Monday, November 17, 2014

Filler' Up: Why We Go to Church


This friends is how I slept last night.  2 babies and a husband in my queen bed with me.  Needless to say I was not a chipper chicken pealing myself out of bed to head to praise team at 8:15am on this cold, snowy Sunday morning. Sunday…sigh…the Lord’s day.
This Sunday, the Lord’s day, I blew through the doors of my church with a bad attitude and a heavy heart.  My heart has been aching for the people number of people that I fiercely love that are struggling.  I have looked at those in my life that are on the struggle bus right now and have been overwhelmed with love and empathy for them. I went in to church to find peace in this but found great conviction written in the words that we sang in this hymn today.

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.

When am I flowing with endless praise in my life?  Do I actually give over my moments and my days to the Lord?  When I do what does that look like in my life?

Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

What do I do with my hands and my feet that show God’s love?  Do I hesitate when he calls me to go, or do I respond in immediate obedience?

Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Now I LOVE to sing.  LOVE IT!  God has blessed me with the ability to carry a tune.  But do I give him my voice outside of the walls of the church and the occasional karaoke night?  Do my words hurt my family? Am I singing his praises to those around me?  Is my voice a sweet sound to my Savior’s ears, or does he grimace at the sounds and words that escape my mouth?

Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

Oh this one was painful when we got here.  I truly had to hold it together here.  As I got to these words I was overcome with the idea that if he took it all away.  The clothes, the jewelry, the new house, the cars, the boots…all of it. If my way of life was taken, if we became truly poor and lost it all what would that look like on me.  Would I praise him through that?  My fear is, I would cling so tightly to the life I had and the life I wanted that my voice would not shout one praise, that my prayers would be begging for the return of my things.  Conviction and heart break overwhelmed me.

Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Yes Lord, I thought, not my will but yours.  (as long as it’s not too radical).  Literally, these were my thoughts.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

This friends is why we go to Church.  Not to check it off of our to do list.  Not to hang out with our besties.  We go to be led back to the cross.  All week we battle and rage against this world.  We fall short and run out.  We run out of steam.  And so we come back to the cross on Sunday and lay at his feet.  We recharge, fill up and go pour into those we encounter in the week.  He speaks through his music, he speaks through his words, his people and leads us to where we need to be.  He fills us up so we can pour out.  This week, he showed me, he will speak to me in anyway he chooses.  He showed me the things I needed to work on and he recharged me to GO.  This Sunday, the Lord’s day, he spent pouring into to me. He heard my song of praise, he saw my heart and despite it all he filled my voice with JOY and my heart and soul with Thanksgiving.

I am beautifully and wonderfully made in his amazing image.  He reminded me of that today in his house on his day.  Take my life, take my hands, take my voice, take it all. It is yours Father and I lay it all back at your feet.

You too are beautifully made by the redeemer who loves you so much and is calling you to fall into stride with him in his amazing plan for your life.  Please let me know if I can help you to choose to walk with our Savior.  It is a life that is more fulfilling than you can imagine.  For now I send with you prayers for our week, that we would let go of the things and let God fill our hands and hearts.
Much Love,


Chrystan

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Just Say No!

NO.  What a powerful little 2 letter word.  NO.  I say NO often in my days.  You see I have 3 boys 9, 3, and 1.  NO, is a part of our daily routine. “Mom can I have another cupcake- NO” Cole grabs for his brothers hair- NO!!! Cole grabs my earring, hair, necklace- NO!!!  Dylan pulls up my dress in public- NO!!!!  NO, NO, NO everyday.  Sometimes, I just want to say YES all day and see what in the world happens. I think it would look something like: sugar strung out kids, a partially bald 3 year old, a one year old eating my earring and maybe a few visits to the ER.

I had an interesting run in with the word NO this week.  I am working on my YES.  I say YES to many activities in my life. Activities that over work me, leave me stressed, leave me spending less time at home and more time serving others in many different capacities.  Another YES we say in this house is to sports.  Football is a big YES during this season of our life.  3 hours 3 times a week we say YES to practice.  3 hours at least are committed to games on Saturdays.  Plus, I’ve got a husband on the youth football board and coaching the team.  There’s A LOT of YES wrapped up in football this year.  After a long season of running around like a crazy football mom, chasing toddlers at the games and being a Football season widow, it came to an end last weekend.  Sadly we did not advance to the next round of playoffs.  So this was our first week of NO football, accept Cohen was asked to play all week with the older team to help them prepare for their big final game this weekend.  WHAT!  I thought it was over!!!! I was planning out my nice peaceful week, now we are running again!  WAHHHHH!!!!  So, like any good football Mom I went along with the YES.
Thursday all I wanted to do was take my boys to the pumpkin patch. With all the busyness of the season we had not had a chance to do this once a year activity that I love!  Determined to make it work, I hustled home from working, changed my clothes, grabbed the kids from all their locations and headed to the patch.  We had 1 hour to get to everything.  Only 1 hour!  I was focused we were gonna get in and get out and get Cohen to football practice.  While I herded the boys from one activity to the other like cattle on crack I saw my craziness.  In our YES to football we had said NO to living life.  In my YES to everything else these last few months, I had been saying NO to what was really important.  Spending time with my family.  So, I picked up my phone and let the coach know Cohen was not going to be at practice. We had an amazing time yesterday at the pumpkin patch.  We had no time limit, no agenda, nothing to run off to. We stayed till it was dark and cold.  As I drove home I prayed that I would make it a priority to pray over my yeses in life.  To think more about what my personal call is and what that means for the activities I say YES to; for my marriage, my kids and my self.  

Even Jesus took time away from his very important tasks to have rest and quiet and time with his disciples:
“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, ‘Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place” (Mk. 6:30-32).

As we enter the craziest season of the year, we may need to plan to say no.  Let’s all take out our calendars and figure out what our YES will look like and what we need to make our NO’s.  Let us spend beautiful time with no agenda, in quiet places, preparing our mind, bodies and souls for the demanding world out there.  Lets play in corn, pick pumpkins, feed bunnies and ride on hay bales in restful thankfulness this Thanksgiving season!


Much Love to my Beautifully, Wonderfully Made Friends!

~Chrystan

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