Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Room Full of Wanted

Last March I was blessed to spend a weekend with several Red Raider girls in the mountains of New Mexico. The time was completely sweet. There was something Marla said, though, that has stuck with me these last several months. She told of how sometimes she wakes up in the mornings to be mommy to her three little ones not feeling so joyful, or beautiful, or worthy. She went on to say how she would sing God's truths over herself because His truth was truth, whether she felt it or not.
That has stuck with me.

Last Thursday night, after a very busy, very trying week, I climbed into our big recliner and called the thirteen girls at our house in for a time of quiet before they began drinking their sodas and Red Bulls in order to stay up all night.

Honestly, I was so physically and emotionally exhausted from the first three days of the week, that I almost called the "girls' night" off. Oh, thank You God, that my selfishness didn't win out this time.

I asked the girls to share some things they believed about themselves.

"I'm ugly."

"I'm not worthy of friends who care."

On and on they went, spewing out these things that were lies from the enemy.

Then I had them speak Truth about themselves. It was difficult for them.

One precious girl, in a wad laying at the side of my chair began to weep. I knew what was going on in her life and reached over and held on to her leg and said, "You are wanted!"


By the Most High.

He doesn't ignore our calling out to Him. As a matter of fact, Psalm 116:2 says that He inclines His ear to hear us. He bends over to catch every whisper directed His way.

Be still my heart.

I looked around at the beauty in that room. The hearts that wanted to be wanted. To be chosen.

Help them get it Lord. Help them understand that only You can fill that God-sized hole that is yearning to be loved. To be beautiful and to be chosen. To be wanted.

Only You.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Just a Couple

Thought I'd post a couple of pictures of our Arkansas trip with the youth of our church. It was such a "God week" for all of us who went. Michael and Hannah led worship and I was the camp cook. Such a sweet time.

It has been a summer of spiritual growth for the girls and such a precious thing for Michael and I to watch. I'll talk more about it in a few weeks after we get their "Three Girls Sixteen" photos done.

So, so blessed.

No Weapons

Sometimes I think we don’t realize how at one moment we are doing the right thing – encouraging (putting courage in to), building up, and inspiring; the next moment our words are used to discourage (take courage out of), tear down, and belittle.
We are . . .
. . . quick to criticize,
. . . quick to slander,
. . . quick to judge.
Weapon words are flung without first bringing every thought captive to the throne of God.
Weapon words are hurled without thinking about what it does to the heart of the hearer.
Isaiah 45:17 tells us that no weapon formed against us will prosper. The other morning after hearing of weapon words launched against some people I love, and losing a couple of hours of sleep over it, I began praying that no weapons formed against this part of the body would prosper.
We are so quick to shoot our own.
We cut ourselves and watch ourselves bleed.
We sometimes amputate parts of our own body.
I Peter 3:8-9 says that we are to have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Then it says “Do NOT repay evil for evil, or insult for insult; we are to BLESS others, for to this we are called, so that we may obtain a blessing.
I could give you the definition of every word, but I’m only going to give one.
The (Greek) definition for NOT is this:
NO (not surprising)*
NOT (obviously)*
GOD FORBID (are you kidding me??)*
GOD FORBID that we should insult, that we should use weapon words or
weapon looks (ah-oh) against our brothers and sisters.
His words, not mine.
Father, my heart hurts for those at the target end of weapons fired. But it also hurts for those who shoot because they have hurts of their own. We all hurt. Thank you that when I started calling names out to You for You to bless, You were quick to calm my heart. Quick to give me peace. To let me go back to sleep. I love that about You. Let me be eager to love, eager to encourage, eager to bless. I pray that no weapon formed against this body will prosper. Thank You for the work You are doing in spite of us. You never stop amazing me with the way You work.
I’m so very blessed.

* my own thoughts of each definition

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sittin' by the Pool

Michael and I came up yesterday for his family reunion in Fredericksburg. I love this little town. I've been enough that the stores are not new and exciting, but maybe that's why I love it. It is familiar.

I came out this morning to sit by the pool and really don't have a thing to say. At least anything that would make anyone get introspective or anything.

This really couldn't get much better. There is new furniture out here, so I'm sitting at the end of the pool on a new little couch. With my feet up on the cushions. Smelling the chlorine which smells like barefoot in summer.

The sprinkler is watering the grass. The kind of sprinkler I like that keeps time as it shoots out water in spurts, then goes back real fast. Love it. The crepe myrtles are pretty in pink, the birds are singing, I just spent some time reading a Bible study by a lady named Mary Elizabeth Baxter born in the 1830's. Pretty special.

The manager of the motel here just came to put water in the pool pushing his 2 year old twins in a stroller. Made me miss the girls. I get to go pick them up tomorrow morning and I cannot wait. The part I'm looking forward to the most is all the stories told at the same time. I usually hear three different perspectives of the same story. When they would come home from Mother's Day Out when they were four, they would talk all the way home and part of the day. My head would go back and forth as each picked up her part of the telling.

I never feel like I pray enough for them and their older siblings. So often I wake in the middle of the night, knowing I didn't get enough "on my knees" time during the day.

Praying they be set aside for His use. That they realize He wants all of them.
All of Each of them.

I honestly don't think we can ever do enough on our own to prepare them for all the hurts of this fallen world.

I don't ever want to stop trying to do enough. Whether I'm on my knees, on my face, or sitting by a pool.

It was interesting this morning that when I was reading the Bible study of Mary Baxter
that there was an old hymn she had typed out. What was interesting about that is that it is the same hymn that I have had on my mind since last Sunday. It was on a worship CD I was playing on my way back from dropping Leah off at camp. I played it many times during the week, and then, wa-la, here it is again this morning.

This hymn is about giving ALL.

Total surrender.

That is what I want for my husband, my children, and my grandchildren. BUT, and that's a big BUT: I need to desperately want it for myself first.

So, here goes, take it in slowly:

TAKE my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and ‘beautiful’ for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King.

Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold.

Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.

Take my heart, it
is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure–store.

Take myself, and I will be
only, ALL for Thee.

Now that is total surrender.

Never gonna stop trying.