Friday, January 22, 2010

Windy Day

It is a blustery day in Texas. My goodness, driving home I had to strengthen my grip on the steering wheel. It felt like the wind would blow us clear off the road! This Texas turbulence has been so noticeable at our new home, perhaps due to the great lack of trees. There is nothing to cut the wind out here in this former farmland.

Inside our home, we are sheltered from the blowing, but constantly reminded by the flapping of air vents. Agh, so annoying, especially at night! I'm sure in pioneer days this was prime dust bowl territory. Boy am I glad I didn't live here back then.

There is a small lake, hmmm, scratch that. There is a large pond as you come into the neighborhood that is rocked by this wind. Often we see white caps rolling in the water and a white foamy froth along the shore. David got a remote control boat for Christmas. He was the only adult that received toys along with the kiddos this year. I love that! They took the boat out for its maiden voyage and decided to try again on a calmer day. It must have been a SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY day. :)

Last week I was driving home right at dusk and it was unusually calm, peaceful, tranquil. The little lake was like glass and reflected a gorgeous Texas sunset. I had to stop. It was breathtaking. The sunset AND it's mirror image in the stillness. In that moment I was reminded of my theme for 2010 - Sit and Listen. And I thought, maybe one reason God is asking me to be still is that He is more clearly reflected in my life, when I am less frenzied...when I am at rest.

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face.
And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah,
our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful
as God enters our lives and we become like him.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Who Am I? My first speech for Toastmasters

Being the good student that I am, I looked up the instructions for the Toastmasters Ice breaker speech and came up with this question…who am I?

Then I thought - You all know me,
You know I’m David’s wife
I’m my kids’ mom
I work part time here at Shoreline

But maybe you didn’t know that I am also
Miss TEEN North Dakota 1987, yes…and I DO have a tiara!

My pageant experience came back to haunt me last year when David put together a video for my 40th birthday. My mom saves everything, so she supplied David with lots of great material for this video including VHS pageant footage.

My birthday video was precious and many of you were a part of that, thank you!

But in the week following my birthday, David was up late one night and I heard this sneaky laughter coming from our home office. He had been scheming to get this footage on Facebook and was finally successful. I had to get up out of bed to see what he had done to me!

Sure enough, there I was, my sweet idealist 16 yr old self singing Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match and of course, crying when they put that crown on my head.

I had already been defending myself at home. Our boys asked, Mom, why did you have an afro? Well, actually that’s not an afro, it’s a perm and everyone had big hair in the 80’s!

Now it was out there for all our Facebook friends to view. And they did.
I felt a little exposed.

I watched as the comments popped up…all 28 of them…I defended my hair, I defended my expressions, and finally I defended my tears and I quote myself:

“spend a weekend in rehearsals and interviews...getting just a few hours of sleep....put yourself out there to be judged...excited, exhausted...then someone puts a crown on your head...YOU"D CRY TOO!”

I’m not sure what motivated me to put myself out there to be judged but I had been doing this since 1st grade. Piano recitals, vocal competitions, talent contests. Why would anyone submit themselves to this?

and yet here I am today in this very moment being evaluated….AGAIN

I think all humans are prone to this. We are constantly evaluating each other. We watch American Idol and we wait to hear what the judges have to say about each contestant.

We critique. We judge. We evaluate. We compare.

One of my favorite children’s books speaks to this tendency. Max Lucado’s You are Special. I remember the first time I read this book to my boys. My throat got tight and my eyes were welling up with tears and I was trying desperately to make it to THE END without completely falling apart.

It is a beautiful story about embracing what God says about us.

In the book there are little wooden people called Wemicks, all created by the same woodcarver, named Eli. Each Wemick has a box of gold stars and a box of gray dots and they spend their days giving each other these stickers. But there is one little Wemick who is the exception to this rule. The stickers don’t stick on her. What’s her secret? Each day she climbs up the hill to visit Eli. Everyday she is reminded of what HE says about her.

This is the truth - I know people are watching me. I know they’re listening to me and that is one reasons why I’m here today. But I also know that I’ve spent way too much time hungry for gold stars and way too much time lamenting each grey dot. Allowing other Wemicks to tell me who I am.

So, who am I?

There is no panel of judges who can answer that question

The only TRUE answer is found at the feet of Eli.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sit and Listen

My parents are great gift givers. My Mom gave me a beautiful necklace this year that says "mother...daughter...friend" It is a treasure and will remind me of her love and our friendship for years to come. My Daddy bought each family a devotional book that has been ministering life and peace to him over the past year. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I love relational gifts like that!

This week in the devotional I was reminded of the story of two sisters, Martha and Mary. I was challenged by Jesus to do the "one thing" that is needed. Ha! One Thing? I don't know about you but in the beginning of this new year, this new decade, my mind is full of things I need to do. Things I desire to do. Things that should have already been done. How do I settle into this ONE needed thing? I'm not sure, but I think I will make it my theme for 2010.

Read it for yourself in Luke 10:38-42

Poor Sister Martha gets a bad rap, but I think she was really a lovely girl. It was Martha that opened her home to Jesus. It was Martha who made the preparations that HAD to be made. Martha was a get-it-done kind of girl! To be truthful, I wouldn't say that I'm a get-it-done kind of girl. My mom - yes. My sister-in-law - yes. Me - sadly, no. Hence my list of things to finally get to this year! Still, I don't think it was the task at hand that was Martha's downfall. The passage says she was distracted by these preparations. Jesus said to her "you are worried and upset about many things." It was Martha's posture not her position that got her in trouble.

I think our natural tendency is to become more and more like Martha. My heart longs to her Jesus say "Lynn has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." How sweet would that be? So what is this better thing that Mary chose? Mary sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said. Sit and Listen. It sounds so simple, like it is not a hard thing Jesus is asking just, sit and listen. But in the swirling to-do lists of my mind it feels as hard as granite.

Practically, what do I need to accomplish this one thing? Well, how about a chair? A nice comfy chair. A little quiet, maybe? That would be nice. And my eyes and ears tuned in to the Words of Jesus. Jesus promised to be with me, and he is IN me. The only barrier to his presence, to the place at his feet, is in my mind. The veil was torn! His words are Living Words waiting to be heard fresh and new with each turn of a page.

Of all the things before you this year, all of the good things, needful things, things that have to be done...don't loose sight of this one BETTER thing.

Sit and Listen.