Wednesday, January 2, 2013

HERE'S TO 2013!


It's all worthless, and a waste of time.  All of it.

Status.  Power.  Money.  Fame.  Popularity.  Looks.  Strength.

Worthless.  All of it.

I wrote about it before, but I don't think I ever fully grasped it...  I don't even know that I fully grasp it now.

My husband and I started reading this book together last night.  I've started it before, but my heart wasn't in the right place, so I didn't really grab hold of the message.

The book is called CRAZY LOVE.  The author is Francis Chan.  Here is the Amazon link. Pick up a copy if you can.

The first chapter sends you to the internet to watch a couple of videos, in addition to an in depth writing from Mr. Chan.  I was okay kind of doing my own thing, checking my Facebook several times a day (looking for approval- even though I know better).


That one is called "The Awe Factor".  And it literally took my breath away.

Then we read a little more and we were instructed to go to this video: CLICK HERE WHEN YOU HAVE 15 MINUTES TO WATCH. BUT DON'T FORGET TO WATCH IT!

I've heard the "bigness", the "vastness" of God explained before, but I never got it, like really thought I could wrap my mind around even a small portion of who God really is.  Not that my pea-sized brain will ever fully comprehend all of God.  I mean, even the angels, who have access to see Him, have to cover their faces in response to His awesomeness.

And although you might think I'm part angel...  I'm so not.  I'm just me.

I'm not part of some big bang.  I'm not an accident.

Psalm 139 says

"O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.  You know when I sit down or stand up.  You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.  You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.  You know everything I do.  You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.  You go before me and follow me.  You place your hand of blessing on my head.   Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,  too great for me to understand!  I can never escape from your Spirit!  I can never get away from your presence!  If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.  If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.  I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—  but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.  To you the night shines as bright as day.  Darkness and light are the same to you.  You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.  You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.  You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in your book!  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.  How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.  They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!  And when I wake up, you are still with me!"

Yeah...  I'm still kind of stuck on the AWE FACTOR video...  and then I think about Psalm 139- How awesome God is, and then that phenomenal, awesome, beautiful, amazing, extravagant, tremendous God that created all of the billions of galaxies...  that same God loves you.  And He loves me.  Not "loves" as in "She really loves Chick-fil-A", but as in "There aren't enough words to describe the love He has for us!"  He watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion... He knew every word I would say before I said it.  He knew I would make mistakes and let people down.  He knew all of my bad choices, and my good choices- before I even made them.

And He loved me any way.

In the same way that He loved Peter, who ultimately betrayed Him, and then went on to lead a tremendous life that brought honor and glory to His name.  He loves us.  And He wants us to know Him- to have a relationship with Him.

Not just reading our Bibles and rushing through some prayer time...  but really learning about who He is, and loving Him in response to His awesomeness.

And part of learning to love Him as an overflow of the joy you feel deep inside, is learning to trust Him.

This morning when I woke up, I had some worries and concerns.

And then I remembered the AWE FACTOR and I was reminded that He controls all of those billions of galaxies.  He keeps the Earth spinning at the perfect rate.  He keeps all of the stars and the sun and the other planets from flying off in to orbit.  He is also in the minuscule details- like in our cell structure and our physical make up.  If He controls and cares about even the smallest details about you, regardless of what you have done, don't you imagine that He cares about the things that concern you?  And if He can control all of those things, doesn't it make sense to ask Him to be in control of the things that seem out of control?  Doesn't it make sense to trust Him in the things that seem tremendous, and impossible to us?  I mean, after all, He controls billions of galaxies and their perfect timing, and everything else that is required to sustain the universe, so your problems, and my problems are probably in good hands.

! Peter 5:7 says

" Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."
Yes, He does.

So I won't waste any more time worrying about things I cannot control.   Remember the Puzzle Pieces we talked about a while back? 

He is in control- from the smallest details and concerns, the the most incomprehensible.  I never stopped to worry about what would happen if our Earth spun out of control...  because I never thought to.  I naturally trusted that God made it, so He would take care of it.

In the same way, I think He's trying to show us that He made us, so He will take care of us.

Remember- He saw all of the days of our lives before we were ever even a glimmer in the eyes of our parents.  He knew we would struggle.  He knew we would doubt.  He knew we would wrestle to be in control.  He knew we would suffer.  He knew we would experience unfathomable pain during our lives.  He knew we'd fall...  even when we fell hard.  He knew we'd waste time- even though we don't have tons of it.  He knew we'd waste our talents and our gifts- and He still chose to give them to us.  He knew we'd made a mockery of Christianity and of the way He wants the church to be.  He knew we'd all be in and of the world at some point...

And still, He loved us.  

His love isn't dependent on our performance.  He doesn't function like humans.  His love was perfect before we ever made any choices- good or bad, so how could we ever make Him love us more or less by making the choices He already knew we were going to make?!?

The answer is...  we can't.

So stop trying.

Like I said- all of this time and effort we are pouring in to status, fame, popularity, money, looks, strength, it's all worthless in comparison to what He has planned for us.

So if I could say anything this New Year, it would be this- don't waste it.

Brad Paisley said, of New Year's Day "Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book.  Write a good one."

And to that, I would say- today is the second page of a 365 page book.  Only 363 pages left.

What choices will you make this year?  Will you spend countless hours working and striving for things that don't matter?  Will the pages of your book 2013 all be the same "Woke up.  Brushed teeth.   Fed family.    Worried.  Cleaned. Worried.  Fed family.  Worried.  Cleaned.  Worried.  Facebooked in search of validation.  Blogged and ignored my kids.  Fed family.  Cleaned.  Facebooked again for more validation.  Bathed.  Brushed teeth.  Went to bed."

Or will you, perhaps, let the author of all authors lead you as you seek to write things you've never even dreamed of before?  Will you meet with Him and let Him really show you the greatness of His love for you, and His beautiful, perfect plan for your life?

I'm pretty sure THAT would be a real page-turner.  Just sayin'.

Happy New Year friends!   I pray that this year is the year God does a new thing in and through you.  I pray that He fills you to overflowing with tremendous joy and passion.  I pray He covers you with His love and that your life, and my life become reflections of His glory, and His planned lived out.

Looking forward to this new year, this new book.  Looking forward, also, to writing shorter blogs.... after this one.  ;)  (It's a resolution- less is more.)

God bless you, friends.

Happy New Year!

No Longer I,

The Real Life Mom.