Saturday, November 28, 2009

In the midst of my turkey consumption

Hi all!

I hope you have been able to have a sweet time over the Thanksgiving holidays. Maybe you have had kids running around your living room, 5 am Black Friday alarm ringings, more turkey than you ever needed, or long-missed relatives' faces back for an overdue hug. Nate and I had a wonderful time visiting his sister's family and parents. I'll post pictures of my darling nieces and nephews soon! But until then, I thought I'd share what's been on my mind.

I'm always in a deep contemplative mood during the holidays. I don't want to come across as a solemn unhappy Scrooge during one of the seasons that makes me happiest. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love the Christmas season. Or maybe I will on a later post....I think the height of the joy I feel during this time simultaneously brings with it a depth of thoughtfulness upon those less fortunate. Maybe it's because five years of my Christmas holidays were burdened with five years of extreme suffering. Thus, I can't help but think about the widow, the unemployed, the terminally ill, the ears that haven't heard and the eyes that haven't seen. These forgotten ones are very  dear to my heart, but ever near to me the months surrounding December.

For me, the turkey, the manger, the magi, the gifts, and the holy night are all united. They are woven together in my heart and I become lost in passion over the lost of this world. I've followed the weary sinful hearts of a wayward Israel all the way to the holy awaited night of a Savior born. And I cannot stand content knowing that there are those who do not know.

To let images speak more boldly than my words, I am sharing a video link that is beloved by my husband and I. It is one he spent months shooting the footage for, editing, re-editing, and more. And yes, he had a gifted  team of irreplaceable help! It began last November, in the remote bush village of the Moi people.

If you click on the green box of 4 arrows, it will bring the movie to full screen, which is nice. You can watch it without buying it, so forgive me that the link I'm sending you to has the buying option. My intent is not to be husband's saleswoman. Grin.

But I do want us to consider the unreached and the lost in a time that can be tainted by business, materialism, or an aching belly from too many dinner rolls.

PS - There is a brief segment which is slightly heavy. The film is rather intense, so view it first before letting your children do so.

My love to you all....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My love for carbs potentially justified

I love carbs. There is nothing like a soft warm dinner roll to me. Or cereal, a waffle, a good sandwich, muffins, a doughnut, or an entire bag of chips to sustain my need to drink salsa with them. I love 'good' carbs too. I crave fruit at least twice a day and have to have it. But woe is me, those are carb-packed too.

For all of those brave people who prefer to keep care of their temples by moderating or decreasing the amount of carbohydrates they intake, I need to tell you something: We can still be friends and I do esteem you, just let me have that roll that you're not going to eat.

Combined with my outrageous propensity for being hungry and some colossal deliverance years ago, I am shameless about the fact that I like to eat. And I like to eat carbs too. And that is okay.

Because Jesus told me so. Yep. He surely did.

And today, I read about carbs being hot. And I don't mean hot in the Fahrenheit context.

I've undoubtedly read it before, but missed it until now. Y'all know how I told you that I've been in the Song of Solomon for a couple of weeks? Well of course I'm still there because I'm obsessed with details. Lo and behold, that aforementioned couple in holy, crazy, love with one another - they exchange quite the phrases of praise.

The young man, in his aching yearning for his bride, describes how lovely and dignified and beautiful she is. Do y'all know what he said in the midst of some rightly scandalous and romantic verbal exchanges???! This: "Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies." Song of Solomon 7:2

He notes her beauty from head to toe, and right smack in the middle of his googly-eyedness, he praises her belly and compares it to being a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies.

Wheat = carbs.
Encircled with lilies --> I'm going to go with those being our present day 'tire tubes' (with no iota of biblical validity)

She must have thought carbs were okay too. I'm pretty sure she and I could be friends. Or maybe not, because she probably wouldn't share her roll with me over Thanksgiving.

I could write a book on healthy and godly views towards our bodies, self-image, and the likes, so you must know that this isn't a subject that I take lightly. And maybe that's why I can laugh about it a bit in the midst of an image-obsessed world where thinness is sadly equated to be superior. This young man, head over heels in love, thought his belly-of-wheat woman was hot. And I like that about him. Grin.

