Archive for November, 2009

C.A.R. time

I love to pray.  What I don’t love is when my prayers turn into a laundry list of needs to God.  OR when they are just reactions to something that just happened or something I said.  (most often those are prayers for forgiveness O_o)

So, how do you make it something different?  I’ve heard lots of different acronyms like ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) and others I can’t think of at the moment.  That works, I guess, but I needed something different, so I came up with my own.

One of my best places to pray is in the car when I’m by myself…coincidentally, my acronym is C.A.R.

Come–just come before the throne of a merciful, loving God

Acknowledge–who He is to you, how much you need Him, His grace, His love, etc. (this one could go on and on)

Rest-rest (trust) in His provision, His love, etc. and receive it–just let it fall on you

This “formula” keeps the focus on God and off of me.  Also, the resting part puts me in the right state of mind before I enter into my last “phase” of praying and that’s interceding (or praying) for other people.  Not coincidentally, that’s my I that completes my name. 🙂   I left that part out this time, in an attempt to make this duplicatable…just for fun.

Feel free to give it try.  If you like it, it’s yours.  If you don’t, no sweat.

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The Art of Judging

I’m a judger.  I don’t wanna be.  But as I struggle to sort out my thoughts and feelings about certain things, then finally determine a stance on a certain issue, there is always going to be another side.  If I’ve reasoned rationally, then I have decided NOT to choose one side for a really good reason…this is the side I tend to judge.  I don’t know how not too.  I think as I’m trying to stand firm in my decision, I have to keep reminding myself why what I have chosen is right–is best.  Therefore…what’s the opposite of right?  or best?  wrong.  worst. Right?

I know it’s confusing when I try to speak in generalities.  But, I’m going to avoid the topic that is weighing heavy on me right now and use something easy to try to explain better.   Let’s go with something like….tanning beds. K?

So, for example, I’ve decided that tanning beds are bad for me, then how would I feel when someone told me that frequent tanning beds?    Would feelings of judgment flood my mind?  I would be thinking…”how can they do that to their skin!?”  Leathery, pumpkin faces.  Ow, harsh judgment.  Name calling.  I’m brutal, apparently.

But, you see the problem.  Does everyone do this or is it easier for some people to accept all angles?

Romans 8:1 says “So now there is NO condemnation in Christ.”    none. Experiment time.  I’m going to pray this verse every day and ask God to show me what grace looks like here.

Thoughts?  Input?  Anybody?

This year will be different…Yippee!!

Why do I dread the holidays?  Why?  Is it the extra “tasks” that make me feel overwhelmed or inadequate?  Is it the way they are driven in every way by consumerism?

When I was a kid, my mom and dad made a big deal out of the holidays.  All of them.  Easter, Valentines Day, Christmas, Halloween.  And most were gift giving occasions.   Those are happy memories.  so, why do I now have such an aversion?  It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and I’m already starting to feel the anxiety of the H word.

Walking through any store, I glance around at the ridiculous things that I could spend money on.   Last year, I wasn’t strong enough to rebel and just say no.  I even blogged about it. I got swept along in the flow of the holidays and did what I was “supposed” to do.  But this year will be different.  It will.  I’ve posted my resolve on my facebook page and I’m shouting it from my blog.  My sweet precious daughter is with me right now, sitting on the arm of my chair, and we’ve been talking about it for almost an hour.  It’s done.  She’ll hold me accountable, that’s for sure.  She doesn’t mince words.

So, here it is.  http://www.charitywater.org/

If you are on my Christmas list, you’re getting water.  Technically, you won’t actually get it, someone else will.  It’ll be someone who doesn’t deserve to drink dirty water…they were just born in a developing country, in a village with no water source.  Hopefully it’ll be a mom who hands her child a cup filled with contaminated water that she just walked miles to get, and says “drink” and then prays her child doesn’t get sick.

In America, we use more than 150 gallons of water a day, per person.  Drinking, showering, flushing the toilet, laundry, etc…all of it clean water.  In some developing countries,  a person will struggle to find 5 gallons a day.

So…sorry you won’t be getting that tube of hand lotion from me this year.  or that Garfield Chia Pet.    I might, however, hand you a water bottle filled with dirty water to remind you of your gift though…wouldn’t that be, ummm….crass?  a little less than delicate?   I really need to find some way to find balance.

and by the way, if you want to know what to get me for Christmas…I think you can figure it out.

