Saturday, March 29, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday--Who I Am...

Well, okay...I'm really trying to get motivated...I really am! I love this meme, but I have to be honest, I was struggling with what song to use this weekend. I've enjoyed some great old hymns on the other pages, and been exposed to new songs also. But me--well, I like to shake things up a bit! So you've been forewarned!

I've chosen a bit different song, and I hope that you will listen all the way through. I have chosen the song "Who I Am Hates Who I've Been" by Relient K. WHO? LOL Yes, exactly. They are very popular with the younger crew (and I still try to hang onto that inclusion as much as I can!), and this song as well as "Be My Escape" have enjoyed some secular radio play and use in movies/TV. ( I also love "For the Moments I Feel Faint" and "Getting Into You", but I think it would be overkill to put all these on here today!)

I'm not going to write much about it...but I think we all have moments in our walks where Satan reminds us of who we were and where we've been. He tries to tell us that we can't be loved, we can't be saved, we can't have value. He tells us lies about our value being tied to what we were, unable to experience rebirth and become better than what we were. I often find myself dwelling on my mistakes. But, through Christ, we find forgiveness and the ability to be washed and to become new creations! How wonderful that knowledge is!

Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us-they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's judgment. For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God-all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.
--Romans 5:1-11 NLT
Oh, and don't forget to stop by Amy's blog "Signs, Miracles, and Wonders" to check out the other musical offerings to uplift and encourage you today!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Explaining child labor to children...AKA Don't bother trying!

We are now approaching the week mark to my due date, and we have three children who are anxiously awaiting the big day. Mind you, Ms. B (11), Mr. M (10), and Mr. J (7) are old enough to understand patience, to some extent. They are masters of the countdown thanks to Advent Calendars and other holiday countdown rituals. But I have been unable to convince them that Baby EM is not magically just going to show up on her due date!

How long will you have to push her out? asked Ms. B yesterday.

Uhm, hopefully not too long, I answered in infinite wisdom.

More than four hours?

I pray to the Lord NOT! I responded.

And from Mr. J:
What's that line on your belly, Mommy?

What line? I don't see a line, I insisted.

Those, pointing to the fifty zillion faint white and pink stretch marks on my stomach.

Those are stretch marks, Mommy informed him.

Where'd you get them?

You! (Mommy tries hard not to cry!)

And Mr. M:
What if you go into labor while we're at school?

What do you mean?

Who's going to let us into the house?

(Mommy at this point lists about 25 possible different people from the neighborhood, family, church, etc. who could/would/should/might be able to help if such a thing actually happens. Unfortunately, the kids have a half day tomorrow and are off school all next week for spring break. The odds are strong that they will be home ALL DAY when I go into labor. Thank God for Aunt Brenda!)

So secretly, I'm hoping that birth and pregnancy will serve many lessons for our children, although after some of the questions we've fielded, my hopes aren't as high as they had been. I do secretly hope that it will serve as a great lesson for abstinence for the older two, at the very least. While we love babies around here, we hope they wait another 15 years or more to even consider having their own!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Best from the Past--It's my body...

So, I'm in the final countdown waiting for baby to arrive, and I have lacked energy and drive to write anything worth putting up here. BUT...I had been writing and saving stuff elsewhere (myspace) and thought that this one was very timely considering I'm counting the days until our new baby arrives.

By the way, pray for me. The doc announced yesterday that she thinks our baby is going to be another "big" one...sigh...and I had so hoped for a normal sized baby. That picture of her foot back at the end of January should have clued me in, I suppose.

Here it is:

My husband and I are expecting our 6th baby (we each have children from a previous marriage, but this our 6th total), and we couldn't be more excited. We both knew before we met each other that we wanted to have bigger families. You can imagine my surprise when we first talked about size of families to find out that he wanted a large family too (I come with THREE of my own to start with!). But God is so good like that. He knows our hearts, and when we let Him, He puts us where we should be, with the people we should be with.

I'll admit that for the majority of modern families, the idea of more than two children (okay, maybe three...most of my friends who have children have three, not two) is vastly overwhelming. As a woman who had been raising three alone for several years, I can totally relate to why it IS overwhelming to think about for most people. But there are others, people who see more children as a joy, a gift, a chance to bless the world with adults who will make a positive difference, a prize even...well, to these people...small families seem odd.

