~Psalm 103:1-2

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 
“This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 
~Luke 22:19

Because I am so thankful for what God remembers...

He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations... 
~ Psalm 105:8

...for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented.
~ Psalm 106:45

The LORD remembers us and will bless us...
~Psalm 115:12

God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant... 
~Exodus 2:24

And for what he forgets...

I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more
~Isaiah 43:25

Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more
~Hebrews 10:17

God does not want us dwelling in the past - yet it is so important that we remember what He has done for us and what he has brought us through.  We need to remember how he blessed us, delivered us, provided for us, healed us...saved us!  We need to remember the good, forget that which holds us back, shames us, or condemns us, and look ahead to the future that God has in store for us. A future he promises is full of hope, joy and blessing.

So repeat after me:

We need to remember to forget what needs to be forgotten. 

                    Without forgetting to remember what needs to remembered.

Got it? (Now I just hope we don't forget!)

January 16, 2012

Ms. Polly Perfect's Reality Check

Tomorrow I will be perfect.

I will not hit snooze on my alarm but instead will jump out of bed perky, cheerful and ready to greet the world with ambition and a unwavering positive attitude.

I will shower, dress and prepare a cup of tea before sitting down for a full, uninterrupted hour of fellowship with my Lord; I will not fall asleep while reading or praying.

I will wake my children with gentleness and joy, and then skip downstairs to prepare them a hot, home-made and hearty breakfast. They be so positively affected by my fantabulous attitude and joyous spirit that they will cheerfully and quickly finish getting ready for school - without needing any reminders or cajoling from me.  I will kiss them and listen to them whistle something from Mozart - or is it Bach? - as they head out the door; the smile on their faces and the twinkle in their eyes my plentiful and abundant reward.

I will throw on my apron and begin cleaning the house - working until 9 am - the amount of time it will take to make everything in my home, from top to bottom, sparkle and shine like dew drops in the early morning sunlight.  By noon, the smell of fresh bread from the oven and a perfectly tender roast in the crockpot will permeate the air.  4 dozen chocolate chip cookies will be cooling on the counter.

I will feed the kitty, eat a light and healthy salad - dressing on the side - and head out to run my errands, making sure to have my perfectly organized list in my perfectly organized purse.  I will return home in exactly one hour and unload my groceries that I purchased all at 70% off using coupons.  I will sort the mail and pay any bills that are due.  I will then sit down and write 3 blog posts and schedule them to post precise intervals through out the next week.

I will greet the children with a kiss and sit down with them to eat milk and cookies; of course, I will eat an apple and drink water.  We will immediately do homework and I will be able to help with all the problems - even the Advanced Algebra.  This kids will thank me and tell me how lucky they are to have such a smart mom; and then proceed to set the table with our fine china - with out even being asked.

Egads. Blah, blah, blah, blah...  I can't believe you are still even reading this!

Let's try this instead.

Today I am human.

I over slept...along with both of the kids. And they were NOT happy when I drug them out of bed.  We were out of cereal, so I made them each a piece of toast and slapped some PB on it, in-between yelling up the stairs at them to hurry up and trying to keep the cat off the table and out of the peanut butter.  I tell the boys I am sorry for the rush, Isaac tells me not to worry about it, and Colin responds with something that resulted in me telling him that he better watch his attitude or his life as he knows it is over.

With a little more pushing and nagging the kids are out of the door.  I take a quick shower and dress throw on some clothes and look at my to-do list.  I immediately decide that 2 of the things on it just. aren't. gonna. happen. today. I glance at my bible and then promise to God in my heart that I will catch up with him later.  I clean up the kitchen, pick some clothes up off of the floor and then go back to the bathroom to brush my teeth. ('Cuz brushing teeth is important.)  

I decide to get the errands done and push myself out the door. At my first stop I find a sign on the door saying they aren't open today; At my second stop, the clerk tells me the item I ordered and was promised would be in yesterday won't be in until next week (Errggh.); At my third stop, the grocery store, I spend what seems like half an hour trying to find my grocery list at the bottom of my purse - then realize I left the 5 precious coupons I managed to find time to clip out - at home on the counter.  I finish my shopping and check out - having to "borrow" $5 from the gas envelope to pay for groceries because I went over budget.  2 hours later I get back home - cranky, frustrated and desperate for a nap.  I walk into the kitchen to find that the cat knocked over the water glass I left on the counter and it has spilled all over my forgotten coupons and the mail I've been ignoring for a week.

Should we just stop here or would you like me to keep going? Uffda...

Somewhere between my dreams and fantasies there is a reality check.

In my mind, I would love to be the perfect mother. The perfect wife. The woman who can do it all - and do it flawlessly day in and day out.  But reality has hit home and I have come to the freeing and healthy realization that - just like some of things on my never ending to-do list - some most days, it just ain't gonna happen. 

In fact, it will probably never happen.

And I am ok with that.

I will strive to do my best.  I will make my to-do list, clip the coupons that I can, and clean my house in-between guitar lessons, Scout meetings and episodes of the Biggest Loser.

I will hug my kids and apologize when I screw up.  I will give myself grace on the bad days; and I will thank the Lord above for the the great days.

And, honestly, who want to be a Ms. Polly Perfect Homemaker anyhow?  She's so annoying I can't even finish writing a blog post about her.  Bleh.

Be blessed. Be Brave.  And give yourself Grace.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. ~Pillippians 3:12-14