Saturday, June 10, 2006

Refining Silver

This is the story on refining silver that I was talking about. Some may have heard or seen it before, but I love it and I'm posting it.

Please note that I did not write this and the author is unknown. Enjoy!

There was a group of woman in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter 3, they came across verse 3 which says:

"He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver..."

This verse puzzled the woman and they wondered what this statement means about the character and nature of God. One of the woman offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.

That week this woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for the interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the siversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot then she thought again about the verse, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver...". She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. For if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh thats the easy part, when I see my image reflected in it."

Friday, June 9, 2006

Teach me thy ways

Ok, so the last few weeks I feel like I have been through the wringer. Life at 25 with a child living with your parents is not peachy. Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware of why I am here, but that time in my life is behind me and I am moving on to a much better, much happier life, the abundant life that God promises us. It's ours for the taking, but I have such a hard time remembering that I have to reach out for it daily... and die to myself and all my pride.

The jest of it is that I want so much more for KK, and I want more for me too. I want my own space. I want to live my life and raise my daughter without feeling like I've got my mother over my shoulder watching my every move. I'd be great if I felt like I was the Mom for once instead of her. The fact is that she's older, she has more experience, and she is wiser. Therefore, as I am trying to raise my daughter and be her mother, I get plenty of advice along the way... ampng other things. You say "You should be grateful for the help." Wait til you have your own children, you will know what I am talking about. She doesn't do it trying to make me feel inadequate, or even because she thinks I am... she's just trying to help. I have tried to make the point to her that I need to be able to care for KK myself and feel like I'm the mother. I need the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them like any other mother. She doesn't get it or she can't control that motherly instinct... I don't know which but I seriously am having difficulty with it.

In all the frustration and angst I tend to be a little on the testy side with her. I don't mean to, it just comes out... and then I'm thinking... what did I say that like that for. But of course who wants to admit they are wrong... I often do, but I don't like it. So I have been doing alot of apologizing lately. But I've continued like a spiral into this funk... I feel terrible about my current sitch when I should be grateful. There have been moments that I can't bear to think about it without tearing up. And it hit me... like a dagger in the heart. Oh Lord have mercy on me, a sinner. He's revealing things in me that need to change, things that I need to hand over to him. I'm telling you, this stuff will break your heart. For all he has done for me... and I'm stuck in this petty little rut?! Get over yourself L!

So, here I am bearing my soul... which is so unlike me. I have been through so much in my life and learned tough lessons about who you can trust. Needless to say I don't open up easily. Sure, I may share about myself, and some very deeply personal things, but not with the affect with which I share myself and who I truly am with someone I trust and care about. Those people in my life who not only know my story but know what it means to me, how it's shaped me, and how I feel about... those are my closest friends and love ones. They are the one's I trust and open up to. So, I'm shocking myself here.

I will totally have a fit if I lose another long heart felt blog before I can get it posted. Yeah, I had a good one ready to post a few nights ago and clicked a link that opened in the window that the blog I was getting ready to post was in. If you have ever done it you know what I'm talking about. I hit the back button and for the second time in my myspace stint I had lost it all!
So, anyway, my point really is that the Lord is working on me and using my circumstances to reveal things that he wants to change in me. So, I'm having some growth pains I guess you could say. Going thru the trials is bad enough but as Beth Moore would say, it slays me to have the truth revealed to me about myself.

Bless our God, O peoples!
Give him a thunderous welcome!
Didn't he set us on the road to life?
Didn't he keep us out of the ditch?
He trained us first,
passed us like silver through refining fires,
Brought us into hardscrabble country,
pushed us to our very limit,
Road-tested us inside and out,
took us to hell and back;
Finally he brought us
to this well-watered place.

Psalm 66:8-12 from The Message

For every difficulty, every trial, each and every spot He reveals and then burns out of me, I am coming closer to being pure, to showing a reflection of Christ in me. For that I am truly grateful because that means that despite my past I do not live in defeat and despair because I through Him I am victorious. That doesn't mean that everything will be great all the time, but that I have the joy of the Lord in my heart regardless of my circumstances.

I'm posting my favorite story about the refining of silver as soon as I can find it.

Thanks for listening!


Monday, June 5, 2006

Miscellaneous life stuff

The Lord never ceases to amaze me. He has been so good to me spite my defiance. He continues to show me mercy and patience that I don't deserve. My lack of faith hasn't deterred him from his faithfulness to provide for Makayla and I. Yet here I am in the midst of so much change wondering what to do.

Is it really as simple as saying a prayer? You mean to tell me that all I have to do is ask You for guidance? So, You're saying that what You said in Your Word is true? --Wow, what a concept!!! How easily I forget.

It's engrained in my mind like a data on a hard drive, you never really can get rid of it... but how often I fail to put it into practice:

Proverbs 3:5&6
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths." Thanks Stephen K for suggesting to read 1 chapter in Proverbs a day over and over... how wise!

OK, so people, seriously... pray for me. I'm currently house shopping and I want to make the right decision. Pray that the Lord will give me wisdom and discernment. Pray that I will listen for him and hear his wisper in my heart. He knows my desire to have a home of my own. But it may not be his timing now, so pray also that I will seek after his will and not my own.
What else??? I'm not sure. I had alot going on in my mind when I began this blog but it all seems to have been lost. That's what I get for trying to watch the news and type up my blog at the same time.

I was thinking today how excited I am about the new bible study we are starting for the Summer. I absolutely love Beth Moore. Her testimony and how God has used her has really been a blessing and speaks to me. She is truly annointed. We are starting her Daniel bible study this week. I just hope that I will be able to consistently find someone to watch KK for me on Thursday nights. Surely the Lord would not want me to miss out on this?

Yet another thing to consider, I've recently discovered some continuing ed classes offered online thru Darton for HR professionals that I would like to take. They are only 6 weeks long, and I would absolutely love to do it, but when I think of my days and how crammed they already are I can seem to possible justify it. Who will take care of Makayla while I try to do school work? (Well, I know who won't, but that is another blog in itself) How many of my precious few hours with her will that take up?

It seems to me that there are too few hours in the day. now, I'm not doubting the Lord's creation plan, but I'm non-stop untile at least 1am every night, and I'm lucky to have 3 nights that I get to sleep without disruption. And... it's all me... so I don't even have someone to complain about not getting up in the middle of the night or taking turns changing the poopie diapers. I wouldn't have it any other way, I absolutely adore my daughter, and I am quite aware of the reason I am in the situation I am in. But it just gets so blah sometimes. I wish I had someone to not only share the middle of the night duties, but also the great moments when she does the cutest, sweetest things in the world, or lays there sleeping peacefully with her little bottom hiked in the air and her little abdomen gently rising and falling.

Well, being that KK is asleep in her room I am on the laptop in the living room. The battery is going dead so it is goodnight and farewell for now.

God bless you all!