Stranger in the Earth

thoughts on the way to zion

Archive for the category “My Take On It…”

To the Dear Pregnant Ones

Being a mom is one of the more revealing occupations on the planet. Sink or swim every single day. Being a PREGNANT mom is even more revealing. It’s hard to explain to someone who has yet to experience it, but a few months ago when I was pregnant with the newest little I was asked by a male friend about whether or not strangers ever try to come and touch my belly. Heh heh heh…

It probably sent me into a longer rant than he was expecting, but seriously- people do not know what to do with a pregnant woman.  While people tend to be nice and helpful with doors, shopping carts, and chores, once they find out when you’re due, it’s all downhill from there. It’s as though there’s no grey area. Either they feel REALLY uncomfortable looking you in the eye, they say something really stupid directed at your appearance, or they feel the need to touch you. Why touching?! Why can’t there just be eye-contact and no comments about physical appearances without touching?! That’s rhetorical.

It got me thinking about the things people do and say. Young unattached people crack me up the most because they’re the ones who have the most intense blunders. My personal favorite being when they try to act completely natural, but all the while they have no capacity to relate to a pregnant woman with any semblance of normalcy, so they nervously giggle out offensive comments intended jokingly, but it comes out so insulting that you can’t help but laugh out of pure shock that they did in fact just say that.

“W’oh! Are you sure you’re not having TWINS?!” or “Dude, you’re HUGE!” are two comments I’ve been at the receiving end of on more than two occasions each. Don’t worry, I’m an incredibly stalwart individual when it comes to self-esteem. And thankfully, all of my preoccupation with my appearance issues were long settled before ever becoming a mom.

Now, thankfully I have only had my belly touched by a stranger once in 3 pregnancies, and have only been a very distant observer to the horrifying stories some women have about people rubbing their bellies “for good luck,” or worse ones that I don’t have the heart to tell you about because remembering that they actually happened to people I know sends me into a tizzy of total embarrassment on their behalf.

Reactions to such moments are inevitable, and during pregnancy you have the Achilles’ heel of hormones, removing the usual filter of grace you may normally possess. So not only do you get a barrage of weird comments about how you look, but you also have to use an incredible amount of restraint not to be a loose cannon. On top of which no one wants to know anything about you when you’re pregnant except for how you “feel”.

Um… If I thought about how I was feeling as many times as I was asked that question, I’d probably have been even more grumpy. There are times when I had to shut my yapper before saying things like, “What do you THINK?! I’m the size of a HOUSE! My joints have mutinied, my head perpetually feels like it’s in a VICE, none of my clothes fit but it’s too late in the game to buy even bigger ones, and everyone who said ‘once you get past the first trimester you feel grrrrreat’ is a vicious LIAR!”

That’s what I never said. I’d bite my tongue, say something about how excited I am to meet my baby, and then redirect the conversation. And you know what? It worked every time. The point is, all of the attention gets overwhelming and you feel like you just crash landed on earth from a distant planet and people are talking to you like they do in those Sci-Fi flicks from the 60’s-

“Greetings! We are a peeeacccceful planet.  Frrrrrriiiiieeeeennnnnddddsssss???????” they say, or at least it sounds that way when they talk to you sometimes, all the while eye-balling you as if any minute you’re going to explode. Side note: the phrase “you look like you’re going to pop” is gross. And birth is gross, but seriously? Pop?? Ew.

But in all of the awkwardness of words many people think are acceptable to string together in a sentence directed at you (especially the super young and blissfully unaware tacky types), you have to know something true- you are stunning. You’re not only gorgeous, but you’re one powerhouse of a human. You are being entrusted by God with a beautiful gift of a little tiny person whom He is forging inside of you, and that person will have your eyes. That little person will have their own uniqueness, but it will feel so familiar that you won’t remember what life was like without them when you finally see them face-to-face. That little person will consider you their universe (until they turn 13, at which point you get initiated into a WHOLE DIFFERENT UNIVERSE… but that’s another post for another day).

So maybe this is just a pregger pep talk, but  if nothing else, remember that the good and the bad of pregnancy is not going to last forever. The days are long, but the season is short (though it barely ever feels short in any way). And you know what? The one in your womb is blessed to have you as their Mama.

So pregnant friends, I salute you.

