As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longs after Thee.
You alone are my heart's desire
And I long to worship Thee.
You alone are my strength, my shield,
To You alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart's desire
And I long to worship Thee.
So many times I thought David was overrated. He screwed up so many times…He kills a man (one of his own) to take the man's wife without having to worry about the husband finding out…to relieve his guilt, he kills someone??? What’s that about and then he’s forgiven still??? I always thought he had a LOT of gall to come to God for forgiveness after the Bathsheba incident.
I love many of the Psalms, but I struggle with the message “David was a man after God’s own heart!” and I always thought…if the things David did: sin… repent... repeat... sin... repent… repeat... sin... repent... if these things equal a man after God’s own heart…I ought to be God’s #1 Girl!
The message I learned from David’s words was that it was okay to scream at God and to cry out to God and to seek God for guidance, forgiveness, comfort, shield, etc. even in the midst of doing BAD and God would make all the bad become good. More than that…God would redeem me and empower me! David did receive reprimands from God…think about when David began “counting” his soldiers and God warned him that it was never David and his armies that defeated the enemy, it was ALWAYS God and His power. When David’s focus was skewed, God helped ‘un-skew’ it.
My focus lately has been “skewed” and God, indeed, has been attempting to “un-skew” it. My focus has been on Kim and all the things surrounding Kim. My mind has been so set on my own life and experience and the “story of Kim” that I was unable to see beyond myself.
This weekend didn’t seem to be the way I pictured it would be or, dare I say, hoped it would be! I had such incredible plans for this weekend and my “talks with God”. Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself…Let me give you a quick run down of what actually happened.
*when I say quick I mean…This is going to be a LONG story…so fair warning!!!!*
Friday: I get off work every Friday at 12:30, Yes, huge blessing I know! As I do some Fridays, I went to enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend of mine and we sat for a couple of hours (outdoors because it was like 77 degrees outside, beautiful!) speaking about every wonderful thing God is doing in our lives and plans for us in the future! It was awesome!
By then I was pretty pumped about my “weekend with God!” and headed off to run a couple of quick errands for my church commitments. I mentioned before that I am involved on our “stage craft” committee and I help “set the stage” for the sermons each week. We were starting our Easter series: “Lasting” and I had a vision of what the entry-way poster should look like, and I needed some fabric and ‘supplies’ to make it happen.
There are a couple of stores I try not to go to, too often, because I lose more time in these places then anywhere else I may wonder…they include: Hobby Lobby, any Hallmark or store WITH cards, and fabric stores (any of them). My mind starts wandering and my creative juices get flowing on all the zillions of projects I could do and then the entrepreneurial spirit starts spiraling out of control! I’m a goner! I went to Hancock’s Fabric store AND Hobby Lobby next door. In my defense, my church was starting a monthly craft day on Saturday and I needed a ‘couple’ of supplies for my projects.
Next thing I know my husband is calling me to notify me he is headed home from school and we have a Bible study in like 2 hours. I still need to clean up (I’ve been running around doing errands in 77-80 degree weather, so I’m a bit ‘undone’), eat a quick, but HEALTHY dinner, and then to Bible study with a couple that we love but we tend to visit way beyond all time limits!
So I proceed to rush home (without ALL my needed supplies) and get cleaned up quickly…thankfully we had almost an hour til the study so we could go sit down and eat a fairly healthy and yummy dinner. We still had time afterwards to stop at the Big “W” and pick up a couple more supplies I needed for my church “poster” before heading to the study.
The study went great. There were people there I hadn’t met before and who are really struggling with “offenses” and God occasionally nudged me to share from my own experiences, how I walked through that with Him!
Friday night, after the study, my husband I returned home and I began “laying out” the poster…well by then I was tired…had been overheated…and a bit cranky…and in the midst of all this… “the King of LIES”, Satan, was whispering in my ear “I thought you were going to sit with your God this weekend and be quiet and listen to Him…looks like you’re going to be way too busy for that…” The enemy is such a nuisance.
