Saturday, March 22, 2008

VOTD: Sacrifice

In light of Easter weekend, I found this old VOTD I wrote on May 16, 2006....

"When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good--not only ours, but the whole world's." I John 2:2 [The Message]

While watching TV last night, I saw a commercial for LOST. (This might only make sense to those who watch? But stay with me, it’ll make sense in the end.) One of the main characters, Michael, has done some crazy things in recent episodes. Dumb-founded Jack asks why, Sayid says, "A father would do anything to save his son." That comment stuck with me.

The love of a Father is a powerful thing! Not being a parent myself, I can only imagine that unique bond. I know the love my parents have for me, often undeserved and unconditional. When I’m sick or hurt, they’d do anything to take my place. Which led me to think about the day Jesus died on the cross.

I don’t pretend to understand the Trinity, but Jesus is God’s Son. We always talk about what Jesus went through on the Cross, and rightly so. But let’s flip the coin, what did God, the Father, go through that day? To watch His only Son, tortured, for our sins. Can you imagine the sacrifice He went through on that day? I know He saw the big picture; He knew Jesus had to carry, literally, the weight of the world. Both Father and Son had extreme sacrifices that day! And for what? So that we might have the opportunity to spend eternity with them in Heaven.

That’s all that God gave me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


"Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds in her heart her most precious dreams. She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to be the beauty of the story. Those desires are the secret to the feminine heart. Your longings and desires are telling you of the life God created you to live. He offers to come now as the Hero of your story, to rescue your heart and release you to live as a fully alive and feminine woman." -- John and Stasi Eldredge

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Journey of Vision

“11It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, 12part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. 13It's in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free--signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 1:11-13 [The Message]

On this journey of purpose, I’m realizing there are certain “rules” one must follow. For starters, I can’t go off walking in my own direction; trying to push something that isn’t meant to be. God clearly has a plan for me, and a purpose for my life [Psalm 139:13-14, Jeremiah 29:11-13]. After all, he “designed me for glorious living”. What more could I want right?

Well, see, there’s this little bitty catch. Did you catch the first sentence, “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for”? In order to receive the blessings, we must first be intimately in love with our Savior, so that when we hear His voice, we are so in tune that we immediately obey. It’s in that obedience that we find our purpose and vision, because the more we chase after God’s own heart, the more our goals, dreams and desires start to resemble what God wants, not what we want.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

On the positive side...

Don't you know that when your day starts out with "fat pants", it doesn't bode well for the day ahead. Yes, I could have squeezed myself into some others, but frankly, I enjoy breathing. All day long, I'm constantly pulling these up. It's hard when you're in between sizes. Oy.

On the positive side, when my tax refund comes in (which is a miracle in and of itself), I can buy new tennis shoes and a membership to the Y and never see my "fat pants again.

My new theme at work is, "Second verse, same as the first". Which regardless of the day I'm having, that always makes me at least smile, but usually laugh. I'm really struggling to remind myself I really can do all things through Him who gives me strength. And He's made perfect through my weakness.

On the positive side, I can't control what goes on around me, I can only control how I react to it. So, I'm really trying.

Last night I picked up a book I haven't read in a while, "Coming Up For Air" by Margaret Becker. She's honestly one of my all time favorite authors. I think, in Heaven, she and I will sit down to some coffee and just talk about life. I'm utterly amazed how encouraging this woman is in my life. As I read her words, tears of relief streamed down my face! Thank God I'm not the only one who feels this way! It's like, she gave a voice to the things I'd only been thinking about. I'm so thankful she continues to be so brave to write about her heart.

On the positive side, "These are the things I consider as I see my future. I need love. I need forgiveness. I need kindness. I need humor. I need to belong. And I need to be able to give those things to others. This is what makes me feel alive." Her words reminded me that I haven't set my standards too high.

I've had a wee set back on my book. I've decided to turn it into more of a devotional book, with chapters/themes instead of one lump sums of years and such. In the long run, this will be an excellent decision. Right now, I'm pretty frustrated by it. I felt like I had accomplished so much and wasn't that far from completion.... and now, I feel really overwhelmed by this project. I've had to step back from it for about a week and remember why it is I wanted to do this in the first place. I still need help though. Anyone interested?

On the positive side, I know the finished product will bring so much honor and glory to my Father, not only because of the content, but because I really did it to the best of my ability. And, I'll check off another "life goal".

