Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Praise

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Psalm 145 (The Message)

David's Praise

1 I lift you high in praise, my God, O my King! and I'll bless your name into eternity.

2 I'll bless you every day,
and keep it up from now to eternity.
3 God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough.
There are no boundaries to his greatness.
4 Generation after generation stands in awe of your work;
each one tells stories of your mighty acts.
5 Your beauty and splendor have everyone talking;
I compose songs on your wonders.
6 Your marvelous doings are headline news;
I could write a book full of the details of your greatness.
7 The fame of your goodness spreads across the country;
your righteousness is on everyone's lips.

8 God is all mercy and grace—
not quick to anger, is rich in love.

9 God is good to one and all;
everything he does is suffused with grace.

10 -11 Creation and creatures applaud you, God;
your holy people bless you.

They talk about the glories of your rule,
they exclaim over your splendor,

12 Letting the world know of your power for good,
the lavish splendor of your kingdom.

13 Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal;
you never get voted out of office.

God always does what he says,
and is gracious in everything he does.

14 God gives a hand to those down on their luck,
gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.

15 All eyes are on you, expectant;
you give them their meals on time.

16 Generous to a fault,
you lavish your favor on all creatures.

17 Everything God does is right—
the trademark on all his works is love.

18 God's there, listening for all who pray,
for all who pray and mean it.

19 He does what's best for those who fear him—
hears them call out, and saves them.

20 God sticks by all who love him,
but it's all over for those who don't.

21 My mouth is filled with God's praise.
Let everything living bless him,
bless his holy name from now to eternity!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What are you thankful for?

OK, so this is a test...this is only a test. This is a test of how many people read this blog as well as how many of those will comment. As far as I know, only 2 people "follow" me (whatever that might mean; I'm so not blog-savvy, even though I have one!) Not that it really matters how many people read this. While I would be dishonest to tell you that I don't have any hope of "being noticed" (whatever that might mean) via this blog, it ultimately is NOT ABOUT ME. One of the reasons I titled the blog "His Princess" is because I want to remember always that whatever good/interesting/encouraging is not me, but Christ in me.

So, back to the subject of this post: please comment on this post and let me know 1 thing you are thankful for (from this past year). I think I've fixed the settings so anyone can comment w/out signing in or whatever.

What am I thankful for? Well, the list is much longer than 1, of course, but I guess if I had to think of one thing, it would be God's provision.

  • God's provision financially for when my salary was cut by 7% in March. I have tightened up the budget (that only exists in my head...another New Year's resolution to carry over to next year!)
  • God's provision mentally/emotionally as I've walked through some extra stressful waters this year.
  • Most important of all is God's provision spiritually in the sacrifice of His Son that provides me with eternal life.

For His gracious salvation I can never be thankful enough.

It's your turn now; it doesn't have to be 'serious'--could be more light-hearted/non-spiritual if you like...but


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lessons From a Toddler

I spent most of yesterday with my dear friends B and A and their 2.5 yr old daughter who calls me Aunt Sarah. For a couple hours yesterday afternoon, I took Big Sister (baby will be here in a few weeks) to a park to play. As I spent time yesterday with this sweet, social, energetic toddler, several things she said and did caused me to think about the similarities between toddlers/their parents and Christians/the Lord.

1) "I do it" - sometimes when Big Sister wanted to do things by herself, I let her, as long as it would not harm her. Sometimes, though, despite her protests, I needed to either help her or do it for her, in order to keep her safe.

I am desperately independent, which is sometimes good. Many times in my life, though, that's gotten me into trouble. The Lord must oftentimes (even despite my protests) intervene and rescue me, for my protection and for His glory.

2) Independence/obedience - B said a couple times yesterday that Big Sister's world is about to change and she knows it (not only due to baby coming, but also they are moving in 6 weeks)...Big Sister is generally well-behaved and obedient. B and A do a great job with her, even on days like today when her behavior in the late afternoon/evening betrayed her need for the nap she missed earlier in the day. She tested her limits several times and sometimes did not obey Mommy and/or Daddy. There were consequences of her actions; her correction was always proportional to the offense and administered in love.

