Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hands and Feet of Christ

My family and I have been the recipients of Christians showing up to be the hands and feet of Christ in the last few weeks.  With some upsetting and unexpected news in our family, we have been overwhelmed with people that sit with us, pray with us, and show up just when we needed them.

It has made me look differently at how to help others.  There are times with illness hits, accidents happen, life comes along and we are not sure what to do or where to go.  Can I offer some advice?  Take food - sometimes it is needed at the hospital, not when they get home.  Get to know the kids that are involved - take them away for lunch, bring them special snacks or toys as a distraction.  Is there a lot of driving involved - take them some gas or parking money.  Gift cards might be the best thing - then they can get what they need, when they need it.

The other thing that has overwhelmed us in the last few weeks are the number of people that have shown up from the past to reconnect.  This speaks volumes to the way they have affected by the lives of my parents.  My folks have always had time for other people and have always gone out of their way to help others.  This doesn't come because they were looking for something, but because they genuinely care for and love others. I know this is an outpouring of the love they have for Christ and a way they can serve Him.

So what can you do this week to be the hands and feet of Christ to someone in your life?

And how are you affecting the lives of those who come in contact with you - for a moment or a season?

How is the love of Christ overflowing onto those around you?

Friday, March 15, 2013

He Knows My Name

This week has been a doozy. Isn't Spring Break supposed to be relaxing? In addition to the usual kid fun chaos and celebrating two boys' birthdays, God brought us two lost dogs to give shelter and care.

Tuesday evening these two beautiful, friendly dogs came bounding down the street, straight up on our driveway where the kids were playing basketball. With no owners in sight, I invited the dogs into my backyard, and they came. I gave them some water because they were obviously thirsty, and went back out front, expecting their owners to be coming down the street shortly to find them. As it was getting closer to dark, I took 3 flyers with a picture of the dog out to hang on the street posts. I stopped and asked several people if they recognized the dogs. I gave the dogs some food. I called the animal shelter. At bedtime, I moved them inside to our laundry room, with pillows and blankets for bedding. Surely someone would call the next day.

Wednesday, I called our vet, I posted more flyers. I posted on Facebook. I hoped the phone would ring. It was the boys' birthday, so I couldn't devote too much time to them.

Thursday, I was going to do everything I knew to do. I took the little female into our vet to see if she was micro-chipped. No. I posted more. I called several local vets. I contacted some local dog groups. I bought them collars, so that we could take them on walks. And for the first time, I wondered what their names were.

These beautiful dogs are nameless. They have gone three days without hearing their name called. They have gone three days without their family. They are lost.

Because it was the boys' birthday, the situation reminded me of the day we officially adopted P2 in court. Even though we had him from the time he was 4 days old and we called him by his name, as far as the law goes, that day in court the judge said, "On this day, I declare Baby Boy X to now and forever be named [P2] Taylor."

There was a day, long, long ago, when I felt God's pull on my heart and asked him to forgive my sins, when I accepted God's redeeming grace and acknowledged Jesus Christ's sacrifice of dying on the cross and then rising again on the third day, when I asked God to adopt me into his family. I had gone many days without hearing my name called. I had gone many days without my Father. I was lost. But that day, I was found. And God said, "Welcome to my family, my beautiful Child. You will be known as Christian now and forever."

I am not forgotten. God knows my name. Does he know yours?

If you have been adopted into God's family, you are his child. You are royalty, an heir to God's kingdom. Child of the King. Beautiful Princess. On the hardest days, remember who you are. Be still and listen. You will hear him calling your name. God loves you so much. You are not forgotten. God knows your name.

We have taken to calling the dogs Bo and Angel. You really can't love someone (even a foster dog) without calling them something. I pray God points their owner to one of our fliers or to one of the vets/shelters that has our information. I pray these dogs find their home soon. In the meantime, we are blessed to give them a comfortable home. We are blessed to take care of the least of these.

1 John 3:1 NIV
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

PS - If you recognize these dogs, please let me know. I know they are anxious to go home.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Proverbs 31
This spring, our ladies' bible study has been studying the Proverbs 31 woman.  I have always been intrigued by this chapter of Proverbs but, honestly, it exhausts me to even think about trying to be this woman.  If she truly does everything listed in this chapter, there is no way she has time to sleep!  And what about relaxing and enjoying life? 

What I'm learning though is that all of the qualities this mythical lady possesses are an ideal - what every mom wants her son to look for in a wife.  In fact, this chapter was probably written by Bathsheba to Solomon as he was looking for a queen.  However, if you remember, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines so he obviously couldn't find everything his momma wanted for him in one women - it took a thousand! 

 What I am also learning though isn't that we should work 24 hours a day to keep our husbands and families happy - it is that we should go about our daily work and lives with joy in our hearts.  It is all about our heart attitude, not how much we get done.  If we are happy, or at least trying to be, it makes even the most mundane tasks like laundry so much easier to get done.  Conversely, if we begrudge doing the laundry or dishes, it will make the task much more unpleasant and will probably even take longer to finish! 

 And, if we have exude joy as we go about our days, think about the affect it will have on our kids, our husbands, our friends - even the people we pass in the grocery store.  I know all too often I am met by one frown after another as I push my cart down the aisles at Tom Thumb.  However, if someone smiles at me or says "Hello", it brightens my whole day.  Also, if we get up in the mornings and greet the day with a smile, think about how much easier it will be to get the kids out the door to school.  Hmmm - they might even have a better day themselves, just because we didn't frown and scowl at the coffee pot, wishing it would hurry up!  (A hint here - if you need some help improving your morning mood, try getting up 15 minutes early and spending the time in prayer and bible study.  It's hard to be crabby when you start your day off with God.)

 There is so much more to this chapter in the Bible but I will save that for a later blog.  Until then, remember it's all about YOUR heart attitude, not how much you accomplish each day.

God bless you all!