Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Clear And Durable Finish

All of a sudden, I am just not very sleepy.  It is past my bedtime and it would be best to not stay up so late.  It has just been gnawing at me that this blog has been pretty much neglected.  In fact, I need to go back and proofread my last entry.   I hate typographical errors.   There have been a few entries but nothing of great depth. 

Perfectionism usually paralyzes me so it has been keeping me away from blogging.  If I don't think I can spend an ample amount of time on it to do it justice, I procrastinate.  It has been difficult to really zero in on what I want to share.  There's no shortage of newsworthy stories to report but if I don't think I can do a good enough job to do justice to it, then another day goes by without blogging.  Generally, blogging is not a 10 minute deal (unless I am posting only a video and even then, with computer difficulties it can stretch into a bigger ordeal....always when I have to be somewhere).

 Also, it has been a rather strange couple of weeks as far as time and activities are concerned.   It hasn't been a set schedule.  I liken it to a kaleidoscope.   All the specks of color are the activities and as the kaleidoscope is turned, the same specks of blue, green, purple, red and yellow, etc.  just turn into new patterns.  Some are reminiscent of a previous pattern and the same colors repeat....so it is with my life.   Some weeks are familiar with the same specks and colors....some slight variation but others are drastically different.  There's no prediction as to how the next configuration will look.

Maybe your life is like this too?   Lately, my kaleidoscope has been spun at a very rapid rate.  Wait....I liked that pattern!  Go back!   Slow down!   Ahhh....that design was soooo exquisite!  Sigh.   It's okay....more eye-pleasing arrangements will be arriving at a millimeter's turn.   Seriously, I am truly blessed.....abundantly so.   I am not referring to material blessings although, that's true as well.   The days have flown by in a blur.....or a spin.   Now that some projects are done and the deadlines have passed....it is my prayer to sit down and truly concentrate on a few blog entries with more depth. 

 I was driving to my Bible study this morning and all of a sudden I was struck with waves of gratitude....mind racing of all the blessings God has poured out on me and my family.   Do we have our concerns and letdowns?   Of course.  Do I have my moments  of cynicism?  Yes, indeed....I have more moments of that than I care to admit (a common symptom after catching up with the morning news).   I cried out to Him, "I MUST get over myself and I admitted out loud  "I am so tired of myself; You must be too!!  You won't work in me if I am so full of myself".  Yet, even in my confession as I made my way to church,  He reminded me how much He loved me in spite of  all of my faults and idiosyncrasies.  Nothing surprises Him.   He knows (and has known...and will know) my thoughts, actions, deeds and my very wicked heart (which is both disconcerting AND comforting).   With this in mind, I have fallen in love with a song we have been singing at our Bible study worship time.  It's called "The Same Love" by Paul Baloche.  Please check it out!  I can't wait to purchase it (I am not so very techie as you all have noticed by now).

In the past, I have compared this process of transformation to furniture refinishing.   One must take off the old laquer first.  There are varieties of ways such as sanding or chemical removal.  Sanding starts out with a coarser grain of sandpaper and then graduates to the finer grit.  While I am not a tool girl, I have operated a sander a few times.  This operation generates heat and a lot of vibration.  I remember how funny my hands felt after sanding a porch over an hour.  :)    I have experienced that in my Christian walk too.  There's also the liquid removal....the gentle emulsion that produces soft bubbling and wrinkling and there are the  harsh and acrid chemicals.  Let's not forget dipping furniture too.   You get the point.   The old must be stripped, smoothed and prepared before the furniture is restored. 

These are all sequential and as my husband pointed out recently....our walk isn't really quite like that.   We are constantly in a process of dealing with our weak flesh and renewing the mind.  In furniture refinishing, we would not put new varnish on a chair that is still sporting old finish.   Yet, even when we are saved and cleansed by His blood, we still have to deal with our daily varnish and He still applies heat and vibration to strip the old stuff off.  My main premise is no matter the order of it all.....He uses a variety of means to get His desired results.   Maybe this is a silly analogy.  It is. Although,  I still think of myself  sometimes as that chair that needs so much help.  All the imperfections are showing, and everyone sees them but there's a false sense of security thinking my varnish is covering up all the nicks and gouges.  God's word is that sander, chemical stripper and the different sandpaper grits. 

Still, He uses me and I am deeply grateful.   He has given me a great family, great friends who really are also family.   My church is also my friends/family.   He has given me Himself, His Son, His Word and spiritual gifts.  I often think if everything were to be taken from me....loved ones, health, material possessions and freedoms.....would I be so thankful?  It's easy to say all this now having it all.   When rubber meets the road, would I continue to be so appreciative?   I would like to think so but in reality....there are days I complain about stupid stuff now (didn't I admit earlier I am so full of myself?)

So the chair is stripped.....I am forgiven, I am loved, He knows my name, I can't earn my salvation through works,  I'll never be a good person but He thought me worthy to send His Son, His Son found me worthy to go willingly to the cross and I can't be snatched out of His hand.  He is the strength of my heart and  my portion forever.   I am joyful. 

So with all of my imperfections, I'll continue to share what I can in my simplistic and deeply passionate ways.  It's daunting as I WANT to do my VERY best for Him.   I don't know who reads this blog, who visits once or who stays.   All I can do is be obedient, share Jesus and His love for life.  Maybe it will change a heart and mind and ripple out to others.  Even if it's just one who is affected ..it's still worth it to have this blog.  

Psalm 73: 21-26
21 Thus my heart was grieved,
And I was vexed in my mind.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
24 You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
26 My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

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