Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sticky Persistence

I am so amazed at the entirety of all that I have been challenged with and learning lately. I'm not sure I can really explain it. But I have this blog. Therefore, I will try. :)

At my Thursday morning Bible study, we have been studying the topic of heaven all summer long. So, as you might imagine, we've spent some time looking into the book of Revelation. At the same time, my husband has invited me to join him on his journey through Daniel (via David Jeremiah's website), which I don't ever remember understanding before. And so, through that, we have spent much time studying and discussing together prophecy and end-time things. In the meantime, I was given a book by a friend called Nine Days in Heaven, in which the narrator describes in detail her nine-day vision of heaven.

So through all of this I have been challenged with various thoughts, not the least of which is the idea of God preparing His people (including me) for heaven. Making us ready for the whole completeness that we will have, not to mention the pure and true fellowship we will enjoy eternally with our Savior Jesus Christ.

And through all of it, He seems to be impressing on me in a very real way how NOT ready I am to experience ALL that heaven has to offer. Don't get me wrong. I know that I know that I know that I will spend eternity with God in heaven because I believe and have surrendered my life to Jesus Christ as the Forgiver of my sins and as the Lord of my life. But I believe that, in this world and in heaven, He has more prepared than I can even begin to imagine. And I am starting to think that I will be even more prepared to enjoy it to the full if I trust Him here on earth to give me that life that is truly life. Trust Him even with the details and frivolity of the everyday. So He has been making me thirsty. For more than Diet Coke and iced tea. And He has been making me realize how truly unsatisfied I am with what's not Him. I'm realizing that He doesn't let things like great bargains and good tasting food satisfy me because He wants me to want more. And to realize that HE is the only "more" that can satisfy to that depth. Truly.

Sure, I still find myself wasting the occasional minute (ok, hour or more!) on Bejeweled Blitz or facebook or wandering around Kohl's or Wal-Mart aimlessly looking for an unbelievable deal. But God is starting to show me how unsatisfying these things are compared to what's real. The things of Him. Like spending time in His Word. Or just hanging out with my family. His voice is starting to become louder than the call of Kohl's and facebook.

Unfortunately, I am a s-l-o-w l-e-a-r-n-e-r!!! So I don't always respond to His voice in a, shall we say, timely manner. But I am SOOO thankful for His persistent, sticky mercy and patience. Please, Lord, don't give up on me!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Takin' a Good Look

Ok, so I just read this in Haggai because of a little insert in our church bulletin yesterday . . .

"Take a good, hard look at your life.
Think it over.
You have spent a lot of money,
but you haven't much to show for it.
You keep filling your plates,
but you never get filled up.
You keep drinking and drinking and drinking,
but you're always thirsty.
You put on layer after layer of clothes,
but you can't get warm.
And the people who work for you,
what are they getting out of it?
Not much --
a leaky, rusted-out bucket, that's what.

That's why GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies said:

'Take a good, hard look at your life.
Think it over.' "
from Haggai 1 in the Message

Yep, that's totally been me. Wasting money on all kinds of stuff just because it's a great deal. (Man, how I love a good bargain!) And wasting time on whatever I think will help me relax and enjoy life if even just a little. The thing is, it is fun. And I can brag about all the good deals I got (including my $3 shirts and $7 pair of jeans, not to mention all of the amazing Goodwill finds! But I digress . . .), but if I really take a "good, hard look at (my) life," I have to wonder what I really have to show for all of the money I've spent. Well, ok, maybe I have some cute clothes, but Clinton and Stacy would almost definitely make fun of me for wearing most of them, especially since they were all on clearance when I bought them. And, yes, I do have a new Bejeweled Blitz high score (104,000 -- thank you very much!). But, I seriously think that compared to walking in true and constant fellowship with Jesus, those things are so empty. Even the refreshing glass of ice cold Diet Coke (gulp, gulp, ahhhh!) doesn't quench my real thirst.

Now, I am definitely NOT saying that Bejeweld Blitz is evil. Or good bargains. Or even Diet Coke (although, I must admit, I have my doubts about that one). I'm not even saying that God doesn't want me to enjoy these things when I get the chance. But I think that in the midst of mommyness and figuring out ways to give myself special "treats" in the day-to-day, I've gotten lost in justifying myself. I think I started falling for the lie that I NEEDED a Diet Coke to refresh me or even some cute new clothes at an amazing price to give me a little "pick-me-up". I know I probably sound like a bit of a radical. That's ok, I guess. I don't really want to be a radical. I just want to live that life that Jesus came to give me. I don't want to miss out on it because of being so distracted by things that don't even come close to measuring up.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


When I planted the seeds in my garden almost three months ago, I had no idea how successful it would be. I was just excited when little sprouts came out of the ground! But oh the thrill of seeing seeds become sprouts, which then became plants, which grew into vegetables. And now -- we're eating it!!! I love it. And I can't believe how amazing fresh-off-the-vine zucchini and yellow summer squash tastes! Not to mention the cucumbers and carrots. You can actually taste the difference! (I'm excited. Can you tell?) And I just got in from picking tomatoes and corn. Our first of the summer from the garden! Maybe we'll have them for breakfast. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Satisfaction And Then Some

My senior year in college, I read the book Perelandra by C.S. Lewis. It's one of the very few books I think I could read over and over again , although I have yet to do so. But I digress...

There is one scene in which the main character, the narrator, I believe, eats some fruit from a tree. And the fruit tastes better than anything he's ever tasted before. So absolutely satisfying, in fact, that he is exactly that --- satisfied. Truly satisfied. And he doesn't want anymore. The flavor is more amazing than anything he's ever experienced, yet he does not want more of it.

I remember being so struck by the idea of being so satified that the idea has stuck with me ever since. I still remember the discussion in Dr. Mark Cosgrove's class. I even wrote a paper on it. And here I am, 15 years later, blogging about the very same topic. I think it has so greatly affected me because I've always longed for such satisfaction in life. The kind that needs no more. Wants no more.

Well, lately God has been reminding me of His promise for full life. So I've taken Him up on the challenge. If Jesus really came so that I could have life, the life that is truly life, to the full, then He is even better than the things that I love to have and enjoy in my life. Things like Diet Coke, and getting a really great bargain, and Pottery Barn, and great new clothes, and chocolate! Sounds crazy or stupid, maybe. But I think He's up for the challenge. I'm starting to believe that He's as good as all these. And then some. So here's the journey to find the "and then some . . " that He's offered. I hope you'll enjoy the journey. And find some for yourself.
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