Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Guest List

"Then the angel said to me: 'Write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" Revelation 19:9 (NIV)

Our daughter is getting married next spring. It's been an exciting month securing the church, the banquet hall, caterer and DJ. Our mouths have watered over the menu choices. We've "oooed and ahhhhed" over cake designs. We've joined in chorus trying to pick out the right songs for "Daddy's Dance", the cutting of the cake and what would accompany her in the throwing of her bouquet. We've pictured the hall all dazzled with lights, flowers, tulle, china and guests dining and dancing the night away.

Ah. The guests. We've got our initial guest list down, too. I hadn't thought much about what it meant to be an invited guest at a wedding when I made up my own guest list twenty-five years ago or when I've attended weddings since. But, being the parent and helping my daughter and future son-in-law create their guest's been an awakening.

The people on your list are those who are most honored to you and the wedding couple. They're the people that mean the most to you, have invested the most, risked the most to be in relationship with you or the couple. It's odd but there's some people you don't even think twice about adding to the guest list. They're those friends or relatives that you spend the most time with, share your lives with, you're close to them. Then there's others you stop and ponder about for a few minutes. They're people you love. You'd be there for each other if needed but you don't necessarily spend a lot of time with them because of time or distance or circumstance. You may have been close at some point in your lives but now, not so much. But, in your heart, they should be honored with an invitation. They do hold a special place in your heart so they become part of the guest list as well.

Jesus has invited us to be an honored guest at His wedding supper. All who confess with their mouth and believe He is the Lord will be an invited guest. In fact we will collectively be His bride. What an honor. What a feast. What a celebration it will be!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Chosen Lady

All women want to be "the chosen lady" who is admired, esteemed, and loved. We long to be noticed, to be loved and told we are beautiful. We work so very hard to look beautiful, to capture the attention of a handsome man so that he might ask us to be his chosen lady.

And low and behold, the years pass by and we find ourselves dedicated to little ones! What an honor, a privilege, a huge responsibility to mother a child. Some of us are fortunate to raise our own flesh and blood; children who were born of ourselves and our husbands. Others are also fortunate to have a huge heart and not only parent their own natural children but adopt children from another country as well.

I know of such a woman down south who's opened up her heart to adopt Ethiopian children..three to be exact. This goes beyond my expectations of being a mother. It redefines motherhood for me. It's hard enough to raise your natural children in the midst of all the unexpected events called life but reassuringly you know they're similar in emotional and physical make up as you and your husband. But, raising someone you don't have an inkling about emotionally or culturally is WOW love. It calls for major unconditional love that comes from somewhere other than yourself. It comes from the Creator.

I am following this growing family via the mother's blog. I am inspired to know the difficulties she has encountered and to see the strength God has instilled in her that goes beyond explanation. I see the faces of these children simply beaming with joy to be in her arms, to be with a family and to know they are safe. I see the love they've been given by her and her husband and marvel how much it speaks in their faces.

She truly is "The Chosen Lady" in many respects. She came to my mind today as I read 2 John today. John addresses this second letter to "the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth-and not I only, but all who know the truth..." Why did John address her (or the church figuratively) as the chosen lady? Because she (or this church) was living as one who obeyed God's command by walking in love. It was all over her. She loved her children and they reflected that love by loving in return.

I know my friend is loved in return. It's written all over her children's faces. And, they in turn will love others as she has shown them. I know it is her desire that her Ethiopian children will return to their country, full of her love but most importantly filled with the love of Christ and pour out that love to their own people. It will happen. She is God's chosen lady for these children. I'm privileged to watch from a distance and marvel at God's grace and mercy through her.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wisdom For the Asking

Wisdom comes with age they say but I think wisdom comes from asking.

It seemed that from the time my babies were newborns to age five life was slow paced, boring at times. There was a daily routine consisting of food, clean, dry clothes, playtime, baths, bedtime stories and sleeping. And, that didn't change much except when there was a holiday or vacation. Their needs were simple. Their curiosity satisfied with my mommy wisdom (anything tough was passed onto the one with daddy wisdom).

Then they started school. Their routines and needs changed. Their curiosities heightened with new found friends, experiences, teachers. My mommy wisdom (and daddy wisdom) were stretched. Teacher wisdom sometimes won them over more convincingly than mine. They began to form their own opinions and beliefs and challenge mine.

Somewhere between kindergarten and the end of ninth grade I realized my opinion, my mommy wisdom was being challenged quite regularly. They were no longer satisfied with the "because I said so" reasoning nor did they look up to me as infallible. In fact my wisdom was counted as a loss on their scales.

But, a funny thing happened on their way past graduation. Life.

(Now, I'll stop here to say that this is not your typical "when your kids turn 21 they think you know everything again" article).

Life has a funny way of pulling you into reality...quickly...breath-takingly quickly, at times. One day I'm their mommy changing diapers and the next minute I'm helping them buy their first car, helping them try on their wedding gown, move into their first apartment, and suddenly I'm rocking their baby to sleep. My children are still asking me questions, but now they're questions that I'm still struggling to find the answers to myself! Where's the wisdom? What do I know? How can I possibly help them through life?

It's been a week of "life happ'ning" around here. It's been overwhelming at times. Anxiety has tried to sneak in. Wisdom feels lost. I sit in quiet for a few moments wrapped in my favorite afghan. (Thank you sweet hubby for those moments)! I cried a bit, prayed a lot and asked for His wisdom.

James 1:5 puts it this way, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (NIV)

Life cannot be done alone. No one has all the answers. But, we can know the source of all things and ask God to give us his wisdom. James promises that He will give wisdom generously to everyone who strings attached.

Thank you, God for being generous with your wisdom...beyond my abilities, for wisdom for my children beyond their years.