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Pots, Pans, and Prayer

We’re one of those families who live in their house. And by live, I mean live. Stacks of graded tests loiter on my kitchen table, dishes cluster in the sink… sometimes they’re clean, sometimes their dirty, but usually it’s somewhere in between. Carpet stains get married and have young here, and toys roam freely about the living room. Our 1981 dishwasher has been merely ornamental for about a year and a half now after an incident involving smoke. People usually gasp when they finally put it together that I wash dishes by HAND. Don’t worry- I do too. It’s the job I consider to be the greatest “love offering” to the Lord and my family. Let’s stop talking about it.

I clean all the time, but the “end” of a to-do list means that I accomplished a couple of things, not that there isn’t more that needs to get done. We have kids, a really cool hippy roommate, and the best dog on the planet… but she sheds this time of year. My Main Squeeze has towers of books all over our little kingdom, which he genuine reads, but because he reads about 6 books all at the same time, the towers don’t actually get any smaller.

I’m also one of those absurdly artsy DIY ladies who, thanks to the guidance of Pinterest and a few crunchy comrades, makes weird stuff like homemade headboards, water kefir and dairy-free muffins. So it’s not unusual for me to get the question, “What in the world-??” from any number of visitors who breeze through our revolving front door when they see my latest projects. I have to admit that I’m not sure where eating healthy ends and doing it for the picky-eaters’ reactions begins. But either way, my jeans size is shrinking, so no complaints. And unless they’re caked with mud or poo, we don’t tell anyone to take their shoes off when they come into our house because, frankly, with this many people, it’s the only sentence we’d be saying if we cared.

Chia seeds, anyone?

The point is, we’re not perfect. Unfortunately, I’m a recovering perfectionist. Yeah, you just take it one day at a time. Some days you’re living in the moment, blissfully unaware of the many demands of life, and some you’re a subservient to your internal brass knuckles-toting mob boss. But in between the questions of my two-year old, the cries of my infant, the organic-y hullabaloo meals I keep making, the almost-finished sermon notes I keep attempting to write, the smattering of meetings that sweep through our home, and then the regular occurrences of “NO! how do we run out of coffee so fast?!”… in between all of those things there are sweet windows.

These windows are reserved for phrases like, “Jesus, I love You” and “thank You, God, for all of this”… and also the occasional, “Please, Lord, let that spot only be water!”

I mean, you could go throughout your day without ever turning Godward and probably survive, but I turn into a raging machine of turmoil when there isn’t a break in the action for loving phrases to the Most High. Just ask my husband. I  get this look on my face (or so I’m told), where everyone in the house knows Mom hasn’t come up for air in a while. When I haven’t paused to remember the fact that I belong to the Lord, I do laundry with a freakish zeal and a wild eye whilst simultaneously muttering my plans for making dinner, intermingled with complaints about wishing the notion of vacation wasn’t fictitious.

The bottom line is that the only way all of this is worth it is if my heart is fixed on Christ. If not, I’m just busy.

Good Old Fashioned Kick in the Pants

I’ve been thinking lately… a lot. Time has slowed down considerably now that the summer has hit. Not for anyone I know. Just me. That’s why it’s slow. Sometimes I revel in it, and sometimes I want to see if a .44 may have any affect on the sun so that I could go spend an afternoon at a park without suffering from heat stroke. Like I said, I’ve been thinking a LOT.

I wish I could say I’ve been praying a lot too, but that’s a muscle I’ve been neglecting more often than I want to admit. Have you ever noticed that you can convince yourself that you’re praying when all you’re doing is complaining? Well, I have because I have. It’s not that my intentions are complaints when I begin, but then whether it’s pregnancy hormones, circumstances, or just plain depravity, my prayers so easily sound like that of a bowstring wrapped in foil, scraping across an unsuspecting violin. The point is, it’s not pretty.

Now, I get legitimate frustration from things outside of our control. BELIEVE ME. If you had an hour to sit down and hear the story of the past few months of our lives, you’d see why I understand. And it’s not as if the Lord is surprised or overwhelmed by our complaints. However, for some reason I have allowed too many excuses slip in, only resulting in a void of thanksgiving, peace, and faith. What has too often replaced these is grumpy reminders to God of those things of which He is already perfectly aware.  Paul said the famous phrase-turned-cheesy-song “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say  REJOICE.” (Phil. 4:4)

Always doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for a “yeah, but” list. He’s using an imperative. And all of this comes just before he tells the Philippian church to be anxious for nothing, but to pray with thanksgiving. This is my goal for today.

Lately….

