Wednesday, April 25, 2007

And then the rain

It was great while it lasted.... It is cold and rainy now. I am really ready for warm weather. I love living in the midwest. I love the change of seasons. I also love wearing shorts and not having to wear a coat. I do not love not knowing from one day to the next whether I need shorts or sweaters. Perhaps weather is God's way of keeping us from getting complacent. I just finished the book "I'm not wonder woman, but God made me wonderful" by Shelia Walsh. There is a lot of great stuff in there, but one of my favorite parts is when she writes that she wants her heart to be a place in which it pleases God to live. I want that as well. I want Him to search my heart and clear out all that is me and make room for all that is Him. I want to wake up each day resembling God a little bit more. I want me to fade and Him to shine. I want to shed my old self and continually journey toward perfection. It will be a life long path, and although that is very frustrating to my task oriented personality, I am begining to come to terms with it, and even welcome it. Knowing that I am not supposed to attain perfection in my lifetime is actually quite freeing. It does not give me permission to stop trying. I am commanded to aim for perfection. It is a worthy aim, and one I can only do through the grace of God. He does not expect us to go it alone, and He brings so many people into our lives to help us along the way. I have never felt as comfortable in my role in life as I have the last few years. I have been surrounded by people who genuinely love me my entire life, but I feel like I am at a point in my life where the people I interact with on a daily basis truly love me and hold me accountable. I want to be the person God designed me to be, and I have people who share that desire for themselves and for me as well. We are not perfect people, but the fact that we love each other in spite of our imperfections is meaningful. We are not related by blood- we don't have an obligation to love each other because we are "family", but in some ways it is so much more than that. We have chosen to walk down this path of life together, and the fact that we could walk away at any time, but choose not do, makes each step a little more sweet. Don't get me wrong, I love my family, and I am so grateful that I was born into a large, wacky group of people that I call aunt, uncle, cousin, sister, brother, mom, dad, in-laws, grandma, niece, and nephew, however, I feel that they HAVE to love me. It is what families do. But then, we are ALL part of the family of God, so maybe it is not so unusual that I love my friends as much as I do. They are my family in every sense of the word. We all work together to become who God intends us to be. It is a beautiful thing.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hidden blessings

The sun is shining in Chicago today. It just makes me feel better. I left the house at 7:30 to run some errands and there were some dark clouds on the horizon. I started to resign myself that it was going to be yet another day that I would not get to walk. I decided that unless it was a torential downpour I was just going to suck it up. I sighed and did a quick "OK God, I am turning the day over to you. You know my plans for the day, but I trust you. I surrender it to you." I walked out of the grocery store to beautiful sunshine. It made me smile. How often does God do that for us? We think we have the plans all figured out, and that they are perfectly crafted. However, we are imperfect people, so our plans will always be flawed. I have found that the more I am able to surrender, the more blessings I see. I am sure the blessings were always right in front of me, but now I am more open to them. I can slowly let go of my idea of perfection and see glimpses of true perfection. It is an amazing thing. I am a work in progress, and I am FAR from having it all figured it, but it does bring great joy when I can see the purpose in pain, and can even welcome it. It is in those moments that I feel like I cam living up to at least part of my calling in this life, and I thank God for giving me that opportunity.