Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Relationship revolution

Calvin's sermon has haunted me all week. I know that sounds nutty. I really do always pay attention to his sermons. I really do try to apply his sermons to my life. Sometimes that is easier to do than others. This week's sermon left me no choice. It was and is completely applicable to me personally.

He is preaching through the book of James. This week was Chapter 4 vs 1-3. Let me go ahead and share those verses.

1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Here's the thing...there is no way for me to reason or rationalize this away (not that I would evvvvvvverrrrrrr try to do that). Just for this week, I have tried to find one instance that I could use as an exception the the rule....can't find one.

Every single time I have been put out with someone...it applies.

Every time I have been offended....it applies.

Every time I have gotten aggravated.....you guessed it.

Every time I lost my temper.....yep.

Scripture is funny like that.

Now, sermons like this could make it hard to be a pastor's wife if your pastor does not listen to his own sermon. Thankfully, Calvin DOES take to heart what God leads him to preach to the congregation. The application of this one sermon has revolutionized our relationship with each other and with our children.

I challenge you to try and find a way to rationalize the truth in this scripture away.
The thing that causes fights and quarrels between you and those in your life is WITHIN you. You fight and quarrel because you don't get what you want.

The next time you lose your cool....is it because you didn't get what your way?

The next time you yell at your kids....is it because they didn't do what you want?

The next time you get angry with your spouse....is it because he or she didn't do what you want?

The truth behind this scripture is one that we visited in Ladies Bible Study....

It is not the responsibility of your spouse, your children, your boss, or your friends to make you happy and to "fill you up" emotionally, because that is a spiritual issue. Only God can do that. Only God can meet our spiritual needs. the other truth in this scripture is:
You don't get what you want because you don't ask.....OR when you ask, you ask with selfish motives.........you aren't seeking God's will. (ouch!)

Have trouble trusting people? Do you trust God to put trustworthy people in your life?

The people in your life don't validate you? Do you find value in your status as a child of God?

Boss, friends, spouse, kids don't appreciate the job you do? Are you doing all things as if you are working for GOD and serving HIM in all you do?

Like so many things, it is all in your perspective.

Any of us can turn our focus inward and have a large pity party on any given day. When we turn our gaze upward and focus on serving God it is almost impossible to have a pity party.

Any of us can turn our gaze to the people in our life and become angry and frustrated because they have not met all of our needs, have let us down, have hurt us, taken advantage of us, the list could go on forever......OR we can turn our gaze UPWARD and focus all that fault finding energy on becoming the man or woman God dreamed of when he dreamed of us.

This is a life changing, relationship revolutionizing, earth shattering choice you and I can make right now.
Let the people in your life off the hook.
Stop looking to those around you for meaning and validation and worthiness.
Stop being disappointed in the people in your life for not being God.
Only God can validate your TRUE worth.
Only God can fill you up emotionally.
Only God can give your life meaning.
Stop looking to the creation to do things the Creator longs to do for you!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Izzy and I were watching this video on You Tube. She said "OOOOHHH Mommy! He is writing like you!" She was, of course, referring to Matthew West writing on the dry erase board.

I can so relate!

Thankfully I am talking now and do not have another surgery in the very near future. I am trying to get the last one postponed until August. We'll see.



Thursday, May 7, 2009

hard to belive

I have a Dr appointment this morning.
Just a check up visit. No big deal....which is strange, because even though I KNOW it is no big deal, i can't quite convince my body of that. My heart still races, I feel like I am going to vomit...all that fun stuff.
It is hard to believe that less than 3 months ago I was preparing to get my neck dissected and my lymph nodes removed to make sure that my cancer had not spread. It is hard to believe that less than 6 weeks ago I could not talk...and was wondering if I would ever be able to again. It is hard to believe that a year ago everything was perfectly normal in my little world and the only time I went to the doctor was when one of the kids got sick.

It's hard to believe that I don't still have cancer.

I WANT to just let it go and be done with it. Put it in the past and celebrate the healing God allowed. I am grateful and I do celebrate and I enjoy telling my story. It's just the, every time I go to the doctor, there is a tiny little part of me that wonders if he is going to tell me that something isn't quite right.

So I am off to see Dr.S and am looking forward to the part of the visit where he says "everything looks fine, see you in a month."


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mirror, Mirror

Being a hairdresser for the better part of 15 years, I have spent many many many hours in front of a mirror. I remember my favorite Barber School instructor telling me over and over again "You are not done until you check the haircut in the mirror. The mirror will reveal things that your eye can miss." Mirrors are great tools...if we take advantage of them and act on what they tell us.

If I glance at a mirror, window, or some other reflective surface in passing, that surface will reveal obvious and major surface details...like if my hair is sticking straight up from me putting my glasses on top of my head.

A casual look in a pocket mirror will tell me if my lipstick needs re-applying, my eyeliner is smudged, if I have spinich in my teeth, or if I need a kleenex.