Push it, push it, to the limit, limit

I’m so tired.  So, so very tired.  It’s already been a crazy weekend and Saturday’s barely half over.  I have 5 blog posts (5!), half-finished and no more brain power to make them make sense.   I’m currently unable to move from this chair.  I physically can’t move.   I’ve considered calling 911 a couple of times and then figured it really isn’t an emergency unless I HAD to move, i.e. the house was on fire; but, then, I’d be calling 911 for the fire anyway and so,… what was I saying?  Oh yeah, I can’t move. Everything is tired.  My feet are still killing me from wearing cowboy boots for hours last night–including dancing the Cotton Eyed Joe in front of hundreds.    I’m such a “good sport”.  bless me.  My fingers are even sore, but I can’t think of why they would be…

I worked for several hours Friday AND Saturday at my mom’s garbage, I mean garage sale.  Cam made about $20, Shelly (who was selling last weeks garage sale rejects and wasn’t even there) made around $50, my mom made well over $1000, and I took home a whopping $5.  Have I mentioned how much I despise garage sales?  I’m very happy for my mom, and we did get to spend a good deal of time together, but…never again.  Never.  Last night was fun at the Big Show at LifeChurch.tv, our annual volunteer appreciation party–this was the boot wearing occasion.  AND I’m due to be at church in less than 2 hours for the evening and then back tomorrow for work.  Oh, and I cleaned out the shed and cleaned up and “winterized”  the backyard.

So, I’m wondering…who will buy groceries?  Who’ll put away my laundry?  and I NEED coffee creamer…the peppermint mocha kind, and I’m afraid it’s gonna be all gone.  The stores gonna sell it all to other people who’ve already gotten their grocery shopping done. 😦  Oh, dear.  I can tell when I start lamenting over things like coffee creamer, that it’s time to step back…reevaluate and rest.

I bet all you moms out there know what I’m probably gonna do.  Same thing you do. As soon as I finish here and hit “publish”, or when my laptop battery dies, whichever comes first, I’m going to get up, get dressed, put on makeup, put away my laundry, and push through…Push through feelings of tired.  Push through pain.  Push through whatever else I’ve got going on.  And we do it because we know we have to.  That whatever happens or however we feel, we’ve got people that depend on us…and it’s not in us to let them down.

I wonder if that’s sort of what Jesus meant when He said we have to “die to self”.  I’m gonna go look that up, later.

We moms are the best.  So…here goes nothing. 🙂

My Eulogy-second attempt

So, what will they say about me when I’m gone?  and when I say “they”, I mean my family, my friends, my kids, everyone.  Wow, that’s an overwhelming thought.  Maybe because they wouldn’t all say the same thing exactly.

I don’t know how to start, so I’ll just start…probably in the middle.

Cari’s not here anymore. She’s in a better place. Nope, no cliches. Right now, as we stand/sit looking at all of these beautiful flowers, drinking in their fragrant aroma (I hope the irony here is not lost on you), she is sitting at the feet of Jesus worshipping Him and breathing deep His fragrant Spirit.  Experiencing, for the first time, the smell of grass, flowers, fall, and babies. (OK, maybe we’ll leave out the part about the smelling…I haven’t landed on anything for certain yet.) Moving on…

At some point in her life, Cari, (“they” will say my name alot, because I like that) found herself following Jesus, but she was so far away from Him, she could barely see to follow.  It’s hard to follow someone when you can’t see them.  So, Cari prayed.  It was awkward and disconnected, but she prayed and kept on praying.  Begging God to come closer.  Begging Him to give her a hunger and desire for Him and His Word, the Bible.  God answered Cari, probably with tears of joy and relief and thankfulness in His eyes.  “Of course”, He said.

So, God came closer.  Close enough for Cari to see and follow.  She found peace and comfort in His closeness.   Cari fell in love with God’s words…she ate them up.   God began to speak to her through His word and she found that all she wanted was to know God better.  So, she prayed some more–praying God’s words back to Him.  Praying for the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that she might know God better. Eph 1:17 Nothing else** mattered more than Knowing God and sharing His Love.

**We’re always idealistic at funerals (or memorials), so we won’t talk about my weaknesses or character flaws.  (Those all seem to fade from memory once a person passes anyway–thank goodness.)  We’re gonna pretend that “nothing else” isn’t an exaggeration. 🙂

So, go eat some cake, seek to truly know God,  and don’t forget to grab a lock of Cari’s hair on your way out. That’s gross, I’m just kidding.  Not about the cake part, just the hair.

I know there’s some big chunks missing in all of this, but it’s harder than you’d think.  I’m not finished yet.