As I watch TLC and other similar channels featuring shows with families that are comprised of 12 or more children, or shows like "John and Kate plus Eight", I realize that money really isn't a factor in whether these families choose to have "big" families. In every one of these families, mom stays home and works fulltime running the household and childrearing. These women, if employed outside of the home, would likely hold high-stress, high-powered positions because the skills that make them effective caring for numerous children and caring for/maintaining vehicles/homes also are the same skills that would make them highly qualified and effective executives.

And yet, when a woman chooses to have a large family (I have to question if men are questioned the same way...I have heard no reports from my husband of co-workers, etc. questioning his choice to rear a large family), society comes down hard on her.


I have several theories on this. First of all, I believe that we are all called to different purposes. Some women are not "built" for this lifestyle, either childbearing is not physically easy for them, or their passion does not fall to childraising. That's fine. I would hardly advocate that someone fight what their body will do or what their heart and stomach can handle. And their choice is just as valid as mine.

Another theory of mine is the pervasive cultural theory of stuff. Because mothers with large families rarely work outside the home, and because growing children eat TONS of food, create TONS of messes, outgrow TONS of clothing/shoes/toys, a large majority of the family's income goes into raising the children rather than into "toys" and stuff to fill a house. But why is it that people justify going further into debt to get a newer, fancier car, but can't understand how a family would choose to have another baby (that they will not put onto credit)? I know that no car, boat, RV, vacation home, sound system, theater system is going to make my life, from a hindsight view more blessed or meaningful. They just won't. But I believe strongly that looking back at moments shared with my children and spouse--moments of joy, laughter, tears, and pain--will highlight my life as I look back.

And perhaps, my third theory is that there are just too many people who are unhappy with the choices they've made in their own lives and who have too much time to criticize me for the choices I've made in my own. And for these people, more than anything, I have great sadness in my heart (for I know that, at times, I am guilty of this type of criticism towards others). Perhaps for these people, if they had had more children and less stuff, if they had made other choices, they would be too busy enjoying life to spend time questioning and criticizing mine. (Yes, don't worry...I'm reading my own words as I write them and feeling the conviction...and betting that in two months when this baby arrives, I will have too little time to spend worrying about others' decisions...and if not, shame on me!)

As for me and my family, I have no idea yet whether we will choose to have more children. Is six enough? Only God knows! But I feel strongly that it is God's decision, not mine (and definitely not society-at-large's) whether we have more children. And yes, for the record...I know what causes babies...and no, we don't have too many....
I mean, it's my body, and I'll pro-create if I want to!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

TSMS Saturday--"Why"

Many thanks to my friend Amy over at Miracles, Signs, and Wonders for her Saturday meme "Then Sings My Soul." Although I've never met her, I count her among my friends if for no other reason than I see how God uses her to encourage me. Thank you, Amy, for being a willing instrument!

This meme has been very close to me as music is the road that leads my life, marks the corners, and maps where I've been as well as where I am going. Life without music would be terribly sad for me.

With this being Easter weekend, I wanted to pick a song that reflected this time. Initially, I found this awesome little montage to "The Easter Song" as performed by Glad on YouTube that reminded me of Easter sunrise services growing up. It's an "old" traditional piece in my eyes, but considering it was first done by 2nd Chapter of Acts, I suppose I am only showing how green I am! It's hardly "old" by any stretch when compared with sacred music through the ages. To go enjoy that video (which I am not going to use as my song for the weekend), click here.

As I was seeking out that video, I stumbled upon a new song that really touched me and tied into the theme of beauty and value that I've been writing about. The video shows scenes from Mel Gibson's "Passion", so I will give the obligatory warning about having your children present. But the words really touched my soul deep and reminded me how I felt the first time I truly understood the gift that Jesus gave us by dying on the cross.

I love songs that tell stories. I love Mark Schultz for just that reason. He writes stories set to music. And it definitely takes a gift to recreate a tale in lyrical form. And this song, "Why" by Nichole Nordeman is no different.

So after he left I had to find out
I was not afraid of getting lost
So I followed the crowds
To a hill where I knew men had been killed
And I heard a voice come from the cross

And it said, "Father, why are they screaming?
Why are the faces of some of them beaming?
Why are they casting their lots for My robe?
This crown of thorns hurts Me more than it shows
Father, please can't You do something?
I know that You must hear My cry
I thought I could handle the cross of this size
Father, remind Me why
Why does everyone want Me to die?
When will I understand why?"