After a moment of careful inspection in front of the mirror in my bathroom (under those wonderful flaw-finding lights) I can find a stray brow that needs to be tweezed, a clump of mascara that needs to be brushed out, eyeshadow that needs to be evened up.
When I get really brave, I pull out the Magnifying mirror. It reveals evey line, wrinkle and inperfection. Yikes! All the things I spend so much time covering up are brought to light in the Magnifying mirror!
What good is my mirror to me if i do not act on what it reveals about my appearance?
Scripture says in James 1:23-25
"23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does."
Just like the reflective surface in the first example, a brief encounter with Scripture will reveal major things in my life and in myself that are grossly contrary to God's word.
Just as a pocket Mirror will show me what is out of place in a small area of my physical appearance, minimal familiarity with Scripture will reveal specific isolated areas of my life and in myself that are contrary to God's word. This is the sort of thing we learn in Sunday School and Church. We have not searched out this knowledge on our own. It has been fed to us by those that have studied the Scripture.
AND...like my physical appearance, these spiritual "flaws" are very obvious to others and by the time I see the need for improvement in these areas, most everyone I have been in contact with has already noticed that something is out of sorts and is hoping that I will realize what the problem is before they have to point it out. (like the need for a Kleenex)
Just as more time spent in front of my mirror reveals the less obvious flaws in my physical appearance, more time spent in God's word reveals areas of my heart that need to be "tweezed". these areas are probably not obvious to the casual aquaitnence, but just like tweezing the eyebrows and removing clumps of mascara improves my overall physical appearance, removing (tweezing if necessary) sin out of my heart is greatly appreciated by my friends and family and adds to the overall impression I make daily on the world around me.
Ahhhh, the magnifying mirror.....every wrinkle, every line, every little flaw....ouch! Just as the magnifying mirror reveals what I hide from the world each day by applying makeup, prayer and indepth study of God's word reveals the sin in my life that I hide from the world. Verse 25 tells me that this kind of time with God in his word brings freedom.
If I see something out of place when I look in the mirror, I fix it...otherwise, what good has checking my look in the mirror done me? If I take a look into God's word and do not act on what is revealed to me, what good has studying God's word done me? AND>>>Just like a closer look in the mirror reveals the physical things I try to cover up, a closer look at Scripture will reveal the spiritual things I try to cover up.....
I wonder how much more God could do with me if I spent as much time and effort in His word as I do in the mirror.....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

so much to do!!!!

Calvin and I have always been "busy". We truly enjoy being with our friends and neither of us are much for hanging around the house. We managed fine when we had Brian.... and our friends, the Joneses...Matt not Scott...told us that you aren't really parents until you have at least 2 kids. Yeah yeah whatever....then Izzy came along. WOW! What a difference a kid makes! Izzy is amazing, but MAN! That second child changes everything! We now use Matt and Laurie's philosophy on being a "real" parent with all of our friends with single children...Good times!
Calvin stepping into the role of Sr Pastor didn't really change life that much. If it has, we love our place in God's service so much that it has gone unnoticed.
Brian playing Baseball has kept us running with 2 games and 2 practices a week, but OH so much fun to watch him play! His team is undefeated in the regular season and that adds so much excitement to the games!
THEN the girls and I started the FLO Blog. That's what sent me over the edge I think. Not that I am going to change anything. I LOVE what we are doing. I believe that it is a great way for us to be able to share our testimonies with more women than we could ever meet with in person and get to know well enough to share Christ with. There are so many negatives influencing us everyday....it is my prayer that the blog will become a place where women can go to be refocused on Christ and refreshed and encouraged in their Christian walk.
All this is to say, I won't be posting quite as much now. To be honest, my personal life is pretty boring now that the whole cancer ordeal is over. It is not as influential to talk about how much I love and trust God when everything is going my way and coming up roses. I am going to try and post once a week, but am not really sure what to post about.
I am learning that, even though I do believe that it is important to make people aware of the war being waged for their souls, you really can't write about everything going on in your own life. It may take me a little while to figure out how to write stories about things that happen to "my best friend's Neighbor's Sunday School Teacher's Brother's Boss's Wife's Hairdresser's Sister".
I'll let you know how that works out! ha ah
What is hard for me is that I am constantly reminded that people are hurting and they are searching and they will look for the answers they need until they find SOMETHING that "works". I believe with every fiber of my being that Jesus Christ and, more importantly, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is what "works". So, when I find myself in the heat of the battle and Stinkin Rotten Satan is workin on me, my natural tendency is to think "Oh my! I am not the only one Satan is working on in this manner! I need to help others know how to fight him and I need to let them know that they are not the only person Satan gets to from time to time!"
Unfortunately, there are people who still like to throw stones at glass houses, and as the Pastor's wife, my house is definitely glass. So if you are one who has followed the whole cancer ordeal and now wonder why the sudden silence from someone who has been blessed with the innate need to use up everyone else's extra words every day, I hope I have explained.
First and foremost...we are terribly busy. Second, I am spending a great amount of time working with the FLO Ministry Team expanding the Ladies Ministry. Also, i am trying to find where Christ wants me to draw the line in writing about my personal battles.

I pray that each of you are ready to meet God in worship tomorrow!