April 30, 2012

Walking in Circles, is better than not walking at all.

In the words of Samuel, "Yes, Lord, your servant is waiting." Often times we seem to wait, and wait, and still no answer,..it seems. Scripture tells us that the path that a Christ follower must walk is a narrow path. What is it that makes it narrow? Is it that we must deny ourselves daily and lift up our cross to follow Him? Can we see in the words of Paul -What I want to do I don't do, what I don't want to do,... I do. Is it that we are prideful and want to choose the kind of path we want to walk on, maybe some pretty sights along the way, flowers, a lovely river, it might be somewhat difficult to see this in ourselves as what we see as normal, is really our normal.We want a pretty path, and a road map, and sometimes we get this...what seems like a maze.


The picture above really isn't a maze it is a labyrinth. There aren't any trick turns, there isn't a dead end, but it is kind of windy. When I walked this labyrinth in December I wondered, as I wonder each time I walk a labyrinth, will I ever get to the center? Back and forth, same path as I just walked it seems, just a couple of inches over from the path where my feet just tread. When I do get to the center, I will take a minute or two to pray and then I look up. This is what I saw that day.

Once I have completed the first half of the walk, to the center,  I want to just walk over the lines and be done with it, not walk the windy path again that leads me to the way out. That is the way my Christian walk is. Walking to God, the center, feeling as though I am in the sweet spot of God's embrace, and then it's time to walk again, and it seems that the embrace gets a bit more foggy, the trees get in the way a bit, with each step away from the center. When my life is in crisis, when the rug gets pulled out below me, when all that I thought I knew suddenly comes crashing down I run to that center. The blessing to me of Spiritual Disciplines is that I am close to the center most of the time. Not all of the time though. The disciplines only till the soil, they make the ground ready for God to do his handiwork within me. The frustrating part is when the soul is tilled, the ground watered, and then I wait. When God will You do your work of growing me, I wonder? When will I feel that growth? Sometimes I think it will never happen, and then I see that it is in the patience and trust that has grown in the desert has changed my heart to be more in line with God's desire. I have learned to be gentle with myself, and not to be demanding of God on my good days, and He does bring the growth, but with certainty it is never on my time schedule. It happens in the midst of my angst for Him, in the middle of my love for Him, in the middle of submission to Him. Sometimes when our walk is scary we might feel like we are in the maze, but instead of being able to use our eyes to guide us, we feel as though we are blindfolded. We can't see where we are supposed to be, but God can and does. Sometimes the darkness is of our own making, sometimes we are in the fallout of someone else's darkness. But be sure God is there holding us to Him.
My prayer today for those who are on a confusing path,
Father God. You have put in us the desire to search for You. The desire to seek You. We are seeking, we are desiring, but we are afraid to just be still and trust. Even though this walk is scary, and hard, I will trust when I am afraid, believe when I want to not believe anymore. I choose You, God. Take this weary soul and do with me what You will. I am your servant, and I am listening, I am waiting. You truly are my breathe, in and out. You have saved me from a great enemy, myself, my prideful self who feels they must understand everything, be in control of everything, and have all my ducks in a row. May I walk through tall grass with my bare feet and wander the adventure with You. In Christ's Name, Amen.

April 25, 2012

Why I Am Excited for Summer!!

One more test and several final exams and this school year is in the books for me. I might lose my 4.0 because of my math class, however, I am willing to accept that fact with the sheer excitement and gratefulness that I will NEVER have to take another math class...ever. Other than the dreaded math, my other classes are finishing up superbly. I have learned so much and the farther I get into my degree the more I enjoy my classes. I am looking ahead to our summer and I am pretty excited about it. To start out our summer we will be picking up our newest member of our family, Jovie, on May 5th. Jovie is a form of the word for joy in French, it is also Elf's girlfriend's name in Elf. Now it will be our little puppy's name, too. Here are two pics I took of her last weekend when we went for a visit. She had just turned 4 weeks old.

Couponing...I can start buying a newspaper and scouring the websites for coupons again. I do love it, but during the semester I am just glad to run to the store on my way home from school to pick up groceries for dinner. Not enough time to coupon for me during school.

Taking pictures...I took a sabbatical from my business this spring. Once school started back up in January I knew I was in for a long semester ahead and decided that for the good of my sanity I needed to step back from my business for a season. However, with summer around the corner, I have some shoots on the calendar which I am looking forward to. I really am not sure how much I will shoot once the school year starts up again, probably not at all. I might have moved my business into a summer gig.

Helping Rob with his cleaning business, and helping market a business we will be buying in the next couple of weeks or so. Rob started a cleaning business, M5 Cleaning Services, which has been going well. He likes it, a lot. I like it, a lot. It is pretty cool to be in charge of your own schedule. We are in the process of buying an Air Castle Business, which is already a viable business. We will already have regular clients in the Universities, schools and churches, along with many birthday party goers. However, there is much to do with getting the marketing and advertising where we want it to be, so that will be my real summer job. I will also be the receptionist/office manager for the business, thankfully for cell-phones I can reception from wherever I am. Both businesses are great family businesses, the kids can help out, and learn work ethic and customer service. Good stuff.

Reading for pleasure...yes, please. I have about 5 books stacked up just waiting for me to read about my favorite things like spiritual practices, discernment and love languages for your teenager...good times are ahead.

Swim club, yes, I am ready. So that is my...why I am excited for summer list. Today was 104 degrees...I think that summer is here.

Thankful and grateful.

April 11, 2012

Just life.



