An Audience of One

1 O LORD, remember David
and all the hardships he endured.

2 He swore an oath to the LORD
and made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:

3 “I will not enter my house
or go to my bed-

4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes,
no slumber to my eyelids,

5 till I find a place for the LORD,
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.” Psalm 32

I think David was an eccentric–or the things he did often were. Like fighting a giant, dancing in the streets, and searching, hungry and tired, for a place for the temple. When I reflect on him, I notice that he had his eyes on the Lord and not his fellow man when he was doing these things. He was living for an audience of one in these moments of his greatness. I pray that I might, too.

365 Days of Sacrifice

I mentioned in my previous post about how my dear Lord has shown me that sacrifice is ahead of me this year. That is, if I want it to be…if I want to see fruitfulness and have deeper joy. I do.

So I’m going to take this one day at a time. It’s not that I want to COUNT the sacrifices I make because Christ deserves everything, but I think it will help me to focus on what I am doing and to take it a day at a time. Next year, when my family returns to our ancestral vacation spot I hope that I can look back with joy on a year of growing more like Christ.

Count the Special Days

1 In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Chebar canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.2On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of(F) the exile of King Jehoiachin), 3the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar canal, and the hand of the LORD was upon him there.  Ezekial 1

Life ebbs by day by day. But some days we remember in living color. How do I remember mine? How do I remember those special moments when my Lord speaks to me and teaches me something new, or comforts my heart in a spectacular way? Do I keep a journal, a notebook, a blog? How can I share my journey with my children and grandchildren? The only way is to write. What is not written does not last. So…I think journaling, or faithbooking, and writing need to hold their niche among my top priorities. Oh, but for the dishes!!!!

Everything on a Silver Platter

Wow!  That’s the only word I can use to describe my family’s recent vacation at Mount Hermon. I went tired, with a few questions for God and came back rested with encouragement and insight courtesy of the awesome Holy Spirit. I prepared myself for early mornings praying for understanding and instead found my answers in prayer as I walked from my room to the dining hall, or in the morning session, or on the nature hike. God’s wisdom and healing met me at every corner like Easter eggs half-hidden by an indulgent parent. With my spiritual needs so well met, I felt free to sleep, and what a welcome treat for a busy mom! What a blessing to be held in the gentle hand of God, being renewed for a new year of sacrifice and service.

     And that’s what the message was all about for me. It’s time to sacrifice and it’s worth it. I’m in the middle years of parenting, homeschooling, and caring for many I love. Like a tenacious coach, I can hear my Father saying, “Ok, let’s take it to the next level.” But it will mean sacrifice. I looked up the definition of sacrifice before our vacation. Giving up something valuable, for a greater goal. This is more than giving up bad habits for good ones–that’s wisdom.  Sacrifice is giving up something inherently good for the best. Sleep is good. But I need to get up at 5:30. Desserts are divine creations, but I can’t have more than one a week. That’s going to hurt. It’s doing what I feel God is asking of me, even though it’s hard. It’s also joy. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, endured the cross for the “joy set before him.” It’s the knowledge that I am helping God’s kingdom to come on this earth. It’s the sheer fun of doing what I was created to do even if it doesn’t earn any money or bring me any prestige. It’s the wonder of seeing God-given talents actually bless others. It’s finding out what the good works are that God has prepared in advance for me to do. It’s divine confirmation that I was designed, loved, and redeemed by my Heavenly Father. Most incredibly, it’s and adventure and a love story with a happy ending.

What’s the Big Deal, Anyway?

24At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him and sought to put him to death. 25Then Zipporah took a  flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” 26So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision. (Exodus 4)

At times I have felt like Zipporah. I’ve been tripping blithley along my merry way and been stopped short by the realization that I have been neglecting an aspect of God’s truth that seems to me hardly worth the trouble of doing. How can something so small make such a difference to God, I think. Surely that can’t be important anymore. And yet I wonder. I’m not arguing for legalism but in our guarding against it do we sometimes throw away obediance that matters to God and would lead to blessings for ourselves? Resting one day a week–including no cooking–horrors! What’s the big deal? Well, maybe if I tried to do it, I would find out. In fact, when I think about it, I have obediance to one particular Old Testament principle to thank for a pretty great marriage 😉 Hmmm… I just might start cooking ahead for Sundays….

One Really Spectacular Person

For those of you who haven’t met one of my favorite role models, I would like to introduce Saint Therese of Lisieux.  If I was to have a patron saint it would be her.  She is so much like me…in her weakness.  And I want so much to be like her in her devotion and love of Christ. Surrounded byvery capable and strong people she found she could not “keep up.”  So she gave what she could, all her adoration to Christ.  She called it her “Little Way.” At the command of her superiors she kept a spiritual diary which we have to this day. Rome has since declared her a doctor of the church…it seems her writings so capture an essential part of The Way…the way in which followers of Christ should set their hearts before him and rest in Him. 

These are some quotes I found of hers from the site www.littleflower.org .  There you can find photos and info about her.  She is part of the “great cloud of witnesses” that encourage me daily to “throw off the sin that so easily entangles and run with perseverance the race marked out for [me]” Hebrews 12:1

Love!…that is what I ask…I know but one thing now – to love Thee, O Jesus! Glorious deeds are not for me, I cannot preach the Gospel, shed my blood…what does it matter? My brothers toil instead of me, and I, the little child, I keep quite close to the royal throne, I love for those who fight.

Story of A Soul, Chapter XI

There is one ONLY THING to do here below: to love Jesus, to win souls for Him so that He may be loved. Let us seize with jealous care every least opportunity of self sacrifice. Let us refuse Him nothing – He does so want our love!

VI letter to her sister Celine