Sunday, January 13, 2013

Back to Basics

I am a Christian woman, but sometimes I feel light years away from the God in whom I believe. The bible teaches that God’s presence is constant. Yet, although He promises never to leave me, there are occasional seasons or events in my life  that seem to drive some sort of wedge between us and make His presence feel so far away. Recently, I’ve been in one of those seasons. Loss of a loved one can certainly be one of those events.

Lately, I’ve been feeling an intense desire to just pick up the bible I love and start all over, slowly working my way back into the warmth of God’s loving presence that I know has been there all along. But for me, sometimes approaching the scriptures of God feels like approaching a Geometry test. Let me just tell you, Geometry used to freak me out! Still does. 🙂

One morning,  I took advantage of my early arrival to work and tried to squeeze in some bible reading time. I began in the first of its 66 books, reading Genesis chapter 21. This is the account where Sarah, Abraham’s wife, finally gets pregnant at the ripe old age of 90 years old. The chapter begins with these words:

“Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised.” Genesis 21:1 (NASB)

I never made it beyond the first verse. I mean I froze right there. It was as if these 21 little words leaped from the page and shoved a stop sign in my face. I posted that one little verse on my Facebook page. I even tweeted it. I was so excited about the indescribable feeling I received just from reading it.

“the Lord took note of…as He had said…” and “the Lord did…as He had promised.”

That afternoon, I did finish the rest of the chapter, but throughout the day I thought about the basic aspects of God’s character highlighted in that one simple first verse.

He thinks of me.

He keeps His word.

He keeps His promises.

I believe God stopped me at this one verse to teach me something. Sometimes I need to be just this elementary when it come to Him. I need to approach His word as a child and stop and dwell on the simple treasures of His word and His character. When who He is overwhelms me;  when His power and majesty make Him appear far too busy to take note of little ol’ me; when life happens and seems to send me floating aimlessly in the opposite direction of His presence – it’s ok to become like a child and simply revisit the basics of His character to lead me back home.

Today, if you’re feeling distant from God, I invite you to concentrate on Him with a child-like mind and heart. See how good it feels to dwell on the fact that He thinks about you. Then remind yourself over and over again that He cannot tell a lie. He keeps His word. He makes good on His promises. If He said it in His word, it’s a done deal. Those concepts are oh so simple, and sometime simple is just better.

Do you have a favorite simple bible verse that brings you back to the knowledge of who He is and how much He loves you? If so, will you share it with me in the comments?

Monday, January 30, 2012

I’ve Been Quiet Lately

“The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the innermost parts of his being.” – Proverbs 20:27

I’ve been quite lately. I’ve been quietly working on me.

So many people are afraid to work on themselves, and I think I’ve come to understand why. You see it takes very little to say you’re working on yourself. It takes quite a bit more courage to actually do so. Doing so means 1st admitting there’s something to work on – something unglued, out of place or undone about you. No one wants to be a wretch undone, including me. To the contrary we spend most of our lives masquerading as the one who’s “all together”. But I am that wretch undone. So, I’ve been working on me.

As I countdown to my 40th birthday (62 days before the big day, in case you’re wondering), I feel myself shifting. Does it happen to everyone around this age or what? I don’t know if it’s automatic or not, but I feel it. I’m starting to focus on what I want the rest of my life to look like, and that means giving an eye to what my life has looked like thus far. I’m considering my lessons, my writing, my priorities, my strengths, my weaknesses, etc. Although all of this introspection is challenging and can even be somewhat painful at times it also feels good.

It’s kind of like working out. Sometimes those 3 miles on an elliptical seem to pass like 3 years. The process is painful and severely lacking in the fun category. Yet, for some reason, each time I walk out of the gym I feel revived. I feel a sense of accomplishment that is absolutely priceless and that no one can take away from me. Because I am putting in the work, not only will I reap the benefit of a healthier, whole, FREE me, but so will those around me – my family, my friends, and even the people I don’t see. Somewhere there’s someone watching me, looking for one brave soul who is crazy enough to intentionally enter the no man’s land of self-exploration, to allow the lamp of the Lord to search the innermost parts of her being and expose all that is unlike Him and inherited from elsewhere. He already knows how you came to be in the chains you are in. His desire is that you will seek the key to unlock those chains.

So yes, I’ve been quiet. Realizing that I could write anything, but I want to write something that someone can relate to and receive from. I hope this was one of those somethings.

Completely me,

 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

C What I’m Reading

It’s hump day! It’s also day 3 of my Be Completely You writing challenge, and I’m trying NOT to keep asking myself whose bright idea this was anyway. It’s actually already been good for me. I’m forced to not only think about writing but write SOMETHING, no matter how simple, each day. I sure hope you aren’t bored yet. 🙂

Over the summer I told you about a book I decided I should read. Remember, I was talking about the whole trying to eat right and exercise thing. I even told you about the snazzy pair of running shoes I bought to support my healthy efforts.

Going places…

Well, I’m proud to say I’ve put a few miles on those shoes (even trying to do a little, I do mean little, running every now and again), and I FINALLY (3 whole months later) purchased that book I told you about. Made to Crave, by Lysa Terkeurst

Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst

Better late than never, right? Besides, I was waiting for some of you to join me for this read, but sadly there were no takers.:-(

But I digress…

Last week, I read this blog post by a young lady named Sarah. In this post Sarah shares her story about how the book has really helped her to begin putting food in its rightful place in her life and set her on the road to becoming a healthier woman. It’s a great testimony! As a matter of fact it was so inspiring that I ventured out to my local Barnes and Noble (R.I.P. Borders!), braving the lunch rush hour, to finally snag my copy of the book.

I’ve been reading the book (as evidenced by the paper clip you see in the picture 🙂 ) for the past week, and I’m really enjoying it. Monday through Friday, I spend an hour each day reading a chapter then recording my responses to the Personal Reflections questions in a journal. Usually my Made to Crave time is sandwiched (no food pun intended) between my time in the gym and dinner. I never thought about it before now, but how apropos, don’t you think?

I believe what’s most exciting to me about this book is that, just as I suspected, the content can easily reach far outside the box of food cravings. The truths written in this book can easily be used to teach about so many other cravings that lure us into unhealthy places and distance us from the presence of God. It’s really quite refreshing! I strongly recommend you check it out, maybe even consider it for a small group or book club discussion. I know I am.

If you had to confess one craving (food or otherwise) that teases and tempts your appetite, what would it be?

Completely ME,


If you enjoyed the post you just read and you know other women who may enjoy it too, please share it with them. Click the “share” button below to send the post via email, post it on your facebook page or send it out in a tweet. A tweet would sure be sweet! :-) Invite your girlfriends to join Full Circle Women’s Fellowship on Facebook and to subscribe to the Wisdom Virtue and Rubies (soon to be Completely You!) blog. I would love to meet them!