Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Where I am today......

Okay so Week 4 was not my favorite week of the study for some reason. Maybe because it caused me to really look deep and hard at myself. I did not realize that until I just now finished the second lesson of Week 5 though. And that is why I had not posted yet, I did not feel as though I had much to say in the way of reflection. But it just hit me........one of my idols, is myself. I strive to be right all the time, no matter what, no matter the cost. When Chelsea and I were discussing Week 4 I told her, you know I think this week does not hold much for me because I have always been pretty confident in myself, week 4 was about making relationships with others our idols. I have always felt confident in my relationships, and always felt like I told others what I needed to say. But that was just what God was trying to teach me, I am hard headed sometimes. My relationship idol is the one with myself. Sometimes my over confidence, desire to be right and to work it all out on my own, because I can do it gets in the way of God. Gets in the way of what He wants to do in my life and how he wants to shape my relationships with others. I am so busy knowing that my way is the best way, that I forget to really make sure it is God's way. Partly because I want to be right and partly because I really have such little faith. I want my faith to be stronger, I want to trust him, to lean only on Him, to make Him my one and only idol but it is hard, really hard. So that is where I am today. Taking a little hit to the ego, and realizing that it is not all about me, it is all about Him. And I long to have that unwavering faith in Him, in His plan for me. I long to make Him my one and only idol, every second of every day. Only Him............

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Just because it is "good for food" doesn't mean we should eat it....

If Eve had said that to herself instead of being deceived by the serpent how would our lives be today?? And isn't that the deception that we have to guard our hearts and minds from every single day. Oh, I can handle watching that show, it is just a show after all, I would never act like that! The list could go on and on about what we allow our hearts and minds to be exposed to. But we are lied to and deceived constantly. That is what Satan is best at. He gets into our heads, and causes us to doubt our thoughts, convinctions and even sometimes God. Things may seem good on the outside but if we go with instant gratification it will only hurt us in the end.

How many times have I been there, doubting if the path I feel God is leading me down is really the right path. How little faith I have, even though I can look back through my life and see amazing miracles, I still doubt. Lies can be so tricky and can even have truth in them, just not THE TRUTH.

I have been really convicted this week in my bible study to stay in the word, stay connected with God, listen to uplifting music, watch uplifting television, and most of all fill my children with the love of Jesus. To give them the shield they need to protect themselves from the lies of the master deceiver. Ethan and I sat down and read a scripture that was his daily challenge for VBS. It was scripture in Revalation talking about heaven and the city of gold. We had an awesome conversation after that, and I realize we need to do this more. I am going to end with a scripture I found I had underlined some time ago in my bible. I found while flipping to the scriptures we were studying. But I think it is helpful to what we have been discussing this week.

"He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him." John 7:18

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bring the Rain

I don't know if anyone is reading this blog or not, but it is such a great release for me and time of reflection, so I will continue to post. I have been reading a lot on a blog I found through many links on other blogs. It is written from such a truthful and personal place, and I am in awe with each post how much the author is willing to share. You can just feel God working through her posts as you read. As I was reading the most recent post, I was struck by a very profound thought. For those of you that don't know about the blog Bring the Rain, it is about a family who has suffered great loss, but still remains faithful to the God who will bring them through this valley. Much like the grief happening in the Chapman home right now. Anyway, there were given a few short hours to spend with their daughter Audrey Caroline yet have celebrated her life and shared it with all of us. So back to my thought, every child deserves this same love that sweet Audrey had, even if only for a few short hours. So I think to myself, is there another child out there that needs love from our family. I know we have so much love to share, and want to make sure we use it for His glory. So we have decided to pray diligently for where God is leading our family. Maybe there is another child chosen for us, we are committed to finding out and to following wherever that may take us. Check out Angie's blog if you get a chance it is awesome. Oh, and I know this is supposed to be about my bible study, but I have fallen a little behind. I will catch up this weekend and post about it then. Until then, I will be praying and we would love to have your prayers as well.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Week 2 of No Other Gods-FEAR!!!

That is what it is all about FEAR. Fear is what leads us so many times to look to ourselves for the answers rather than trusting in God. Fear helps us to keep those idols around, to concentrate on them.
After having Ethan, I knew I wanted to have more children. I loved being a mom. We did not waste time trying for #2, we wanted our kids to be close in age, to be playmates and good friends. That's where the brakes slam on-SCREECH!!!! So that may have been my plan but what about God's plan. As time passed, I began to get really scared, what if Ethan was going to be our only child, would that be okay. I began to become jealous of all my friends who were on baby #2 or #3, what about us God? And so my Idol entered the picture, just like Sarah (Genesis 16) I became fixated on having another child. I purchased countless ovulation kits, things you spit on and the such, began tracking my temperature each day, okay honey I think these are our 3 days this month time to get to work. I would continue to take my temperature, over analyze every feeling inside my body, and disappointment would come every month. Then I would start the process all over again, again and again.........Where was God? Why was He making this so difficult? If only I knew then what I know now......I wasn't following Him and putting my hopes and trust in Him, instead I was putting it in my false idol. The hope that each month this would be the month, I would have done everything "humanly" possible to make sure of it.