Isn't that just like God? Frequently I test my limits in the sense of trying to do things my way instead of seeking His will. Many times my sin gets in the way...His correction (much like B and A's of Big Sister) is made out of His love for me and His desire for me to become more like Christ.

3) Safe in Daddy/Mommy's arms - Big Sister loves to "dance" (this consists of running around the chair in the middle of the family room) to music...she was in heaven on earth when Daddy would swing her around and twirl her...the look on her face was one of utter delight and safety. Mommy would have done this same thing with Big Sister, had Mommy not been 8+ months pregnant!

I can't tell you how many times the picture of a baby/child perfectly content in their parent's arms reminds me of how the Lord longs for me to be content in His loving arms. There is truly no safer, more delightful place to be than in the center of His plan and purpose for my life...which I can only know and rest in by seeking Him and clinging to His strength.

As I mentioned in the "Empty Arms" posts (below), in my heart I know that God longs to cradle me even more than I desperately long to cradle my own child. One of the decisions I made earlier this week on the beach is that no matter how long it takes, I will wait for God to provide me the desires of my heart.

I have oftentimes heard and even quoted myself Psalm 37:4,“Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart." (NASB) What exactly does that mean? Some people believe (I don't) that this means whatever we want, God will give us. God is not a vending machine. He is sovereign and I am not; He is omniscient and I am not; He knows what's best for me and I do not. So, what does this verse have to say about the desires of MY heart (i.e., marriage/motherhood)?? I am not a theologian, but I know and have sat under the teaching of several during my life. I believe that Psalm 37:4 means in my life that God will either 1) give me a husband and a child or 2) change my desires.

Perhaps that's simplifying things too much (I am a simple person)--I don't mean to be flippant...I just know that God knows best. He knows my heart, and He knows also how my life can best bring Him that in singleness and childlessness or marriage and motherhood. I do not for one moment begin to understand how that works, so I won't even pretend I do. What I DO know is that God has never failed me yet, and His Word and the affirmation of the Holy Spirit within me tells me that I can trust Him. So I am doing the very best I can to trust Him, even in this hardest region of my life.

One of my favorite professors at Dallas Seminary (DTS), Dr. Tom Constable (see 'verse-by-verse' link on the sidebar) says this about Psalm 37:4:

“Those who take delight in the Lord will receive their hearts' desires. The righteous who delight in the Lord will want to see His will done, and that will happen eventually for them.”—Dr. Thomas Constable, Notes on Psalms

The subject of God's will is too immense for this post (or any other, probably!)...but as I said, I do know that the Lord will accomplish what He intends to in my life...and I am trying to NOT GET IN HIS WAY!

So that's why I think we Christians aren't much different than toddlers - we're just a little taller (usually!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Your Garden of Grace

