Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 5 in His Word

I have managed to have my quiet time every day since I started my recommitment to reading my bible and praying.  There have been a few moments of not complete quiet but I blocked out the buzz of kids to simply read.  I had to explain to Katie that mommy was praying and to give me a few minutes to which she asked where her food was.  Yes, we pray at every meal and she really hasn't seen me pray for any other reason.  Over the last few days she is now clear on what kind of prayer I'm doing.  Bible in lap=mommy praying during mommy time.  Plate on table=praying for food. 

My Saturday devotion was on Adam and Eve, the fruit, the serpent...etc.  I have always focused on the passing of the buck mentality of this particular scripture.  God to Adam: Did you eat the fruit?  Adam to God: The woman you gave me made me eat it.  God to Eve:  Did you eat the fruit?  Eve to God:  The serpent deceived me.  I was always like dang take responsibility!  But this time what hit me was here they are walking in the garden WITH God.  Physically with Him.  How cool is that?  Why couldn't they be content with what they had?  My spiritual goal is to be content.  With who I am, with what I have. 

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day..."
Genesis 3:8


Friday, December 16, 2011

Holier Than Thou...not even close-day 1

So I have a confession.  I very rarely read my bible.  It sits on my night stand...brown leather bound, my named etched in gold.  On top of it is a stack of stuff.  Papers, other books, a box of tissues.  So my bible has become the foundation of my stuff both literally and figuratively.  In my kitchen there's a pink women's devotional bible worn, clear duck tape keeps the spine in place, highlighter and ink mark the pages from years of reading.  This is the bible from my past.  A bible I used for 8 years before I "upgraded". 

Yesterday afternoon I had a chance to speak to a wonderful woman from my church about where I'm at right now.  Well, I'm lonely.  Not because of my husband or family but because by my own lack of effort I have moved further away from God by not reading His word.  I miss Him.  He used to be a constant discernable presence.  He's still there because my faith says so but I used to FEEL His presence.  That's what I miss.

Today I picked up that pink worn bible and started from the beginning, well, the first Friday anyway.  The devotion was about the dove that Noah sent out to see if the waters had receded.  It spoke of a "single lonely bird" who "found no rest".  It then compared us to that bird.  "Spiritually and emotionally we find no rest".  That's me.  I love the Lord with all of my heart.  But because of my lackadaisical attitude I have not allowed Him in as deeply as I crave Him to be.  I start my journey of a true relational friendship with God today knowing that I will have be accountable to myself and to others.  I will blog often but not always daily.  I need to catalog my emotions for myself in case I go down this road again.

Please be in prayer for me as I cling to His word.

In Christ,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hunger Pains in America

Just read about the woman in Laredo that shot her children and herself in a DHS office after a 7 hr standoff.  Kids were critically injured and mom is dead.  She was desperate that's apparent but it pains me knowing she was denied foodstamps and also because of all the red tape her cased was closed.  I do not condone the actions of this one parent.  I hope it sheds a light on raising the poverty level in this country.  It's easy for those with money to say 'get a job' but when you are a single parent often times you are stuck between a rock and hard place.  Child care is expensive and wages are low. Or, like one of my family members...good job, decent salary but living just a basic standard costs more than what you make.  I'm frustrated so my writing is probably all over the place so please bear with me.  The 2011 HHS poverty guidelines show that a family of four cannot exceed $22,350 gross.  That breaks down to roughly $430 per week, before taxes, or $1720 per month.  Not a whole lot.  Now what happens if you make $22,351?  I have been in this scenario.  Years ago when I was a newly divorced mother of 3 I lived on about $1500 per month bring home.  If it wasn't for the fact that I applied and was approved for child care assistance that lowered by child care fees to $30 per week for all 3 children I would have been forced to quit my State job and go on complete public assistance.  I made too much money for any other help.  No Foodstamps, no Medicaid...nothing. It was hard, terribly hard. 

I know there are those 'haters' that say well what about 'those people' that take advantage of the system. Speaking from a former recipients perspective...I don't care.  My kids needed to eat.  My rent and electricity needed to be paid.  My car needed gas so I could get to work.  There were times my electricity or water was cut off before I got home from work because I just didn't have the money.  I'd borrow from my sister to have it turned on and then went without something else so it would stay on.  Dang it was hard. 

I don't live like that anymore but I sure appreciate where I came from and what I have now.  I appreciate it enough not to turn a blind or judgemental eye.   

Romans 12:1-2 The Message
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Romans 12:20-21
Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

Full Chapter: