Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Good Morning-ish :)
I take a lot of stuff for granted in life... I wake up, eat breakfast, surf the internet on my laptop and chat to friends on facebook. This is my holiday mode by the way, yes I finished grade 11 and am currently enjoying family over from Finland for a few weeks, and sorting through christmas presents =) During the school year I wake up (I'm not a morning person at all so for everyones safety and well being, I usually advise people not to try start a conversation with me before 8am, even then I sometimes tend to be in zombie mode. Super attractive yeah right...) and go to school.
'Sudden Insight Moment' - - Why do I get to do all of this? Why should I get all of this? Ok, I have a good relationship with my parents, so it makes sense that they would give me food, and I studied hard so I should pass the year. You could justify me waking up by me having a healthy lifestyle (I am positive that chocolate is good for you in some ways at least.) and going to sleep at a decent time.
But if you think about it, in the end all those justifications are just excuses. When it comes right down to it, there is no reason that we should have anything we have through what we have done. We have no right to Life.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from youselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.'' Ephesians 2.8
Jesus died for our sins, so that we could be forgiven and we wouldn't die but instead we would have eternal life in heaven. There is no way we could earn our way to heaven, but we were saved through grace- we got something that we did not deserve. Same as with eternal life, our life here and now is also a gift. We didn't do anything to deserve it, we can't earn it, but God gives it to us for free.
Last week an amazing lady from my church named Diane died. She got cancer, and her body deteriorated rapidly. Imagine, especially in those last weeks, how her husband Nathan praised God for every morning that he woke up and he was still allowed to spend time with her. How precious every moment must have been.
You might not be lying on your death bed, but I think it should still be a moment for celebration every time you wake up to a new day, because God has given you a chance yet again. He gives you a new day and a new mission for that day.
'This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it' psalm 118.24
Thank him for the chance to keep on living. Thank him for all the little things that you take for granted. Be open to his guidance, ask him to show you what he wants you to do with this day. And Rejoice!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
I am officially Seventeen! Most people don't believe me, but it's all cool. But I think the older you get, the more insignificant the change is. I was at my neighbors birthday party and we calculated that as he turned 3, his age just increased by 50 percent. My age increased by about 6.3 percent. By the time you turn 100 (if you do) your age would be increasing by a mere 1 percent! Of course it is good that it works this way and not vice versa, imagine if when you turned 30 your age would increase by 50 percent, you would actually turn 45! Confusing and a bummer hey.. :)
Now that we are over that mathematical fun fact about birthdays, I can get to the major theme that everyone looks forward to at the special time of year, at least I do. I get overly excited, actually. The Birthday PARTY. Obviously. My mom has long ago handed over the organising of family parties to me, she makes the food, and I plan the rest. And I love it! I think it was at my 11th party that I made the first official treasure hunt on my own. Half of the clues had blown away by the time we were starting so I stationed my siblings in the places where the clues had disappeared from and made them repeat the clues like parrots. Big families are useful for this kind of things, although it may have worked better if they would have remembered the clues!
But since that party I dare say my game choices have been adapted to the windy climate of the observatory and the quality of the activities has improved. I went on to have an Amazing race party one year, a survivor slash pool party and even this 'mixed up dinner party' where people ordered numbers off the menu and had no idea what food they would get!
Every year the guest list get longer, the happenings get more elaborate, and expectations became higher for both me and my friends. These all bring me to this year. Suddenly I didn't feel that amped 'it is party planning time' feeling that usually comes as soon as one party is finished. I was daunted by the fact that I was supposed to come up with yet another get together. What if people wouldn't enjoy it? I was severely stressed out about what used to be the highlight of my year. (of course some of you don't appreciate this kind of stressing over planning and prefer to just take it as it comes, but I plan my parties okay? and the planning usually helps!)
Enter my mom. I think moms are seriously under rated these days, lets stop and think about this for a second before I carry on. All that stuff she goes through for you, cooks, cleans, drives, stays up late waiting for you to come home, then listens to your problems even when she has a million of her own. Impressive! This generation has some big shoes to fill... :) Anyways, so my mom comes into the picture. Basically I was busy venting out all my 'my party is going to fail, no one's coming everything is going wrong' teenage whining thing to her and she just turns around and says ' Rebekka, who is the one who will make this party succeed; you or God? God is going to bring the people he wants to bring to your party, and he will make it work. Leave it to Him.'
I found Deuteronomy 8.17-18 -->
You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth.
Wow. Reality check.
I was looking at my party like meMEmeMEmeMEmeME. But Christ is in me. I was made alive in Him. It is intriguing how something so seemingly secular as a birthday party, can have God's hand in it, and be used to glorify Him! I had not thought about my party in that light, at all. But now that I did, I could feel all the stress and pressure lift off me. And everytime something made me start feeling anxious, I could stop and say ' God, you take this from me, I trust you.'
I stopped worrying about the party, and guess what? It was the best seventeenth party I have ever been at. There was enough food, enough games, enough chilling, enough friends... it was perfect. The 'vibe' was amazing, when my mom blessed the braai meat before we ate there was this unity in spirit, its hard to explain.. But I couldn't stop smiling and I felt so happy. I think everyone enjoyed it immensely, at least that is what i gathered from the feedback I got! People were blessed by the party, and the conversations and games impacted everyone. A birthday party! God is interested in the most peculiar things, because we are interested in them.
When the last person left past midnight I sat down in my room and thought about the evening. This joyous feeling came over me, and I just knew- 'That was all God.'
He is awesome.
*I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.* galatians 2:20