Saturday, February 11, 2012

I'm Single and Spoiled!

This week has been one of those weeks that I have struggled in my singleness.  I recognize the few things that are playing into this feeling... a friend gets asked out on a date, the world's love holiday is around the corner, it's cold outside.  But the biggest factor is that I have an unfulfilled desire and it's hard to just forget that it's there.

I wasn't sure I wanted to write anything about it, because frankly... it's not a new song and I'm pretty sure it's not even a new verse.  But this morning I read an article that my friend Cheryl wrote about singleness and valentine's day and crazy enough she spoke to exactly the same conclusion that I had come to earlier in the week, just with a little different twist (you can read the article here!)
So as I have lamented my singleness this week and the fact that this fall marks the 10 year mark of the last date I was asked out on. I started thinking about the last 10 years of my life and all that I have had the blessing to be a part of.  Some of the things I could have still been a part of if I had been married and married with kids, but I know a whole huge chunk of those things would have changed.  I actually started spouting off a list of what all those things are.

I've been to Haiti, Africa, Costa Rica, been on solo trips to the mountains, the ocean and seen the leaves change in Connecticut.  I've been a part of watching a children's ministry grow and seen hundreds of kids faces  light up at understanding who Jesus is.  I've watched God do some crazy stuff in families lives to restore and heal.  I've had many women come in and out of community group and been a part of their weddings and births of their children. I've watched the Lord break down walls in hearts of women and been up close and personal in the healing of their hearts.  And I could go on.
But I think what struck me this week was sadness that I feel like God has forgotten me.  That I feel like I have "been good" and therefore He should reward me.  That at moments I think marriage is the reward.  And sad that I might miss the beauty of what He has done so far.  That I really don't see, as Cheryl put it, that I have been on the trip to Hawaii and not just received a postcard.

What He has chosen to give me is what He absolutely believes in best for His glory and my good.  And that I can trust Him in that and with my life AND with my heart.  He knows.  He knows what my desires are and He isn't ripping me off and He hasn't forgotten about me.
I don't fully know the WHYs of still being single, but I do know that if I stop long enough to be amazed and thankful at all He has done and all that He has allowed me to be a part of, not just the last 10 years but my life... I am not only thankful... I am spoiled!

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— 
the moon and the stars you set in place— 
what are mere mortals that you should think about them, 
human beings that you should care for them?
Yet you made them only a little lower than God 
and crowned them with glory and honor.

Psalm 8:3-5

Friday, February 10, 2012

Don't forget about his legs!

This year our journey through the Bible is taking us through the New Testament.  We have done Join the Journey for years now.  If you go to you can join us.  Each week there is also a family activity to go along with one of the daily readings.
Today we read Mark 2.  I've read this story many, many times about the friends who lower a paralyzed man through the roof to Jesus.  I've marveled at the friends effort to care for this man and the lengths they went to to get him healing.  I don't know why today it hit me differently.  Probably because that is how God's Word works... same street and yet different scenery noticed!
So the new things I thought today... Jesus says you're sins are forgiven before He actually heals the mans legs.  What in the world were the friends thinking?  I assume they brought the man to Jesus so He could make their friend walk again.  (Now these are just my assumptions, could totally be wrong, but go with me here!)  And Jesus says... your sins are forgiven.  I'm sure they were excited about that, I assume they knew how important that was too.  But do you think they might also have been thinking... oh but hey... don't forget about his legs!  
And then I thought how much is that like me.  I go to the Lord a lot in prayer on behalf of my friends.  I ask Him to make them feel better, please let that guy ask her our, please give them a job, please allow my friend's new baby to sleep through the night so my friend can get sleep, etc!
Over the last couple of years I have been challenged to change my prayers and this section of scripture challenges me to continue to be aware of what I am praying.  There's obviously nothing wrong with sleep, jobs, and health... but is it ever at the expense of our holiness?  Do I pray my friends and myself right out of the thing that will draw them closer to Him?  What's more important... their/my comfort or our closeness to the One that has all that we need?  
I was encouraged today to be more about our holiness and not just our ability to "be fine." May my heart for my friends and for myself be more about drawing closer to Jesus, no matter what it takes!

Friday, February 3, 2012

"They're Killin' Me!"

One of the things I got to do while at camp was go around and take pictures of every kiddo at camp.  Every time I came back to the "prep room" to make more name signs I was inevitably say "these faces are killin' me!"  I just could not get over the beauty of their faces and their smiles that lit up their faces!  It took some effort to get them to smile, but with the help of their leaders and group members, not one smile went uncaptured! I also went through and pulled a bunch of other face pictures from the week.  I think they all pretty much speak for themselves..

I mean really!  What a gift to get to be able to see these kids faces light up all week long!