Thursday, April 26, 2012

Embrace the Moment


With a long to-do list and a half day off from school, my son, Jordan, said the words this mama's heart loved to hear.

“Mom, will you come with me?”

A phone call and a few emails later, I had cleared the day to spend with my soon-to-be high school graduate. I even decided to push my blog post back a day, knowing that the world wouldn't stop without it and hoping God would give me some encouraging words to share with you today.

He never fails.

Even though Jordan and I ran errands and checked things off of his list, we did it together. We talked about everything and nothing, without an agenda or being in planning mode. Our time together was precious and worth any amount of inconvenience it may have caused. Our cups runneth over.

I know that we can't always drop everything in a moments notice to do fun things. But we need to every once in a while. Not only do we get to spend time with someone amazing, God manages to replenish our soul with the fellowship.

In Scripture, Martha complained to Jesus because her sister, Mary, would not help her serve. Mary sat at His feet instead of working. Expecting Jesus to be on her side, I'm sure Martha was a little surprised when He told her that Mary had picked the better thing.

Time is fleeting, yet we use it as if we have an unlimited amount. Are you enjoying it? Or are you working so hard that time seems to be passing you by? God provides us with opportunities to be filled with Him, we only need to embrace the moment!

Be blessed,

Jennifer

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”” Luke 10:38-42

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Superstition vs Faith

I had a crisis of faith this weekend. Well, kind of. I had faith, but I put it in the wrong thing. Caught up in the moment, I let superstition over-rule my faith.

At a volleyball tournament, you notice all kinds of interesting superstitions. From the routine of serving the ball to how players style their hair. Like most athletes, these girls would stick with the habits that produced the disired results and quickly dismiss the ones that didn’t.

In the heat of battle, I adopted my fellow team parents’ philosophy that a certain set of seats gave off some good mojo for our team. We didn’t move from that spot in order to give our team the winning edge. But somewhere in the back of my mind was the nagging question, “Doesn’t superstition hurt your faith?”

Superstition is

- a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like

- irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion

- any blindly accepted belief or notion

Faith is

- confidence or trust in a person or thing

- belief that is not based on proof

- belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion

- belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc

- a system of religious belief: the Christian faith

I’m not trying to stir up the pot, but these two definitions have some interesting similarities, don’t they? But it all comes down to one thing…why do you do what you’re doing?

I’ve noticed that superstitions usually rely on the actions of the person. Whether it’s performing a specific routine to get something done, or having to use the same item over and over again because its “lucky,” superstition focuses on an actual item or process. (Sounds a bit like an idol, doesn’t it?)

Faith, however, is normally based on personal knowledge. We believe in God, for example, because we have experienced His presence at some point of our lives. We have faith in another person’s abilities because we have seen them perform the task in the past. We perform a routine based on reverence to God, not because it will bring us good luck.

So, our group sat in our courtside seats cheering on our team. There were only two times when we didn’t sit in those same seats, and we lost both games. Maybe it was about group unity. Maybe it gave our girls more confidence. Maybe we psyched out the other teams. Who knows! One way or another, it was all in our heads…

Be blessed,

Jennifer

“You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?” 1 Corinthians 3:3

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Just Add Water

The delicate pink and yellow gerbera daisies seemed to be calling to me as I wandered through the rows of newly blossomed flowers. These little flowers made my heart smile, so I scooped up a variety of pinks and yellows and added them to my collection.

I’ve been guilty of killing innocent plants in the past, but I’m determined to change my ways. I matched each plant with a pot it could thrive in and sat back to enjoy. A few days passed by before I found myself out on my back porch admiring my plants again.

Now, the delicate pink and yellow daisies looked sad. They didn’t stand quite as tall. They were wilted and a thin line of brown was developing around the edge.

How could this be happening? I thought I did everything right.

Then I realized … I hadn’t watered the flowers! I had taken so much time picking them out, bringing them home, finding the perfect spot, and planting them in fresh soil. But I forgot the most basic need—water.

I shouldn’t be surprised that I forgot to water my flowers, because I continuously forget to water myself. I busy myself with going to church, doing Bible studies, and teaching classes. But, again, I forget the most basic need—Living Water. I can spend so much time FOR God that I forget to spend time WITH God. I may fill in the blanks of a Bible study, but do I let Him fill in the gaps of my heart? Do I sit in silence and listen for Him to whisper to my heart? Do you?

I may not literally turn brown on my edges when I’m deprived of Living Water, but I sure do get crispy all the same. Just like the flowers, I’m wilted and sad, unable to make someone’s heart smile. Ever been there? Are you there now?

My little daisies perked right back up after a nice drink of water (go figure) and are once again making my heart happy. They can do what they were made to do because they have been given what they need. You and I can get back to the things we were made for too, all we need to do is just add water!

Be blessed,

Jennifer

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:38

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A New Point of View

The other morning my toothpaste lid rolled across the vanity counter, onto the floor and under the bathroom cabinet. The cabinet is raised and has feet so, of course, the lid rolled all the way to the back by the wall. Frustrated, I got down on my hands and knees to retrieve the lid. As I reached under and grabbed the lid, I also caught an unwanted dust bunny!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t put a lot of time or attention to making sure the area under my bathroom cabinets are dust free. But after practically laying upside down to retrieve the wayward toothpaste lid, I’m deciding to give it a little more attention!

Sometimes God allows us to see the things we forget about or take for granted in a new way. He has a unique ability to turn us on our axis to completely change our perspective. God knows how to get our attention and shows us a new perspective for our benefit.

Do you have some spiritual dust bunnies that may need to be cleaned up? Is there anything that may have built up over time because it’s been ‘out of sight, out of mind’? Things like unforgiveness, anger or bitterness are not only spiritual dust bunnies, but they seem to breed new ones. When you’ve chosen to ignore the dust bunnies, God will give you a new perspective to remind us that it’s time to clean it up! What needs your attention??

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24