Thursday, February 25, 2010

Isaiah 43:18-19

Last night at Bible study the wonderful Georgine shared what may have become my new favorite verse with the group, right as we were closing for the night.

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!”

I can honestly say that I have never once read this verse and it have any sort of effect on me. But, when she read this out loud to the group I immediately thought about where I was a year ago and where I am today.

This last year has been interesting and full of times to grow as a person, a wife, a mother, a friend and most importantly as a Christian.

As a person I believe I have grown in many ways: like how I approach people, how I can stand up for myself. I have grown in the ways in which I deal with situations that would have at one point left me wringing my hands in worry. Now I simply deal with it and move on to the next problem. I feel much more comfortable with who I am as a person. I believe myself to be a good person, a truly optimistic person, one who really gives people the benefit of the doubt until she is proven wrong. I want all people to be “good” and deserving of one, two and three chances- but at the same time, I also have learned that sometimes my initial opinions of people are incorrect and I can own that and say, “Well, Susan, you gave them the benefit of the doubt. Even when others were unwilling to you did. And they proved you wrong. I am done.” I also feel as though I can stand up for myself a little more and not be such a push over. I am a very deserving person- and while I generally bend over backwards to help or put myself out for others I have learned to see when I am being taken advantage of and I don’t allow that to happen anymore.

As a wife I believe I have grown in the kitchen and as a loving and supportive wife. I believe that I have become more vocal of the support of my husband, both while he is around and not around. I try really hard to only speak highly of him, saying only kind words about him to anybody. Even if I am super angry with him. I learned in a class at church that what I say about him matters, whether he is around to hear it or not. That the words I say about him to another person may be the only impression they would ever have of him. So it is my job to only say positive things.

As a mother I have grown. Dealing with a preteen, who is hormonal and literally about to drive me crazy- I have learned that I have to take a deep breath and keep the calm. I can’t say that I am always 100 percent good at it, but it is something I am always trying to do. If I stay calm, I can help her see that calm is a better way to attack a situation, rather than all crazy upset like she so often likes to try and do. And wouldn’t you know that once I started this tactic she generally responded in a more positive way that when I yelled, kicked and screamed at her. Who would have ever guessed. I am not claiming to be perfect at this yet- I doubt I ever will be- but it is a difference in who I am trying to be, for my sanity and for my daughter and I’s relationship.

As a friend I think I rock! There I said it. I think I am an awesome friend. I am ALWAYS thinking of ways to try and make the friendship better, how to grow it, how to nurture the relationship into a longer lasting organic thing. This past year I have grown many of my friendships. I have gained more close friends than I have had in years. I feel SO blessed by those people who surround me on a day to day basis as well as through my church family and also friends from years past. Anyone who has ever called me a friend is special to me in ways they probably don’t even know and has blessed me in ways I can’t even count. My goal this last year was to do the same to as many others as I was able to.

As a Christian I have grown leaps and bounds. My “new” church family that I have been worshiping with for the last 5 or so years has blessed me in ways I can’t even explain. I feel like we have settled into this family and will be here for the long haul. I feel like we have been blessed by so many at the Round Rock Church of Christ that I can’t even explain it. They have been standing by us, in good times and bad times with no judgement. With some of the drama that has been happening at my “old” church home in NM, I am so happy to have found a home that I feel I fit in- and that is glad to have me. I only hope I can bless them in one ounce of the way they have already blessed me and my family.

While I have always loved Isaiah, I had never had Chapter 43, verse 18-19 strike me like it did last night. But it did. I am such a different person than I was- and I am glad I have forgotten many former things in my life. I am thrilled that I no longer dwell on things in the past. But thrilled to pieces that I am doing new thing and enjoying my life the way it is going right now.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weekend retreat

This last weekend, I attended a ladies retreat with the women from my church. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and renewal. I went to the retreat excited to hang with my good friend Erica and her buddy Francis. We were going to hang out and really just have a good old time. I went with the expectation that I would enjoy myself- have some good time away from the stresses of my life for a while, but not really walk away from the weekend a different person. I thought that my spiritual life would not be greatly affected – whether this thinking was right- wrong or indifferent, that is what I believed.

Boy, was I wrong.

I was SO thirsty and didn’t even know it.

Friday night I was enjoying myself while we were worshiping and I asked God to let me gain something from the weekend. I opened my heart up and asked that He open my heart and fill it up with all things good and joyful. He heard me loud and clear. He opened my eyes, my heart and my soul and filled me so full of him that I can barely breathe now I am so full.
The theme of the retreat was Homecoming, and it was fun and heartwarming. I had gotten myself into a rut in life, just living day in, day out. Still doing all that I thought I needed to do, but feeling like something was missing- but not really knowing what was not quite right. I couldn’t ever really put my finger on it, except that I was really weighed down by the everyday life. So, when I opened up and let him fill me and it is such a wonderful feeling.

In fact, just last night I grabbed my Bible and flipped it open to a random passage and this is what the Lord led me too: Ephesians 2:1-10

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised up with Christ and seated is with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourself, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advanced for us to do.

Did you read that? Really, really read it? It is AMAZING! I had to slow down, read it out loud to really HEAR it. I read it 4 or 5 times last night just soaking it all in. I think this may be my new favorite passage.

Know that God is has covered us with grace and that he knows we have all been in those trenched, but he there waiting for us. I am so glad to be home.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Archived: A button

In Jacob’s kindergarten class everyday one person gets chosen to pick from the treasure chest. He has gotten to be the lucky winner twice this year. The winner is chosen based on how well they behave during rest time. If you are quiet and don’t wiggle and squirm you get to be the winner.

Jacob was the winner on Monday. He was so tired he slept through rest time, so of course he didn’t talk, wiggle or squirm at all. Poor guy wasn’t used to school after 6 days off.

When we all get home I have started making dinner, spaghetti (an all time fav around here) and Emily says, “ Jacob, show mom what you got from the treasure chest!” I turn around from my browning meat and addition of Girl Scout money on the counter to ask him, “Jacob, what did you choose?” He runs to his backpack and runs back to me with
a button.

“A button, wow, um, that’s nice.”

He just grins at me.

“Well, Jacob, what do you want to do with your button?” “When we go to the store we can buy some yarn and put it on there and swing it around and it will make noise.” he says with more excitement than I could ever muster over a button. “What other stuff was in the treasure box?” I ask, thinking maybe the pickings were slim; it is near the end of the first semester, maybe Mrs. Smith needs to restock. He tells me he skipped over kaleidoscopes and cool sunglasses and pencils. For a button. Now the button rests in a very special spot in my jewelry box, safe from all things evil. He is a special boy; I wouldn’t have him any other way.


Well, I wiped the dust and prettied her up. I feel like I have a lot to say as of late, and I need a place to do it. So, this will be it. I may only have like 1 reader, (hi mom), but that is ok. I got to get the stuff out somewhere and this was a fantastic outlet for me a few years ago, so I am coming home to it.

Be on the look out. I have a few in drafts already with more stewing up in my pea sized brain.