Friday, January 16, 2009

Off the Cuff

It's Friday and that means more Quick Takes.

(1) When I think back to my childhood, I remember spending a lot of time watching people. At get togethers with family or friends I recall sitting quietly, paying close attention to conversations, wondering how it felt to be all grown up. At school dances I would look for clues to the whole dating ritual to see where I was missing something. I realized this week my wallflower days had a purpose. Because I was a shy girl who sat back and soaked in her environment, I learned how people relate to each other. I learned how to read body language and hear what isn't said. It gave me understanding into the intricacies of human emotion. It taught me how to listen. So even though I felt boring then, I see the value in it now. Truly God works all things together for good.

(2) I live in an insulated little world. I don't struggle with interpersonal relationships in my workplace (unless you count the daily family squabbles). For the most part, the people I spend my time with think like I do. My daily schedule is not dictated by a boss (That's right. I said it. My husband is not bossy). What would I be if I was placed in a different town, job or church? Would I be quiet? Would I slink back? Would I have the same confidence? Would I feel free to be who I am? Do you agree our environments play a part in making us who we are?

(3) I had a mini crisis this week pondering this question--What if God doesn't find my sacrifice acceptable? What if, despite my best efforts, He decides not to use my gifts? I know many of you will say, "But if you're seeking God, He will use you. He will honor your efforts to glorify Him." I'd like to believe that, but I'm not so sure. Read this passage from Romans 9:16-18:

It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

And verse 21:

Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

It scares me to think He may not choose me. I want to be His girl, His messenger, His mouthpiece, but what if He says, "That is not my plan for you." I suppose true love says as Mary, "May it be to me as you have said."

Thy will be done, Lord.

(4) Quincy Jones has started a petition to add a cabinet position in the White House, the Secretary of the Arts. It's an interesting idea that excites me and scares me at the same time. I like the idea of the arts being elevated and important enough to warrant a cabinet appointment, but what would such a position regulate? Listen to a blurb about it from NPR Friday morning.

(5) One of my priceless gifts from God is friends who understand me, people who believe in me. I am so grateful God has given me some fantastic individuals who "get" my heart. Their unselfishness in encouraging me to be who I am is both humbling and life-giving. Thank you, my dear friends. You have no idea how you sustain me. Wow. You are HUGE to me.

(6) Have you noticed churches are talking about sex more? Back in November, Ed Young of the huge Fellowship Church in Texas, issued a challenge to the married couples in his congregation to have sex seven days in a row. In February, Relevant Church in Florida issued a 30-day sex challenge. What do you think of this emphasis on sex within the church? Are churches succumbing to the same tactics as the world to attract people to them? I don't think so. Personally, I am glad to see churches tackling this issue. It's time Christian couples understood the power of sex in marriage. It can make or break a union and carries far more implications for the relationship than physical enjoyment. It is too important NOT to mention.

(7) I'm looking forward to a fun weekend. It's my birthday tomorrow and my husband always makes it a weekend affair. We're having dinner tonight with our kids. Tomorrow he says I'm booked from noon on--how, I don't know. Sunday we're having dinner with our parents. I already feel fatter. But it will be loads of fun.

I hope your weekend is enjoyable too. Check in with Jennifer to read more Quick Takes.


Heather said...

You have certainly given a lot of things to think about!

e-Mom said...

Happy birthday Tami! (I trust you'll be enjoying yourself LATE into the evening. *wink*)

I'm pondering all your remarks. Love this format... I've learned so much about the "inner you." :~D

MiPa said...

Trust me, God is using your gifts. They are springs of mercy into my life--bringing joy, conviction, laughter, and thought.

Happy Birthday my friend! Hope your weekend is lovely.

Annette said...


Happy Birthday!! I'm glad you so willingly open your heart up to teach people about God's love, mercy, teaching, and so much more!!

Susan said...

Hi Tami,

Hope your day was great, and the whole weekend!

I enjoy your ponderings...

Thanks for for sharing your heart with us.

I love getting to know you better♥

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Happy belated birthday to you! Hope the surprise was good :)