Monday, October 30, 2006

Autumn Leaves

Fall is here! I know it has been here for a while, but today was just one of those days that makes me appreciate the season. On the way home this evening, the smell of autumn leaves and logs burning in fireplaces filled my senses.

The weather today has been beautiful. It was in the mid 60's, and the sun was shining. The strong winds of the last few days had calmed. This is what I think of when I think of fall.

As I have sat here tonight savoring this beautiful day, I cannot help but reflect on what the Bible says about the smell of things.

II Corinthians 2:15
For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

Our life is an offering to our precious heavenly Father. We decide each day what we will smell like. Will we offer up our time for His plan or will we hold on to all of those things that we consider a must? Will we offer ourselves, spouses, children, and other relationships to God to use as He sees best, or will we do what we see is in their best interest?

Denying myself and my plans causes a great struggle within me. On one hand I could give you many great explanations for why I am this way, but, ultimately, it comes down to a rebelious spirit. It is easier to control than surrender.

What an amazing gift that we can offer to God! That others would be drawn to Him because of the sweet smell of our life, our offering, to Him. When God inhales the aroma of you, His child, is He pleased with the aroma? Or does He find that we have an odor?

Do those we come in contact each day find the aroma of our lives a savory delight or a pungent stench that repulses? Do we draw others to Christ or send them scurrying in the opposite direction?

Lord, let my life's offering draw others to you. When you inhale, Father, be glorified. When you exhale, let me inhale the sweet peace of your presence. I love you, Lord!

My Purpose

My purpose is to point others to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. In all things giving Him the praise, honor and glory. Claiming Him as my hope and my shield.

In fulfilling my purpose toward my family I should pour out the best of me at all times. "Things" always try to rob me of my best. Whether it be appointments, deadlines, or other peoples needs, I need to remember that these precious people, my family, need and deserve the best of me each day.

My purpose in my church is to encourage women in their walk with the Lord. God has called me to work in women's ministry. This is the purpose that I am struggling with the most right now. I am intimidated by others and do not feel qualified or capable of leading them. Their are so many others who would do a much better job at it. But in my heart I know that God did not call me to fit in the mental mold that man or woman has made. There is not a perfect person here on earth. God called me, and I must choose to be faithful regardless of the image I have set before myself as "ideal."

So often, God, I find myself falling away from the purpose you have called me to do. Please forgive me. Fill my spirit with a boldness that I cannot shy away from my calling. Thank you, Father.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Road Less Traveled

On Sunday, my friend, Debbie, and I set out to encounter the splendor of fall. We drove for almost five hours on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The company was amazing, and the leaves were beautiful.

One of the first thoughts that came to my mind as we drove was that I needed to write about the road less traveled. So, with this thought in mind, I set out to find the perfect picture of "the road less traveled" . It is not completely unused nor is it a dead end. When traveling along this road, you must be careful. There are many bumps and some large pot holes. The scenery is awe-inspiring and the encounters can take your breath away. It is a path that not many can sympathize with nor can they say that they have had that kind of joy and triumph.

I have experienced great joy and tremendous sorrow on this road. My husband and I have parented 19 children on this road. (No, not all at once) I have loved much and seen the fingerprints of God all over our lives! Sometimes it has only been after an intense and trying time that I can see the work of God in our lives, but I know that He is there. I know that He is in control. He is loving all of us through our hurts and celebrating with us in our great victories.

At this time the road seems unknown and even frightful. The beauty is all around, but there are huge unknowns around the next bend. We finally heard the ruling from the judge yesterday. The judge has ordered that DSS begin termination on all parental rights. Amazing! What sweet grace those words were to my heart! He also ordered that a homestudy be done on the maternal grandfather of the girls. My heart stopped at those words. Why would he order that?

So, now is when I must remind myself that God is in control. With all of the unknowns looming around the next bend, I need to remind myself that He is still God. While the worst may be yet to come...He has a plan for each of our lives. Before we were formed in our mother's womb, God had a plan.

At times like this so many sweet hymns and even a few newer songs seem to play continuously in my mind. Songs of trust, surrender, mercy, faith and grace remind me that my Redeemer lives. He has not forgotten or overlooked me or my family. This is not an accident or a surprise. So, I will keep my eyes on my Lord. My Anchor holds!