Well, here’s my annual post! Okay, to be fair, I have a lot on my plate, and blogging often hangs out on the bottom rung of the priority chain right under “sleep” and “eat” (not necessarily in that order). Due to lack of funds both in my wallet and in the wallet of potential customers, my cake making “business”, if you can even call it that, has hit a  sustained lull. I blame NFL owners for this since they seem to have all of America’s money anyway. This being the case, I have taken up a number of interesting ventures.

Never in my life have I gardened, but I am now. Tomatoes, basil, onions, peas, beans, peppers, chamomile, sage, rhubarb, lettuce, carrots… the list goes on and on. Whilst humming cheerful tunes from My Fair Lady, I managed to obtain lumber from the nearby Lowes, and built myself a grid for my square foot garden. Running my fingers through fresh vermiculite and composted chicken manure is surprisingly satisfactory, and though my neighbors snickered at my determination in some pretty back-breaking work, I am OWNING my beds. I’ve absorbed books upon books on the subject of growing things, and have yet to be bored by all of the wealth of information found therein.

On top of this I decided to be a teaching assistant for the International House of Prayer University’s Book of Daniel Course. I have to admit, I’m my parents’ daughter. My teaching gene kicks on, and all of the grading and managing of a classroom makes me itch to know the subject matter more and more. Some would think it’s among the more boring responsibilities available, but I happen to love it. It’s not that I’m particularly good at administration or that I like administrating life in general- it’s that I’m a nerd and love to learn and be challenged. Plus Daniel is one power-packed book and has been a favorite for 7 years.

More than anything else, though, hunger for the Scriptures has swooped in and grabbed me by my throat. I have been spending more and more hours in the prayer room when time allows, and in that time I have been struck by how necessary our daily bread in the Word really is. I have recently become acutely aware of the loss I suffer when distractions create excuses, and excuses create a void where Biblical study and meditation once resided.  It’s never worth it to lose ground in reading the Word and getting to know the God who wrote it. But I have resolved to feast daily and let the Lord renew my mind, taking back the ground that was lost in my own memory of the Scriptures. The Lord is worthy of my time, and my time is the most valuable possession I can give to Him, so I’m hittin’ the Good Book pretty hard these days.

Back Home

Today I got to visit one of my favorite places in the world- the prayer room.  To be perfectly honest, it’s a place I have not spent enough time in for the past year. My daughter is a year and a half, and I’m STILL trying to find a groove. It’s amazing how long it’s taken me to get to a point where I am able to work around naps, snacks, and meals, but it occurred to me yesterday that if I can’t get this down with only one kid, my hopes of getting it down with more kids is pretty slim. To that I add that I’m now 7 weeks pregnant with our second baby.

For several weeks I have been asking the Lord for grace to go deeper in the Scriptures, as well as to help me carry this baby with ease. The last pregnancy was extremely hard, and though I’ll spare you the details of my daily challenges during that time, I admittedly dreaded another pregnancy if it meant I was going to have the same experience. Thankfully, it couldn’t be more different this time around. Morning sickness comes and goes, but only occasionally strikes hard, and I’m at least armed with the knowledge of how to avoid the triggers that send me into it.

That being said, the one thing I’ve needed more than anything else has been rest, but last night my husband and I stayed up late with a friend, and then continued talking long into the night. I wanted so desperately to feel well in the morning so that I could go to the prayer room, but based on experience I wasn’t so positive about the way it would pan out. To my total surprise, however, I felt so energetic after only six hours  of sleep (which is NOT enough when you’re in your first trimester!), and within 15 minutes I was ready to head out the door. Even as I type this, I feel so well and energetic. It’s odd when you expect the bottom to drop out at any moment, but I’m thankful for this day.

My husband took our little toddler so that I could pray, and the first hour of being in the prayer room was one of the most refreshing hours I can ever remember experiencing anywhere. It was like coming home.  I just cried on the front row, feeling each instrument resonating through my hands and chest as each note was played. The meditation was focused around the Word made Flesh, and I couldn’t imagine leaving the room for any reason. If I had my druthers, I would have spent ten hours in that place. It didn’t matter what part of the Bible I was reading. First it was John 1, then it was Jude, then it was Psalm 1, then Mark 14, and then it was a couple of chapters in Jeremiah. All I wanted to do was absorb the moment in prayer and letting the Word of God wash over my mind.

Taking communion was like a feast for my heart. Letting the Holy Spirit search me and convict me of recent slip ups and sin, and confession and repentance felt like warm bath, cleansing away all the grit I had let accumulate. All I could do was say “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!”

