Wednesday, April 25, 2007

no complaints here!

Today I was kicked out of the house.
Last night I asked my husband what we were going to do on his day off and he said,"No,you tell me what you are going to do?"
"I'm kicking you out, woman! That's right. You are not allowed to come back to the house until you have had a wonderful day all to yourself. I have plans for the girls and I and they include you being out to enjoy some time off."
Oh, how I love this man. Have I mentioned lately how much I love Jeep. I love him so. If there were any doubts before...this is the clincher! lol

I drove myself to the mall with thoughts of "What am I going to do?" and then as I rolled to a stop at the intersection, I cranked up the tunes, unrolled the windows and laughed, "What aren't I going to do? Yahooooo! A day off! I am highly favoured above woman! Yahooo!"

Since I'm relying on God to change the habit of complaining in my life over these next 21 days I contemplated how I was going to work on this while I was in the mall...alone....did I mention ALONE! In case anyone missed it...ALONE!!!!! I was completely by myself...or was I?
Nope, I wasn't. The presence of My King was tagging along and I had to say that I was quite grateful for it.
I spent time walking, searching for deals, trying on clothes and enjoying the people and places around me. Bursting from my heart was an overwhelming sense of thankfulness I have towards God and His goodness. He is so good. He is just so good.
And you know what else is good? New clothes! Oh yeah. And I spent 45 minutes in Ardene's picking out ten necklaces for $10 dollars. I tried everyone on ahead of time, I was fussy, I was picky, I made sure everything was to my liking. Do you know when the last time I've done that is? Hmmm...never!
But, here I was, in the mall with nothing but time to spend on being frivilous.And that's when it hit me.
I was being frivilious, and carefree and downright silly with my time.
When I shop, especially when I am with my kids, I can be a bit of a supermarket-nazi. I have a printed list, I have a map planned in my head of the best way to go through aisles, I am efficient and I am purposed.
Not today! Today I got to be free from care.
And looking back over the days events I see now that God really designed for this day to happen. The bigger message He was sending me was, "Allie, rest in me. You don't have to have a written list or a prepared plan with how I am going to change your habits. Just enjoy the journey, crank up the music and have fun."

oh happy day!

Should have posted yesterday but couldn't. Here is what yesterday yielded in the 21 days of Reformation to no more complaining.

The sun was warm, the day was hot
Such perfect timing for picnic walk
Jeep was home;the girls were ready
to run and play and get all muddy
Life is bliss
Drenched in a kiss
of joy from my own King
All day long
My heart sang songs
Of thankfulness unknowing

Please check out Lisa K and Nikki's blog on my friends link sidebar. They are on the journey of reformation too and it would be great to encourage them with comments.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I'm the King of the castle...and the rest of you are way down there

Romans 12 says " For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you."

As I'm surrendering the habit of complaining to the Lord, Romans 12 has hit me today like a ton of bricks.
I've realized that so much of the complaining I do stems from my perception of who I am...more bluntly, of who I think I am in comparison to everyone else.

The complaints in my head are only evidence to this: why can't I do that....when are Jeep and I going to be able to...How come everyone else can get the picture. So, my point is this: A lot of my complaining comes from a position of pride in my heart.

I'll admit it: I think I'm better than a lot of other people. I think I'm more deserving than a lot of other people. I think I'm the greatest and therefore feel that everything in my life should reflect that.
Uh-oh, did I just say that out loud? I did. I'm ready to bear the reality of those words.
A lot of my complaining has consisted of comparing my life to someone else's life OR to the disgruntled revelation that no one will ask "How high?" when I say "Jump!"
I have allowed my heart to become full of pride. I have had a pattern of thinking of myself more highly than I ought. I have taken to thinking that I am better than any other human being and that I deserve certain things because I've known God for x number of years, etc.

So, how do I move forward from here. God doesn't leave me hanging...the second part of Romans 12: 3 says: but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." What is sober judgement? Well, literally (dictionarily speaking) it means a sane and not too emotional opinion formed objectively, authoritatively and wisely especially in matters affecting action.
How can I judge myself? By the only standard of truth that there is--God's Word. And His word says that I am not think of myself more highly than I ought, and it also says that I should laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down. Get along with each other; don't be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody.
Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it." (Romans 12:14-19 MSG)
It's not for me to judge others, but to judge myself.
Thank you for showing Your goodness to me and Your kindness to me today. You are wonderul and pure and completely confident in Yourself and Your ability.
I ask forgiveness for complaining about my life and more specifically thinking of myself more highly than I ought.I have been wrong. I have judged other's success and blessings as futile and stupid because in my heart I have been jealous that it wasn't me. You've displayed you kindness to others and I have chosen to find fault with You because of it. I am sorry, Lord. Please forgive me for my complaints. Lord, I choose today to laugh with my friends when they have success. And not to turn to You and ask You "why you haven't been faithful to me like You have been faithful to them." Instead, teach me Lord to ask, "How can I rejoice with them? Show me Your goodness in my life--remind me of Your faithfulness in the situation I am in now. Keep before my eyes the goodness of Your love towards me and keep me ever confident in the knowledge that You alone are worthy to be praised and that everyone, me included, will one day bow before the only King of Glory!