4 weeks until school finishes up for me. I think I will have or be close to Senior hours when I start school in the Fall. Yay for that! Time does fly when you are having fun and studying each day. Last weekend was Easter and we had a nice family weekend. The kids have participated in LTC (Leadership Training for Christ) for the past many years on Easter weekend, it didn't work out this year for them to go, so it was nice thinking about the Easter meal before 8:30pm the night before Easter day.

I have for the most part enjoyed my classes this semester. Math has been difficult, I knew it would be, but it's almost over...that's all I have to say about that. I am learning a lot in my Family Studies class and my Christianity in Culture, and the surprising delight of the semester is British Writers, covering from 400AD until the 1700's. So interesting, I have always been enthralled with the royals, but never knew much about them. I am learning about names that I have heard but never knew where they fit..such as Chaucer, Marlowe, Queen Elizabeth, and the old stuff written by monks who came to England to Christianize the Germans way back when. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the readings and writing I have done in British Writers. My Christianity in Culture class has pulled no punches, it has been full of insight and grit each class period. Dr. Jerry Taylor is the professor and I will be forever grateful for all the tough questions that he poses...I am also grateful for the hearts of many of the students who are in the midst of discovering who they are in the middle of culture and who have freely shared their thoughts with the class. Truly insightful.

The kids are all doing well with their days. The boys are enjoying a much needed break from swimming, Sophie is continuing to swim as she chose to do swimming in lieu of her physical education for school, her break wont come until Summer. Jack is working hard on a script that he will perform on Friday at ACU, in a program kind of like UIL, but for their school it is called LIT.

We are missing our little girl, Snickers. Our house is too quiet. We have found a litter of Dachshund's that were born a couple of weeks ago. We plan on visiting them next week and hopefully choosing one to bring home on May 5th, when they can leave their mama. Snickers left a legacy of joy, and although she can't be replaced, we are ready to have another little wagging tail greeting us when we walk in the front door.

Rob started a cleaning service a couple of weeks ago...M5 Cleaning Service. He is cleaning residences, small businesses, and doing professional window washing. He is loving it, being his own boss is a blessing. There is even another possible business in the works but we don't know for sure and I will post that if and when we sign on the dotted line. We are so thankful to God for providing work for Rob and I am thankful for Rob who is working hard to provide for his family. M5 Cleaning Service is on Facebook, so feel free to "like" it to keep up with all of the happenings.

There isn't a meaning to the leaf at the top of the page...I just wanted to put a picture up...this pic is from when Rob and I visited the ruins in Belize last year. The leaf was huge!

April 04, 2012

Mary, the anointer.




"Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him."

Matthew 26:14-16

Today is Holy Wednesday. This day is also known as "Spy Wednesday". This day in history, Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus poured expensive perfume on the body of Christ while he was in the home of Simon the Leper in Bethany. The Sanhedrin had already decided to kill Jesus. Judas Iscariot was upset about Mary wasting the money on perfume to pour on Christ, he said the money could have been given to the poor. But we know he wanted the money to line his own pockets. Judas went to the Sanhedrin disgruntled, and for thirty pieces of silver he would help them kill the Christ.

Christ defended Mary's use of the perfume in Matthew 26:10-13

"Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you,but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Just like scripture says, here we are about 2000 years later and we are still endeared to the woman who anointed Christ's body for his impending burial. She loved Him so much that she basically humiliated herself in front of onlookers to honor her Jesus. Ah, to have that heart, and not to be afraid, to look to Christ and have his honor be our guide in all we do. Thank you, Mary, for your example.

April 01, 2012

Snickers

Today was a sad day at our house. Our little dog, Snickers, passed away overnight. She brought so much joy to our lives. We have talked a lot today about how quiet it is around our house. She isn't here to notify us of someone walking by our house, or barking at the birds out back. My feet are awful lonely as she isn't snuggled up to them like she normally is when I type on the computer.

She had been a bit lethargic this week, then she got sick several times on Friday night-Saturday morning while we were sleeping. Rob and I woke up to hearing her at about 4am and tended to her, and scrubbed our floors and carpets. We stayed up with her to keep an eye on her, but she seemed content to just sleep. I called the emergency vet on Saturday morning, yesterday. They told us we could bring her in. She still had a wag in her tail, but her energy was really low and could only take about 5 or 6 steps before having to rest. I had hoped she had a virus and it would pass. The blood work came back normal and the vet gave us a bunch of meds for her, we could have left her there for them to watch, but we wanted her home with us. Just where she would want to be I feel sure. We all ached for her while she would walk here and there, and not chasing the birds. But we hoped that we would wake up this morning and the medicines would have made her tummy better and she would be on the mend. She drank some water and Gatorade last night before bed and kept it down, so I was more hopeful than earlier in the day that she was feeling better.

This morning when I woke up I looked through the house to find her and see how she was doing. I couldn't find her in the living room or in the kids room. I hesitantly walked back into my room to look under my computer desk, one of her favorite spots, hesitantly because I knew I hadn't heard her breath when I woke up. I looked under my desk and there she was, just lying on her side like she was about to wake up any minute. But she wasn't about to wake up. She had passed in the night. She was in one of her favorite spots.

As weak and weary as she was she didn't seem as though she was in pain. She just seemed like she wanted to rest. The Dr. said it was probably a mass inside her. She was at home, and we were glad to be all together.

We are all SO SAD with her passing. Words can't express how it feels to know that we wont ever see those eyes that looked at us with such intense love and adoration again. She was such a special part of our family. It is so quiet without her. She had just turned 9 years old.

We love you Snick!