What is "Building A House"?

"Building A House" is a blog about my journey back to God. The name comes from Proverbs 24:3-4 (The Message), "It takes wisdom to build a house, and understanding to set it on a firm foundation; it takes knowledge to furnish its rooms with fine furniture and beautiful draperies."

No, this isn't going to be a blog about making my house look pretty - at least not pretty on the OUTSIDE. But, I'm going to be working on getting my house
"pretty" on the SPIRITUAL side. I'm coming back from a pretty dark place in my life after losing 8 babies to miscarriage. This blog is about my journey back
to the Lord.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Psalm 89:29-34

"I'll guarantee his family tree
and underwrite his rule.
If his children refuse to do what I tell them,
if they refuse to walk in the way I show them,
If they spit on the directions I give them
and tear up the rules I post for them - 
I'll rub their faces in the dirt of their rebellion
and make them face the music.
But I'll never throw them out,
never abandon or disown them."
Psalm 89:29-34 (The Message)

What a comforting passage! I know this was written and it was talking about David, but I believe this promise of God to "never abandon or disown them" is also meant for us. If we have accepted Christ and truly believe that he died and rose again for the payment of our sins, then God's love is with us forever. Truly, His love for us is with us even before we accept Christ, but we have to accept his love - through Jesus Christ - in order for us to KNOW his love for us. 

It is my prayer that all those in my life come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I can't force it on anyone, but I can definitely pray for them! And I do, every day. I want my friends and loved ones who don't know the freedom that comes from having a relationship with the Lord to find that freedom. I've talked about God with so many of my friends who aren't Christian and so many of them feel that God is an angry, judgmental God when he isn't! Yes, he gets angry AT sin, but he doesn't hate the sinner! He loves the sinner and his heart aches when we refuse to follow his direction. 

If you're a parent you know what I'm talking about. You love your child no.matter.what. Do you always love their behavior? NO WAY! I can honestly say that when any one of my children blatantly and willfully rebels against us, I hate it. It breaks my heart! I literally ache for the decision that they are making at that moment. Why? Because I know when they willfully choose to rebel, they are choosing to remove themselves from God's grace. I'm still there, waiting for them to turn back to me, but oh, how my heart aches at their disobedience! 

God is the same way. He WILL allow us to "face the music" of our actions,  but will he discard us when we sin? No way! He will be there, waiting with open arms, for us to come back to him. And he will celebrate when we do. Oh, how I wish I could get certain people in my life to understand this! I think their lives would be so much richer and meaningful if they did! So, I continue to pray, trusting that seeds are planted by my words and actions and hoping that they allow the Holy Spirit to water their souls so they can blossom into beautiful children of God!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Proverbs 9:6

" Leave your impoverished confusion and live!
Walk up the street to a life with meaning!" 
Proverbs 9:6 (The Message)

Before I begin, I want to define some of the words in this verse:

Leave:  to go away from; to terminate association with

Impoverish: to deprive of strength, richness, or fertility by depleting or draining of something essential

Confused: disoriented with regard to one's sense of time, place, or identity

Live:  to attain eternal life; to be thoroughly absorbed by or involved with

Walk:  to pursue a course of action or way of life; to be or act in association : continue in union

Street:  an environment 

Life:  the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual

Meaning: significant quality; especially : implication of a hidden or special significance

Significance:  the quality of being important

Do you ever feel jealous of other people? If the person you're feeling jealous of isn't a Christian what do they really have that you need to feel jealous of? Sure, they may have lots of stuff. Their houses may be gorgeous. They may have the best cars, a big boat, or expensive jewelry. But, do they have what's truly important in life - salvation? If not, they deserve our pity, not our desire. 

The verse I chose to use today tells us that we are to terminate association with a life that is deprived of something essential. A life that isn't sure of it's identity. When we don't have Christ in our hearts, our lives are missing something extremely essential - even if our homes are filled with beautiful things. We can't be sure of our own identities because we don't know the One who identifies us. And we're lacking the true strength that we need to even face our lives!

To live isn't just simply to be alive - to be breathing air. In this verse, Lady Wisdom is inviting us to have eternal life and to be thoroughly absorbed with Wisdom. With God. We can have all the beautiful things in the world, but if we don't have God's Wisdom, what good will it do us? We can't take it with us into the next world! It just becomes junk that our children have to deal with once we're gone. (Not to mention how obsessed we can become with the stuff we have - kids want to play in the house? Oh - they better not or they might break the big-screen TV! And we HAVE a big screen TV, so I'm not just picking on people here. I'm speaking of myself as well. I have to remind myself that it's better for my kids to create memories of playing in the house than of constantly being told not to break anything?)

