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Archive for posts tagged with ‘The Glory of God’


Thoughtfully penned on March 17th, 2014 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life, The Glory of God

I am a runner. It’s true. I don’t currently run long distances and due to the time constraints of our schedules I don’t run often, but I am a runner.

I started running in high school. It was a good way to stay in shape in the off-season (I also played basketball). But equally, if not more, important to me at the time was the fact that my brother was a runner. My brother was (is) my hero, and I desperately wanted to be like him.

One thing I clearly remember from my days as a track athlete (and I use the term very loosely) is pacing. If you start a race too fast you don’t have anything left at the end. You struggle along that last distance as you watch your fellow racers pass you. The goal is to start at a moderate pace saving some of your energy and momentum for a final kick, a strong end.

Right now I am in that closing distance. The finish line of so many things looms just out of reach in the distance. And I am struggling to maintain momentum.

Last week was spring break from all of our activities, and we took the week off of school as well. I hoped the break would refresh, and I would come into this week ready to finish strong, ready to dig in, excited to get back to it.

But I’m not.

As I ran Saturday I prayed for endurance. I prayed that I will finish well. I prayed that at the end of these next seven weeks I can count victory in the name of Jesus. I prayed that each day I will press on, and at the end of the day I will raise my hands to heaven and praise my God because he allowed me to endure.

You see, I think these next seven weeks aren’t about the things I do. They aren’t about finishing the book work and learning to read and knowing how to multiply. They aren’t about preparing meals and doing laundry and sweeping the floors. They aren’t about having the best Bible story and pitching my hymns perfectly and answering all of the questions right.

I think these next seven weeks are about finding strength in weakness. They are about relying on God to take care of the things. They are about trusting that He equips me because He has called me. They are about enduring and finishing well.

Paul was a runner, too; a runner for the cause of Christ.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it…I do not run aimlessly.” 1 Corinthians 9:24, 26

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

Paul is one of my heroes, and I desperately want to be like him.

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A thought for the day

Thoughtfully penned on May 5th, 2008 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life, Quotes, The Glory of God
“The only true way to live in this world, constituted just as we are, is to make all our employments serve the one great end and aim of our existence, namely, to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”

Elizabeth Prentiss, Stepping Heavenward

The reason for this season

Thoughtfully penned on December 5th, 2007 and generally concerning Christmas Time, Learning for a lifetime, The Glory of God

Yesterday I was reading Steph’s post titled Thanks for Sharing and it reminded me of something I heard Sunday evening at our Life Group meeting.

At the beginning of our meeting time we include the children as we sing worship songs and ask a couple of questions. This week’s question was, “What is your favorite tradition this time of year?” One of the girls raised her hand and answered something to this effect (I really wish I could quote her exactly, but the phrasing has slipped my mind):

“My favorite thing is gifts and wrapping the gifts, but even if there are no gifts the most important thing to remember is the real gift, the reason we have Christmas, that baby Jesus came, and that is the most important gift.”

Advent perspective from the mouth of a 6 year old; a reminder we can all use this time of year.

A weekend in review

Thoughtfully penned on August 20th, 2007 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life, Summer Fun, The Glory of God

Saturday I attended a Prayer Retreat where I gathered with about 15 other ladies from my church to spend the day focused on God. The theme for the day was silence and solitude. After a brief introduction to the activities for the day, the silence began. We listened to a reading by Anne Graham Lott (daughter of Billy Graham) and then split off on our own to pray, meditate on scripture, and enjoy the beauty of creation.

As I sat quietly in the shade of a tree reading and praying I was struck by the lack of silence. Yes, there were no cars, no voices, no ringing telephones, no hum of machinery; but when all of those things fade away silence doesn’t reign. There was the song of birds, the sound of leaves falling, the hum of cicadas, the whisper of a breeze through the grass and trees. But instead of the sounds of a hurried life I was surrounded by sounds that filled me with peace, that allowed me to relax, that drew me into prayer at the recognition of God’s majesty. Times like that are hard to come by, the times when I can truly be still and know that He is God.

