songforanewday

Knowing You, Meeting Me

Juuuuust one more thing…

Hmmm…how to begin? This post is going to be a bit different. For one, I’m pretty sure it will be shorter. Nice and sweet and (almost) straight to the point. Ready? Here we go…

When last we met in this virtual coffeehouse of sorts, I told you about a few things: two of my best friends, the way I don’t like depending on other people, and how God is using both of those things to teach me more about myself. I want to continue that conversation with a bit of an add on.

Remember that scene from almost every sci-fi or geek movie (yeah….that’s another thing about me – I am EXTREMELY geek)? You know the one…our hero steps into the seemingly blank space and out of nowhere thousands of shelves of (insert object here) appear for the choosing? Yeah…that scene. I was thinking about my tendency to get into my own way because of my desire to do things on my own all the time. Sometimes, that messes things up.

For example, my laptop charger was on my desk which was closer to my husband than to me. Yes, it would have been easy to ask him for it – especially since he could see what it was tangled up in – but, it was just as easy (because, it really really wasn’t) to do it myself. The result? I reached, but not far enough and down came a toppled mess of stuff. Like I said, he could see the solution to a problem I didn’t even realize existed (ooooh….DEEP!)

Here is my point – and where that movie scene comes in – what if God wanted to take us into a room filled with all the amazing blessings He has for us? All the plans? All the awesome…but we just keep getting in our own way because we want to try and find the room ourselves. You know that room. You’ve seen that room. It looks like a sheet of printer paper. You can’t find the door or a window or anything to get in. You just have to follow the plans of the One guiding you there.

So, to any of you, and maybe one of you in particular (cause, gee, I think you’re swell), who feel like they’re behind on the plan, let’s go back to Psalms 37 (this time, verse 23), “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him”. If God is ordering your steps, all is well. You know how to follow in the footprints. So, take a breath and then take a step, one by one by one….

….ready? It’s go time.

❤ Mo

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Lesson Learned

 
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future

Jeremiah 29:11

I use that verse a lot in my writing. Today, it hit me in an entirely new way. I am a planner. This is something that isn’t news to ANYONE who knows me – especially, my husband and two of my best friends (Priscilla and Melody, also organized planners – I love them so!). I like when things are in order and in place. I get migraines when things are in chaos. Those who have seen the second Tinkerbell movie will understand why my husband says this to me all the time, “Fairy Mary, why are you counting?”

What can I say? I like plans. 1 Corinthians 14:33 is an often (mis)quoted verse that people like to sum up as “God is not the author of confusion”. This is true, but not the reason I OBSESS over my plans. Yes, I said that right. MY plans. My organization. MY order. So often I get so caught up in what I have to do – or think­­ – I have to do, that what really is important gets lost.

Another thing to know, I don’t do dependence…not very well anyway. Someone will ask me how they can help, and even if I tell them, in the back of my mind I’m always creating a contingency plan for when they don’t come through (hey, we’ve already established I have trust issues).  It makes for a very busy, very complicated way to spend my days.

Did I mention, I also do this when it comes to God? Didn’t think so…

I told this story on my old blog, but I’ll give a brief synopsis here. Almost two years ago, one of the two aforementioned bffs, Priscilla, sent me a text message – “God says this is for you, John 16:24, ‘Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.’” Ok, fine. So, I started thinking of things I thought God would want me to ask for, and I thought of the ways I could tell God, “that’s ok, I didn’t want it anyway”, when He said, “no”.

Since then, God has been changing the way I pray and changing the way I view myself in His eyes. So, I went from presenting my business plan to my boss to taking a wish to a Daddy that asked for it. I don’t view God as Automatic Prayer Dispenser who exists to give me what I want like On Demand programming. But, He loves us and desires to take care our needs AND (sometimes) our desires. My (ironic) life verse is Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart”. When your heart is aligned with God’s, your desires for you are His desires for you, so He desires to give it to you anyway.  So, when my Heavenly Daddy couldn’t get my attention, He sent my best friend to ask me, “what do you want?”