I finally gave up and went to bed…my wonderful husband soon joined me.
1st Side note: I usually know when I am too tired to say or do anything productive and when I lashed out at my wonderful husband, who had lovingly offered to help with the poster, that the cross he handmade without any power tools wasn’t “right” I knew it was time to go to bed.
I’m a LOT like a 3 year old who is giving up naps when I get that tired; BAD, BAD, BAD!
Saturday morning I got up after a night of restless sleep…I ate a quick breakfast bar, and urged my husband to get up. It was obvious I was going to be “running late” to the craft day at church! My husband and I went to get more supplies for the poster (I bet many of you had no idea how much went into these visual things, did you?) Unfortunately because I am ‘out and about’ a lot I know the best places to get things…and won’t get them somewhere else unless it beats the deal I know is out there. So…we had to go to quite a few places to find what I wanted. THEN we had to pick up a gift card for my parents 45th wedding anniversary being celebrated without to-do on April Fool’s day!
2nd Side note: I LOVED the story Karen shared about her April Fool’s Day decorations and subsequent guests! If you haven’t read it…go there now!
We get the supplies, gift card, etc and head to my parents house to QUICKLY celebrate, “congrats, kiss, kiss” and send them “off” for their trip to Alabama this week. My husband and I are headed back to our house by 10:30 a.m. I then have my husband call the pastor’s wife (because I am driving) to notify her I am running a bit late for the craft day…she is too!
I drop my husband off, load my “craft stuff” into the car and proceed to go to church to “craft”. Upon arrival to church, I have to run back home to print off “3’s” for some button’s we are making for the church service on Sunday.
3rd Side note: Printing of any type typically takes some time for me because I have like 1000 fonts on my computer and have to narrow it down to the “winner”.
Once I select a font, I type, print and take the printing back to church to make the buttons. My pastor’s wife thankfully is gifted in button making, among many other things (girls a whirlwind), and she figures out how to use the borrowed button-maker and begins making them. I then take over and we run out of the “3’s” so…yes you guessed it…we call my wonderful husband to bring more when he comes up to church to help me clean up.
I did get to sit and scrapbook for 3 about hours, while visiting with some women from church, and that was awesome. By then it was dinnertime and my wonderful husband brought the poster (which he finished the construction of by the way, including his inaugural glue-gun use), and dinner for all of us and the additional printed 3’s. He then cleaned the church by himself (he’s so wonderful, truly) and helped me cover the poster and the pastor’s wife finished the buttons and I just thanked God for each of these people, truly!
We were all leaving the church by 8ish and my husband and I dropped one of the cars off at home and headed to the grocery store in the midst of a spring storm, which could never halt me!
By the time we arrive at the Big “W” it was pretty “quiet” for a change and it is POURING outside…so we decide to take our time and “shop”. I was even able to get paint for my parents house (part of their anniversary gift is that I am painting one of their spare bedrooms). Buying paint at 9:00 p.m. on a Saturday night, now THAT, my friends, is life in a big city! We shopped and strolled through the Big “W”, weaving in and out of the “stockers” and their walls of boxes. I imagine they dislike us being there as much or more then I dislike them blocking my paths.
We were back home and were “resting” by 11:00, and the rain had subsided but the peaceful scent and damp grounds were evidence of the ‘cooling off’ from another busy day. I was asleep by midnight.
I arose on Sunday remembering we had to be there early for worship practice because my wonderful husband had volunteered to do “easy worship” for someone else who wasn’t available this weekend. We were at church by 9:25 a.m. I headed to the kitchen area and sat to read and pray and spend a little time with God.
Of course, I got a bit distracted and diverted by some dirty dishes screaming out to me and I went to clean them up and put them away and then the pastor came and visited with me about current reading (I always enjoy discussing books with someone who reads as much as my pastor). Then he left and I sat there and started to cry.
