Sunday, September 25, 2011

15 Years

I just love my husband. This week we're celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary. I look back and I can't remember all the reasons why I was in love with him when we got married, but I'm sure glad I had them. I know why I love him right this moment. I was just thinking today about how lucky I am because there are things that have just worked out that I'm pretty sure I didn't much consider fifteen years ago. Here's a short list:

* He loves Jesus. - At the time we got married, we were both believers but wandering in the desert. This did not seem all too important at the time, but has become to mean everything since!

* He's a creative artist and simultaneously a sports fan. - He'll go to both the theater and the ballpark with me.

* He thinks I make the best burritos and enchiladas in the world. - Shhh...don't tell him any different.

* He doesn't notice dirt and/clutter. - Sure takes the pressure off doing housework. Of course, he also doesn't help much with it either.....

* He likes cats. - He'll even feed her sometimes.

There are many other things I love about him (his voice, his eyes, his passion, his encouragement, his vulnerability....) and I'm so glad he's stuck it out with me. There have certainly been, are and will be hard times, but I wouldn't trade him for anyone.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where is the balance?

You know that song from "Oklahoma" - "I'm Just a Girl Who Cain't Say 'No'"? I remember a time when that song ran through my head continually - I was a big-time church lady. I did everything anyone ever asked me to do, and lots of things they didn't. I know every word to that song, even though it's about kissing boys not organizing fundraisers, but STILL! I was very tired.

However, I finally cured myself. Actually I think God spoke through someone else and said it was ok to say no. I didn't have to do everything. It would better serve to utilize the giftings I have and put some boundaries on it, than to exhaust myself doing stuff I was only kinda sorta ok at and end up not being able to do the stuff I'm good at very well. See? Freedom! I was released from the bondage of legalistic "doing" for God. I got to pick and choose - Free Will! Yes!

Oh that fit right into my rebellious side. So much so, that I started swinging too far to the other side. Nothing gets my dander up or my knickers wadded more than someone telling me what I should or should not do. Even if it's true, whatever it is, the very fact that someone told me to do it (or not) makes me push back and dig in my heels. You ain't the boss of me! (Can you hear the attitude?)

I was actually quite enjoying not doing things - not going to Sunday school or not being in the choir or not helping in the nursery or not bringing a dish to the potluck or not going to church at all. I will not be compelled by the desire to impress people with my "good girl" act. I have no desire to impress people at all.

Except that's a lie. I began trying to impress people with my lack of need to impress. Does that make any sense at all? It's like being proud of your humility - really stupid and the opposite of logical.

So where is the balance? It's tricky; I know that much. So back to what God was saying to me before - "It would better serve to utilize the giftings I have and put some boundaries on it." Hmmm. Interesting. I don't really know what that means -"What giftings?" is my first question. And "What kind of boundaries?" is the second.

All of this to share with you that I don't have any answers yet. I am reading 1 Peter chapter 4 - the spirtual gifts part - and mulling. I'll have to get back to you on that.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bayou City Fellowship - First Sunday

Mike and I attended the "inaugural" service for Bayou City Fellowship this morning. It was wonderful! Very well attended, too. I had never heard Curtis speak before - he is great! Very engaging; laid-back; funny!! Mike was a bit embarassed for all of his LOL moments, but we weren't the only ones cracking up. It is nice being a newcomer when everyone else is, too. We didn't feel overly self-conscious. It was weird recognizing so many people that I follow online but have never met. I almost feel like a stalker - I feel like I know them personally, but they have no idea who I am. Not that I'm anybody, but still.

So Curtis is starting with a message series on 1 Peter. Ha! Anyone who is speaking about Peter is definitely going to have Mike's attention. This first message was mostly an introduction about Peter but with (of course) 3 main points:
-1-Jesus interrupts our lives by getting into our stuff (material things), i.e. Peter's boat.
-2-Jesus interrupts our lives by getting into our business (what we think we know), i.e. Peter's fishing expertise.
-3-Jesus interrupts our lives by getting into our plans (redirects our future), i.e. Peter left everything and followed Him.

Why would we want this? Because it allows us to witness the impossible become possible.

Mike was particularly impressed with Curtis' interpretation regarding point #1 - he took a different perspective than Mike had considered before. Mikey liked it!

We'll be going back next week. Can hardly wait!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Peace Out

I was working on my memory verses without my "cheatsheet" spiral notebook yesterday, and I was all twisted up on my very first one. Partly because I'd been reading it recently in a different version than I had "memorized" it, and partly because I'm on somewhere around my 14th verse for the year (I'm behind) and I seem to be running out of room in my head.

I used to be in theater!!! I used to memorize monologues and music! Good grief! I even wrote lyrics for myself that were ridiculously wordy. I never had a problem like this. It's either age or stress or I'm just losing my chops. Out of practice. Drives me crazy!

So anyway, that's not really why I got on here. The thing is, one of Mike's Bibles was handy (he has them all over the house) when I got lost on James 3:17, so I looked it up. The particular version was different (again), but it still helped. And I read the verse after it (that would be James 3:18).

It says, "And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." So I start thinking about that. What the heck does that mean? If you're a peacemaker and you sow (or plant) peace, you'll grow righteousness? How's that work?

Peacemakers strive to keep things peaceful, I would gather. But doesn't making peace mean compromise? And compromise isn't always good, especially in terms of values and beliefs. Plus, it seems to me that in times of peace, people have a tendency to grow complacent and selfish and mean, until it stops being peaceful again. I don't see righteousness there.

Hmmmm...ok. Reel it in. This whole Bible study thing can be dangerous. I read two verses out of context, and I've got a whole blossoming thought process of contradictions and confusion.

What is James about? Spiritual maturity.

What is he talking about specifically in Chapter 3 here? Keeping our mouths shut.

So as he's wrapping up his discussion about taming our tongues with the wisdom from above (which among other things has a characteristic of peacemaking), does it make sense that he would suddenly start talking about large general cultural concepts? I'm thinking no.

I think this is advice for getting along with people. And the way to do that is to seek God's wisdom (and I hear He just gives it to people who ask for it). And you'll recognize it by its gentleness, peacefulness and resulting righteousness (or as it says in verse 17, "full of mercy and good deeds, showing no favoritism and always sincere").

So I just wanted to kind of write that all out to clear it up in my head. Peace out!