Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Look up!

Most of the time, out here in the middle of nowhere in the flat, field- covered plains of Nebraska, the most spectacular thing about the scenery is the sky.  Since we moved to the country, I have found myself spending way more time than I ever thought I would staring at the sky.  In town, there are so many trees and lights and buildings that my view was always obstructed.  But out here I can see to the horizon in any direction if I'm in the right spot. 

And so I've been watching sunrises and sunsets and the clouds and stars in between.  I find myself amazed that the spectacular sunrises and sunsets are so short.  The sky lights up in a blaze of glorious pinks, oranges, reds, and purples, and then fades to blue sky or the black of night so quickly.  If you're not looking at exactly the right time, you'll miss it all together. 

Then one day, it hit me.  I was mourning the loss of the colors, but they didn't actually disappear.  I mean, they did in this spot - at my house.  But actually they just moved west. 
The sun is constantly rising and setting somewhere in the world.
The sky doesn't just display the glory of God for a few minutes of the day every 24 hours.  At this very minute, the sun is rising somewhere west of me - maybe at Micah and Allie's house by now.
A few hours ago it set in Chiang Mai, on Rob and Christina's family.  And a few hours from now, it will set in Zambia on Kristi. 

God created the world so that someone on earth at any moment of any day is able to look up into the sky and see the marvelous glory of God displayed by the light of the sun moving down toward the horizon or up off the horizon.  He's doing this right now.  As I type. 

That's incredible to me.  My God is so big that, as one in a million routine things that He does to sustain life every day, He creates a spectacular reminder constantly, always changing and moving and screaming the glory of our Creator to our desperately hurting world. 

Look up!

Psalm 19:1
"The heavens are telling the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

September 17, 2010

Bet you don't know what happened that day, do you?
Well, neither would I.  Except...
Caleb found a hand-written (as in: on notebook paper in pencil like a junior high note) blog post dated 9/17/10 in a stack of papers the other day. 
It makes me laugh, so you get to read it too.  Be happy.  =)

"I am unaccountably annoyed with my husband today.


Well, to start he actually looked good when we went to church this morning.  His face did not look like he was 15 due to an uncontrollable flood of hormones.  He did not have giant puffy bags under his eyes from getting up with the baby every two hours last night. 
I.  Need.  Sleep.  
Ava's nine months old, and I've slept through the night twice.  
Major sleep deprivation.

And the man keeps telling me how I get crabby at night and start whining.  As if I have no reason.  You try not sleeping decently for years on end and see what it does to you. 

Ok, back to the looking good for church thing.  His hair was not frizzy and unruly.  His toenail paint was not peeling, and his butt did not look like an old lady's in his only pair of black dress pants.  Oh!  And the ruffles on his shirt were not frilling the wrong way.  

Next reason.  
He gets the weekend off.  
He watches football games and monopolizes the computer.  Ok, in his defense, he fixed the garage door.  Yay!  
But when is my day off?  
When do I get to watch mindless youtube videos while someone else cooks, cleans, disciplines the kids, and changes dirty diapers?  
Friday was supposed to be my day off (thanks Tam!).  I went to Super Saver, Target, my chiro appointment, watched Niki's kids, Amigo's, Neat Repeatz, Once Upon a Child, the hospital, and HyVee.  Then I came home and washed dishes, cleaned the bathroom, picked up, and vacuumed.  No nap for me.  
And the only thing I bough myself was a taco and tampons.  

Did I volunteer for this?  When exactly does this pay off like everyone says it will?  When I'm too old and exhausted to care?  Making me more like Jesus must be really, really important cuz that's all I see happening here.  God sanding all my points off (ouch!) to force me to be like Him.  Can I just say it's not so fun?  

"Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the Father in heaven."

Sitting down sounds nice.  I think that's my favorite part.  
As a footnote, I'd like to say I had to write this with a pencil because my husband has total control of the laptop.  My hand hurts."  

Ok, it almost killed me to type that without editing it - just a little?  But I wanted to preserve it exactly.
Looking back, the being like Jesus part looks like it will be worth it someday.  The verdict on the kids is still out.  =)

And Caleb and I totally matched when we went to church the other day, so I'm moving up in the world!  ;)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"Kyrie Eleison" and Kristi

I was just listening to the latest Getty album off my phone through my Bluetooth speaker in the kitchen while doing supper dishes.  (Thanks to my awesome husband for my favorite Christmas present!  =)
"Kyrie Eleison" came on.  The first time I heard this song, I cringed.  I have two memories of this song - before the Getty version. 
#1.)  A not-so-talented-as-we-thought-we-were highschool choir attempting to sing words we did not understand. 
And #2.)  The movie "Ever After" and a screeching, sobbing bride unwillingly entering an arranged marriage.

Admit it.  That's what popped into your mind, too.  =)
Here's the words to the Getty version.  You should probably just go download the entire album on iTunes.  =)  I can't find a youtube video, so you can't listen to it.  Sorry...
"Kyrie eleison; have mercy. 
Christe eleison; have mercy. 
Kyrie eleison; have mercy. 
Christe eleison; have mercy. 

As we come before You 
With the needs of our world, 
We confess our failures and our sin, 
For our words are many 
Yet our deeds have been few; 
Fan the fire of compassion 
Once again. 
When the cries of victims 
Go unheard in the land, 
And the scars of war refuse to heal, 
Will we stand for justice 
To empower the weak 
Til their bonds of oppression 
Are no more? 
If we love our God with all our 
Heart, mind, and strength, 
And we love our Neighbors as ourselves, 
Then this law of love
Will heal the nations of earth, 
And the glory of Christ Will be revealed. 
Lord, renew our vision 
To be Christ where we live, 
To reach out in mercy to the lost;
For each cup of kindness 
To the least in our midst 
Is an offering of worship 
To the throne."
Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
The last line reminded me of this blog post by my youngest sister.  She's a nurse at a Bible college in rural Zambia. 
I cried when I read Kristi's blog.  This woman being pushed in a wheelbarrow to see a doctor - not to live long but to die with less pain.  Faceless and nameless to me.  She has a face and a name.  God loves her.  Her mother and her baby boy and my sister know and love her too.  I cannot - I do not dare blur her in with the millions of other suffering, dying people in the world. 
I wonder if life is a long walk through brokenness.  A continual parade past the brokenness of other people and a continual revealing of the depth of the scars on my own shattered soul.  And I wonder why God constantly puts in front of me people for whom my heart breaks with sorrow and reminds me that I am helpless to do anything.  That He is the Savior, not me.  That His ways are higher than mine.
When Jesus walked the earth, he gave sight to the blind, made the lame walk, raised the dead.  I just read it this morning in Matthew 20.  Jesus was "moved with compassion" and healed the blind. 
But what I am to do when I see the dying riding to Kristi in a wheelbarrow and am moved with compassion but have no physical cure?  When my broken heart and my God are all I have to give - and even that from half a world away?
That's why I love this song.  "For each cup of kindness to the least in our midst is an offering of worship to the throne." 

That glass of water Caleb just carried Julia after the lights were out?  That can count as worship!

To the exhausted mommy who hasn't slept in years.  That compassion for your screaming two year old at 3:00 am who literally has slept through the night five times in his entire life - that's straight from the heart of Jesus. 

Teach me to walk close to you, Jesus, so I catch Your heart of compassion and use it when You give me opportunities.  That is worship!