Make me walk by Your side, soak in Your light

Let Your life-giving river quench my parched soul

To grow here in Your Garden, Your Garden of Grace

The seeds of Your truth planted in time

Watered by many through years that go by

Though I didn’t always seek Your Son-light

The light of Your grace was always shining on me

How You’ve been faithful, dear Lord to fertilize and grow

In my sin I allowed the weeds to cover Your truth

Yet Your mercy brought rain again to this dry soil

The soil of my heart has been always tended by You

True Vine, Master Gardner, Savior and Friend

How lovingly You’ve kept Your garden that’s my heart

As I reflect on all the seasons of my life, both storms and bright days

You’ve skillfully crafted this plot You’ve created

With Jesus as my sun and Your Word as my rain

My faith grows so slowly and yet just at Your perfect pace

Prevent me from hindering the tilling You must do

Make this clay moldable and ready for Your use

Make me walk by Your side, soak in Your light

Let Your life-giving river quench my parched soul

To grow here in Your Garden, Your Garden of Grace

The Lord has taught me much about this concept of His garden of grace in my heart. One interesting concept I’ve thought of is that fertilizer comes from waste…that waste is putrid and filthy, though it contains some of the best nutrients for rich soil, which yields a bigger and more beautiful harvest. The “fertilizer” of life will look different from time to time (heartache, financial pressures, ministry woes, strained relationships)—but in the hand of our Master Gardner, all will be used to make the soil of my heart that which produces more beautifully, and closer to His design. This won’t happen overnight, just like a garden doesn’t grow the day after the seeds are planted. Sometimes the soil lays dormant for a while—because maybe the soil of my heart needs to be burned so that it will be able to grow things again. Often I let weeds of impatience and jealously and worrying crop up in my garden—and this requires the Master Gardner to pull the weeds. Not fun, but oh so necessary for His long-term garden design. Though I have only a view of the soil and the earth, our God sees the whole garden, as perfect as He made it to be, because He sees His garden of grace in the soil of my heart through the light of His Son. May we be patient as the Gardner gently and graciously cares for the gardens of His grace growing in our hearts.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser…Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me…If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:1, 4, 7 NIV

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CA trip re-cap, Part 2

The 2nd part of my CA vacation was in San Diego (SD).

My Uncle J (Mom's bro) and his wife Aunt S have been asking me to come see them in SD for years and years. Due mainly to the cost, it's just never worked out. While I was out in their wonderful state, I wanted to be sure to visit them. Unfortunately, Uncle J was called away to China on business at the last minute. He felt badly about it and I was disappointed, but it couldn't be helped.

I had a very nice time with my Aunt S in their gorgeous home--it felt like I was staying at a resort! I got to pick my room and I chose the "Palm [Tree] Room" because it looked the least fragile and just very soothing and inviting. (I'm not very graceful--clumsy should be my middle name!!) Aunt S has a fascinating mini shoe collection that I'd been hearing about (from family that had seen it before), and it was so neat to see all of them (100's) up close...they were categorized by shoe style (flats, platforms, heels, misc.) I also liked Aunt S' "ladies"--they were old women in chairs with exquisite details like lipstick on the wine glasses and headlines from the Harper's mag one was reading. She got them in London on one of their trips there. Aunt S and I had a good time catching up, and Uncle J called from China and we got to talk to him. Then Aunt S treated me to a very lavish dinner and afterwards we went back to the house and watched movies. I'm very glad it worked out for me to visit.

The next morning I made my way to Pacific Beach in San Diego. Just the drive there alone (and all of the drives I made in CA, for that matter!) was beautiful. I never really got pics of the mountains on camera, because most of the ones I saw were from the car (when I was driving) or from the air (where the pic would have never turned out from 1000's of feet above).

I got to my hotel/the beach (100 ft apart!) about 11:00, but check-in wasn't until 3:00. So I just walked down to the beach and enjoyed the scenery, went to lunch and then my room was ready. While the hotel was just 2 stars, it got great reviews on, and they were valid. While it didn't look like much from the outside, the inside was very nice. There was even a big flat-screen TV, a kitchenette with microwave, 2-burner cook-top (since I cook so much at home, I'd want to do it on vacation...NOT!), fridge, etc. I was very pleased.

I saw something I'd never seen before (yes, besides the Pacific Ocean!) I think it's called kite-sailing? Very beautiful to look at.

One of the things I wanted to do was put my feet in the ocean. I was warned it would be cold, and it was FREEZING! See here my small wide feet in the frigid water:

While I was sitting on the bench (after drying and warming my feet up!), this guy came up to me...this close! I didn't have any food for him, so I guess he just wanted to watch me journal, think & pray.

One of the visual highlights of my trip was watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. I'm a fan of sunsets. I have framed pics that my Grandpa took of sunsets in FL in the early 80' bro St has taken numerous (amazing!) pics of of which is also framed in my apartment. I was surprised how quickly the sun went from this:

to this:

to this:

I had a sweet time of reflection, prayer, meditation and relaxation while overlooking Pacific Beach. It was all I ever hoped it would be. After dark, I went up to Cold Stone Creamery for a (so not!) nutritious dinner of Oreo Overload ice cream (hey, I was on vacation!) and then settled in to watch my Monday shows and 'chill' in the hotel room.

