Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What is My Life?

I've been thinking so much about death lately, and I'm not really sure why. And maybe it's not death necessarily, but more like not wasting my life. I've been reminded of the verse in James that says, "What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes" (James 4:14). So, what is my life? What am I doing to further the kingdom of God? Honestly, too many times the answer to that question is "I don't know". I see myself getting frustrated at so many little things, like my phone won't work, or I can't find something that should be in it's normal spot (even though most likely, I'm the one who didn't put it away), and I wonder what does this have to do with eternity. When I get to the end of my life, am I going to look back and say, "I did my best to honor and glorify God in everything I did or said" or am I going to say, "I wish I had done more". I wonder if no matter what, I will wish I had done more for Christ.
This past weekend, my family and I went up north in Michigan. My grandparents own a farmhouse up there, and my grandpa's brother and his wife still live there. My great-uncle is not doing well physically, and has been on hospice for a little while. We brought my 2 month old son to visit him, and my dad said my great-uncle went on and on about how cute and how little my son is. The only reason I mention this is because I wonder what it is like for him. I wonder what it is like to know that you are at the end, and to see a little infant who is just beginning. I also wonder what people will say about me when I die. Will they say that I died a Godly woman, that I lived a Godly life? Or will they say anything at all? I want so much for my husband/kids/family to see Christ in me. So all this to say, I want to live my life purposefully. I don't want to just go about my day anymore. I want to glorify God in the mundane. In wiping noses, and changing diapers, and cleaning the bathroom. That can be glorifying to God. This is what God has called me to do. And I am so thankful that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Beautiful Thing Called Death

Once when I was in high school, my dad and I started talking about death. Not exactly a normal topic for a teenage girl and her father to talk about, but there we were. I’m not sure why we were talking about it, but I remember expressing to him my fear of dying. And you know what his response was? “Death is just our final test to make us more like Christ.” I’ve never forgotten that conversation. And today I was reminded of it again. Those of us who live “up north” have the blessing of experiencing the season of autumn. The leaves turn all sorts of different colors before leaving their home. It is a beautiful sight. It dawned on me today that those leaves that turn all sorts of beautiful colors are dying. They are here for a short time, and then they die. And in their death, they are made beautiful. I can honestly say I have never thought of death as a beautiful thing until today. I like to cling to the things of this world, instead of looking forward to eternity with Christ. But today I realized that I want my death to be beautiful. I want people to look at my death (and hopefully my life), as something that points them to Christ. Just as the changing colors of fall point to the glory of God, I want my death to do the same. So now instead of being scared of death, I think I can honestly say that, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

Friday, October 8, 2010

To Write or Not to Write

I love stories. I love to read stories, I love to hear stories. When I was little, I used to get in trouble for reading in bed when I was supposed to be sleeping. I think I actually read “Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder entirely under my blankets (with a flashlight) when I was in second grade because I loved to read so much.

When I got to junior high and high school, I learned that not only did I love reading, but I loved writing as well. I never minded writing papers, because I found that I could express myself through papers much better than expressing myself orally. I pretty much lived in fear of speeches. I took physics my senior year of high school instead of speech class, not because I really had any interest in physics, but because I was NOT going to spend an entire school year in terror because I had to speak in front of a group of people.

But the real fear wasn’t speaking in front of people. The real fear was what people thought. I was terrified of what people thought of me. I still am. I want so much for people to like me that in some ways, it paralyzes me. I know that I should do certain things, but I don’t, because I wonder what someone will think .... which brings me to why I started writing this blog.

For several years, I have thought about starting a blog. But almost as soon as the idea of starting a blog enters my head, the nagging thought, “What will people think?” follows soon after. That thought has kept me from writing until now. Over the past several weeks, the Lord has been convicting me about so many different things. One of those things is not living in fear of people, but in the fear of Him. Almost as soon as I realized that I was fearing people more than I feared Him, it was as though He told me, “you need to write”. So, here I am … writing a blog. A blog that, hopefully, will point others to Christ.

Lord, Teach Me to Pray

Ah, quiet. This is the time of day that I am learning to love. Everyone is asleep, the television is off, cell phones aren’t ringing.

I used to hate silence. I used to hate it so much that I would always have something on. Whether it be the TV or a CD or anything that would make noise. I hated to be alone with my thoughts. And now I am learning to love the silence.

The past few weeks, the Lord has really convicted me about how much I don’t pray. I waste so much time during my day when I could be praying. Instead of having Elmo or Veggie Tales on for the seventeenth time and mindlessly going about my day, I could be praying. Instead of allowing other people to teach my children, and “riding the wave” of my day, I should be teaching my children. That’s not to say that teaching doesn’t get done around our house, but I find myself too often using outside sources to entertain my kids while I’m selfishly doing things that I want to do. I don’t want to be that kind of parent anymore. I want so much to teach my children the ways of the Lord, and to see them grow up to be Godly people. And that doesn’t happen by accident. So, even though my kids are young right now, and my daughter doesn’t understand many concepts besides “don’t hit” or “finish eating”, God has given me this wonderful opportunity to pray. To pray that their souls would be saved, and that they would grow up to be a great man and woman of the faith.