Tag Archives: Jesus

“But I’m not perfect enough!”

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In case you missed my weekly vlog and were wondering where I was, I was skiing in the Alps and broke my pointer finger and couldn’t type. No, that’s not it. I was on a tofu diet and couldn’t find the strength to type. Nope, try again. Justin Bieber came for a visit and I couldn’t pull away from all his adoration. No, that’s REALLY not it! In all reality, I decided to take a Christmas break. Not nearly as glamorous as the other three, but it’s the truth. I had company, and was filling in at a store that needed extra help and was really busy, blah, blah, blah. I’m sure your season was just as crazy. Now, I think I’ve got this nasty flu that’s going around, and I just couldn’t find the gumption to scare you all with my flu-face!

Something that really caught my attention during Christmas season was my pastor’s sermon series on Jesus’ genealogy. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? ☺ Actually, it really was. Hang in here, and I’ll tell you a little something about it.

When I was in my early 20’s, I was working at a Christian radio station. I was the Girl Friday, doing everything and anything they needed, including a Friday shift on the air. Pastors and laymen would come in and tape their show in our production room. One of my favorites was a young guy who played piano and sang during his program. One day, he asked if I would sing with him. Now, I had always sang in choirs and small groups ever since elementary school. But I cringed at the idea of singing a solo. So I told him “no”, with the excuse I wasn’t good enough to sing on air. I thought I was being humble. ☺ But he was sad. He said something about not waiting until I was perfect. It didn’t matter to me what he said, because I was confused at his response.

Now I get it. And here’s where Jesus’ genealogy comes in. Rob Duford, pastor at Orlando North Church, pointed out that women were mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy only four times. And three of those four were…ahem…a little risqué in one form or another. There was Bathsheba, Tamar, Rahab and Mary, Jesus’ mother.

Bathsheba was the one bathing on top of her roof when King David saw her. David had her warrior husband killed, took her as his wife and a bunch of other sordid details. (I think she may have enjoyed the attention.) Tamar pretended to be a prostitute and had a baby with her father-in-law after her husband died, so that someone would take care of her. Rahab? Well, she really was a harlot…a prostitute. Then there was Mary, Jesus’ mother.

Rob says that the author of the genealogy intentionally included those women–and only those women–in there. Why? Could it be because the God-inspired author wanted to send a message that we don’t need to “be perfect” before coming to Jesus? He wants us all, warts and all. The Creator of the universe wants little ‘ole me! With all my insecurities and a bunch of other stuff. (No, I’m not going to start listing them here—haha!) And He wants me all the time–not just at Christmas or Easter. What a profound and comforting message. He’ll take me as I am.

What about you? Have you ever felt like you weren’t good enough at something or for someone? Let’s hear your comments! 🙂

Are you a Human Being or a Human Do-ing?

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I’ve heard it before—Life is more about the journey than the destination. You’ve heard it, too? When I hear that statement, I nod my head in agreement, like I know. Uh huh.

Last week was one of those weeks. I was running from one thing to the next, pencil poised over the to-do list, anxious to check things off. A wedding loomed on Saturday, written on my calendar for months, staring at me every day that previous week. Don’t get me wrong. We are good friends with the parents of the groom. I love hanging out with these people. I just wasn’t in a good place. I was weary and preoccupied and simply worn out.

(Side note: I know that Christ is the source of my joy. He is my strength. Without even trying, I have a peace that rolls beneath all the turmoil of what goes on. But recently, my life has been kinda like a storm at sea. It’s calm deep down, but on the top? The winds are whipping the waves up into a frenzy!)

We went to the wedding, and it was like medicine to the soul. New love. Old friends. Crazy pictures. ☺ As I sat there watching everyone talking, loving, communicating around the table at the reception, it felt really good.

Life is a journey. Birth, marriage, baptism, missions trips, Bible studies, picnics, church services, concerts, plays, movies, vacations, dinners together and even the Super Bowl. Let’s break it down even further: laughing together, crying together, praying together, sharing together, learning together, playing together, helping each other. We want to share these episodes together. It’s what makes up life. Not the destination.

I know this to be true. But I get so caught up with crossing items off my to-do list. There’s a quote that says “Am I more focused on the ‘to do’ than I am on what I’m called ‘to be’? Since I read that, I’ve made it a point to “be” more. To help more. But I wrestle with my wanting to get things done. It’s a constant struggle.

There once was a little boy and a dad. One day, the little boy begged his dad to take him fishing. His dad looked at his to-do list, but his wife encouraged him to go. He reluctantly agreed. Afterwards, when the boy was helping the mom prepare dinner, she asked him how it went. The boy talked for 15 minutes straight in great detail about how wonderful the day was. He ended with “it was a day I’ll always remember!” Later that night, when they prepared for bed, the mom asked her husband the same question. He sighed and said, “I didn’t get a thing done.”

