Sunday, July 23, 2006

Shielding Yourself

Saturday evening Chris & I went out for a ride on our bikes. When we started out it was early evening and the sun was just starting to go down. By the time we got to the Rowlett, Rockwall area it was dark. We rode over the lake on the bridge that crosses Hwy 66. As we got about half way across, I realized it was beginning to rain pretty hard, the face mask on my helmet was being pelted pretty good. As we got to the end of bridge, Chris motioned for us to pull over at a gas station. It was then that I realized, it wasn't raining at all... Yes, you guessed it, it was bugs!! You know, just like when you're driving a car at night and bugs it the windshield. Only this is much grosser and nastier, because it's hitting in front of your face. We went into the bathroom and laughed as we washed off our face masks! I guess it was so bad because we were driving over the lake, it wasn't like that anywhere else.

Needless to say, I can't imagine what it must be like for all of those people you see out there who don't wear helmets, let alone face shields. I will never be without mine!! Yuck!! As I have thought about that today, it has reminded me of another shield we sometimes go without and don't really think about it. How often to we go out into the world without the armor of God surrounding us, without being covered in His word to protect us? I know I probably do it more than I would care to admit. I try to always cover my day in prayer and study, but how often do we really go out into the world and not consciously think about protecting ourselves from Satan? If I were to ride at night without a shield over my face, it would only take a second of bug splatter (oooh groooss!!) hitting my face to remind me to put my shield down. But Satan isn't quite as obvious as those bugs. He hits us just a little bit at a time; quietly and discretely, little by little, until suddenly we are covered, disgusting and gross. How long do we let Satan pelt away at us before we remember to put our shield around us?

I know in my life, I sometimes take to many things for granted in my day to day life. I rely to much on myself sometimes and forget to put on my armor and put up my shield around me. I have been reminded of the Zoe song, A Shield About Me. "Thou oh Lord, are a shield about me. You're my Glory, you're the lifter of my head. Alleluia, you're the lifter of my head."

I want to be more aware in my life of calling on the Lord to be a shield about me every second of every day. He IS my glory and my head will stay lifted if I remember to cover myself with His shield for protection.

Monday, July 17, 2006

24 Years and Counting!!!....well, almost!

Two weeks from today, July 31st, Chris and I will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary! I am writing this a little early because we will be on vacation on our actual anniversary. As I think back, I can't really remember much of a time when we weren't together. Probably because we got married when we were 19 and we dated 4 years before that! And no, just in case you're wondering, it was NOT a shotgun wedding! :) We had Ashley almost 4 years later. We started dating at the beginning of high school and got married after we both graduated from High School. I am a year older than Chris, actually only 11 months, but a school year older :) . His birthday is early in July and mine is late in August so we decided to get married July 31st because we would both be 19 when we got married.

I know it was very young, but it didn't seem so young at the time. Ashley just turned 20 last month and I can not even imagine her already being married for a year. It just seems so young. Although I would not recommend it, it did work great for us. I know that God placed us together for a reason. And I would not trade my walk thus far for anything in the world. We have grown and matured tremendously over the years. (We had to... we certainly couldn't get much more immature!! :) God has taught us both a lot. We have seen some really hard times and some simply magical times and we have grown and learned a lot through all of it.

Chris has had to take several business trips lately. His company is based in L.A. And I have realized through him being gone several different weeks over the last couple of months, that I can't imagine my life without him. Not that I could before, but it's just more real to think about when they're gone. When you are by yourself, you realize how much you actually communicate with each other. You will think about the smallest little thing you almost start to say and then remember that no one is there. It really makes you realize how when one spouse dies after 50+ years of marriage, the one who is left is not usually far behind. He is a part of me and I can't imagine life without Him. I could get all sappy right about now, but I'll spare you that. :) But I will say that our marriage is stronger than it's ever been and I am more in love with him than I've ever been.

I know that all of that comes from the relationship with God with have both realized over the past 10 or so years. We have gone through some great struggles and deep pains spiritually over the last several years, but through all of that we are not only stronger and closer to God, but closer to each other. I wouldn't trade anything we've been through because it makes us who we are now...... Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4. I can't wait for the next 24 years!!

On a little bit different note, we both did something new and exciting in November this past year. We both took a motorcycle training class and both got our motorcycle licenses!! In January we bought a Honda Rebel. A small motorcycle to basically learn on and get used to driving. It has been a lot of fun! But the problem is, we only have one. So we can never ride together which isn't much fun. We are best friends and we like to do things together. And amazingly enough, we like all of the same things for the most part. We both love camping, reading, hanging out together and with the family. We like the same TV shows, we love all sports and love to watch sports together and scream and cheer on our favorite teams. (Mavs and Stars right at the top of the list!) We just have always like the same types of things. Some of that probably comes from basically growing up together! :)

So in order to continue doing things together, we got sort of a unique anniversary present for each other this year. Last week we traded in our Rebel and got 2 new Honda VT750 Shadow Aero's!! We went riding Saturday for about 4 hours! It was a blast!! And since we get about 75 miles to the gallon, it's a lot better than driving around our 3/4 ton truck that gets 12 miles to the gallon!!

Anyway, it's been a great 24 years! I can't wait for the next 24! I love the fact that we like the same things, I love the way we start laughing ourselves silly at things other people would just say is retarded, I like our conversations sitting on top of the kitchen counter and I can't wait to go riding again!! Seeing the number 24 up there made me realize that 24 is also our favorite TV show!! Maybe that's why this year is so special....hmmmm... probably not!! Anyway, Happy Anniversary Sweetheart!! I love you more than words can say!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Who Am I?

