Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Refreshment Needed

Maybe it was the busy holiday. Maybe it was trying to cram completely decorating the house into the day after Thanksgiving. Maybe it was the five trips to the hardware store for all the things we kept forgetting in order to decorate the house. But by the time Sunday hit, I was pretty drained. Joe kept asking me, "What's wrong, babe?" and I couldn't come up with an answer.

Finally, as I was putting together our typical soup and sandwiches Sunday night dinner, I looked at Joe and said, "I am just empty." He quickly grabbed by coat, my purse, my cell phone and put the keys to the car in my hand and told me to go. In a nice way, of course! And so, for the first time...I actually did...without feeling guilty.

I stopped at Walmart to pick up some reading material and then went to one of the only restaurants in Watertown, Applebees. I picked up Rick Warren's new magazine - now, before you say anything, I have many mixed thoughts about Rick Warren and his ministry, but I flipped through the pages and saw articles from his wife (who I really admire) and John Piper (who challenges me every time I read something from him), and decided this would be a good companion for my quiet dinner.

Sure enough, it was. And as I read heartwarming stories about adoption (a huge passion of Kay Warren!!), and heart-wrenching stories about ministering in the slums of India, and provocative articles about making this holiday different this year, I was brought to a place of total gratitude.

Look at what has happened this year! We brought in a new son who is growing and changing every single day! He brings JOY to the family now!! Oh, how I wish I could go back and erase all the bad things that happened in those early months - and let me tell you, the memories are really disappearing.

We also moved out into the country. Granted, the house is probably too small and the foundation is a little weak (it is, after all over 100 years old), and I can't have my chickens yet, but I have never felt so "at home" or at peace since we moved to Wisconsin as I do now.

Then, Joe quit his very stable, very regular job. We are now in a place of total dependence upon God...not sure how we will "make it" some months. But, there is a peace that humans just don't understand.

And now, God seems to be asking more of Joe and I, wanting us to continue this path of total abandonment, of total trust.

I wonder what the point is of singing some of today's worship songs that lift words to God like "I give my all" or "everything I have is yours" when we really don't mean it? Do I really know what it means to give all to God - to just lay my life out like an open book and say, "Ok God - You now write the rest of the book. I am no longer going to try to do it my way."? When people follow hard after God, even Christians question it and wonder if it is the "right thing". I have been so scared to live a life that says, "here is my life, all of it, offered completely to YOU." I think I have given about 75% of my life - that last 25% is what God is asking for now.

So, I was totally refreshed from my time alone. And in that time, God asked me for more. I pray that I can give it to Him. I want to live for Him, I want people to look at my life and know that it is being directed by the Lord. I want my children to never doubt who takes precedence in my life; I want my children to be inspired to live a life of unabashed passion for Christ! The rest....all the things we worry about in this life...seem to fall away when I think of that.

So...here I go....are you ready?

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