"My precious Son, I hear them screaming
I'm watching the face of the enemy beaming
But soon I will clothe You in robes of My own
Jesus, this hurts Me much more than You know
But this dark hour I must do nothing
Though I've heard Your unbearable cry
The power in Your blood destroys all of the lies
Soon You'll see past their unmerciful eyes
Look there below, see the child
Trembling by her father's side
Now I can tell You why
She is why You must die"
See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. Many were amazed when they saw him -beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know he was a person. And he will again startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not previously been told about; they will understand what they had not heard about. --Isaiah 52:13-15 NLT
Father, although it horrifies me to think of Christ bloodied, bruised, whipped, marred, shamed, embarassed and hanging on a cross so that I could have life, I am glad that You wanted me and loved me that deeply. Make me an instrument of your love and a witness to those who don't know that You love them just as much. Make me a reflection of You and Your love for others. Amen.

Friday, March 21, 2008

We interrupt your Easter weekend...

So, here it is...Good Friday. For Christians, it is a sad and joyful day. Sad because we know that this is the day Jesus died a heinous death on a crude cross in our places, and joyful because His sacrifice meant we would never have to know the humiliation and pain of that type of death. His death brought us life. A GOOD thing.

But, if you live in the northern reaches, like I do....well, we interrupt your Easter weekend plans of egg hunts, lilies, and other spring flowers, pastel colored short-sleeved dresses and cute little boys in dress suits with shorts to bring you....


Oh, how I wish I were kidding! I was supposed to take a picture this morning to prove it to you, but I figured...why wouldn't you believe me??? At 10am, snow was falling hard and even the road, sidewalks, and grass were all white!

I am pleased to announce that it has since melted...but's Easter weekend! When is it going to stop snowing around here for the year???


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Still waiting...

For any of you who might be is the first day of Week 38 of my pregnancy. According to everything I've read, if I go into labor today, they will not attempt to stop labor and will consider Baby full-term.

Which is all good! Except, we're still waiting...sigh...and I'm not really all that great at waiting.

So, I'm frustrated--first by things that I want to get done around the house (but my belly is stopping me or slowing me from doing) and secondly by having to wait. But I know that at the very worst, I have 28 days to go, and most likely FAR less than that.

And I'm reminded that the Old Testament and New Testament are full of the same command: Wait upon the Lord.

Sigh...okay...I get it, Father!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Waiting for a Star to Fall

Way back when in another era, there was this silly love song by a group called Boy Meets Girl. I'm pretty sure they were "one-hit wonders", but the song was pretty catchy. And it came to mind this morning, kinda out of the blue.

At 5:30am I started having pains in my belly. I don't remember a lot about the pain, other than it hurt, and it kept me from falling back to sleep. Over the next hour and a half, I continued to have random pains in my belly, but since I was (still am) so tired, I only really noted that I was in pain and couldn't really sleep. Now mind you, I'm 37 weeks along in my pregnancy. But, I've been induced with every one of my pregnancies to date due to pre-eclampsia. I have no idea what it feels like to go into labor naturally! When my hubby got home, I told him about the pains, but alas...perhaps they were those famous Braxton-Hicks contractions which get your body warmed up, but don't produce a new baby. At any rate, that was three hours ago, and I'm not having regular contractions now by any stretch of the imagination.

Sigh. Oh well.

But, it leaves me to sit and wait. And it feels like I'm waiting for a star to fall.

Trying to catch your heart
Is like trying to catch a star
But I can't love you this much baby
And love you from this far
Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms
That's where you belong
In my arms baby, yeah

Baby EM, that's where you our arms! Sigh...back to waiting....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mirror, Mirror--Then Sings My Soul meme

After having a week of feeling generally off--off schedule, off my game, off balance, off kilter--I have been looking forward to the "Then Sings My Soul" Saturday meme. This really fits my niche, picking a song that speaks to me and writing about how it touches my life so that you can experience it too. But there was some pressure in my own mind to find just the right song...the one that really fit my mood and would allow the Spirit to speak through me, and not for me to just blab about. I think I found it...and after checking out many different versions of it as a video, I chose this one.

