Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year, New Day

Well, 2011 is coming to an end today. We celebrate the flipping over of a calender with anticipation of new and exciting promises to be better, make ourselves better, and the world better.

I find it a strange custom for us to do as Believers in the One True God, Creator of the universe and of time itself. Our systematic counting of time has no real meaning if we forget that He is always faithful and His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3: 22-23). It is no accident or gift of time that we wake up in the morning. God's time is always perfect. Remember how He gave us an example by doing Himself of how to treat time in the very beginning before there was no sin? Back when He told us the way to count days? There was no written calender. Let me remind you with His own Word:

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Genesis 2:2-3)

and later in the law:

 “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of YHWH your God. In it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter; your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your livestock, nor the stranger within your gates; for in six days YHWH made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore YHWH blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it” (Ex. 20:8-11).

Now, I know that we are no longer under the curse of the law (read this about the law), but I am talking about keeping time.

 Are we to make promises of being better only when a year has passed? Are we to only recognize YHWH's goodness when we awake tomorrow because we've lived to see "another year?" Or is it that we ought to be grateful because we awoke this morning and all the other mornings before this? He tells us in His Word to be thankful for all things and pray always (1 Thessalonians 5: 17-18), so should we not do this every day? I am struck by the fact that our Lord wants my genuine thanks- my first thing in the morning- haven't opened my eyes yet- morning breath- stumbling down the hall towards the bathroom- praise and prayer. It's not just the anticipation of changing out my old calender with a new one- it's the all the time anticipation that this world is not my home- that He will come back to get me- that I will be able to spend eternity in Glory- and that I will answer face to face for even the foolish words I have spoken while not thinking (Matt. 12:36). Imagine then the idle way I have spent my unredeemed time (Ephesians 5: 16)! Do not wait another moment to live as imitators of God (Eph. 5:1) just because it's not a "new year." We are not promised another day at all (James 4: 13-17)!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Trading in "Good" for "Best"

We have decided after prayer and discussion that our girls will not be continuing with their Thoughtful Thursday classes. Yesterday, I sent the emails to their teachers about it. I felt a little heartbroken to do so. It is not something that is in our best interest to continue to do, though not a bad thing of course. Isnt' life funny like that? Sometimes you have this thing you think is great only to find that it's merely good and you're missing out on the great because of it. Does that make it bad? I don't know that it is bad- just bad for us. 

Part of our inability to go has to do with the fact that we have wood heat. It’s bitterly cold in our house when there is no one here to keep the fire. This is an od drafty house that needs constant care.

We are also continually working on the house. We have yet to replace the roof (which we’d hoped to have done by now) due to finances. What seemed like only $30 per week really became more like $100 after gas and being so far away from home that we were only able to have one meal before leaving home and getting back so very late. Really we probably could have put the roof on the house by now had we chosen not to do TT  and saved that money instead. 

We spent many years just not leaving the house except for basics like grocery shopping  and doctor visits for Scott’s Mom that I just wanted the girls to do something different and fun (hence going to TT). Of course retrospect is 20/20 and many of the valuable lessons we learned during that time of trial were the best things and nothing a book nor a class could teach us can compare. 

In keeping with the “plan” we feel the Lord has given to us for our daughters, the art and music lessons, which entertaining and fun, are not “best” but only “good.” None of us should be willing to give up the “great” for merely “good” although sometimes it’s hard to tell which is which. The girls have both expressed a desire to continue classes, but also to fulfill their life plans, and so are ambivalent. Last night they spent at a friend of the family's home in order to help the Mother today with chores and childcare. After feeling tired from not sleeping well, they worked hard today. They came home tired but feeling fulfilled having helped this family. I think they have realized their calling in life if greater than the fun they have been having in classes. I am grateful.  Another lesson the Lord has provided!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thoughts on the house and my Honey

This morning, my Honey said something to me that really spoke to me: "It will take time but it will all come together." He was referring to our halfway demolished house.

The one in which we need a non leaking roof. The one in which we have to change our sediment filter every few days because our well might be drying up, pump going out, pressure tank may be too full of mud, etc....

The one that is hazardous in certain parts of the "deck" outside because if you walk on it the rotten boards might give way. The one which has no electricity in the laundry room-soon-to-be- bathroom and I'm using an extension cord to do laundry and have a light in there. You know, the one we live in.

He is such a patient man. Perhaps it has been the years living with me that has helped him to develop that quality. He is known for saying "It's how you eat an elephant: one bite at a time." I am not so patient. I get easily overwhelmed. I often say "yes" to things that stretch my time beyond what is humanly possible. My Honey sets me free from obligations I need to be freed from ( Numbers 30) I see the large projects we take on and panic a little bit. He calms my fears that it will overtake me. I just realize on a pretty regular basis how very blessed I am. YHWH has shown me grace in marriage as well as my salvation. I have not deserved a good husband who really loves me, but I got one anyway! I have not been such a wonderful wife, but he has continually been a wonderful leader in our household. Thank you Honey!