24 March 2009

Living a Life of Worship

For the Christian, worship is coexistent with life. The Christian does not go into the "temple" on the Lord's Day; he takes the temple with him. . . going into this place as many temples gather at this converging point, because life is already an expression of worship. So, you see, the game on the tennis court, acting in that play, their artistic expression, the musical expression, your brilliance in your studies, your relationship with your family, the exhilaration of a game can be a legitimate expression of worship in your life. - Ravi Zacharias

"God has made me for a purpose - China. But He's also made me fast, and when I run I feel his pleasure." - Eric Liddell

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God. - 1 Corinthians 10:31

God has given us each so any gifts, and I believe far too often we take those gifts for granted, seeing them simply as things we're good at rather than as gifts which God has given us to use for His glory. Therefore, my challenge for myself and for my readers is to discover those gifts which God has given me, to diligently seek the ways in which I can use them to glorify Christ, and to truly give my best in all I do, living my life as a living sacrifice to Him.

21 March 2009

Apologies and Anthologies (Okay, not actually, but it sounds neat!)

Sorry I've been so neglectful of my blog this week. It's been spring break here in my neck of the woods, and I've been busy doing all sorts of fun things with my family (grass sledding, dress-up at a historic fort, and a picnic with relay races among them). I've also been a bit short of topic upon which to blog... A problem I still haven't seemed to solve. So, this post will be about books.
Even before I could read myself, my parents delighted me with reading of The Chronicles of Narnia, Little House on the Praire, and A Wrinkle in Time. Once I could read myself, I began with the Boxcar children series and gradually worked my way up to more challenging works such as The Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy, and the books of Jane Austen. My list of favorite books and authors is an ever-growing one which is already far to long to list. Yes indeed, I am a hopeless bibliophile. So, I have decided that a fair amount of the musings on this blog ought to reflect that passion. Therefore, I will try to make regular posts on what I am reading and my thought on it.

The book I'm currently reading are:

Ladies in Waiting: From the Tudors to the Present Day
by Anne Somerset.
So far this is a fascinating nonfiction historical work by a gifted historian whose previous work on Queen Elizabeth I I have read in the past and enjoyed. It does address the less than wholesome atmosphere which permeated the royal courts of Europe as well as discussing several mistresses of the king, but does not go into inappropriate or graphic detail.

Patriot Hearts: A Novel of the Founding Mothers
by Barbara Hambley
This book caught my eye as I was meandering around the library the other day, and I haven't read enough of it to give any sort of opinion yet. I simply find this period of history and Abigail Adams in particular fascinating and am curious to see what this author will do with their stories.

Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home
by Richard J. Foster
One of my goals during the Lenten season was to deepen my prayer life. So far, I don't feel like I'm doing a great job. I suppose I need to be more disciplined in setting aside time each day to talk with the Lord. However, I have heard his book recommended multiple times as one of the great Christian works on prayer, and I am working my way through it slowly and thoughtfully.

I also told my dear friend/roomate/honorary sister that I would read Don Quixote with her, but so far I haven't actually started on that one. :) (btw, you should definitely check out her blog. Recently she has been writing a really funny series on the many quirks of my four year old brother.)

16 March 2009

A Fire Truck?

So... Random musing of the day...
Driving home about an hour ago from some errands I saw a U.S. Navy fire truck driving down the highway. Now, answer me this, what is a naval fire truck doing in the middle of Oklahoma when the nearest naval base is in Ft. Worth, TX?

The Beauties of Spring

As I sit here typing on my keyboard I can hear the birds singing outside, see the lovely blossoms on the redbud tree, the leaf buds on the rosebush, and just the right amount of steam rising from my teacup. Yes, it is spring. I'm pretty sure that spring is my favorite time of year. The weather is pleasant, neither too cold nor too hot. The trees and flowers are just beginning to bud out, producing dabs of color to the drab winter landscape. It is also the season for rainstorms, and I love rainstorms.
Today, to celebrate spring, I think I will work on putting up my winter clothes and pulling out all my lovely, pastel spring and summer frocks. I hope that you too will enjoy the loveliness of spring this day.

13 March 2009

Stirred once again by the story of how you loved me...