The song is "Mirror, Mirror" by Barlow Girl. If you have teenage or tween-aged daughters, you owe it to yourself to check these girls out! They are sisters, and they are the Christian alternative to girls like Britney and Lindsay. Now mind you, I'm 30+ and these girls have only been around a couple of years (okay...maybe 5), but I was drawn to their music because the first song that I heard of theirs on the radio had a mean guitar riff. (I hate to admit it, but I have a major rock streak running through me!) My daughter also fell in love with them, and that is a major plus for me.

Below is the YouTube video (not the band's original video) of "Mirror, Mirror". I like the pictures and the lyrics being present together, and this particular version makes me want to cry. I believe it must have been originally done for teen girls battling with body issues--cutting, eating disorders, mutilation, makeup issues, etc. If you have small children, you might watch the video before you let them watch it. None of the pictures are terribly graphic, although there are several of girls who are so thin you can count their vertebrae and ribs, and one showing a girl who is bleeding. But please, if you aren't familiar with the song, watch it all the same. The message of the song far outweighs these quick clips!

I can't speak for you, but I CAN and WILL speak for myself. I hate the mirror most days. I rarely have a day where I pass the mirror and feel good about myself. It just doesn't happen. The mirror reminds me of everything that I do not like about myself--my weight, my acne, my nose, my chest, etc. The mirror distorts what is real. (Okay, my self esteem or lack thereof partnered with Satan's jabs are what really distorts what is real, the mirror only makes all of that more tangible.)

It is so easy to spend too much time in front of the mirror in the morning trying to make the reflection into something that I'm happy with. But who is there telling me that what I see is not beautiful? How did it happen that the mirror became so powerful?

I don't know. But what I do know is this: I am NOT alone in my struggle to accept and like what I see in the mirror. I am not the only person who attempts to change what they see so that they can accept it. I am not the only woman who wants to cry when she sees herself in the mirror from time to time. I am not the only woman who criticizes herself when she looks at the reflection thinking: If only I could lose 15 pounds; if only I were three inches taller; if only my nose were thinner; if only, if only, if only....

But God has made each of us unique. In Psalm 139 it says:

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-and how well I know it. (vs.13 & 14, NLT)

"And how well I know it?" Yes, the Psalm writer reflected on God's intimate knowledge and creation of him and was amazed, but better than that...he says he knows it! This is a person who is not looking in the mirror and questioning what they should change so that they like themselves. He is marvelling over the complexity of his being, created by God.

Today, do you know that God made you MAH-VELOUS? When you look at your reflection in the mirror, can you stop from criticizing what you see and instead embrace the wonder of what God made you to be? Can you love yourself the way that God made you?

Father, remind me gently and repeatedly just how beautiful I am, not because my hair is perfectly coiffed, my teeth are precisely straight and white, my skin is blemish-free, or my clothes are top name brand, but because You love me and created me. Each time I want to tear myself down in front of the mirror, Father, remind that physical beauty is fleeting and subjective, and instead give me deep reassurance that I'm becoming a woman of Your beauty from deep within. And as You reassure me of these things, give me the strength and the boldness to remind my sisters of their beauty and to encourage them to find eternal, internal beauty from their relationships with You. In Jesus' name, AMEN.

Verses to check out:
I Peter 3:1-6
Song of Solomon 4:7
Isaiah 60:15

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Making manifest the Beauty of God

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
--Marianne Williamson

I stumbled upon this quote tonight. I have to keep reading it over and over to let it soak in. Every word of it is true, and although from what I found on Ms. Williamson's background she is not a Christian, however her words here really strike a chord within me. I want to write more about it...but right now I just need to let the words wash over me in light of what Christ has done for me. I was born to make much of God, to praise Him each and every day in every action. That is so true.

Think about the quote and let me know what you think! (I promise to write more about it later!!!)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Seeking quotes about beauty!

It's amazing to me just how God works! Five days ago, almost tongue in cheek, I wrote the blog "She Don't Know She's Beautiful" in attempt to share my struggle with accepting that I could be physically beautiful and to embrace the knowledge that I'm beautiful in ways that go much deeper. This has been a journey for me for a very long time, trying to shed the negativities of the world and see myself as a beautiful woman, a child of God.