How often am I like that dad? I remembered that story almost daily when Kailey was growing up. Now that she’s an adult and moved out of the house, it still applies. That’s why I want to take more time out to relax and enjoy family and friends, pray, laugh or help others. I know very well how hard it is when life requires us to “do.” I’m just thinking it would be cool if we could work it in our crazy schedule every once in awhile. The journey is what makes life wonderful. Doing things with each other, for each other, enjoying each other.

Here’s a sample of the fun we enjoyed together at the wedding…

Have you ever seen the classic movie “White Christmas?”  There’s a song in there about sisters.  Here’s Libby and me trying really hard to be like them.  (haha!)

And then, in the movie, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye re-enact the Sisters song.  Complete with feather fan and headbands.  Here’s our husbands doing the same.  🙂  (We didn’t have to bribe them…much.)

The Booth at Panera’s

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First of all, Happy Mother’s Day! (Hey, even if you don’t have kids, you have a mom, right?) Hope you all had a special time with your family and/or friends.

Second of all, thank you to all of those who attended or supported our family friend, James, with his fund raiser for his missions trip to Africa. It was quite the success! 🙂

This week, say hello to a good ole’ fashioned blog. (No video blog). I wanted to share with you something really cool that happened last week. I went home and wrote this right after it happened. Here it is…

It’s been a rough week. Something happened that left me shocked and speechless, and other times sad and confused. Over the past few days, I vary between handling it okay, and sometimes the whole thing really gets me down. Occasionally my mind wanders and I wonder a little where God is in all this. Now before you get all Bible-quoting on me, ☺ I KNOW in my head that God is there, but sometimes it doesn’t FEEL like it, you know? Are you watching, God? I know this is an age old question, but when it hit me personally between the eyes, I wondered it all over again–before I caught and reminded myself that “fair” isn’t the name of the Bible. It’s not the “Fair Bible”. It’s the Holy Bible.

Rats. I’d really like my Christian life to be fair.

But this is just the intro to the REAL story. That is just the set up. ☺

I’ve been doing okay. I’m hurt, and I feel misunderstood. But over the last few days, I’ve tried to look at the big picture and see God’s hand in this. I know he didn’t make this happen, but I’m asking what’s in store. He’s known for taking bad things and making good out of them, right?

Today I was at Paneras with Kailey. We hate coming around lunchtime, because there never is a booth available. And the tables are always squished together. There’s not enough room to sit comfortably, much less have a private conversation. When we got our food, there was only one table available, in the middle of everything and even skinny Kailey had a hard time wedging herself into the space allotted for us to sit. As we took our first few bites, a booth opened up! We made a rush for it, like two gold diggers, staking out our claim.

As we stealthy slid into the booth seats, I noticed an elderly gentleman hobbling toward the booth we just took over. He stopped, changed directions and then continued to move to our table we just abandoned. I realized after we sat down, we had just taken this booth from him with our quick and somewhat-nimble actions.

I watched as he poured himself into the same spot Kailey just left. He got frustrated and gave the table a good shove. I felt so bad. The older I get, the more I understand how it feels to be old. It stinks. Everything hurts. And being wedged into a table is not an idea of fun. So I got up, walked over to him and asked if he would like our booth. Told him I realized too late that we had taken it from him. Just then his wife walked up and he looked at her with a little look of surprise on his face. They accepted our offer, thanking us. We exchanged tables. I thought that was the end of it.

As Kailey and I were eating, another older gentleman came up and said, “I just saw what you did, and I want to give you something. Kindness like that should be noticed.” He then handed Kailey and me each a movie ticket voucher. It was my turn to be surprised. It felt good. And something inside clicked. I started crying. I couldn’t help myself. Right there, sitting at that squished table, in the middle of everything.

It was as if God was saying, “You’re okay, Laurie. I know you feel beat up right now. But in spite of it all, I’m watching and I love you. You are my child and just when you need it, I come to you looking like a 75 year old man, with movie vouchers.”

Then, when I could barely hold myself together because of the God moment I was having there in the middle of Paneras, the wife of the booth-trader came by and gave me a Panera cookie, thanking me. God again whispered in my ear, “Just in case you missed it the first time…you are a person of value and I love you.”

I’m no different from you. We all feel “beat up” from time to time. And in our finite minds, it’s hard to figure out. But God IS always there. Sometimes in human form. Thank you, Lord, for your reminder. ☺

I’d love to hear from you! Share a time when God came to you when you most needed Him.