I digress...

God wants us to be absorbed with Him. He wants us to make Him a part of our existent whole. He doesn't just want us on Sunday mornings. Or at our small groups during the week. He wants to be absorbed into us. Do you get that? Do you truly get that? (I know I don't most of the time!) God wants us to pursue a way of life where we are in union with Him. He wants us to have a life of meaning and significance. All the gold in the world won't give us that! And He doesn't just want us to have a life of significance - He wants us to have special significance! He designed us to have a particular purpose. That purpose does not entail racking up the dough or stuffing our garages full of things. His purpose for each one of us is to know Him and then to tell others about Him, hopefully leading them into their own life of significance in Christ. 

Having a nice car, a beautiful house, or the best gadgets doesn't give us significance. Only Christ Jesus can do that. So, if you're a believer of Christ, then know that your life is significant! You have a greater purpose and the relationship you build with Him will give you such immense blessings in Heaven that all this earthly stuff won't even matter. 

Now to get myself to believe that when I see a flashy boat skimming across the water while mine sits broken in our garage...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Psalm 88:13

"I'm standing my ground, God, shouting for help,
at my prayers every morning, on my knees each daybreak."
Psalm 88:13 (The Message)

Wow. This just convicted me in a mighty way! I keep whining about how things are going in my family, but have I really prayed like *this*? No, I haven't. Oh, I've prayed all right! But, not in a very consistent fashion. I'll pray for my family one day, sometimes many times a day, but then I'll miss a few days until I'm left wondering why things feel like they're falling apart. 

I love the picture this brings to my mind. Satan tries to make me give up. He attacks - and he attacks hard! But, I need to stand my ground against him, knowing that God wins in the end. And I can be loud about asking for God's help. I don't have to go sit in my room and whisper my prayer or even just think it in my mind. I can be bold. I can shout. I can scream if I need to. But, I need to be praying! 

So, if you read this and feel led to do so - please hold me accountable. If you hear me venting about things, or you see me being especially whiny, ask me gently, "Have you prayed for your family lately?" Don't get on my case if I haven't or try to shame me, just gently and lovingly remind me to that before I say another word - or type another letter. Thank you! :-)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Psalm 86:15-17

"But you, O God, are both tender and kind,
not easily angered, immense in love,
and you never, never quit.
So look me in the eye and show kindness,
give your servant the strength to go on,
save your dear, dear child!
Make a show of how much you love me
so the bullies who hate me will stand there slack-jawed,
As you, God, gently and powerfully
put me back on my feet."
Psalm 86:15-17 (The Message)

I haven't blogged in awhile. I've been reading God's word, but nothing has really jumped out at me. Tonight, as I was reading Psalms, this passage struck me. 

Things here have been a bit crazy. Ok, so to be honest, I have felt pretty hopeless when it comes to my relationship with one of my children. I am weary. So, very weary. And the question has been coming to mind, "What was God thinking by calling us to this journey?!?!" 

Then, I read this passage and I was reminded, again, that God will NEVER quit on us. He called us to this adoption journey and he won't quit on us. He will give me the strength I need to go on. He will save his dear child - and I'm not thinking of myself when I read that line. God will gently and powerfully put us all back on our feet! 

And knowing this gives me the strength to keep trying despite my wondering why I even bother sometimes. I bother because I know I'm not in this alone. I know God is with me and I know that his immense love - which is indeed, tender and kind, will get us to the finish line. He doesn't just want us to survive the next few years together - he wants our years together to be filled with abundant love. 

So, if he won't quit, neither will I. I'm just so thankful that on the days where I just can't do it anymore, he will place me back on my feet and give me strength. Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Psalm 82:11-13

"But my people didn't listen,
Israel paid no attention;
So I let go of the reins and told them, 'Run!
Do it your own way!'

"Oh, dear people, will you listen to me now?
Israel, will you follow my map?"
Psalm 82:11-14 (The Message)

This is one of the many things I love about God. He doesn't force us to obey him. He gave us "free-will". We can choose to follow his map for our lives or we can choose to go our own way. But, if we make the choice to go our own way, we darn well better not accuse him of wrong-doing if our way falls apart! Which it almost always will.

