My Fab Fam

My Fab Fam
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Friday, February 28, 2014

Thoughts from a hospital room:

Can someone tell me why, at any given time, I have at least three inspirational books going? And it will take me months to finish any of them! But give me fiction, a biography, or an autobiography, and I will neglect home, family, and sleep to finish it in a few days. Never mind, I just answered my question: THIS is why I usually just read inspirational.

It is ten o'clock at night. And I am sipping on a cold cup of old coffee even though I'm dehydrated and needing--and wanting--water, simply because the old, cold coffee tastes good. I think this is a real addiction. Legal, perhaps, but not necessarily okay. 

Did you know some hospitals actually have good food? I have already taken home one recipe from the hospital cafeteria: January Salad with spinach, grilled chicken, red bells, oranges, barley, and balsamic vinaigrette. Today I had another awesome dish I want to try recreating:


And, last of all, the subject that has been on my mind most lately:  fear. Why is it I am anxious about the girls jumping on the couch or not sitting in their dinner chair properly, but I am pretty chillaxed when big girl hops on a 5-feet-tall horse? Is it possible that at some point you max out on the fear scale and simply can't register it anymore? The fear is too great; so, like a bad experience that has a hold on your emotional development, you bury it and try to pretend it isn't really bubbling down in the core of you. Or, if I'm really not bothered by the prospect of falling from said horse, why does far less bother me?

Fear. It's a strange thing. It is a fraud. A ploy of the enemy to make us doubt God's strength and provision and protection and presence. 

As I speak the morning blessing over our girls, "May the Lord bless you and keep you...Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or discouraged; for the Lord your God is with you, wherever you go...God does not give you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind..." As I speak it, I think, and sometimes say, "The enemy wants us to be afraid. But if there is no place God isn't, why should we fear?" 

God is God is love and "Love drives out all fear." 

God is here; so, I will not fear. 

At least that's how I want to be. But, honestly, I am riddled with fear. And that is how I know I have not been "made perfect in love." 

I John 4:18
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

I realize I have a lot more to learn about love--both the One Who Is Love and the act of love. I want to love well.  And I want Love to drive out my fears.

Perhaps one indicator of the health of our relationship with our heavenly Father (also known as "Love") is the presence or lack of fear. Love drives out fear. And God is love (I John 4:8). So, the closer we walk with Christ, the farther away fear stays. He drives it out. We are either in His presence, subject to the power of the Loving Master and protected by the One whose very presence drives our fears away...or we are wayward, wandering about the fear buffet, tasting this one and that one, unwittingly becoming addicted to the old, cold food of the enemy until we are subjects to fear. 

Which one are we feeding? Which one gets more attention from us each day? On which do we focus? Our relationship with Christ or our fears?

Preaching to myself tonight.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Just Give Me Straight Up Jesus

So, I am almost always "enrolled" in some Bible study.  Right now I am linked to a group of local women (through Facebook) who are committed to doing Beth Moore's 70 day devotional, Whispers of Hope.  I'm about twenty days behind.

And I have noticed a pattern developing as of late.  I used to enroll in Bible studies and, even if good motives turned to impure motives (like, "By golly, I am going to finish the study if it KILLS me, because I am NOT walking into class without my homework finished!"), I would finish the study strong.  But now, no matter how hard I TRY (and yes, I am intentionally emphasizing "try"), I can never finish a Bible study.  This has been going on for at least a year.  And it's taken me about that long to figure out why.

About a year ago I was in a study, of course, and remember saying that when the study was over I was not going to sign up for anymore studies because I felt like I just needed to read the Bible.  No commentaries.  No testimonies.  No fluff.  Just God's Word, alive and active, speaking loud and clear over all the noise, with no possible interference from even my most beloved and trusted teachers, like Beth or Max.

But, then I was afraid.

I feared that if I didn't have something to keep me "committed," then I wouldn't stay in the Word.  So, I kept signing up.  Only, ironically, I couldn't stay committed.  Not to the studies anyway.  I found myself, every time I actually did sit down for quiet time, just opening up the Bible.  I was craving Jesus, but I didn't want to hear from him through someone else.  I just wanted to hear from Him.

So, here I am again.  In this 70 day commitment, totally not committed, but just now realizing it is okay.  Not okay to drop commitments, and therefore, I will try to restrain myself from signing up for any more studies in the near future.  But okay that I am craving Jesus.  Just straight up Jesus.  No additives.  No ice.  No stir stick.  Just Jesus.  The Living Water.  I am thirsty and He is what I'm thirsty for.

And, without even realizing it, I have done the same thing with my girls.  We used to try to read devos in the morn and then a Bible story out of one of their Bible story books at night.  But now we just lie in bed, still and quiet, and I read a chapter straight out of the real Bible, in the dark, from my phone's Bible app.  No storybooks.  No devos.  Straight up Jesus, straight through His spoken word, His light shining in the dark.

And tonight, one of the sweetest things happened.  I finished reading chapter 4 of Proverbs and immediately went into prayer.  When I finished, I turned to each of the girls and kissed their heads and E, my oldest, said, "I just about fell asleep."  And G was so near sleep that she didn't stir, let alone speak.  And I thought, "This is exactly as it should be, falling asleep in Jesus' arms."

It is refreshing, this new simplicity I've found.  And I wonder, once again, why has it taken me so long to find it.  To find Jesus?  He says His yoke is easy, His burden is light.  I think sometimes we just make it all too complicated.  In the middle of our devotionals and classes and commentaries and trusty books, He is there.  But He is still.  And we are crazy in our search for Him.  And He just asks us to be still.  And the search is over.  He is right there.