Saturday, June 28, 2008

Enjoy Your Lot in Life

Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him-for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work-this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 NIV

It is so easy to become complacent or downright aggravated with everyday life. When we become discontent with our lives, we are cranky. We look at others’ lives and want what they have. The reminder that all we have (or do not have) is a gift from God really changed my perspective recently. When I strive to make my life enjoyable, I get frustrated. Or if I look to others to create a joy filled life, I get disappointed. God is the one who enables us to enjoy and accept our lives.

One reason I get bored or discouraged stems from how I occupy my mind. If I am always looking at magazines or movies that portray lives different than mine, then I want those things. If I get in a rut of regrets over the past and missed opportunities, then I get depressed. But if I think about all that I have because of God, then my heart and mind can be occupied with gladness. I can list and acknowledge the people, experiences and things that I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my family. For living in the Midwest. For my heritage. For the opportunity to go to college as an older adult. For our church community. For our home and my front porch where I can sit and meditate on all the good things God has provided. For blogs. For books. For paper and pen. For laugther and tears. I am glad that God has given me wonderful people, experiences and things to occupy my life.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wet Cement

If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.

1 John 1:8-9 NLT

I was out this beautiful morning walking our dog, when I noticed the road was marked off by traffic cones, and a small backhoe was parked at the corner. I happened to be walking on the sidewalk, which is unusual as I tend to walk on the road. (Must be a left over habit from growing up a country girl; no sidewalks out there.) As I approached the corner I was listening to the praise music on my i-pod, while letting the dog and my feet carry me down the sidewalk. I noticed a metal bar over the sidewalk, stepped over it and began to sink- in wet cement. A man on a cell phone was trying to warn me, but I had been too engrossed in the song that was playing. I removed my ear phones and apologized. He didn't seem too upset.

After quickly jumping back out of the cement and dragging the dog along, I returned to walking down the road instead. I noticed several areas where a crew had recently smoothed cement over the other sections of the sidewalk at the end of each home’s driveway. As I walked closer to a crew at the end of the street, I debated whether or not to confess my blunder to them. As I approached them, I decided to tell them in hopes that it might not be too late for them to smooth over the evidence of our walk into the cement. They thanked me for telling them, and assured me that people usually do not tell them and it makes their work more difficult. I was glad I confessed.

This little morning adventure caused me to question how many times I had noticed the danger signs of a sinful choice, but just ignored them and walked right on into the sin anyway. Thanks be to God that he also is delighted to see our repentance (like jumping out of the wet cement), and to hear our quick confession so he can cleanse us or smooth out the mess we’ve created. Also I thought about what would have happened if I hadn’t told the men that I messed up. The evidence of my error would be set in the concrete, and the work to repair it would take longer. What an incentive to confess to God immediately when we realize we’ve stepped astray.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

Matthew 7:25 NIV

Although many report that the economy is slow, contractors are still building houses around our neighborhood. One house on my usual drive looked as if it was a tear down that would be replaced with a bigger, better house. Strangely enough they just tore down the house structure and kept the foundation. As I drove by it again the other day, I wondered what caused them to keep the old foundation. I would think they'd want a new one along with a new house. But I guess if there is nothing wrong with the foundation,why not keep it.

As I think about the changing structure of my life (I just recently celebrated another year of living), I am thankful for the foundation that my life has been built on since I was a child. Even if my children are growing up, and my husband and I are entering the prime of our lives, and even though at times these changes scare me to the depths of my soul- I can rest on the sure foundation of Jesus and his righteousness.