But clearly, from friends and fellow bloggers, I'm finding that I'm not alone at all. Gorgeous (I mean, drop dead gorgeous!) women are telling me just how much they related to what I wrote. And I feel as though God is telling me loudly, clearly---this is what YOU are supposed to do. This is your goal. Seek me and I will make you beautiful. And then, you're supposed to go out and encourage, uplift and remind your sisters that they are beautiful too!

So now, I need your help! I'm begging you to help me find quotes and songs about beauty. There's no prize, unfortunately, as I'm still very new to the blogging thing...and the only book I have in large quantity at my house right now is more for single Christian women than married or moms.

Please, bless me with your beauty quotes!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

One of my new favorite blogs!

Angela stopped by from "Refresh My Soul" blog to comment on my post "She Don't Know She's Beautiful" and turned me onto another great blog. So, being obedient and quite curious, I clicked over to "Signs, Miracles, and Wonders". There I found this quite marvelous idea for blogging, something that I've actually been doing for a while here--using a song as motivation for writing.

You'll notice, I've added a button on the left to send YOU right on over to check out the new "Then Sings My Soul Saturdays" meme. It's still new, but I hope that you'll enjoy it as much as I am!

Thanks again, Angela! (Check out Angela's blog for a yummy recipe too!)

You're SOOOO Invited! The Ultimate Blog Party 2008

So I'm still new in many ways to the blogging thing, but since my life is in major transition, I have chosen my blog as a means of surviving the changes as well as reaching out to other women.

As part of this, I've been reading other women's blogs, mostly via Lysa TerKeurst's blog. My goal was to read at least one new blog a day and to comment on it, knowing that by doing that I am encouraging my sisters in Christ (as I am called to do), as well as networking and experiencing the various formats of blogging that exist.

In that journey, I stumbled across the Ultimate Blog Party 2008! Here is an awesome opportunity for you to join women across the country and find more blogs! It's also a way to get your blog out there. I hope that you will join me in the party.

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

(Oh, and by the way, at the very end stages of my pregnancy, I'm loving any party I don't have to get all dressed up for! LOL)

If you're new here, here's a little about me:
I'm a 30 something newly remarried mom. My wonderful hubby, Dan, and I both have beautiful children from our first marriages--three on my side, two on his. We are currently expecting baby number six (yes, we know what causes it and how to stop it! LOL). We both wanted a big family, and well, we've got one!

I was a single mom raising these three angels mostly on my own for the past five years. My middle child, Mikey (10), was born with a bi-lateral cleft lip and palate back in 1997. What a journey!

I am just starting my maternity leave from work. I've been working full time since 2002 outside of the home, and long to stay home--either working from home, or just loving and raising my family.

One of the most important things in my life is God. He is the reason I have hope, and the reason I keep going when things get tough (which seems to be more than not some weeks!). In addition, writing and music are passions of mine also.

Welcome to my little "table", and I hope you stop by again!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

She Don't Know She's Beautiful

Anyone here seen the movie "High Fidelity" with John Cusack??? It's from way back in the early 90s, but it was a movie that made an impact on me because I could relate to how the main character had associated parts of his life with the songs and music that got him through those times.

Most of the music that I listen to is "Christian" although my husband has gotten me into a few Country artists and songs, and I every so often listen to the radio station that plays songs from my high school years. But music, especially songs with lyrics, mark my life out. Some songs bring me to tears to this day, regardless of what my mood might be when it comes on. Others have the same effect but make me smile or laugh. Either way, music is an important part of how I associate with life.

One song that my husband has gotten me into is "She Don't Know She's Beautiful" by Sammy Kershaw. (Because I know nothing about Sammy, please do not in any way interpret this as me plugging him as a great artist...the song just helps me relate to something I struggle with...that's it really.)

Morning comes and her hair's all a mess
That's when she thinks she looks her worst
It's times like this she don't know why
I can't take my eyes off her
'Cause she don't know she's beautiful (never crossed her mind)
She don't know she's beautiful (no she's not that kind)
She don't know she's beautiful

Growing up, I was raised to see people as more than what they appeared to be. I was taught that a person's value did not depend on how pretty, thin, tall, etc. they were; their value lay far deeper in their personality, their talents, their skills, etc. I was taught simply:

"Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
--I Samuel 16:7 NIV

It's a great way to look at yourself and at others. Beauty fades. Weights can change. But the epitome of a person comes from within and generally does not change that dramatically. But where it failed me is that I learned to value myself purely on internal things and to actually reject any physical attractiveness I might posess. I could accept someone calling me "cute", but I was not pretty, nor beautiful. To this day, I struggle with the idea that I can be physically beautiful. It just can't be. And this is much to my loving husband's frustration, I know.

