His glory = My joy

There have been 2 HUGE concepts this last year that have shaped me and this is one of them:

Everything that God does is ultimately for both His glory and my joy.

If you have ever been to or listened to a sermon at our church there is a very high likelihood you have heard this from Matt. **To anyone interested I couldn’t recommend enough listening to the free podcasts from The Village Church http://www.thevillagechurch.net/resources/feeds-podcasts/ **

The push back: What kind of a power-hungry, egotistical God is this that wants everything to be about His glory?? The nerve!

As Matt would say, He is the ONLY one worthy of it! He makes trees – He forms new babies in the womb – He spoke and universe came to be. He can calm the storms and even the wind obeys Him. I’d say that He deserves the glory. But there is more to it than that…

Because He is the one who wired us, He made it so that our ultimate joy comes when we give Him glory.

We all have experience with jerry-rigging something. Using something not for its intended purpose but to fill a need. Usually duct tape is involved. But the result is always sub par and though it works to an extent it never works perfectly. Its just not how it was made to work. So it is with us.

Ever worked at a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter? Ever given time and gifts at the holidays to help the less fortunate? You know that feeling in your gut when you do? That’s ultimate joy in glorifying God through our service. Have you ever been with a group of people praying for someone or something and felt the hairs on your arms stand straight up? That is ultimate joy in turning to God for help vs. relying on ourselves.

Is there joy outside of Christ? Absolutely. We can’t deny that. But not ULTIMATE joy. Nothing comes to its fullest fruition outside of Him. If there was a gauge to measure depths of joy I would stake my life that the touchdown scoring receiver who kneels and lifts a hand to God (with his heart truly behind it) absolutely blows away the amount of joy felt by the dude who does the me, me, me dance in the end zone.

So when God lays down His commands for me is He ever trying to rob me of true joy? No.
Don’t covet – honor your parents – turn the other cheek – put others before yourself. He never claims that those are easy and if our view is only of this world then it may seem like we are tossing joy right out the window. BUT – if we trust Him and His promises for us (seeing a future blog topic coming together here…) we can know that He has a greater joy for us than those things could offer.

As a parent, you gotta know I am working hard to teach this to my kiddos! His rules – my rules – are not to rob you of joy. We talk through this almost daily. Because my goal is not to raise rule followers but young people who can place their trust in the ultimate authority (sneak peek to the 2nd huge concept!) and know that their ultimate joy is the goal.

So look-ey there — doesn’t seem too egotistical and power hungry after all! Just a simple truth that giving our best to Him is the best for us. Huh.

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Published in: on October 31, 2011 at 9:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Flashback –> Summer 2010

Disclaimer #1: One of my main goals in journaling publicly here is to display a character trait that I hold so dear to my heart – transparency. For those of you who know me well there are times when I just ooze it. If this isn’t proof of that I don’t know what is! So you’ll get the good and the bad but always the honest here.

Disclaimer #2: I am wordy! My brain is swimming with all that I want to say and I will try and break it into manageable chunks but I can’t promise to be tangent free. I’ve never operated that way before (just ask my husband!) so I’m sure I won’t start now! 🙂

Summer of 2010 God was as I like to say ‘stirring my pot’. I had been having odd joint pain and health issues for awhile and I also felt discontent is several areas of my life. At that time we felt led to join a different church and I felt led to give up the leadership role I had had with Women’s bible study at our old church and go a different direction. I was going through a season of spiritual change. And even though it was a positive change, I was at the very same time hitting a wall. I did everything I knew to do to change it (problem #1) pray harder, read more, seek more advice until I thought my head would pop off! Then, I had my day. August 17, 2010. I know the date because it was my first journal entry in what has now turned in to several books worth of daily journaling. I have journaled in the past, but not like this. I did it out of guilt (its what I should be doing) or need (I may go over the deep end if I don’t) or obligation (He asks me to spend time with Him) but this was so different. This time it was because I wanted to. Desperately.

Here comes the major transparency — my journal entry from that day:

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Starting here, starting fresh — so where am I?

Disconnected.

From everyone and every thing in various degrees. I feel tired – unmotivated – unloving – but it all lands on being disconnected. Even from You – in a season when I have learned the most and dug the deepest and have seen a little bit of veil pulled away to see Your face.

A friend warned me that at this time more than any Satan would be pulling me away – and boy has he ever! How foolish of me not to see it for what it was! I’ve known deep down that it was ‘me’ for some time, but I’ve been searching everywhere but You for the answers. I am renewing my commitment – I HAVE TO! – and I pray for Your grace to rain down on me so fiercely that I would have no choice but to run to you!

1. Spend time. I want to dedicate my mornings to study and prayer. Meeting with You.
2. Fall in love. Again. With You. I want so deeply to love what You love and to turn from what You hate. I want a level of intimacy with You that will keep me from ever looking elsewhere and forgetting all that You have for me.
3. Re-prioritize. I see that my #1 problem is priorities. I not only pray that You change those in me but that I allow & initiate some changes myself. I will never have a heart like Yours if I am stuck in the place that I am at.

So what do I know?
* This won’t be easy.
* Satan will fight me on this.
* I will stumble.
* You love me more.
* I owe it to You, me, Ritchie and the kids to truly live it out.

Let’s go!

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My life changed that day and has every day since. In some ways subtle and in some ways huge.

The only way I can even attempt to describe it was as if all that I had learned during the last 10 years, wonderful truths in and of themselves, suddenly formed together to make a greater picture that somehow I had failed to ever see. It was like an awakening and it was wonderful!

This was the start of my preparations…

Published in: on October 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Let’s try this again….

So in 2009 I dropped the ball on the family blog.

2010 started with me letting the past be the past and starting fresh again, committed to keep the world up to date on my little family. That lasted until May (still better than most New Years resolutions!) But alas, 2011 is 3/4 over and I have yet to put up a single post. This blog is all but deleted.

Then, life got flipped upside down and my mom got stage 4 cancer. As an only child who happens to live 1 mile away, ‘caregiver’ has become my new title. As has medical jargon interpreter, appointment setter, meds dispenser, insurance billing expert and many more. Oh wait….I am also known as Mommy, wife and friend, PTA committee chair, small group leader, bible study member, and I’m sure others that I am forgetting in my haze. DO NOT read any self pity in any of those — I am called to each one and honored to do them. But I find that for sanity sake I have a need to vent – to share – to contemplate. So here we go again with the blog.

There will still be kid updates I am sure, but along with something bigger. God has moved in my life in the last year in such a massive way (in hindsight that reads ‘preparation’) that I can’t not share it. If it is a light to anyone or a spark that you needed my job here will be done.

Oh wait….that makes another one for the list…

Published in: on October 25, 2011 at 8:51 pm  Leave a Comment