Monday, April 30, 2012

Psalm 148

"He has made his people strong,
honoring his faithful ones-
The people of Israel who are close to Him.
Praise the Lord!"
~Psalm 148:14, NLT 

Simple, but infinite in my book.

Strength. Who doesn't want strength? We can all use some spiritual strength. Physical strength too. What about honor? The dictionary defines honor as 'High respect', 'good reputation', 'recognition'.

I was blessed by the mention of Strength and Honor and the intimacy in verse 14. I thought of these three as attributes that could potentially take me to a higher, and more rich, level of security, lets just say, a relationship with Christ. Ultimately I have learned that my strategic thought process attaches security into the realm of a relationship. That is what makes it valid in my mind. I feel secure, therefore I feel the relationship is not only real but deeply rooted. It is what I crave. And although I am not in the least worried or even preoccupied at the thought of not being accepted in society, even amongst friends. I have become this needy little girl, craving to be continually accepted by her father, in my case, God. I have come to understand that He is the Only One I need to please. And crave for, for that matter. But I know that there really is nothing I can DO to win His love. His love is grace. He gives it no matter what.

But I rest knowing that...

All I need is You.

But I should also mention that I also crave the deep relationships with my friends, and family. But ultimately, I know that He is above all else. I realize that He knows me better than I, he knows whom he's placed in my life and at what particular time.
{{Friends, you know who you are! Wink, wink. I. Love. You.}}

And then, He continues with mentioning that this relationship brings with it His honor. Oh, how I long to be honored by Him. To be able to hear those beautiful words of affirmation come forth from his mouth.

"Well done, good and faithful servant!"

And I ask myself: Lord, have I done what you've expected of me so far? This life has been tough, you know. A deadly disease is nothing to take lightly.
..Oh, but YOU went through so much WORSE, (I am reminded).

Yes, I know. {{sigh}}


-I can hear the wind outside my bedroom window. Wonder what the air sounded like when you took your last breath on that cross. Wonder how you felt when you saw my face and blinked for the last time.

As I am reading on, this verse speaks of those "who are close to him"?

Sometimes our circumstances inhibit an attitude of praise. We don't want to praise when things are going bad. When we're faced with difficult circumstances like sickness or death, or bad news like a job loss or even when we receive a simple dirty look from someone.

Reminds me of Romans 8...

Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (v.35)

It's hard to praise God in those moments. But He calls us to praise Him anyhow. He calls even the sun and moon to praise. What makes us better than the sun and moon? And his promise to us is strength, honor and to be close to Him -a relationship. This relationship is like no other. Nothing will ever compare.

I am close to Him. I am 'those' that verse fourteen spoke of.
 I am honored. I am strengthened. I. Am. His.

So praise on! Praise Him from anywhere and everywhere. Praising Him during rough circumstances changes everything. Especially- even more so, during those tough times.

And even though life has gotten a bit hard for me. It really is so much more rich because I am stronger.

~Life As Lizzy

Monday, April 23, 2012

Matthew 5:8 Pure in Heart

Matthew 5:8  "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."  

Who are the pure in heart? 
I thought about this for a few days.

I found myself one early morning in the stillness of the dark. 

I have made a routine, a precious one really, to go into both my kids' rooms, one at a time, and pray for them.

Hold them.

Smell them. 

I get to do this twice a week, right before leaving to work (its the only time I am ever up at 4am). They are so angelic in their peaceful state. I just love it. Reminds me of Jesus praying early in the morning in Gethsemane. Why do these early morning rises bring such deepness in thought? Jesus was troubled there, for He knew what was coming. And yet He still welcomed his Father's will -not his own. For his will was in harmony with the Father's will. When I awake during these early rises, I feel such a connection to Him. It feels like it is just me and Him.

And so, I try to pray like Jesus did...  Not my, but His will be done.  

Back in my kids rooms...
This is my prayer:

Lord, may J and LM love You and Your Word with all their hearts, all their minds, and all their souls. May they grow up to be a strong man and woman of God. ~Amen.

I realize that no matter what comes their way. If they just put Him first, His will, His love, then my kids will be alright... No matter what. I trust this because it has worked for me. When the devastating news of an ugly illness came knocking at my door, I began a journey of trust. I realized, that His will needed to be done before my own. And boy, have remarkable things occurred since then. I know, first hand that I can trust Him to never leave me alone.

His will, not my own, is the best policy.

And then after reading up on Matthew 5:8,
 I realized I was actually praying for them to be 

That they will always long for the Lord with everything in their might. That they will seek first, His approval in everything they do.  And so this verse reminded me of what the Lord has placed in my own heart. A peaceful prayer has made its way out from that deeply rooted seed that the Lord planted and has come out strong and healthy into an overgrown flowery plant.

It is so obvious.

So much so that my kids also now long for that early morning prayer. J has come to realize that I do this. He expects it every time the day comes where I wake up early to go to work. He sleeps better that night, knowing that I will be there, in his room in the stillness of the dark to simply pray for him. Sometimes he greets me with a smile -eyes closed.

Pure in heart.  Pure in heart, for they shall see God.

And oh, how I long to see God in everything I do. Throughout my day. At work, at home, cleaning, teaching, reading, I long to SEE God.  And I do. Many a times. He blesses me with nudges. I describe them as kisses. I am able to grasp His kisses and return them with a thankful heart.

Pure in heart. 
And I get to see Him. 

 ~Life as Lizzy

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The Happiest Place on Earth

Peaceful Hawaii

Peaceful Hawaii