The next day I had a leisurely morning, including (minus the whipped cream, in case you care!):

Yes, yes, I know...dull me. I was in Pacific Beach/SD, CA and I ate at IHOP...but it worked well. I had half (the stuff that wouldn't be good cold like eggs and hash browns) for breakfast and then took with me in my carry-on the scrumptious above pancakes and bacon for lunch...yummy!

I had a 3 hour flight from SD to Austin and then a 1 hour flight to Dallas. By the time I got my luggage and took a cab home, it was about 10:30 TX time, which is late for me...I arrived back to my apartment, safe and sound...tired, sore, but thankful for a great trip and wonderful memories.

I'm so glad I went ahead and went (I almost canceled last week in order to save the $$, but would have taken a large hit on one of the flights, so decided to go...not to mention I REALLY needed a break!)

I praise the Lord for safety in all my travels and for the opportunity to visit with friends and family. I'm thankful as well to have been able to enjoy some "me time" on the beach in His presence. I made a major decision there on the bench in front of the Pacific Ocean--an affirmation on a specific issue for me--that God's timing is perfect. Because He's always right on time, I will not go ahead of Him and try to provide what I'm looking for in my own way. I will wait on Him...forever, if that's how long it takes.

When I got home, I checked one of my fave blogs, Beth Moore's...and it was time to enter my Scripture to memorize for the first half of this month. One she had on there is one of my fave's, but I've never memorized it from The Message paraphrase. When I saw it on her blog, and after my decision on the beach, I knew this had to be my verse to commit to memory this time...I'll close with this, because, really, it says it all...thank you, Lord!

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out--plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."--Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)

CA trip re-cap, Part 1

This is the first of 2 posts about my trip to CA. My first two days I spent in Monterey with my good friends the Yellow Hats and their 3 kids: Big Girl (almost 7), The Boy (nearly 4), and Baby Girl (18 mos.) They are in the Air Force and are finishing their assignment there in 3 weeks and are on their way to Germany. I had to take this time to see them before they got too far away. Mrs Yellow Hat and I are friends from Cedarville (then College, now University)--we were both music majors (she was trumpet major and I was oboe). VERY precious family--well behaved, sweet children and a loving, godly family. Very encouraging to be in their midst.

The second day I was in town, we went to visit Point Lobos, which is one of their favorite spots to go and is just breath-taking. The Sea Lion trail was closed so we couldn't go down to the water, but what we could see from afar was amazing enough for me!

After going back to the house and getting the kids fed and down for nap/rest/room time, Mrs Yellow Hat & I headed to Coast Guard Pier and saw lots of sea lions and birds and starfish. Wonderful scenery, even though it was cold by the water, we were blessed with a great day (although after almost a week there, I think pretty much every day in CA is great weather-wise!)

After Coast Guard Point, we went to Cannery Row, including:

and had scrumptious brownies and peppermint hot cocoa.

Then it was back to the house for more play time with the kids and a yummy dinner. Afterwards, Mrs Yellow Hat took me to a girls' game night and I was introduced to Bunco. I wasn't good at it at all, but it was a lot of fun.

My time with the Yellow Hats went by way too quickly and it was time for me to leave to visit my bro S and his wife M in San Jose. They just bought a very nice, brand new home and it is beautiful--I'm very happy for them. It was nice to meet my nephew & niece dogs, too. Sadie is an Australian Shepherd/Lab mix and Sammy is a Boxer.

Sadie doesn't like the camera, but Sammy is a very social fellow. He's 2 and still very much a puppy. St has to have 3 scheduled, purposeful play times with him on the weekend days to get him tired enough to sleep at night!

We went to eat at a Greek place for lunch, went back and watched Ohio State beat Iowa (GO BUCKS!). After a light dinner, we went out for dessert at a very nice place with very horrible service. At least they had a gift card and weren't paying for it!

I was sorry to have to leave them after only 1 day, but St has a new job and is working 6 days/week.

Monterey and San Jose were wonderful (best of all were the people I visited with while in those cities!) All too soon, it was time to be on my way to San Diego for the second half of my trip (to be posted later)...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vacation is Over :(

Well, I arrived back safely in Dallas last night about 9:30 p.m. Texas time. I have to say that I could have stayed on vacation a lot longer, but isn't that always the case?

