Monday, March 14, 2011

I'll be happy when...

Ever said that. Yup, me too. Often.

I'll be happy when we have vacation.

I'll be happy when we get back into a routine.

I'll be happy when the the snow melts.

I'll be happy when mud season is over.

I'll be happy when it's cooler.

I'll be happy when we have a child.

I'll be happy when it's quieter.

I'll be happy when we have another child.

Today in my browsings of blogs, I was reminded of the troubles that come when thinking this way. My happiness is so often focused on my surroundings and circumstances. My emotions are directly related to what is happening, and my sense of well being is directly correlated to how much things are going according to my plans. But this is not what God says He wants for us. He wants to give us joy that is based on Him not on our circumstances. He wants us to look beyond the messes in life to see the potential of all things to speak of His grace and glory.

I don't have to wait to be happy. I can choose right now to be joyful. This happens when I take my eyes off of my, my expectations, my schedule, my ways, and turn to look at Him. I can look to His truth. The truth that He is good. He is love. He is steadfast. I can look at the situations and circumstances and see through them to the opportunity to what He can do in them.

I want this deep abiding joy, don't you? So instead of I'll be happy when, I'll choose to count the blessings I see. And I'll turn over that I'll be happy when and ask Him to carry the situation in His hands and give me joy now.

I'll be happy now for...

113. Being warm and dry on a wet slushy day

114. Time to read

115. Crystal branches in sunlight

116. Fresh air and blue sky

117. God's forbearance

118. Cute three year old train conductors punching tickets for stuffed animal passengers

119. Whisper of falling snowflakes

120. Familiar Bible verses and speak like old friends

121. Little Man in high water pants

122. Provisions in the form of cardboard

123. Maple syrup pancakes

124. Breakfast together as a family with sausage and biscuits too boot!

125. Love for Christ's bride

126. Bed time----ahh sweet bed time!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


What is it about a clear blue sky that calls deep to my heart? When I step outside into the sunlight and inhale, it's then that I am drawn upward. My thoughts are pulled from earth's concerns and I begin to contemplate greater things. The burdens, loudness, dullness seem to fade a bit. The air becomes clearer, the peace greater, and I am drawn to Him. Do you feel the same thing?

What is it about the heavens that does this? I turned to the Word for some insight.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.em>

The heavens tell of God's glory. They demonstrate His work. They speak of Him. Surely when we gaze upward we are reminded of who He is.

Psalm 8: 1-4
1 LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

And when I look skyward, I find my place. I am small. He is great. And in His greatness He cares for me. Surely I can breathe easier with this in mind.

Psalm 36:5 Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.

I am loved. The heights of heaven try to measure off the vastness of this love.

Isaiah 40:26
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

I am cared for. The one who created all this and sustains it, knows my needs, can meet my needs, and promises to meet my needs.

1 Chronicles 16:31-33
31Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”
32 Let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them!
33 Let the trees of the forest sing,
let them sing for joy before the LORD,
for he comes to judge the earth.

So, my heart joins the anthem of the skies. My praise rises up to Him. It's good to get outside and think heavenward, isn't it?

Trying to count gifts like the stars in the sky:

99. Little Man saying first memory verse without any prompting- Word being hidden in the heart

100. Bedtime talks and overflowing love

101. Sitting at a supper table at sundown

102. Time with my husband

103. Over hearing Little Man say, "I'm glad you're my Daddy"

104. Pasta

105. Day filled with ordinary things

106. A boy and his trains

107. Love that keeps going beyond differences

108. Supper eaten by a sick boy

109. Tylenol

110. Special delivery from home- along trip

111. Afternoon naps

112. Sharing in communion and remembering the price Jesus paid for his bride

Thursday, March 3, 2011

When the mystery becomes clearer...

Sometimes God's Word is a mystery isn't it? I mean to a degree we understand the words and ideas, but at times there is so much that seems shadowed in those very same words.

For example, read 1 John 3:1.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

Seems pretty understandable at first glance doesn't it? We're loved. We have a relationship with God in which He is our Father. His love is lavished freely on us. We're his children. I understand that.

But then again, do I really? Do I get the truth behind these words?

God doesn't leave His Word a mystery though. He gives us His Spirit. His Living Holy Spirit. The Living Spirit that interprets the Living Word of God to us. It's amazing when the mystery becomes a bit clearer.

The other day I was playing with Little Man. He's really been a lot of fun to be with this past month. We'd had a rough spot of disobedience and difficulty, but things seemed to have ironed out a bit. I've been delighting in his words, his ideas, his creativity, his growing understanding. My heart melts when he gives a spontaneous hug and says, "I love you, Mommy." He enjoys being with me. He wants me to be near him, to watch what he's doing. To talk with him. To listen to him. It really doesn't matter. He just wants us to be together. And what joy does that bring me to know those desires. To know that Mamma has a dear place in his heart right now.

That's when I saw something in my relationship with God and thought of 1 John 3:1. Is this part of what it means to be a child of God? Just as I so delight in Little Man's desire to be with me, his open love for me, and his growth, so too, does God delight in me. He loves me and wants to be with me, His child. He wants me to desire to have time with Him, to give Him a preferred place in my heart, to share with Him all my experiences. Am I to foster the same kind of attitude in my heart that my Little Man has towards me? Do I delight in Him, or is being with Him something that I just do out of duty? And when I live in His love, like my little guy lives in my imperfect love for him, doesn't my heart overflow more towards my Father?

I'm grateful for God's Word. I'm grateful for God's Spirit. I'm grateful when God speaks into my everyday life to make the mystery a little clearer. Live today as you are loved. Spend sometime with your Heavenly Daddy and be sure to wrap your arms around his neck and tell Him you love Him!