Tag Archives: family

Seeking the Best

Sitting here in my usual spot. Saturday mornings…Friday nights…Saturday nights..Monday nights…it really doesn’t matter. As long as there is an assignment due I am here at this table in this fast food joint…working on that assignment. I can no longer work from home. Not right now. Maybe after I create a “cubicle” I can focus…but right now I am surrounded by the work that needs accomplished there. It just occupies my mind so much I find it impossible to work on assignments which have deadlines. I have to leave home. In order to accomplish an important task I have to leave other important tasks. I have to make choices about what must be first on my list. This means I have to prioritize.

So, here I am…surrounded by this massive mess of papers…all of them making some sort of sense to me…each one containing information I need…some of it in just a few days when the midterm is taken.

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   But….once again…I have to sort through the pile…determine what I need to focus on first. I have to sort it into piles that I can then organize and use in an effective manner. If I don’t I will find myself at a loss as to which information goes in what order and I will be unable to use what I have in front of me wisely. I will fail because I didn’t choose to prioritize.

   So…I start out with the toughest subject for me…the Spanish. That’s the one I really struggle through…though I will be thrilled when I gain mastery…right now I am a toddler on the playing field. Still…that’s where I have to start…sort out all the Spanish material.

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   But wait…was that really where I needed to start today? I mean…was it truthfully the most important place for me to begin my day? If I start with Spanish as my first thought will it inspire me to do the most important things in my day?

   The answer to that is what I have been pondering…………..

        You see….I am surrounded by important things to focus on. I am surrounded by other people’s thoughts, actions, motivations. I am surrounded by philosophy, religion, politics, emotion, need, opportunity. What I am not surrounded by is people willing to remind me of the first thing…the best thing…the most honorable and praise worthy thing. No. That I have to bring to the table myself. That I have to fight for. That has to be an intentional thing each and every day of my life. It has to be the first thing I think of. It has to be intentionally the first thing I run to. If it isn’t I am lost. If it isn’t I have no idea how to function in my day. I may think I do, but at the end of the day I will find that I made many bad choices that day. I chose the lesser of goods and did not hit the mark of excellence. Not that all the things I strive for are bad. Just that there are good and then there are the best. I want the best. How will I get there?

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    Right here…in the written word of God. I will find His voice…speaking so sweetly to me…speaking in such a corrective tone to me…I will find Him guiding and chastening. I will find the answers to the the questions that plague me each morning. This is the best. This is choosing between the good and the best. The rest of my day will be guided correctly if I first seek HIM in these pages.

   One of my worst issues of late is how I view people. I sit here working on these lessons…and people watch. I am so judgmental. It is so easy to feel arrogant when I sit here in my little “fast food office” looking out at others. It is easy to think I would choose better for them or that they are too arrogant themselves. It is so easy to think I KNOW what they are doing or are about. It is so easy. Yet, I have no idea. I am not in their lives. I know only this small moment in their own story. I can’t even tell you I understand and KNOW my husband and kids. How could I know these people who I spend no real time with? I can’t. That’s just it. I can’t. It is terribly arrogant of me to think I can…to be deceived by the heart which God said in His word always would trick me into believing something other than truth.

   And even if I could….would it be right for me to choose to? I mean….think about it….who should I judge? My own self. That is the only person I should judge. My own person. I should compete against my own self and judge my own actions against my own actions and in light of the Word of the ever living God. That is the only way to properly operate. And…this should be the first thing in my day and the last thing in my day. This should be the way I operate all through my day. This should be the way I live…and as I breathe…so should I pray….about this and every other matter that comes to me. And I should people watch less. Until I can master my own thoughts….I should people watch less. You see….if your hand offends you….right? If you are unable to do something without sinning…you must let it go…at least until you have mastery over your own self. This is the only way to operate. This is the right way.

   Good. Better. Best. Many times we choose the good. It isn’t wrong to choose the good. I mean…the homework needs doing. So does the laundry. The dishes. The meals need cooked.

   Often we manage to prioritize up to the better. We sit down with the family for a family night. We have conversations with our kids. We have a coffee with our spouse and catch up. We let go of the good long enough to embrace what we see is the better. It makes our life better. It blesses those around us…especially if we then go ahead and do the good after we have seen to the better.