I went through a pretty dark period in my life where I literally told God to get his hands off of my life and leave me alone. He did. I can picture him now, taking a hands-off approach with such sadness in his eyes - knowing what pain was awaiting me. And boy! Did I go through some pain! My heart became bitter and dark. I wanted to spit when I heard praise music. I wanted to throw my Bible across the room whenever I saw it. I sat in church and went through the motions all the while accusing God of hypocrisy.

Do you see the amazing thing about this particular passage of Scripture? God let the reins go and allowed the Israelites to go their own way. And after they totally messed it all up, did he tell them he was staying away? Did he condemn them to a horrible life for their sin? No! He called them his "dear people" and asked them to follow him again. In fact, when I read this, I almost hear a sense of pleading in his tone. He was pleading with his people to come back to him! In fact, if you keep reading the rest of this Psalm, you'll see God telling the Israelites he'll take care of their enemies and give the Israelites a feast. 

He'll do that with us as well. If you've had enough of trying to live life on your terms, why don't you come back to the One who can make everything right in your life? The weight can be removed from your shoulders and you can have peace. All it takes is confessing your desire to do life on your terms and asking God to take the reins again. He will. And he will celebrate with you upon your return!

2 Kings 1:3

"...Is there no God in Israel? 
Why are you going to Baal-zebub,
the god of Ekron, 
to ask whether he (King Ahaziah) will recover?"
2 Kings 1:3 (NLT)

This verse is being spoken to King Ahaziah after he fell off a balcony in his home. He sent his messengers to consult Baal-Zebub rather than have them consult God. For consulting a false God rather than the One true God, Ahaziah never again left his bed until the day he died. 

What does that have to do with us today? I think it has a lot to do with us! How often do we seek other people's advice before going to the Lord for direction? If you're anything like me - you almost always go to others first. This has convicted me that from now on, I go to God first. 

Does this mean I can never seek the counsel of anyone else? Absolutely not! God can use other people to direct us in his ways, just as he used prophets in Biblical days. I have some very wise people in my life and I know they would lead me down God's path. But, sometimes I rely on those people too much. Sometimes I seek their advice, never seeking God's advice. 

So, for me, I'm going to start taking my questions and concerns to the Lord and if I need further direction, then I will seek out the wisdom of my friends. I need to start to rely on God more. He is truly the only One who will never let me down.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Proverbs 20:6, 9

"Lots of people claim to be loyal and loving,
but where on earth can you find one?...
For who among us can be trusted
to be always diligent and honest?"
Proverbs 20:6, 9 (The Message)

Today I was betrayed by someone I had hoped would never betray me. I'm still a bit shell-shocked by it all, but a dear friend reminded me that the only person who will never betray us or break our trust is God. I have a decision to make and it's not an easy one. Do I continue in a relationship with this person or do I walk away? I simply do not know. 

I was so torn earlier today about this. My mind wouldn't stop racing with questions about what to do. What ifs were all over the place in my head. So, I drove up to the top of a mountain near where we live, found a secluded spot, rolled the windows down and spent some time with the Lord. 

I was listening to some music when I looked down and saw a Bible on the floor of the car. So, I got it out and started reading in Psalms. Then, I remembered that I downloaded a Bible app for my phone, so I got that out and searched for verses about betrayal. I read a few of those. I decided I wanted to sing a bit, so I got out my "Until the End of the World" soundtrack CD and listened to one of my favorite songs, "Calling All Angels" by Jane Siberry a few times, singing along with it without a care in the world because I knew no one was around to hear me. (Ok, maybe my singing is why Bigfoot didn't get me as one of my boys always warns me about him when I go off into the woods alone...) I ended my time with purging all my racing thoughts and hurt to the Lord. 

I felt the Lord telling me to just STOP, be still and LISTEN. So, I did. I sat there listening to the wind gently blow through the leaves until I felt the Lord telling me that it was OK. I didn't have to make any decisions right then. I could simply wait. So, that's what I'm doing. I don't know what the future holds for my relationship with this person. But, I do know that the Lord will never forsake me. My trust is in Him - not in human fallibility. And for tonight - that is enough. I'm simply going to basque in the peace the Lord has filled me with and rest.