Food For Thought Friday

Coming Clean

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Swiffering. Is that a verb these days? It’s like sweeping and mopping and dusting  – all rolled into one satisfying chore. Or at least that’s what the advertisers would have us consumers believe.

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When you have 3 furry creatures roaming around your home, however, swiffering may not be ‘enough’. I learned this the hard way last night. As you can imagine, this past month of moving into our new home, unpacking the boxes and furniture from 42′ of moving truck plus several car loads, deep cleaning hasn’t been our focus as much as unpacking and getting rid of the thousands of boxes that have been invading our home. But having 3 pets kind of trumps your plans for what’s on the ‘to-do’ list and so, when I traveled into town (yes, I have to say that now) to run errands, I knew that Wet Swiffers (the lavender scented ones are my favorite) had to be added to the shopping list. The fur was beyond the limits of my Zyrtec.

So I got home, unpacked the car and began cleaning. First, the toilets (yay! all 3 of them!) had to be scrubbed down – that’s ALWAYS THE FIRST THING THAT GETS CLEANED! Yuck. And then the dishes…(Getting used to well water and not having a disposal is taking some getting used to…) And finally, the swiffering.

But as I began swiffering the kitchen floor, I noticed it was a mere smattering of seconds before my wet moppy pad thing was unusable.  It was full of fur and dust and living in the country. So, I switched it out for a new one…Repeat process. Several times.

Eventually, my kitchen floor was clean and smelled wonderful, but it dawned on me…Next time, I need to sweep first and then swiffer.

That might seem obvious to many of you, but understand I am new to 2 things:

  • Being a ‘stay-at-home’ (mostly) wife
  • Having ALL hard surface flooring

Cleaning can’t be done with a quick fix to be done right. Cleaning is a process.

And so it is with allowing Christ to change us from the inside out.

We don’t become perfect people overnight. As a matter of fact, we don’t reach that state of grace until we go to live with Jesus at the end of our earthly lives. On earth, He is constantly molding and shaping us into the Christians – the Christ followers – He has planned for us to be.

I was brought up in a Christian home. I grew up knowing the Lord. But somewhere along the way, I lost sight of Him. He was no longer at the forefront of my decision-making. He became like a long-lost friend: I knew Him…but we hadn’t talked in forever and even though He was making the effort to keep in touch, I wasn’t responding to His texts.

I remember rekindling our relationship.

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It didn’t happen overnight. I didn’t go from the party-scene to youth ministry in a moment.

First, God grabbed the broom. Then, He showed me the dustpan…and we began. He started with one room and eventually swept the entire house. Next, He dusted. Room by room…And the swiffering has only just begun.

He is the Potter. We don’t become a beautiful piece of art overnight.It is the process of sanctification which molds us into that which He has destined for our lives.

Don’t seek out the ‘quick-fix’. Cherish the process with Him.

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TTC Tuesday

Where The Grass Is Greener

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Often, as I walk through Target, Wal-Mart or the grocery store, sit in the pew at church, scroll through our Facebook and Instagram feeds, I find myself discontented and jealous. I watch the news and become utterly enraged. All because I want what those people have – a child.

Their grass looks so much greener.

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But as a friend of mine spoke wearily of her misadventures as a single mother – hoping and praying for a husband like mine… I realized this coin has two sides.

While I sit and pine away for motherhood, I have already been blessed with that which another is praying for…and oh so much more! In fact, being contented with my own blessings isn’t enough.

My circumstances aren’t where my joy is found.

Recall Acts 16:22-24:

The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

Paul and Silas – Attacked, beaten and thrown into prison. Yet the very next verse says:

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God…. Acts 16:25

Quite obviously, Paul and Silas didn’t find their joy in what they had or where they were. In the midst of what I personally would label tragedy, they praised God and sang worship songs to Him! They were filled with the Holy Spirit and were joyful – no matter what was raging on around them.

Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

The most unbelievably, abundantly joyful you can be on this Earth is in the presence of God – not with a certain fellow human, not while possessing the most beautiful diamond, not in the beauty of having the most amazing spouse or the most perfect and well-behaved kids and the biggest home on the block. No, as John tells us in his Gospel, Jesus said, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

Callie Opper writes, “We’re called to stand on our grass, no matter how torn up, shriveled, dirty or dead it may be…God calls us to contentment, knowing that His story for us is the best story. He wants us to thrive where He has placed us, without fear of the future, without damaging comparison, rid of any lingering bitterness towards the path He has set for us. He wants us, free of “what if’s” and “if only”. Instead He wants us to focus on the “right now.”

So, right now have joy in the Lord. Follow His leading and allow Him to be your true joy, happiness and strength. Trust in Him enough to know – beyond a shadow of a doubt  – that if He is calling you to a certain circumstance, it isn’t for naught. It is for a purpose – His purpose.

The grass may appear to be greener on the other side of the fence…but it isn’t your yard.

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TTC Tuesday

No Matter What

Tuesday

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Here at The Newlywed Lefebvre’s blog, Tuesdays are for thanking Jesus, and there just isn’t a better month for that ‘theme’ than November – Thanksgiving time!

