Diving into Something Divine

I was reading 1 Corinthians 2 (The Message) today. Here are some of my own thoughts on the scripture…

This piece relates so well to teenagers in today’s world. It talks about how we’re so scared to go out and talk to our friends about Jesus and what He did (and is doing), God’s Word, etc. Chew on something for me… Why is it so hard for us to talk about someone as amazing as God Himself, but we don’t find it difficult at all to laugh and joke about the latest news in 17 magazine, or how wasted someone got on Jersey Shore the other night? I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking God would be incredibly insulted that we find more time to talk about the disappointing lives in the world, than we do about Him, our Creator.

God wants to use our generation to do something great. If we reach out, initiate the subject, speak freely about how much we love God, how important the Word is, divine things are ahead of us. If we spend time talking to God, one on one, spend time in the scriptures, we won’t have to try so hard. If we get used to speaking out on the subject, it will eventually just be free flowing. Something that gracefully, happily dances out of our mouths. Everyone has the right to know their Savior. Be a hero. Seek out the lost.

We don’t have to impress the ones we’re ministering to with big Christian words; the impressive thing is being real about our beliefs. We don’t have to act as though we’ve got it all together. I believe people look for relativity. If the searching souls we’re trying to reach know we’ve struggled too, and that we’re hardly perfect it will be so much easier for them to feel like you can relate to them.

We as Christians have to dig deep, find what’s lying underneath.. As the scripture says, “God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of His purposes.You don’t find it laying around on the surface.”

While the topic of Christianity might not win you the title of  Homecoming Queen, or give you an ‘in’ with the popular people, those are only temporary fixes for our underlying loneliness or self esteem issues. Most likely, the relationships/friendships you have right now as a teenager will not last you a lifetime; but God’s in your life for the long hall. He isn’t temporary. Maybe part of why people don’t believe in the wonder that is God is because a lot of the good on earth is only temporary, and when it’s gone hurt comes with it’s departure. So they think, why should God be any different?

God has an incredibly intricate, thought out plan for each and every child of His, so why wouldn’t we follow it? Personally, I’m sure that what He has planned is way better than anything I could ever come up with by my earthly self, and if He put so much love and thought into our lives, why would we be so stubborn as to turn away from it?

Verses 10-13 (approximately):
“The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning but yourself? The same with God – except He not only knows what He’s thinking, but He lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that He is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions.”

Verses 14-16 (approximately):
The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by Spirit – God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics.”

Never could have said it better myself. That particular scripture really speaks to my heart and mind. The fact that if we open up our spirit for God to work freely in it, there’s no judging that can be done by “unspiritual” outsiders. When we let go, and let God’s spirit connect with ours, then it’s between you and God, one on one.

The Message is an amazing way to more easily understand what the Word has to say with it’s more relative phrasing. I really encourage you to dive into The Message version of the Bible as well as the original.

Rosie

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Loving for Real, for God

As stated in my bio below, I’m in an amazing, real, teenage relationship with my best friend. We text each other often, gross people out with our Facebook messages, drive my parents crazy with the telephone bill. We are real. We have, what I fully believe, is a God-given Love Story. Every good romantic tale has a twist. What’s ours? We live one hundred and fifty miles apart from each other.

I love Matt wholeheartedly. The distance doesn’t change that, it enhances it. However, it doesn’t always make for an overly happy me. I have often asked God why He would allow me to know Matt and keep me so far away from him. Doesn’t He know how it saddens me? As my Father, doesn’t He want me to be happy?

This is where I have to remind myself that I live for a Being that is bigger than me. God didn’t design relationships (be it friendships, romantic relationships, marriages) to cater to our happy hearts, but to glorify Him. All He that does is to bring praise to His name.

Last July, I was simply tired with missing Matt. I began praying, telling God about my tired heart. Suddenly, I realized that if I were seeking God and met a couple of teenagers maintaining the relationship that we had, I would be inspired. I realized that I was learning how to Love like Jesus (and I’m still learning). I realized that we had an opportunity to show others God.  You, as well, have such an opportunity. 

We as teenagers (whom society has given negative labels) have a unique door being opened. We can rise above the low expectations we have hanging over our heads, taking our labels off. When we choose to stay pure, stay committed to a guy or girl, Love in a way that withstands hardships (being in a relationship that goes against the crowd), our lives are pointing back to God.

Honestly, the way I see it, if you’re in a relationship only to get happiness from a guy or a girl – you’re setting yourself up to fail. Your relationship won’t be strong, there won’t be three strands (Ecclesiastes 4:12). If glorifying God is all you try to get out of your relationship, you’ll succeed, and the joy and Love between you and your other will grow and deepen and touch the lives of others.

Elisabeth

My Blessing Over My Daughter



Over the years I have endeavored to bless my children and to speak life over them. This is my blessing over my daughter.

Rosie, there are a million things I could say to speak blessing over your life. This is my attempt at narrowing it down to the main points.

You just aren’t into teen drama. In fact you run from it, and if it catches you, you stick your hand out stop-sign fashion and say, “Whoa…take that somewhere else, if you don’t mind!” (or something like that). Let me tell you, I was never a huge fan of drama yuck as a teen, but I was never even remotely as adept at giving it the slip as you. Just saying.

You don’t pout to get your way, play head games, or manipulate others. I’m not sure I’ve ever known a girl who didn’t do those things, at least to some degree. But put simply, it just doesn’t seem to be in your DNA. Heck, I remember doing those things as a teen. Then again, you have had a way different life from what I had growing up. I dig what you’re doing with it.

