Tuesday, May 15, 2007

lost change

My Lord Jesus told this really awesome story (parable) about a lady who lost a coin...well, here, it's short so I'll print it for you:

The Parable of the Lost Coin * Luke 15

8"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' 10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

I am so much like that lady. When I lose something I can drive myself and my poor family crazy looking for it. I have been known to "sweep the house" and stay up late looking for certain things. Like one time last year I lost the grocery money. (oops, Dave, didn't I tell ya?) This was especially bad because we keep a cash envelope for groceries and that meant things were going to be real tight until the next paycheck. I searched for it with such intensity. I yelled at myself too, "Did I actually lose the grocery money?!" I couldn't believe it!

Well last month I lost a very rare and valuable coin. Only this time it wasn't money. This time my "coin" was a teenager that my whole family has bonded with and grown attached to for many years now...this particular coin is a person who planted a tree for me in the yard, who gave gifts to and spoiled my kids, someone we love very much, care about and even spent some of our well-protected "family time" with. You get the idea. The truly sad thing is this coin was not only lost, it ran away.

When this coin got lost...I had such an intense reaction. I surprised myself how driven I was to find this lost one. I did things that, because I'm shy, don't come naturally to me. Things like make phone calls (all my closest friend will tell you this is NOT normal for me), talk to school officials, even talk to the police. Things I didn't really have the "right" to do. Then I thought, "Hey, I'm like that lady in the parable about the lost coin." Even to the point that when the coin was found I wanted call people and rejoice! (of course due to confidentiality sharing this joy with others was not appropriate)

The only problem is, this coin didn't want to be found. Not yet anyway. So I continue to intercede and pray for this one...and encourage the family as much as I can. It's sad and difficult and we all feel a real hurt about this.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

My Mom

...with tomorrow being Mother's Day it's only fitting to say a little word about my Mom. I love her, that's a given. But what really stands out about my Mom for me right now is how she teaches me to try new things. She's always game to try something new, like one year when I was volunteering in an orphanage in Honduras she joined me there and we spent Christmas with the kids. And lately she has made new friends and goes on adventures...like interviewing for a new job. And hiking! Suddenly she likes hiking and I so admire that! How cool are you, Mom?!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

being there

My kids loved Disney's "High School Musical" when it came out and one of my favorite songs from the show was about getting your head in the game. It is a catchy tune on its own but at the time it really described the challenges I face as a wife and mom.

I remember thinking, I've got to get my head in the game! I felt too distracted and stretched too thin, and my family was suffering for it.

Oh, most of what I was doing looked real good to others, you know -- things in church, working with youth, volunteering at the school, meeting after meeting, & the occasional things "just for me." I was running fast, spinning my wheels, feeling stressed and getting old too quickly.

When gradually I felt that longing to seek out a better life. Not just for me, but I knew the ripple effect of my choices would be great. I felt that tug on my heart to get my life re-focused on Jesus, and put Him first, again. And again. At the time I was studying James and read about the "double-minded man, unstable in all he does." And I thought, "That's it! I have got to get single-minded!"

Seeking God and reading His word, I just couldn't deny how clear it was that my husband and children are my ministry priority. Everything else, including church and community, get my "left-overs." And God gets the glory in my dedication to His priorities. As much as I like to make other people and myself happy, it's really His approval I'm looking for.

Now before you accuse me of backward thinking, be reassured that following His guidence has resulted in some of the wildest roller-coasters this life has to offer. People think you'll "miss out" when you walk close to God; but I've experienced things like: personal rest, peace at home (I find these are rare here in America), great adventures including international travel, and most of all a growing relationship to the One who gives me life.

Here's that verse I was talking about in the book of James:

1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
Trials and Temptations 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.