So, just for me, over these next few holiday weeks, I will recall my Song of Solomon woman while I ponder that dinner roll. And I'll give praise to the Lord that my man still loves me with or without encircling lilies.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Better check yourself before you wreck yourself

Sometimes as a kid, my Mom would use this phrase as a humorous and light disciplinary reprimand. It was usually spoken when one of us kids were on the verge of misbehaving or being on her 'last nerve.' I know between my two other siblings, we zapped all my Mom's nerves. Bless her. 

"You better check yourself before you wreck yourself." Profound, right? Well, at least profound to me, because it made me stop and ponder where I stood in that moment. And it was usually too far across 'that' line that had been drawn for me.

I've been thinking about the phrase since I came upon something in the Song of Solomon two weeks ago. Now, you must know, the Song of Solomon is perhaps one of the books with which I am least familiar. My knowledge of it is completely inadequate and the various interpretations of it leave me a little overwhelmed. Nonetheless, the Spirit is our Teacher and He can lead us into knowledge and truth.

The one rare thing I feel safe to comment upon is this: "I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases." (SofS 2:7, 3:5, 8:4, and a variation of it in 5:8, ESV).

It really speaks for itself, so I don't know why I'm blogging about it. But I have been totally digging it. And it has been a verse that I've began praying over my single girlfriends, my engaged girlfriends, and even the potential unborn Griffin girl Nate and I could have one day (grin...).

One thing is for certain in the Song of Solomon - the young woman and young man are deeply and passionately in love with one another. Their descriptive words, longings, and compliments of one another are shameless, edifying, scandalous and pure (yes, those can go together in the proper marriage context). These two can think of nothing but the other and know without a doubt that they belong to one another. However, in the midst of consuming passion, so close to her marriage, the woman stops to plead and encourage her girlfriends 4 times to 'not awaken love until it pleases.'

 Even in the best pursuits of holiness, the young godly single women of today have a rough time keeping love at a slumber. They are bombarded with emotionally-lusting movies and having to attend one wedding of their girlfriends after another. They are reminded of their singleness. Their Christian and wholesome times of nurturing are often imbalanced in a setting of hundreds of other single men and women, gathered together for the purpose of a teaching. But amidst the dimmed lights, eyes search from wall to wall for someone attractive or cute. And amidst the tables filled with Bibles and ready pens, sit girls' journals whose pages from only a night before echo moments of loneliness, questioning, and self-degradation. I declare myself a fan of such gatherings. But it desperately needs to be balanced with an individual's own time before the Lord as well as mentorship in some form by an elder (Titus 2 anybody?).

Even in the best pursuits of holiness, the young godly dating and engaged women of today have a rough time keeping emotional and physical love at a slumber. Let me tell you this darling one, all the promised commitment in the world doesn't justify the awakening of sensous love that leads to consummation. No matter how in love you are, no matter how hard it is (don't even get me started on how hard it is), no matter how ready you think you are, I am going to tell you like it is: You are NOT ready. Because you are NOT married. It is only meant for fulfillment in the marriage context. The end.

You, oh Lord, open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living things (Psalm 145:16). The One who IS Love is the only One able to fulfill your need and desire for love, whether you're married, engaged, singled, or widowed. That is the reason we can pray this over ourselves and others all day long.  And that is why we can courageously pray that our love is kept at rest towards the unknown or known significant other.

Girlfriend, your friends may tell you its time. Your heart may feel like it will die if it's not time. Your entertainment culture may tell you your behind time. But from the truth of His Word, and the power He puts behind it, we can be sure that if marriage is not the context, it is not time.

Siestas, would you please pray over the single ladies, friends and daughters God has placed in your sphere? Theirs is a tough lot. But not one that God hasn't called and meant to be pleasant (Psalm 16:5-6).

I ask now, in the zealous love of Jesus, that your heart oh sister, would not be awakened with emotional or physical love until it desires...or in other words, until the time is right on His Kingdom calendar. Or, as my Mom would say, check yourself before your wreck yourself girlfriend :)

[Disclaimer: I, like countless others I'm sure, have 'wrecked myself' to an unmentionable degree on an unnamed spectrum. So worthy of another post on another day, forgiveness is your's to be had if your love not only woke up but walked around a bit...He is our Righteousness.]