Monday, March 19, 2012

Flaws and all

God doesn't love me in spite of my flaws. He knows me. He created me. He loves me flaws and all. He knows when I am having a rough day, a day when I feel like noone is listening, He is.

I had one of those days recently. I expect that you might think I took the high road, stepped back, counted to ten, prayed to my Heavenly Father, read the Word and sang a praise song. I admit I did not (although I wish I had).

With each incident I became more and more irritated. I started snapping at my kids and my husband.

Then the shame sets in. Why was I acting like this? Why?! I tell myself it is because noone listens to me. Those always, never, and noone statements we all say to try and make our point. The ones that are not always full of truth. My statement was untrue. My Heavenly Father listens. He hears every word. The cries of joy, the wails of grief and pain, the whispers of defeat and sadness, He hears them all. And

Ps 56:8 NLT "You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book."

HE KNOWS. He knows every joy, fear, worry, hurt, kindness. Not only does He know, He has the answer.

I made a mistake. I let my emotions carry me away. We all have emotions, and they are not inherently wrong, but we can't allow ourselves to be ruled by our emotions. Sometimes we have to stop and press the reset button. What is your reset? How about the things I mentioned above? Distance, reading the Word of God, listening to praise music. Remembering and rehearsing God's promises. How about reminding ourselves to think on the good.

Phil 4:8 NLT "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."

But God doesn't condemn us. When we are "tested", when we start to lose ourselves in our emotions, know it can be a chance to grow.

James 1:3-5 "For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."

Apologies made. Thoughts readjusted. Seeking wisdom. Sharing. Flaws and all.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Rewards of Obedience (A Dresses for Kechene Update)

Let me preface this post - I believe God's people hear his voice. Through His Word, as a still small voice some call a conscience, and yes, even sometimes audibly.

As a parent I strive for complete and prompt obedience from my children. I want them to obey because they trust that I have their best interest at heart. I want them to obey because they love me. Love motivates more than fear. This constitutes actual heart change.

The more I learn about my God, I want to obey. His love for me (and you) is extravagant. He sent his son to die for me. He sets rules in place for me because He loves me. He wants to protect me from myself, from what I can do to myself. His rules and commands are for my benefit, not to punish me.

My story of obedience -

I had a friend go to Ethiopia for the court date for her adoption process. When she returned I felt this "tug" in my spirit. I had viewed photos on her blog of her visit. You can check out her blog. I was supposed to make some dresses for these little girls. I spoke with my friend, Chaos. I thought I could make dresses for some of the girls at the care center where her daughter was located. I thought 20 or so dresses.

Chaos suggested that girls in the Kechene CarePoint sponsored by Children's HopeChest could use the dresses. Another question arose, how could we leave out the precious boys? Contact was made with an advocate. We were supplied with a list of 65 girls and approximately the same number of boys.

I have to admit when I was given the list initially there was a little bit a lot of panic. How would I complete 65 dresses in a couple of months? How many do I have to do each week? But it lasted only a short time. This alone is remarkable for me, I have to admit I have a nervous personality. I like to be in control. This was beyond me. I didn't want to let these children down. My God would not let these children down!

God calmed me so quickly. I could imagine Him standing next to me, saying, "I've got this!" My God has gifted me with an ability to organize. I put out a blog post, I put out info on facebook, I talked with those close to me. I entrusted the outcome to my God. My God who told me, "I've got this!" I chose to trust Him. I chose to be obedient, to not let fear control me, to release my control to God. I chose to give control to the one who is more than able, who is greater than I, who spoke the universe into existence.

It wasn't long before the monetary donations starting coming in. Friends and friends of friends stepped forward with supplies and volunteering their time to sew.

One amazing part of the story that I want to share - A woman from Wisconsin was directed to the blog post by Children's HopeChest. She has a group from her church and 4-H club that for years have collected material to make these dresses and send them all over the world with missionaries. They sent me 40 dresses. The kicker, one of the children posted in one of the photos was her sponsor child! Far left, this photo -

Isn't our God Great!!!!

Thank you to all of you involved (You know who you are!) Today, a short 6 weeks later, we have 99 dresses done and/or committed. More than enough, with money left over to donate to the cost of transport or to an effort to buy shoes for these darling children. That's the kind of God I serve and obey!

Pictures for your enjoyment -