Seems that life's become so complicated
I don't think it was meant to be this way
I find myself so distracted
Caught up in the chaos of each day

When did I stop asking for your wisdom?
As if your words were meant for someone else
Why do I choose to second-guess you?
Oh I only frustrate and confuse myself

I just wanna love you, Simply love you
The way it used to be
When your love was new to me

I just wanna love you, simply love you
To hear what you say and live every day
Like you asked me to
I just wanna simply love you

Many times you spoke of us as children
Childhood seems to me so long ago
You say I can trust you like I did then
If I give you my hand then
you'll lead me home

I just wanna love you, Simply love you
The way it used to be
When your love was new to me

I just wanna love you, simply love you
To hear what you say and live every day
Like you asked me to
I just wanna simply love you

Oh...to fall on my knees
With the fresh disbelief
Stirred once again a the story
of how you loved me

I just wanna love you, Simply love you
The way it used to be
When your love was new to me

I just wanna love you, simply love you
To hear what you say and live every day
Like you asked me to
I just wanna simply love you

- "Simply Love You" by Ginny Owens

This is one of my favorite songs. It seems to echo the cry of my heart in so many ways! Just yesterday I received a text from a friend whom I had been praying for for quite awhile saying that she had finally surrendered her life to Christ, laid her burdens down at HIs feet, and accepted Him as her savior. I am so thrilled for her, and the joy and passion of new Christians is always so refreshing. At the same time, it is convicting, reminding me that I don't have the same passion, the same love for Him that I did when I was first saved. I want to be "stirred once again by the story of how [he] loved me," rather than being so easily caught up in the chaos of each day, losing sight of Him and His love.

09 March 2009

Do You Like Having So Many Brothers and Sisters?

I love babies. I love the way their smell, snuggles, and coos. I love pretty much everything about them. However, I have never been one of those girls who absolutely had to get her hands on somebody else’s baby. Maybe that’s because I’ve always had one of my own to cuddle. Every two years since my birth, my mother has presented me with a new baby brother or sister to adore (though some have been easier to adore than others). When people discover how many siblings I have, the conversation tends to go something like this:
“Wow! Are you Catholic?”
“Wow… Your mom must be a pretty amazing woman.”
“I think so.”
“Do you like having so many brothers and sisters?”
“What’s is like?”
“Umm…. Busy but fun.”
Now, I’m never exactly sure how they expect me to answer the “Do you like having so many brothers and sisters question. “No! I can’t stand it.”? To me, it’s just life. I love each and everyone one of my siblings and can’t imagine what life would be like without them. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have a baby to come home and snuggle after a hard day of school, or a nosy little two year old princess to give me instructions on how to color pictures or to insist that I dance with her through the kitchen or admire her new pink dress. My life would certainly be very different without my quirky four year old brother whose antics so frequently bring a smile to my face and provide so many laughs with my friends and family. Not that it’s always easy. When you have four little boys ranging in age from ten to four who have been cooped up in the house for a couple of days and who, in consequence, are literally bouncing off the walls ( Which, by the way, can hurt if you do it wrong.) Yes, it’s exhausting at times, but that doesn’t keep me from lying in bed every night and thanking the Lord for the wonderful family he’s blessed me with. :)

04 March 2009

All the Way My Savior Leads Me

All the way my Savior leads me;
Who have I to ask beside?
How could I doubt His tender mercies,
Who through life has been my guide?

All the way my Savior leads me,
And cheers each winding path Itread,
He gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the Living Bread.

He leads me, and keeps me from falling.
He carries me close to His heart,
And surely His goodness and mercy will follow me.

All the way my Savior leads me;
O the fullness of His love!
O the sureness of His promise
In the triumph of His blood.

When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day.
This my song through endless ages:
"Jesus led me all the way.
Jesus led me all the way."

He leads me, and keeps me from falling.
He carries me, close to His heart,
And surely His goodness and mercy will follow me.

He leads me, and keeps me from falling.
He carries me, close to His heart,
And surely His goodness and mercy will follow me.

All the way me Savior leads me.
All the way my Savior leads me.

