Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thank You Oh My Father...

There is a Redeemer, Jesus God's own Son
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One

Thank You oh my Father, for giving us Your Son,
And leaving Your Spirit 'til Your work on earth is done.
(Keith Green)

Thanksgiving is here, a time to reflect, to remember with gratitude our many blessings. I love this song because it reminds me that the greatest thanks belongs to our Lord; Who gave His life for our sins. What a gift! The perfect sacrifice, His death... for mine.
I fall, I stumble, I sin constantly; yet He catches me in His grace and forgives me, and stands me on my feet to start afresh.
Thank You, my Father; for being my Redeemer.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Daaa DOT-Da-Daaa... Daaa DOT-Da-Daaaa

I'm so excited... I was asked to be in a wedding!! I know, it shouldn't be THAT exciting, but I'm young enough that I haven't had many friends married yet; and this is the first time I was asked to be a bridesmaid. I get to be in on the wedding details, the flowers, the dresses, and I'll throw a bridal shower.

This is too cool! My friend Danielle is getting married!
WHY are weddings so exciting? I don't get it, why do we girls dream and fuss and plan so much for one day? I used to think the day after my own wedding I would wake up and realize I could no longer have the fun of planning my wedding. I mentioned this to a friend who was getting married, and he answered, "Oh, great, so my wife might have a crisis about not being able to plan her own wedding later on??" I thought a minute, and I answered; "Well, then she will have you." I think that should be enough.

Maybe it sounds silly to dream, but girls do. Most of my friends have their wedding colors picked out, whether it is in the forsee-able future or no. It's not wrong to dream, I do it. It's not wrong to think ahead and plan, it helps with the details later on when necessary.

The only thing is, I can't place too much importance on one day of my life, a day that may or may not eventually come. And I can't let dreaming or wishing get in the way of my present - my life right now. Focusing too much on a dream prince might cloud your eyes when he finally is standing before you; and dreaming too much of the might-happen-some-day could cause you to miss out on the moments of the already-happening-here-and-now.

And I don't want dreaming to make me miss out on the joys my Lord has for me in the now.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


She was a part-time driver where I worked, and she would come in as necessary when we were swamped. "I live just down the road," she would say; "if you need me, just call me."
She appeared to have had a difficult life, and it made her attitude pessimistic toward the world and life in general. "Don't get old, your children leave, you have aches and pains, and no one cares." she would tell me. "Just don't get old. Me, I'm old as dirt."
For some reason she took a liking to me, she called me her daughter, saying at first that I was the only teenager she knew who could be quiet. "Daughter!" she would call and wrap her arms around me, causing quizzical looks among our co-workers. "I haven't seen ya in a while! Hey, tell me if your parents ever want to be rid of ya, I'll adopt ya." She lived alone with her cat.
She needed some one to reach out to her; and I could have been that some one...
She died suddenly last week after surgery. She is gone, and I could have been there for her, but I wasn't.
It makes me look at the world differently, how do I know what is ahead? Who could need me? Who is there for me to reach out to? Life is a breath, it is given, and we never know when it may be taken away... and sometimes we remember this too late.
Maybe the last thing Jean did helped me to open my eyes more to the world around me. She would like that.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Boys, Boys, BOYS!!!

Well, today I have the day off from school, it happens that my siblings have a day off as well, and I am seeing how much I am missing by being gone from home so much! For instance, my brothers have been so wound up today, they have been running around the house like crazy. "Give it back or I will give you 50 lashes with a wet fish!!" yelled Jesse. "Jesse??!!" I said, shocked. "Well" was all he answered, and he followed in close pursuit after Jonathan.
I was doing laundry, and I found Jon's pants with a heavy padlock fixed to the belt loop. "Jon, I need the key to your padlock, or it will bump around in the dryer." I called. "Oh," he answered, "I lost the key." He LOST the KEY??!! WHY did he even need a padlock fixed to his belt loop in the first place??!! I tried as best as I could to pad up the extra weight and put it in his pocket, yet the dryer is still going bump, bump, bump...
Kevin, the two year old, dumped Mom's sewing basket on the floor. "Kevin, pick up your mess." I told him. "Not wight now" he answered. Picture this... my two year old brother with his baby face saying with his baby voice, "Not wight now." WHERE did he come up with that?? "Yes, Kevin, right now!"
Jesse and Jon were still running around the house, so I gave them each a chore. "I'm so tired," Jonny muttered as he headed toward the dishwasher, seconds after chasing his older brother with a toy held in a threatening position.
Stephen and Michael were having a disagreement with Julia. "You should hear what happened to the last cousin who said that to us!" Michael teased. "Yeah," Stephen joined in, "They're buried out in the swamp." No way, are these MY angelic brothers saying these shocking things??
Yes, today I am very aware of the fact that boys will be boys, and I guess that is what makes them so much fun. And believe it or not, I think I need days off from school more often to enjoy my brothers, for they will grow up so fast, and I will grow to miss the noise, the messes, and the constant teasing. That is, until I hear, "Hey Jen, you know, those hair sticks really make you look like you have an antenna." Boys WILL be boys!
(written Monday, November 6th)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Fear... It's a Scary Thought

