Monday, December 28, 2009

Hagar Moments. . . .

Tonight, I am going out on a limb. A month or so ago, I was in Little Group (that’s Ashley’s name for Family Small Group from Church) and we are studying the Bible. In order. . . so, we’ve been meeting for a year and half and we are at Genesis 16. . . we plan on being together for a LONG time!!! Hee hee Good thing we LOVE our Little Group!!!

First, let me back up a little and refresh our memories of Genesis 15 . . . This is where God tells Abram that he is going to be the father of many nations. Now, don’t forget that Abram is not a spring chicken and neither is his wife, Sarai. They’ve been hanging out for quite a while and so far, no kids. Bummer for them because kids are awesome!! Well, Abram is pretty excited about this kid idea so he shares with his wife, Sarai. (Disclaimer—I’m not a biblical scholar, this is my blog and my deep thoughts. . . ) Well, Sarai’s looking around and she says, “Uh, honey, I’m kinda old, don’t really see me having any kids.” So (this is where Genesis 16 comes in), she comes up with a plan!! Gotta love it when we come up with plans!! Sarai looks at her husband and says, “Hey, how about you have a kid with my servant Hagar!” Sarai can’t have kids, Hagar can. The kid is still Abram’s either way. God’s word is fulfilled. Seems logical enough. Must be God’s will!! (How many times have I said that in my life???)

Well, unfortunately, once the pregnancy actually happens, then the 2 women aren’t quite as buddy buddy as they once were. Throw in a little pregnancy hormones, jealousy and hatred, we can probably assume, this was not the prettiest picture. Well, push came to shove, Hagar’s out, Sarai’s a little miffed, and Abram’s going, “Hello, God! What’s up here?? You said I was going to have a son, this seemed soooo logical!!”

In the end, in Genesis 17, God gets a little more specific and tells Abram straight out, “Dude, listen to me! I told you I was giving you a son, I am going to do it, here is when and I want you to name him Isaac!”

(Ok, I might be paraphrasing a little, so if you would really like to dive into this deeper, please grab your Bible and check it out for yourself. Genesis 15-17, I prefer NIV, but whatever version you can read AND comprehend go for it!)

Well, after we read and talked about this a little bit, the question came up. . . What are some of our Hagar Moments?? God has made us promises in our lives. A Hagar Moment (definition stolen from my small group leader) is when we manipulate our circumstances and make them “fit” into “God’s will” for our lives, instead of waiting on God to fulfill his promises!!

WOW!!! How many Hagar Moments do I have??? How many times have I not waited on God to reveal the next step? Do I do this often?? It really got me thinking. This conversation was pushing 2 months ago and I’m still reading it, so yes, it’s been on my heart A LOT!!! My Hagar Moments. . . Honestly, I’m not actually going to list them here, they are kinda private and some are really embarrassing, but the reality is some are life changing.

My life today would not look like it does if it weren’t for my Hagar Moments. That original Hagar Moment gave Abram Ishmael, even though Ishmael was not the chosen son, he was still a son of Abram. That decision totally changed their lives. Just like some of my Hagar Moments have changed my life. (I don’t regret any of my life so far, however, I do know that there are many times I have strayed off of God’s path!!) Not all of them have been life changing. Some were simple disobedience. Sometimes, I misunderstand the “signs” given to me. A lot of the time I’m simply impatient with God’s timing. I want it done in MY time, not HIS!!

Have a blessed night!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Brokenness and Menu Choices

On the way to work, I was on the phone. (Yes, I’m one of those that talk on the phone all the way to work. Everyday! I know, I know. . . one more thing to pray for me about.) Anyway, back to the original topic, me on the phone. Well, my friend was talking about how he always orders the same thing every time he goes out to eat, that he’s leery of trying anything new. I casually mention how I’ve been broke (financially) for so long that when I do go out to eat I tend to order a “sure thing”. You know, something that you know you like because it cost quite a bit of money and you don’t know when you’ll be able to afford to go out again so you don’t want to try anything new because you’d hate to waste the money on food you don’t know if you will like.

Then, it was like the heavens parted and I saw things completely differently. What if we do that in other areas of our life? Not just going out to eat, but movie choices, clothing choices, friendship choices, job choices, you know everything?? How many times have I held back or settled because I was scared that the resources would not replenish? I’m not talking about being irresponsible and throwing away money to fill some random hole. (That’s a whole blog entry in itself.) I’m talking about how often and how many areas have I settled for familiar when there are so many other choices? I may not even like the choices. Some, I may never have a desire to try, but what about the rest?

I found out that I like sushi . . . who knew?? I never would have tried it without my sister saying we’d split it. If I didn’t like it, I could order something off the “normal” menu. Options . . . wow! I could have do-overs.

What are some of the other options on the menu that I’ve never even considered because of my brokenness?? What has my past brokenness kept me from pursuing? Are there “sure thing” situations that are hindering my pursuit of whatever? Today, I’m not as broken as I once was. Today, there is some restoration. Today, I trust that the resources will replenish. Today, I’d like to try something new from the menu.

