Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Turning 30

Turning 30 is surreal for me.  At this stage in life, I feel settled, like I have roots and I'm finding my way through peace and contentment.  I have a balance between a vision for the future, a joy in the present, and discernment about my past.  God is a good God.  This is true in all three view points for me.

Looking back:  God is good in all things.  There has been struggle, heart ache, disappointment, hurt, and loss.  More of each, and more to mention.  But through all this, God has been good to provide strength, foundation, healing, blessing, and gifts.  I have been rooted in God's word thanks to many good teachers and mentors over the years.  I have a sound education that provides confidence, and has set me up for a rewarding career.  I have grown closer to my God-fearing husband, and an amazing child that is an answer to prayers.  I have a beautiful home that helps me find rest and satisfaction in all that has been given to me on this earth.  Everything from my schooling, my upbringing, and my spiritual foundations have pulled me into a happy and healthy life.  God has been faithful.

Looking around: God is good in all things.  I am surrounded my true friends and I delight in real relationships.  I have found love, support, and honest encouragement through the body of Christ that is my church family.  I have labored alongside my husband in a ministry that sees fruit.  I have an unbridled faith that knows only the bounds my flesh places on me.  I battle with an enemy that hates me, yet I glory in God's grace.  I am confident in my whereabouts with the Lord. I don't take myself so seriously anymore, and I'm more accepting of my own mistakes.  I take delight in Grace and deep joy.

Looking forward:  God is good in all things.  Some experiences and circumstances will repeat themselves, that's one thing I know for sure.  I will have more disappointments and losses, to name a few.  I also know the capacity to continue to have long, healthy, life-giving relationships around me.  I know God's plans for me: a hope and a future.  I do not expect for my lot to grow bigger and bigger; but instead, whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say... it is well.  It is well.  It is well with my soul.

Psalm 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. 

Ice-Ice, Baby

How is it that every-single-time I go to get ice with my hands, from my freezer, one piece falls to the ground?  Is it just happy ice, that is too jumpy to contain?  Is ice really that slippery?  Was it just dying to escape?

This is one of the small things in my daily life that have the capacity to trip me up, tip me off, or perhaps lead me to chuckle.  Although, chuckling is hard to do as you bend over, pick up said piece of ice, and toss it in the sink. Ugh.

I pray that the latter is true.  In my heart of hearts, I know I just need to pick up and move on.  But my flesh gets annoyed!  So... this is my guess as to why the ice dispenser on the front of the refrigerator was invented.  Some "genius" found the small, seemingly insignificant, inconvenience of picking up that one (sometimes two) pieces of get-away ice as a bother.  Instead, the alternative is to stand there and wait for the ice to plummet into your cup.





This is the problem! 

...aint nobody got time fo' DAT!


So this summer, our church kicked off a new series called Legacy.  It's a topic that hits the heart in different ways.  All of us are influenced by the legacies left by our families, and through many generations before us.  In addition, we are influenced by the legacies of others around us like our friends and acquaintances.  And yet, the greatest challenge given to us... it to create our own legacy.

In our home, we talk constantly about writing our own stories.  We are compelled by a story.  Jesus most often taught within the context or outline of a story.  Therefore, I ask myself about the story of my life, once it's finished, what is the theme? What are the struggles and resolutions? What gives it life? Beauty? What about the cliff-hangers, or the things left unanswered? Undone? What will our children and grandchildren say about us? What do our friends love so much about us? How have I loved my family in a way that leads them to the Kingdom? How will I be remembered?

Since I'm merely a few days into my 30's, these are the questions I've started asking myself over and over.  Not to get bogged down in my every little action or conversation or decision.  But, more to question my motives, my reactions, my heart.

For all 5 years of her life, my daughter has gotten feedback in the likeness of her resemblance to me.  She has my face, my nose, my look.  I'm flattered, we say thanks and move on.  However, when this happens as of late, I stop.

I ask myself - Does she have my heart? My spirit? Does she emulate my love for the Lord?

I know the scripture says for out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks... but even further, I know God has graced me with a husband and a child who both help to reflect back to me my heart. Even as we listened tonight to an amazing story - It was from the husband and father of this family, and he recognized early on that the root of our problems is often a reflection of our own relationship with the Lord.  I believe that whole-heartedly.

When I'm not truly plugged into the Lord, and not plugged into the body of Christ, then I'm powerless. Just like a kitchen appliance or hair dryer that will NOT work unless it's plugged into a power source.