Our silence was broken when we gathered for lunch, and, honestly, it was kind of awkward at first. It was a bit jarring to even hear my own voice after three hours in which quietness abounded, but we quickly settled into the hum of conversation that is common when women come together. The afternoon was spent in fellowship, sharing about our experience in the morning, group prayer, and taking Communion as a group. It was a wonderful day that I left feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to see Matt and Little.

Not long after I got home this strange wet stuff started falling from the sky; it’s been so long since we’ve seen rain around here that we almost forgot what it was. But when the rain came pouring down sideways it didn’t take long to figure out that we were in for a storm. Thunder and lightning started ripping through the sky, and soon our power flickered and then was gone.

While the rain was coming down hard, Matt took Little out under the carport so they could see the rain (and be in the cool since we no longer had a/c). They walked up to the edge of the area protected by the carport roof and Little enjoyed feeling the water on her skin as the wind blew the rain around. After we’d been outside a minute or so, a huge clap of thunder rumbled through the clouds. I thought Little might be scared because it was such a loud and sudden noise, but she stood there quietly until it passed and then attempted to mimic the sound the thunder made. It was so cute to see and hear her enjoying the downpour.

About an hour after the rain started (5:30ish) we were still without power, so we headed off to find some dinner and a cool place to hang out for a bit. After dinner we spent a few minutes at the bookstore and then headed home because it was getting close to Little’s bedtime.

We were hopeful that the power had been restored while we were gone until we turned onto our road and saw the neighbors out on their porches and driveways. Let’s just say that when it has been around 100 degrees for several days and then your a/c goes out it doesn’t take long for the house to get hot. Matt lit some candles and we sat at the kitchen table (with the sliding doors open) and read until it was too dark to read by candlelight. The day’s silence had returned as we sat quietly reading in a house devoid of all the sounds that are powered by electricity.

The power came back on about 10 (it had been out for over 5 hours at this point). This time when the silence broke I was pleased because it meant my a/c compressor was kicking back on, and we were able to settle in for the night as the house cooled back down to a comfortable temperature. Sometimes I take the conveniences of modern day life for granted, but Saturday evening I realized just how much I would miss my ceiling fans, air conditioning, and electricity if they were taken away.

A 21 day challenge – summation

Thoughtfully penned on July 27th, 2007 and generally concerning Goals, God's at Work in My Life, Satisfaction, The Glory of God, You're moving again?

Oxford American dictionaries list the following among the synonyms for challenge – test, tax, strain, stretch, stimulate, inspire, and excite. When I made the decision to participate in the challenge that Sheryl was setting for herself I had no idea what the next 21 days would hold. That was probably a good thing.

Beginning July 2nd I set out to pray for/about the following three things each day:

1. The words that come from my mouth
2. Our impending move, Matt’s new job, and the sale of our house
3. A new church home in Nashville

I have consistently been praying about the words of my mouth and the attitudes of my heart (because that is the root of all I say and do). Specifically, I’ve been praying the words of Psalms 141:3 and Proverbs 31:26.

Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed (and hope those around me have noticed) a shift toward kinder, gentler words. One particular focus of my prayers was that I would not be irritated with Little for interrupting what I was doing and demanding attention when I was focused on something else. I feel that God has really been softening my heart toward the gift that is my baby girl. When she seeks attention now, I try to stop what I’m doing (if that is feasible) and play or snuggle. As her Momma, I represent security and love to her, two things that she needs that only I can provide. Not that I’ve perfected this or conquered these issues, but I can see the work of God in the area of my motivations and speech. I continue to pray that I will speak words of wisdom, words of edification, words of love to those I interact with, especially Matt and Little.

The prayers about our move and selling the house really stirred things up around here. I’ve spoken about the saga surrounding our non-move in previous posts, so I won’t rehash all of that here; I will mention how God continues to deal with me in this area.

