eyes ahead

There is a pose in yoga called the Tree Pose. It’s always been one of my favorites and it’s the one pose I can easily tell that I have made at least a little progress in my yoga practice. There is a trick though, no matter how high you place your foot on your leg, if you look at the person around you or yourself in the mirror…

We were doing this pose the other night in class and it just hit me: This is life right? I start looking around at all the others around me and focusing on them and I do start to fall. I start focusing on the crappy fridge that we have and how everyone else has this awesome fridge and I get consumed with it. I start focusing on all these other moms out there homeschooling and blogging and sewing and doing 5 million things and I’m just struggling
with patience with my children.

If I keep my eyes focused on just myself, I’m falling too. Falling into the trap of self-loathing or even self-loving.

It’s only when my eyes are forward and focused on nothing around me, do I feel the strength of the pose, the strength of my Savior and true balance.

Hebrews 12 says let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

I will never get better with my balance as long as I am looking around at my circumstances.

How is your balance today?

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‘do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever…
commend all to God, and then lie still and be at rest in God’s bosom…

whatever happens, abide steadfast in a determination
to cling simply to God…’

~St. Francis de Sales

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35 things

it’s hard to admit, but I am turning 35 tomorrow. there is something about “thirty-five” that sounds more grownup and old than “thirty-four” did.
seems a little too close to 40 🙂

here are 35 things i am grateful for…

1. my Jesus
2. my husband; who has stood by me through so much crap and joy
3. my sweet babies; who bring me such joy (and crap…but thankfully not in their diapers anymore!)
4. my friends who love me for who i am
5. my friends who love me too much to let me stay the way i am
6. the smell of the rain after it’s been dry for days and days
7. the sunshine that finally comes after the rain
7. a sunrise over the mountaintops
8. a sunset over the sea
9. the sound of my children’s laughter
10. the sound of any child’s laughter
11. the comfortable silence with a friend
12. the knowledge of being known by someone
13. forgiveness and…
14. the ability to confess and know I’m forgiven
15. the passion to create and ability to do so
16. a soft caress on the back of the head
17. the fingertips in my hand of my husband
18. or my children
19. the ability to read
20. the library (I would die without it)
21. the internet: for the ability to reconnect with old friends…
22. and make new ones…
23. and keep in touch with those that are far away
24. slowly but surely becoming debt free
25. the ability and desire to stay home again
26. the ability and desire to teach special children that belong to others
27. and my own
28. a walk on the beach
29. a hike in the mountains (as long as it is leisurely)
30. chips and salsa (ahhh…my one greatest weakness)
31. sitting beside a stream, watching my children play
32. sitting beside a fire, eating some smores
33. watching something that was pictured in my head come to fruition
34. holding a tiny, new baby (don’t get any ideas…none coming this way anytime soon)
35. the ability to move on

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doing the impossible

2-3 God said to Gideon, “You have too large an army with you. I can’t turn Midian over to them like this—they’ll take all the credit, saying, ‘I did it all myself,’ and forget about me.

16-18 He divided the three hundred men into three companies. He gave each man a trumpet and an empty jar, with a torch in the jar. He said, “Watch me and do what I do. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly what I do. When I and those with me blow the trumpets, you also, all around the camp, blow your trumpets and shout, ‘For God and for Gideon!'”

19-22 Gideon and his hundred men got to the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after the sentries had been posted. They blew the trumpets, at the same time smashing the jars they carried. All three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands, ready to blow, and shouted, “A sword for God and for Gideon!” They were stationed all around the camp, each man at his post. The whole Midianite camp jumped to its feet. They yelled and fled. When the three hundred blew the trumpets, God aimed each Midianite’s sword against his companion, all over the camp. They ran for their lives—to Beth Shittah, toward Zererah, to the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.  (passages from Judges 7)

I say this all the time, that I am amazed at how God can bring scripture, a passage in a book, a post from a blog into my life right at the moment at I need it. It’s been a tough week with looming decisions; well not tough, just the reality of the decisions and the uproar that some might cause have hit home to us. This will be a month filled with us making those decisions and dealing with the ramifications of the path that we have truly felt called to follow as a family in the coming year. How timely that I would read this passage this morning.

Gideon started with 32,000 soldiers. You know he was feeling secure in the job that the Lord had called him too. Obviously too much. So God told Gideon to cut down his army, so that the Lord might be glorified in the triumph. What was Gideon thinking? Did he just obey without hesitation, or did he think, “what are you doing Lord?” Maybe this first cut of soldiers didn’t really phase him, I mean he had 32,000 men! After this cut, his army was reduced to 10,000; still a workable number. Kind of like those decisions that we feel called to make that might rub us a bit out of our comfort zone, but not too badly. We will still be comfortable and will still feel like we have some control over the situation.

But again, the Lord told Gideon there were too many men. What is he thinking now? This time his army that started with 32,000 is reduced to 300…three hundred!! This is a point where I wonder if he stopped and thought maybe he should have left with that first group! These are decisions and paths where only God can prevail. A situation that seems impossible and where our ability to control is reduced to faith. But it’s a place where God can do amazing things. How better to move through a life where every part is a reflection of the times that God intervened and that is the only reason why you prevailed?

This is where we are as a family. We are sure of only one decision, but making that reduces our “army” to 300. It puts us back in a place where if we are to prevail, it will only be with the Lord’s intervention. It’s a good place, but it is a scary place.

But, I long to be like Gideon’s army, raising my torch up and watching the opposing world tuck it’s tail and run as the glory of the Lord moves through.

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For 2010

What I want to remember as I walk into 2010:

Imagine yourself living as a house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.

But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurst abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to?

The explanation is that He is building a quite different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.

You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

~ C.S. Lewis

Lord Jesus, may I long daily to not be content with being a decent little cottage, but rather help me to long greatly and trust greatly for the beauty that you are making me into.

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