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Archive for August, 2009

I’ve decided here recently to become a little more organized. A lot more organized being that I’m 0 % organized right now.  I told Daniel last night that I am going to make a schedule with each day involving different activities for me and Maris.  I feel like such a bad mom sometimes because I’m not good at teaching her things so I want to become more proactive about that.

“So!..” I told him…”we will have one day that is primarily laundry and clothesline day (I am trying desperatly to make laundry more romantic and therapeutic because it is the one chore I would rather clean porto potties all day than do), one day that is reading and art day, one day that is play day down by the bay, and thats all I have so far.” 

He just grinned. He knows me so well. So, with a newfound sense of control and organization, and all my towels out to dry on the line in the backyard,  and truly needing some time in my Father’s glorious creation, Maris and I set off today for a picnic down by the bay. 

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We had my favorite lunch…turkey panini from Panini Pete’s…

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We marveled at the trees and how beautiful and magical they are.  Maris says…”Hey tree!” …like he’s a long lost friend.  I very matter of factly told Maris how trees are under the curse of sin and how one day these trees will be restored to their full glory and potential.  She seemed more interested in the dirt being restored to her mouth.

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We ran and chased each other.  I tried to teach her how to skip…not successful. We looked at the leaves and the water.  It was a truly lovely afternoon.  One that I needed.

Lately, I’ve been so disheartened over my relationship with God…so just needing Him…needing His presence and His love affirmed to me in unique ways.  Day and nights I have pleaded for Him to help me hear Him…see Him…experience Him.  At times I truly wonder…Am I really precious to God? Do I really believe He loves me? And last night this verse fell right from my loving Father onto the page in the Bible…

“…you are precious to me.  You are honored, and I love you.”  Isaiah 43:4

He is so sweet.  You know sometimes we just need to hear “I love you, my child.”  We dont need more stuff, more gifts, more things to do, more knowledge, more schedules, …we simply need to know the depth of His love and love Him in return.  We need to enjoy it and bask in it.  We need to run and play.  Skip and dance.  Study leaves and talk about old trees and the glory they will be again. 

I hope and pray you will rest and know and enjoy His love today and that if you are far off, that you would hear His still small voice whisper “I love you, my child…You are indeed precious to me.”

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Darla

Darla is my best friend. I sound like a second grader…but its true…even though we are miles apart and dont see each other very much at all..she is my kindred spirit. (You’d know what I meant if you have ever watched Anne of Green Gables)

I met Darla in my first year of college.  Its actually a funny story.  We were in orientation and I saw her a few rows in front of me.  I noticed her because she was very beautiful.  The director man asked who came the furthest to go to school here, and it was her. Her and her mother stood up and introduced themselves and I remember thinking mean thoughts because she was so darn gorgeous.  I just knew that she had to be the snobbiest girl ever…that she probably partied and drank a lot.  I know that is extremely judgemental…but you have to understand that I went to highschool where there were girls like that.

The girls werent mean to my face…but a lot of them had that attitude that so many do at that age and beyond that says “i’m better and cooler and prettier and more popular than you will ever be.” And it left me with a bad taste in my mouth regarding “pretty girls” in general. Its sad but true.

So, I left orientation and my roomate and I were assigned suite-mates (which means room/bathroom/room.) And we were both excited to meet new people and gain new friends. So my roomate walks up to me holding a piece of paper and says…”our suite-mates are Darla and Liza.”  Yeah, immediately, I knew it was God and I laughed.

The two years we were there together, we were inseparable.  One of our favorite teachers would see one of us alone and ask where the other one was.  A lot of time has passed since then and she is still my kindred spirit friend and I dont know what I would do without her.  She is so wonderful…even her name…who has that name!…Darla…(except  from Little Rascals).

But that really taught me a huge lesson about judging others before I even know them.  People are so beautiful, so different, such gems if we would lay down  our pre-conceived notions and just get to know them.  You really cant judge a book by its cover.

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NOT…Happy all the time

I’m not happy.  And gosh, I hate when that happens! I love being happy and smiling a lot. But I’m not…for whatever reason.

I was thinking the other day about that childrens song, “Happy all the time”.  Whoever wrote that song was smoking something. And people teach that to children. It goes…

I’m in right out right up right down right

Happy all the time

Since Jesus Christ came in and cleansed my heart from sin…I’m

In right out right up right down right

Happy all the time

So…whats that all about? I have a huge problem with what people have taught kids about our Lord.  No wonder when kids get to college they quit going to church.  They have been fed a bunch fluff. Fluffy fluff…

Jesus wasnt happy all the time. He was joyful…but not always happy.

Maybe I just need a bunch of chocolate and a Midol.

I think about David in Psalms when he said…

“Why are you downcast, O my soul?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise Him,

My Savior and my God.”

Psalm 42:11

David had it right! Who needs chocolate…

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A beautiful rasberry pancake morning! Mornings are so wonderful. I wait anxiously for them. They are the beginning of a new day and for today… a new week.  Mornings for me are marked by beautiful, glorious, heavenly coffee.  There will be coffee in heaven, if you didnt already know that. 🙂  Mornings are marked by renewed energy and readiness of body, mind, and spirit. They are marked by stillness, quietness, and the rustlings and chirpings of sweet little birds.  Mornings remind me so much of God and how He is the author of mornings, coffee, stillness, and birds….how He makes everything new…and how His mercies are new every morning.  I hope everyone has a blessed Monday and many more blessed mornings!

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Ok I’m going to be honest.

I have had a hard time with the idea that men lust, or my husband may lust.  I remember being a naive newlywed and asking him one day, so nonchalantly, …”so you dont look lustfully at other women do you?”…And my husband was honest to my own horror and dismay.  It really hurt and I still feel the sting of it at times.

