miLey cyRus teLLs tHe trUth!

The memory is a clear one; in the summer of 2008, we purchased an above ground pool from Craigslist,  for $500-a fraction of the original $3,500 price.  We knew early on that year-that we wouldn’t be taking a vacation because of my pending surgery, Jena’s job and the extra time & money we’d be putting into my parents’ 50th anniversary shindig.  Though we only used it for one summer (we moved here the following March) we sold it for the same price we paid-to a family with 4 kids who were as thrilled to find it as I was.

Ahh…the first time I heard THE CLIMB, I was lying on my float with the sun beaming on my face, not expecting GOD to speak words of wisdom to my heart that afternoon. When the song ended-I dunked my head off the side of the float to swish the tears. Who sings that? Can I put it on my laptop and my Ipod?

Jena: It’s from the Hannah Montana movie Hans (best friend, Hannah) & I watched last week. Remember, you came upstairs to see why we were stomping so loudly? It’s true; my twenty-something year old girls reached the expert level of HOEDOWN THROWDOWN. They even offered to teach me. Uh, you don’t need to know whether I do or DO NOT know the HOEDOWN THROWDOWN..pu lease! This is a serious blog!

BTW-the movie is quite good-too bad that the moral of the story hasn’t resounded nearly enough in Miley’s real family’s life because she’s a talented young woman whose career could’ve been one of longevity (at her age, still can be if she & her ADULT PARENTS will get their ACT together). SORRY, Hannah Montana/Miley haters-yes, I saw the bong photos and read about the wild parties. If I had a ten year old, NO-I wouldn’t want her patterning her life after MILEY at the moment. All I’m saying is-she’s got a great voice & is a competent actress. Did you see THE LAST SONG? Her role as Ronni was stellar. But, who cares what I think, right?

THE CLIMB has become one of my life coach songs. I’m a perfection seeking overachiever who intentionally purposes herself to take notice of the little moments that pave the pathway to anticipated destinations. I’m smart enough to know how DUMB it is for me to be overly preoccupied with oncoming joy. It robs me of small, but nonetheless, immediate happy moments.

I’ve finally labeled a long time personality traitI’m a joy chaser. Does this sound slightly familiar? I don’t have it right this minute, but if can reach the next phase & when I finish the next level & as soon as the kids are out of school & whenever we buy a house. I don’t want to be a joy chaser anymore so I’m remodeling  from the inside out. On the surface, that statement sounds un-spiritual, I mean, shouldn’t a pastor’s wife endorse getting JOY! The BIBLE says to seek joy, spread our babies JOY? *wink-wink* 🙂

My concern is-I become obsessed with hopes of the big joy that comes with reaching a specific goal or destination. That’d be okay except that it usually comes at the expense of smaller bits of joy tucked here and there throughout the journey. I’m terrible about this-so I’m trying to undo fifty years of what comes natural-in favor of what-for me-takes hard work.

This is typical Lis-by the time I reach a goal, I’ve already got another one to focus on-definitely not a stop & smell the roses type. Example-I’m an avid jigsaw puzzle geek..rarely will you visit when there’s not 1,000 pieces on the dining table. It amazes my Chipper that I’ll spend all that time working to complete it-but as soon as I put that last last piece in, I TEAR it up. THAT-tears him-up! He’ll ask-Don’t you want to admire it for a while? My responseBut why? It’s finished! Let’s go to Walmart, so I can start a new one!

The older I get, the more I’m striving to RECOGNIZE & SAVOR happy times that I encounter on the day to day scale because many of my destinations have proven to be just that –my destinations. Proverbs 16:9-we plan our ways in our hearts-but GOD directs our steps. A complex thought if we believe that GOD grants the desires of our hearts. The key to that happening ONLY comes after we’ve  learned how to seek for what GOD wants-not what we want. I DIE daily-I DECREASE for HIM to INCREASE.

