Thursday, January 26, 2012

Learning what I already know

This past month has been an adventure of sorts for the two of us.
Andrew has not been able to eat solid food since before Christmas. We're still not completely sure what the issue is. The muscles seem to be getting better so hopefully soon we can see what kind of work the teeth need to solve the real problem. It's not a bone issue though, so that's good.
His intense daily pain. Finding food I can puree for him to eat. Trying to make sure he's getting enough of what he needs each day. Feeling completely helpless.
Currently he is in withdrawal from the pain meds. So he is both in pain as well as dealing with feeling horrible.
And day after day he reminds me "This is the best thing for us. If it were not we would not be going through it."
Finding joy in God period has finally found it's way into my heart through this.
Again dealing with something that is out of my control. Having to completely trust God. All of a sudden something clicked.
Last fall the youth went through the study "the blazing center" which was basically a study through John Pipers Desiring God. I was introduced to the fact that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." hmmm. Sounds good. I tried to wrap my brain around it. I did a bit.
Our pastor continually talks about this. I hear it all the time. Nothing else can take His place. My joy cannot come from circumstances. I've heard parts of it my whole life. Other parts were new.
For many years this has been one of my favorite verses:
" Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them." Psalm 139: 16
I thought I knew what it meant, but did not fully grasp it.
But this time, something came together for me.
I could choose to be miserable because our attempts to start a family were on hold.
I could go around complaining that our life is just horrible because once again we are dealing with a very out of the ordinary illness that may never be explained.
Or I could realize that God is wiser than I.
That my life is never in my control, and this was just a magnified picture of this.
I could choose joy. His joy. I could truly, really realize that God is who He is by His very nature and have that bring me His joy, His peace, confidence.
And I did.
It's a constant battle, but it's also an amazing feeling. From Him.
And in the car a couple of weeks ago I told Andrew that God was teaching me things I already knew. My head knew them. My heart didn't quite grasp them. It wasn't my reality.
I've now thanked Him for this season. For things that seem to my humanness painful, horrible even. And He has turned pain to joy. He can do that!
His grace is Huge.
Choose joy in Him!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

God is good. Period.

God is good!
How often do you hear someone saying this when everything is rosy in their world? "I got a new car! God is good!" "The test came back negative! God is good!"
What about when the test comes back positive? Guess what? God is still good!
God's goodness is not based on our circumstances. It's part of His unchanging nature. His goodness is not something He does, it's something He is.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. ~James 1:17

When you can't open your mouth, and are in continual pain and the doctors are not sure what is going on: God is good.
When you are trying to start a family and don't understand God's plan: He is still good.
Andrew reminds me daily right now as it's hard to keep the right perspective "this is the best thing that could be happening to us." And it's true.
He is good and we can take joy in that.

But as for me, it is good to be near God. ~Psalm 73:28

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Beyond what we can imagine

Little Girl Friend has a great imagination. During lunch today she said her toast was an elephant. There was also another girl who knocked on the door and came in and looked just like me and had my name. She could tell us apart because one of us was cute and the other adorable.

God tells us He can do more than we can as for or think. More than I can imagine. That is an amazing promise!
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us" Ephesians 3: 20
I really need to be reminded of that right now. I can imagine my husband being healed. I can ask and pray for God's provision, wisdom and help in this season. But God has an even greater purpose.
As a song I was listening to a lot in the car today by Jars of Clay says (out of my hands)

There’s nothing in my life, nothing in my life

That you haven’t given to me

I think we like to attribute all the things we see as good as coming from God, but not all things. Not all things that are good are pleasant. But they are still from Him as as He is my loving Father, I can joy in that and trust Him. Which is something I am still learning.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Resting is hard work

I've been having conversations with others and God on this subject.
Resting and trusting are so hard to do! I don't know about you, but to me, when I think of resting I think of the end of my work day getting to sit down, or a lovely day off like today when I get to spend time with a friend going to the farmers Market.
But, that is not the picture I get when I read the instructions on resting in the Lord:

Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you
~Psalm 116:7

David tells his soul (his mind, his will, his emotions) to rest in the Lord. It's a decision. He chooses to rest. He also reminds himself of how God has dealt bountifully with him to get him where he needs to be.
Jeremiah 6:16 also says:
Thus says the LORD:

“Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

There is rest in following His Word.

For me this is a constant battle. I am very grateful He is on my side!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Thankfulness in the Morning

I was prompted this morning during my quiet time to write something I am thankful for each day. I've found lately it's easy to focus on the negative and not on all the blessings He has poured into our lives.

My verse from this morning: "for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." Philippians 2: 13

I also find it interesting that the next verse says to do everything without complaining or arguing.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A fresh start.

I truly am feeling the freshness of the year and am full of ambition for change. I don't know if I've ever really been this way at the start of the year.
But, after going back and forth a bit with my eating habits and *ahem* eating "just a little" Christmas baking and chocolate, I am getting back on track with a vengeance and the scale is already telling me it's paying off.
The Man gave me an IPhone for Christmas (!!!!!!!!) and I found an ap that is helping me to count calories and track my work outs. It's really helping and I'm loving it!
I'm eating a lot more raw fruit and veggies and watching my portions. Portions are a big piece of the picture.

So, the other day a friend posted this on facebook. At once I wanted to do this! Of course yesterday I stayed in all day-it was freezing out and I had a lot to do at home, it was nice to just stay home. But today I found the needed items and I'm kind of excited to start! I've decided that each day I'm going to write a scripture from my quiet time as well.
" And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. " Philippians 1: 9-11