I made dinner tonight, no frozen stuff for me tonight. No sirree. Unfortunately, the casserole took at least 90 minutes to cook. So I ate left overs instead. Then I made a new low calorie dessert which was only supposed to take 20 minutes.... at 45, I took it out. Ready or not. It's actually quite tasty, just not exactly right. I followed the recipe though. I don't know what happened.

On the positive side, dinner for tomorrow night is made.

I'm growing some of my bangs out. Oy. What a trauma that is. Sometimes I think it would be easier just to shave it all off and GO ARMY. But then I wouldn't have the joy of being a girly girl. It's not often I'm a girly girl.

On the positive side, the ends will justify the means.

The funny thing about this post, I really wanted to just talk about all the crazy stuff going on in my life right now, but instead, I chose a different direction. I feel better having done so. I'm sure you didn't want to hear me complain about my life. Though, honestly, if I had a TV crew following my life, it would make great TV. Things are always happening to me. I choose just to laugh about it though. Why not have a sense of humor?

Oh, another little piece of news, the sweetest nephew in the whole world is learning to sign (since he's chosen not to speak yet). The smile on his face is priceless, knowing how proud he is of himself. Any moms have suggestions for easy signs to teach him?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Always Wear Your Seat Belt

Ever have one of those odd moments, where you do something and wonder why, but then later know that it was God looking out for you? I ALWAYS wear my seat belt. Always. Never an option not to. Tonight it got shifted somehow funny and I thought to myself, 'you know, if you were to have an accident, that might really hurt'. So, I adjusted it. Not 5 minutes later, I was in a three car accident!! It was a chain reaction kind of accident. I won't go into all the details, but I got hit from behind and that propelled me into the car in front of me..... Unfortunately, my car has the worst damage. I got smushed between the two cars. But, thankfully, no one was hurt.

Always wear your seat belt.

Monday, March 3, 2008

24 Hours

I think I literally spent 24 hours this weekend working on my book. If I didn't have a job to go to tomorrow, I think I would keep working on this project around the clock until I got it done. I'd become a recluse, only stopping for food and sleep. I wouldn't answer any phone calls. I wouldn't go out. Except maybe to Starbucks, like those people who do work in Starbucks. (How do they concentrate?) Once I've got my mind made up about something - watch out! I've compiled 116 pages as now. I haven't EVEN begun to edit yet... though, it shouldn't be too hard, as the first time I wrote these VOTDs, I was very meticulous about the content and such before I finished. It's coming together just as I'd imagined it, which is very exciting!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Just Think

Just think,
you're here not by chance,
but by God's choosing.
His hand formed you
and made you the person you are.
He compares you to no one else.
You are one of a kind.
You lack nothing that
His grace can't give you.
He has allowed you to be here
at this time in history to fulfill
His special purpose for this generation.

© Roy Lessin

“Each one of you has something no one else has, or has ever had: your fingerprints, your brain, your heart. Be an individual. Be unique. Stand out. Make noise. Make someone notice. That's the power of individuals.” - Jon Bon Jovi

Seriously Long Post

Wow, where did February go? Though, thankfully, it went quickly. Life in the mortgage business has been INSANE lately! No time to get anything done!! I am a girl with many different jobs to do under my one job. Which, well, frankly is going to drive me insane one day. Those men in white jackets are going to show up and take me away. Hmm, I'm wondering if that would be so bad. It would be quiet and no one would ask me something every five seconds! See, here's the thing, my parents are constantly drilling in my head to be thankful for such situations, as it's job security. But honestly, it's just too much for this one girl to handle anymore. Every day, new responsibilities are added and every day I come home more stressed out. If something goes wrong, of course it's my fault. Don't EVEN get me started on the toner issue we had the other day. Anyway, enough complaining.

So, last Wednesday, I worked on my book for about four hours. It was awesome and exhausting at the same time. I haven't even begun to edit, mostly, just trying to get the text onto the page. Then, I'll figure out how to make everything look "just so". I know what I want it to look like in my head, so hopefully I can make that happen. I LOVE the way I feel when I'm working on it. I feel infigurated and my creative juices are just flowing free! If only I could find a job like that too! PRAY! How amazing would that be. I know jobs like that exist.

This is such a hodge-podge post... though, aren't those usually the most fun. I've been wanting to write on here for forever now, but I'm just too exhausted by the time I finally sit in front of my computer at night. I literally fell asleep while writing an email the other night. How sad is that?!?!