You are humble. You regularly have random people walking up to you in public to tell you that you are pretty, or that you have gorgeous eyes, or that they love your hair. You smile and blush a bit and say, “Aww, thank you!” and usually find something to compliment about them in return. You are smart, sociable, beautiful, and witty: every earthly reason to be a total snob, but you are anything but. You shop for a bargain and steer clear of excess and bling. You grin about the $8. prom dress you bought from a thrift shop and make it shine like a million bucks.

Your heart is pure. You don’t make a habit of filling your head and heart with garbage, so garbage isn’t what comes back out. You love God with your whole being and chase after Him with all you’ve got. You read His Word (and you know we joke about how being the only one of my children who just doesn’t enjoy reading all that much, that’s saying something) and hide it in your heart. You look for ways to bless others, and often find them.

You are courageous. You champion the little ones, the elderly ones, and the challenged ones, and you don’t hesitate to stand up for them. You quietly call out inappropriate words and behavior in your friends and gently guide them toward a better way, and you do it with such tender wisdom that they keep coming back. You are brave and protective and fierce in your love for others. I’ve watched you fight for friendship and for dance technique and for the rights of others with valor anyone could envy.

You honor God and your parents by listening to their guidance with an open spirit. You see the sensibility in benefiting from others’ mistakes and have no problem admitting it. You speak up when you don’t understand the why behind instruction, but then you defer to our leadership out of love and respect for God and for us. As a mom, I can’t find words to express to you the degree to which you have made parenting you a deep and indescribable joy.

You are letting God write your Love Story. This hasn’t always been easy for you, being the loving, giving soul you are. People have come along in your life who would have loved to steal your purpose and draw your focus from the goal. Once or twice you looked backward, but thankfully you always looked again to Wisdom for reassurance and moved forward on the right path. You have taken care not to awaken love before its time, and it is my heart’s desire that you are blessed beyond earthly understanding for that loyalty.

I could not have asked for a more honorable daughter, nor could I have come close to dreaming you up on my own. Only God could have knit you together to become the beautiful girl I call my cherished Rose, and I will never stop thanking Him for the blessing of you.

How the Yo-Yo Was Invented

I obviously haven’t updated since the beginning of the summer, and there have been changes. Crazy, I know, but yes, there have been changes.

The museum hit hiring caps and couldn’t hire Matt or Rosie over the summer. Matt in particular hung on hoping at some point he would be hired so he could start saving for his car. They both went in for very successful interviews and were basically just waiting for the official “go” call, but sadly due to budget constraints, the call didn’t come. We enjoyed our extra time together over the summer, though, and we did go to Busch Gardens pretty often. Rosie was busy with friends all summer, and we had many epic sleepovers here. Matt spent several chunks of time at Jeff’s with his brothers gaming and just hanging out somewhere other than home where all the squealing teen dancer girls were flocking.

Matt is finishing up high school this year and is still researching career paths. He seems frustrated with the process since he is still uncertain of the direction he wants to go, but he’s hanging in there. Rosie has talked about applying this spring for a program at a local vocational school where she could work toward a certification in Early Childhood Education. The program would run afternoons through her junior and senior years of high school while still homeschooling for academics in the mornings. That would of course require us to stay in this area for two more full years after this one, so we’ll see if by spring she is still wanting to head in that direction.

Homeschooling is going very well for both Rosie and Matt, other than the fact that they both barely tolerate math. I guess it goes without saying that neither of them shares their eldest brother’s love for the subject.

I am tutoring two 4th-grade students from the dance studio (one two days a week and the other three). I stay busy keeping up with all four students, but I’m enjoying it a lot. Fridays are our fun day each week, so I’m looking forward to the laid-back ease of school tomorrow.

Rosie has some interesting things going on in her life right now that I won’t detail quite yet. She is handling it all rather well, though, I’m happy to report. I can’t say I’m surprised by that, though. I just love our kids. 🙂

Mothering a Daughter

It’s true. Mothering a daughter is vastly different from mothering sons. Not better or worse, just different.

I always wanted a relationship with my only daughter to be much like mine with my own mother, only the best of it and none of the negatives. I’m not sure I could’ve scripted this any better myself. First off, what more could I ever have asked for in a daughter? She is wise, courageous, witty, and beautiful. And best of all she loves God and chases after Him with gusto. I couldn’t have scripted her better.

Our relationship is so far beyond what I could have dreamed up. We talk, we get along, and we work through any differences that come up with minimal hurt feelings. She is open with me and has always been willing to share her heart and her thoughts and her MySpace password with me. She is an open book, but then she is like that in many respects with everyone. What you see with Rosie is what you get. No drama, no pretenses, nothing fake. Just the real Rosie, all the time. Being someone who prizes realness in a person, I totally dig that about her.

Rosie is everyone’s friend, but not everyone is hers. That is familiar to me–the story of my life, actually. She is kind to everyone (even those who don’t deserve it), but bonded to few. She has a patience about her that is hard to describe; I’ve seen her hang in there dealing with obnoxious people many times well beyond the call of duty. If it pays off, she smiles and gives God the credit. If it doesn’t, she shrugs and grins, gives Him the credit anyway, and moves on. I’m pretty sure most people don’t realize how blessed they are to have her in their lives.

I know this is going to come across as me just bragging on my kid, and I’m okay with that. I wish more parents bragged on their kids in public forums. I am proud of ALL of my kids and I don’t mind saying so. God knit each of them together quite nicely, in my opinion. I am blessed to say my daughter is one of my best friends, right along with my husband (my very best friend for most of my life) and all four of my sons.

With each milestone my beautiful girl reaches, I thank God for the gift of being able to walk with her through it and watch her shine His light all over the place. The current milestone is no different, and I have every confidence that God is…well…all up in it. I really like that.