What a (strange, enlightening, difficult) 30 days this has been!

Well, I made it.  Yesterday was day 30 of my internet fast and it has been crazy!  I’ve gone through a lot over the last thirty days, most of it was unrelated to the whole “no internet” thing, but some of it was.  Here’s a summary:

1.  I have to admit that there was more than one time in the last thirty days that I missed the internet, but mostly it was because I missed the convenience.  I didn’t realize how much that I do on a regular basis involves the internet.  I need to order a fix kit for the pack-n-play because there was a recall?  My hubby has to do it.  I need to figure out if my three-year-old is normal because he started pooping his pants after he was already potty trained (he has started using the potty again the last couple of days, hooray!)?  Hubby, can you Google this for me?  I want to look at houses for sale in the city we are moving to?  Okay, I allowed this one, but only if I was doing it with my hubby.  I didn’t really miss the internet for entertainment, but for convenience.  I can live without it, but I don’t have to.

2.  I have been experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety about this whole selling the house thing.  It isn’t because I think it’s a mistake, I still think we are doing the right thing.  The hardest part for me is the indefinite nature of the whole thing.  Not knowing when we will be moving is difficult.  I have to remind myself a lot that God is in control, that we are committed to doing this in His timing, that I shouldn’t have asked God for more patience (seriously, don’t do that).  It’s hard trusting, but I just have to remind myself that I can trust Him when I forget.

3.  I went through a lot of spiritual turmoil over the last thirty days.  Some of it was stuff I’ve been struggling with for years, but some of it was new and particularly upsetting because of the newness.  Anger, doubt, frustration, depression, you name it, I’ve experienced it.  I reached a point a few days back (actually, I think it was over the weekend), when I realized that I needed to get back to my roots.  I was experiencing some serious doubt and the questioning and hurt were almost more than I could bear.  I decided that I needed to remember what convinced me that God exists, that He is who He says He is, that I need saving, and so many other things.  So, I decided to read the book that convinced me in the first place, Mere Christianity.  I know there are a lot of people who are not C.S. Lewis fans, but he has a way of saying exactly what I need to hear in his writing.

4.  A lot of the questions that I was struggling with were related to something that I read and took to heart shortly before I started my thirty days.  I can’t remember where I read it, or maybe I even heard it somewhere, I’m not sure.  In any case, it was something along the lines of, “as Christians we should be following Christ, but most of us follow the Bible.”  That seems like a silly statement on the surface, but it encapsulates everything that is wrong with Christianity.  The question that arises from this statement is this: does my Christian walk lead me to look more like Jesus, or am I spending all of my time focusing on what the Bible says about Him instead of getting to know Him?  Am I a Bible-ian?  No, I am a Christ-ian, and as such, my life should reflect Him more and more.

So, out of all of that arises my new blog, which I will launch in the next week.  It will have a different direction (in that it will have a direction) and probably a different look.  I will probably be posting less frequently, but hopefully they will be of a higher quality.  I haven’t decided on the exact format, yet, but I’ll solidify that this week and let you all know.  Thanks for reading.  Hopefully you will follow me to my new home on the interwebz when I move.

What would Jesus like? | Think Christian

What would Jesus like? | Think Christian.

 

For all you Facebookers out there.  Enjoy!

Wisdom is calling

Proverbs 1:20-33 (AMP)–Wisdom cries aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the markets; She cries at the head of the noisy intersections [in the chief gathering places]; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: How long, O simple ones [open to evil], will you love being simple? And the scoffers delight in scoffing and [self-confident] fools hate knowledge? If you will turn (repent) and give heed to my reproof, behold, I [Wisdom] will pour out my spirit upon you, I will make my words known to you.

Because I have called and you have refused [to answer], have stretched out my hand and no man has heeded it, And you treated as nothing all my counsel and would accept none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when the thing comes that shall cause you terror and panic–When your panic comes as a storm and desolation and your calamity comes on as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then will they call upon me [Wisdom] but I will not answer; they will seek me early and diligently but they will not find me.

Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord, Would accept none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof, Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices. For the backsliding of the simple shall slay them, and the careless ease of [self-confident] fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkens to me [Wisdom] shall dwell securely and in confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil.

I’m not a very visual person.  When I think of something that can be represented in physical space, I don’t usually picture it in my head.  When I read a book, I don’t usually imagine what the characters look like or what their surroundings are like.  I just don’t think visually most of the time.  So, when something does strike me in a way that causes me to see it in my head, I usually take note.  This passage is one of those things.

This is the picture that comes to mind (and, if you are not a visual thinker like I am not, then you probably won’t see it, either, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t understand).  There is a busy outdoor market, like a bazaar or something.  There are lots of stands where people can buy various foods and goods, and they are.  The roads are packed with people talking, bartering, haggling, greeting one another, etc.  There are street entertainers performing for the crowds.  There, in the midst of all of the hustle and bustle, is one woman shouting out for people to come to her.  She is yelling, trying to be heard over the noise.  Her message is urgent, but few hear it because of all the distractions.  Few come to her house of learning that is open to all and the message doesn’t get through the crowded streets to those who need to hear it most.

And that woman is us.  Crying out in the streets that the world needs wisdom.  Being heard by only a few.

What to do? Pick a new name, I guess.

