Sunday, December 4, 2011

Staying in the Loop

Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

Two years ago, I wrote several posts on this blog about things that I felt God had placed in my heart - namely, homeschooling and getting out of debt. I was extremely passionate about these goals and felt sure that God was leading me in that direction.

At the same time, I really wanted to get involved in the decorating blog scene, since I would literally spend hours pouring over blog after blog. This is evident as you scroll through my blog list. With my creative juices flowing and feeling bursts of inspiration, I made lame attempts at posts related to decorating. As much as I enjoy that kind of thing, I just never caught on enough to make it work. Decorating, it seemed, is not what God intended for this particular blog.

When I take a look at how much closer I am, after two years of supposedly working toward the aforementioned goals, I feel disappointed in myself and ashamed, to be perfectly honest. While I believe them to be legitimately things of God, the fact that I didn't dedicate my efforts to seeing them through left a big, huge void in my life. My interest in decorating caused me to spend money that should have been used toward getting out of debt - it was counter-productive to what I was trying to accomplish.

My efforts at getting out of debt have been weak, to say the least. I lack self discipline and I have not been seeking God's guidance the way I should. The willingness to sacrifice in order to see my dreams come true just hasn't been there. Those other interests, even though they aren't inherently bad, have simply taken precedence in my life over the most important thing of all. The presence of God. I've prayed about it, but I'm thinking that until I'm willing to listen and obey, God just isn't going to bless my half-hearted efforts.

We can't serve two masters at the same time. I believe that to be my answer. I just can't serve God and Pottery Barn at the same time. Pottery Barn and blogs I enjoy aren't evil by any means, but they stir a spirit of covetousness in me, and that is where the problem lies. So much to the point that it could very well be called idolatry.

It's taken way too long for this Truth to sink in. I guess it came at the right time, though, when I'm bound and determined to align my priorities with God's will. One step at a time. It's good to have varied interests, and I still enjoy the blogs I follow, but now I know that I need to work them into my priorities where they won't drown out what's most important.

What about you? Do you have a hobby or interest that may unintentionally take precedence over God's presence in your life? It's so easy for that covetousness and idolatry to sneak in without even realizing it. Take my advice, ask God to reveal it to you and nip it in the bud before the years slip by and you miss out on His best for you. You'll be glad you did!

Lord, thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for answering my prayers when I call on you and for showing me great and mighty things. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Is Coming


I've had such a wonderful day and I'm so glad it's Friday night! Friday night means I can stay up later than normal, can sleep until I wake up, rather than being rudely awakened by the alarm clock, and I can enjoy my Saturday morning coffee while browsing my favorite blogs. Friday nights are what I wait for all week.

Since Friday means fun to me, I thought I'd share some fun photos from last Christmas. This is the best time of year for me, by far. I love everything about the holidays. Everything except the fact that, living in the south, we never, ever have a white Christmas. Never, that is, until last year.

(these photos are straight from the camera and have not been edited, so please forgive the bad composition, poor lighting, and power lines)

Shortly after we opened our gifts on Christmas morning, we looked out the window and saw this...

Can you see them??

By golly, it's a blizzard outside!

This is the little country church across the road from our house. I just liked the way it looked in the snow.

I'm sure some folks from the north probably laughed hysterically at all the bumpkins down here getting so excited about a few flakes in the air. I spent a couple of winters in upstate New York, so I know how brutal the weather can be up there. I also recall the most beautiful of the many snowfalls being the very first of the season. Seemingly in slow motion, it falls so gently to the ground. It was so peaceful. And, other than the birth of my boys there, it was my fondest memory of life in that little northern town.

I think that's the appeal of these little snowfalls we get in the south. It isn't the amount of snow we get. It's the wonder of seeing the beauty of it falling from the sky and spreading a beautiful white blanket over the ground.

Plus, we don't have to deal with the black snow on the side of the roads in May.

We didn't really have enough snow to build a snowman or anything, but it sure was a sight to behold, for a little while, anyway.