It is easy to see how we fall into the trap. At the heart of my idol is something good, having children, growing our family. But no matter what I did, it would not fufill me nor fix the problem. But I kept on trying, specialists thats what I needed. It worked for other people surely it would work for us. So the long process of testing, injections, treatments and on and on. Again hope, hope that this time was it, this time God would bless us. After all we had already made it trough so many trials in our quest.

Okay so that did not work either, okay on to my next try, how about adoption. That would be fool proof right. And what is better than following God's command of caring for widows and orphans. Again fear began to lead, and I tried to control every aspect of our paperwork. Getting in quickly as I knew the wait was growing. I could not let our children be 7 or 8 years apart.

Finally, a year into the process of adoption and 5 years into our trying for #2, I began to "get it." This was not it my control, I could not fix it. It was all in His hands. Once I turned it over to him, gave up my idol and looked to Him for my treasure that is when it happened. I felt an overwhelming peace, a peace beyond all others. I knew that it would all work out in time, I was treasuring Him and that was enough. That is when we met our Charlotte, and our family would finally be a family of 4. It could not have been anymore perfect. And I have never seen the face of God as clearly as I did the day she was first placed in our arms.

So knowing this, and experiencing all He can accomplish, then why do my idols still creep back in. That is the downside of being human. We are constanly challenged to follow Him, to always make room in hearts for Him. I am really trying though, it is not easy some days. Knowing the joy I have from Charlotte and Ethan makes me want to increase that joy. But I have to wait on God, go where He leads not just where I want to go. I have to treasure Him first, knowing that it will all fall into place just as it is supposed to. Just like it did for Sarah, she got her treasure and it was so great that it just made her laugh. How is God making you laugh?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Okay I am digging in....

So, I am doing a summer bible study with some of my blogging friends and with another good friend of mine, Cheslea (we will be meeting in person, not just cyber space.) And mentioning cyber space, Beth Moore is also using the same study on her blog http://www.livingproofministries.blogspot.com/. I thought I would journal some of my thoughts on the study here, for anyone who cares to read and for myself to go back and read later. So I have made it through session one of No Other Gods: Confronting our Modern-day idols by Kelly Minter. There is also a regular book, which I am also reading but I am going to journal about the study. So here goes.......

One of the verses Kelly uses is Matthew 6:21 "What we treasure is where our heart is." I have really taken this verse to heart and am going to try and concentrate on it. As I worked through the 5 days of session one it was apparent to me that I have many "false idols." Many, many things that take up my time and keep me from treasuring God and what He is doing in my life. I am a very organized and scheduled person. I love to make lists and check things off to move to my next task. I feel very accomplished when I have done this. But I have learned through the adoption process especially, that God speaks to me when I am quiet and I listen. When I really focus my heart on Him, and make Him my treasure first. I even kind of feel like the whole adoption process for me was kind of like a false idol. For the last 2 years everything I have done has centered and focused on adoption. Not that it is all bad, but I am afraid I have missed other treasures along the way trying to control all aspects of the adoption. Before our referral and other paperwork came, I always had a moment where I finally stopped and listened. Then it all worked out. I am trying to do that now. I still feel like the Lord may have more children for us, but I am really concentrating on just living in the now, not the what might be. And trying to listen to his voice and treasure His heart.Kelly asks us at the end of the session to find a song or movie clip that reflects the concept we learned from our week. I added a playlist at the bottom of the blog for you to listen to. There are 2 songs there that really speak to what I have taken from this session.

So that is session one for me, be still and listen and MAKE ROOM.

Come and Listen-David Crowder Band
Come and listen, come to the water's edge, all you who know and fear the Lord.
Come and listen, come to the water's edge all you who are thirsty, come.
Let me tell you what He has done for me.
Let me tell you what He has done for me,He has done for you,He has done for us.
Come and listen,come and listen to what He's done.
Come and listen,come and listen to what He's done.
Praise our God for He is good.
Praise our God for He is good.
Praise our God for He is good.
Praise our God for He is good.He has done for me,He has done for you,He has done for us.
Come and listen,come and listen to what He's done.
Come and listen,come and listen to what He's done.

Word of God Speak-Mercy Me
I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay
The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say
[CHORUS]Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to seeYour majesty
To be still and know
That You're in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak
I'm finding myself in the midst of You
Beyond the music, beyond the noise
All that I need is to be with You
And in the quiet hear Your voice
I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay