July 25, 2013

I'm sitting in my living room that is filled with natural light this morning.  The TV is not on yet.  All my girls are still sleeping soundly.  The air conditioner is perhaps a bit too cool, and I will turn it up a notch or two once it finishes this cycle and kicks off (I've been told that's the only time I should ever adjust the temp and maybe everyone else does that anyway, but I'm an instant gratification kind of a gal so waiting (and being cold at the same time) makes actually resisting the urge to hit that button twice rather difficult).  I tried to go back to sleep after my husband left for work around 5:40, but that didn't happen.  I didn't sleep too well last night from about two o'clock on because there was a cricket either in our bedroom or right outside our window that made a two-note sound all night long that reminded me of someone typing the same two keys on an old typewriter over and over and over and over. 

Such is life as I begin this Thursday.  The girls and I will head to my parents' house later this morning to help Mom for a while.  Dad is still in the hospital, but has made great strides just since Sunday.  Mom said she thinks we're witnessing a miracle.  I certainly hope so!  It's so easy to get down about the whole thing, but if he can just keep improving daily like he has the past few days then I think he'll be in rehab and even home before we know it.

The whole point of even sitting down to type out a post this morning was really to gather the thoughts I've been collecting for a couple of weeks now to share with the ladies from my church tonight.  My friend Bobbie cornered asked me to consider being the "sharer" at this second summer gathering.  She'd put the bug in my ear earlier in the summer, but I said "no thank you" but here I am right now preparing for tonight.  It's not a formal thing -- not a big deal at all.  I can talk anyone's ear off and share probably way too much one on one in a natural conversation.  This is a little different, though. 
I do need a plan lest I just ramble on all night without actually making a point! 

Two Sundays ago our worship leader led us in "Overcome" during praise and worship.  (Random fact:  I'm listening to it right now.)  Romans 12:11 is referenced almost word for word in the line, "We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony."  That was just confirmation that despite my life being more of a cautionary tale than an example to follow I can still share my testimony.  Not only can I share, I can overcome the mistakes, the sin, the pride, etc. by sharing how the Lord has faithfully worked in my life.  So, my prayer is that this won't even be about me as I share tonight, but that the words that come out of my mouth would be tailor made to be whatever these individual women with very unique pasts and presents need to hear.

Here's something that's kind of funny about how I've organized all this.  It just reiterates to me that I am really terrible hypocrite.  I've used alliteration to label the four areas of my life that I'll talk about.  I absolutely hate it when a pastor utilizes alliteration to organize a sermon.  It's such a gimmick and when I'm listening to a seminary trained, Biblical scholar I don't want a gimmick...I want substance.  Clearly I'm no pastor; I'm just a little gal sharing in a friend's backyard. Anyway, that's how I've rationalized using this literary device.  I'm using the letter "R"...  because I was/am:

*  Raised Up -- by Christian parents in church (three times a week most of my childhood)
*  Rebelled       in the typical teenage way (nothing terribly original) but not before I made several 
                         decisions that affected the rest of my life
*  Returned       to my relationship with Christ, to church after the birth of my first two children
*  Reaffirmed   of my worth and that I can still be used for Kingdom glory despite my past mistakes

Within each category there's more to the story.  I'll not type all that out here except to share with you  that the word reaffirm is really the perfect word to label the past three to four years of my life.  I kept trying to work "rededicate" into this, but that wasn't what I really meant.  Certainly we (especially Baptists) do rededicate ourselves after a period of rebellion or just living apart of God's design for our lives, but I wanted a word that showed action on God's part -- what He did when I returned.  According to Webster's second entry in the definition of reaffirm, it means "Confirm the validity or correctness of something previously established."  Perfect!  That's exactly what has happened.  He has reaffirmed that I am His, I have been since I was seven years old when I asked for forgiveness of my sins and invited Him into my heart, and that I can still be used by Him.

The scripture I'll be using is Isaiah 40: 29--31.  I know that everyone will be familiar with that passage already, but I hope to show how it has applied to my life.  It's a little risky, this opening up in front of people who don't know my story.  Thankfully, enough of my close friends who do will be there and that will help.  If not, I'll just picture everyone sitting in their lawn chairs in their undergarments ;)  I believe a version of that worked for Marsha Brady!

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  1. **Uhm, yeah. That's Revelation 12:11, not Romans.

  2. Standing before a group of people and sharing your life is more challenging than most would think. But when I did it at our ladies' retreat, my preparation really helped me to see the faithfulness of God in my life. Glad you did it and touched some lives.


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