Last night he told me how beautiful I am. But all I could see was the dimples in my buttocks and thighs and the number on the scale representing the large amount of weight I've put on during my pregnancy. I could not see how I could be beautiful. Like I said, I struggle with this...present tense verb...this is something that I will fight the rest of my life. But I know that there is beauty that goes more than skin deep. There is beauty that age, gravity, body weight, etc. cannot destroy or rob us of.

Now that's the beauty I want! That's the beauty I strive for.

And what I know is this--when we attain the kind of intrinsic beauty that radiates from our hearts and souls, it makes us physically beautiful to those around us. It just does. I don't understand it exactly, but the girls who are in step with God always attract others (even men) regardless of how they look on the outside. In fact, non-believers are often attracted to these women of "beauty" even though they have no idea how to put the attraction into words.

On some level, I think I am attaining this. (At least, it's my goal each be different in the world and to make them ask me why.) People have always trusted me and told me things that there was no justification for sharing with me (and I have always done everything I could to keep their confidences...that's important to me). It's been that way since I was in middle school. And many acquaintances in high school would ask me how and why I was different.

Perhaps my biggest fear is that I'm not audaciously "different" enough to draw those questions these days and to reflect an inner beauty that only God can give (or take away--though He never would!). How about you? Do you know that you are beautiful? If not, hold up your Bible and look in the mirror. You were so beautiful that Jesus died on a cross and rose again. Why? Because He couldn't bear a day without you! And if that doesn't mean you're beautiful, I don't know what will!

And, of course, I have to end with another video...I love these songs!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What you're worth

I hate to always compare values with money, but it is a powerful word picture and one that almost everyone can identify with. In our world, price is driven by so many things--demand, supply, politics, etc. And we all know when we see a good value. I mean, I love bargain hunting!

But the thought of my own self worth--well, it doesn't remind me of bargain hunting at all. Honestly, it makes me think of this:

Not very pretty, and hardly worth much. Life has left me feeling a little useless (you've heard about the talk to stop minting pennies???), and even a little corroded. I have done some of this to myself--making decisions that weren't good for me, following the lead of persuasive people who didn't care about me at all--and some of this was done by outside sources. But all the same, it is easy for me to "value" myself very lowly.

Perhaps you have experienced something recently that made you feel like you had little value. Perhaps you are recovering from an experience like that right now. And if so, it is my prayer that God has led you here so I can share a little bit of joy and change your view and self-value right now.

See, the great thing about knowing God is this: He is the ultimate "Banker", and unlike the mysterious banker on "Deal or No Deal", it is His goal to make you rich! He wants you to walk away with the million dollars, and He will not tear you down in an attempt to do it!

As Christians, our value is not related to what we've done, who we are, or where we've been. In fact, our value isn't even related to what we will do, who we will become, or where we may go. Our value is completely independent of that. Our value is very high--so high, Jesus had to lay down his life to buy it. And then, to make it even more amazing--He got his life back and so did you!

Your value is not determined by the mistakes you've made, the tragedies you've endured, the pain you've caused others or they've caused you. Your value is set by the one who purchased you! In I Corinthians it says (v.19, 20a):

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.

You were bought with a price! You have value! And your value is determined by the demand (God wants you BAD!) and by the supply (there's only ONE you!). No matter how little you feel like you're worth, God knows exactly how much value you have (and so do I!).

And in case you need a little musical "pick me up", here's a short music video that speaks deeply to me when I struggle with my own value.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The promise of a new day

February is not going down in my book as one of the greatest months of my life. It has been filled with many tumultuous ups and downs, and I could hardly wait to see it end. But it did....finally!

And this morning, when I got up and out of bed...March was here and the sun was out and shining down on us. After a record-setting winter, repeated illnesses for me and my family, and far too many days that were gray in some shape or another, today with its sunshine and "comfortable" temperatures in the mid-40s is such a promise!

So, I'm going to go play (or at least shop...we're going to have family pictures taken tomorrow and we need coordinated shirts for that) and enjoy this promise. See you guys tomorrow...if it doesn't rain. *winks*