Monday, October 31, 2011

Thank You

Whenever I get a little discouraged, I think back on the things God has done in the hearts of people on this little piece of land on I-45.  He constantly reminded His people in the Old Testament of the things He had done for them and sometimes I need to be reminded as well.

These two photos, one taken about 4 years ago and the other about a month ago, remind me of all there is to be thankful for.

He continues to work.

So thankful for men whose hearts came to know Jesus after so many years walking without Him.

For seeing hard faces turn gentle.

For hearing laughter and encouragement instead of anger and criticism.

For, as one precious lady said, "snatching them right out of hell". (!)

For bringing me here to this place.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

He Loves Me

I woke up this morning around five and Eli was holding my hand.  I love it when something makes you smile the minute your brain reaches consciousness.  We came through Tulsa on our way to Eureka Springs to meet up with several of our church family to see the Passion play.  We will be home on Saturday in time for Michael to preach Sunday morning and have our harvest carnival Sunday night.

After about a month of being in "retreat mode",  I think after Monday I can breathe a little easier.

A couple of weeks ago Kayla came to Texas to take the girls to a Taylor Swift concert.  She brought Eli and Journey and didn't get in until close to midnight.  When Eli walked sleepy-eyed in the door he ran for me and put his arms tight around my neck.  Then he pulled back and said, "Lollie, were you saying over and over 'I can't for Eli to get here!'?"

I assured him I said that very thing over and over.  It was truth.

He loves that I love him.

We don't see them often, so when we do we love on them from the time they walk in the door until we strap them in the seat to head north.

You know what else is truth?  Sometimes the busyness of being woman with all that entails, keeps me from spending that time with the Lord I desperately need.  I feel like He is waiting in anticipation for me to come to His table, to sit at His feet.

Fill up to satisfaction.  Be loved, in whatever condition I am.

I love that He loves me.

I Samuel 21

Cursor on the title then study away!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Samuel 20

Bible study from tonight - little more on Jonathan and David and then over to Psalms for a bit.  Turn off the ipod at the bottom of the page then click on the title.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

His Word. That's It.

He wore a double knit lime green suit with wide lapels.  If he walked behind a telephone pole, you would lose sight of him for a bit.  His skin was so much darker than mine, but his heart seemed so much purer.

It was one of the first times I was asked to go to a church and tell the people about what God had done in my life.  How He had walked me through some tough years.  Three small churches came together for a day of singing and testimonies.   These churches knew how to do church.  They dressed up and sang gospel music so sweet.  They would take turns getting up to share in song.

They called for one church group and they weren't there, so this little man walked up slowly and as he walked he began to sing.  His great-grandaddy legs didn't walk too fast but it didn't matter.  He started singing before he ever got to the stage. I'd never heard the song before.  No one had, because he was making it up as he walked.

"I love you Jesus!  I love you Jesus!  Jesus, I love you!"

Over and over for almost 10 minutes, changing the tune as he pleased because it was his song, he continued to sing.

I want to love Him like that.  I don't love Him enough.  I began to question my being there.

This man was all they needed, eavesdropping on his love song to the Lover of his soul.

Basking in the overflow of his praise.

I spoke that day even though I wanted to walk out the back door.  Who could even follow that goodness?

It seems that every time I go to teach or share with a group, something happens or is said that makes me second guess what God has called me to do.   That I'm not good enough, or talented enough to do the job.  This past weekend the leadership team told me about their last retreat speaker.  She was a potter.  I've seen that kind of thing before and know how powerful it is to have that visual as they speak.  When they were telling me about her, I was thinking, once again, that I didn't have anything to offer.  Not anything to give them - no visual to take home with them.  I have no talent, except, of course, for the pom pom routine.

They would certainly remember that.

My flight home wasn't until Sunday so I thought I better stay and go through with it.  I had no "wow factor" but I did have something.  Something I knew He wanted me to share.  Just like He did when I followed a dancing, singing, praising grandpa.

His word.  That's it.  I love His word - absolutely LOVE it.  He wanted me to share that.  It didn't need a pom pom routine to be powerful.

It just needed to be spoken.  

So I spoke it and He did the rest.

And boy, was He powerful.

photo by Photo_Graphics by Pam

So grateful today for:

God's word
changing hearts
cardboard testimonies
west Texas mountains
pecan orchards
sweet praise
tears of brokenness
safe flights
Boy and bride hiding in back seat to surprise his momma!  Thank You, Jesus!
double date
my own bed
his arms
thunder and lightening
rainy nights

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I'm Not Her

Tomorrow I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again.  I love Peter, Paul, and Mary.  If you didn't sing that when you read it, please go back and do it.  Makes you smile a little.

Actually, I do know when I'm coming home.

Funny how we assume things.  My flight is scheduled to return on Sunday evening.  As I was preparing to go, I wondered what if something happened and I didn't make it back.

Did I make a difference in the lives of my family and friends?  Did I leave them with spiritual wisdom that would get them through the rest of their lives trusting the Lord for His faithfulness?

Would I wish I had spent more time holding and less time cleaning?  More time speaking life and less time speaking death?  More time listening and less time talking?

So as I've been packing and marking things off lists,  I've been reflective.  By the way, sometimes I get reflective when I'm about to go in to town to Walmart.

What treasures have I stored up in heaven?  Storing up treasures is not marking off letters on a list.  It is holding daughter who is overwhelmed with worldly acting people who don't care who they hurt.

I want to be the momma who is selfless.

I'm not her.

I want to be the momma who is patient and loving, even when the house is a mess and I'm trying to prepare for a retreat a few hundred miles away, then another one five days after I get back.

I'm not her.

I want to be the momma who isn't looking at the watch when daughter is telling something important to her heart.  I want to be momma who doesn't get frustrated when the help is minimal.

