Monday, January 30, 2017

Hide-n-Seek

Ninety eight, ninety nine, one hundred. Ready or not here I come!! And off I would go to find my friends who were hiding from me.
Let's see. Under the bushes? Nope, not there. I know. Behind the house? Geesh. Not there either. I'd ponder again. I've got it now!! They are crouched behind the car. Dog gone it. That wasn't it either. I would search everywhere my mind could dream of, but just couldn't find them.

Then, I'd hear it. That coke can would go tumbling down the street and I knew they had gotten to home base and kicked it before I could seek them out. I'd get frustrated because once again, my search turned up nothing.

Whew. I'm so thankful that when we look for our Father, our exploration isn't futile. When we search for Him, He can always be found by us. When life is hard, and we are desperate for answers, He provides them.  When we are exhausted and come to Him, He gives us rest. Over and over in His Word, He assures us of the promise that He will be always be available for us.


"But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul."
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭4:29‬ ‭ESV‬‬

"I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me."
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭8:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord."
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:12-14‬ a ESV‬‬

He isn't hiding out with the intention of not being found. He has so much to give to us. So much instruction. So much comfort. So much counsel. All we have to do is search...diligently...with all of our heart. He can be found.

There's no playing hide-n-seek with the Lord.  Yes, He wants us to search for Him and seek His plan and His ways.  But, He always lets us win when we play.  Isn't that just like Daddy?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

#middleofthenightponderings


When I was a kid, my momma used to say I could sleep through a freight train screaming on a track next to me. I slept sound. Like a rock. Even in college, with all of the "goings on" in the dorm around me, I slept plumb through the night and missed most of those shenanigans. That was probably a good thing!

Fast forward a few years, and the scratching of my newborn daughter's tiny fingernails on the sheet woke me. And she was in the next room! I remember talking with my grandmother and telling her I was so worried I wouldn't hear my baby cry at night. She told me not to fret, God gives you just what you need to be a Momma. Love how the Lord did that for me. Oops, I digress. Back to the sleep story.

Nowadays, a night's sleep isn't quite what the same as when I was younger. Neither are the days for that matter! For various reasons, sleep often alludes me and I find myself wide awake when the world around me is quietly resting.

It's not that my heart is anxious, or my mind is running laps, this girl just doesn't sleep well many nights. It's ok, because I've learned to make good use of that time. I could just scroll through social media feeds, or mindlessly flip channels on the tv. We all know that doesn't help you fall back to sleep and all of that drama could surely cause anyone's heart to be unnerved.

Instead, I have lingering, heart to heart talks with Abba Daddy. Now that my eyes aren't quite what they used to be, I bought a large print Bible. It's the Message version which is perfect for conversing. The large print is perfect for my sleepy eyes.

My heart begins to ramble over my day, my kids, my babies, my friends, my love, my neighbors, my country...well you get the idea. As my heart pours out to my Father, He speaks straight back to me through His Word and the promptings of Holy Spirit.


So many times, He brings people to mind and we will talk about them and I'll read something that I know is just for that person. I'll often text them the next day just to say "I'm praying for you". It amazes me...although it shouldn't...that they needed those prayers at exactly that time.

Those ponderings, in the middle of the night, while I'm wrapped up in my quilt, His Word open before me, and my heart mulling over things with Him. Ahhh...I wouldn't trade them for the world.


"I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me."

‭‭Psalm ‭16:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Grow


Wait. Be still. Listen. Watch. Even though these are all passive sounding words, they require action on our part. I'm a "let's get things done" kind of person. I don't do well with "let's just wait and see" how it'll all turn out. I don't like the unknown either. I want a plan for the steps ahead. One. Two. Three. Check. Check. Check. 

Funny, just because I want things a certain way, doesn't mean they will turn out that way. As always, when I'm pondering over something and what will unfold, and planning it all out in MY mind, the Lord reminds to be still...to wait...or just watch and see what He is doing.

Psalm 37 in verse 7 tells us to not only "be still", but also to "wait patiently for him".  That is so difficult for me. Nothing gets done while I'm just sitting around. Or does it?   Psalm 33:20 says "Our soul waits for the Lord".  The Psalmist says the very depth of his being waits for the Lord.

Remember I said those words were actually action words? Be still doesn't just mean physically, but also spiritually. Turn your mind off of your thoughts and on to His plans. In Psalm 46, verse 10, we are told to be still, and to "know" that He is God.  When I'm still, am I allowing my mind and heart to know...really KNOW...He is God?  

Although you can't tell it by the plants at my house, I have a degree in horticulture. Growing plants and watching them come to full maturity was so exciting for me. I would get pretty impatient waiting for them to "do their thing" and bloom or come in to their mature foliage color. I worked part time at the campus greenhouses during college, so I saw these plants on a daily basis. I would water them, prune them, turn them, and care for them.  It seemed like they would never bloom. Some days, I couldn't tell if they were even growing!!

But, as I was learning in my botany and physiology coursework, even though we couldn't see the plant growing, it was constantly changing. Cells were elongating and dividing. The pigments for color were being laid down. The chromosomes were all lining up for that plant to be just what it was supposed to be. Even though I couldn't see with the naked eye what was going on, I had to have enough faith that if I continued to care for them, provide them sunlight and water, that they would mature and bloom. You know what? They did. I Nothing prettier than an entire greenhouse full of mums in the fall or poinsettias at Christmas. Such a grandiose display of our Creator through His creation.

And this is how it is with us. Waiting. Being still. Listening. Watching. He is at work in us growing us at the cellular level, preparing us to bloom. We can't hurry the process, but we can do our part. Still our hearts and minds. Wait to see what is next and not jump ahead of God. Listen to Him through the Word and His promptings. Watch...watch to see how we grow. Growth that took place while we were being still and waiting. Growth that took place because we were listening. Growth that took place because we chose to place ourselves in His greenhouse and leave the results to Him. Will you choose to be still and wait...patiently...with me...and grow?