Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Sunday kind of Christian

Okay, can I just tell you about my was awesome. My sweet fairy-god-mother-in-law came to watch my precious little monsters so I could take the afternoon to hang out with a great friend, learn about dogs & dog training, and just be Wendy for a while. Hmmm...throw in the incredible weather and you have the recipe for a great day....great day!

And while I bask in the glow of a day off there are words lingering in my heart. God pricked my heart this morning and spoke into my life in a way that was unexpected but very necessary. My normal praise and worship music station faded out on me most of the way through my drive; I station hopped for a bit until I found another and was kind of disappointed when it seemed the songs were unfamiliar and the djs did A LOT of talking. But then, they aired an interview they did with Max Ludado this morning about the "Saturday of Easter".

He spoke of how as we focus on the events of this week we tend to focus on Friday and Sunday. While it is for good reason, as the suffering of Jesus for our redemption and forgiveness on Friday and Jesus beating the specter of death worthy of our celebration on Sunday. We don't often pause in the silence of Saturday. Saturday was silence...the apostles hid, Jesus was dead...there was doubt, pain, fear, loneliness...silence and waiting.

Fascinated by the thought I began to ponder Saturday...what must it have been like to miss Jesus? To grieve the man they had come to love, believe in and follow? And just before I could take another breath or think another thought Max floored me.

He went to explain that he thinks many people live in Saturday. They've accepted the forgiveness of God through Christ, but they aren't living in the joy of the resurrection, of life with the Holy Spirit, of Jesus in us...the joy of Sunday. That so many are suffering still in doubt, pain, fear and silence.


I sat in my car at a traffic light with tears in my I've been missing lately.

I don't want to be a "Saturday Christian". I want the joy of an empty cross, an empty tomb and a full heart.

How great is God's timing. Holy week and He opens my eyes to the lack of celebration of the gift of Jesus in my life. He continues to nudge me and say I am your joy quit looking for it other places.

As I think about how my children will perceive God and what a relationship with Jesus is I am very aware that my faith will have much impact. I want them to learn to study the Bible, pray earnestly and shine His light to draw others heavenward. But I also want them to live in the joy that is Christ. I want Isabel to grow up knowing the security that is a God who made her exactly how she is -- that no magazine, boy or silly girlish clique defines her. I want Paxton to stand firm on faith that urges him to work diligently and be a kindhearted man in a world that tells him at every turn that you are entitled to anything you want no need to work hard for it and why think of anyone but yourself. I want them to remember a mom who reveled in Scripture, who prayed over them and with them, who danced in the kitchen to praise music while teaching them what it is to make a joyful noise (and sometimes it is nothing but a noise let me tell you!), and who was so in love with her God that she couldn't hide...or wouldn't.

I'm so thankful for my day off. I was blessed by a good friend who falls somewhere in the friend-mentor-sister realm; the ability to talk about God and do dog kinda stuff is a great day in my book. But most of all I was blessed by a sound bite on the radio that rang in my heart all day.

Tomorrow is Thursday and I am going to strive to be a Sunday kind of Christian.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I've lost my joy


Soaked to the bone after loading groceries in a downpour, I sat in the drivers seat and burst into tears. Any other night I might have felt conspicuous sitting in parking lot crying and yelling at God, but tonight under the wet blanket of stormy darkness I felt all. Freezing and tired, I decided I could wrestle with God on the drive, so off I went.

Oh how the rain was pouring and in the dark that made the road all but disappear. In the van tears left my cheeks more streaked than the windshield...and the road a blurry mess in front me.

As I drove, I cried...and yelled. "What? What do you want from me? I have set aside everything to do what you keep putting in front of me -- my husband, my children and women's ministry. And yet, I'm miserable. Nothing is easy, nothing is easy. What? What am I missing?" My only answer the annoying squeak of my windshield wipers.

I babbled over and over about all I am doing or giving up. Admitting that I don't do anything in my life to perfection right now, but I was trying.

"WHAT?" I bawled. I am doing everything I can.

And then words flooded my memory, just this morning at church a man was discussing his walk into full time ministry and the lessons he's learning. " is not about what you do or think you should do for God...He just wants to love you..." (might not be verbatim, but that's what my heart heard and remembered).

"I don't have time." Yes, you do. There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"I'm always tired." Rest in Me. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

"I'm doing all this for You."  Like a lightening bolt straight from heaven, my heart sunk. I'm not doing anything for the Lord or with Him...I'm doing it because I feel like I should. Obligation is such an enemy to our joy. No wonder my heart is heavy, my feet are sore and my attitude is worthy of a mamma-sized time out.

I've lost my joy.

The good news is...I can turn my eyes to the lover of my soul and begin to remember His songs of love and grace. And then while He sings over me (He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17), I'll find my joy...I'll find my smile (even while I do laundry!).

 So, today, my sweet Jesus. As the rain continues to pour down and obscure the outside world let me rest in You. As the waves of fatigue, four-year-old drama and "why's" from the two-year-old quizmaster continue to batter me let me remember that You've called me to these moments and You are right here, smiling with me.