Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Lesson From the Clouds

Ps. 68:1 - "May God arise, may His enemies be scattered; may His foes flee before Him."

I've been praying to see God's glory, and for my church to see God's glory. The other day a friend posted this quote from Charles Spurgeon on her Facebook wall. I found it very encouraging, especially after the lesson God showed me in the clouds:

Although you may have pleaded month after month without evidence of answer, it is not possible that the Lord should be deaf when his people are earnest in a matter which concerns his glory. -Spurgeon-

While I was at the beach with my family, I was able to get up early enough to enjoy the sunrise a couple of mornings. The first day I watched it, the sun immediately rose into a bank of dark clouds. As the sun rose, the clouds rose with it, and I wasn't able to see much at all. I was disappointed, but continued to watch. The clouds started spreading, as if it was trying to block every ray of the sun, and at first it looked like it was succeeding. But then, the light started to pierce through the clouds, and I realized that what was really happening was that the sun was causing the dark clouds to scatter. Within 30 minutes, there was no trace of those clouds, and the light of the sun filled the sky.
The second day, the same thing happened, except that the clouds were MUCH larger. This time I knew what would happen, but I didn't realize how it would impact me. As the sun rose, it began to pierce the dark clouds and scattered them, but instead of disappearing, the clouds scattered over me and poured down rain. After about 10 minutes, though, the rain stopped, the clouds did disappear, and the sun once again lit up the sky.
The Lord used that to speak to me. I've been praying to see the glory of the Lord in our church in ways we never have. What the Lord showed me was that His glory is already on the rise. Most of you probably sense that in our worship services. But there is some darkness on the horizon, and it is preventing us from fully seeing or comprehending His glory. To some of us, it may look like the darkness is overcoming the light. But the truth is, in our darkest moments - both in our individual lives and as a church - God is at work. If we have faith to keep looking toward Him, toward the light, we will see that He is at work in the darkness, and His glory WILL break through. The enemy WILL scatter, and the glory of the Lord will rise and fill our lives, our church and even the whole Earth. Actually, His glory already does fill the Earth, but it's hard for us to see it sometimes for the storm clouds all around us. Don't be discouraged when it seems the clouds are overtaking you. Don't be alarmed when the rain and the storm pours down around you. Trust that God is at work, and that the storm is indicating the enemy's power is being broken. Praise God!
Specifically, I heard the Spirit speak to me, "As the sun rises, so does my glory, and My glory overcomes the darkness." When I got home, I was thinking I would really like to know a verse that confirms what He spoke to me. I went to check email, and one of the first emails I laid eyes on was a daily Bible verse that I signed up for just the week before. The verse for that day was Hosea 6:3 - "Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth." Thank You, Lord, for confirming Your word of encouragement. Cause us to press in to acknowledge You, even when it seems we can't see You. Let Your glory arise, and let Your enemies be scattered. Amen

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Whose Security Blanket is it Anyway?

Hi! Remember me? I felt so bad about not having blogged in so long that I was seriously thinking about just giving it up. However, I have had a couple of people in my life tell me that I should start blogging again. So here I am. I did have to laugh to myself though when I signed in and saw my last post was titled "Being Quiet". Nice to know I took that one to heart!

So Sunday, 2 days ago, I had one of the most traumatic events that can happen in the life of a mother of a toddler. (Yes, my baby girl is a toddler now. If I weren't having digital camera issues, I would post a picture of her on here for you.) We. lost. Amy Beth's. blankies. **da, du, dum!** I can hear your screams of horror now.

Yes, she has two. The plan being we would always have a backup for wash days and if the unthinkable happened and we misplaced one, but once she realized there were 2 of them, she had to have both of them with her at all times. We lost them at church that morning. I knew they were in her bag when I dropped her off, and I realized they were missing on our way home when we stopped for lunch. Of course, I immediately turned around and headed back to church, but all the doors were locked and everyone was gone. At this point, my mind overloaded on the horrible future that laid immediately ahead of me. I was thinking no naps, lots of crying at bedtime, overall fussiness throughout the day - and it wasn't going to be a picnic for her either.

I came home, called Preston, who suggested that I ask someone who lived near the church and had a key if I could borrow the key and go look for the blankets. Our worship pastor was the obvious choice, because he lives within walking distance to the church, and he knows where I live in case I "forgot" to return the key. Call made; he agreed to let me borrow the key; we drove back across town to get it and check the church. I looked all over the place; retraced every step we could have possibly taken that day; to no avail. It wasn't there. I was now ready to go curl up in a fetal position in the corner and whimper. Amy Beth, however, seemed oblivious, even though we were a couple of hours past her bed time. Her oldest brother, Harris, had let her borrow his beloved blanky. It felt and smelled enough like hers that it was sufficing for the moment. (Amy Beth has 2 of the best brothers in the universe. I hope she realizes that some day. Although it took me until I was an adult to realize how awesome my brothers were.)

We came home and commenced with our Easter festivities. Amy Beth was too distracted hunting eggs to worry about her blankies. I, however, was making phone calls and sending emails to the nursery director and the workers in her class, and wracking my brain trying to figure out where they could be. I came to two conclusions: either they are in the toy cabinet that I couldn't get into, or they accidentally got sent home with someone else. Either way, chances were very slim we would be getting those blankies back that day.

Sunday night. Bedtime. She goes down without a fuss due to sheer exhaustion - and her brother's blanket. But it was a restless sleep. Same with nap time on Monday. And the next night. During her waking hours, she is even clingier than usual - which is a lot, since she is going through the 2-year-old separation anxiety phase. I notice my stress levels are higher than normal. The case of the missing blankies is driving me crazy. I considered going and buying her a new blanky, but didn't think that would solve the problem. I hate not being able to find things!

Monday night. I check email and see the reminder for our MOMS' group that meets on Tuesdays twice a month. It's for the next day. Yes! Another chance to go up there and recheck all the places those blankets could be. And some of those moms have children in Amy Beth's nursery class. So maybe, just maybe, someone will have them. I was almost giddy with the possibilities.

We get to church. I talk to the nursery director and all the workers again and determine that the blankies have gone home with someone. Seeing that I'm almost the last one to drop off my children, and no one has mentioned to our nursery director that they found someone's blankies in their child's things Sunday, I start to get nervous again. And heartsick. Amy Beth, meanwhile, is happily playing with her nursery friends, oblivious to my distress, thankfully.

I go downstairs to MOMS Group, (on my way stopping by the sanctuary and getting on my hands and knees to look under the pews). I'm sort of in a depressed daze at this point. And then Jennifer Lynch walks in, whose daughter is one of Amy Beth's best friends in the nursery, and in her hand is Amy Beth's blankies!! **insert angel choir "ahhhhhh!"** I was SO ecstatic! The day was suddenly brighter, and the birds were once again singing. I hugged them to me and ran back upstairs to the nursery to give them to Amy Beth right away, imagining the look of joy and relief when I handed them to her. Instead, I got a look of "Oh, I knew they would show up." She didn't act excited or relieved AT ALL!!! She did take a much better and longer nap when we got home than she had in 2 days, though. And her brother was happy to get his blanket back.

So tonight, I was pondering the last couple of days and came to a startling and a bit disturbing conclusion: I am just as attached to her blankies as Amy Beth is! After all, the last 2 days had been seemingly more traumatic for me than they had been for her! So it begs the question, not just of me, but of all of you whose children have blankies or "lovies": whose security blanket is it anyway?

Perhaps I should start a support group to help wean us off of our children's lovies.