I'm taking a "recovery" day from work today and then go back tomorrow for a glorious 2-day work week. :)

I'm wiped out and not up to posting pics of the trip...but I will. Suffice it to say, I'm so glad that the Lord made a way for me to go and that I'm so thankful I had safety in all the travel.

CA is beautiful, too be sure. Now I know why the lady I work with that lived there for a while hates TX so much and can't wait to get back to CA! :)

Happy "Hump Day", everyone! :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day and time for a break...

To all our veterans, past & present:

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your service to our country. Your sacrifice, and that of your families, is not in vain. I praise the Lord for the privilege of living in this country that is free because of you. Every day you should be remembered, not just 11/11.


Completely unrelated and no where near as important: As of 3:30 p.m. CST this afternoon, I am on vacation...will not return to work until Thursday 11/19. Going to be in CA with friends and family...and then, for the first time ever, because I've always wanted to, a day for ME on the beach. A time to think, pray, write, and reflect on God's beautiful creation and work in my life.

Hope to capture the sunset and/or sunrise over the ocean on camera--but even if I don't, it will be captured in my mind. Even though I am regretting (from a purely financial perspective) spending the $$ on this trip, I am really ready for a break, and since I would lose quite a bit if I canceled, I am going!!! Have the boarding pass printed. :)

"See you" in a week! :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Empty Arms: Hannah's Story

Hannah’s earnest plea for a child is one that my heart has cried (and will continue to, I expect) so many times. Yet the same God that so abundantly blessed this godly woman by granting her the desire of her heart will someday (and even today in the interim) fill this child-size void in my heart with His tender, gentle, comforting presence. Praise be to YAHWEH the God of Israel and the God of my life! Only He is worthy of praise, for only He gives the gift of life, the gift of gratitude, the gift of tears, and the all-encompassing, never-ending gift of grace!

Empty Arms

Hannah’s Prayer of Desperation

[I Samuel 1: 9-11]

Holy God my Father

I come before your throne

Though I love you will all my heart, Lord,

There’s times I feel so alone.

My empty arms are aching

For a precious little one

You know my heart, oh YAHWEH

So to you, my Lord, I come.

Each time I see a baby, Lord

There’s sorrow in my heart

When I let my emotions take over,

I’m nearly torn apart.

My empty arms are hurting

But in the midst of the pain, I see

That only you are able

To fill this void inside of me.

So though my heart is fragile

And my flesh is only weak

Help me God to trust you—

It’s solely your face I seek.

So though my arms are empty

I praise you for your grace

In your sovereign time you’ll fill them,

Until then, I seek your face.

I wish I knew how to post a song on here. I wish you could hear my dear friend Becky’s beautiful voice sing this as a lullaby. This is the first time that one of my poems has been set to music. It is a portion of the poem “Gaze Into My Eyes” that I posted last week.

Gaze into My Eyes

Hannah’s Lullaby from Yahweh

[Words by Rebecca Lynn Edumondson (now Campbell) and Sarah J. Moseley]

I’ve loved you right from the start

And have all the best for you

You are my child

I love you with all my heart

Gaze into My eyes, my child

In them You’ll find my peace

You’ll find no judgement here

Only my sweet release.

Seek me and you’ll find me

When you seek me with all your heart

Come. rest in my arms

I’ve loved you from the start.

Gaze into My eyes, my child

There you’ll find my rest

In the midst of all your cares

I’ll turn your good into My best.

This Child

Hannah’s Song of Dedication and Praise

This little child, used by you

Greater things no one could do!

You formed him perfectly in side of me

Now he’s yours Lord, I set him free.

What a gift you’ve give your servant

My whole life up till now

My heart beat for you, Lord,

I knew you could—somehow!

Is there any reason you blessed this simple servant

With love so rich, so free?

No, my Lord Almighty—

It’s all you, NONE of me!

My life now has such purpose

My head now raised, I see

That all along you’ve loved me, so I’m here on bended knee.

He’s yours Lord and yours only—I give him up, I give him up to Thee!

Empty Arms: My Story

Picture is of a photograph © by Anne Geddes

This is not going to be a light-hearted post. So if you're looking for something fluffy, funny or impersonal, please click past this one. This week marked the 9th anniversary of a decision I made that changed my life forever. One of those decisions that you can't go back and change your mind--no matter what happens and what you learn after the fact that might have led you to make the opposite decision.

"Empty Arms" is my is also the story of Hannah, my favorite biblical character. This post will be my story; the next post (above this) will be Hannah's. The beginning of the "Empty Arms" story is when I originally wrote it a baby dedication Sunday several years ago...going through part of the grieving process that I might not ever be one of those couples who brings their precious baby in front of the church to dedicate him/her to the Lord.

Then later that year in a semester at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), the Old Testament Survey prof, Dr Ron Allen, lectured on I Samuel chapters 1 and 2. While I had heard the story of Hannah so many times, that time he told it, Dr Allen brought to life for me the story of Hannah and her desperate prayer for a child. As I listened, the Lord quietly whispered to my heart that “Empty Arms” had many similarities to Hannah’s anguished pleas. Since November 3, 2000 when I choose as a 27-year-old to have a (medically necessary) hysterectomy, my appreciation of Hannah’s story has grown significantly. While there is no doubt in my mind that the Lord has designed me to be a wife and mother, I know now that if there are children that are mine, they will not be from my body. The Lord has given me a dream of a precious baby girl that I will name Hannah Hope. She might be Asian, or might be Romanian—she could be red, brown, yellow, black or white! Her name is Hannah because I will have waited SO LONG for her. Her name is hope because the Lord gives me hope when He rekindles that dream within me.

This decision to have a hysterectomy obviously had life-altering implications. I had always dreamed of being a mother naturally, of some day (when the Lord provided the husband) giving birth to a wonderful miracle of life. I still desperately wanted to be a mother. However, since 1993 (when my endometriosis was discovered), I had sacrificed many things (in hindsight too many things) in order to save my ability to bear children. A best friend, a fiancĂ©, and quality of life were among the most noticeable. But by far, the most devastating thing I sacrificed in order to save my childbearing ability was my dependence on my Shepherd. It was as if I was telling the Lord, “You can take anything and everything, except this.” Holding on to ANYTHING, be it a righteous, godly desire or not—is failing to depend on Christ for everything.

I know that my Shepherd knows the path I’ve chosen, and more than I desire to hold a baby, I do long to be cradled within His strong loving arms. I can honestly say today, more than 9 years after my surgery, He continues to heal and restore me in my brokenness. I still go through mourning periods, but the Lord has provided a wonderful way to fill my arms--for now. I keep babies in the nursery at church every week. Every time I hold a baby, I try to remember that it is not outside of the Lord's power (even at the age I am now) to give me my own child someday.

Empty Arms

My Prayer of Desperation

Abba, God my Father

I come before your throne

Though I love you will all my heart, Lord,

There’s times I feel so very alone.

My empty arms are aching

For a precious little one

You know my heart, my Shepherd

And you know what I have done.

If I’d known then what I know now,

I’d have never made that choice,

But in your loving mercy

Through my pain I heard your voice.

Each time I see a baby, Lord

There’s sorrow in my heart

When I let my emotions take over,

I’m nearly torn apart.

Yet you’ve been patiently teaching me

To hold tight to your mighty hand;

As much as I long to hold my baby,

You long to hold me—oh, I scarce can understand!

My empty arms are hurting

But in the midst of the pain, I see

That only you are able

To fill this void inside of me.

So though my heart is fragile

And my flesh is only weak

Help me Lord to trust you—

It’s your heart only that I seek.

When I cling to my cares and troubles, my Jesus

I hinder your work in me

It’s only when I surrender my stubborn will

That you can begin to use me graciously.

So though my arms are empty

I praise you for your grace

In your sovereign time you’ll fill them, Lord—

Until then, I seek your face.