Maybe, I’ll hate it, maybe I’ll love it. Who knows, in the end, I may find out that the “sure thing” is my favorite . . . but doesn’t my favorite want to actually be the favorite, not just the only one I tried?

Well, I need to get ready for dance class . . . my second taste from the menu (since timing made Sushi first).

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Have you ever watched water flow under a bridge? Standing on top of the bridge or on the shore just watching it flow by. . . Think about this with me for a little bit. All the water kind of looks the same after a while. We all know that it isn’t the same water because what we saw 5 seconds ago is now downstream. I tend to look at it more globally, all the water collectively.

However, every so often, a huge log or some other sort of debris comes flowing down the river. That debris makes it obvious that THIS patch of water is different. The debris gave the water some purpose. The water stands out. It helped lighten the load of the debris and helped it get from one spot to another. So, in this aspect the water is grateful to be able to help.

The problem with debris is that it tends to collect itself. One log snags onto another, now there are two. One random life jacket catches a twig. Sooner or later, there is so much debris in the way, that the water can no longer flow to it’s greatest capacity, or any capacity. The water has lost the ability to get down stream to bless the people/fish/life down there.

Somehow, someone, something must come in and remove the debris in order for the water to flow in the manner that God designed it to flow.

Hummm. . .you know, as the debris is lifted out of the water, some of the water is still on the debris. The water may be able to flow to a greater capacity, but it is still altered forever. It will never have ALL of itself because some of it was stripped away. So, God gets to restore those empty places. To fill in the gaps where part of the water is missing.

The beauty of God’s restoration is that He doesn’t restore to the original quality. He restores it better than it was. IF we allow it.

Have a blessed day!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Story of Jami

Well, after I put the teaser up there about my 4th child, I figured I should probably give up the story. At least as I see it. . .

The Story of Jami

Long, long ago, in a far away land, there once was a scared, insecure, not quite sure which way was up young princess. As this young princess was stumbling, falling, and muddling her way though a handsome prince came along and swept her off of her feet. He offered companionship, direction, security, stability, and a 5 year old (Young, Fair Jami).

The three of them went along for a while. When life was good it was really good, when it wasn’t it wasn’t. Lots of ups and downs and roller coaster rides later, (I guess if this is a fairy tale it would be Jousting Competitions, oops.) the time came for our young princess to bid fairwell to the prince.

The princess didn’t know how to say goodbye to the prince but not Fair Jami, so she said goodbye to them both. Those of us that know the young princess, she has a hard time letting things go, so she looked back a time or two. . .along came Miss Alexis.

Time went on, our young princess grew into a beautiful queen of a new kingdom. The prince released Miss Alexis to the care of the king and queen of the new kingdom. Our queen had told Fair Jami that when she was 18 she could call upon Miss Alexis, but until that time she had to obey her parents. Our queen often wondered and prayed for our Fair Jami. Always wondering how she was doing and who she was growing up to become.

Thanks to Facebook, our Fair Jami found the queen and Miss Alexis again. Fair Jami is now becoming a queen of her own kingdom. Our queen gets the opportunity to love, listen, and participate in our Fair Jami’s life today. Fair Jami gets to be the big sister to Miss Alexis and Miss Amanda and Miss Ashley (our queen expanded her kingdom throughout the years). This is a gift that no one could ever have foretold to the queen. The queen is ever so grateful to God for the gifts that He has given!

And they all lived happily ever after. . . at least so far! (hee hee)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Asterisk

The other day I was looking at my shampoo bottle. 80% stronger hair immediately it promised! 80% stronger, can you believe it? Can this be real? Wouldn’t it be great if we could pump some goop out of a bottle, add a little water, slather it on our hair, wait a couple of minutes, rinse it all off and pow! It’s stronger!! What if we could do that with our heart, emotions, muscles, anything?? Wouldn’t that be awesome?? I would LOVE to be able to slather some goop on my heart and it is stronger. 80% stronger! Wow, that’s a promise.

Well, as I was coming back from fantasyland . . . I saw it! Oh my goodness, I saw it! It was the dreaded Asterisk. The little star thing that says. . . “My marketing people totally lied to you and there is more information!” So, I start searching the bottle for the cross reference that the asterisk is referring to. I knew 80% immediate was too good to be true, but why, why does it have to be so misleading??? I found it. I found the disclaimer. It said IF you use with the special conditioner!! What?? Another step?? UGH! Why God, why?? Why must we take another step? Isn’t the slather enough?? I waited the recommended 1-2 minutes!! Have mercy on me! If I go to the store is the special conditioner going to have another little asterisk?? Am I going to be led to a whole family of special products?? Do you see them lined up on my bathroom counter? The shampoo, conditioner, gel, mouse, shiny spray, finishing spray, hold like cement spray, soft hold spray, the list could go on forever!! All these little black bottles lined up by the sink each promising if I just do ONE more step I will finally get to the coveted 80% stronger IMMEDIATELY! “One more, it chants, one more. You can do it. Buy another product.”

Darn that little asterisk. Why can’t we just say what we mean? “Buy all our products because we want you to!” No gimmicks, no promises, just plain old-fashioned honesty!! What a refreshing change that would be!