Tuesday, January 16, 2007


We are leaving for Florida in two days, but we have been anticipating Florida for a LONG time.

Mya can't wait. She is more excited for Florida than she was for Christmas.

Kory can't wait. He needs a break from work.

The boys are clueless. But, if they could comprehend Florida, they would be excited too!

I can't wait. To have a break from the (sometimes) hum drumness of every day life sounds exquisite! A new (hopefully warm) setting, adults to talk to throughout the day, new experiences to share with my children (i.e. flying on a plane and going to the beach) all sound wonderful. As I said, I can't wait.

The sad thing is, once it is over (and it will be very soon), I won't have Florida to look forward to anymore (at least in the near future). And, in all reality, our experience in Florida will never completely satisfy our desire to be there right now. As C.S. Lewis puts it "The longings which arise in us when we...first think of some foreign land (or plan a trip to Florida)...are longings which no travel can really satisfy."

This again reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. It is by C.S. Lewis. For those of you who have been reading since my blog began it will be review, but I think it is a quote worth reviewing.

C.S. Lewis says, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same."

Heaven. That is a trip worth anticipating. And, the exciting thing about Heaven is it will be so much better than anything we can think or imagine. Florida will never satisfy - Heaven will exceed my expectations and COMPLETELY satisfy every longing I have ever had. I can't wait!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Reality Check

The sun is setting; the smell of pine is in the air. I hear a soft crunch, crunch, crunch as I walk. The sounds of children playing are in the background.

Look out, here comes reality! The sound changes to children screaming, I look down and realize the soft crunch, crunch, crunch is my feet crushing Rice Chex into the carpet. The smell of pine (maybe a slight exaggeration, okay maybe more than that, our tree hasn't smelled for weeks) comes from our dead Christmas tree, which needed to leave our living room a week ago.

I am a romantic. I read books and watch movies and wonder why life doesn't match up. I remember having a conversation about this during my engagement. My mom made the comment that I (as previously stated) am a romantic - I want life to be like it is in the movies. The person we were talking to commented that although married life is not like it is in the movies, it is much deeper and that is a good thing.

You don't see reality in the movies (at least in the romantic comedies). The movie stops just before reality hits the love-struck, starry-eyed couple. We don't see them taking out the garbage, doing laundry and the thousand other everyday things that fill our lives because that would be boring. We also don't see the everyday struggles.

Depth in my marriage (and life) comes from the struggles - it comes from loving each other despite our imperfections. It comes from knowing we are going to stick it out no matter how frustrated we are with each other. It comes from learning to trust that I can be my true self and that he will love me anyway. It teaches me of God's love that never lets me go no matter how unlovable I am. Hmmm... that is actually quite romantic!

Fred Rogers once said, "Life is deep and simple, yet most people think it is shallow and complicated." Simple and deep sounds good to me. When all is said and done I'll pick real life over movie life any day.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Just another salesman?

"The thing I loved about Nadine was that I never felt like she was selling anything. She would talk about God as if she knew Him, as if she had talked to Him on the phone that day. She was never ashamed, which is the thing with some Christians I had encountered. They felt like they had to sell God, as if He were soap or a vacuum cleaner, and its like they really weren't listening to me; they didn't care, they just wanted me to buy their product."

-Donald Miller Blue Like Jazz

I can identify with this quote, the sad thing is, I can identify with the Christians who feel like they have to sell God. Sometimes I get in the mindset that I need to go out and witness to people so I can credit at least one saved person to my name when I reach Heaven. So I can say, "Look God, I brought at least one person with me." Did somebody just say "self-absorbed?" Or maybe that was the Holy Spirit convicting me.

Am I trying to sell my faith to people, covering up the not-so-glamorous parts, so they will buy? Or am I authentic? Is my relationship with Jesus real? Do I talk about Him like a friend and not a product? Do I really care about people? Do I want to introduce them to my friend so their lives will have real meaning or am I ashamed to talk about Him because he's just not cool enough?

If I am really honest with myself, I don't like all my answers.

But, there is hope! Look at Peter - he denied Christ three times. The night before He told Jesus I will die with you if need be. Jesus took the weakness in him and made him stronger. Strong enough to be the leader of His church. Peter just had to be broken first. He learned the hard way that anything good and righteous in himself was from above.

On my own I am just a self-absorbed person looking out for number one. With Jesus, on his strength, I can move past myself, be authentic, and be used by Him.

PS Just in case you haven't noticed, these last two blogs have been inspired by Donald Miller quotes. If you haven't read his book Blue Like Jazz, I would highly recommend it. It is thought-provoking, convicting and an interesting read.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Just another habit?

"I believe that the greatest trick of the devil is not to get us into some sort of evil but rather have us wasting time. This is why the devil trys so hard to get Christians to be religious. If he can sink a man's mind into habit, he will prevent his heart from engaging God."

-Donald Miller Blue Like Jazz

I can be reading my Bible out of habit and never really engage God. I am essentially doing another task. I can read my Bible with the sole motive of relieving the guilt - so I feel like I am a "good Christian."

Don't get me wrong - everyone should read the Bible, Christians and non-Christians alike - it is life changing. But it is only life changing if I allow it to penetrate my heart. I can read the words and never comprehend. I need to be the good soil Jesus talks about in Matthew 13 ("Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." vs. 8)

It comes down to His love. When I remember how much He loves me, that He died for me, and then read my Bible - I know the seeds find good ground.

"O perfect Lamb of Passover, Let me not quickly run.
Recount to me the blessed plot, Tell how the plan was spun
That I, a slave of Egypt's lusts, A prisoner of dark dread,
Could be condemned unto a cross And find You nailed instead."

-Beth Moore Jesus the One and Only