Saturday, February 20, 2010

Disconnected

Early last week, something was wrong with our internet connection. On one of those days I was without my cell phone and on another snow cancelled our MOPS meeting. You might say I was feeling a bit disconnected.

There were no emails, quick calls or friends’ smiles, which in the midst of a long winter could get a person down. I worked to combat this though as our leadership team agreed to reschedule our meeting and I called tech support to fix the computer.

The latter job wasn’t so simple - one day I spent close to 2 hours on the phone trying to trouble shoot and solve our problem. On top of that my determined self stayed up too late working on a tool I appreciate, but really don’t understand!! I was going to fix this, but the more I tried the more frustrated I became.

We eventually solved the problem, but it was a couple of days later when my frustration level hit it’s high point. I don’t remember all the details, but I know life had been busy and I allowed the work to take priority in my days. I was tired and chose a few extra minutes in bed rather than spending time with my Father. I was disconnected.

That was frustrating, but what really increased those feelings was the contrast in my desire and determination to “fix” that problem. Only days earlier I was driven to figure out the computer. There were various reasons, with one being connecting to the outside world. Where was the same, stop everything attitude until this is right?

Trust me when I saw the contrast I was convicted and hurt. Really what’s it matter what people (some I haven’t seen in years) put on face book? It doesn’t. And those emails I needed to respond to, really they could wait. But spending time with the One who created me, loves me and has a plan for me, now that’s what is important!

I once heard someone say, “Not feeling close to God? Guess who moved!?!” It wasn‘t God, but this experience reminds me sometimes I do. It was not intentional, but it happened. I’m grateful He’s drawn me closer and once again ignited my desire to seek Him more. Technology glitches and winter weather can alter my plans, but even that can’t affect my connection with Christ. Well, as I’ve learned it can, but not as long as my eyes are on Him and He is the focus of my life.

I’m thankful our computer is running and I was blessed at our MOPS meeting this week, I feel I’ve left the dark ages! But I’m especially grateful my connection with Christ is strong once again and I pray your’s is too!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Thought for the Day

The more you seek God's approval the less you need man's.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Party for the Princess


A week ago our little Jaylyn celebrated her 3rd birthday! It was an enjoyable day for all of us! She was excited about everything and thankful for even the littlest thing! "Peanut" was a princess and the party was hers!! She even sported a nice princess crown most of the day and in the week since!

I'd have to say the crown is fitting for my little girl of royalty! She is beautiful, inside and out! Most of the time she's tenderhearted and she really wants to help. Jaylyn is soft-spoken and usually expresses herself more with her eyes than her words. She's a little girl we love and thank God for!
As I thought about my little girl turning 3, I realized she is growing up! She knows her colors, is learning her shapes and wants to do everything her big sister does! And when I look at her 3 month old brother it's obvious that she is not a baby anymore! She is becoming more independent every day!

In my reflecting during this last week I've thought of another birthday that took place a couple of months ago - mine. Not the one with candles, cake and cards, but one that's more significant than that - my spiritual birthday. It's been 10 years since I gave my life to Christ and my what a decade it has been!

I have plenty of thoughts to share, but for now my focus is this - a party for the princess. Honestly it makes me laugh to type those words, it made sense for my little Peanut, but this basketball loving, jeans wearing tomboy has never, and I mean NEVER considered herself a princess! I don't think I even dreamt of it as a child!

But as we celebrated our own little Princess's birthday I wondered if God had done the same for me. We know He is our King, so as His daughter, I am a princess and so are you! Perhaps like me, the title makes you laugh and that's OK, the important thing is understanding what that means.

You, my friend are royalty! Your Father, the King, loves you more than I love Peanut, my princess. Even if others (and even you) don't see it, He knows you are beautiful. The King created you and made you in His image! When others won't listen or can't understand, turn to Him and trust in His plan.

As I thought about these princess parties my mind made some comparisons - God sees me the way I see my child! He knows the good and bad, but loves me anyway. He cries when I hurt and is honored when I obey. I help Jaylyn learn, grow and mature and He does the same for me.

There were many similarities, but one difference came to mind - my little girl is becoming independent and will do so more and more as the years go by. But me on the other hand, I depend more on my Father than I ever have! In the 10 years I have grown as a person, matured spiritually and learned much about faith, but little by little my desire for independence has decreased. Unlike my 3 year old, I realize I am not in control!!

In the years ahead I know my little one will only continue to need me less and less, but I pray every step of independence only leads her to take another step towards complete dependence! I look forward to more parties for our princess (and her sister too!) not just ones that celebrate the day we held her in our arms, but also the one that marks the anniversary of when she welcomed HIM into her heart!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Under Attack

The other day I was watching a basketball game and as one team applied a full court press, I recalled my days on the floor as the point guard and also my time on the bench as a coach. When I was the one playing I loved the opportunity to play full court defense; as a team we prided ourselves in forcing turnovers. As a coach I appreciated the opportunity to change the tempo of the game and take the opponent away from their game plan.

I also remembered times when I was on the flip side - the games when I or my team was the one facing the pressure, basically when we were under attack. The press could be intimidating and at times frustrating as it pressured you into mistakes you normally did not make and caused you to play at a speed faster than you wanted to.

All in all the press made sense from an defensive stand point, that is until the offense figured it out. Once they beat it, an easy two points is almost a guarantee. As I thought about this and even watched one team's press impact a game my thoughts went a little deeper - I no longer play or coach but at times I'm still under attack.

Granted there is no full court press facing me with traps and crowd noise, but there is an opponent trying to distract me, intimidate me and force me into making mistakes. This time the rival isn't the Saints or Huskies, no the opponent is more powerful than that! It's not just bragging rights or even a conference championship that's on the line, it's bigger than that!

This time the name on the jersey is Satan and this attack isn't a game, it's life. But his tactics are the same - he wants to force me into mistakes, so he distracts, he busies, he lies, he gets me going at a pace that's faster than I want, he bullies, simply put he attacks. Just like those days on the basketball floor sometimes when the press is working, the intensity increases and the mistakes do the same. He wants to bury me just like we wanted to do to our opponent.

It's true, I've seen it happen in my own life! As I thought about this truth my mind took another turn, how did we combat the press?

First of all, we had to be aware of it - teams like the element of surprise and I believe Satan does too. He wants to attack when we least expect it, he's more powerful when we're surprised. Back in the day, steals were easy when opponents got lazy and simply went through the motions. He wins when I do the same.

Still there were times when we were aware of the press and opponents ran it effectively. Why? Typically because we got in a rush, went away from our game plan, got frustrated or tried to break it alone instead of as a team. Those strategies never worked on the basketball court and they don't work in life either.

When Satan is attacking, I must listen to my heavenly coach and follow His game plan. I can't take things into my own hands and assume I'm in control. I must not get frustrated and give up. I need to remember I have teammates in the game of life and communicate with them and rely on them for help. When I do the outcome will be the same, the press will be broken and the attack will stop, but better than 2 points added to the score there will be a light shining brighter for Christ.

In those moments when your back's against the wall and the enemy seems relentless, remember the press can be broken and don't forget in this game the victory has already been won!!