- From "All the Way my Savior Leads Me by Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and Fanny J. Crosby

We're singing this song in choir right now, and it is really resonating with me as I'm really struggling to make an important. I've put a lot of prayer and stress into this decision without really seeming to get any clear answers. This song remind me that Christ has promised to lead me, that He is aways beside me even when I don't feel like He's anywhere around. I can put my trust in Him, knowing that He will not fail me, and that, so long as I am trusting Him, all will be well with my soul.

03 March 2009

Lessons From Ballroom Dance

This semester I’ve been taking a ballroom dance class with my brother and a couple of other friends. I’ve really enjoyed the entire class, but last night we learned the East Coast Swing which was, by far, the most fun dance we’ve learned. (I must admit that my favorite part of it was the fast swings, I was wearing a skirt that twirled just right when my brother swung me, and it was so much fun!) In the process of learning the basics of ballroom dance, I’ve learned some important concepts which can be applied to our walk with Christ:

1. In order to dance well with your partner, you have to know the steps.
- In order to effectively serve Christ, we must be spending time in His Word, getting to know the things He has said and learning the guidelines of the “dance.”

2. It is important carefully follow your partner's lead. This means being in-tune to the movements of his hands and body so that it takes only the slightest pressure for you to respond in the correct direction.
- We must be in daily communion with Christ, in-tune to His voice and His leading so that we will recognize the leads which He gives us.

3. You never quite know which step your partner might lead you into next. You know that the step will be one which is part of that dance and which goes with the music, but you don’t know exactly which one it will be.
- This is pretty much a combination of the ones above. We know that Christ will never lead us into a step that is not part of the dance that does not align with His Word. However, within His Word there is a lot of freedom for the individual believer. We can also rest confident in the fact that it is not our role to lead, simply to be in-tune to Him, trusting that He will lead us into the correct steps at the correct time.

4. Sometimes it is hard not to take the lead, but two people cannot lead at the same time.
- Either we control our lives or He does, both cannot be true. As Scripture says, “man cannot serve two masters.”

5. Properly following means leaning on your partner, you have to lean back into the support of his hand, trusting that he will not let you fall. Otherwise, he cannot lead you correctly.
- We have to be willing to lean on Jesus, even when it makes us feel insecure, like we’re going to fall. We have to be willing to surrender that control and security in order to follow Him more fully.

By no means to intend to imply with this post that I have these things mastered. In fact, writing it has been pretty convicting for me myself. I don’t rely on Him nearly as I ought to, and I often struggle with wanting to control my life and the direction that it’s going. However, my experience has been that just when you think you have it all figured out and know exactly where you’re going is when something happens that turns all your plans upside down. These are the times when we have to learn all over again the importance of relying on Him, day by day.

As I was writing this post, the chorus of a song kept playing through my head. So I looked it up and it turns out it was DC Talk’s “What if I Stumble.” I actually don’t recall ever having heard the entirety of this song before, but the lyrics do go right along with what I was talking about. If I post them here now, this post will be forever long, so I'm just going to post the chorus, but I would suggest you look up the rest of the lyrics. They definitely provide some food for thought:
What if I stumble?
What if I fall?
What if I lose my step, and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue if my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

01 March 2009

First Post...

Hmm.... Let's see... I really don't know where to start.

I have finally decided to join the blogging world, and it is my hope that this blog will be a blessing not only to me, but to all those who read it. Here I hope to post tidbits from my daily life, issues I may be struggling with, things the Lord has shown me, and other things upon which I may be thinking.

There's not a whole lot to tell about be up front that isn't already in my "about me" section. I love to learn and am always on the lookout for interesting new subjects to research. I have a passion to learn about various events and people in history, especially about women, I suppose because I feel that I can relate and empathize with them better. I also love to read, and am always on the lookout for great new books. Generally, I tend to be a pretty quiet, reserved person, but if you're willing to put a little effort into getting to know me you'll find that I enjoy talking to my friends about a variety of topics. I also love to travel, though it's something I don't get an opportunity to do very often. I love both places rich in history and those rich in natural beauty, places where I can soak up the wonder and majesty of God's creation.

That's all I can think of for now, but I look forward to posting more soon!