Thursday, October 16, 2008

Family is Joy

I have been mulling over family and how it affects our lives this week.
This past weekend my brother in law got married and we had the pleasure of helping and being at the event. The wedding reflected the bride and grooms personalities really well. We were all very excited for them and for the future of their family.
Jonathan and I sent them on their honeymoon this week and picked them up last night from spending some time in Mexico. As they were telling us some tales of their trip and the fun things they were able to do, I was struck with how much pleasure it brings to give to others so they experience joy and their dreams can come too! They were alight with joy and simple pleasure after getting away for a few days. And Jonathan and I were also happy because they had experienced such a wonderful time together. It was a joy to give to them.
Two things stand out to me today as I reflect on this.
1) It was a joy to spread joy through giving of ourselves to them during this time! Being willing to give brings joy and fulfillment to the giver as much as it does the recipient. God commands us to give as much for our benefit as for the ones receiving the gift! He doesn't need our gifts as much as he wants our hearts and desires good to come to us through our giving (If only I would better remember this when I struggle to give due to a selfish heart).
2) As the bonds of human family here on earth bind together people that may have never been together otherwise, we learn love and good when God is at the center. Perhaps you would never have been able to stand each other without that family bond but God can help us all love one another and become less harsh and judgemental. If we who struggle with being able to love each other still enjoy giving to one another then God must really love to lavish on us because he loves us perfectly all the time. I acknowledge this in my head but I struggle to grasp and believe this in my heart!
Father help me to grasp your love so I may rest in it lavishly and learn to love others more completely! Thank you for the gift of family and help me to love them better too!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Let Go and Let God

Do you ever come to a point where suddenly you realize that you have been festering over things in your life subconciously and not trusting God?
Well (as the commercial says) I'm so there! I find myself doing this on occasion. It seems to build internally and before I know it, I am holding tension in my shoulders, I am not sleeping well and waking up mulling over things that I should be looking to God about for direction. I really strive to pray over things and turn to God for direction but this problem slowly seeps in and my trust factor is forgotten. I don't mean to and am even thinking that I am trusting God for things. Yet, it still happens.
So now that I am in this place again, what do I do?
Three things came to mind as I was spending time with God this morning.
1) Take a time out- turn off, disconnect, get away and get quiet before God so that you can address the anxiousness of your heart. Getting away so I can focus makes all the difference for me. I am able to recenter my thoughts and heart on Christ and reestablish priorities.
2) Focus on the problems at hand instead of on the future- Stop thinking about future things, stay focused on where you are right now in life and turn the future back over to God's care. I am one to look for the next thing and I forget to enjoy right where I am in life. This often leads to worry instead of thankfulness.
3) Ponder- Mull over how God has come through in the past and praise his faithfulness. Looking over the past provisions brings a peace over me and a thankful heart. I turn upward and outward instead of inward!
So now I am working on putting these 3 things into practice and changing my habits (again). Let go and let God because it is all about him and not about me!