Thursday, December 12, 2013

Daily Dose - The Place Where Disappointment Grows - Lysa TerKeurst

Paalm 23:1 - The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

But, I do.

Right now I have a couple wants that are neatly organized in my head in a list.

Lysa talks about the difference between our expectations and wgat our reality are. I have to admit, maybe more tgan once I've been caught expecting something more from my husband, or a friend or myself...and the waves of disappointment bring stinging words from my mouth and cold vast silence to my actions. The worst part? Usually it's over nothing.

You see, not only is the Lord my shepherd, but he is also my provider. Every thing I have is his to give and to take away. I usually don't have a long list of wants, I've never been one to drrol over the newest clothes or phone...but I still feel as though I am in need when in reality, I'm one of the very blessed to live in the top 2 percent of the world (not the country, please, I wouldn't know what to do with that much money). I'm blessed beyond measure to have a roof over my head, food in my table and clothes in good repair. Our heater works, we have blankets and warm socks. So, why do I forget these things when my desires aren't met? Because, gentle reader, I'm human, and prone to it.

But God.  My God. He loves me, guides me as the good shepherd. I keep trying to remind myself that I need to have enough room in my world for the size of blessing God is waiting to give me, maybe if I get rid of so,e of the want and bitterness that comws wuth it, I'll start experiencing those blessings, what do yiu think? :) 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Daily Dose - Unwrapping His Christmas Presence - Renee Swope

Isaiah 7:14b

This particular issue has been on my mind a lot lately. During this time of year many people spend to excess and put emphasis on how the tree looks (when did the color of lights become such a big deal?), but they forget about what Christmas truly was.

So, if you know your Bible a bit, in the Old Testament God tries several times to be among his people. Have you ever tried desperately to be near or close with someone after a huge falling out? God does this multiple times, but there's a problem...sin. God's plan was to be with people and to have a close relationship, what happened in the Garden messed that all up.

You see, God is so good, so pure, so holy that sin can't be around him. My head starts to hurt just thinking about the vastness of God and the depth of his understanding. So, the Garden put a big damper on the whole relationship with God thing because there was no way to be close to him with all that sin.

Back to the verse: Jesus IS God with us. Immanuel. The Holy One himself, in flesh. With hunger, pain, weakness...all that human stuff. Not only that, he was sinless. Jesus spent a lot of time praying, I think there was a deep hole from being separated that way from God,  and I have to think it hurt.

Now we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that intimate God With Us...but until Jesus, we couldn't have. We celebrate the birth of Christ because not only was he the Lamb of God and Savior of the world, but because in being so, he restored a relationship with God.  Mary, that evening, holding her sweet newborn son, held the link. She gave us his presence...that's what we celebrate.

So, don't feel bad about how many presents you get or give...or traveling. Don't focus on perfection or spending money. Cultivate relationship, share the best present you have...and do it for the glory of the Kingdom. Not so that people would know your name, but his: Jesus, Messiah...Immanuel, God with Us.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Daily Dose - Romans 12 & 13

Today, like most Sundays, im just reading through part of a book of the Bible. There is no email today.

I dont know why this particulqr passegw was up in the Bible app on our tablet, but when yhe book is open I tend to just read until God says stop.

This passage encourages me today. I've been up since 3:30, my munchkin and husband both went bavk to sleep around 5:15...I didn't because I was holding said munchkin and was truly uncomfortable. I was also get4ing more perturbed by the minute, going over the previous night of what I wanted and what B actually did. 

You see, I was keeping a tally. A record of all the things I did that should give me some sort of sway in getting what I want.

I know, it's super selfish.

So, at 5:30, with my bundle ofnjiy on my chest and my husband snoring...I was starting to seethe. I was tired, I was wantig more sleep, and hadn't I earned more rest?

Can I remind you that it's Sunday? And these are some of my first thoughts...ew.

The passage is an encouragement because I know that what I'm doing is for God. Every single snuggle, every omlete I make (I finally got up and made breakfast), every pot of coffee I just God's ever flowin and abundant love, not mine.

Let's be honest, that coffee would be laced with spite if it were me.

I have to erase that mental tally board. If I hold it up to God's (you know, that rugged, blood stained cross) I loose, hands down. Sure, I can brush it off as being human nature, the way God made me...but until I'm honest with myself that it is no way a reflection of my God and his deep change filled love, I can't possibly say that anything I'm doing is loving.

Do all things as to the Lord.

Yes, Jesus. Let every action not be tallied to show how much I deserve, but reflect that action that you took, that time where you followed and reflected our heavenly Father amd his love perfectly by laying yourself aside.

Happy Sunday :)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Catching Up :)

Good morning!

I'll be posting Advent pictures here and also on Instagram (I just joined, find me at mandadpanda). I probably won't write much because I'll be posting from my phone. We've had a lot of fun with Advent so far.

I should clarify that we don't have a candy calendar for Advent. We have Snowmen that have Christmas activities on them. They don't have dates on them so it's a little more flexible for our day to day schedules. Tonight we're planning on watching How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Gideon won't really be watching it...but he'll have some of the popcorn and enjoy the santa hat :)

I'll be pinning the recipes for the Oatmeal Sugar Face Scrub and Peppermint Twist Bath Salts I'll be making for the ladies on my list and the BBQ Rubs I'll be making for the guys. Feel free to follow my boards on Pinterest as well. I'm hoping to get more of my recipes up on here so that we can start sharing. One of my favorites is the Cranberry Sauce I make :) MMMM!

Daily Dose is happening at odd hours so far this month, so I haven't really posted those. Are you still reading yours daily? What are your thoughts? Feel free to share them! :)

If you want to see what the #FMSphotoaday is for me, you'll have to be my friend on Facebook ;) (I think most of you are)

All crafting projects for this month will probably posted next month so I can do a proper write up and possibly get some patterns together for you. :)

The tiny dictator is now a crawling almost walking little ball of energy, so we'll see how often I get to actually writing anything of substance until the new year. :)

As always, thank you for reading. Thank you for being part of my little world :)

With all the grace and peace of Christ,
M :)