I’ve heard for so long that men are just visual…and they are.  But for the life of me, I could not and still to some extent cant understand this.  I mean, why would you look or think lustful thoughts when you have such a beautiful woman of your own!!! I mean, really!!

And I have come to grips with the fact that my husband may always struggle with this. Now, he can be victorious over it at times, but it will be a struggle nonetheless.

And we openly and freely talk about these things to which I am grateful.  So, I asked him…”Do women make it more difficult for you guys by the way they dress?”

Daniel: “um, yeah!”

So I began to notice this and make note of it in my head.  We’d be out to eat (cleavage galore!), at a movie, at a baseball game (if Maris EVER wears shorts as short as these little teenagers wear oh my word!), at the grocery store, at CHURCH, at a wedding (holy cow one girl was wearing a dress that showed her entire back down to her butt crack!), …and so many other women who dressed in a way that screamed “Undress me!”

And it infuriates me…I mean, we women have enough problems with insecurity and comparisons let alone the thought of our husbands checking females out!!!

But then, before I ruthlessly  judged and condemned other women for how they dress,  I did a little soul searching, a little self evaluation of how I’ve dressed for all the years I could dress myself.  So I asked myself…”Lauren, are you careful to dress in a way that keeps your brother in Christ from stumbling….Do you have compassion and love enough for your sisters in Christ whose husbands may be weak in this area and who may be struggling with lust and even porn addiction…Are you setting a good example for those 15 year old girls who want to wear the butt-floss-ish blue jean shorts because they want attention from boys?”

And of course I’ve been guilty…I think if we are honest..we all would be at some point.  But I just know here in the last year or so I’ve really become keenly aware of how sex is just everywhere you go.  And I’ve known that, but you have to understand that the culture we live in…as Christians…we have become numb to it. We watch movies, television, read magazines..and sex and lust is all up in there.

Recently, I have just been fed up! A movie will be on and seeing the nastiness, the way sex is portrayed, the lies it is telling, and the way it completely goes against my Lord makes me physically sick to my stomach.  And at times before I have watched it through because of the lure of the story line.

I just want myself and other women to understand we are different. We are aliens and strangers here. Yes, we can look beautiful…Yes, we can look nice…we are women and women delight in those things…but if our main focus is how we look and trying to look sexy, then we are missing it and we are miserable.  And the heart of the matter I will save for another blog.

This is a link to one of my favorite blogs. Anne Jackson did a survey the other day asking men and women to answer questions about how women dress. The quotes from men and women is what is so powerful and inspiring really.

http://flowerdust.net

Happy thursday!! You are loved!

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Real Magic

You know most days dont feel very magical.  Most days I get bogged down with the here and now…the things my eyes can see…the things I can feel…the things I know need to get done.  And then…some days it happens.  I move into a different mind frame.  I worry less about “things” and I’m just happy and joyful to be apart of the story God is telling. 

His story is so real..so magical. You know people freak out a little when you talk about magic.  Webster defines magic as “any mysterious power.”  God isnt ANY mysterious power…He is THE mysterious power that we can know intimately and love completely.  And His magic, (the deep magic as C.S. Lewis calls it) is at work around us.

Its not something that is blatently obvious. I think, we have to choose it.  We have to choose to have our minds transformed, so that when we look at a flower…

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we arent just looking at a flower…we are looking at a magnificent and beautiful thing. Or when we look at a spiders web,

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we are speechless at how that little nasty thing could create such a intricate peice of art. Or when we look at something like this…

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our minds are just blown away at the beauty and “mysterious power” of  Holy God.

And its not just it nature…it can be everywhere you go…people you may meet on the way.

This is a favorite piece of mine authored by Mike Mason..

“Your whole being waits to erupt into thunderous and unending praise. You wont be happy until you do.You won’t be happy until your first waking thought is of the glory of being alive.  You wont be happy until like a child you can hardly wait to get out of bed and tiptoe downstairs to see what magic awaits you. You wont be happy until you forget your problems long enough to look up to heaven and be stunned into heartfelt thanks for a life overflowing with goodness.”

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People hate God

I thought about something the other day that, surprisingly, has never really crossed my mind before.  People hate God. (that wasnt the thought..i’m leading up to it) People seriously despise Him…even people who dont realize they are directly and passionatly hating the Almighty God…they are by the way they live, the things they do and say.

And my thought was this: God made them (the ones who hate Him). When Adolph Hitler was in his mothers womb…God was knitting him together. Think about that for a second…

The man who would hunt, torture, imprison, and murder millions of Jews…Gods very own people…

God was deciding what color eyes he would have…the inflection in his voice…the color of his hair..if he would have attached or unattached ear lobes…if he would be prone to liking math or liking art..that he would have ten little fingers and ten little toes…God was deciding and knitting him together before he was born. And you know what…God delighted in it. God delights in creating..in making..in forming things in His own hands.  All the while, God knew what that man would do…what he would become.

The crazy and astounding fact is that there a millions upon millions who, like a horrible man like hitler, decides to despise the One who made them.  Some adamantly and outrightly hate Him…and some just may never think about it. They may never say they hate God…but they never ever love Him… really love Him.

How tragic. How utterly saddening. I wonder what God feels over that. A human being that God formed..that God designed… hating Him. And you see it everywhere. In the news, on tv, in science, in politics, in schools, in pictures on facebook. Hostility toward the King of Kings and Lord of Lords..the Lion and the Lamb..the rescuer..the Savior of all mankind..the Prince of Peace..the author of love and all that is good and beautiful and right in this world… God have mercy.

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