What I thought my life would look like looks NOTHING like what I see now, but, I’m fine with that, because I know that I’m where I’m supposed to be. I’m glad that Chipper & I stopped telling GOD what our boundaries were years ago. Let me share a precept that will save you time and suffering if you’ll take my word for it. I know firsthand that being too deeply rooted in your goals & agendas will sprout stubbornness. When that happens, it’s more difficult to SEE, HEAR & FOLLOW HIM if you’ve got your entire life set in stone.

Nobody wants to admit that they’ve boxed GOD in-but, our actions speak volumes and I feel like someone needs to say it candidly. When we are so set in our own ways, GOD isn’t at liberty to work FREELY & UNCONDITIONALLY. (HE gives us free will to do our own thing if we choose to do). I don’t ever want to say anything that I can’t back up with scripture. These words spoken by JESUS led my Chipper and me to see that COMPLETE surrender is a major component of being successful in the kingdom of GOD. Matthew 8:18-23- When Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. Then a scribe said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” Jesus said to him-Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head. Another disciple said, Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said to him, ” Follow Me and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”

Why would JESUS answer the question that way? BECAUSE IT WAS AN EXCUSE…it didn’t mean that the guy didn’t want to do what JESUS was asking him to do-BUT-he wanted to add some stipulations to the deal. JESUS was explicitly clear on what HE thought about the man’s half-hearted pledge of devotion. I’ll use a personal circumstance to define. When we announced that we were going to New Zealand, a few folks wondered out loud how we could leave our families, move our kids so far away from their school friends and most of all their aging grandparents. In fact, one of them asked me point blank how we could do that-as if-that– was something malicious or bad. Thankfully, I didn’t have to come up with an explanation because JESUS had it answered for me already. You want to know why it’s beneficial to LEARN the WORD..not just read it? Because when you learn it, it enables the HOLY SPIRIT to bring the WORD to your thoughts when you need an answer. Luke 14:26 says- If anyone comes to me & doesn’t hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. I responded boldly.

The next thing that person said was..but, the BIBLE also says that we’re supposed to honor our mother and father.

Jesus used strong language to explain the cost of discipleship. We must be willing to sacrifice everything if that’s what our FATHER requests. For most of us, family ties are probably the hardest thing to let go of-wouldn’t you agree? It wasn’t easy to leave America, but, I don’t think I could’ve honored my very godly father and mother any more than I did by leaving THEM to follow HIM. And, it goes both ways-as painful as it was for them to see their daughter, son in law & first two grandkids move 10,000 miles away, they never asked us not to go because they understood that GOD was requiring sacrifice on their part-just as HE was requiring from us. Look, it’s possible to be a Christian & say NO to GOD.  But, if we expect to discover our full potential in CHRIST, we must be willing to love HIM more than our family or life’s perfect scenarios.

THAT destination that you’re working hard to reach may be nothing more than a figment of your imagination. We don’t know what the future holds for our lives and what we want or expect to occur-may never  come to fruition. We’d be much wiser to  learn how to celebrate the journey while we’re traveling.

For instance, we plan something based on-after the kids grow up. But, what if the kids are never meant to grow up? I acknowledge that it’s a bit morbid for me to suggest-but doesn’t it seem more sensible to enjoy every second of having young children in the event that there may never be a time of-when the kids grow up and move out…

A few days after I heard Miley’s song, my sweet girl bought me a prize. These LIVE LOVE LAUGH pumpkins sit in my kitchen and remind me constantly that-the joy that I’m anticipating to happen later doesn’t have to overshadow the joy GOD has blessed me with today. The song says-It ain’t about how fast I get there-it ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side-it’s THE CLIMB. In other words, appreciate my life journey & be content with what God gives along the way.

If you’ve never heard the song-you’ll be inspired and if you have heard it, listen again. It never hurts to be reminded to LIVE LIFE in the NOW!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jena
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 21:10:44

    I think this was my favorite blog yet Mommy 🙂 so beautifully written! I’m so proud of you! Love you 7 🙂


  2. Connie Jordan
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 10:15:49

    This is the first of your blogs that I actually read the whole thing. I usually just skim the surface looking for the “meat of the story”. But, you are so right. We can’t set boundaries where God is concerned, then we box ourselves in and He can’t let us freely do His work among His people.


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