Yesterday, whew, yesterday was pretty hellish. I told myself not to cry and I only teared up once. Pretty good for me. Usually when I get that stressed out, I just cry. haha I'm such a wuss. All I really wanted to do was come home and get in PJs and watch "Martian Child", but instead, I went to a birthday party for my Leap Year friend. It was her 7th birthday!!!! (Actually 28th!) HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICAH! I'm really so glad I went. Although, finding the church was quite a challenge. You see, I'm pretty directionally challenged when it comes to finding places. I got MapQuest directions, but 'somehow' I got turned around, and it was getting dark, and raining, and frankly, I was getting kinda freaked out and trying to talk myself out of even going... and about that time, I saw the church!! Praise God!! Yeah me.

I know some of the people who go there, but we haven't really talked in more than a year, so it's that awkward time of getting reaquanted. I honestly, wasn't in the mood to be fake. So, instead, I saw some kiddos I knew -- and hoped they still remembered me -- and they did. It was awesome. I sat down on the steps next to a 5, 3 and 1 year old and the immediately scooted next to me and started talking. Ivey and Noah said, "Hey! I remember you!" And Levi crawled into my lap as if we were best friends. Gosh, gotta love kids. That really made me want to cry.... even now I tear up. It was just a great moment. We spent the next 30 minutes talking about everything! It reassured me that when Grant got old enough to talk that it would be OK. You see, there's always been this *thing* with kids, as soon as they could talk, they didn't really talk to me anymore. I know that sounds crazy, but I've been babysitting forever and it's always been this way. But, I know my buddy loves me. Even gives me "sweet" over the phone (via anyone standing by.)

I think I've probably lost the attension of anyone who actually reads my blog, but that's OK, it's nice to just write... without any interruptions.

Oh! I wanted to brag on GOD some. You see (why do I keep saying that?), I've been really having to trust God for money since the beginning of the year. I knew He would provide for me one way or the other, I just needed to stop worrying so much. (Please help me with my unbelief!) Well, my Provider totally took care of His child!!! I was talking to my parents about everything that was going on.... I have a lot of trouble asking for help. I don't know why. I guess I'm just trying to be fully independant, but that's frankly NOT possible. So I was just talking to my mom... not to gain any sympathy or even any money, just a daughter talking to her mom. She got this look in her eye and she said, well, your father and I have decided to give you a little surprise! You see (ack there it is again, I need a new transition!), my dad is part owner of an orange grove in FL (which I always forget about) and apparently, the oranges did really well this year so everyone got bonuses! My gracious parents decided to share this with my sister and I! Wow, I nearly cried. It literally covered everything I was worried about. Isn't GOD awesome! I so don't deserve His ever-loving generousity!!


Back to last night. I had the amazing opportunity to talk with my friend, whom we don't get to spend much time together, but when we do, it's as though no time as passed. We were kinda anti-social, but who cares. I wouldn't have traded that time for anything!! It's an interested paradox, really. Everyone around me is married with kids or pregnant. (Ok, not everyone, I just like to exaggerate.) But, I'm struggling with this fact. It makes me feel... well, all kinds of negative feelings that I don't want to share. In my head, I *know* it's prefectly fine that this is the case. It's not my time, not the *one*, etc, etc, etc. But in my heart... that's a completely different story. And STUPID SATAN of course is going to play on that! What a poo poo head. So anways, yeah, some prayer would be awesome in that area of my life. I seriously don't want to be a downer about this all the time.. and it surely doesn't dominate my life or anything, though, I suppose it does seem that way on here. I really am sorry about that.

Does anyone have a riding lawn mower and would be willing to give about 30 minutes of their time? Please leave a comment. Our townhouses have a patch of grass that no one wants to take responsibility for, so of course, it's left up to me. I have an electric mower, which actually, is quite amazing, but I need help. Wow, look at me asking for help. Good job, Mer. But seriously, let me know if you live in Helena area and would like to give of your time. I can't pay you, but I can make you a mix CD. I have a gifting in that area.

Any LOST fans out there? What did you think of Thursday's episode?!? After some thought, I decided my "constant" would be my Mom.

OK, enough rambling. I need to get going, get some breakfast err lunch? and get busy working on my book. Btw, my working title, in case you were wondering: "Strength in the Struggle: A Pocket of Grace". Whatcha think?