Titus 2:11-13

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."

Friday, April 22, 2011

I've Been Occupied.

I haven't been here to share my thoughts much lately.  So, what's been on my mind?  Shopping, American Idol, and Heaven, mostly....

I've admitted before that there is something about the change of seasons that makes me want to shop.  New clothes, outdoor toys, lawn and landscaping enhancements... Spring never leaves me short of ways to spend money.  And, yes, I have been doing some spending.  I've hit a couple huge consignment sales during the past month and have pretty much taken care of my kids' clothing needs for spring and summer.  Travis and I have also purchased a new outdoor playset for our kids to replace one that a storm destroyed last summer.  The kids are dying for us to build it, and if the weather will cooperate this weekend, we are hoping to do just that!
And, I suppose I should admit that I've done a little shopping for myself, too.  In Dave Ramsey style, Travis and I allow ourselves a certain amount of "blow money" each month; and, anticipating my Spring Shopping Fever, I let my blow money accumulate through the winter so that I'd be able to get a few new things for spring.  My best find has been a cute little black dress off Von Maur's sale rack, marked down from $68 to $17--a deal which, as my mother-in-law teasingly chided Travis, left plenty of room in the budget for a cute new pair of shoes. :-)

American Idol
I admit it.  I'm kind of obsessed with American Idol this year.  I've watched many of the past seasons, but this one is different for me.  I am totally awestruck at the talent, and I've gotten pretty wrapped up in the show.  Each week I can hardly wait for Wednesday to come, and I'm disappointed when Thursday is over.  One of my favorite performances of the season, though it's not necessarily my style of music, was Haley and Casey's duet performance of "Moanin'."

To hear the unique and extraordinary talents of the contestants makes me stand in awe of the Creator God from whom such beautiful gifts come.  If singing can be this good on a fallen Earth, what will it be like in Heaven?!  Which, brings me the last thing that's been on my mind....

I never had much motivation to understand what Heaven will be like until I had a baby go there.  I knew it's real, that God is there, that I'm going there, and that it's wonderful beyond my comprehension; and, I guess I thought that was enough.  In July 2008, however, I suffered a miscarriage, and I began longing for Heaven more than I ever had before.  While still in the acuteness of my pain, a sister in Christ who had also lost a baby offered me just the comfort I needed--a better understanding of the Place I was longing for.  She told me about Randy Alcorn's book Heaven, and I've been working my way through it since.  Most of my free time over the past couple months has been spent reading Heaven.  The more I read, the more I think.  The more I think, the more I wonder.  The more I wonder, the more I long.  To think that everything good in this world is only a dim reflection of the glories that await us in Heaven!  To think that I will one day meet Ande Lynn there for the first time!  To think that we will have eternity to live, work, play, eat, worship, enjoy, and discover on the New Earth!  Now that's enough to occupy my mind for a very long time....

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