Thursday, February 7, 2013
As a non-believer in Christ, we all begin on one side of a swinging pendulum. Lost, blind, deaf, a sinner in need of a savior and yet already loved deeply by Christ, as He patiently waits for us to come His way. Satan is just fine with us hanging in the balance uncomfortably in this position. He doesn't have to do too much to make us trip and fall because we are usually wrapped up in own own selfish desires, vainly attempting to satisfy the insatiable flesh.
When we finally accept Christ as our savior and feel the weight of the burden of our sin lifted as it is forgiven and the inexpressible gratitude for the hope of eternal life we begin to look around and feel compassion for the lost. As we center ourselves, mid-swing, in Christ's perfect love, there is no judgement on others as we ourselves were just as deaf and blind as they. Now given to us is a wide-eyed window to a blameless heart that wants to relieve others of their guilt and condemnation by pointing them to Christ's perfect love. Seeing clearly that sin is the symptom of a love-sick heart that Christ wants to heal.
Unfortunately, this person who was previously ignored by Satan has now become a prime target for harassment because they are getting the truth out. Naturally as a believer we want to know Him better so we learn more and more about God and His Holy Word. Slowly, the momentum builds and we find ourselves unhappily on the other side of the pendulum's swing. Knowledge puffing up, judgement and pride begin to separate us from others. The lost and even other Christians fall under our scrutiny as Satan whispers in our ear unloving words. Somehow we forget that it was nothing we did ourselves but Christ's sacrifice on the cross that saved us. We foolishly begin to compare ourselves to others, monitoring our christian walk and others, often forgetting that we are all sinners in need of a savior everyday!
It is our goal as Christians to stay Christ -centered and balanced by remembering we are no better than our very worst forgiven sins. We are all in need of love and acceptance and compassion. Reaching out to the lost because we want to lift their burden and introduce them to the love of their life!
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Fast forward to Brady and I watching a different type of TV show decades latter and you find me still daydreaming about how to be the perfect wife, mother of five and housekeeper. Several years ago when Brady and I discovered the DVR we began recording CSI (that was when there was only one CSI). They had a particularly plot thickening serial killer on the lose in Las Vegas that would create miniature models of his crime scene leaving it for them to find at the crime scene to "help" them solve the murder. One evening after watching that intriguing episode, I had what I though was a brilliant idea!!! To create a miniature model of my own home, identical down to the leopard print throw pillows. Then, I could actually go to sleep easily knowing my house or at least a miniature replica of it was "clean" and picture perfect. No scratches on the coffee table, no marker on the wall, no spots on the bathroom mirror! As I was enthusiastically sharing this epiphany with Brady he, choosing his words carefully, let me know that I might be perceived as just a little crazy for creating another model house just like the one we live in just to sleep peacefully at night.
Okay, okay, I won't become psychotic over my home, I get it! I guess it is time for a brainstorming session... uh let me think really hard, oh I got it, we hire a house keeper! Hallelujah! That was a wonderful idea!!! Especially since the boys were so little and Brady and the girls were so busy! Unfortunately, since I didn't work outside the home and since I feel guilty pretty much all the time (I am the person who feels guilty if I'm cleaning because I should be playing with the kids and when I'm playing with the kids I feel guilty because I should be cleaning the house). I ,of course, began to feel guilty about having someone else clean our house. The biggest reason I felt guilty was I thought I was doing a disservice to my children. I couldn't help but feel I was possibly setting a precedent that the economy or various other circumstances just couldn't be guaranteed for my would-be adult children in years to come. I want my daughters to have the freedom to fall in love with whomever they want "for richer or poorer", knowing they have fully experienced the icky ins and time consuming outs of cleaning a home. That they would never resent their husband for not maintaining the lifestyle they had grown too comfortably accustomed. I want my sons to know how to clean a home as well. I hope and pray their wives will thank me for this one day because to be quite honest it would be so nice to have some professional help around here. It is a sacrifice that I pray will have a pleasant long term return for all of us. I haven't let my kids know that this is why we don't have paid help around here. It is just us, the ones who live here cleaning up after ourselves. However, one day they will read my blog and know. They will know that I loved them enough to make them work and loved them enough to let them see their mama work! Also, they get to hear me say over and over again, "if you make a mess you clean it up," I hope that sinks deep into their soul and carries them through life's messes. I guess we don't need an Alice after all!
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
When Brady and I were first married (almost 18 years ago) I thought "being in love" was about how he made me feel. When he would do something nice for ME I would say with a sigh "I love you." However, what I really meant (even though I didn't know it) was I love me, I love the way you make ME feel. This kind of shallow, worldy, misunderstanding of love I held can't go the distance a lifelong relationship requires. When married life begins to get comfortable and routine, when we quit trying to woo each other, when the business of children, careers, even "churchy opportunities" compete for our attention relationships suffer if the love is based on how I feel. If I put Brady's needs ahead of my own than I am loving him, I love him.
Jesus said all ten of the commandments can be summed up within the first two. Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul mind and strength. Love you neighbor as yourself. Brady sleeping next to me every night doesn't get any more neighborly.
When people say I don't love you anymore what it really means is they don't love what the other person is doing for them anymore. They don't love the way they are making them feel. The older I get and the more I ponder what love really is I have found out I couldn't have been more wrong about love. Love is something you do for another person, it is active, it is a choice. When I say I love Brady it is not about the way he makes me feel. If I love him then I am doing things for him.
I think it is easier to understand this upside down concept in regards to our children. They really can't do much to make us feel loved. But we do things for them unselfishly because we love them and expect nothing from them. This unselfish spirit must be worked into our definition of marital love.
For God so LOVED the world that He GAVE. Not for GOD so loved the world that He TOOK.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Cor. 13:4-7
Sunday, February 26, 2012
She wanted to go bowling to celebrate!
Bailee and her Birthday Tree! It's decorated for Valentine's Day since her B-day is the day after V-day. She has always been Brady and I's best Valentine's Gift!!
I don't remember growing older
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did she grow to be so tall?
Wasn't it yesterday
When they were small?
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears
What words of wisdom can I give them?
How can I help to ease their way?
Monday, February 6, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
When Brady and I lived in Temple, TX he was in his third year of Medical School. We were blessed to have a very low monthly rent by living in the student housing on the campus of the VA hospital. Complete with charming post traumatic stress disorder patients wandering around our door. I could go on but, the point of the story is I would drive through neighborhoods in Temple dreaming of a day when I too could have a yard of my own complete with a big beautiful Magnolia tree.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Brady and I's calves flexing before the 10 mile, 4000 ft elevation change British Special Force designed obstacle course. BTW, when I agreed to join their team the race was only going to be seven miles and I can say those last three miles were TOUGH!!