Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thank You, Oswald.

I came across this Oswald Chambers quote today:

Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the disposition that ruled Him will rule us. It will cost everything that is not of God in us.

I've heard that God desires all of us. I believe this to be true, as we find in scripture that He is a jealous God. When we fully give ourselves to Him, it does cost everything of us. Our entire being must be forfeited at the foot of the Cross, willing to give ourselves completely to the One who created and loves us. When we drop to our knees in repentance and thankfulness, we must not let pride get in the way of the Lord having His way with us. We cannot tell the Lord, "Oh no, my shame is too great for you. My feet are too dirty, you cannot wash them."

Peter has a similar instance with Jesus at the Last Supper in John 13:

Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, "Lord, do You wash my feet?" Jesus answered and said to him, "What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter." Peter said to Him, "Never shall You wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me" (vs. 5-8).

We cannot ever be too stained to be remedied by the cleansing blood of the Lamb. It may cost us everything, but it is worth losing it all. The Kingdom of God costs everything, and at the same time is worth everything.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


This is something that I wrote during finals week but just decided to post.

It definitely was one of those days. Cold, rainy, finals week, gray. I felt so insignificant.
Having no finals, I volunteered my day to go into work for some extra hours, welcoming the extra money. But instead of sitting at home with nothing to do, I sat at a desk all day instead. Sure, I watered the plethora of poinsettias in the office, did minimal filing and answered a few phone calls, but the majority of my day was spent doing nothing of significance.
It was four thirty and time to go home. Joyfully I walked out of the office, looking forward to the time I was going to spend at home with my roommates. It was my night to cook and I was making a Wright Family specialty, Stinky Cheese Casserole. Right as I was about to throw it all in the casserole dish to cook, my phone rang.
A local number came up, urgently screaming for my attention. Resisting the urge to silence my phone and not answer, I picked up. It was Kelly, the older brother of the young man I tutor. He was wondering if I was coming in today, he was under the impression that I was going to be there at five; it was now forty-five minutes later. Racking my brain for any solid conversation with his mom the week earlier, I explained to Kelly that I was supposed to come in only if the needed me and was waiting for a call. Frazzled by the miscommunication and slightly frustrated, I told him that I would be there in twenty minutes.
Oh, how I did not want to go! I was looking forward to a quiet evening at home when I could read and go to bed early. So against my plans was what was being thrown in front of me!
As I drove to their house, I prayed that God would grant me an extra measure of patience. Knowing that I was tired and easily irritable, it was not the best time for me to engage in something demanding.
I arrived and Keegan was already sitting at his computer waiting for me. His assignment was out on his desk and he was staring intently at the words on the page. I hope he's focused today, I though to myself as I sat down. I don't know if I can handle it if he isn't.
Just my luck, for the first half hour Keegan was easily agitated, distracted, and panicked. The cerebral palsy acts up when the weather is cold outside and was giving him an extremely hard time today. His muscles contracted in his arms and pulled them close to his chest, his jaw pulled open wide and his breath happened in harsh-sounding gasps. It is a hard thing to watch when you know that you can do nothing to stop the pain you see in his eyes. The muscles contorted in ways that he did not intend. His hands were raw from unintentional biting, his fingers curling up into unbearably tight fists.
All I can do is watch. I try to encourage him to take deep breaths as he stares at me with wide eyes, undoubtedly thinking that if only he could control his breathing in a moment like this he would. But no words come out, only heavy, uncontrolled breathing. No words have ever come out, only very basic vowel sounds and yells of protests come from him, contributable to the advanced palsy.
Finally he calms down enough to focus and write his last rearing response for the semester. At this point I am already tired and my patience is wearing thinner every moment. I ask the Lord for more, and graciously the Lord lends me some.
We finish the assignment and I leave to go home. The radio gets turned off in the car as I drive down their street. I sigh loudly and start to pray. I tell the Lord of how worthless my day was, how I did nothing, how I produced nothing, how insignificant I was on the whole. As my thoughts formed into words spoken aloud to my Creator, my eyes welled up with tears. "Why, Lord? I've lived another day and yet have nothing to show for it. I've done nothing!"
I remembered James's words to the Jewish bretheren who were scattered abroad: Rejoice! If one was happy , rejoice; if one was mourning, rejoice; giving thanks to God in all circumstances. Desiring this in my own heart, I turned from the "woe is me" mindset to one that was thankful.
I remembered the ways in which the Lord redeems and loves me every moment I live, how He paid to set me free, how He loves me. I remember that He has adopted me as a daughter of grace, inviting me to sit at the table where I don't belong. When I am in the full love of the Lord, I cannot see my brokenness. Not one is insignificant to the Lord.

This is What Happens on Christmas Eve

Well, it has officially started. One of my best friends and roommates for the past four years(!) has gotten herself engaged!
Danielle Stanton will sometime (hopefully within the next year) become Mrs. Brian Swanson. Woo hoo! I can't wait to be a part of their life together. Many blessings on the future Swanson family!

The happy couple

Brian's stellar choice in rings