The moral of the story? If you’re a part of IHOP-KC, take nothing for granted. We are so privileged to be here. To have a place that’s open all day long and all night long for the purpose of ministering before the Lord in prayer and worship is such a gift. I get to go back tomorrow morning… and I’m psyched out of my mind about it.

At a Loss for Word…s

Lunch time. Homemade Cayenne Hot Cocoa. Bean Burrito. Stove Top Popcorn. Psalm 119.

As my daughter has been “napping” for somewhere between 10 and 30 minutes, my days have been so far from routine that I don’t quite remember what it means to call your schedule a schedule. Thus the burrito, hot cocoa popcorn lunch combo. At least it’s snowing outside, reducing the oddity of this lunch by a small fraction as it is comfort food. Time with the Lord has of late been squeezed in whenever possible since the  vast majority of my day is twirled around the ever elusive “nap.

I’m perched on a stool in my dining room, listening to the hum and clanking of the jeans in the dryer with a whining cabin-fevered dog at my feet, staring at a less familiar Bible these days. Yes, the Bible I’ve had for the past 5 years has managed to disappear. If you’ve ever fully “moved in” to a Bible that you’ve lost you understand my agony. Nothing seems to be in the right books, and what used to be quick references now has too frequently turned into a wild goose chase. Sometimes I can’t decipher if I’m pained that I lost it, or if I’m in pain that I don’t know the Bible as well as I just know my OWN Bible.

I’m now using my dream Bible- a calf-skin ESV with wide margins and center column reference, which was a beautiful gift from my in-laws  when I graduated Bible school. (I’ll give you a minute to get a napkin to wipe the drool from your chin). There’s only one problem; five years of precious notes from times of study and loving meditation, all the color-coding, all the questions I wrote all over my old Bible have disappeared with it.  However, what more often than not feels like a fly in the ointment, is also a blessing in disguise.

I discovered this yesterday when I read through a favorite chapter of mine- Psalm 119. As I prayed through it I was struck with verse 162. It says in the ESV, “I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.” Imagine yourself being invited to participate in something like “The Amazing Race”, where the winner is decided based on who first discovers a room chock full of loot; money, rare antiquities, gold, new cars, and a deed to a beautiful mansion, just to name a few. Imagine being the first to enter that room as the winner, there to claim your prize! Can you fathom the feeling deep in your gut knowing that aaaaaalllllllll of this is yours?! Can you imagine the way your mind would begin to race as you began to dream up what you were going to do with all that loot? Can you imagine the sobriety and dread that would come over you amidst the elation when you realized that you are about to learn how to be a responsible multimillionaire?!   All of this would change everything in a moment… unless of course you’re already acquainted with having those kinds of resources at your disposal.

I began to look at Psalm119:162 on it’s fresh clean page in my calf-skin ESV with new found revelation. Read it again: “I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.” The Psalmist has something profound to teach us. I want to rejoice over the Word of God with mounting excitement, holy fear, wonder, and sheer giddiness!

So… though I take a moment of silence in missing my dear old Bible, I have this new one inviting me on the chase into the knowledge of God. This is going to be fun.

Career Change Part 2

“YES! I’m EXHAUSTED!!!” I say to my husband a few weeks back after finally having a melt-down. My baby girl was running a fever, and I had never cared for a sick infant for more than a couple of hours in my life. Here I was, up all night, staggering back and forth between my daughter’s room, and the bed that was tormenting me with its inviting warmth. Tears streamed down from my sagging eyes as I recounted my day  to my husband who had been away at work. I fumed at the fact that I had been caring for a sick baby by myself all day, and though I had no intention of letting him know it, my husband was getting a mental tough-lashing as I silently walked down the hall to take a nap. Never mind the fact that he had kindly taken the baby out of my arms, and practically demanded I go to sleep in the gentle way that I does when he knows I’m about to break. I had clocked out.

Today is day 103 if you don’t count  pregnancy in this number. I have been a mom for 103 days now.  It’s a pretty incredible gig. I’ve never worked harder for no monetary reward whatsoever, and that’s saying something since I’ve been involved in various forms of ministry for 6 years running! What I have found to be true of this career of motherhood is that who you truly are is proven by your character in the seclusion of the job.  In other words, you find out what you’re made of, and then once you’re broken by that, God makes you into something truly amazing.