When we moved here two years ago we really felt we were being called to this place for a specific Kingdom purpose. As the Nashville situation unfolded I convinced myself that the lessons we’ve learned regarding what the church should be, how we are to be recognized as Christ followers, and what it means to be “in the world, but not of it” were the lessons we were brought here to learn.

Over the weeks of prayer about our move I was convicted that there is more here that God has prepared in advance for us to do. I felt led to repent of the way I had tried to “take over” God’s plan and decide what it was we were supposed to learn or do here. Now I look forward to seeing how God’s purposes unfold in and around my family.

Through these three weeks my patience has been tested, my emotions have been taxed, my mental capacity has been strained, my faith has been stretched, my prayer life has been stimulated, my hope has been inspired, and I’ve become excited about what the future holds.

Thank you to those of you who have read my posts and prayed for us as I went through this challenge (and the moving situation). And I especially thank our friends (some of whom I know read here although they rarely comment) who have come alongside us in prayer and conversation as we’ve worked through this time of testing.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ~Romans 12:2 (ESV)

When the dust settled

Thoughtfully penned on July 19th, 2007 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life, Satisfaction, The Glory of God, You're moving again?

Sometimes we are led on journeys that don’t move us physically but still have great impact in our lives. We have been on one of those journeys these last ten days.

On Monday, Matt had multiple opportunities open up within a matter of hours. On Tuesday, he spent the day interviewing with a local company. On Wednesday, he met with his current boss. Today, we have come full-circle.

The “for sale” sign is gone. The boxes are being unpacked. We are staying right where we’ve been – in our house with Matt continuing to go to the same job each day.

Physically, we never moved; spiritually, God has used these ten days in a mighty way. We have seen Him move in great and mysterious ways. We have been stretched in our faith and humbled by the plans of God.

I continue to pray that through this we bear witness to the faithfulness and provision of our Lord. And today, I rest knowing that “many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21, ESV)

So here’s where we stand (or sit, as the case may be)

Thoughtfully penned on July 12th, 2007 and generally concerning E, Family, Friendship, God's at Work in My Life, Grandparents, House, The Glory of God, You're moving again?

As I mentioned in my last post, things are not turning out as we had envisioned in regard to our upcoming move.

We were slated to move on Friday, the 20th (a week from tomorrow) and for Matt to begin his new job on Monday, the 23rd. We have a truck reserved, utilities transfers ordered, boxes packed, and are set to sign a lease on an apartment in Nashville on Monday, the 16th.

But now, everything is changing.

The information Matt came across indicated various levels of personality conflict, mismanagement, and incompetence. There also appears to be a huge amount of employee turnover considering the size of the company. In total these factors are significant enough that we began to doubt that things were as good as they originally appeared.

Through much prayer and conversation, we have decided that this isn’t the right position and situation for our family. If the job didn’t require a long-distance move, selling our house, etc, it might be a risk we felt comfortable taking. With things the way they are, it isn’t worth the uncertainty.

Over the last few days we have come to several realizations about God’s work through out this process. From the beginning we have prayed for wisdom, discernment, and that all we did would be about the righteousness of God. I believe this information has come to light in answer of our prayers for wisdom. As my friend Diane said yesterday, it seems like this is protection from the Holy Spirit.

And now, we walk by faith and not by sight. Matt is scheduled to leave his current position as of Thursday, July 19th.

I anticipate the things that are to come. I recognize God’s sovereignty now more than ever. I sit in trust of His faithfulness, of His provision, of His love.

The God I serve has a sense of humor; and if this isn’t proof of that, what comes next will be an even greater adventure!

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21

A 21 day challenge

Thoughtfully penned on July 3rd, 2007 and generally concerning Friendship, Goals, God's at Work in My Life, Learning for a lifetime, The Glory of God

Sheryl at Peanut Butter and Jelly Boats is challenging herself to 21 days of prayer and fasting to help her overcome some issues with what comes out of her mouth (see post here). She invited her fellow bloggers to join in the challenge, and I’ve decided to come alongside both in praying for her and challenging myself.

