Tuesday, February 14, 2012

on faith... and a Thanks to Mom and Dad

The house is quiet and the hour is late.  The living room is cold, and I am not ashamed to admit that I am wrapped up in my "slanket", loving every minute of the extra warmth it is providing me.  My thoughts have begged me to put off sleep for just a little longer.  Writing down what is filling up my heart seems appropriate on this, the eve of Valentine's Day.   
Monday's are usually good days around here.  I am productive (in an unproductive way) around the house, and I generally have a happy heart accompanying me throughout the day.  I attribute that mostly to what happens the day before.  Sunday.  I am grateful for Sundays.  They are a lifeboat of peace in the sea of busy days and short nights.  There have been seasons of my life when I wasn't a fan of Sunday.  That was mostly because I was too distracted to really experience what the Sabbath was intended for.  These distractions weren't always intentional; they were often just reflections of either the ages of my children or the amount of "serving" I was involved in.   Right now, though, Sundays have become a favorite day.  One of rest at home, and of being encouraged through friends at church.

My kids love church and no longer cling to my neck at the nursery room door.  My sweet older daughters love to bring their Bibles to church, and my little ones love to talk about what they learned.
Church is home for them.  They've been there since birth.  They feel comfort and love, noticed and remembered throughout the halls of the building.  It is a special, favorite place.
I have my parents to thank for handing down to me a love of church, a love of God, a desire for faith and a dependence on the Lord.  Without the gift that they gave me, I wouldn't be re-gifting this treasure to my kids.  If they had given in to what was easy (sleeping in on Sundays, a day "off" from getting kids ready), or buckled under what the neighbors thought, I might have missed out on the greatest joy of my life - the foundation of a love for God.  My mom and dad continue to be models for me of people of great faith, living what they have taught me over the years. 
How thankful I am that my faith is the firm foundation of my life. Having faith does not guarantee easy circumstances or protection from difficult realities.  I am not better than anyone else because I have chosen to trust my life to the living, loving Lord.  Having faith, however, reminds me that there is Someone greater than me who is in control; that I don't have to have all of the answers.  My faith reassures me that even when life is hard, and hurts so bad I think I will die, I don't have to make all of the ends meet.  The t's that I didn't cross, the i's that I never dotted - they are covered by God's grace and His love.  This is my faith.  And everyday, it gets easier to trust.  Not because I am anything great, OH NO.  It comes easy because it is familiar and it is what I know; God proves Himself over and over to me.  Faith is what I practice and what I live.  When I excercise a physical muscle, it gets stronger.  The same is true of my faith.  When life provides moments to choose to fear or believe, I must exercise my beliefs.  The muscle of faith gets stronger.  When I lack wisdom and can't rid myself of tiresome habits, I go straight to the One who can help me (time after time after time).  The muscle strengthens more.  I make mistakes, I throw faithless tantrums, and still,  I can trust that in those weak places,  I am loved and forgiven.  I may not be book smart on matters of science or math; I know the depth of what I don't know about philosophy and economics is unmeasurable.  But what I DO know, is all that I NEED to know.  I know God, and I know Jesus, and I am learning daily how to rely on the Holy Spirit's power inside of me. I have questions and I have worries and fears, but as I exercise my faith, it is getting stronger. Stronger not because of who I am , but because of who my Heavenly Father is.  He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

So... my intention for my family is to continue this legacy of faith.  Maybe even upping the anty on how valuable it is to us.    Knowing that there are no guarantees of ease, or trial-free lives, but trusting that what I have given them in words will only be furthered with what I show them.  How do we do this thing called faith?  How do we live it out in the midst of raging hormones, dirty laundry and over-filled schedules.  We take it one day at a time. and we PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.  We determine to do  less whining, and more thanking;  less worrying, more trusting.  Have less anger, more grace.  Recognize the miracles and resist the temptation to chalk things up to chance.   Get our butts to church every opportunity we can.  Love and serve everyone who comes across our paths.  Measure everything in light of what we know is truth and give credit for ALL things to WHOM credit is due.  Always. 

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