About a year after "Empty Arms" was written, I was at a DTS Women's retreat. The speaker, Gail Seidel, spoke about Naman's slave girl.Naman’s little slave girl was used greatly by God. She was in the midst of awful circumstances—as a slave she had no rights. Yet God used her in the life of Naman to bring him to faith in Yahweh. What this song means to me is that ALL children are a gift from the Lord who He desires to use greatly. Our children are not ours—they belong to God first; He has “loaned” them to us to instill in them the truths and values and love and character that will best make Him look great and get the most glory. Praise the Lord for the gift of a child’s smile, the softness of a baby’s skin and the joy they bring any time you’re in their presence!

This Child

A Song of Adopting Love

This little child, used by you

Greater things no one could do!

You plucked her up, out, and here—for me!

This precious life now yours, set free!

What a gift you’ve give your servant

My whole life up till now

My heart beat for you, Lord,

I knew you could—somehow!

This child, precious child--my arms enfold her sweetness, my lips caress her smile

Is there any reason you blessed this simple servant

With love so rich, so free?

No, my Lord Almighty—

It’s all you, NONE of me!

My life now has such purpose

My head now raised, I see

That all along you’ve loved me, so I’m here on bended knee.

She’s yours Lord and yours only—I give her up to Thee!

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” Ps. 37:4 NIV

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Eph. 3:20-21 NIV

Friday, November 6, 2009


I was reminded today, by a woman who has every reason NOT to be thankful, to look for the things to praise and thank the Lord for. They're always there, you know—it’s just a matter of finding them. Often times the bad or negative are so much easier to see and focus on. But I believe that what the Lord would like from each of us is to focus on what we have and what we can do and be and not on what we don’t and can’t.

So, at the end of this very exhausting week, here is a list of 10 things I’m thankful for (in no particular order):

1) The fact that I am bone weary and have a bad headache and Fibromyalgia flare up due to working too much this week makes me thankful I have a job.

2) The fact that I am not in a bad/hard marriage makes me thankful I'm single and have never been married.

3) The fact that I don’t have a sick child makes me thankful I've never had any children.

4) The fact that I can’t do many of the things I used to be able to do before FM makes me thankful for what I CAN do--work to support myself, live on my own, not dependent upon disability, etc.

5) The fact that I can’t sing in the choir or play in the orchestra at church right now makes me thankful for the body of Christ as experienced in my (still uncomfortable) role as a pew/congregation member.

6) The fact that I can’t see my niece on her birthday in 3 weeks makes me thankful that I have a niece at all, and that I'll see her 6 weeks from now.

7) The fact that $$ is always tight and I have more debt than I'd like makes me thankful for God's faithful provision and that He supplies all my needs...even when I make (in hindsight) foolish decisions with His $$.

8) The fact that I have struggled all my life with food and body image issues makes me thankful that I live in a country and had an upbringing where I have never wanted for food...never truly been starving.

9) The fact that I have struggled with anxiety/depression/loneliness makes me thankful that the Lord is patient with me and has given me the Psalms to relate to David's emotions.

10) The fact that I don’t have a washer/dryer of my own and have to schlep back 'n forth to the laundry room makes me thankful that I have the strength and ability to do my own laundry and have clothes to wash when so many can't and don't.

“Blessed be God— he heard me praying. He proved he's on my side; I've thrown my lot in with him. Now I'm jumping for joy, and shouting and singing my thanks to him.”—Psalm 28:6, The Message

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

God Lasts!

Well, today has been the 2nd of 2 very very long days. While I am EXTREMELY grateful to have a job (and a good, rewarding, interesting one at that), I am very exhausted.

The best news of the day is The Lord is able. God lasts. Even when I can't, He can.

This is a passage from The Message I am memorizing right now...I memorized this in the KJV or NIV growing up and I love how Eugene Peterson paraphrases:

"God doesn't come and go. God lasts. He's Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch His breath. And He knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to drop outs. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles. They run and don't get tired. They walk and don't lag behind."--Is 40:28-31

"His strength is perfect when our strength is gone/He'll carry us when we can't carry on/raised in His power, the weak become strong/His strength is perfect/His strength is perfect"--(Steven Curtis Chapman)

Thank you, Lord, for lasting!