Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Meet my family...

Daddy when he was young
Meet my family. Many of you have heard me speak of them quite a bit, but have never met them. And we have sort of a confusing set up. Well, allow me to introduce you to those I hold most dear. I am beyond blessed.

Our mom when she was young




Our parents dating

 Greg and Karen Seifert today...





                      The Seifert Sisters and our little brother...

Lindy, the eldest Seifert sister

Me, (Christy) sister #2

Mary, Seifert sister #3

Emily, Seifert sister #4

Our little brother, Connor

  
                    My sisters, their men, and their kiddos...

Lindy and her hubby Dan 

Dylan and Jackson (Lindy's biological sons, Dan's stepsons)
Their biological son together, Jimmy



Mary and her husband, Christian
Christian's biological children Jessica and Dylan (Mary's step children)


Their first daughter together, Sophia



Their second daughter together, Fiona






Emily



her daughters Juliet and Aubrey






                                                                   Seifert sisters


                                                                     The family


                                                             My brother and I








Thursday, April 19, 2012

 Many people I know are suffering.  And my struggles seem quite small, in comparison. But pain is deep, their longings pure, but their faith stands firm, proving God's faithfulness in their examples to me. I wrote a piece, with them in mind. God is so good, in how He reminds us of His care, and brings about strength in the right moments, and through the right people.  As I think through the terrors some are facing, I see His glory, and thank Him for His presence with His children.

I dedicate this poem to some strong warriors who demonstrate spirit filled courage.


------------------------------------------------------------------

A few words were spoken, and my world was broken.
My heart was shattered like glass.

I couldn't sleep, couldn't eat
Couldn't find tears to weep...

Hiding under a mask.

What do you say when you can't even pray? When your faith takes flight soaring away?
When the rock you're set upon, shifts feeling gone, and you're anything but okay?

Speechless now the norm, for when fighting a storm
The soul craves a break from feeling
Your mind puts up walls, for processing the calls
Requiring you to start healing

What do you say when you don't want to pray
When your God feels like a stranger?
When the truth you once knew, takes part in destroying you? Breaking trust, igniting new danger

Pain with morning sun, your peaceful dreams now done...
and a new day of lingering dread
Hope lost in your past,  how long will this last?
The joy you once knew, now dead

What do you say when you're ready to pray.... 
but confusion of His will strikes you silent?
You look up and cry,  My Father God WHY? 
Human emotion turned fragile and violent

What did He say, that dark Good Friday, when all sin upon Him fell?
When God turned His face,  knowing sin...
choosing grace...saving you from eternity in Hell

Dark forces now shattered, but Jesus was battered, 
His love for the Father... our story
His pain for our gain, as His blood left the stain 
of eternal forgiveness...His glory

What did He say? What did Christ say....
would we care had we been there to hear it?
When He chose not His will, as they sought to kill... 
stating
"Father, into Your hands I commit my Spirit." 













 Many people I know are suffering.  And my struggles seem quite small, in comparison. But pain is deep, their longings pure, but their faith stands firm, proving God's faithfulness in their examples to me. I wrote a piece, with them in mind. God is so good, in how He reminds us of His care, and brings about strength in the right moments, and through the right people.  As I think through the terrors some are facing, I see His glory, and thank Him for His presence with His children.

I dedicate this poem to some strong warriors who demonstrate spirit filled courage.


------------------------------------------------------------------

A few words were spoken, and my world was broken.
My heart was shattered like glass.

I couldn't sleep, couldn't eat
Couldn't find tears to weep...

Hiding under a mask.

What do you say when you can't even pray? When your faith takes flight soaring away?
When the rock you're set upon, shifts feeling gone, and you're anything but okay?

Speechless now the norm, for when fighting a storm
The soul craves a break from feeling
Your mind puts up walls, for processing the calls
Requiring you to start healing

What do you say when you don't want to pray
When your God feels like a stranger?
When the truth you once knew, takes part in destroying you? Breaking trust, igniting new danger

Pain with morning sun, your peaceful dreams now done...
and a new day of lingering dread
Hope lost in your past,  how long will this last?
The joy you once knew, now dead

What do you say when you're ready to pray.... 
but confusion of His will strikes you silent?
You look up and cry,  My Father God WHY? 
Human emotion turned fragile and violent

What did He say, that dark Good Friday, when all sin upon Him fell?
When God turned His face,  knowing sin...
choosing grace...saving you from eternity in Hell

Dark forces now shattered, but Jesus was battered, 
His love for the Father... our story
His pain for our gain, as His blood left the stain 
of eternal forgiveness...His glory

What did He say? What did Christ say....
would we care had we been there to hear it?
When He chose not His will, as they sought to kill... 
stating
"Father, into Your hands I commit my Spirit." 