It took 18 months for me to begin to answer…at least in the way He was looking for (I want *this* just because).  I’ll tell that story later…when we get to the end of it. Anyway, even as I was asking and praying, not presenting a business plan (this is how my prayer will benefit You, God!) I was expecting to be disappointed and/or ignored (told you my life verse was ironic). Even as the pieces fell together I wasn’t expecting God to come through. Recently, all that has changed…but that’s not really what this is about…

Back to the verse from the very top, Jeremiah 29:11….I was thinking back on the journey of how my life has changed since this whole thing began. I was thinking about everything I’ve learned and how my prayer life has grown and how I’ve grown and how I’m more brave than I used to be and how I believe that Philippians 1:6 is true – being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. If all my prayers had been answered on my schedule and in my planning timeline, I would have missed all this. I would have missed out on all the growth I’ve had, all the tears I needed to cry, all the times God spoke, everything.

I would have missed the entire lesson for the sake of scheduling the class.

Does that make sense? That’s how I feel. I feel like it was so important for me to do this in a certain order that I failed to remember the point of going to class is the lesson!!!

I still like my plans. I still LOVE my handy dandy pocket secretary of a phone. I love my planners and office supply stores still make me happy. But, I get it now. None of that is more important than time with the Teacher who wrote the course book and knows what’s coming at the end of all of this. I couldn’t handle today’s lesson yesterday because I didn’t have the proper foundation. I wasn’t ready. Today, I learned what I’ll need to be ready for tomorrow. One day, I’ll be ready for everything God has for me. Then, we start over with something new. Until then, I’ll keep studying, keep working, keep showing up for class knowing that He will always be there ready to teach.

Pencils ready….aaaaaand….go!

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Brave Words

 

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I last updated! I hope the month is starting off well for you all.

Today, I want to talk about words – well, duh. That’s pretty much all we do here. We read and write words. I’m not talking just any words; I want to talk about bad words. Well….one bad word.

Daddy.

I didn’t realize how much that word still hurt me until this past Sunday. We were in the midst of an amazing worship service when our dutiful and awesome worship leader sang, “What kind of father would hear his children cry and turn away?” She was trying to convey the nature of our perfect Heavenly Father. That makes sense. However, I can’t even explain what that did to me. I lost my footing so badly that I pulled a muscle in my right leg.

My family likes to believe I’m holding onto anger. That isn’t true. The fact that my first memory is of the day my dad left? Yeah…that is true. It doesn’t make him a bad guy, just human. And regardless of who was at fault, I didn’t talk to him again until I was 14. Suffice it to say, Daddy became a bit of a bad word to me.

I can remember people telling me that God was my father and that I would be ok. And, to a very large degree, that has proven to be true.

That is, until I pull away.

How many of you know you can’t run with a pulled muscle in your leg? So, when the message of the day came from Joshua 1:1-9, I couldn’t do anything but sit there and listen….and cry…a lot (which I don’t really do anymore).

Be strong and courageous.

That is mentioned three different times within that passage. I will be with you. “But, what if I feel all alone?” Be strong and courageous, for I will never leave you or forsake you. “But, what if people don’t like me?” Be strong and courageous.  “But…what if my own family doesn’t want me?” Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous!

To say that an omniscient God knows things I don’t is a gross understatement. But, what I have come to realize is that since all my battles have already been won for me, I have nothing to worry about.

In my bedroom is a singing Doc McStuffins Doc and Lambie set (the parents and babysitters of the Disney Junior generation and will follow me. The rest of you….pretend). My husband and I bought it for our 5 & 6 year old daughters. It’s theirs, but, they can’t have it yet. They have to work for it first. I want a clean room and chores and good behavior before it comes out of the box. In the same way, when I ask them to do something new (like when we moved out of Pennsylvania), if I tell them not to be afraid, it’s because I know what waits for us. I know what’s at the end of the journey and I know they will love it when we arrive (which all four of them did).

God isn’t asking me for my bravery because He’s planning to push me into a battle with a wet noddle for a sword, He asks because He knows He is with me and because He knows what is at the end.

I suppose this was more about bravery than my bad word. But, in a lot of ways those two things are connected. My past makes it hard for me to trust people. But, my God gives me the strength to.

Did I mention, though I started  writing this earlier, the end of my day was kinda awful?  Be strong and courageous.  

Ok…fine. The alternator on my car died on the highway, but I will be strong and courageous. I sometimes feel like I’m being passed over while my friends seem to get blessed all the time, but I will trust that You are with me. I have no idea what to make of anything You are doing right now, but I will remember that You will never leave me or forsake me. You are faithful when I am faithless so I will trust that you will get me from this….these battles and into my Promised Land. And, I will sing Your praises on the way.

I’ll keep the rest of you posted on the details…

~Mo

 

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