Friday, February 20, 2009


My fingers glided over my harp strings as I attempted to learn a new song. I was making good progress when I began noticing that my fingers were growing sore. Determined to practice a certain length of time, I ignored the warning signs and continued practicing. Soon, my ring finger on each hand had a slight burning sensation. Glancing down, I noticed that each sported a rather large blood blister--the most painful kind. See these lovely blisters caused my sense of determination to wane, and I gave in, and discontinued my practicing for the day.

Then, today, as I again practiced on the not yet healed blisters (and they still hurt), I was reminded of the vicious cycle of blisters and the spiritual analogy they illustrate. Eventually, as I continue practicing and playing on these blisters and sore fingers, my fingertips will grow calloused, hardened, and insensitive to the friction caused by the continued plucking of the harp strings--thus allowing me to play as long as I want without the painful swelling filled with liquid that prevents me from enjoying my playing.

Just as my fingers can become hardened through constant rubbing or friction, so my heart can become calloused to the Holy Spirit when I fail to obey His promptings. As I ignore the searching and promptings of God's Spirit, friction results, and my heart begins to callous. Soon, my heart becomes hardened and I no longer hear the Spirit's voice nor heed His warnings. I also will lose my capacity to feel and understand the hurts or needs of others, and I am more likely to hurt them through my words and/or actions.

A callus can be softened and the skin's sensitivity can be restored by removing the cause of friction and the layers of softened skin. For example, not playing the harp for a month because you're planning a wedding (and then for another few weeks because you're recovering from a wedding) sufficiently removes the cause of friction. Thus, my fingers have lost their calluses, and are once again sensitive (something I'm trying to change...because unlike my heart, my fingers do need those calluses).

In the same way my calloused heart can become sensitive again by confessing sin, and immediately obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit. So, I am asking myself, "What blisters do I have? What wrong attitudes or thoughts do I have that I feel guilty about?" When I feel guilt because of a wrong attitude, that is a spiritual blister--a warning sign from the Lord that if I don't remove the source of friction, my heart will soon fail to heed Him altogether.

May the Lord help me always to detect spiritual blisters--even before they have fully formed--so that I may more aptly follow Him and heed His voice.

Anyway, that was just a spiritual insight I thought I'd give for the day. :-)


Thursday, February 19, 2009

47 days of married life--and still loving it!

Well, I have gone longer than I intended without writing another update for my blog. Due to the lateness of the hour, I shall just briefly cover a few things.

Nothing "earth shattering" has happened since I last wrote--at least to me (my brother probably would not agree with me, but I'll get to that later). Life has rather settled down on my part. I have fallen into a joyous routine of house cleaning, practicing, and cooking meals for my husband. There is something so contenting about my current life. It seems as if it was just made for me. In the role of housewife, I have found a fulfillment I never dreamed I could have.

But, upon reflection, this does not surprise me. When God made woman, He made her to be a helpmeet for man. Therefore, I should feel the most content when I am fulfilling that role. Truly, one of my new purposes/goals in life is to follow the instruction of Paul in Titus 2:5, that women should be "discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." I hope and pray that I can engraft that Scripture into my life, so that I not only will honor God, but that I will be crown to my husband instead of "rottenness in his bones" (Prov. 12:4).

I am so grateful that God can take the ugly and make it beautiful. At times, I feel so ugly inside and out. Wrong attitudes overtake me often, and I oftentimes feel sinful (this is not a recent development, by the way...but a long time observation that has been hitting home lately through my Bible studies). I wonder, "How can God love me like this? How can Donald love me like this?" Donald keeps telling me I'm the most beautiful person he has ever known. When he says that, I just smile and say, "You're so sweet." But inwardly, I wonder if he is blind or something... (course, they do say love is blind...)

In reading Isaiah recently, I was reminded where true beauty begins. The nation of Israel was a sinful, wicked nation--ugly inside and out. They turned their backs on God and rejected His ways time and time again--yet God still loved them. Over and over again in Isaiah God calls for repentance, is ignored and rejected, and then He tells them of the judgment to come--but always follows it with promises of mercy and restoration.

In one such chapter, God says that a day is coming when He will "be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of His people." Then, the authors of Psalms repeatedly tell us to "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." Holiness is beautiful...God is holy...therefore God is beautiful. He is a diadem of beauty, crowning His children. I have Christ in me--the hope of glory. Therefore, when the Father looks at me, He sees beautiful perfection, because Christ is in me, and I am in Christ--He covers me with Himself, and crowns me as with "a crown of glory" and a "diadem of beauty."

Then, Isaiah also states, "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." What a precious truth and promise! Thus, when my husband tells me I'm beautiful, I smile, knowing that it is not me who is beautiful (for in my flesh there dwells no good thing), but Christ Who lives within. All the glory for who I am or ever hope to become belongs to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. All the glory belongs to Him both now and ever more.

Now, on the less serious side of things, I'll give a quick run down of recent events. Up until last week, life continued on a pretty normal scale (if you call being a newlywed normal...). Then, last week, my husband and I traveled down to San Antonio with his family for a vacation. We left on Tuesday and returned on Sunday. It was a wonderful trip! Almost like a second honeymoon for the two of us--except better, as Donald was not sick this time, and we could enjoy ourselves more. We saw lots of historical places, spent lots of time walking the River Walk, went swimming several different times (whenever the pool was empty of other people), and had much time with each other. It was very refreshing, and I felt very loved and cherished throughout the whole week.

On Valentine's day, he took me to the Tower of Americas there in San Antonio, and we ate dinner at the restaurant there in the tower called the Chart House (the restaurant spins around while you eat so that you get a good view of the whole area for miles and miles). It was very romantic, and made for a very wonderful evening. Then, after we'd descended the elevator, and I was looking around the gift shop, Donald snuck off and bought me a rose, and then came and presented it to me. It was so sweet, as I love roses, and it just topped off my incredible evening. :-)

Then, on Sunday (the 15th), we left San Antonio that morning, drove five hours back home, and got here just in time to change clothes and then head to the Valentine's Banquet at our church--a 45 minute drive away. That is where the "earth shattering" event happened for my brother. That night at the banquet, he asked a young lady (whom we've known for many years) to court him--and she said yes. So, my dear brother is currently in "La La Land," and my sisters all tell me he is much worse than I ever was (and he told me when I was courting that he would never be mushy--haha). So, it shall be quite interesting to watch this new development in my brother's life. Poor guy...I don't think he quite knows what hit him yet. *chuckle*

This week, I returned to the cooking, cleaning, practicing routine...something that I don't think I'll get tired of for quite a while. I am having so much fun keeping house, and having a nice home and meal for my husband to come home to each evening! I know I said this earlier, but it's so fulfilling!

God has been so abundantly gracious in giving me the man I have for a husband. He is so kind, tender, patient, understanding, and serving. And I am definitely convinced that of all the men in the world, Donald is the only perfect match for me, and I love him soooo much--and more and more with each passing day. How good God was to lead and guide us to each other!

Anyway, on that note, I think I shall conclude this post, as the hour isn't growing any earlier, and I think I hear my pillow calling my name. Until next time, my dear friends, may the Lord bless you abundantly with His precious fellowship!