Monday, November 27, 2006

I have been extremely tired these past few days and pretty down (no, I'm not pregnant!). As I took a hot shower trying to wake up, I realized why I've been so lethargic. I literally have not seen the sun since November 15th, almost 2 weeks! The winter weather in Nanjing seems to be nothing but cold, clouds, and rain and I think it has begun to wear on me. As I prayed for sunshine today so that I might feel more joyful, God answered by reminding me that my joy does not come from a sunny day or a positive situation. My joy, and yours too, comes from Him alone. We can be joyful because of His presence in our lives (Psalm 16:11), because of His Word (Psalm 19:8), because of the works of His hands (Psalm 92:4). For these reasons and many more, we must make the decision to choose joy each day. The phrase, "Rejoice in the Lord and be glad"(Psalm 32:11) needs to become our "morning motto", the first words out of our mouths each day. I know it seems so easy to say, and so much harder to do! But I want to leave you with the words of Habakkuk 3:17-18 and pray they encourage you to rejoice despite your present circumstance. Make these verses personal by changing the words of the first part of this verse to your current situation and then cling to them each day.

" Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior."

I'm off to enjoy the sunshine today, to bask in it's light, and to thank God for this lesson. I hope you choose joy today too!


Saturday, November 25, 2006

It's hard to believe it has been almost a month since I last posted a blog. It's not that I have been THAT busy.....I don't have that much responsibility or that overactive of a social life! I think the reason I have not written anything is because I have been dormant. Let me explain. I wanted this blog to be a site where I could share the things God has taught me or pass on messages from the field trip of life. But somewhere along the way, I got off the road. I don't think I knew I was off the beaten path, I just sort of veered off and kept driving without checking my rearview mirror. At first I didn't understand what was going on, why I was feeling and acting the way I was. When I finally decided to cry out to God, that is when He encouraged me through the mirror of His Word. As always, God didn't mix words. He was very clear about what had happened to heart did not stay on the right path (Prov. 23:19) and I did not let my eyes keep to His ways (Proverbs 23:26). The result has been a dormancy and an isolation; a quietness so to speak. In my quietness there was nothing to say or share either. Thus, there were no blog postings.

I wish I could say I was back on the right track completely. I am working my way back to the main road, but sometimes when you drive off so far in the dark, there are more twists and turns in the road than you realize. But I know that God desires restoration within me, and I will get there. I hope you can understand why I haven't written in awhile. I needed to explain because I didn't want you to think that I don't finish what I start or that I was too busy to write! Thanks for understanding. And please don't feel sorry for me or have pity on me....I don't. There are always consequences for our behaviors and our choices...God has made that clear to me as well.

I look forward to the day when God will fill my heart with new words to share with you. When He does, I'll let you know!! For now, I journey on knowing that all of this will be for His glory and my good. I pray we'll talk again soon.

Kramer-like days

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

If you know me very well you know that I am an addict of the TV show "Seinfeld". Clint and I watched it when it first came out and we still watch all the reruns on TV now. We absolutely love it! The other night we were watching it and it was the one where Kramer, Jerry's nutty neighbor, decided to do everything in his shower -- bathe, talk on the phone, cook, eat, wash dishes, etc. It was hilarious! Our youngest daughter, Abbey, happened to watch this episode with us and decided that she would try to imitate Kramer's way of thinking. She now bathes, brushes her teeth, and fixes her hair in the shower every morning. It's really funny - strange, but funny! I'm not sure why she chose to do that -- whether she is trying to save time or whether she is trying to cram everything in at once. For me, I would do it to save time (trust me, I DON'T do that!). But if I am so busy that I would have to use my shower time to get things accomplished, then I am way too busy! Some days it feels like that though. How do we get so busy? I have learned that whether you have responsibilities or not, your time WILL get filled. I have also learned that the only person that can change that is ME! I have to be the one to say no, to use my time wisely, and to put the brakes on and say enough is enough. I write all this because we are entering the wonderful holiday season. It is that time of year where the tasks on our to do lists are more numerous than the number of hours in a day. I hope and pray that we can all slow down, say no, use our time wisely, and be willing to say enough is enough when things get out of hand. It is possible to do, we just have to do it! Otherwise, we will end up like Kramer and HAVE to do everything in the shower -- and I don't think any of us what that mental picture swimming around in our heads!