27 September 2009

Come and Meet with Him

God woke me up early yesterday morning. That's right. 7:30am on a Saturday morning. Baby was still asleep, hubby snoozing next to me and my eyes drift open to the tune of a well-loved worship song playing in my head, "I'm here to meet with you, Come and meet with me." Something stirred inside to tell me this wasn't coincidence. We had a full day scheduled and I had some Bible studies I was behind on. If I wanted to get caught up and have some solid studying time, God was letting me know this was the time to do it.
"Oh but sleep sounds nice, too. Can't I just sleep a little longer?"
"I'm here to find you, reveal yourself to me."
I know the song is typically presented to God, but this time it was coming straight from His lips.
I resigned.
Pulled my feet over the edge and stumbled into the office. I began my first study. There were questions. I had to answer questions this early? It's a Saturday! Sigh. I want to have my heart in this, but I just don't even know where to begin with answering this question. What is the author looking for? I don't see it. And this pen - this stupid pen just won't work! Maybe another pen. Get up, go to the other room, find a pen I know works. Yes, that's bett- oh blasted pens!!!
"Stop, child. Stop trying to write."
"But I have to answer the questions, remember? This is my homework."
Ooooh. Ouch. That was the point. God should never be my homework! Bible Study is work, yes. It's done at home, yes. Calling it homework isn't bad in and of itself, but regarding it as such with the drudging attitude one sets aside for syllabi-induced reading or papers put off to the last minute. That's not what God wants from us. Oh, yes, he can still speak to us in spite of our attitudes. Case in point. I was sitting in His presence, but I didn't long to be there the way I really should have.
I've had more than one busy friend in my lifetime. Wonderful girls with whom I adore spending time, but girls who may not be the best at prioritizing. Everything and everyone is number one on the list. So time is divided between everything and everyone and while I so looked forward to the time I was allotted, I also felt a little gipped, really. As though I was allowed so much time but no more because then they were off to the next pressing engagement. I needed to make the most of my time because it was limited. In the end I always began to feel boxed and just wanting to say, "If this is the best I can get from you, nevermind." Was it too much to ask to be someone's priority? To have someone say, you're worth my time - however much time you need.
And that's what God wants from us. He wants our time. It's not good enough to just give him the first time slot in my day. Because in the end it's just that - a time slot - a limit on God and what he can speak to me that day. A - "here, God, you can have this much time but no more, I have things to do." Not something I looked forward to eagerly or was willing to shove other things aside for, but something else on the list.
God doesn't want that. He'll take what we give Him, that's for sure, and He'll use it, no doubt about it, but He wants so much more. He wants us to long to be in His presence. To lose track of time because we are so in love with Him nothing else matters. He wants to be our passion. Day in, day out. Our every breath. So that when I'm not curled up on the couch with His Word He's still forefront in my mind. I'm still spending time with Him even as I leave the Bible Study in the office and head out my front door. That's what He wants.
His desire is to be our desire.
Forgive me, Lord, for my failures. Thank you, Lord, for the grace of a second chance. Every day.

25 September 2009

Take Me Back

It is said that our sense of smell is the strongest tie to emotions. It is true when I spritz on a certain bottle of perfume I recall the college years, Sunday mornings driving to the tiniest town in Oklahoma to attend a down-home solid service in a tiny white church. Another bottle takes me to my first year of marriage, in our tiny bathroom, sprucing up before my husband comes home from work.

But music does the same thing for me. I can put in a CD (yes, I still live in the stone ages with my CD's!) and be instantly transported. Yesterday I played my first Kutless CD - not my typical song style of choice these days, although still well-appreciated. In a moment I remembered the week I first listened to the CD - summer break, at home alone for an entire week! Blaring the music from my parents' DVD player - dancing in the living room, working on a photo project. I recalled a semester in Russia, a dear Russian friend who would listen to any American rock, no matter the subject, wondering if he ever took to heart what the words meant. Did the music I let him borrow plant a seed? Will I ever know? Images came to mind of driving to that same tiny church conjured in my perfumed memories, singing along with another dear friend by my side, joining in the concert.


It was almost to the point of danger in my driving - I felt as though I was barely present in mind as I drove along gliding from one memory to the next. Who needs photo albums when music can carry all of my memories on one disc?

