Five {31 Days of Wisdom}

My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge.

I have a son who has trouble paying attention and often the result is, he misplaces things.

It’s the little things like homework, toys, socks and shoes.  But it’s a reminder that if we don’t pay attention and be careful, it’s very easy to misplace things.

It can happen to anyone.

We can misplace things and not even realize it until we’ve lost something dear.

Misplacing our steps can lead us to a place we never thought we would find ourselves.

When we fix our gaze on things that look so good and will taste good for a time, like the sweet drip of honey, we lose sight of the One who desires to keep our feet planted on what will be good for eternity.

Misplaced footsteps.

Misplaced honor. Treasuring what never belonged to us in the first place.

Misplaced obedience.

Misplaced love.

Looking at what will feel like love to us and obeys the cries of flesh rather than the One who loved us first.

Our love is cheap when you think of it.  It’s easy to take it from Him without realizing it and give it away to someone or something undeserving.

And though our rejection of Him isn’t so obvious…at least right away, it plays itself out through the ways we reject those around us.

Choosing what we love over who we love.  Choosing us over them.

Some call it idolatry. And in the book of Hosea it’s played out in a story of adultery.  Either way it’s starts in the same place.

It’s easy to look at Proverbs 5 and think Thank God this doesn’t apply to me.

I haven’t committed adultery with a man but I certainly been unfaithful.  I haven’t forsaken my marriage vows but I’ve been unfaithful to my God. I have loved others more than Him.  I’ve loved things created more than the One who created me. I have misplaced my footsteps onto my way and not His.

Today I am thankful for God’s unfailing love.  His faithfulness is not contingent upon mine.

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. {Deuteronomy 7:9}

This is the 4th post in a 31 Day series: Wisdom. Start from the beginning here

You can also find over 1000 other topics from bloggers also participating here.

Fuel on Friday

Galatians 1:15-16

“When he who had set me apart before I was born,and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to  me, in order that I might_____________________________________”

 

For the Apostle Paul, the answer was to preach Him among the Gentiles.

What is it for you?

For what or Whom were you set apart before the foundations of the Earth?

What have you been called to?

What if you went about it today with the same confidence Paul had?

Would anything be different?

Anywhere But Here

Source: tumblr.com via Sharon on Pinterest

 I quickly scan my Facebook feed and see one friend going to Ireland, one to France, another in Santa Barbara and one to Hawaii…

Admittedly, jealousy and envy rise up within me and I start to whine thinking and sometimes saying out loud:

“I want to go!”

Truth is, today is a day I really would rather be anywhere but here.

Any where but having to rush out to take the boys to school in time. Anywhere but having to sit at the hospital while my mom is in surgery and trying to talk down my dad and grandma as they fret away.  I too will fret but I know where my comfort will come from.  I know my God, the God of my Mom will not leave her nor forsake her and He certainly isn’t going to bail on me either.

I realize, I need to sink into it and just be.

Right here, right now is where God has me and you.  How much more time is spent wishing we were somewhere else when this is the Holy ground we are to walk on today?  If it’s not embraced, it will be missed it because not one day is without purpose, not one day is without His glory, not one day is to be taken for granted.

Perhaps the writer who said “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere” had this very thing in mind.

There is something divine, something Holy, something better to be found in this day.  I can either shrink back and complain like one who has been destroyed or I can choose to live by faith that this day has been planned and prepared before the foundations of the earth for me, for my mom, for you, for your loved ones and all that have breath in it.

Being faithful today requires me to look for the dirt, the stinky fertilizer, the water and the pruning shears so I will choose to bloom where I’m planted.

Won’t you join me?

Good Enough on Friday

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Maybe you have spent the greater part of this week picking apart or being picked apart for everything that is not right.

Or perhaps you are realizing your standards or the standards others have placed on you may be a wee bit high.

Could it be you have been so focused on the outcome that you have missed something in the process?

Or have you been sitting…waiting…afraid to step forward because you are afraid?  Afraid of failing, disappointing, or being disappointed?

Look up and see Who created the Heavens and the Earth and everything that lives and breathes. The One Who set your heart into motion and the One Who has counted the hairs on your head.  Press into Him Who loves those you love with an everlasting love…more than you are even capable of.

Let His grace that saved you, hold you and keep you.

His face shines upon you, He will be merciful to you and He will give you peace.

He is not done and therefore neither are you.

Good Enough

There are days when I am hard on myself for the things I could have done better. Days I could have been more patient, more kind and intentional.  Days I could have not yelled, or said that one thing or joked in that crude way. I could have been less snarky and more encouraging.  More hopeful and less doubtful.

Yet I am reminded of His mercies, which are new every morning and comforted by the company I keep with those who are attempting to emulate Someone perfect while battling the lie of perfection.

It is written:

We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

He prepared them… we are to do them.  He is the artist.  Sure, we are to do good but nothing good comes out of us apart from Jesus.  While it also says, everything we do should be done heartily because we do it for Him and not for others, sometimes good is good enough.

The only thing perfect about me is and will always be, Christ Jesus within me.

Everything else is susceptible to failure and short coming.

This 11 and under crowd will, no matter how hard I try to prevent it, bear wounds from my many imperfections.  They will have work through my mistakes and it will be part of their story.  I see their own struggle with perfection already forming them.  It shows up in a fear of losing and even a fear of being fearful.

The root of it all is pride. The ugly root that takes hold in my heart and needs to be dug out no matter how long and hard the work is to do so.

I need to become okay with being good enough.  Good enough as a mom. A good enough wife. A good enough friend.

In the good enough He will be praised for His excellencies.  Our dependency on Him becomes more clear to ourselves and those around us.

Lord, help me be good enough at what is before me today

and let me see the excellence in all your ways.

On Becoming Faithful: Margin

Many of my friends have taken to choosing one word for the year and I’ve loved hearing how there are lessons and gleanings found everywhere. From the Bible, to sermons, to hearing things around the table, in articles, blogs, books and music.  God has creative ways of uncovering these things for us.

The lessons on becoming faithful began early on for me and lest I forget them, I’d better get to recording them.  The first lesson I learned is:

Faithfulness requires a margin.

If I’m going to learn how to be faithful, I need to decide to what it is my faithfulness is not required.  Are there things I am doing that I should not be doing?  Are there responsibilities I have taken on that are not mine for the taking?  Do I have time and space to stop and think, process and pray about what it is I believe I am hearing?

God’s word is living and active. He still speaks today. 

But do I make room to hear?  If He is the One in whom I look to for direction of my steps, do I make room to notice?

Clearly, I have not. Otherwise the lesson would not have come over me like a ton of bricks.  So, I find myself as the first quarter of 2012 comes to near end, contemplating what clutter needs to be cleared in order to create the margin required.

How do you create and make sure there is a margin in your life?