   Excellence is seen in the best. Excellence is seen in waking to the very best that we could have. It is seen in seeking the face of our God first …..as the light dawns so does our heart cry out to Him. As the coffee brews our fingers are turning the pages of His word and seeking the light of His voice for ourselves on that day. As our families wake from the night’s rest we are prepared with His corrective word and loving guidance to know how to love and care for them that day. We are ready to face our work. We are sure of our priorities. This is the best. This is how excellence is achieved…and it is also how we abide in Him. The only place real fruit can be found is when we abide in Him.

   It is easy to get off track. It is easy to lose site of what is good, better and best. It is easy to think that we need to do something before we seek the Lord and that we need to wash the dishes before we talk to that child. It is easy to think these “best” and “better” things will wait. But our Lord asks we abide with Him in the present tense, and our children grow up each and every day, whether we are watching or not. Our relationships grow cold unless we stir the embers of love and friendship. These are things which must be dealt with first…and in the proper order.

   During this lenten season let us seek to prioritize what is good, better and best so that we are the most fruitful for the One who loves us best.

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In a Moment…..

   We think we have all the time in the world. We think…in a little bit I will wash that laundry. In a little bit I will cook that meal. When the kids get home from school we will sit down and have that talk. In a little while. But what if “in a little while”  never comes?
   Today a friend called me with news her son had been in an accident. There is a long road ahead with no idea what it will look like…but he won’t be home for dinner tonight. Her family may not see a family meal around the table for a long while. That moment in time took their “in a little while”.
   We do not know the future. Cherish every moment you have. Don’t put things off. Remember that we can’t know the future…there is no promise of it. But we have now..this very moment. Grab it!

New Beginnings

“And God said…… Let there be light……”

           In that brief description….scientists say….matter was formed. It is the best description they’ve been able to attach to light. Matter. That brings all sorts of possibilities to the creation story…at least for me…

           I love the beloved passages of Genesis. I love the comfort of a familiar story. I love the hope of new beginnings. I love the possibilities as I trace each step the Lord took….speaking with a power and ability only He could use well…and, indeed, He did use it well. He was wise. He was beautiful. And what He made simply shined with the glory of God. Yes. Glory. New Beginnings. Hope. Light. These are pictures and phrases that come to mind when I read Genesis. 

          Often I find myself drawn to those passages. Whether it is a new year’s readings or a need to begin over…to hopefully find my way out of a web Satan has masterfully crafted over a portion of my life…or my heart…I find Genesis is where I go. It’s the beginning…and I often need a new beginning. 

          There is a certain comfort in the beginning. It’s hopeful. It’s familiar. It holds the promise that the Lord did all that…so what can’t He do with my feeble needs? It’s the promise of His return once He deems enough has been enough….when it’s time…. and just as the angels rejoiced over the birth of the tiny Infant Savior they will shout His return for all those who long to see Him come and all those who have feared or rebelled over His Lordship. 

          Until then….I trod this dry and cursed soil….I struggle through….but I find the beauty that still finds a way to reveal His glory…even in cursed creation…… 

          With the beginning of Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year. So…in a way…New Year’s has already occurred for me. At least the one I count. All the hope. All the possibilities. The beginning. Genesis. Just as in my childhood I turned again and again to those familiar passages and read them…near memorized them….new beginnings. 

          Do you find yourself in need of a new beginning? Are you struggling with expectations of life that just seem to have fallen flat of all you hoped? Are you fighting tears as you pray for a prodigal child or a lost spouse or even a lost parent? Are you struggling through all three? Are you feeling empty when you attend church? Are you feeling like you are outside of the fold? Maybe you just don’t want to go and get the support you feel you need because you don’t want to be part of the gossip train….maybe the pain just reaches so deep for you that sometimes you can barely breathe. 