18 September 2009

Life Comes at Me

"Sometimes I feel like this world is just one big gigantic merry-go-round
You gotta hold on tight or you get hurled through the air" - Michael W. Smith

Welcome to my life! It's crazy-go-nuts around here lately. I truly thought that my summer was filled to the brim and that, surely, with the implementation of some semblance of a schedule come fall things would slow back into their normal routine. Oh how naive a girl can be. It is only now I realize the brim my summer reached was that of a 6oz. juice glass. And now? Now my life is a Route 44 from Sonic and it's still overflowing! But don't get me wrong, it's overflowing in the best possible ways. I feel stretched and pulled from every angle but every angle is a good one.

I started college classes again (when I say "classes" I mean it in the singular sense, really, but it sounds better when said as a plural - trust me). I honestly did not foresee this being an issue. I thought - heck, it's free (loves it!), I liked doing homework (shut up, I'm a freak), being the student, not the teacher, discussing literature with others, what could go wrong? And all those points are true. I DO love it for ALL those things - what I forgot to factor in was two out of my three free days of the week being tied up, needing a baby-sitter for a certain beautiful baby girl (I have a friend who is wonderful, by the way!), said baby girl's lack of napping skills when in the presence of others, thus wreaking havoc on her schedule and beyond that, let's review - it's now been three years since I left school. Not too long you might say? I laugh in your face! The first paper came around and I realized I was WAY out of practice. The only thing that kept me sane was remembering this class is for "fun" - I have nothing hinged on this grade. Breathe.

And homework - seriously, who doesn't stop to think that a literature class would require the reading of, I don't know, literature! Oh . . . right! I love to read, truly, I do, but at this point in my life, due to time constraints and my love of spending time with my husband and child, 100 pages a day doesn't exactly make it into my repertoire . . . until now. And I would remind myself of the point learned in writing the paper, except that I really do want to read it. Sigh. So I do.

I have gotten to the point where I literally sit down on Sunday nights, mind spinning with all the things I need to get done for the week and I make a spreadsheet. Seriously. An excel spreadsheet to schedule my life. I didn't think I'd be at this point for a couple of years when I had tiny tikes whose schedules of dance classes, Awanas, and sleepovers would begin to trump mine. But no. I have purple cells for naptimes (hers, not mine, sadly), in which I need to perform those tasks (like dishes, showers, you know) that don't work with an awake child. I have scheduled time for e-mail, Bible studies, homework, dinner (and, no, this blog wasn't on the schedule, call me a rebel). Oh, life. (and oh, life as a semi-anal-retentive nerd.)

All the while I keep promising myself, "It's just for this week! Next week will be better . . ."

01 September 2009

Dig in!

In a weekly Women's Bible Study we are currently reading through "A Modern Girl's Guide to Bible Study" by Jen Hatmaker (recommended, in case you're curious) in an attempt to encourage us all to work toward a daily meaningful encounter with God's Word. I will confess, I am one of the prideful ones. The ones who read this book thinking, "[Wo]man! Have I got this thing figured out!" The ones who read with a little smirk at the cute anecdotes of those who have failed in this struggle. And then I get daily knocked to my rear, remembering, "You're not perfect, either, sweetie. Who was the one who just last week couldn't be bothered to pick up her Bible again because she just didn't 'feel like it.'?" Oh, whoops.

But on to my point. Today Jen (I speak as if she and I have a daily intimate conversation, as if she would just call me up and say, "Hey, Ang, how's it goin'?" When we both know that's not happening) asked us to look at Hebrews 5:12-14, "12For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil."

The wording there in verse thirteen, of those who are "not accustomed to the word of righteousness" left me with a mental image not of an infant dining on liquids, but of a scavenger hungrily searching for tiny morsels to fill his belly. He crawls around skittishly on the floor, seeking out any crumb or particle which may have fallen, entirely unaware of the incredible feast laid out on the table above. He is more than happy to ignore the fact that these crumbs are falling from the mouths of those who have chosen to partake of the gastronomic riches above and that he, too, should he choose to stand and join the adults at the table, could have more than enough to satisfy his hunger. That's what those of us are who choose, rather than imbibing in the deliciousness of God's word daily, to attend only weekly Bible Studies or church services. We sit in our pews (or chairs for the more modern), graciously lapping up the tiny bits dropped for us, assuming that's the best we're ever going to get. While there in our laps lay the divine feast God has laid out for us, which we choose to ignore on a daily basis. Sad.

"All of You is more than enough for all of me, for every thirst and every need. You satisfy me with Your love and all that I have in You is more than enough."