The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. Romans 12:3 (MSG)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Jeep green

Allie sat at the computer punching the keys of her computer keyboard. She knew instinctively that she was being watched. It was a presence behind her. She tried to remain calm and nonchalant as she pretended to continue working on her blog.
Without hesitation she turned quickly and looked over her left shoulder.
She caught him.
There sat Jeep, her handsome husband, gazing at her.
“I thought you were supposed to be getting ready to go to sleep? Don’t you have to get up at 4 am?”
He nods, but remains unhurried and continues to stare.
He shrugs, barely. A small smile pulling at the left side of his mouth.
She looks away quickly and then back at him.
His mouth has now turned into a full smile.
“I just love you. Just love watching you be you.”
She holds her breath the same way she did on the day he first held her hand. She thinks quietly to herself, “Does life get any better than this? Do I even realize how crazy blessed I am to have this man be with me every day of my life?”
A smile pulls at her lips. Could anyone know how she felt? Sure, God put two people together but more often than not, she found herself thinking that she had gotten the better part of the deal.
It’s worth it, she thought to herself. It’s worth it to love him recklessly and to trust him with my heart. It’s hard, it’s tough and some days I want to be mean and hurtful, but it’s worth it to choose love before pride, hope before hurt and grace before blame.
“Why are you smiling?” he asks.
He nods.
She turns back to the computer screen and smiles as she becomes aware that she is once again being watched.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

If you were coming to my pity party...nevermind

I wanted so badly to have a pity party today. I did.

I went out for a walk to mope and to think thoughts of how my life was unfair and stalled and going nowhere. I wanted to chew on the idea that I am not reaching my potential, that no one understands me and that I need more things in life to make me happy.

Truly, I wanted to do this. I even started to.

But then I remember what I already know.

God is good, and His goodness is always working in my life. I can try and find fault with my life but the truth is my life belongs to Him. He is in control of it and He will move me wherever He wants to move, however He wants to do it.

I've been listening to Graham Cooke lately and on one of his teaching tapes he talks about a time the Lord spoke to Him and said, "Gray, it would be a real kindness to me if you didn't whine about your problems today. It would be a real kindness to me if you just left them with me and trusted them to my care." I thought about this as I watched the pavement underneath my feet and listened to the kids playing tag down the street.

In some parts of my brain, I think that I've become bored and I'm trying to complain about my life so that I have something to do. I mean, honestly, I live in North America--how hard can life really be. Even if it's the bottom of the barrel, I still live in one of the most comfortable nations in the world.

And then my spirit speaks "Hey, you know that if you start whining you will eventually reach the point where you surrender it to God and you will praise Him for His goodness. Why not skip the next emotionally-charged 20 minutes and go straight to the praising part? It's where you end up anyways."

And it's true. I do end up there. Because I don't have bad days and I don't have good days. I have days of grace. And some days there is grace to enjoy the day and other days there is grace to endure. But every day there is grace and it is sufficient.

I am choosing to be kind to God today and not whine. Not because I think He wouldn't listen or care...I know He would listen, and I know He cares. I just know that as I mature in Christ there comes a day when you put your grumbling aside and go straight to the praising God for His goodness. And for me, that day is today. A day filled with grace.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My heart is overflowing with a good theme!
I have been thinking about God's favour. It really stemmed from watching the film One Night with The King (see earlier post). I re-read Esther. What a great book-especially in the New Living Translation. What caught my attention, in particular, was two things:
1. How Mordecai was honoured for spoiling a plot against the King and 2. Esther's entrance into the courts to ask the King to spare the life of the Jews.
The latter had Esther entering the courts with a resolve of "if I perish, I perish." She had spent three days fasting with no food or water and praying. Three days with no food and water. That's pretty intense. And then she prepared herself and went before the King. And, as the royal decree goes, if you come before the King uninvited he has every right to kill you. You will only be spared if he extends the golden royal scepter to you.
This makes me think of God's favour. How we come before Him, into His presence and how He extends His scepter towards us. How He welcomes us. The joy that His heart has at seeing us, just as King Xerxes was thrilled with the appearance of his queen. King Xerxes was so excited to see her that he promised Esther up to half of his kingdom--the Persian Empire! That's a lot of kingdom. And what was Esther's response? Come have dinner with me and then I will ask you. What a queen! Here is the King offering her anything she wants, and she asks for intimacy. She asks for relationship. She asks for the privilege to serve him. What a queen! How I desire to be like her before the throne of My King. God grants me His favour. He answers me with yes and amen. To what my heart can believe and receive by faith, He will give me and I inherit His kingdom in the process. Oh, that I would answer my King with the wise words of Esther: I just want You, my King. I just want to dine with You, I just want to know You more. I just long to serve You with kindness and refresh You with my love.
O Lord, I prepare my heart to come before Your throne. Grant me Your favour, extend Your royal scepter to me, and let me ask you to come and speak with me. Ymmmhmmm...I love you Jesus!
Thoughts on Mordecai still to come...time permitting.

Friday, April 6, 2007

fine dining

I love dinner!
Dinner, especially with my two little girls, is always full of laughs. Tonight I thought we would do something a little different.

My daughter is on a big tiger kick. She loves tigers, crawls around pretending to be one (dear Lord, please don't let her become a cat person-ecchh!) So, tonight we had a picnic on our floor and ate dinner like tigers.

It wasn't a truly authentic tiger meal as we had salmon with mustard and chive sauce, dinner bread and a spring salad, but it was suffice. In order to eat like tigers you can not use utensils, this proved to be most hilarious when we got to the salad part. Visual aid: lettuce hanging from everyone's mouth! Haha!Drinking water from bowls was also very interesting.It made me very glad that we were having a picnic on our kitchen floor. It was another fine dining experience in the Williams household and I'm always grateful to have a meal that is a memory maker, and this defintiely was a gr-r-r-reat one for that.

The song that is stuck in my head today is : I Wanna Have Your Babies by Natasha Bedingfield. Great tune. Check it out.