Saturday, July 24, 2010

All Night All Day...

My childhood is sometimes spotty. One thing that I do remember well is singing the song, "All night all day, angels watching over me my Lord." Do you know it? It's a sweet song, comforting, especially since it came right before the prayer, "If I should die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take!" WHAT??? I love the idea of being nice celestial beings...not stalkers! You know what I like even better? Now that I know Jesus I have learned that He is watching me. I almost cried (really I probably did cry) the other day when I saw what that looked like.

I have girls. I love doing nails and hair. Not to make them perfect, I just find it fun. Right now my nails are blue. I must give a shout out to Jo because every time I look at my toes I think of you! You would totally dig the color. It's blue in some light and purple in another...anyway...I finally had a taker on dance class. I really think Julia would be good at dance, so I asked her if she'd like to do a dance camp to check it out. She's rather reserved and she declined my offer. Her sister, however, thought that was SUPER exciting and wouldn't let me rest until she knew she was enrolled in Tinkerbell camp. It was this week from 10:00-11:15. I didn't love having to be somewhere everyday at the same time, but what can I say? I'm a team player. The recital was on Friday. It was PRECIOUS! I'm very thankful that my Mom, 2 sisters, 1 brother-in-law, husband, nephew, and other 2 children could make it to watch her spin and hop and jump.

Y'all, it was no swan lake. She was a bit nervous and didn't really do the stuff like her teacher said, but I thought it was AWESOME...why? Because SHE is awesome. She is mine! I had the camera on her the entire time. Just sitting there, doing nothing. I didn't want the other kids in the frame because she was the one I was there to watch. She was the one I came to cheer for. She was mine! Everything she did was adorable because she was trying (sort of). Her little bun and tu-tu...her face! Sweet!

Then the Lord whispered to my heart. "Ali, I watch you like that. You are mine. You don't do it right but it brings me joy to see you." I must be honest, I've been riddled with fear. I've been out of the Word and avoiding prayer (WHY do I do that???) and I've just been downright afraid of what the future could hold for us. I'm scared that I might make decisions that would make God unhappy, because maybe they wouldn't be spiritual enough. Example: "Would God be mad if we moved into a house that had a little bit more room?" Um. No. Or "Will God be mad if we want to live closer to Mom and Mike's work?" Um, probably not. Paralyzed I tell you! Frightened that my PERFORMANCE will determine His love for me. Y'all, Ella is not an incredible ballerina, but my heart was full to overflowing watching her! That really is how the Lord of heaven and earth looks at me. He rejoices over me...and you...with singing. He never sleeps, He never slumbers...He will let no harm come to me. He has loved me with an everlasting love and has every hair on my head numbered. Because of the perfect performance of Jesus Christ...I'm in! I belong to the One true living God whose being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth are infinite, eternal and unchangeable! Praise the Lord.

I don't twirl when I'm supposed to. I certainly can't fly through the stars like a graceful fairy should. Yet there is still a treasure for me. Just like those little girls got to dig through the treasure chest for their treasure, I have One as well.

Every day I have an opportunity to dig in the treasure He has for me everyday in His word. Everyday I get to marvel at the creation that reveals His glory. Every night when I lie down to sleep, God watches over me. It's true! He is my treasure, and you know what the crazy thing is? Because of Christ, I am His.

Dance, ladies, dance! You might not be the best ballerina, but you are His.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

9 Foot Sunflowers and 1 in faith

"I got 9 foot sunflowers out there." Mike was on the phone with his Mom. I'm thankful for the pleasure in the conversation. There was a brief pause, "No, I didn't do anything. I just put em' in the ground."

My heart stopped a little bit in the realization of that statement. "I didn't do anything, I just put them in the ground."

"What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe---as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters in anything, but only God who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded acording to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building." 1 Corinthians 3: 5-9

I heard it preached on Sunday and it was as though rain was literally falling on my parched and thirsty soul. My legalism can certainly get the best of me and I can cheapen grace with the best of them. When I see fruit in my life I think, "God is SO VERY LUCKY to have me on His team. I am probably the MVP or at least the Most Improved!" Then when there is no fruit and my temper is quick and my mouth is foul (from the darkness of my heart) I wonder if I'm even saved. "How could a dirty wretch like me even believe for one second that Jesus would have anything to do with me?"

Then I hear things like, "I just put em' in the ground." and in seasons where my faith is the size of a smaller than usualy mustard seed, I am relieved. Really? Could that really be true that any fruit on the vine of my life, or those around me is there because God is the One? What a relief. Then there are the days when I think, "Well, if He's going to be the One responsible for fruit...why am I slaving away like this?" Here's the thing, I do need to tend the garden. Mike didn't just throw the seeds in the ground and hope for the best. He sort of did that, but he also made his own soil "cocktail" and watered every day sometimes twice a day. He inspected the garden for bugs and checked for fruit daily. He did not however, produce the fruit. Hmmm.

There are so many things about God that I know without a shadow of a doubt are true. My life, however, says otherwise. I am so very thankful that my ability to believe the truth doesn't change the fact that the Truth is the Truth. And the Truth is that it is God who makes all things grow. We can pull the weeds that would choke out the fruit. We can tend the soil and water the roots, but when it all comes down and those 9 foot sunflowers just keep growing. All we can do is be amazed...just like everyone else.