Saturday, January 29, 2011

Open my eyes

For some time now, I have been amazed at the things God has been showing me. I had a hard time understanding how I couldn't have realized some of these things before. I've been in the church most of my life. Why did I not understand some of the things that I am now learning to comprehend?

I recently read this great quote by Simon Tugwell:

"He has followed us into our own darkness; there where we thought finally to escape him, we run straight into His arms. Our hope is in his determination to save us, and He will not give in."

This quote sums up what I had been going through up until the last few years. The farther I tried to run from Him, the more He pursued me. How amazing is that! Then, this passage has come to me several times over the last month, and I believe it explains why I am now seeing and understanding His word and direction so much clearer in my life.

"To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. That is why I use these parables,

For they look, but they don't really see.

They hear, but they don't really listen or understand.

This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says,

When you hear what I say,

you will not understand.

When you see what I do,

you will not comprehend.

For the hearts of these people are hardened,

and their ears cannot hear,

and they have closed their eyes -

so their eyes cannot see,

and their ears cannot hear,

and their hearts cannot understand,

and they cannot turn to me

and let me heal them."

Matthew 13:12-15

I often joke with my Pastor, Scott Hodge, and ask him if he sees light bulbs going off over my head during his teaching. Part of that is because he has an amazing way of speaking truth in an easy to comprehend way. He is an awesome pastor, and I feel so blessed to have his leadership and direction in my life. The other part is that the Holy Spirit speaks to me through him continually.

WHY? Because I am finally listening!!! My heart is no longer hardened and I am not running from Him anymore. I am soaking up everything He has to say to me through others and truly wanting to learn what that next step is that I'm being called to take. What an amazing difference that makes in how we comprehend God's word.

Are you listening? Or have you closed your eyes and ears like I did for so many years?

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's the climb....

I love music. It speaks to me in a way that very few things do. This weekend, we watched "Hannah Montana, The Movie". Yes, I admit it. I really liked it. (I have already had people laugh at me because of this!) However, what I loved about it is the message. I love movies that show people realizing that all of the "stuff" in our lives just complicates who we are, and we can use it to cover up who we really are and what's most important. Sometimes, we have to get back to our roots in order to find that and understand it. Whether that is actually going there, or taking the time to understand what has made you who you are. Your story makes you who you are.

The other thing that stuck with me is her song at the end, called "The Climb". I have heard it so many times, but I never really listened to the words. It can relate to so many things in our lives. At The Orchard, our Pastor often talks about how our spiritual life is a journey, not a destination. I can also relate to this with my marriage, my relationship with my kids, my work, my quest to get healthier, and on and on......

Here are a few lyrics from the song:

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most
Just gotta keep doing

And I, I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on

.....Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where does the time go?

So, tomorrow I start the last year in my 30's. I have never been the kind to be bothered by my age. However, I have been thinking so much about this upcoming year. There are so many things that I want to do. Improvements that I want to make in so many areas of my life.

But, I also cannot seem to fathom that this much time has passed. I have been looking back and wondering, what the heck happened to my 30's? And when did time start being measured in these big digits? That's when a few numbers started coming to mind.

35 - I have now been friends with some of my oldest friends for this long. Unbelievable.

25 - Next month, my Dad will have been in Heaven for this long. Doesn't seem possible.

20 - I have now been out of High School for this long. Seems like yesterday.

15 + - I have now had a career for this long.

10 - We moved to Kansas this long ago.

7 - Our first amazing son, Jonah, was born this long ago.

5 - Our second, lovable monkey, Kaden, was born this long ago.

And that's when it hit me. That's where my 30's went!! They have been consumed with these two wonderful little men that we have been blessed with. And, I wouldn't trade it for the world!