Three Years Ago

Thursday, January 31, 2013

 Three years ago today we met this extraordinary little fellow.  He was so solemn then.  Scared.  Stoic and pretty much unemotional.

I can remember him crying silent tears as we walked out of that building where we met him....little droplets ran down his face but he was completely detached.  Poor guy.

He very quickly evolved into a very very spunky little man and has literally kept us laughing ever since.  Hmmm.  Maybe that's why his name is Isaac (means laughter!). 

Three years ago, Shaanxi, China. 

 (If you remember, this was from a post last year - the carnage from a Mouse Trap story version of Adam and Eve and the Serpent.  All Isaac's idea.  I told you he makes us laugh.)

This boy is almost six (that makes me horribly emotional to think that this child would have the audacity to grow up on me.  He's supposed to be little) and is incredibly thoughtful.  He's very big on "serving the ladies" and comes up with great jokes!  I love him so much.  He has been such a huge blessing in my life and I cannot imagine life without him. 

When I hear his spunky little voice calling from the next room, "Rachel, could you come play chutes and ladders with me?" I honestly have a very hard time resisting.  Although there are always things I have that need to be done, I'm oddly aware that these moments are fleeting.  And I so want to enjoy every minute of his being little.....getting hugs, playing Candy Land, reading books, watching Adventures in Odyssey movies together..and hearing his hysterical shrieks of laughter at the funny at the park to see who can swing higher, hearing him beg to lick the brownie batter bowl, tickling him till he cries, making him promise me he'll never grow up.....

Yes, these days are precious.  What a wonderful three years it's been with this little guy.  I can't wait to see what God has in store for this special young man. :-)


The "Why" Behind the "Do"

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I've been thinking alot about motives recently.  It's a subject that haunts me endlessly; I guess because it's something I struggle with myself.  There's nothing quite like doing the right thing for the wrong reason.  It kind of sucks the "rightness"....well, right out of the whole action. 

The other day, during a lull of clients at the CPC, I sat down and started flipping through the shelves of literature we have there.  In one of the books I found a little slip of paper with this stirring qoute by A.W. Tozer on it:

"It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. The motive is everything. Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act."

It kind of took my breathe away when I read that.  Not because it was profound (which it is, by the way) but because it was so relavent to something I struggle with.  That little sticky note just jumped out at me and I quickly scribbled it down on another slip of paper to take home with me later. 

I've thought about that qoute a lot since finding it.  It seems to always be at the forefront of my mind whenever I start weighing the consequences of doing one thing or another.  Making choices can get tough  when the why behind those choices gets questioned.   I don't like my motives questioned.  I'd like to fool everyone else (and myself, while I'm at it) into thinking that I do all the right things for the right reasons.  Problem is, much of the time my motives aren't as pure as I'd like to think they are.

For me, checking motives gets especially tough on traditionally controversial issues in the conservative -homeschool-world.   I've fought the skirts vs. pants war for years.  Been a fierce champion of stay-at-home-daughterhood since I was 12.  College vs. no college, courtship vs. dating, makeup vs. no makeup....on all those issues I've always been a staunch supporter of the "conservative" side of these issues.

But taking a closer look at them all again, it seems like the motives behind each of these choices is far more important than the choices themselves.  Asking myself why can often seal the deal on which direction I'm going to go.  Am I wearing skirts because they make me somehow look more spiritual?  On the other hand, am I wearing jeans to appear more "with it" or to look like everyone else?  The difficulty is that fitting in works just the same with skirts as it does pants.  Wanting to fit in with "church people" by dressing just like them doesn't make the skirt-wearer any more holy than the jeans-wearer.

See how murky the whole thing can get?  It's truly a matter of the heart.  Motives make or break the actions. 

Seems like people-pleasing gets me tripped up alot when it comes to motives.  And that's rough because there are a whole lot of people out there....and living to please all of them makes for one miserable existence.  And why is it so important that others think well of me, anyway?  Living for that smile of approval or pat on the back is a sure-fire way to mess up in life.  And it begs the question, just who am I living for? People, sinful, messed up humans, like me? (Who are probably hoping to win my approval, too?) Or God?

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."  ~Galations 1:10

Tough one, people pleasing.  I like my reputation.  I like to be well thought of.  I'd like to constantly live in the smile of hundreds, march triumphantly through life with the spotlight beaming and my whole circle of friends (hey, the world while we're at it) applauding my every move.

But who am I trying to serve?  Why am I doing what I do, wearing what I wear, going where I go, or even writing what I write?  Heck, if I'm writing this blog post with the intention of somehow being revered or admired, being thought of as "spiritual" or "holy"......than what a waste of time. 

Motives are everything.  If I'm not doing something for the right reason, I might as well not even do it at all.  Better yet - run a check on those motives, adjust as prompted by the Lord, and change the action.  If I'm not living for the Lord, I'm not truly living at all.


