Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Thank Heaven for my Husband!

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. ~Rita Rudner

Today my husband and I have been married for 19 years. I know that I would not be the person I am today if it would not be for God´s work in me and the love of this wonderful man....

His love makes me feel free to fly like a bird, to reach for my dreams yet he is always there to catch me when I fall.

He is the one who sees me at my worst, yet loves me anyway.

He never forgets to be the first to congratulate me when I do well.

He makes me feel like a million dollars even though I´m only wearing sweatpants.

He helps me to laugh at myself when I´m too serious.

His gentleness leads me to see the jerk I´ve been and makes it easy for me to say I'm sorry.

He is the greatest companion on any trip to any country.

And yesterday he bought me roses because he wanted to surprize me and not wait until today!

I love you honey.... happy 19th Anniversary


Monday, September 18, 2006

The unofficial end of summer

The calendar tells us that summer ends in mid-September, but we all know that the unofficial end to summer is when the kids go back to school!!!

That is when those lazy mornings and late evenings come to an end and are replaced by the routine and structure that the school schedule demands. Often this change of pace is welcomed with open arms by us mothers after a long summer. Usually a few weeks before school begins, children unconsciously "beg" for school and the regularity it brings, by their boredom . Never of course admitting that this may be the fundamental reason for their discontentment! But we parents know, don´t we!

There is though, a certain tension that arises at this point. It involves the feeling of wanting to hold on to those relaxed mornings and free days and yet it is counteracted with the longing to finally have order and schedule back in the picture. It´s
an interesting phenomenon! There is a certain sense of loss coupled with an element of dread about facing the daily grind.

Tension :

a balance between and interplay of opposing elements or tendencies,a stress that produces an elongation of an elastic physical body;the physical condition of being stretched or strained; a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense;

It´s a well known fact, that many after their holidays fall into depression just thinking about returning to their daily responsibilities. But this healthy tension is something we can´t avoid. There will never be the one without the other. Each season has it´s pro's and contra's and the success lies in focusing on the positive of each to survive with some degree of mental health! We might not want to admit it but this tension actually helps keep us in balance and it helps us grow.

This morning while I was contemplating this tension I remembered Paul talking about a particular tension common to us all....

Romans 7:15......

I do not understand what I do.

For what I want to do I do not do,
but what I hate.... I do....

....For I have the desire to do what is good,
But I cannot carry it out.

So I find this law at work:
When I want to do good, evil is right there
with me.......

For in my inner being I delight in God´s law, but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin.

What a wretched man I am... who will resuce me from this body of death?


In Chap 8 Pauls gives us the a way to de
al with this tension, in that he describes the only way to be free from the law of sin is to live in accordance with the Spirit.

This is a very real tension for us all and I know that until we get to heaven, we will battle with it constantly. The very fact we struggle with sin
will keep us humble and close to Jesus who helps us overcome by the power of His Spirit that lives within us.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

When life doesn´t always have the right shape!

I had a very similar toy like this for my boys when they were toddlers. The object of the game being to put the right shape into the container using the right shaped hole. In the process of the game you obviously also learn that the square shape DOESN'T fit into the round hole and so forth.

This also happens in life doesn't it? We want the square peg conflict to fit into the round hole solution and it just doesn´t. Sadly, we still keep on trying the square problem with the round solution anyway, becoming exhausted and frustrated at every unsuccessful attempt!

God reminded me of this game just the other day in respect to my relationship with my son. I keep trying to put this square peg into th
e round hole and it just doesn't work. I need to find the round hole for him! If not, I will end up breaking my square peg.

For some reason, we find it hard to let others be who they
are. Not because we don´t like them, or because we think they should be like us (ha, ha...) but more because we don´t understand them. This lack of understanding makes us afraid and insecure which con result in an issue of control. Sometimes in our "afan" to want others achieve their fullest potential, we forget to realize that this might happen in ways that differ from what we might deem to be the "right" or the "best" way.

If there is anything that I have learned especially my boys, that is that there is more than one way to see life.

Have you ever seen those pictures, those optical illusion drawings, where some people see a lady and others see a saxophone player? See the pic below.
If you see the one it´s often very hard to see the other. It takes training your eye to see it. Nonetheless, the two co-exist within the same picture. Often due to our "closedness" about seeing the "one", we very rarely can conceive the other object in the picture at all. This translates in real life too.

Life can be seen from very many different perspectives which can all be correct! If you understand that...you are well on the way to enjoying the differences rather than having them cause stress and frustration. If we can learn to respect, honour and value these differences in each other, life can take on a much more positive and enjoyable view.

That reminds me of the passage where God talks about the one body being formed of many parts: 1Cor 12:12

Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.

If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.

And if the ear should say "because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body....

v.19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand , "I don´t need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don´t need you!"

On the contary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honour...

But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that it´s parts should have equal concern for each other.

May God help us to appreciate the squares, triangles, rectangles and circles in our lives and enjoy them for who they are.....

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Zeal without Wisdom

It is not good to have zeal without knowlege,
nor to be hasty and miss the way.
Prov 19:2

I knew when we got our Fox Terrier, that the only elegance about her would be her name: LADY! Renown for their hunting instincts and nervous character, Lady fits the bill of the breed to the letter.

This morning as I took her out on her iniciations to walkin
g with a leash, the above verse came to mind.

What Lady does not lack is zeal. Zeal to discover the world, smells and naturally other K9's! She has already developed an amazing distain for a family of
3 dogs 2 houses down from us, and pulls with the strength of 10 horses to get in front of their faces and tell them how stupid they are for being behind the fence!(At least that is my human interpretation of the events!!)

Lady is 7th months old and still very much in the process of being trained. She has acquired the sit position and laying down position quite well, although any sign of training seems to go out of the window as soon as someone new walks on the scene, i.e. visitors! Lady ca
nnot seem to contain her zeal of meeting someone new and have them "experience" her excitement too by consequently jumping all over them, whether they like it or not!!!

Zeal: excessive fervor to do something or accomplish some end

Yes , Lady is another reminder to me of the Process, and that Process involves time and energy. It is often true that the process involves more time and energy than we would care to dedicate to it!

Not only that, Lady has a natural zeal on the onset of her discovery of life that will dissipate as time goes on. It will dissipate due to training and learning what good dog manners are, but also because of maturity.

Lady's zeal expres
sed itself in full apparel this morning as her nose led her bounding (or at least as much as I allowed it as I continued to firmly yank her backwards saying "heel" whenever the leash tensed more than I wanted it to.) towards the gate of a neighbour, where obviously another K9 aboded.

Her nose tucked under the gate as much as possible, trying to make somekind of a statement, but to Lady´s surprize was met with what I assume to be a much larger dog, who literally scared the fur off of Lady´s back and she jumped away as fast as lightening! Her zeal had lead her somewhere where she didn´t want to be!!!! Wisdom and knowledge learned
from this and other experiences, will teach Lady to curb her zeal and not be so quick to investigate another K9's territory next time!

For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Rom 10:2

So like Lady, my zeal needs to be based on knowledge. There has been many a time in the past that it has just been based on zeal itself...

Lady is beginning to show signs of responding to the training (process!!!) and the rest of the walk was done at my pace rather than hers! But due to her breeding, I don´t think Lady will ever loose all of her zeal. She will always be a bright and nervous creature. Like the saying goes, she even makes coffee nervous!

Likewise, the Bible says we also should not loose our zeal. So even though we mature, may the traces of our breed, that of being in Christ, be that we never loose our zeal in knowing Him.

Never be lacking in zeal,
but keep your spiritual fervour,
serving the Lord. Rom 12:11

Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the
Fear of the Lord.


"...a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2:14

Friday, September 01, 2006

The importance of the process

When Pharaoh let the people go,
God DID NOT lead them o
n the road through the Philistine country,

For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds
and return to Egypt." So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.
EX 13:17/18

During the Service on Sunday these two verses literally jumped out and grabbed me! I wouldn´t be the least bit suprized if my body language would have reflected both my surprize and amazement upon my discovery of this truth to those distracted enough during the sermon to notice!!!!

Isn't it wond
erful when you begin to see that "connecting" thread that God weaves through your life? When you begin to recognize a certain "sense and continuity" to the lessons and experiences God is bringing you through?

I was reminded that God is much more interested in the
PROCESS rather than the goal. It´s how I get to where I am going that matters.

My two boys have be studying for 3 hours daily during this past month to prepare for exams that start today. In Spain, the Secondary School System provides the opportunity to recuperate a given subject by sitting an extraordinary exam representative of the year. If you failed the year in several subjects, to recuperate them all is quite a task, considering the amount of information that needs to be studied.

Our boys had many exams to recuperate and the likely hood of them passing them all is somewhat unlikely. In all fairness, it seemed unrealistic to even attempt to make them study with very little hope of passing and the inevitability of repeating the year anyway.

But we felt it important for them to learn the value of trying and giving one's best
in the light of the opportunity rendered to them, and not just resign (gi
ve up) to the inevitable.

a particular course of action intended to achieve a result;

the action of going forward,
the condition of being carried on.

As parents we are looking to the process. The process of learning disciplin
e towards our responsibilities in life no matter what the outcome. It´s not a question of grades. (Hey, but I would love to see those too... believe me....!!!)

This takes me back to how God doesn´t lead us to the short cut through the Philistine country because He knows us and how we would change our minds! God´s mind is on the process and not just the goal.

Their goal was to reach the promised land, a land filled with milk and honey! But the process lead them the long way (reminds me of my long and winding road...) because for God, the goal isn´t the prize, rather it is what we learn in the process.

The process prepare
s us for the prize.

During the process, our dear Father is laying important building blocks that prepare us for life and the Promised Land....(even if it is filled with giants!!!!!)

But the process isn´t all learning and discipline....."God led the people aro
und by the desert road toward the Red Sea." We have the privilege of looking back in history already knowing the outcome, unlike the dear people of Israel. They were unaware that they were about to encounter one the the Bible´s most spectacular recorded miracles : The parting of the Red Sea.

If we would go the short road, we would not only miss out on the process, but also the miracles! God is interested in the process, because he is interested in us. His interest is based on his tremendous love for us and our character, laced with his awesome pow
er and delight in being the God of the impossible.

And there runs my thread again, weaving itself in and out of my thoughts and the process He has been leading me through over the last days and weeks. It is of the utmost comfort to see that God´s dealings in my life have both purpose and meaning despite the difficulties and pain. This understanding encourages us to go on doesn´t it??