Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hoarded Resources and Cracked Pots

The finished product. Move over Panera!
potato soup
As I sit here preparing to blog the background noise includes the sounds of kids playing (nicely for once=)), the dishwasher running, and The Four Seasons, I Can't Take My Eyes Off of You. My favorite Pandora stations are Motown, Leahy, and the Beach Boys. I find that Beach Boys radio is a great blend to cook and clean to. To say nothing of dancing to.=) The kids love b-bopping to tunes and words that are now very familiar to them. Ethan's favorite is Don't Know Much About Anything. He occasionally asks me what some of the terms mean. Sociology, theology, biology...and whatever other "ologies" that we add for fun. Brian Marcus likes American Pie. I like Bar-Bar-Bar-Barbara Ann.=) Meredith and Elsie seem to like them all.
But some times the Beach Boys is not where its at. Like when you feel empty, or in a hole that you can't climb out of. Then I turn to the hymns. What a rich heritage we have at our fingertips! If you think about it, our hymnbooks are filled with centuries of Christians' lofty thoughts about God. They are filled with encouragement that they experienced when they were discouraged. They are full of praise and prayers. These Christians' testimony to God's faithfulness, put in a much more poetical way than I could ever frame up myself.
Yesterday, I was feeling rather bogged down with paperwork and planning for our trip to TX tomorrow.  We are paying astronomical rates on our insurances, and the rates just keep going up. We would be rich if we weren't pouring money down this rabbit hole. I'm not kidding. Anyway, we are shopping around, and I had to find papers, and fax papers, and copy papers. It took way more time and energy than I had yesterday. Then I had Bible Club yesterday, and I felt so empty. Like, I just can't do this. And this was God's answer to me.

But though I can not sing, or tell, or know, the fullness of thy love while here below
My empty vessel I may freely bring, O Thou, who art of love the living spring
My Vessel fill.

Then fill me, O my Savior, with Thy love. Lead, lead me to the living fount above:
Thither may I in simple faith draw nigh, and never to another fountain fly,
But unto Thee.

Mary Skeleton wanted to be filled, just like me. Same desire, same need. And thankfully, the same God. Or how about, He Giveth More Grace? This is a somewhat newer hymn, written in the 1900s. Annie Johnson Flint lost her parents when she was just 6 years old. She was adopted. She developed arthritis when she was a teenager. She wrote her own poetry and music for her poems, but as she got older she couldn't hold a pen anymore, so she would type out her poems on a typewrite using her knuckles. This lady knew God's grace. Its abundance and sufficiency in trials. She wrote...
the bread bowls

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase.
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted the end of our store of endurance,
when our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
when we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
The Father's full giving has only begun.

His love has no limit; His grace has no measure; His power has no boundaries known unto men.
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

That "hoarded resources" is such a rebuke to me. Oftentimes I give out of my own strength. I CAN DO THIS. But then I hit those times when I clearly can't. When it has to be all God, because I have nothing. I have been holding on to my time, resources, money, strength. And then its just gone. And God gives. He fills. Despite my failures. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. He can't fill me when I am full of myself. I am so glad God is so patient with me. I can make choices. To strive for excellence, not perfection-in myself or my family. To hold my baby, and cherish this too short stage of her life. To not try to be all things for everyone, or superwoman. To blog, and not dust. (I'm leaving tomorrow, so who is going to see?) To let the glory, power and grace of God shine out of this cracked pot. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (2 Cor.4:7)

table set for company

He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.