Friday, April 22, 2011

An Intimate Time of Celebration

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“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
 Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)

I am definitely in a new season. One that I am longing to grow deeper in. It is a new season, one that God has brought a renewed revelation in many areas and relationships in my life. I am realizing more and more how much God truly loves us, and how He wants us to show that love to others. I often turn into a "Martha" in my home, unless of course we have guests, and then I am "Martha" until all the cleaning and prep is done, then I will be "Mary" for a bit, until it's time to clean up again! When will my heart learn?

As I said, I am in a new season. One which I have longed to be in! You know when we are in the deep of winter, and things just feel so dark, so cold, so lonely? Oh I know that season so well! Too well. Winter is a season for me that hurts. The beginning of course is exciting because of Christmas, but as January and February get going ~ I am almost desperate for warmth. When February's cold bitter winds blow, I look ahead in my mind to March and April when I know Spring will usher in warmth, new growth, and life giving birth!
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This season for me, is one of Spiritual growth. Some seasons we deal with vary with the "fruit" that is grown, sometimes it's physical (weight loss, sickness, pregnancy) and sometimes it is mental (as comes with age, maturity, self awareness). This season is one I have been LONGING for desperately for a while and though it has been coming on for many many months I now see what is going on around me, and can feel the changes going on in my heart. There are things that I would give my life for just weeks ago, just days ago that just do not matter anymore. There are attitudes in my heart that have taken a big shift, for the good!

Let's take this weekend. It's Easter! Many years ago, I didn't like Easter very much. While I loved the fact that Jesus died on the cross for me, I never understood the love of the cross until a few years ago. I would dread Easter services, because it was going to feel like a guilt session and would walk away from it with mascara running down my face and a heavy heart. I would be reminded of all the wrongs I had done, and how unworthy I felt to be saved. BUT! I quickly had a revelation while watching "The Passion of the Christ" a few years ago, and realized the love that God had when Jesus was born to die for me (and you). I began to learn more and more about the life of Christ, and began to understand His heart. Now, for me; Easter is a celebration of LIFE! Of FREEDOM! Easter is now truly a CELEBRATION for me. The last few weeks hubby has been working a lot of hours. In fact it's almost been three weeks without a day off. Tradition would have us over at the in laws or going to my parents. That is after several hours at church (though I see that as pleasure to serve in ministry) that morning. This is changing for this year. I just can't see asking my husband to take away from some of his rest time (if he even gets any....as it is possible they may work that day) and family time to share with others (even though they are family). Our family core (just the five of us that live in this home together) is important, and time with just us ~ to be ... well, just us. How special it is for this Easter, to have this in my heart. I know at the beginning of the year, I had the whole "Less is more" in my head, but I feel God giving me a new word. "Intimacy". Intimacy with Him. Intimacy with these littles in our home that He has loaned us to raise. Intimacy with my husband. And obviously Intimacy with others (not husband/wife kind of intimacy, but you know what I mean)!
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So, I am going to sit down today and plan out a special Easter dinner for this little family of mine, and graciously with a smile go shopping for all of the things we need. I want this to be an intimate dinner. A time of enjoyment, and celebration. I used to would have worried about disappointing family, and even our kids (they have cousins their age they would normally egg hunt with, and play with) that would sway the decision made. Not often would I have seen the need and catered to the need of the husband let alone do it with a smile. God is so good!

Another area in my life God has been speaking to me (and has been for a while) is how I spend a good chunk of my mornings. Not here and there, but almost every single morning. This is huge! And the neat thing is... I am actually excited about this change of direction. I have a huge hunger to sit with my cup of coffee, the Word, and a prayer journal vs this silly computer. I am growing up ~ Hallelujah! This alone, shows the heart of this new season I am in. To long to be in fellowship with God over all the fellowship I do online (can facebook become an addiction?), is a great thing!

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So, why that particular verse up at the top? Because His thoughts are NOT my thoughts and His ways are NOT my ways, but through allowing intimacy to run through my blood, I am learning to be grateful for that! For a long time, I would have been kicking and screaming every time things didn't go my way. I would be manipulating them to go my way. I would move things around to just make it happen. That is not even appealing to me. I would love to put a new pool up this year, but just other day I prayed, and turned that over to God. I am coming to trust Him and His ways. It may not be His will, and I am not going manipulate things to make it happen either. No thanks! But if He blesses us with a pool, I will be elated!

I pray that this Easter, you too will have that call to be more Intimate with Him! What a joy to be able to appreciate, hold, and enjoy Easter with a renewed heart. May you and your family be blessed this Easter weekend!

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