I cried for the offense I was still carrying towards a “sister”. I cried for the exhaustion I was feeling. I cried for the lack of time I had given God this weekend. I cried for the lackluster life I felt I was living. I cried out of self-pity. Then I stopped. I washed my face and blew my nose and had another sip of coffee. By then, practice was over and my husband joined me there and others started to arrive to visit before service began.
I went into service and ‘alas’ my seat was ‘taken’…so I sat in the back row on the “other side” by a couple that I love dearly but don’t know all that well yet. She is REAL…I think that’s why I love her so dearly. She is living an authentic, “this is ME” kind of life without apology but with desire to live with passion for God and family.
4th side note: I HATE it when my seat is taken. I know that says volumes about me and my creature habits, just a bit of honesty here. I used to think people would sit there KNOWING that is where I sit, just to BUG me…pretty self-absorbed thought, huh?
During the music, which wasn’t all that enticing for me because we did mostly “hymns” this week and they darn near bore me to tears…another flash back to my youth… "Please turn with me now to hymn #74 ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’ where we’ll do lines 1, 3 and 5”…you knew which stanzas didn’t you?
5th side note: This is when I realize I am MOST post-modern in thinking: I have an honest to goodness flash back to my nightmare experiences at church with hymns that I absolutely HATED so I never HEARD them anyway. I want to run from the room screaming. I do now love some of these words, but I think they are outdated and hold no authenticity in their voice anymore…they aren’t relevant, and worse, they remind me what church isn’t supposed to be.
In the midst of my “me-ness”, the women next to me asked me to leave the room and visit with her. I thought for sure she had heard me singing ‘Mary had a little lamb’…during these mind-numbing songs and I was gonna ‘get it’…
I went to the hall and she asked me to give her some time this week to help keep her from ‘running away from home’. She is really overwhelmed and just wants a person to hear her and pray with her and God brought her to me, what an incredible honor and a humbling experience.
The church service was awesome. The message was a lesson about the “Passover meal” and the significance of everything on the table. The focus was on Christ’s redemption and the 3rd cup (hence the ‘3’ buttons) Christ drank from at the “Last Supper”. The cup of redemption. The cup to remind me I am redeemed ONLY through His blood, His sacrifice, His love. Even in the midst of His ultimate knowledge of my sin and my ultimate betrayal, He loved me enough to offer his own blood for me and redeem me from hell.
I left church feeling awed by God, once again. That’s a good thing. This is when church feels REAL to me. This is the “church experience” I want others to have. My husband and I had lunch together and then to my parents’ house so he could do some heavy work for them and I prepped the room I was painting.
I took him home to get ready for work and I headed back to Mom and Dad’s to paint. During this time…about 5 hours in all, I listened, in the quiet, albeit the TV was on for white noise…there is really no redeeming television programming on a Sunday afternoon. I listened to God tell me again of His love for me. I listened to Him tell me of His plan for me. I listened to Him telling me to see Him throughout this past weekend.
He was the spirit of love I found at coffee with my friend on Friday.
He is the one that created me to be creative and use that gift for His glory.
He was the one that brought the first soul to me at the study on Friday evening…searching for Him in the dark place that being de-churched offers.
He was the one that allowed me the time to sit and craft with women from church and share our hearts openly the ‘stuff’ we didn’t know before.
He was the one that gave us protection in the storm on Saturday evening and every storm we’ll ever face in life.
He is the one that first found, then dried my tears on Sunday morning.
He is the one that sang “Mary had a little lamb” with me while I sat in flashback “hell of hymns” on Sunday morning.
He is the one that called me out to visit with a woman, a child of His that is hurting.
He is the one that walked me through something similar that I can offer His wisdom to her now.
He is the one that gave me the strength to paint with sore arms and tired eyes and desire to be with Him doing “NOTHING”.
I guess I had my quiet time with God after all. In the midst of noise and DOING, He found me and comforted me and used me and loved me and showed me He was doing it!
God is so great…I’m back!