My partially verbal and partially mental outburst at my husband on the day my daughter was sick was proof of something to me; I’m a work in progress.   Being a native-born Minnesotan, much of who I truly am stays hidden within the confines of my brain, and if you don’t know any Minnesotans, let me just say that we are an enigma. My poor husband hails from the Southwest, and I never have to wonder what he’s thinking, not just because he’s an extrovert, but because his culture lays it out there! Mine, however, can be described as “mum’s the word”! Talking about our true feelings can be tantamount to declaring all out war on your offender, and would therefore mean the end of a relationship if that person is also a Minnesotan. Yes, we bottle things inside, but I believe that we also are the inventors of the bottle.

So why is this important? Well, as a mom, much of my life is lived in my mind. Why? Because my daughter requires more entertaining verbalizing, and because I rarely have another adult to converse with during most days until my husband gets home. Why don’t I just take the kid all over the place? Because my child hates… let me reiterate…. HATES the car. She is an absolute delight until she is riding along in my automobile, and then her blood begins to boil (she is not a Minnesotan!). Oddly enough, she tolerates it on long road trips. Don’t ask.

My point in saying all of this is that I am on a vast learning curve, particularly in regards to the apostle Paul’s exhortation to Corinthians (2 Corinth. 10:5) to take every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. A student of mine said this phrase that I keep repeating to myself throughout the day: “You’re thought life is your prayer life!” She said it not to emphasize some weird idea that thinking is prayer, which it is not, but rather to encourage her fellow students that our thoughts matter greatly to God, and to turn our thoughts into a conversation with the Lord, rather than wasting them on fantasy, complaints, wishful thinking, and vain imagination.

As a mom, this is one of the most important lessons I am learning. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Step Yer Game Up!!

I’m partly writing this on behalf of the experiences of a friend of mine, but also on behalf of many girls I seem to run into in my sphere who get imposed upon in similar manner.  No where else in the world have I seen this scenario play out with such frequency and minimal variation than here, so it may as well be addressed.

It begins with the age-old set up: boy sees attractive  girl and develops fondness for her. Boy begins to become acquainted with girl’s schedule and hopes that he will run into her, but doesn’t actually know anything about who she is and makes no attempt to speak to her. Boy fixates on girl for anywhere from 3 months to an immeasurable amount of  years. Boy begins to know everything about girl’s schedule and thinks she is the queen of the universe, but again, refuses to initiate conversation. Boy either continues to hide his feelings for this beautiful stranger or tells all his friends about this fascinating creature to all of his trusted friends. Boy still never talks to girl, just watches from afar until someone tells him to get cracking and make a move.

(Bear in mind, by this point, boy has imagined this girl to be his future wife and has managed to picture everything about his destiny with her by his side, but you guessed it… has never uttered more than 20 words to her in his life).

Then… the rough part: boy makes his move. Does he ask her to coffee? No. He asks for her hand in marriage!! Well, not literally, but close enough. Boy actually confesses his undying love for her and tells her he’s had his eye on her for years and knows that with time she will come to see that he has in fact “heard from the Lord”.

Now, I can’t decide between what is more horrifying about this situation. And Posse, maybe you can help me out with this, but between the fact that he took so long to tell her he had a crush on her, the fact that he is practically trying to shape her future by considering her his future bride, and the fact that he is actually overwhelmed with surprise and dispair when she bolts in the opposite direction all equal a torrent of that which I can only consider horrifying.  But unfortunately, this very situation, with slight exceptions to details here and there, has come up again and again in the lives of single women I know.

So I say this- Gentlemen, please, when you like a girl, just ask her out. There’s nothing wrong with saying something as simple as, “Hey, would you want to grab coffee with me sometime soon?” Believe it or not, you don’t have to say ANYTHING beyond that! If she says no, then leave her be and move on. If she says “yes” and looks interested, she has filled in enough of the blanks to know that you like her. See, girls are smart, and they know that a boy asking her out means he likes her. They don’t need you to put your heart on your sleeve and tell her how many times a day you get lost in dreaming about how intoxicating her eyes are, or if you want to sound more spiritual, how she is the most godly woman you have ever seen,  or the most detrimental- how you knew the moment you saw her that she would one day be your wife. That stuff might be true, but those are lines you use when a ring you bought for her is safely perched on her finger- not before!! All she needs to know right now is that you’re interested. If it goes well, you have the rest of the relationship to unravel your feelings about her, bit by precious bit.

