Tuesday, March 30, 2010

You Need Only To Be Still

I don’t like to wait. I’m not very patient. When I get excited about something, I want it to happen NOW. When I’m upset about something, I want it to be resolved NOW.

One day as I was talking to God about a struggle/battle going on in my life – He showed me a verse that either I don’t recall seeing before or that maybe just didn’t resonate with me in the past.

"The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still." Exodus 14:14

You need only to be still.

Sometimes I just run to action. I want to solve things, research things, etc. when what I really need to be doing is to go on bended knee, pray, and be still before my God.

You see – I think that sometimes when I fly to action, I’m taking the power into my own hands instead of placing it in God’s. I’m not giving Him the chance to fight for me or to bless me. I take that away from Him. And that’s the last thing I want to do.

All of my life I’ve wanted to let the Holy Spirit work in my life never realizing that the very reason I don’t see Him work sometimes is my own squelching of His powers by me running ahead of Him.

You need only to be still.

Something so simple and yet so hard to do. To be still.

But I’m ready. I’m ready to see God fight for me. I’m ready to pause and wait – and discover that God’s got everything safely in His hands and that He will take care of me perfectly in the process.

I just need to be still.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Childhood Memories

When I was a child, life seemed so simple – so innocent and carefree. I have great memories of my childhood….

~ I remember wanting and then LOVING my big wheel. I road it up and down the sidewalk every time the sun shone when I was 5.

~ I remember when I got older riding my bicycle up and down the street a lot. Helmets weren’t a law and my hair would blow in the breeze.

~ I remember juice in wax bottles. You’d bite off the top and then drink out the sweet syrup inside.

~ I remember pop in bottles! I loved to go visit my dad at work and he’d take me and my sister back to their “pop stash.” I’d get to pick out a flavor – all in glass bottles.

~ I remember going to Taco Bell in Medford, OR and it had outside seating right by these berry bushes that came up out of the side of the river. We could feed the squirrels our leftover taco fillings. That was before someone must have complained and a sign got put up that said “Please don’t feed the squirrels.”

~ I remember going up to Howard Prairie Lake every summer. We’d take walks in the woods, go down to the dock, get ice cream at the lodge, drive out at dusk and look for deer, find walking sticks, and go over to Hyatt Lodge for taco night.

~ I remember sleeping in with my sister in her bedroom every Christmas Eve so that we could get up together and look at our stockings before mom and dad were up. Sometimes we’d draw on each other’s backs making designs with our fingers.

~ I remember watching Gilligan’s Island, Love Boat, the Donny and Marie Show, Little House on the Prairie and Emergency!

~ I remember going over to my Aunt’s house to swim in her swimming pool. It was so nice that someone we knew had a pool! I was always a little scared of her electric pool cleaner that would rotate the pool though.

~ I remember having BBQ’s outside on a charcoal grill.

~ I remember eating dinner outside on our back patio on our picnic table.

~ I remember going up in the woods as a family to get a Christmas tree in the snow. We’d make sandwiches and have hot chocolate in a thermos. A fresh tree!

~ I remember Gunny Sax dresses and jumpsuits. I loved them both.

~ I remember jelly shoes. I can’t fathom for the life of me why I liked them! They weren’t even comfortable!

~ I remember my Michael Jackson notebook that I had.

~ I remember taking my lunch to school in an actual lunchbox that was made of tin and had your favorite celebrity or show on the outside of it.

~ I remember when we had a tv that had no remote control.

~ I remember when we first got a microwave.

~ I remember taping my favorite tunes off of the radio onto a cassette tape.

~ I remember when my dad owned a corvette and only two people could ride in it. I felt so “uptown” when they’d pick me up from school in it!

~ I remember cutting models out of the JC Penney catalog and making them my paper dolls complete with written names on them.

~ I remember making friendship bracelets and pins.

~ I remember asking for a typewriter. Do they even make those anymore?

~ I remember having a Tom Selleck poster on my wall.

~ I remember getting a perm out of a box. Not a good idea.

~ I remember in school if a boy and girl liked each other and wanted to be considered an “item” they would call it “going with” that person. Now I have to explain to my daughter what that meant.

~ I remember when boys wore tails in their hair. And for the record, I never liked that trend either.

~ I remember going to aerobics.

~ I remember buying some kind of a chocolate drop candy that came in a cardboard tube. I loved those. They kind of resembled a huge chocolate chip.

~ I remember cameras with film. That you had to wait months to see because it took you forever to finish a roll.

~ I remember ghetoblasters. I loved mine!

I’m sure I remember a lot more. What do you remember from your childhood?

There is something to be said for simple living. I know I cherish those days and they will always make up a part of who I am.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's All a Matter of Perspective

It’s all a matter of perspective.

God showed me that one morning. I was feeling really discouraged and frustrated over a certain situation. Then he sent me an email from someone who had encouraging words for me on the very issue I was dealing with: worry. She had read one of my articles. I went back and reread my own words and do you know what? God used my own article to minister to my heart. I had had no clue as to what I would be feeling over a certain situation when I wrote those words, but God did. He knew the timing I would release the article and he knew I would need to be reminded of a few things.

Someone told me that that’s the Holy Spirit at work.

When I heard those words, I got tears in my eyes. Because if it’s not one thing I crave most in my life, it’s to hear God’s voice and to know He is present with me – to feel Him.

Yes, my God is amazing.

I went from feeling like giving up on this particular morning and reconciling to myself that I was not going to win this battle; to feeling a renewed trust in my God that He was walking with me through this tough time. And like Queen Esther - “If I perish, I perish” became my theme. Not in a “woe is me” way but in a “this must be done” way. In a “God knows what He’s doing way” and "I’m giving myself over to His plan."

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Whether we have the courage and strength to walk through something or whether we crumple and fall victim to life’s harsh lessons – is all a matter of perspective.

I’m so thankful that God listened to my prayers during many stronger times where I’d asked Him to “not let me go.” He held on, He drew near, and He spoke.

That’s what I needed the most.


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