Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Day Musings

Well, ladies and you all know, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Far too often, I let Thanksgiving pass me by without really taking the time to reflect on what God's blessed me with in the past year, but this year, Thanksgiving's just a little more meaningful. God's been so good since last Thanksgiving, and I'm so honored that He's my Provider. So in old-school first-grade style, here's a list of things I'm thanking God for this week:
  • For all the incredible friends and family God has allowed to journey through life with me and for the encouragement and joy they bring
  • For a comfy place to call my own
  • For a beautiful group of 7th grade girls that has brightened my world and taught me new ways to think of God
  • For giving...and taking away...and knowing when it's right to do both
  • For His perfect timing and protection
  • For continuing to stick by me no matter what life throws at me
  • For amazing role models and mentors who treat me like family
  • For Love that has changed who I am
  • For being my Healer and for curing cancer!
  • For showing me what it really means to grow up
  • For the opportunity to go back to school and study to become a professional nerd (a.k.a. librarian)...something I know I'm going to adore
  • For revealing a little more of Himself each day
  • For helping me realize I'm right where He wants me to be
  • For the cross and the freedom it brings
  • For the power of the resurrection in daily life
  • For His strength
  • For hope for the future
I pray that you can find a few minutes amidst the hectic holiday hassles to thank Him. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and God bless you all. :) Now, go pig out, but save some cranberry sauce for me!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Author of It All

Since I was a little girl, I have always loved stories. Any kind of stories, really...mysteries, fairytales, romances, adventures...anything that could whisk me away into another world and open my imagination to ideas I'd never considered before.

Here recently, I've started reading Allen Jackson's TEACH, a book for youth ministry leaders, and he touches on the concept of the Bible as a metanarrative, which in non-English major/philosophy major terms is simply a story about stories. I'm fascinated by this idea that the Bible, which was written by hundreds of separate God-inspired scribes, is such a beautifully-woven collection of these intertwined stories, each of which tells a little more of the larger story of the unfailing love of God and His plan for mankind's redemption. Only one Author could pull that off, and He's written the all-time bestseller (literally).

And the cool thing is...He continues to craft new stories every single day. Every moment of every human life is in His perfect hands, and He's using these miraculous stories of love, joy, peace, pain, and suffering to draw His children, His characters closer and closer to Him. I haven't stopped loving stories, but now that I've grown up, I have more of an affinity for the stories God writes...mysteries, fairytales, romances, adventures...there is no shortage of them. I'm exhilarated by my own story and find each new page more thrilling than the last even if the conflicts seem to have no discernable solution. It's in those times that it's too comforting for words to know that I know the Author of my story and that He knows my perfect ending...and every page and chapter before that perfect ending.

Sure there are times when I want to grab the pen from His hand and write my own version of my story, and He lets me do that every now and then, but He soons let me realize my misgivings and realize that His way is always the best way.

The best part is that I'm not the main character in this story...He is. I'm just a teeny short story in an anthology of God-written stories of every man, woman, and child who ever lived or will live. Each one having love as their recurring theme...the only true that makes you want to share your story and listen to others' tales of how they found it too. It's exciting to feel a tiny part of a bigger picture, a grand masterpiece. I'm amazed at the way so many of our stories are inter-connected with incredible people coming in and out of your life the way a cool breeze swirls through a damp summer night. He plans every chance meeting, every deep friendship, every love interest, every hurt, every desire, every blessing...all to bring glory to Himself, the Author. We're His creations, His characters, and we should desire to praise our Creator, our Author.

Take a moment to just step back and wonder at the unbelievable way He's written this grand scheme, and I'll leave you with this...a verse from John that's one of my favorites:

"Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." (John 21:25)

You and I are those books...those stories. Jesus continues to do miraculous things in our lives every day (small and enormous) so that we might have new stories to tell about His great Love. So take some time to praise the Author of it all today.

I haven't been a little girl for some time now, but
the stories of God never cease to whisk me away while simultaneously opening my eyes to things I've never seen before. Those of you who know me know that I love books...ok adore books, but there's only one that's changed my life. I hope that one day its power and beauty will change yours too.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Night for the Record Books

What a wild and crazy night. I've got mixed emotions about the results of this election, but I still don't really understand why so many people are thinking this is the end of the world. There's one thing I do know: God is in control no matter who runs our country, and in case you forgot, God allows those leaders to come into power, and He's never surprised by election outcomes.

And what a beautiful picture of how far America has come since the days of the civil rights movement. I may not totally agree with many of Obama's plans, but I'm so proud that our country has continued to set an example of equality and hard work. I can't wait to tell my kids and grandkids about the night we elected our first African American president. Watching history being written is just nifty. And that John McCain went out with class by giving that inspiring and unifying concession speech.

God is still God, and America is still a democracy, and I'm sleeping soundly tonight...

...although I'm probably dreaming of Bobby Jindal 2012. ;)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Get your butt out and vote!

You bet I'll be practicing my right to vote the lesser of two evils into the Presidency tomorrow! And you better too! Too many people have died to and fought hard to protect and/or establish our right to let our voices be heard, so get out there and be heard!

And just remember, no matter how down things may seem in America right now...we're still blessed to be a democracy. Now, go render unto Caesar's what is Caesar's! ;)