I'm not her.

I'm not her, but I'm working on her, and hopefully she'll be the one getting off the plane on Sunday night instead of me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No Imperfections

My eyes opened early this morning before the sun peeked through the window after a night of waking and sleeping.   Tossing and turning.  The girls come in after the carriage turned back into a pumpkin, so excited about their night of hunting.  So proud that "she took it down with one shot clean through".  At least that's what I think she told her daddy, I was trying to sleep.

Each time I woke, the heart was still beating too fast for sleep, the breath never slowed to deep.  The brain was already thinking, planning, figuring before the wake came in full.

Weight on the chest got heavier each time I looked at the clock.  Thinking of all that needs to be done - that should be done.  Yesterday's load of towels still in the washer, now needing another bath.  Lasagna pan with extra dishes still soaking in the kitchen sink.  Another vacuuming and mopping needed after mud and grass were tracked in after forgetting the water was left on in the horse trough.

Phone calls to return, prescriptions to pick up, meals to prepare, gifts to finish before I board the plane on Friday to head west.  And with all the preparations, still feeling unprepared.  Wanting to show those sweet ladies Jesus in a way that makes them want Him more.

Clutter.  My brain is filled with clutter.  Covering up the truth, and making me feel so imperfect.  The more I thought, the more the imperfection penetrated.  Now covering every part of my life - momma, teacher, wife, pastor's wife, daughter, sister, mentor, friend.  I'm a mess, I am.

Then I heard the rain hitting the roof and running off into the flower bed.  Thank You, Father for the rain.  My heartbeat slowed a bit.  Thank You, Father, for the rain.

Thank You for his arm holding me close like spoons in a tray, breathing deep himself, but still protecting.  For the girls asleep in their beds after their night hunting hogs and coyotes.  For the almost full moon lighting our way to the barn to check on water before bed.

The heaviness was lessening.  The breathing slowed.

Thank You for a washing machine - so that doing a load the second time isn't so difficult.  Thank You for animals to feed and a vacuum cleaner that works well.  Thank You for Italian food and for the smell of Palmolive dish soap.  Thank You for mamaw's love and how I think of her when I do dishes with that dish soap.

The clutter was gone.  Replaced with a gratefulness, a communication with the Sender of the rain.

Sometimes the clutter is all the things I know I need to do.  Sometimes it is sin in my life. The stuff I focus on instead of Him.  Idols made because of position in my heart.

The best things are not a clean house, perfect kids, great grades.  The best thing is sitting at His table, talking with Him.  And not always talking, but listening.

Hearing from His mouth that He loves me and that He made me.  And He is Perfect God.

I Samuel 18

Ladies' Bible study for this past Monday.  Put cursor on the title, click and review the story of Jonathan and David - one of my favorites!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

As For Me and My House

In an interview on national TV a former child star asked why he turned his back on a promising career to be a preacher.  His answer was that he never turned his back on anything, but that he just walked toward what he loved.  Who he loved.

We say we want to raise our children to love the Lord, but then don't always choose to walk toward Him.

The direction we walk points them in the way of their own journey.  They notice if we step off even for a little while.

It hurts them.  Sometimes they don't even know it hurts them until much later when they are stepping off, wondering why it is so difficult to stay on the right path.

We point them in the direction of love or hate, of believing or unbelieving, of heaven or hell. We teach them to trust or to question, to show gratitude or ungratefulness all by the way we cast our eyes.

This morning in Michael's office the girls and I practiced a song with him to sing at the end of the service.  As we were singing, I watched Eli sitting on the couch singing every word with us.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
We will serve the Lord.

Oh Father, I don't want to be guilty of walking away from you.  Even for a little while.  Not only for my sake, but for the sake of my children and my precious grand babies.  My eyes are on You, seeking You, loving You.  I know there are "kids" I love who are not seeking You - draw them to You.  Oh please draw them to You.  Thank You for loving me so much.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Such A . . . . Time

I don't like to use the word "busy" because everyone is busy.  It really doesn't mean anything any more, except maybe "normal".  We all think we are the only ones, and when someone tells me they are busy, I think they probably don't really know what busy is.  Bad me.

What I do know is that with my incredibly - - - - calendar right now, I just find myself wanting to be in the Word more.  It would be so easy to skip that in the mornings, then skip it again in between helping with algebra, chemistry, or language.

Instead, I crave it more.

I need it more.

A week from tomorrow I will be flying to El Paso to share my heart with a sweet group of ladies.  I appreciate your prayers.  You can pray then, but I would appreciate if you would go ahead and start as I'm preparing for that and then for our retreat for over 70 of our precious ladies the following weekend.

Pray that I hear clearly from the Lord the message He has for us,

   . . . that I have safe travel on the plane,

   . . . that I can find a Sonic and a way to get to the Sonic,

   . . . that I can teach okay in my house shoes on Saturday night.  I'm weird about
         needing to keep real shoes on in order to function.  The last session is in pj's.
 Oh dear.

But mainly pray that my craving for the Word keeps getting stronger.  I need to be completely swallowed up in order to be what I'm supposed to be.

For me and for them.

Ladies' Bible Study - I Samuel 17

Finally!  I had to change where I could store these recordings.  This one is a little long, but there are some sweet pictures at the end that Michael taught me.  Just be patient because I tend to jump around, so hope it's not too confusing.  If it is, call me.  For those who asked, thanks for your patience.

I can't remember for sure because I haven't listened all the way through, but I think I said the "strong tower" passage is in Psalms when, in fact, it is Proverbs 18.  That's the thing about recording unprofessionally - I'm not smart enough to go back and fix anything.

So . . . place that cursor on the blog post title, click and dive in!