Saturday, December 27, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Last night, I went to visit my best friend Megan in the hospital after giving birth to her first baby. Noah Woodson Rathbone is as perfect as they come. He is absolutely beautiful and quickly captivates the hearts of everyone he meets.
On my drive home, I couldn’t stop thinking about how precious he is—his tiny fingers, his little coos, his big yawns, and his bright eyes—he is truly something special. Watching Megan sit in her chair and hold her sweet baby boy was an incredible sight. After nine very long (and sometimes very difficult) months of waiting and preparing, Noah is finally here!
There is incredible excitement and anticipation surrounding any birth, but especially surrounding the birth of Christ. The long awaited Messiah has arrived and He brings tremendous hope, joy, and freedom. After so many years of eagerly waiting, the Savior of the world is here!
One of my favorite Christmas songs sings,
"Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.”
Lord God, how I thank you for the incredible gift of your Son! Thank you for the hope, freedom, and peace that we now have because of Christ. I am overwhelmed by your love and faithfulness and I pray that my heart will be so mindful of Your incredible gift to the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light…For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:2, 6
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I so resonate with Meg’s last two posts and I love the idea of proactive, productive, and prosperous patience. As some of you know, I only have 1 ½ more months with my current job and then it’s on to the next thing…I wish I could tell you I knew exactly what that was, but at the moment I’m left without clear direction. I’m not so much worried, because I know God has a plan, but I am slowly growing impatient. I’m ready to have everything figured out.
This past weekend, I spent two days hunting with my family. I had never been hunting before and I had no idea how much sitting around and waiting was involved. On Thanksgiving morning, we rose at 4:30 am, ate breakfast, and were out the door. For two hours we sat in the duck blinds, guns loaded, ready to go, and for two hours did not see one single bird. Did I mention how incredibly early it was?? After that we went to another spot which had a little more action, but I do mean little. In two more hours of waiting, I only shot my gun one time.
I may not have shot any birds, but I did learn a little bit about hunting. That morning, whenever the birds did come close, we had to sit extremely still, keep our heads down, and patiently wait for just the right time. When the timing was finally right, we made our move. As I sat, and sat, and sat, I couldn’t help but parallel my lessons from the duck blind with my growing impatient heart.
Be Still—when hunting, it’s imperative to stand completely still and not move for fear of making too much noise. As I’m trying to figure the next steps out, it’s so easy to grow restless and uneasy. It’s easy to forget the reality that God is here and He is in control; we need to be still and rest confidently in Him.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Keep my head down—unlike my brother, I wasn’t equipped with the oh-so-stylish camouflage face mask, leaving me with a whiter than white complexion. If I looked up, the birds could spot my bright, white face from above and wouldn’t come near us. When we’re in the season of waiting, bowing our heads in prayer is crucial. We need to be crying out daily and asking God to lead, guide, and direct us.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
Wait Patiently—it’s easy to grow impatient and not time things right when you’re hunting. As the birds approach, you have to wait until the caller (the guy luring the birds) gives you the go ahead to pop your head up. If you go too soon, the birds could see you and fly away. You have to be patient and trust the caller’s timing. Similarly, we need to wait patiently and trust the Lord’s timing.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock; and gave me a firm place to stand.”
“Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.”
If you’re anything like me, you don’t like waiting. I want immediate answers and I don’t like the unknown. Rather than fretting about the future and growing impatient, take heart that we serve and love a God who has a plan. Even when we feel lost, confused, and directionless, He is able to guide us. Rest in the promise of Isaiah 42:16 when the Lord assures us, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”Heavenly Father, thank you that you know my way. Lord, quiet my restless heart and teach me to wait patiently upon you. Today, may I rest in your promises. May this season of uncertainty draw me closer into your arms. Lord I pray the words of Psalm 143, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” How I praise you for your incredible love, faithfulness, and direction!
Monday, December 1, 2008
I don't know where I will be 3 months from now, but right now I have a purpose where I currently work, worship and live. Yes, I would have preferred that my anterior cruciate ligament be healed without an operation, but I praise God that I had the opportunity to share my faith with the nurse at the hospital and my physical therapists, all of whom I met because I went through surgery. We have the opportunity to plant seeds daily by obeying God's command to LOVE. We must lift our eyes up, off of ourselves. I pray that we can look up and be active in loving whoever is near, wherever we are. Remaining connected to the source results in an overflow of life, love poured out on others through us.
As we keep our eyes on Him we can live in the hope and joy of His promises. How powerful is the promise in verse 7? Whatever we ask in the name of Jesus will be given! Do I believe that? The key is asking in the name of Jesus. Our true attitude in asking may reflect how strong our connection is to the Vine. If our truest desire is to bring our Father glory, to bear much fruit and show ourselves as his disciples, then that promise is limitless.
Dear God Almighty, you rock!
Oh Giver of Life, you are the source of all life and joy. We can only be fulfilled and fruitful if we passionately remain in you. Give us the discipline and supernatural ability to obey your command. May we have the faith to pray in the power and authority of your name. In your Spirit we can practice patience. The fruit will blossom in time. The harvest is coming and your promises will be completed.
We pray for discernment of your timing and your direction.