- We've been thankful to tag a family trip to DC this week onto a business conference Doug had last week. Pictures will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead... but it's been great to see our kids experience this historic city for the first time. We were able to visit the White House, Washington Monument, Ford's Theater, National Gallery of Art, the Capitol building, National Air & Space Museum, Bureau of Engraving & Printing, Museum of Natural History, the National Zoo, and a good portion of the monuments here, and meet our Congressman & my old boss (who had no idea we had 5 children & was completely shell-shocked!). Whew! We're tired, but it was a great trip. I'm glad these venues are all free, cause the roach-coach-hot-dogs, meals, and metro rides were not! :)
- Speaking of the visit with my old boss, he commented how patient I must be, to have five children, because his wife gets exhausted just trying to cook for him & their two children. He mentioned that one of them will want waffles, one will want pancakes, another wants eggs, etc... and she gets so frustrated. I laughed and told him, actually, I'm less patient than she is. I'm no short-order-cook. I make the food, they eat it, and unless there's a genuine dislike for something (proven over several tries) or an allergy, we all eat what we get cheerfully. It's interesting, sometimes, to see the misperceptions people have of us based on partial information.
- I totally forgot how far it is between monuments/memorials. Before 2 days ago, I've never done it with children (and I did it alone, with four children--What was I thinking?!), and so I grossly underestimated how long it would take to walk from the Washington to the Lincoln, through the Korean, (past the place where they're building a memorial for Martin Luther King, Jr. - very exciting!), over to the Jefferson. Moving right along...
- I spotted Minnie Driver in the White House. While we were on our tour, they suddenly put out some ropes and she and about 6 or 8 other people scurried across the hallway into the rooms that we were only allowed to peer into from the doorway. Pretty fancy stuff, being a celebrity. It was shocking to me to notice how much celebrity interest is instilled in my soul... I've only ever seen one movie with Minnie Driver in it (Return to Me), and while I really do like that movie, I have no other connection with Ms. Driver, as a human being. Why was I so enthralled with and impressed by just the presence of a celebrity?
- Last Sunday, we were able to visit Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD, and completely loved it. They are currently going through a bit of a challenging time as a congregation, but it was wonderful to hear and see the Body of Christ working through a difficult time with great theological depth and a commitment to truth from God's Word. We enjoyed worshiping with such great joy and intensity, and reconnecting with some friends there.
- I can't tell you how much God has refreshed my spirit in these last few weeks. It has been so good to go deep in God's Word again, not with a goal of INFORMATION, but instead approaching it with an eye toward TRANSFORMATION. As I thought through growth as a believer, this model of how we grow and change as believers was very helpful. These ideas really resonated with the current condition of my heart:
"Stage 4 is "the journey inward" - "a deep and very personal inward journey" that "almost always comes as an unsettling experience yet results in healing for those who continue through it". ...The end of stage 4 involves an experience of "the Wall" - "a face-to-face experience with God and with our own will". It is impossible to go over, around, or under the Wall. One can only go through it. ...At the Wall, we become "aware of all the lies we have accepted about ourselves". We are forced to "face the truth" in order to move forward."I'm not saying I fully endorse or agree with everything written, or that every believer follows the same path... but that for me, in this season, these ideas were helpful for really analyzing where I've been as a Christ-follower, and where I am currently, and how God moves in our lives. Perhaps it will help one of you as well.
"...Growth is painful. Ask any person who is currently transitioning between childhood and adolescence and he or she will affirm this wholeheartedly. Growth comes at a price. It involves more than enthusiasm. It involves commitment, determination, and perseverance. Although we may desire to grow rapidly, our awareness of the difficulty involved in the transition from one stage to another should curb our desires to move ahead too quickly."
- On that final note, I have been shocked to see, as I've prayerfully and carefully been examining my heart, life, and practices, how many lies I had unknowingly accepted as true in my life:
- That I was no longer a woman of prayerfulness (As if I couldn't start at any moment!),
- That I had been silent to God too long and had too much to catch up on and wouldn't know where to start (What was I thinking?),
- That I was growing bitter and cynical and perhaps those things were just now a part of my life since I was growing older (What a lie from the enemy, that these things have to stay in my heart & life!), and
- That I could not do anything about these conditions of my heart... that I simply had to live with it. (What a denial of the truth that anything is possible with God!)
It is shocking to see how many things I had adopted as true that simply are not true, and how many things I had believed must just continue on in a dreary way that actually do not have to remain in that state. I pray that God will use this time of growth to bind me closer to Him and give me discernment in the future about the ideas I'm accepting in my heart, about my life, my attitude, myself, and about Him. I pray that next time, He'll help me to be more alert to combat lies like these.
Do you participate in Jenn's "7 Quick Takes"? You should consider it-- it's definitely helpful for getting out random thoughts/experiences. :) Have a great weekend!