Sunday, April 15, 2012

A love/hate relationship

Elisabeth Elliot gets on my nerves. While standing in an aisle at the used book store last week, glancing through one of her finest pieces of work, one my dear friends, also named Christy, shuddered repeatedly. 
"Ugh," she replied as she read some of the book's quotes aloud. 
 "I know," I snapped, sounding irritated. "So annoying"...but so right on. 
I am sure we appeared like quite the brats to those browsing near by.
We looked at one another with big eyes, cause we both knew our irritation came out of conviction. Elisabeth Elliot kicks our booties, and we hate it. 

The book we were both referring to was called "Discipline: The Glad Surrender." I own a copy of it, and hadn't read it in a few years. My friend Christy Robb, continued to make disgusted looks as she flipped through the pages, thus continuing with the statement..."I am buying it."  "It's a difficult read," I replied. "Difficult for our consciences." My nose scrunched up a bit as I continued with an apologetic look which she knew to mean, "You will hate it...but I am glad you are buying it."

Elisabeth Elliot gets on my nerves because she tells me what I need to hear...and I can't find any excuses to dismiss most of what she says...she is just right, most of the time anyway. She somehow manages to take some of my greatest points of tension with God, and twist the "surrender" aspect of their annoying truths ever so deeply into my conscience.  

Am I appreciative of her work? Absolutely. Do I enjoy it? Absolutely not. 

At a time in my life when the consistent theme of "surrender" is being placed in front of my particularly stubborn, non submissive, easily irritated heart, I want to run from people like Elisabeth Elliot. I close my eyes, plug my ears and scream..."please no!" 

"She doesn't get people like me," I once said to myself. "I mean, she got to be married to one of the greatest men that ever lived, Jim Elliot. There is no way she understands the heart aches and stresses of someone walking in my shoes. "  And then GULP.  I hover, under the chill of my tiny little hands, realizing the horror and inaccuracy of my statement. She does get it. In fact, she gets much more than I could ever realize. That's why I need to listen carefully and consider her words. Some people like me, respond best to directness...her style makes it difficult for me to tune her out. I hate it. But she has earned the right to speak, and has a gift in declaring stinging truth in such a clear and convicting manner that although makes me want shudder to the core...I really just ought to shut up and allow her to stir things up in me a bit. She's brilliant.

After that day at the bookstore with Christy Robb, I decided to go back and read the book again. It's time. Why? I am working through a period in my life where my moods are hot and cold and my faith life seems to be on a never ending roller coaster.  I go back and forth between feeling strong for a bit, but know that once I start processing in my mind, it's only a matter of time before a sense of anxiety kicks in... Yes, I am a mess, which is not the jolly Christy people are used to. But at least I am finally comfortable admitting it.

I don't understand and am struggling to accept many things occurring, so I have no choice but throw up my hands in surrender (still working on the glad part).  I am not pretending everything is dandy. HA. I don't think I could fake it even if I wanted to. It's obvious to those around me I am scattered, off balance, not myself.  But thankfully "stability" is overrated. It occurred to me that I don't listen well when things feel stable. Right now, God has my undivided attention...and it sorta freaks me out how long He's gonna allow the pain and confusion of things in order to keep my attention.

I found some quotes from the book that stood out to me that I have read over and over.  Some are a little sensitive and too personal to share, but others I included below:

A consideration develops into an attitude, which leads then to action. Action repeated becomes a habit, and a habit establishes a "power base for the enemy," that is a stronghold.

Men in the Bible like Samuel, David, Jeremiah, Matthew, and Saul of Tarsus were not men who were especially concerned with the questions:  "Is God using me?" or "How can I be a great servant of God?"   They were not concerned with credit, with plans for notoriety or success. Whatever their own plans might have been, God's took precedence.

We might say that discipline is the disciple's career. It defines the very shape of the disciples life. Obedience, on the other hand refers to a specific action.

Discipline is the wholehearted yes to the call of God. When I know myself called, summoned, addressed, taken possession of, known, acted upon, I have heard the Master. I put myself gladly,  fully and forever at his disposal, and to whatever He says my answer is yes.

When speaking of a true disciple one could say that out of his loss, comes another's gain...out of his discomfort, another's comfort... How easily we profess a willingness to follow, imagining some notable work for God, some great martyrdom..but forget the first condition the minute there is a little cold air on the back of our neck.   

I cannot be saved from my sins unless I am saved from myself, so Christ must be "commanding officer" in my life.

Do not offer merely the outward show of service, to curry favor with men....but, as slaves of Christ, do wholeheartedly the will of God. 

The disciple who means to compel every one of his thoughts to surrender in obedience to Christ would do well to test him/herself by asking: 
1) Whose glory do I seek?
2) Is this for or against the knowledge of God?
3) Am I giving my mind to wholesome precepts?
4) Is it more important to me to understand than to obey?
5) Is it more important to me to know than to believe?
6) Will one side of the question inconvenience me?
7) Do I reject a particular truth because it will inconvenience me?

The disciplined Christian will be very careful what sort of counsel he seeks from others. Counsel that contradicts the written word is ungodly counsel. Blessed is the man that walketh not in that.
  
How do I feel after typing all these out, and thinking through them gain? Truth can produce a very heavy heart.