Tuesday, March 21, 2006

the Bride

Yesterday was a time of awesome discovery of my place in God's Kingdom. If you are part of the PLACE study make sure you do the one-on-one session where all the information you've discovered about yourself becomes real. Not just letters and descriptions, but it all comes together and helps you see why He called you to His kingdom and where you fit in the picture. It was comfortable, easy, and fun. Jason did a great job!

Our Beth Moore study has come to an end and I thought I would be so worn out, but there goes God doing His "God thing" again! I'm so energized and now we get to attend the International Soul Winning Workshop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God is soooooooooooooooooo good!

One of the thoughts from this week's study that my mind keeps lingering over was when we were looking at the new Jerusalem ... prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. This peaked my interest and I starting reading about the church as the bride of Christ. Weddings have been a big part of our family's life over the past two years. All the preperations, joy, and excitement!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Being the mother of the groom, one of the snapshots in my memory from those wonderful events was the expression on the faces of my sons when they caught their first glimpse of their brides. My gaze was fixed on them to capture that recognition of someone they knew so well, that they had chosen and loved so much, and yet had never seen in this way before. The sparkles of light in their eyes, the joy that erupted across their faces in smiles so massive a face could hardly contain it, and the tears of pure joy and wonder that filled their eyes caught me up in that breathless moment as I saw the bridegroom waiting for his bride. I just love how God gives us those earthly moments to capture little bits of understanding into how He sees us. We, church, are His beautiful bride and He is preparing to receive us with all the joy and excitement of a holy wedding that only the splendor of Heaven could stage. Feel the joy and assurance that He has chosen you to be His bride and that He waits to rejoice over you.

"...as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you."

Monday, March 20, 2006

My PLACE in the Kingdom

I'm so excited! This afternoon I'm sitting down with someone whom I have tremendous respect for to continue discovering my PLACE in the Kingdom. This has been such an awesome experience and God's timing just gives me "Godbumps"! I've learned that God created me unique - uniquely different in my personalaity, spiritual gifts, abilities, passions, and life experiences. I've learned that He has a place for me in His Kingdom that has been prepared for me since the dawn of time - THERE"S A PLAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess I've always known that; afterall, I have read 1 Cor. 12 about the body and all its many parts, but I guess I never fully understood that the diversity of creation and His Kingdom was His plan. Instead of trying to fit into one puzzle piece in order to accomplish His will for my life, He designed multiple pieces all with their own unique shape and purpose for the specific purpose of His will being done. What a picture of His plan! A beautiful picture that's not complete without each piece doing exactly what it was designed to do! Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, what a concept! What a God! Diversity of believers was HIS idea!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Quite a year!

It’s been quite a journey for me so far this school year. I have faced so many challenges professionally, personally, physically/emotionally, and spiritually. Yes, it has been a very full year, but God has been there waiting for me to take His hand every step of the way.

New high school teaching assignments (that means all new preps for every class = long hours of preparation)
New curriculum for all my classes (that means out with the old and in with the new = more long hours of preparation)
Reaccreditation year for the school (that means extra work & extra stress = now is the time to be at your best)

Great timing for an off year when you feel far from your professional best! I have always loved being a teacher, but this year has been a challenge for me. One of my greatest joys in life is relationship with my students. My students are wonderful and so easy to love; they have kept me going when the “job” part of teaching seemed way too hard. Yes, the Lord had a message for me. Thank you God for students and relationships.

August: took my baby (Vanessa) to college (a bittersweet moment between a mother & daughter)
October: oldest son (Jon) got married to a wonderful girl
February: middle child (Michael) and his wife made me a grandmother

I always thought when the “empty nest” time came our life would slow down. However, I have discovered that it actually requires more time because now instead of one nest where we all meet together at the end of the day, there are three nests that we spend all our time running between! What a joy and yet another adjustment! In the celebration of all these transitions with our children, tremendous blessings were gained. I am amazed at the incredible people they are. When times have been tough this year, they have always managed to make me feel loved and helped me to laugh. Yes, the Lord had a message for me. Thank you God for my children and the richness and blessings they bring to my life.

Major surgery in October which led to 6 wks. of sick leave from school & life in general

This has made it an especially tough year. Surgery has corrected the problem, but recovery is slow. I get impatient when life is slow. The side effects of the surgery have been harsh and tough to adjust to emotionally, but healing is happening. My health has always been an issue for me and is a place that Satan can use as a source of discouragement. Yes, the Lord had a message for me. Thank you God for bodies and minds that are so well designed and capable of healing. Thank you for Doctors who have dedicated their lives to making our lives better.


A Beth Moore study group on Monday nights

The last thing, I thought, I had time or energy for was another place to be and more studying to do! Yet, over the last few weeks I have found myself with a group of women pouring over God’s word and having new strength, joy, and peace sweep over my heart. I have been blessed with new relationships with sisters, strengthened relationships with other sisters, and been food for my soul. Isn’t that how God works? The very thing I thought had the least time for was the very thing I needed the most. He made that very clear to me tonight. Yes, the Lord had a message for me. Thank you God for Kingdom lessons revealed through the precious gift of sisters in Christ.

His message:
His provision - “My grace is sufficient for you, for MY power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9

The secret to contentment – “I can do everything through HIM who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

His power – “To this end I labor, struggling with all HIS energy which so powerfully works in me.” Colossians 1:29
Thank you God for weakness, for struggle, for working through me and yes, sometimes in spite of me. May my life be an opportunity for YOU to be seen and be glorified