So, I have alluded in past posts to some changes that will be happening in my life and now I (finally) feel like I can share them with the blogosphere.  So, without further ado: Christian in Utah will need a new blog name soon, since we are packing up and moving to Colorado.  I know, I know, you are all saying, “But your name is so clever and you are so obviously attached to it.”  Well, what’s done is done and I don’t plan to keep this blog name, as clever as it is, when I move.  I will be sure to let you all know so that all ten of you can follow me to my new home on the Interwebz.

I don’t want to make light of this move, though, because the decision came about after much heartfelt discussion and months of prayer for both me and my hubby.  The truth is, I can’t share all of our reasons for making this move, but suffice it to say there are several.  The biggest one is that we believe that God is in this and we are trusting Him.  It will be a good move for our kids, our family, our finances, and it will be good for us spiritually (since we are in His will).

It has been ten years since we moved to Utah, though, so it will be a big change that won’t come easily.  Of course, moving here was a big change for both of us (especially me coming from the Detroit area), so we know that we can adjust to our new surroundings if we do some key things.

1.  Cling to God.

2.  Cling to each other.

3.  Keep our sense of humor.

That last one is so important (not that the first two aren’t important, I just think the third is often overlooked).  I don’t know if you have ever sold a house, but I have and it is not fun.  I think I have a post brewing about that, though, so I’ll just leave it at “not fun” for now.  Anyway, you have to be able to laugh when things get tough or you won’t make it through intact.

THIS is what’s wrong with American Christianity (a blog post) | Jesus Needs New PR

THIS is what’s wrong with American Christianity (a blog post) | Jesus Needs New PR.

 

I don’t agree with everything that is said here, but I think it is a powerful message that most Christians in America need to hear.  Enjoy!

Randomness

I have a lot of scattered, random thoughts right now, so there’s really no getting around it.  Here is a glimpse at some of the randomness.

  • As I sit here writing this, my hubby and two children are watching a movie in another room.  At dinner he told me they were going to watch a movie this evening and I told him that I would write on my blog about it, so there it is.  But, seriously, my TV fast is going pretty well.  I was surprised a few times when I actually missed TV.  The biggest surprise was Tuesday night.  My hubby usually goes to our church’s prayer meeting and I stay home with the kids.  When it is on I watch The Biggest Loser during that time (my one weakness when it comes to TV) and when it isn’t I watch Jeopardy.  I couldn’t do either, though, so we ran some errands instead.  I will have to see what happens next Tuesday.
  • Speaking of next week, we might have a Preschooler starting next week!  We have been talking about putting our son in preschool when he is three for a long time, but I hadn’t really thought about it for a while, except to say that he needs to get potty training down before he goes to preschool.  Well, this week he has proven that potty training is a skill that he has pretty much acquired (I was going to say “mastered,” but that is a stretch), so my hubby said that we should start looking at preschools.  I looked online and found a list of preschools in our city (and would you believe none of them have a website!) and shared it with him.  I was going to call them all, but he started calling before I got around to it.  Turns out, the first place that he called had everything that we were looking for in a preschool and has openings, so . . . we are probably going to go for a tour tomorrow and, if it looks good, sign him up.  I’m so proud, but also a little sad.  My baby is growing up.
  • If you are the praying type, I have a request.  I know several people right now whose marriages could use some serious prayer.  It’s something that is frequently on my heart and I pray often that God will protect marriages in general, so whenever I see that several people I know are struggling, I try to get others to join me in prayer.  So, pray for unsaved spouses, pray for healing and reconciliation where it is needed, pray for growth for husbands and wives, pray for protection from attacks, pray that God will break down walls that have gone up between spouses.  Whatever else might come to mind to pray for marriages and relationships, pray that, too.
  • I might write an essay to enter a contest for local Financial Peace University graduates to tell my debt story.  The prize is to appear on The Dave Ramsey radio show and a local radio show, and a bunch of other stuff.  I don’t actually think that my story is that compelling, but I can’t imagine that a lot of people will want to write an essay, so my chances of winning could be pretty good.  We’ll see.

Well, I think that’s all for now.

Where have you been?

Of the five people who might read this blog, some of you might be wondering where I’ve been.  The rest of you were probably with me, so just humor me.

During the last week in July my husband, my two kids, and I went to Indiana to visit my in-laws.  We stayed at a cottage on Lake Shafer, visited with Nana and Papa, as well as cousins (my kids’ cousins, that is).  We swam, slept late, relaxed, went for a boat ride, went to Indiana Beach, visited a dairy farm, and probably a million other things I can’t remember.  It was great to see my husband’s family and watching the kids play with their cousins was a ton of fun.

Things that I won’t miss from this trip: 1. My teething baby waking up all night (her timing is perfect).  2. The humidity.  That’s pretty much it.  I had a great time.

My husband and I had a lot of time to discuss some things that have come up recently that could mean big changes for our little family.  I think I alluded to this in my last post before leaving for vacation, but I’m still not ready to give any details.  Just be praying for God’s will to be done in us and through us.

It’s good to be back home in Utah.  I leave you with two thoughts that are on my heart today.  First, it is good to take rest and comfort in the Lord.  Step back from your busy life occasionally to be still in Him and enjoy His presence, His creation, His love, and His abundant grace.

Psalm 46:10–Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

Exodus 33:14–And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Psalm 116:7–Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

Matthew 11:28–Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

The second thing that is on my mind today is that God wants good for us.  No matter the circumstances, even if things look bad from here, God works things out for good.  He has a plan for us and it includes a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11–For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Romans 8:28-39–And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:
“ For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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