Living not striving…

Random thoughts and daily adventures in my life

Broken Pieces to Share February 20, 2011

Filed under: Deep thoughts,Random stuff — erikaivory @ 4:16 am

You’d think I’d learn…

It’s not gonna work, Lord.

I’m just not enough.  I can’t do it.  There is only one of me!

Why do you trust me with this?  I don’t have enough..

time…energy…money…insight…understanding…strength…

want-to…self-discipline…

Anybody else have that voice on repeat in their head?

As I was scurrying around trying to figure out a last-minute dinner and muster up the self-control to use what is in my pantry instead of ordering out, the voice started.  As fatigue crept in trying to take over and frustration began rising, I once again found myself having this one-sided conversation with the Holy Spirit.

He gently and simply whispered “5 loaves and 2 fish were enough that day“.  Sigh…well, yeah for Jesus!!

In Matthew 14, after a long, long day of ministering to the needs of thousands of people, Christ’s disciples reminded Him that it was almost dinner time and these people were going to need food soon.  So Jesus said, “Feed them.”  Um…well, all the fast food joints were under construction so we have a problem here. In the same story recorded in Luke 9,  Jesus simply tells the disciples,”You give them something to eat.”

Personally, I would have been a little frustrated with Jesus at that point.  Really?  They told Him what they had…and I imagine Jesus sighed slightly:) and then told the disciples to seat the people in groups of about 50.  Now, He didn’t tell the disciples that He was going to multiply the food. 

He just wanted them to trust Him and do what He asked with what they had.

They could have become flustered and annoyed and argued with Jesus.  Or threw their hands up and stomped off.  Or taken matters into their own hands and come up with an orderly evacuation plan for 5,000 plus hungry travelers.

They chose to do what He asked.

The end result was over 5,000 physically and spiritually fed people….12 basketfuls of leftover broken pieces of bread…and a handful of disciples whose faith, I believe, had increased.  Jesus didn’t lay out the 4 step plan for feeding 5,000 or promise them a happy ending.  He used what they had to teach them AGAIN that they can trust Him and that He provides.

Did He provide hundreds of baskets of food before they handed it out?

No…He provided in the moment of their need

as their hands were actively obeying

with faith that He would indeed provide what they lacked.

Every day I am acutely and loudly aware of what I am lacking.  I am NOT ENOUGH.  I CANNOT do what He is asking me to do as a wife, as a daughter, as a mom, as a friend, as a Christ-follower.

The Truth is…only He is enough.

As I stood at the stove looking at my empty hands…He reminded me to simply do the task He is asking me to do and trust Him that He will absolutely show up with exactly what fills my need.  Not necessarily early…but just when I need Him the most.

And He may even leave me with some baskets of broken pieces to share…

 

Love and War February 16, 2011

Filed under: Book reviews — erikaivory @ 9:16 pm

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a book review on here.  A year ago I read the book Love & War by John and Stasi Eldredge.  It was great!  I really, really wanted my sweet husband to read it.  He said he would and had the best intentions, but it has sat on his bedstand for a year.  Kind of like the way I get out eight buckets of clothes in March to switch out cold weather clothes to warm weather clothes but somehow I don’t finish the project until September.  He just isn’t a book reader.  He actually reads a lot between articles on the computer and magazines but he just doesn’t prefer to pick up a book.

So when I heard that Love & War was coming out as a couple’s devotional I was excited!  Then when given the opportunity to receive a free copy and blog about it…perfect!!  We do family devotions together every day and try to do a couple’s devotion once a week (at least that is the plan:).  We have done several that we liked by people like Tony Evans and James Dobson.

John and Stasi Eldredge are the authors of Wild at Heart, which we have both read, and Captiviating which I have read several times.  Both books are easy to read and full of original and insightful truths.  Love & War Devotional for Couples is described as “the 8-week adventure that will help you find the marriage you always dreamed of.”  It is a small book and each week has five daily devotions.  Each devotion starts with a Scripture and ends with a prayer and another Scripture.  The readings are short and non-intimidating, but give you a nugget to take with you and meditate upon.

We aren’t done with the book yet.  It is designed to do 8-weeks straight but we are taking much longer:)  If you are looking to start doing a devotion time together as a couple this would be a great book for you.  I am thankful that this terrific book is now available in devotion form.  Check it out at your local bookstore or online sources like www.amazon.com or www.cbd.com.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

 

It’s all about Perspective… February 3, 2011

Filed under: Deep thoughts,Random stuff — erikaivory @ 4:24 pm

Perspective

My word for 2011.  The Lord keeps whispering this word in my ear.  Reminding me it is about choice, attitude, looking at life through the lens of Truth instead of circumstances.  And by Truth I mean the Truth of God’s Word.

This has been floating around and resonating in me since New Year’s but I still don’t have my rhythm yet this year and honestly I’m not sure when I am going to find it.  So this post will not be polished but I HAVE to put this out there and document it so I can come back and remind myself.

In 2011 I WILL CHOOSE my perspective on life, circumstances and what is going on around me.  I WILL CHOOSE how I respond to my children and husband and the people around me instead of reacting.  I WILL CHOOSE to believe God is who He says He is and that He is able to handle what I face each day.  I WILL CHOOSE wisely.

And how will I do this?  For starters by fleshing out Romans 12:2

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Check out this verse in the The Message. I love it!

1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

What does this look like?

When my little one wakes up sick…praising God that this will pass and choose a thankful heart for some snuggle time and the excuse to slow down for a bit.

When the car breaks down and costs a pretty penny to fix…thanking the Lord for honest men that fix it, taking time to treat them with respect and appreciation, recognizing how blessed I am to have a car and trusting the Lord to provide the finances in His way and time, not mine.

When the laundry seems endless, I can not accomplish one task because of many interruptions, my boys won’t seem to get along, and my to-do list feels unending…I will choose to laugh instead of complaining, remember to ask for and accept help if necessary and stay people oriented instead of task oriented.

So each day I will fix my eyes, attention and affections on my Jesus.

I will believe what He says and live like it.

I will put my eye to the kaleidoscope of His grace and live according to what He allows me to see.

My perspective changes when I do this…and things fall into place.