Friday, April 16, 2010


(Do you like the homage to Star Wars? I readily admit it....we are a family of Trekkies and Star Wars Geeks.)
A dear friend sent this to me today:

"I think God is disappointed with me." What's wrong with that statement; why does it bother me?

It's so interesting that this would be brought up today because Dave and I were just discussing last night whether it is appropriate to tell your child that you are disappointed in him/her. We concluded that there are probably better words to use w/kids...words that do not bring shame.
Regarding the Lord, isn't His being disappointed w/us impossible? I mean to be disappointed implies that there was a certain expectation. If God knows what we are going to do anyway, how could He be disappointed? (Apologies to all you 'Moral Gov't' officionados.)
I know that Love hopes all things and that He always hopes we will make the best choices, but He knows us. We are weak. We have limitations and strongholds and difficulties and temptations. Rather than saying He is disappointed with us, I believe it would be more accurate to say that we are disappointed with ourselves. (Which, I believe, is a form of pride.) If He is Who He says He is, then EVERYTHING is redeemable and those of us who have screwed up our lives the most (HELLO, THIS MEANS EVERYONE!) have the opportunity for the most redemption. Reminds me of Isaiah 63:3b & 4

They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

If there was nothing ruined, we would not see our need for Him. Having 'places long devastated' in our family background and in our own lives is not unusual...quite the opposite. The Bible is FULL of people who made poor choices or bore the brunt of the rotten choices of others. Some of them allowed God to make them 'a planting of the Lord' redeem their rotten, sinful choices and to become 'the display of His splendor'. Without redemption, there's no display. Without our weaknesses, His strength cannot be shown.
We have it all backwards: we try to be strong, we try to show that we are handling things well. We hide our weakness, even from ourselves. How silly to not live in reality, to not call a spade a spade and glady give ourselves over to the Only One who can save us from our silly, selfish selves.

2 Cor. 12:9,10 My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Yes, at the very best, I've had poor judgement. At the least, I've been an evil, self-centered, selfish pig of a person and chosen to please me and me alone. I admit it. I fall short. I need help. And I will always need help. My realizing this of late has been a GLORIOUS freedom.
There was a time when I would have beat myself up because I should be 'further down the road'....that I should have made better use of all the teaching and help I've been so freely given. BUT I AM NOT FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD.
And I have to ask myself: have I given Jesus my heart? Is my intent to allow Him to direct me daily? If so, then where I am is HIS doing...I am in this place for His purposes. (AND if I am not yet His, not allowing His voice to show me the path every day, one choice, one prayer can put me on that path.)
Okay, stepping down from the soapbox...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Summer Longing...

Bree and me, studying & enjoying!
The hanging jars.

A big jar with a big candle!

It's like a vacation spot at home...

I'm excited to say that I do believe that for this year, our winter is past. We have a few daffodils and some tulips that bravely poked out of the ground immediately after the three and a half foot drifts that have covered them since December 24th FINALLY melted a couple of weeks ago! HOORAY!
Kristin (our 8y/o) and I watched the weather channel for a few moments together last week and rejoiced together as we saw 70 degree temperatures in the forecast. She and I both love the hot weather. I won't call 70 'hot', but its' a start. (I grew up in Southern California and LOVE the warmth.)
We are blessed with a lovely covered deck off our kitchen and living room...In the warmer weather David and I sit out there and chat and drink coffee in the am. Sometimes our kiddos join us and it's the best of times. We need to eat meals out there more often this year, I think.
We've hung some gauzy fabric curtains out on the deck that serve no real purpose except to make it feel more "homey". Dave's built us some Adirondak chairs that I LOVE. They are sooooo comfortable. If we're out there after dark, we have 15 or 20 jars of different shapes and sizes in which we place white candles. We hang some (by beaded wires that we've looped around the jar's opening) around the eaves. And we place some on the deck around us. We have two hammocks hanging out there too. Some times I take my guitar out there and make a bit of music.
During the day as we go about our business, our deck calls to us...'Come out and rest!' It's the perfect spot for a quiet moment. We love to have people over to hang out and visit out there. If you are in the neighborhood, come on over and experience the ambiance of the Reno's back deck! I'm longing for a bit of it myself. Won't be long and it will be warm enough...