I love Casting Crowns. I have been listening to them a lot lately and I love their song "Who Am I". The following are the words from the song...

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth would care to know my name, would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star would choose to light the way for my ever wandering heart?
Not because of who I am, but because of what You've done.
Not because of what I've done, but because of who You are,
I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow, a wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I'm calling, Lord, You catch me when I'm falling and You've told me who I am. I am Yours.

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin, would look on me with love and watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea would call out through the rain and calm the storm in me?
Not because of who I am, but because of what You've done.
Not because of what I've done, but because of who You are,
I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow, a wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I'm calling, Lord, You catch me when I'm falling and You've told me who I am. I am Yours.


Who are we? We are His!! We are children of the King!! And through being His children we are blessed beyond measure, we have an inheritance that know one else can claim unless we help them to figure out who they are. God's promises are incredible and everlasting. I am so grateful that through all my mistakes God still claims me as His. Because nothing I am or that I do or have done, is because of anything in me. It is all by the grace of God, because of who He is and what He's done! Praise God!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

One Woman's Thoughts

I have decided to change the name of this blog to "One Woman's Thoughts". Not that I by any means think that what I have to say is in any way any more profound that it was when I started this 7 months ago, but my spiritual life is in a different place than it was at that time. My blog started from basically some deep hurts within my heart. God has replaced those hurts with abundant Joy and some of my perspectives have changed a bit. Hopefully always for the better and for the Glory of God. My life is no way perfect. But God has guided me through some very difficult times and I know He continues to carry me even though things are much more blessed in my life right now. And I know that the next time something big comes, I will be even stronger and will still have God right there to walk beside me.

"One Woman's Thoughts", is simply that, one woman's thoughts. One woman who wants to be a blessed child of God more than anything else in this world. And as I said, I do not think my thoughts are any more profound than they were a year ago, but I hope and pray that maybe the thoughts of one woman, will maybe help someone else who might be in the same place or situation I sometimes find myself in.

I want nothing more than to praise, honor and glorify God in all that I do and say. Any maybe in some small way I can be a blessing to others.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Am I Being a Blessing??

Last night at church, Christopher Green, one of our ministers, did the Wednesday night talk. His talk was on how we can bless others and he posed the question, "Am I a blessing to those I come in contact with?".

That statement has really stayed with me. Am I being a blessing to those around me? I have always thought about how we may be the only bible that other people see, but I hadn't really thought about being a blessing to others. Sure, I always try to be nice and polite to others and help them out when I can, but that question of being a blessing has somehow troubled me.

Am I being a blessing to those around me? Am I blessing those around me with a little glimpse of Jesus by something I say or do? I hope the answer is yes, but I'm afraid it is sometimes no. How many times do we go through our life not really seeing things through the eyes of Jesus? How many opportunities have I missed to bless others by being so zoned in into what I'm doing, that I don't see things right in front of me? I think we get so caught up in our day to day life (at least I sometimes do) that we miss numerous chances to be a blessing. By missing out on being a blessing, I believe that we are missing out on some of the blessings that God has waiting for us. Because only in blessing others are we truly blessed.

I pray that as I begin this day, and every day from here forward, that I will be more aware of the circumstances around me. That I will see more things through the eyes of Jesus and be aware of His work that is already going on around me. For those who may not see a bible anywhere else, that I will truly be that piece of the bible or Jesus that people see and truly be a blessing to those around me.

May God bless each of you today.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Independence Day

I have been thinking a lot today about Independence Day. I think it started yesterday during our bible class when independence Day came up there. And while I am very thankful and grateful for the independence and luxuries we have as a country, it has caused me to think a lot today about my independence or dependence upon God.

It seems like we (or at least I) sometimes have a great deal of trouble truly being dependent upon God for the things in my life. We have this mentality of always thinking we need or even can "fix things". Why is that? As I have thought all day about tomorrow being Independence Day for our country, it has made me think about how everything really in this life calls for independence.

When our children are small they are dependent upon us for everything. But as they grow up, we encourage them to become more independent. To begin to dress and feed themselves, to begin making choices on their own, to eventually be out of the house, on their own, and independent. It's no wonder, that as we get older, we sometimes find it hard to be dependent upon God.

Everything in this world screams independence. And the older you get, the more you seem to hear it. Everything encourages you do be independent. While we of course need to have good jobs and be able to take care of ourselves and our families so we don't depend upon others our entire life, I think we forget during all this independence how to be dependent upon God. Somehow, where God is concerned, we need to get back to the mind set of a child, to where we rely on Him for everything.

I think the only way to do that is through constant prayer and study. We all know that we should take everything before God in prayer before making decisions. Even the simplest of things we should take to God. But how many times do we get caught up in the here and now and thinking we can take care of this one by ourselves. (We've been studying Joshua in bible class and I feel sometimes like the Israelites who got a little cocky and decided they didn't need to ask God before allowing the Gibeonites to deceive them.) And before you know it, you are out there being more independent than being dependent upon God. And more times than not, things really not going so well.

My prayer for this Independence Day, is while I am thanking for the independence of this country that God has blessed us with, that I will make a new commitment in my life to be more dependent upon God. Because I believe when we have more dependence upon God, we will actually be more free than we ever have been before.