I have been afraid of many different things since I was little. My "fear list" has included bats, (the flying mammal kind,) doctors, winks unaccompanied by a smile, librarians, tall men with mustaches, any step higher than the 3rd on a ladder, the color red, rice-a-roni (yes, really!) driving in sleet, being an old maid, spiders in the shower, any of my brothers creeping up behind me on a dark night, and angry underfed green kangaroos carrying monkey wrenches. (Okay not really... but it's a scary thought! :)

More recently my fears have been more of a different type. I tend to worry much too hard about what people think and how they interpret my words or actions. I make blunders, or think I do, and then agonize over how it came across. I am afraid of what people think. I am also afraid of my future, I am afraid of making a unrepairable mistake, I am afraid of being hurt, I am afraid of hurting others.

Yes, I have many fears, and I suppose there will always be something to be afraid of - yet He gives me the promise that I can trust Him when I am afraid. The hard thing is letting go of what I want enough to trust Him. My Lord tells me not to be afraid and He promises never to leave me or forsake me, (Deuteronomy 31:6.) He promises to keep me in perfect peace; as long as my mind is stayed on Him. (Isaiah 26:3.) He reminds me, "The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Psalm 118:6.)

If I believe that my Lord is in control, and that He keeps His promise to work all things together for good; I have no right to tremble and fear.

Dear Lord, give me the real, childlike trust in You that doesn't question the paths You are leading me on. Help me to let go of my fears, and fix my eyes on You, trusting that You are in control and that You do keep Your many precious promises. Thank you for the promise to be here with me, and to work out even the confusing difficult situations for good.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Trust the Driver

I don't really like to drive. I mean; I put up with it, I am so grateful I can drive because I really couldn't get along without it. Yet I tend to confuse directions, and unlike other drivers, I will take the wrong exit twice in a row, or even more times before I get the correct directions down!
I have a friend who loves to drive around and get lost on purpose; I could never understand that, for getting lost frightens me, and I am always relieved when I come to familiar territory. You would think riding with my friend would scare me, but oddly enough, it never does. She absolutely loves to drive, getting lost is an adventure (for her,) and I can relax because of her confidence. I'm never afraid when my friend is behind the wheel.
My Lord is teaching me a good driving lesson these weeks to hang on and trust in Him. When I don't know where I am going, or where He is taking me, He guards my heart and mind with the "peace that passes all understanding." He promises to go with me, to never leave me or forsake me, and He knows the plans He has for me. He calls me to trust in Him when I am lost and don't understand; and I can just relax in the passenger seat as He gradually reveals our destination.
Because if my Lord knows where I am going, I don't need a road map!

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Contractor for His House

This week in my devotional time, I was lead to read from Haggai. In chapter 1, verses 7-9, I read, "This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored," says the LORD. "You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the LORD Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house."
These verses convicted me, for I have been "busy with my own house," failing to build the house of my Lord. My life has been more important, for I have given my Lord whatever I had left over; which is never much. Although keeping to a form of devotional time and study, my life has certainly been my focus and concern. He has shown me this week, that in failing to build His house, I am missing out on blessings, spiritual ones for sure, but perhaps also temporal blessings.
Being convicted that I needed to get to work on His house, I prayed that His house would be my first thought and energy focus, and that I would be given the time necessary to build it. I have heard before, "Be careful what you pray for, He might give it to you." Well, whether in answer to my prayer or not; Wednesday I woke up violently sick with a stomach flu, there was no going to school that day!! Then Thursday my stomach was better, but I was down with a sore throat, which I still have today. My Lord granted me lots of extra time this week to study Him, and relax in His word. I pray that His house will always be my focus, and I will not miss out by being caught up in my own house.