I've been promising more personal, introspective posts for a while now, and have at least one good one still in the editing stages... but this will do for now. It's largely adapted from an email and journal entries...
The Boy & The Girl
Ryan & I are doing well. We reach these sweet stretches where things are wonderful, and we're serving each other lots, and just having fun! My prayer is that those will be longer and longer stretches, with fewer inturruptions! Usually I'm the one to get cranky and break the mood... yuck. The Lord has recently shown me how often an emotion (usually anger) is the root of my sins against Ryan or in other areas, and I'm learning to ask for help when I feel it coming on. I get suckered into thinking that my feeling HAS to determine what I do, instead of truth. Can you identify at all? Pray for me in that way.
Along those lines, Ryan & I are teaching the kids at church, and right now the lesson is on Jesus growing up as a boy. It hit me that He knew exactly how it felt to be SO annoyed that you feel you HAVE to react in anger or frustration..."yet was without sin." He is THE person who can help me when I feel like I'm there-- THE proof that I CAN not get angry. That's been an encouragement lately.
Ryan just got home and relayed the final version of the T-house lesson he preached tonight, on Jesus walking on water (Matt 14:22-33), and it was amazing that his application was almost the same exact thing! That Jesus is near at hand with power to save, just when the temptation is fiercest (waves & wind strongest). He's walking on the water, calm and unsinking in the same storm. ("yet without sin") And the proper response to foundering faith is dependance-- prayer!-- not despair. "Lord, save me!" not "I'm going to sink! I'll never get out of this!" I think God's trying to get some point across to me... =D
The Lord's been prompting my heart to examine myself-- to remember that my first duty is to be defined by godliness, not wife-ly-ness. You know? I'm supposed to be a GODLY wife, not just a wife. And I haven't been really cultivating personal holiness as much as I did before I was married. Which is natural, I suppose-- the whole 1 Cor 7 thing. No wonder sin has been more of a losing struggle latetly. No wonder I haven't felt "as close" to my Father as I have before. I don't want to let sin become rooted and such a habit that it keeps me distant from God! Anyway I bring all that up to say I'm reading Sin & Temptation (John Owen), A Hunger for God (John Piper), and other stuff that I hope will help. I'm also enjoying good doses of fiction. :) That stuff can be SOOOOO encouraging!!
Via Audiobook, I read F. H. Burnett's A Little Princess, which is a wonderful children's story, quite convicting: the heroine goes from tremendous wealth to starving poverty and ruthless hard work, and all the while is determined to act "like a little princess," always polite, honest, hard-working, and kind. So sweet. And I also read the Thoenes' Jerusalem Scrolls, which is set during Jesus' ministry. It's the story of Mary Magdalene, the centurion whose servant Jesus heals, and Martha & Lazarus (among other NT names), before and during their conversions. I was struck by how, well, un-Christian most of these people were...how cold they were towards Jesus, how self-righteous and unkind. It offended my imagination of them, of first-century Jews. But that's how they must have been... they crucified the Lord of Glory, after all! It's given me much encouragement (God can save anybody!!), and startling humility-- "what am I thinking? that God couldn't save someone that opposed to Him? He saved me!" "...as such you once were..."
I'm in a Book Club here, and it's great fun. Gets me to read books I'd likely not read on my own (not "my style" you know?), which in and of itself may not be a good thing, but paired with insightful discussion, it is! A great way to build friendships with thinking, godly women of all ages and walks of life!
Out & About
This weekend Ryan's taking me to see Phantom of the Opera downtown; my Christmas present. WOOHOOO!! We're going out to PF Chang's afterwards. I'm looking forward to that!!
There are several beats of my heart... may they be used to edify those who read! May you each receive what you need, and that always is God's grace.