If you're panicking (ha!) because you think I've forgotten to do #81-100, not to worry. I'm going to finish that either tomorrow or Monday. I just have a few things to get off my chest.
I changed to New Blogger last night, so now many of your comments are "anonymous." That made me a bit sad when I discovered it. Change is hard, no matter how necessary. There is always that uncomfortable adjustment period.
Speaking of change, Monday is the first day of my new schedule, working mornings every day instead of 2 whole days and a half day. Kristen posted the "cons" of the new arrangement in a recent post. I have discovered a few myself, but know that we'll all adjust. I realized, after I had made my case to my co-workers and they agreed to the change, that there are many things I had adjusted in my old schedule that now will not work with the new. Oh, dear! More adjusting ahead. One thing I'll really miss on the home front is taking the girls to library story time every other Friday, then stopping at KFC for a bit of lunch. That has become a real routine for us. But I'm glad Kristen gets to now take them to the library.
"If at first you don't succeed, you're running about average."- Author Unknown
This quote was in my e-mails this morning. I thought it was appropriate for my week. You may have noticed that I didn't post my weight loss ticker this morning. That's because I'm not weighing this week. I really messed up this week - 3 weeks forward, 1 week back. I am considering it a blip on the screen and will go forward from this moment on.
There is a bit of light snow on top of the ugliness again this morning - that is 6 week-ends in a row. I don't think we'll ever have two lanes on our residential streets until June. It makes picking up the kids from school and parking on the street for church (since we don't have enough parking lot space) very difficult, let's say impossible.
I keep thinking about the snow covering up the ugliness every week-end this winter. It looks beautiful and pure for a day or so, then it begins to melt and turns muddy and ugly again. It's kind of like our lives if we just live for Jesus on the surface. We may look good and clean and pure for awhile, but the ugliness inevitably shows up again when melt-down occurs.
Psalm 51:6-8 from The Message says:
Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean, scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life. Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. Don't look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don't throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home. Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways. Unbutton my lips, dear God; I'll let loose with your praise.
I love that phrase asking God to "breathe holiness in me." God doesn't just cover up the ugliness - He soaks us, scrubs us, cleans us from the inside out if we allow Him to.
There has been a lot of complaining about the really cold winter and the unusual amount of snow this year. We seem to forget that we have complained for the last 4-5 years about the drought. God must just shake his head. I was walking down the sidewalk toward the Dollar Store the other Saturday morning when a little older-than-me lady was coming across the parking lot. She hollered, "Do you think we'll ever see green again?" I imagine she'd just moved here from someplace like California and hadn't experienced one of these occasionally hard winters before. I said, "Oh, yes, and it's going to be incredibly green because of all of this moisture!"
Psalm 55:8 seems to sum it up very well.
"I don't think the way you think. The way you work isn't the way I work." God's Decree. "For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think. Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don't go back until they've watered the earth, doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, so will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They'll do the work I sent them to do, they'll complete the assignment I gave them."
I have to keep reminding myself of this as well, as I almost slide under my car on the built-up ice in the parking lots.
Have a blessed week-end! Take notes on your pastor's sermon - it will stick with you longer!