As I’m reading (straight through) the Bible, I’m noticing that the book of Psalms is a lot more than what I had at first envisioned – a book of (boring) poetry and songs and flowery language. Quite the opposite, actually. As I read the book (actually five separate books, combined into one), I’m realizing that David (and the other authors of the psalms) had a heckuvalot in common with me and the rest of us average joes (janes?)!

Psalms are beautiful prayers; cries out to God in anguish, in joy, in hope, in fear, in sorrow; deep shouts of praise and thanks! Just open your Bible to the middle and I’m almost certain one of the psalms you come upon will speak to your heart.

Today, we will look at two psalms that denote thankfulness – perfect for Thank You Jesus Tuesday and for this time of year:

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:4-5

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.” Psalm 107:21-22

It is so easy to thank God when things are going well. When everything is moving along and life is hunky-dory, we are almost quick to forget to thank Him for His goodness. But the question is how on earth do you thank Him when things are NOT going well? How do you praise God in the midst of suffering?

You thank God during times of trouble because you remember the cross. Hebrews 4, verses 15 and 16 say:

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

We can thank Him during our times of need and weakness because He is not some lofty god who rules from on high, apart from his creation – He came to earth in human form and lived a human life, ending with His suffering on the cross as the one and only sacrifice for our sins.

We can thank Him at all times because “…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

No matter what – I will praise Him in this storm and in the sunshine that follows.

So today, as I sit here with a yucky sinus infection, and my sweet Mama Dee is in a brace and awaiting orthopedic surgery for her broken patella, I am thanking my Savior for the beautiful life He blessed me with, and for the gift that is my grandmother. As we await His beautiful promise of our precious Jonah Elizabeth, I thank Him that He not only knows us by name – but gave such a beautiful name to our future daughter.

What storm are you waiting in today, and how can you be thankful in its midst?

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TTC Tuesday

Follow The Leader

TuesdayTTC Tuesday…While Craig’s most favorite “blogging day of the week” is Thirsty For Christ Thursday, it’s a toss-up for me between Tuesday and Thursday. Some people have asked why on earth we have chosen to share such an intimate facet of our marriage, and our answer is: we were led to. Believe me, I was not excited about sharing our pain with the world in the beginning…but I do feel God is using Craig & I to bring others to Him, and our pain of infertility is an invitation for many to get to know us.

When I was (finally) diagnosed with PCOS, it was a shocker…I didn’t know much about the disease and I was scared…but I was also glad to know what was behind our infertility. God took this rotten time and discovery in our lives to introduce us to some wonderful people who inspired  us with their stories of infertility and both successful and unsuccessful outcomes, and He led us to where we needed to be – not to another doctor (although we found an awesome one – finally!) but to Him.

Winter Jam 2014 was out of this world amazing, and one of the awesome tidbits we gleaned from it is this: Many times, while singing a powerful song to the Lord, people lift up their arms in praise. As very conservative Catholic Christians, every time Craig and I have been in an event where this happens, I think we feel nervous…and like, maybe if we “participate” we’ll be doing it just to “fit in”… The preacher/speaker at Winter Jam told us this: Lifting up your arms to the Lord is not, and SHOULD not be about show. It is not about fitting in.

When children want to be picked up, what do they do?

How beautiful…It brought me to tears and to a realization of Christ as my true Heavenly Father. I was awestruck at the thought and lifted one arm up to the Lord, praying, “Please help us. We NEED you.” I didn’t feel embarrassed or out of place or nervous. I felt at home.

Psalm 107:19-21

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.  Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.

Listen to that still, small voice  of God. He will lead you to do incredible things you never imagined. He will lead you into situations that teach you and bless you. Reach out to the Lord, your FATHER, and allow Him to heal you and save you. 
xoxo
Thirsty For Christ Thursday

Psalm 50:15

ThursdayBeing home these past two days has been both wonderfully restful and thought-provoking. Craig & I have certainly enjoyed our ice-in, but we have also been pelted with stories of those who weren’t as lucky in their treks home on Tuesday as we were. People all over the city are still stranded, and while this is horrible, this unique situation in the South has brought some real Christian hearts out of the woodwork. Click on the picture below for a beautiful story about Chick-Fil-A helping the stranded:

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In today’s commerce-driven (and often greed-driven) society, stories like this are so rare, but here is another one from Tuesday evening, as well! Click the image for the full story of this good Samaritan!

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Stories like these are beautiful, and truly show a heart for Christ. They give so much hope, all the while making me feel disappointed that Craig & I didn’t get back out there and help these past couple days. It gives us a challenge to help out as much as we can the rest of 2014 – and beyond.

Being at home, we were able to watch the 700 Club this morning – it’s one of my favorites, and has the ability to really get your head in the right place for the day. Today this verse was shared, and I think it hits home big time right now.

Psalm 50:15

15 Pray to me in time of trouble. I will rescue you, and you will honor me.

What a beautiful verse in times of trouble and always.

xoxo,
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