Saturday, May 28, 2011

In Sight of Beauty

Dear Father,

You messed up my plans this morning. My first plan was to sleep. I have a big day ahead of me, a day in which I must have strength, energy, and alertness. But, at 4:00 this morning I was awakened for no apparent reason. Though I tried to return to sleep, it has been evasive. I must now rely on You, Dear Father, for the physical, mental, and spiritual strength to carry on today.

When sleep eluded me, I decided to research some of the things I've learned in the past two days, things that will have a profound impact on my family. Instead, you lead me here, and I wept. I confessed. I repented. I prayed.

You stirred up the desire within to hear Beethoven's "Moonlight Sanata". I listened, and I wept. I was convicted, my heart caught in the web of your gentle grace and love.

I have avoided You of late. For that my heart is in sorrow. It is to You alone I must cling, in You alone I must hope, for You alone I must live. Yet in recent months it is myself for which I have lived. I have allowed my vulnerability to be hidden, my heart to be masked by a lack of discipline. I have confessed and repented over and over again, yet closeness has remained elusive, and I have been at a loss as to why. But this morning You gently chastise and show that there is no one thing or time that was the beginning of the slipping. I simply allowed myself to be lead away and enticed by the lack of discipline that so easily entangles. I have drifted away from You on a sea of distractions, deceptions, and misplaced priorities.

The husband You placed in my arms, for whom I have been ungrateful, of whom I have taken advantage is now awake. It is now time to remove the ear buds and allow myself to be surrounded by the haunting melody, my entire being embraced by the music, my heart enchanted by Your grace and mercy. Let it wash and refresh me as it carries the Blood of Forgiveness to my heart. Now the Hand of Your Spirit gently scrubs away the filth, the death, the sin, and resurrects me once again.

I'm sorry I allowed myself to drift away from You. It wasn't fully intentional, but in honesty I must also admit that neither was it entirely unintentional. I became afraid of the closeness and allowed myself to take one step backward, then another and another. My eyes were still set on You at first, but somehow, without even being fully aware of what I was doing, I turned aside. Not 180 degrees away. I had allowed my course to become parallel to Yours, and I could still hear Your voice giving direction, yet my course was no longer Yours--not really. I continue to receive Your confirmations that, again by Your grace alone, the big decisions made in the last few months have been the right decisions. But I don't want to walk in these new adventures without holding Your hand, without feeling Your heartbeat, without hearing Your breath.

Bring me back to the closeness with You I once knew, and even beyond. Let me ever be diligent and alert to my missteps. Forgive me for allowing myself to be so undisciplined and for taking You, and those You have placed in my life, for granted. Thank You for leading me in spite of myself. Thank You for giving me exactly what and who I need in my life. Thank You for graciously loving me despite my ingratitude and complacency. Thank You for the path of conviction and repentance that lead to righteousness. Thank You for showing me how to slow down this morning and breathe in the intimate details of life. Let me ever live in the sight of Your grace, in the sight of Your live, in the sight of Your beauty.

It is in the Name of

Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, that I humbly and boldly ask these things.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Morning Musings

If any of you follow me regularly at all you've probably noticed that I don't post nearly as regularly as I used to. There are several reasons for that, some of them might even be considered good reasons. As with most people, time is a premium commodity in my life. Sometimes I simply have too much going on to take the time to lay down and write a blog post. (I say "lay down" because I'm usually laying in bed with my laptop when I blog. Heehee!) I am not someone that can crank out a post in 15-20 minutes. No, I'm a perfectionist, so it usually takes me an hour minimum because I have to reread it several times until I'm satisfied that it's right. Perhaps I should allow the ocassionul mestak so y'all can see that I really am human, and not a robot. But then it will eat at me until I fix it, so I think I'd rather not do that.

Another "reason" ("excuse" is probably a better word) is that sometimes I don't feel like going to all that trouble. I really feel that I need to take the time to organize the blog better, put ads up of companies I actually support rather than allow the random Google rabble, put up pictures, make it look better, etc. I'm not very good with delayed gratification, so it can take a monumental effort for me to do something I don't feel like doing. Yes, I know, it's stupid and undisciplined. Like I said, not everything in this list could be considered a good reason.

Probably the main reason, and really not a good one at all, is that I've given in to discouragement regarding the blog. The response has been smaller than I'd hoped, I haven't followed through with all the plans I've made through the blog, and I listened to whispers that said, "Who am I to be writing spiritual lessons?" However, after a surprise word of encouragement from my neighbor last night, I felt convicted. She told me that I have a voice, and that my blog has ministered to her on several occasions. She reminded me that even if the response is small I only need to touch one life, and I have touched hers. I was humbled, thankful, and did I mention convicted? After Todd crawled into our bed and woke me up at 5:00 this morning, I realized that I was wide awake, and that once again I would not be going back to sleep. So in trying to decide what to do with my time I thought about the blog and what my neighbor had said. God reminded me, "Despise not the day of small beginnings." I did mention before that I felt convicted, right? Well, God had laid the double whammy on me, so I decided to blog this morning, and I made another decision: I need to treat this as a job, even if it never pays. Before I sift through facebook posts or read a bunch of informational articles, as much as possible, I need to spend some time every day building up my blog, even if I don't post anything. My tendency is to think, "I'll do ______ first. It won't take me very long." (Fill in the blank with some form of procrastination, be it facebook, or email, or read a blog or an article or two, etc., etc.) Of course I end up losing track of time, and before I know it I'll have wasted an hour or more. (What was that I said about not having enough time? Oops!) So this will be an exercise in discipline. I had lost sight of the fact that it was with God's leading that I started this blog, so for me to neglect it equates to disobedience. So with prayer and humility, I will start blogging regularly again. Probably not everyday, and maybe only once a week at first, especially while we are in the middle of moving, but regularly just the same.