Although I’m not planning to share whether or not I’m fasting (I’ve decided that this is best left between God and me), I will write about the specific things I’m praying about and through and how God is at work in those things.

Now, since that last sentence was clear as mud, let’s get started.

~~ I will be praying, along with Sheryl, about the words that come out of my mouth; this is a constant struggle. I want the words that I speak to be edifying, gentle, and kind whether I’m speaking to a stranger, a friend, or Matt and Little. I will focus specifically on praying the following verses:

“Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips”
Psalm 141:3

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
Proverbs 31:26

~~ I will be praying about the sale of our house and our impending move; that everything we do will be to the glory of God.

~~ I will be praying about finding a new church home in Nashville. It took us a year and a half to find a church here (that’s a long story for another time), and I’m hopeful that the lessons God taught us in that time only have to be learned once.

Today is actually day two of the challenge (yep, that’s me – a day late and a dollar short), so for the next 20 days I will be praying with and for Sheryl about the words of our mouths and also about these other things.

In other (but somewhat related) news, I’m also challenging myself to get back in the habit of exercising; I’ve always heard that it takes 21 days to create a habit, so the timing is just right. For the next 21 days I will walk or do some other form of exercise (like load and unload boxes) for 30 minutes each day. As a kind of accountability, I will add to the bottom of my posts a note about whether or not I’ve had my walk for the day. So far, so good – Little and I walked for at least 30 minutes both yesterday and today.

A morning walk

Thoughtfully penned on May 31st, 2007 and generally concerning E, Of games and good things, Satisfaction, Spring, The Glory of God

Little and I went for a nice walk this morning. We went over to the library and back winding through residential streets all the way. As we walked we passed several older people who were also out for a morning stroll, everyone smiled and said “hello,” and one lady even stopped to chat for a moment and comment on how cute Little is. It was a pleasant walk even though it was overcast and 70 degrees with humidity of 83%. Welcome to late Spring in the South!

I really enjoy walking, and it is even more fun now with Little buckled into the stroller rolling along in front of me. This morning she chatted and sang, watched the birds, played with her stroller toys, then fell asleep about 10 minutes from home. It is so fun to watch her interact with her surroundings, especially when we are outdoors.

Although the flowers of early Spring (my favorites – daffodils and tulips) have long faded away, it is nice to see the summer green of trees and grass and the blooms of the crepe myrtle and magnolia. There is a sense of the magnificence of God that can only be felt in the presence of the beauty of creation. There is a sense of the peace of God that is felt in a morning walk in a quiet neighborhood with the birds happily chirping in the trees. There is a sense of the joy of God that is felt in scampering squirrels and jabbering little girls.

As I passed under a towering magnolia not far from home I breathed deeply of the sweet scent of its blooms, and I felt satisfied.

A rough patch

Thoughtfully penned on May 8th, 2007 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life, The Glory of God

The last few weeks have been rough on me. There hasn’t been anything major, or even anything specific, but I’ve felt weary and worn most days; coming down with the plague hasn’t helped things either. I’m pretty confident in the fact that my malaise stems, at least in part, from not spending the time that I should in prayer, scripture reading, and meditation on the things of God. When I get out of the habit of quiet time I tend to find myself besieged by the thoughts and worries of the world.

Toward the end of last week I was reading a post at Days to Come and came across this sentence, “But my future is in the hands of the same God who was sovereign of my past.” This thought has stuck with me for several days, reverberating around in my head at various times.

It isn’t healthy to dwell on the past, but it is good to consider from time to time how God has been faithful in your past. Looking back I can see how God orchestrated events, people, and places to make me the person, wife, mother, and Christ follower that I am today. Reflection of this type leads me to gratefulness and praise which leads me back into the throne room of the Father.

This life isn’t always easy. We are beset daily by the cares and struggles of a fallen world, but I know that He is in control and that he is faithful. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” In this I can rest. In this I find joy.