Friday, February 20, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Open

Open the flood gates of heaven!  We say that but do we mean it? Do we know what that would look like? Or only what we want it to look like? Prosperity, Goodness, Blessing, Overflowing Cups?

Open our eyes Lord, we want to see Jesus?  Do we? As He really is and not how we perceive Him to be?   Recently at the If: Gathering one of the speakers said (My BFF Jen Hatmaker): I thought I was confident in God, but I was just confident in my understanding of Him.

I would say only confident in my perception of who I want Him to be, not who He Is.

I say I want to be open.  Opening my hand to the poor, the widow and the orphaned.  Do I?  Why are my fists clenched.  It's not enough to SAY it!! I'm not talking about works here people... but again as my BFF Jen Hatmaker says: We have to stop blessing blessed people and serving the saved!  WOW.  That is from last years IF:Gathering and I'm still shaken by it.  Imagine what might happen if I listened to this years!  :)

What poor and widowed and orphaned do I know?  Oh yeah, my neighbors!  Across the street, next door, in my community.

Open.  My eyes, my hands, my heart.....

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The One Where I Observe

Observe that I haven't had a post in oh... four months!  Observe that I've had week after week after month after month of striving.  Observe that I'm wrapped up in an anxiety ball of what I should be and who I could be. Observe that I am sick and tired of being tired.... there's an exhaustion in my soul that I can't shake. 

All this list making and striving and standing on the tips of my toes trying to measure up.... 

Then walks in Seven. A book that's been on my night stand for months.  I read it, it wrecked me.  In good ways, in bad ways, in frustrating I don't live in Austin.  Jen Hatmaker and I aren't BFF, but she rents space in my head and maybe that's enough.  Who am I kidding?!  That IS NOT ENOUGH!   Maybe I should move?

Eat 7 Foods
Wear 7 items Clothes
Get rid of 7 Possessions. Every Day.
7 types of media, just no.  Tv, Gaming, FB, Tweets, iPhone apps, Radio, Texting, Internet (real phone calls only)
7 Habits for a greener life
7 Places your money goes (only) 
7 Sacred Pauses.  Finished this chapter just in time for Lent. 

Lent, that time of year when my husband announces that we aren't catholic.  DUH!  And I say you don't have to be catholic to observe Lent.  DUH! 

Jen bases this chapter on a book by the same name, Seven Sacred Pauses

Like Jen, I haven't been getting these done exactly, but I'm working on it. 

Enter Day 2 of the She Reads Truth Lent Study/Devotional, Whatever you want to call it.  And here is my "response" my pause today

[Insert deep breath here.] 

It’s no wonder we try to come to Him with layers of lies and pride and every other self-preservation instinct intact. It makes sense, right? Except it doesn’t… because Jesus.  ~~Amanda Williams

I needed to hear this. So much so that my jaw is sore from clenching it. Yea... So there's that. Hard week after hard week and the shame and the guilt and the striving. And the to do lists and the things to check off. 

And then there's the cross, the feet of Jesus beckoning me to just turn towards Him, lay it all down and exhale. 

Noah Webster in his original dictionary defines return as:

1. To come or go back to the same place. 
2. To come to the same state, as, to return from bondage to a state of freedom. 
6. To show fresh signs of mercy. 

Returnable: that may be returned or restored 

Returned: restored 

It is God who does the restoration work. We only turn in his direction.

And so I pause and make time for pauses, because I'm not giving up for/on Lent.  Unless you count sleep.  I'm getting up earlier to pause in the sacred silence.  To read, to pray, to lay it down. Because these burdens, I can't bear them and somewhere I think I've read I shouldn't be anyway. 

I'm observing a modified 7 over the next 6 weeks. 

02/22 begins "Clear The Clutter - Make Space" 
I will purge at least two items per day for 14 days.  Now that's fairly easy for me, not so much for my people, they could be hoarders.  Maybe I'll do this one for them.  I'm really excited to get the garage and attic cleaned out.  I like Becoming Minimalist Blog.  He said and I'm paraphrasing... if you need to buy more stuff to organize your existing stuff you have too much stuff. 

03/08 begins "Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose
Plastic, Paper, Cans, Cardboard 
Get a compost bin and experiment, hope to not attract varmint. 

03/22 begins "Phone Fast" 
Phone can be in use from 7AM - 7PM.  I've already begun this part. The teenager is grounded for life, so that'll help him, not sure about the hubs.  
I've taken Facebook off my phone and I don't access it during business hours. Thanks, Crystal Paine! 
Turned off at 7PM
Dinner at the table, I can hear them grumble now, but really do we need to see another rerun of Big Bang Theory? 
Read Lent Passages
Observe Sabbath, I may have to pull teeth and limbs for this, but it's only two weekends, they can do it!  

More Lent Ideas:
40 Ideas for Lent