It’s like a cinnamon roll. Some people shove the whole thing in their mouth as quickly as possible, but to me that is barbaric. The true and only way to eat a cinnamon roll, in my VERY experienced opinion on pastries, is to unravel it. You begin on the outside with anticipation and excitement. Then you work your way to the center, and the closer you get, the better the experience becomes. You never rush. Love is patient, right? If you suck that pastry down too fast, you don’t feel satisfied because they were meant to be enjoyed. The smell, the gooey cinnamon swirling about with the profoundly unhealthy amount of icing is all a part of the experience you miss when you inhale such a wonderful treat.

So it is with getting to know someone. You begin almost timidly, but filled with delight. Like the roll, you gently begin your journey to the center with care, never wanting to miss a moment, because, as with the cinnamon roll, if you do, you miss the best part- the reward of having taken your time to come to the prize.  Go slow, boys. The fastest way to lose a girl is to throw away the process.

Now a word to the girls: there’s nothing wrong with going out with a boy. If you don’t like him, don’t say yes. If you do, it’s okay- if he does his job, you’re not saying yes to a marriage proposal, you’re just getting free coffee and a chat that could lead somewhere awesome if you don’t freak out and run away.

Yesterday’s Epiphany

Back in my later days of highschool, I had a list of all the things I wanted to do during my lifetime. It wasn’t so much a list of goals or career choices contained within a 5 or 10 year period. I had those lists too, but one in particular was dedicated to specifically to the subject of excitement.

I had forgotten until yesterday when I attended the funeral of a woman who was not only known for being a tireless lover of God and servant of the church, but for being a lover of “play”.  When she first hired her administrator 15 years ago, she said, “I know you are a woman of God and that you pray, but do you love to play? Ministry is hard work, and if you don’t know how to play, you become burnt out… and boring.”

After Zack and I left the funeral, I couldn’t help but mull that statement over in my head, not because it was a new concept, but because I always had that philosophy until a couple of years ago when life got so busy with ministry that I had all but forgotten about what it’s like to take on a new type of excitement. I used to snowboard, jetskii, take random road trips in the middle of the night, snowmobile, tackle as many of the most enviggorating rollarcoasters I could find on the rare occasion when I could visit an amusement park. In a pinch, I would even band together with friends on a desperate search for some kind of a hill to sled on, even if all we had for sleds were pieces of cardboard or stollen lunch trays from the cafeteria.

Today, though anxious to play a little myself, I have been in bed since yesterday afternoon with a wave of exhaustion and a pounding headache. Instead of playing, I’m thoroughly enjoying the Planet Earth series, whilst occasionally dreaming up how I plan to decorate my house when we have enough money to do so.

If you’ve never seen Planet Earth, you have to! At this moment, I’m highly entertained by a sequence on baboons, only found in the Etheopian highlands and putting together yet another list- “places I have to see.”

Remembering Solomon

Good morning, Posse.

I woke with a bit of an ache in my stomach from a late dinner last night… AND NO! I’m not pregnant. Somehow, being married all of a sudden creates this suspicious glance to the belly area by onlookers and aquaintances, as well as a thought process after a stomach ache complaint that is generally entirely unnecessary. (For the record, asking a woman if she is pregnant goes down in the female book of pet pieves as one of the most rude questions possible).

All that to say, I slept in and am feeling much better, and now am sipping my french press and thinking about how kind it is that the Lord gave us the Bible. I’ve been reading Proverbs 2 for the last several days; prayer reading it, more accurately.  

If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the writing of King Solomon (the king who asked for wisdom and first displayed his brilliance in a case between two mothers, one whose infant had died and the other who had an infant of the same age, but was kidnapped by the first mother- each claimed their right to the child, until Solomon quite horrifically discovered the identity of the true mother by offering to cut the baby in half so each woman could “share” the child. Obviously, the true mother relinquished her right in the desperate plea to save her child’s life, and Solomon knew she was the real deal).

Well, it’s this king who is writing to his son, Lamuel in the book of Proverbs. He takes all that he’s learned to plead with his son to grab hold of wisdom, and in Proverbs 2:2-5 he says,

 …”So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for descernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”

For this last week, I can’t get Proverbs 2 out of my prayers to the Lord. I keep thinking about how pleased God was that Solomon could have asked for anything he wished, but his cry as a young man was wisdom, and I can’t help but think the same for my life. Instead of just reading the Scriptures and nodding my head in agreement, I use the language in my prayers to God right out of the passage. Solomon pleads! He uses some strong imperatives: “incline”, “apply”, “cry out”, “lift up your voice”, “seek”, “search”… 

The reward? Understanding the fear of the Lord, and actually finding that you are beginning to know how God thinks, feels, acts. That is outrageous.  So onward and upward?

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