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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What is your LEGACY?

 I LOVE that my 4 year old is up at 5:30am because she is afraid she is going to miss my bible study time.

    I must admit, I haven't always loved this.  I actually started doing my bible study at 5:30am to beat her to the punch, race her to the kitchen table, so I could have a quiet time with the Lord and get my day started on the right foot.  I'm going to be truth speaker honest with you, I have often become extremely resentful… we are told we ought to have this bible study quiet time and when you are a mom of what seems like 40,000 kids "QUIET" anything isn't in the vocabulary.  

  At first I tried my "quiet" time during breakfast, that didn't work.  Then a dutiful friend suggested I get up a few minutes before the masses and commence to the vast and in-depth studying of the bible, well my 4 year old was vigilant as soon as she detected my creaking bedroom door moaning open.  

"Moooooommy get me this and mommy get me that… I love you mommy.

   it was so frustrating. Frustrating? So then I started setting my alarm for 5:30am and quietly sneaking like a thief in the night to the kitchen table not making a peep.  

Guess what?!?! 

   She was up within minutes. minutes…sometimes seconds. Quickly. Pittering and pattering about... I couldn't get my bible opened.  I would complain to her and make her go get in bed with her sleeping father, or turn on cartoons and let her eat cereal at the bar while I studied.  Being quite snippy because I just couldn't wake up any earlier, I was exhausted already.  Because as a mom of what seems like 40,000 kids you are already up late at night to get "things done" and have a moment of silence browsing through Facebook and Instagram catching up on all the posts you were deprived of throughout the day and laughing at everyone's jokes.  

It is in vain that you rise up early

    and go late to rest,

eating the bread of anxious toil;

    for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Psalm 127:2 (ESV)

Then not to long ago…. I came across this verse.  WHAT?!?!  Whoever wrote this (Solomon) must not have been a mom of what seems like 40,000 kids.

The struggle is real.

Then came time for me to start the new Ecclesiastes summer bible study, with the girls at Women Living Well.  As I begin this journey of learning about Solomon who was healthy, wealthy, and wise, so far Ecclesiastes is about him whining about his life, we have only made it to chapter 2, but it's not looking good for the home team.   Nothing really matters.  No matter how many wives he had he wanted more, no matter how much stuff he had he wanted more, no matter how much wisdom he had it wasn't enough.  It was never enough.  He spent his life "Chasing after the wind"…he had everything "under the sun" at his disposal and it wasn't enough.  No one would remember him and he couldn't take any of it with him.

16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten.
 How the wise dies just like the fool! 
17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me,
 for all is vanity and a striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 2: 16-17 (ESV)

Vanity= emptiness

Whoa! SOLOMON had it all!  And yet he was afraid he was going to be forgotten.

Legacy:   something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past

That struck a chord with me. Ol' King Solomon, was worried about his legacy.  Then I inadvertently started singing in my head…  "I wanna leave a legacy, how will they remember me.." by Nichole Nordeman  

Music always speaks to me and it is a powerful tool of the memory.

All while the 4 year old won the race to the kitchen table this morning and sitting and patiently waiting before the sun was up with her "Princess Journal" to "DO" bible study.  I was pleasantly overwhelmed and humbled as my king whispered…

"This is your legacy!" 

   So as you can see in the picture above we studied God's word together.  Her princess journal is filled with words to her king.  I read a few verses to her and she wrote unintelligible (to me) notes to her king and I studied.  Yes being the task oriented person that I am sometimes disruptions of people annoy me.  As the Lord continues to work in and through this old cracked pot and the Holy Spirit does a work in me despite my own self.  I learn daily how to die to myself and submit to my King.  For my reward is great when I submit my will to his and listen just obediently listen to what my King has to say.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Wrecking the Rectitude of Friendship

I do not wish to treat friendships daintily,
but with roughest courage.
When they are real, they are
not glass threads or frost-work,
but the solidest thing we know.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  I have never been accused of being too gentle or too soft spoken or for not speaking up for what I believed was right even when what I believed to be right was actually wrong.  Quite to the contrary, I have often been the rough edge.  You see some people are "truth-speakers" and some people are "grace-givers".  It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that the two can exist together. 

  Imagine for just a moment you have Oil & water together in a jar……They just do not mix. However if you shake them up, they will mix temporarily.  That spiritual shaking is the Holy Spirit.  So it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit in a believers life that can mix truth & grace.

  Truth speakers need grace givers as friends….and grace givers need truth speakers as friends.  My husband is a grace giver & I am a truth speaker.  I am surrounded in my life by Grace givers…I am drawn to their friendship as much as they are drawn to mine.  Months ago as I was speaking with one of my very best grace giver friends she said to me, I love that God has given me your truth speaking friendship but sometimes I wish I had just a few grace-givers in my life.

  Grace givers would prefer to tell what they call "a little white lie" than to tell the truth and hurt or offend you in some way.

  Truth speakers would prefer to tell you the truth no matter how bad it hurts you in order to maintain their integrity/trust thinking it would be better for you to feel the pain now and get over it than to find out later.

Just like my grace giver friend months ago, as a truth speaker I often long to have a few more truth speaker friends in my life.  I know the Lord allows believers to sharpen one another and I know those grace givers are here to soften my rough edges.  

Rectitude: the quality of being honest and morally correct.

I am an extreme, truth speaker….meaning that if I am not in the word daily then I am offending someone daily.  My offensive nature is directly proportionate to my time spent in the word.  Not my time spent doing honorable church things, not my time spent being busy, not my time spent drinking coffee or checking Facebook but my time spent reading, studying, soaking in and meditating, on the word.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal
of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:2

I have often heard, this statement…. "Well that is just the way I am" or "That is just how God made me" or "you will just have to deal with it because that is they way I am"

Truth Speaker Warning:  Honey God didn't make you that way…that is sin and you are justifying your sin…  Yes it is our nature…Our sin nature.  But God doesn't desire to leave us like that.  We should be seeking after HIM….Reading HIS words that will transform our minds and that will cause us to change.

As a truth-speaker, being dishonest is more hurtful than being rude.  A grace-giver would see that totally the opposite.

It is far better to be alone,
that to be in bad company.
- George Washington

My sin nature says, when a friend lies to you, you can't trust them.  There is no integrity there.  Don't look back. Walk away. quickly

But God's word says…

Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many are forgiven-
for she loved much.  But he who is forgiven little, love little.
Luke 7:47

I like the sinful woman who humbly bathed Jesus feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.  Have been forgiven much.  So by the power of the Holy Spirit in me, I will learn to love and forgive and this truth speaking girl will get to have a sprinkle of grace here and there.

For my grace-giver friends much truth can be learned in scripture too….  Syrupy words of honey can make one vomit.  Just examine the words of Solomon...

16 If you find honey, eat just enough—

    too much of it, and you will vomit. Proverbs 25:16

But whether you are a truth-speaker or a grace-giver learning to be a person of integrity is just part of the growth plan.   Pursuing the ability to love those that take you out of your comfort zone is part of the sanctification process.

12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.  James 5:12

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