Friday Uplift (3/20/2015)

For it was you who formed my inward parts; 

 you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
wonderful are your works,
that I know very well. 
(Psalm 139:13-14)

Another week of Psalm 139, but this little psalm continues to have a lot to say to us.
This is probably the most well known part of this psalm, and people use it a lot to remind us that we have been created by God.
And that’s good.
In fact, that’s really good to remember.
It’s a reminder that even while we were becoming life, God was there.
God had a hand in making you YOU.
But even more than that – it’s good to remember the last little part of verse 14: I know your works are wonderful…
Sometimes, even more than we need the reminder that God made us in the first place, we need to hear that God makes wonderful things.
God doesn’t just make thing, but makes wonderful things.
This is important.
It’s a reminder that we need when sometime our bodies seem less than wonderful.
When we are sick or struggling or even barely hanging on.
God didn’t create once and then stop, God is STILL creating.
STILL knitting you together when you’re broken.
STILL making things new and wonderful.

I hear this little verse and I immediately think of a song called “beautiful things” by Gungor.
Watch/listen here.
This song reminds me that even in the less than wonderful moments – God is still making beautiful things.
STILL.  Even now.
Even you.
Amen.

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Friday Uplift (3/13/15)

“If I say “surely the darkness shall cover me and the light around me become night” even the darkness is not dark to you, the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.” (Psalm 139: 11-12)

Continuing in psalm 139 again this week. Man, this psalm is full of good stuff, week after week!

This week is a reminder that there is no darkness dark enough to cover God’s light. And boy do we need that reminder when we are feeling like the world around us is getting darker and darker…
But today I’d like this to also be an exercise in perspective… a reminder that WE have the light of God with US always, and so we aren’t ever going to be in a darkness darker than God.
And that even what we think of as darkness isn’t dark at all to God.
That’s some perspective that I need every day.

What I think is dark isn’t even close to being able to cover the light of God.

So get out those sunglasses.

See you Sunday.

Friday Uplift (3/6/2015)

“Where can I go from your spirit?
    Or where can I flee from your presence?
 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
    if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
    and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me fast.”
(Psalm 139: 7-10)

Last week we were reminded how God hems us in, how God surrounds us, and this week we get even more reassurance of God’s presence in our lives.
And really, there isn’t a day I don’t need this reminder.
There is always something pulling my attention away from God.
There is always good news and bad news in my day.
But that’s why we have this promise in the psalm today:
No matter where we find ourselves, God will be there.
While this text can be interpreted in a lot of different ways, I find myself taking it figuratively more often than literally.  Though I do believe that this text can be read literally as well, it’s more meaningful for me to take it figuratively.
So instead of heaven and hell, I think good days and bad.
So to me, this text says: on the best of days – God is there.
And on the worst possible day of our lives – God is there.
There is no place that God can’t be.
Name a place.
God is there.
Name a moment.
God is there.
God is in birthing rooms and nurseries.
God is in chemo centers and oncology wards.
God is in cars on the freeway and on couches in homes.
Heaven or hell.
Land or sea.
Near or far.
Good or bad.
God is there.

Project 12:30. March.

Oh gosh.

March has begun.  It’s the month of no sugar.
Day one, and I already hate it.  (It’s going to be good for me right?)
I overcompensated yesterday with sweet yogurt and a cupcake and a mocha.  So not only am I coming off the sugar high but even moreso than usual.

No sugar in my cuppa this morning, plain yogurt, and no dessert at lunch.
Lord give me strength.

It’s going to be a LONG month.

Project 12:30 update – February recap

Wow.  I can’t believe it’s March 1.
What happened to February?

I wanted to just post a little bit about the month of February.  If you remember, I shared at the start of the month that I would do some exercises in intimacy throughout the month of February.  I also mentioned how my beloved husband wasn’t really interested in my public sharing of our marriage life… so for his sake, I only posted one update in February.
Now that February’s experiment is over, I’d like to give some final thoughts…

1. Intimacy is hard.
Like, really, really hard.  Mostly because intimacy takes time, and it takes energy.  Two things that always seem to be in short supply around my house.  This month I got crazy sick and was out of commission for a few nights, Sam had a lot of extras on his plate and was exhausted a few nights, we were apart for a few nights when I took the kiddo up to visit Nana and Poppa.  Intimacy is hard.

2. Forcing Intimacy is even harder.
Instead of becoming a habit, which was the hopeful outcome of each month in this year-long project, this became an annoyance.  We were tired and sick and cranky and now we have to touch and answer questions and gosh if we really didn’t want to.  To be fair, most often the conversations ended up being great, and I did really feel like I connected to Sam in a better way… but sometimes we just checked it off the list and moved on.  That’s not intimacy, and it was an important lesson for me.

3. Intimacy is also not hard.
Ok so this might seem like I’m contradicting the other two points here, but really, it was surprising how little time it took to make sure we connected in some way each day.  Did we always feel like it? No.  And in the future maybe we’ll let it go.  But on those nights where we aren’t sick or exhausted or working, it is actually really easy to just turn off the phones and computers and take a few minutes for each other.

4. Intimacy is a choice.
Obviously I want to have a great marriage and a good relationship with my husband.  But if this month has taught me nothing else, I learned that I can choose.  I choose connection or disconnection.  I choose time together or time apart.  I choose conversation or one more chapter of reading.  It’s my choice.  And neither one is wrong.  I might need the time apart (or more realistically, Sam might need the time apart).  But recognizing that intimacy doesn’t just magically happen was an important lesson.  My choice matters for me and for my marriage, and so it’s important that I take the time to really listen carefully for what I need and what my marriage needs each night, and act accordingly.

Intimacy is hard.
Intimacy is easy.
and Intimacy is a choice.

Now on to March.