Sanity Chek?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

This week (and last) has been full of many moments where I honestly wonder if I am all there in the head.  Really - I sometimes think my own head isn't screwed on tight enough; never mind wondering if there's even a brain in there. 

Here's just a few things that made the last ten days  I told my parents that if there was such a thing as bad karma (um - don't be offended church friends, I know there isn't, I'm just making a point here) I definitely had it last week.  Plus lots of fun awkward moments.  Oh yes.

1. Trying to pay for something with my driver's license.  That was nice.  The cashier was like, "Um, ma'm.....we're going to need.....a different card I'm afraid......we need money, not your picture..."  (Okay, he didn't really say that.  But he probably thought it.)

2. Receiving a beautiful cd from a friend in the mail, ripping the package open in anticipation, promptly dropping it on the ground, and thus adding one more to our ever-growing collection of broken cd cases.  It's a thing with us.  Nearly every cd we own has a lovely broken case to go with it.  You know, the kind with no hinges.....anymore?  (Thanks was a beautiful case. lol)

3. Going to In & Out Burger, having a nice meal, filling up my drink cup with ice cold water to the brim on my way out the door.......and then having the entire cup dump over and spill on semi-important papers during an untimely lurch whilst shifting to second gear.  I was thirsty all the way home.

4. Nearly poking my eye out of its socket while putting on pencil eyeliner.  It was a brand new pencil, nice and long.....I was so used to my old one that had been whittled down to a mere inch and half that depth perception completely slipped my mind as I leaned forward to look in the mirror.  Tell me I'm not the only who's done that. 

5. Buying a nice new liquid foundation, coming home, setting it on the table, and coming back ten minutes later to find a lovely pool of brown goo nicely spread on our wood table.  Apparently I had "set" it down a little too roughly.   Or maybe Isaac played with it.  Who knows?  With broken glass in the mix, it was unsalvageable, and the whole thing went in the garbage. 

6. You know that audio clip I posted last week?  I was so excited to discover how to do that.   Rewind a few hours, and I was literally on the verge of making the transfer from the piano to the computer....seconds away from complete victory....and in my excitement the thumbdrive flew out of my hands, fell on the tile floor, and promptly broke. (I guess I'm a little high-strung - I break things when I get excited?)  Dad's thumdrive.  The only thumbdrive we had in the house at the time.  Yeah, what a bummer! Had to go buy a new one. Plus a replacement. 

7. Almost socking a poor cashier in the face trying to pay with cash.  Thankfully his hand blocked and we did one of those fist-collide-in-mid-air things.  Did the same thing at church last week.   Interrupted someone else's hand shake with my own hand.  Happened to be my pastor too....I'm so not graceful.  It's akin to missing a high-five.  Just awkward.

Yes, it was an awkward week.

 8. Smashing my finger to smitherenes in the metal library book drop-off thing outside.  One of those moments where I really wanted to scream to yell or something - but of course there were people around so I just smiled fakely, thinking of the nail I'd probably lose next week and limped off to my truck. 

9. Shopping for a sweater (it's been really cold here recently) and talking myself through the rack of clothes.  I have to watch myself in the talking-to-myself-in-public department.  I'm going hanger by hanger, mumbling, "Oh this one's cute...yeah but it's a little too big...oh and look at the price...oh this is much better....yep it actually might work....oh and it would go great with that tank I have at home....and see if you buy this one you get the discount..."
*Sigh* To give myself credit, I don't do this alot. And I'm not loud.  But it's just a litte....weird. 

10. My hair.  You know how I was losing it like crazy last summer?  Well it's finally all growing back.  But now I have the funny little baby hairs everywhere. Before I use hairspray it looks like I have a little lawn of grass that just got mowed up there or something.  At least it's growing.

This was kind of a rambly post.  Hope it didn't come across as complaining.  Because I actually made myself laugh writing all this out.....I have so many awkward moments that are worth recording, for my own sake.  I make so many dumb mistakes that are just laughable!  Ah well.  I also had quite a few awesome moments in my week as well.....(which will be saved for next post)!!!


Just Kinda Excited....

Monday, January 7, 2013

I have wanted to figure out how to record songs on my piano and transfer them to my computer for some time I finally figured out how.  It was kind of exciting for me since it's confused me for a while, but I had a breakthrough today and I at  least know how to do a basic recording and upload.  Now, I just need to learn how to use all those amazing bells and whistles to record multiple tracks, one on top of the other.  That will be fun.

This song is just my own personal arrangement of "How Great Thou Art".  Most of you who read my blog heard me play it at church yesterday - but it's what I had ready. :-)


About This Blog

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not
on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will
make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:5-6

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP