Sunday, May 31, 2009


I was out of balance the last few weeks of school. Maybe my body was just tired. Maybe my brain was fried. Getting up to meet with God simply got put on the back burner. I kept thinking of Galatians 6:9 "do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not lose heart". Its seems that there are seasons of 'growing weary' and I do 'lose heart'. Those seasons seem to become shorter and less frequent as I grow in my walk with Christ with more understanding and I grower closer in intimacy. I found that when I let meeting with God at our scheduled hour slip by each morning, my life felt like it was floundering at sea at the mercy of any given wind that blew through. Ok, maybe not that dramatic, but life didn't feel as certain (as certain as can be in this very uncertain world) as it did when God was first each morning.
So, what makes balance for me? Remember I am a wife, a mother of two young girls, active in the women's ministry at our church and co-lead a small group with my husband. It can be easy to get out of balance and I did and I do. Back to the original question, what makes balance for me? Consistency. Let's not confuse consistency with complacency. Complacency is going through the motions and not feeling the emotion of devotion.
Consistency in God's word and His presence, consistency in exercise and good eating habits, and consistency in rest and sleep help me to keep my life in balance. You might think of it as a three legged stool. Remove one leg and the stool falls. I find when these three things are the three goals I simply aim for in consistency each day, God takes care of the rest.
I am not saying that just because I meet with God consistently every morning and spend time in His word that now I am perfect and I have all the answers. What that consistency does do though is allows me to be more in-tune with the Holy Spirit and less centered on myself. It allows me to hear God prompt my heart, direct my footsteps, guide me in conversations with my girls and others. It allows me to see where God is leading me being His child in this world and then I naturally fall into His work He is doing instead of seeking to do "good works".
I am not saying that just because I exercise and make good choices in my eating habits that suddenly I have a model's unblemished airbrushed body and that sexual desires pour out of me toward my husband in my unchanged busy schedule. What it does do though is it allows me to feel better about my self, more confident with my husband, as well as with others. It helps me feel more comfortable in my own skin; therefore, allowing me to focus less on me and more on what the Holy Spirit is working within me for my husband, my girls and others.
I am not saying that just because I have consistent rest and sleep that my girls naturally stop arguing and fighting, that the I stop struggling to seize those life teaching moments and that I suddenly can see past the faults of my husband, myself and others. What does happen though is that when I am well rested, consistently, I see the grace available to me, the scales fall off my eyes then I can see that I need that grace as much as the next person and it allows me to extend that grace to my husband, my girls and others more readily.
Now, lets not confuse consistency with perfection. As I mentioned earlier, I still manage to get out of balance here and there. That means I become inconsistent in one area or more on an occasion. Maybe the summer months with its heat and humidity discourage me from getting out for that run or bike ride for a week or more. Winter has known to keep me indoors for a month or more. If I let too many commitments into my schedule or I fall into old habits of staying up late (I am naturally a night owl), I have been known to sleep right on past my meeting time with God. The point in all this is though that I am aware of my imperfections. I recognize that I am not perfect. I stop trying to be the perfect wife, mother, and friend. I go back aiming for consistency. I am reminded of Matthew 6:33 "But seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Our first and foremost priority is Him.
So, would the goal of consistency make a difference in your life? If you stopped looking at the long range goals and simply aimed for consistency on a daily basis, in your quiet time, in the WORD, in exercise, in your breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner choices, could you look back one year, five years, ten years from now and see the goals accomplished that you would have set for yourself anyway. This is what has worked for me, I wonder...would it work for you?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spring up, O my soul

Streams in the Desert

"Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it" (Num. 21:17).

This was a strange song and a strange well. They had been traveling over the desert's barren sands, no water was in sight and they were famishing with thirst. Then God spake to Moses and said:

"Gather the people together, and I will give them water," and this is how it came.

They gathered in circles on the sands. They took their staves and dug deep down into the burning earth and as they dug, they sang,

"Spring up, O well, sing ye unto it," and lo, there came a gurgling sound, a rush of water and a flowing stream which filled the well and ran along the ground.

When they dug this well in the desert, they touched the stream that was running beneath, and reached the flowing tides that had long been out of sight.

How beautiful the picture given, telling us of the river of blessing that flows all through our lives, and we have only to reach by faith and praise to find our wants supplied in the most barren desert.

How did they reach the waters of this well? It was by praise. They sang upon the sand their song of faith, while with their staff of promise they dug the well.

Our praise will still open fountains in the desert, when murmuring will only bring us judgment, and even prayer may fail to reach the fountains of blessing.

There is nothing that pleases the Lord so much as praise. There is no test of faith so true as the grace of thanksgiving. Are you praising God enough? Are you thanking Him for your actual blessings that are more than can be numbered, and are you daring to praise Him even for those trials which are but blessings in disguise? Have you learned to praise Him in advance for the things that have not yet come? --Selected

"Thou waitest for deliverance!
O soul, thou waitest long!
Believe that now deliverance
Doth wait for thee in song!

"Sigh not until deliverance
Thy fettered feet doth free:
With songs of glad deliverance
God now doth compass thee."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Joy, even in the dark

Streams in the Desert, L.B. Cowman

"I endure all things for the sake of God's own people; so that they also may obtain salvation...and with it eternal glory" (2 Tim. 2:10, Weymouth).

