Luke 10:41-42

"But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.'"

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I was in some moderate traffic on my way home from work and errands this evening. I was listening to Catholic radio, a call-in show that today focused on the Passion. Until a couple months ago I never would have been listening to this. Back around the first of the year I felt convicted to give up using my phone in the car for Lent. Not only is it a safety hazard, it is always my fallback when I'm restless driving from one place to another. Instead of setting aside time to call family members and friends, I do it in the car when I have nothing else to occupy my attention. Now I spend more time in prayer, silence, or listening to a radio station that inspires and teaches me.

There's no coincidence to the length of the Lenten season. Not only does it mirror the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert and the amount of time it rained in the days of Noah, but studies show that it takes that amount to time to either stop or start new habits. This Lenten season has not been the first time that I've made literally lifechanging choices.

A few years ago I decided to give up frozen foods because I was almost completely subsisting on them. I noticed that I started losing weight as a result, so I kept it up, gradually cut out other junk food, and tried to eat foods that God made, not man. A year later I was 80 pounds lighter, and 3 years later I still am. Not only do I look completely different, my confidence has changed and I'm in a body that is healthy and active.

I also started dating a lot more during this time, but didn't always make the right choices. Last year while on a Lenten mission trip, God convicted me to wait for the man that I truly desired, that had the qualities that would lead to a lasting, holy relationship. I wasn't going to waste my time with guys that weren't good enough just so I'd have someone to talk to and take me out. This meant being completely alone for awhile. But a few months later I met my now-boyfriend of 8 months. He was what I'd been praying for for so long. Our relationship is pure, mature, and centered on what matters most.

Now that this Lenten season is drawing to a close I wonder what's going to happen next. This has been another amazing time of sacrifice and growth and I don't want to fall back into bad habits. I want to keep growing and making the best use of the time God gives me.

Hebrews 12:1-2 "...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lillies and Calves

Last week I bought a beautiful starfire lilly for a lesson on plants. My kids and I have both enjoyed watching how this flower goes through its life cycle. They asked me to take pictures of it over spring break because some buds hadn't opened yet. That's forced me to pay more attention to it than I normally would as I bustle about on different tasks at home. I noticed that the final bud on the flower seemed to be taking forever to open. I was so tempted to just pry it open myself so I could enjoy its beauty right away, but knowing that I have a black thumb, forced myself to just leave it alone.

A day or so later it opened on its own and it was worth the wait. It's like the coffee episode all over again.

At least I know I'm not alone in my struggle with patience. Around this time I read from Exodus 32 when the Israelites make a golden calf and worship it instead of the Lord. Why do they do this? Because "...the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain..." (v1). Instead of waiting for God to move in His time they take matters into their own hands with disasterous results: "Then the Lord sent a plague on the people, because they made the calf-the one that Aaron made." (v35) I always shake my head when I read of the Israelites and their ingratitude because I see so much of that in myself. I was talking with a friend a couple months back about a decision I was struggling with. She told me something that I've been thinking about often and came up in "Believing God" as well; that as Americans when we in a dire situation we oftentimes pull out the credit card to solve it, while most people in the world are in poverty and only have God to rely on. And then we wonder why in the postmodern church we don't see miracles like we read about in Acts and the Gospels.

I ultimately decided to let God provide instead of working to do it myself. And it hasn't always been easy. I don't really doubt that I made the wrong choice but those questions do pop up every once in awhile since the situation hasn't been resolved yet. But I know that when it does God will get the glory.

Psalm 7:17 "I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His righteousness, and sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High."