         I can’t promise you an easy road. I wish I could. I haven’t been able to promise myself that. What I can promise you is that with each step you take the Savior will be there. With each step you take. Remember, He knows the number of hairs on your head. He knows you. Never run from that kind of intimacy. It’s not something you can change. He will always know you…but will you allow that intimacy to be your strength? Will you allow that intimacy to be your hope? Will you allow Him to be the Lover you never imagined? You see…those are intimate thoughts. Intimate phrases…yet the Savior is your Bridegroom. He is your Lover. If He isn’t…He wants to be. He is your strength. Abide in the Vine. He is the Vine. He is the very life source for each and every breath you take. How much more intimate can you be with anyone? He knows every thought you have….every sin you have committed. He knows you. He loves you. Never run from that. 

         In the warnings from children’s church and even Sunday sermons you may hear…just as I have over and over….”you can’t run from God. He knows what you are thinking. He knows what you have done!” Well PRAISE GOD HE DOES! How MUCH I count on that. How very much I NEED Him to know me just that intimately. When I don’t have words…I go…I sit with Him. I just say… “You Know”…..And He does. I can trust that there is not one place I will ever be that He won’t find me. Not one place. 

          If I sit in a ditch….wailing over a prodigal child….I will find Him there. If I find myself longing for a home where my husband leads our family in a godly way….I will find Him there. If I hurt over the unfaithfulness of an earthly husband…I will find Him there. If I hurt over the unfaithfulness of a church or a friend or extended family…I will find Him there.If it was in church my family was abused. If I’ve grown to mistrust the church because it seems they are leading my children away from the Savior…if I’m seeing the fruit of that even now…I will find Him there.  Men can turn this to read for them… We can all find Him there…. 

        I have listened to so many hearts. Women who say…”I was suddenly married to a man who didn’t just want me to be his slut and I didn’t know what to do with that.” So…because internal storms still live in that “tent” they act out …..I’ve listened to men who scream they don’t want to go through those storms again….and yet the storms come…I’ve seen tears of women as they have told me about sons in prison begging them to take them home. I’ve watched children put holes in walls and listened to them talk to me about cutting themselves because they feel so much pain. 

          You see….we all desperately need new beginnings. 

   There is a new beginning. A new hope. But it will not be found in all the places we are looking. It will not be found there. No. We want easy. We want pain free. But we are promised that in this world we will have trouble. We want freedom from it. We can’t find that here. What we find is hope. New beginnings. What we find is the realization that what is here…this is temporary…yet we spend so much of our effort trying to build those castles in the sand…so much of our time…but it’s all wasted….oh…it looks good…for a while. But the day will come when it will all be consumed in the fires of God’s judgement on this world. When that happens what will we have left? What will remain? Only that which we have invested in eternity. I know. You’ve heard it all before. It seems empty. But it isn’t. It may be for you…today…yes…it may be…but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes it feels empty for me. When I’ve neglected to abide in the Vine. It’s empty. When I haven’t sat with the Savior and drank in who He is …. when I haven’t been renewed by His love. Then I feel sooo empty. But neither one of us has to go through that…and the new beginning can come today. We will experience the pain. We will experience the desert. We will. But there are springs of living water in the desert. There are fruits abundant in the desert. We can have those. 

    If you are hurting..please don’t let this be where you give up. If you need a new beginning turn to the Savior. The words can be simple. “Jesus, I need you”. That’s all you need say. He will be right there. If you need to know someone is praying for you…I will. Let me know. I will pray for you. If you need someone to hear your story…I will listen. krisfasse@yahoo.com. I’m serious. I will listen. I will pray. If you need professional help…get that. God is big enough to use those things. But you must turn to the Savior. He is the one who really has your answers. You must run to Him. He is a friend in the darkest of days. When you sit in the dark…when no one answers the phone…when no one is online at your favorite social network…He will be there. He never leaves. He will hear you. Believe that. You must trust. Will you feel His nearness? Not always. I have to be honest and tell you that. When I need it the most I don’t always feel it. That is when I simply trust that He is there. And then…in ways I would not have planned out myself…He is there. Maybe He brings a song..a verse…a book…a nature walk…a friend…or His presence known to me…but He is there. 

        New Beginnings….believe in the hope…believe…you can have a new beginning.

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          Father, please help my friends to find You…to find peace within regardless of the storms that rage in their lives. Please find them just as You find me over and over and over. I love You Lord and I trust You with this……