If Job could have known as he sat there in the ashes, bruising his heart on this problem of Providence--that in the trouble that had come upon him he was doing what one man may do to work out the problem for the world, he might again have taken courage. No man lives to himself. Job's life is but your life and mine written in larger text....So, then, though we may not know what trials wait on any of us, we can believe that, as the days in which Job wrestled with his dark maladies are the only days that make him worth remembrance, and but for which his name had never been written in the book of life, so the days through which we struggle, finding no way, but never losing the light, will be the most significant we are called to live. --Robert Collyer

Who does not know that our most sorrowful days have been amongst our best? When the face is wreathed in smiles and we trip lightly over meadows bespangled with spring flowers, the heart is often running to waste.

The soul which is always blithe and gay misses the deepest life. It has its reward, and it is satisfied to its measure, though that measure is a very scanty one. But the heart is dwarfed; and the nature, which is capable of the highest heights, the deepest depths, is undeveloped; and life presently burns down to its socket without having known the resonance of the deepest chords of joy.

"Blessed are they that mourn." Stars shine brightest in the long dark night of winter. The gentians show their fairest bloom amid almost inaccessible heights of snow and ice.

God's promises seem to wait for the pressure of pain to trample out their richest juice as in a wine-press. Only those who have sorrowed know how tender is the "Man of Sorrows." --Selected

Thou hast but little sunshine, but thy long glooms are wisely appointed thee; for perhaps a stretch of summer weather would have made thee as a parched land and barren wilderness. Thy Lord knows best, and He has the clouds and the sun at His disposal. --Selected

"It is a gray day." "Yes, but dinna ye see the patch of blue?" --Scotch Shoemaker

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Complacency is a dangerous place to be. Someone asked me once "Have you ever thought you were doing everything right only to have a different perspective shared with you and you realize that you weren't doing it all right? Have you ever had to re-examine yourself? Re-evaluate your life?" I was surprised by the questions. My thoughts were 'WOW! I find myself re-evaluating my ways everyday! What's up with that?'

I find that is part of the Holy Spirit's job, if I am open to the things he shows me. The Spirit will gently point out my unkind tone to my husband, the sarcasm toward my girls, the prideful feeling I can have and on and on. The Spirit is not condemning, just convicting and convincing. The Spirit is willing to help us convert our ways, if we are willing to be shaped and molded to be more like Christ.

In Isaiah 32:9-20, the Isarealites were told about the consequences of complacency. They were told that in complacency (carelessness), they would loose their fruitful crops to overgrown briers and thorns; joyful and happy homes will be gone; the city will be deserted and towns empty.

If we are not careful, briers and thorns can overtake our fruitful lives, our homes can loose its joy, our relationships with our husbands, our children, and friends can become empty. Complacency is not a reward, not a goal, not a place to arrive. It is dangerous territory to settle in. Our enemy roams around like a lion seeking whom he may devour. His ultimate goal is to steal, kill and destroy. I know that the road grows weary, but we must persevere toward the goal laid before us, throwing off that which hinders us in the race.

I encourage you to not take your eyes off Him and to not get entangled with the affairs of this life, so that we may please Him who enlisted us.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hard Tail versus Full Suspension

Isaiah 26:3 (AMP)
You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind (both its inclination and character) is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

Two weekends ago we went camping and mountain biking (Texas style). I sampled mountain biking when I lived in Arizona several years ago and really enjoyed it when I moved to central Texas and the "mountains" were more like gentle rolling hills. When I purchased my bike thirteen years ago, I chose a hard tail. It has front end suspension and no back end suspension. When I 'test' rode the full suspension bikes, I felt the back end was too cushy, too soft, and out of my control. My bike has served me well over the years. Just enough shock absorption in just the right places, my shoulders. When I moved to south (flat) coastal Texas nine or ten years ago, mountain biking gave way to running and road biking and mountain biking became a weekend retreat, joined by my brother, in the hill country. On my first ride this weekend, I found myself very cautious and conservative. It had been two years since I last road, due to family schedules (ours, now married with two little girls and my brother's, now married with two littler girls). At one point during our ride on Saturday my brakes locked up or I locked my breaks up (depending who you are talking to), and I went over my handle bars. My mechanically inclined and gifted husband fixed them the best they could be considering that my front rim was now not true to precision. I finished Saturday's ride with some continued friction on my front wheel rim. Sunday's ride presented me with the opportunity to ride my sister-in-laws newer full suspension (front and rear shocks) model of my bike, considering the state of my brakes on my bike, I felt that would be the wiser choice. This newer bike would be considered a Cadillac, according to my husband. Think of the technology that has improved over those years, namely lighter components. On the downhills my hard tail literally bounces all over causing my vision to appear blurred, as rocks, roots, and various obstacles are attempted to be avoided or jumped. It already feels like it bounces uncontrollably on the trails, let alone the downhills. Now the full suspension ride I experienced gave me a new level of confidence, clearer vision and a smoother ride. I felt like I was gliding downhill over the above mentioned obstacles. Complete difference in feel, ride and confidence. Smoother, more comfortable and less bounce.

Isn't that with the peace that our Father in heaven can give us through His word. He gave us a full suspension ride through this world, to soften the blows that come our way through the storms of life. Isn't that the difference between a hard tail choice of self sufficiency and a full suspension ride with the El Shaddai, the all sufficient One. It may not be an easy ride. It may require some effort to allow Him to work in us that peace. It certainly, guaranteed, won't even be a perfect ride. He gave us His word so that we could focus on Him and be cushioned when we hit the rocks, the roots, the obstacles that life can present. All we need to do is accept the full suspension of His word allowing it to guide us over those aforementioned obstacles and to absorb the bumps, smoothing the way before us.