Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Want to Know You Too

My friend Darby recently had a post where she asked all of you out there to take her on a vacation with your words. I thought this was a marvelous idea (very creative Darby!), and a great way to learn some things about you. So, I am not going to ask you take me on a vacation and copy her completely, but I would like to pose a question that greatly interests me, and then hopefully learn more about you.


This past Sunday, our pastor spoke on Heaven. It was a great sermon, where he talked about how Christians have a grave misconception that heaven is a place of eternal boredom--an eternal church service in the sky. He said that God gave us all things that we love, and are good at. Things like going on an adventure, or writing, or painting...are healthy desires that He gave us, and intends for us to still enjoy for eternity. In trying to make this point he quoted a line from Chariots of Fire (which I have never seen), that struck a chord in me:


I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.


Did that give you chills? Did your mind run to something you do in life when you feel God's pleasure? For me, it most definitely is not when I am running. I passed a girl running yesterday who maybe thought since I was wearing a matching running outfit like hers, I was a great runner. I am telling you the truth when I say she smiled so big at me I thought, "Wow, she must be feeling God's pleasure even out in this sweltering heat." I was just pushing through for those endorphins at the end of the run...Anyway, for some of you maybe it is running. For me, its writing. I have written about his before, so I won't go on and on, but there are times when I am writing that words just start appearing on the paper. Those times when I read back over what I've written and wonder, "Did I think those thoughts?" Those moments when you know there is something bigger than you, working through you, and it creates a sense of pleasure unlike any other.


Maybe it was when you had a baby, or painted a picture, or taught a child...I don't know, but I certainly am curious to learn. When do you feel God's pleasure, and what does it feel like to you?

20 comments:

andi said...

When I am teaching...
When I loose the fear of someone thinking I am a weirdo and just act crazy with the kids anyway!

andi said...

BTW: Great post Abby! I love this idea~

meredith said...

When I am driving down the road and see the sun's rays poking through the clouds. This is what I imagine God to look like and when I see that I smile because I know he is watching over me.

~Meredith

Kellie Patton said...

Abby - this is a wonderful idea. Our College minister preached at our church this past Sunday in place of our Pastor b/c he was in Honduras and he quoted the exact same quote about feeling God's pleasure - except the sermon was about serving God in the church.

I do get chills every time I hear that quote b/c I often wonder what I do in which I feel God's pleasure? I have to say it would be keeping up my house and watching my children just be children! There is nothing I love more than just to sit back and watch my children interact with others, to see them learn and act silly and play and be just what God intended them to be! I also love to clean my house -- I know this sounds foreign to some of you, but I am definitely a doer - I have to be doing SOMETHING and I love to see results and housework is something where I can definitely see results - they may not last long (with 3 children running behind me undoing all that I have done) but I still feel God's pleasure b/c he made me with this innate sense of time management and organization.

I can't wait to read what everyone else writes! Thanks Abby!
Kellie

The Wilson's said...

When I am lounging on the beach around 5:00 in the evening. Most people are gone to the condo. There is a slight breeze blowing on my sunburned skin and I can hear the ocean waves crashing on the sand. I look at the ocean and see how HUGE it is and think how much bigger my God is! I could stay there for hours. I have some of my best times with my Lord then when all you can hear is Him talking through the waves!
Mallory

Ashleigh Thompson said...

When I am rocking my baby girl (s) and she snuggles her head into my neck and shoulder and I can feel her baby breath :)

When my girls giggle at each other, my heart melts!

Joy and Ash said...

Probably the thing that stands out the most for me is when I am dancing. And sadly I haven't experienced this in a while but other ways are special moments with my little girl, or standing in the presence of God's creation that envelops you and the only explanation is that there is a God who is so much bigger and holier than us, how can you not love Him?

Darby said...

Abby, I've brainstorming the last 12 or so hours since you posted this and I have two answers. One is a Sunday school answer and one isn't.
1) My Sunday school answer: When I am worshipping the Lord. I can't sing worth a darn but I absolutely love to sing praises to the Lord. I love to close my eyes and imagine myself in an empty sanctuary with nothing before me but the cross. It honestly gives me chills. I LOVE IT!

2) My non-Sunday school answer: when I've completed a sewing project that turns out with few flaws. And when such a project takes place uninterrupted and without too many setbacks!!

So worshiping the Lord and sewing... I think I may just have to put a cd player in my sewing room and perhaps the quality of my projects will improve {as long as I keep my eyes opened}... and if not... at least I'll be in "heaven" while I do it! :)

Love you and hope you're having a wonderful day! Watch out for our "bus" on I-65 tomorrow... wish we could all stop in and visit... but DON'T worry... we wouldn't dare do that to you!

PS- Could you please enlighten us as to what was on the island counter in your last post? It looked like bags and bags of fresh bread!? Am I right?

andi said...

Abby, Loved your comment about TV....;)

Kendra White said...

abby.. you could call me your blog stalker, but I am so engaged with the way the LORD uses you and your writing. For me I call these moments Ahhh Ha Moments. I have a degree in Christian education and I know what all the books say... but there is nothing more real than a child coming to know Christ as their heavenly father. To know for the rest of their life someone is on their side, in their corner, and cheering them on. On a less "Sunday School Answer"... a clean house does my heart well!

becky said...

Hey Abby! another "lurker" coming out of the woodwork. i went to NHS with Jeremiah (I was Becky King back then.) Anyway, I love reading your blog and how honest you are.

i feel like i feel God's pleasure when I sing, also. I am blessed to be able to do it. I also feel it when I see my kids repeating something they have learned and i know they learned it from me (and it's a good something...not something i may accidentally holler! lol) And also when i make something, food or anything handmade to give to a friend. i just feel like i was meant to give and to nurture. and when i take the time to do it to the best of my ability, i feel Him...and i feel the best about me!
Becky (King) Tucker

ashr7406 said...

Abby, I read this blog yesterday, but decided to do some brainstorming myself!

This morning on my way to babysit I was pulling into the median in the road. It seems to me like MOST people in Dothan don't know the proper way to pull into the median, but myself not being one of them, was waiting for another car to cross over so that I could pull in. At the same time a middle-aged man looking to be in his 50's was pulling in as well! AND OF COURSE he tried to pull onto MY side! Not paying him much attention, I simply drove around him to the side I was suppose to be on. Next thing I know, this man is YELLING curse words at me (I had the air and radio on and could hear every word!) trying to get out of his car. I quickly made sure that my car was locked, checked to make sure that I could cross over the median and drove away only to see him in my rear view mirror showing me a finger! Being the "softie" that I am, I immediately began to cry (I can't imagine what would have happened had we hit each other!). It really hurt my feelings that the man had so much anger inside of him being let out by such a simple thing. When I arrived at my destination, I sat in the car a good 5 minutes to compose myself and it was at that time (and many times during which I cry) that I felt God's arms just wrap around me. I could feel his love and arms just like the Father that he is telling me that it was going to be OK! Somehow that just made it all better...Sorry to tell you my whole life story :)

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Abby, I'm another one of your blog stalkers. My husband and I were in Sunday School with the Wilson's. Mal used to talk about "her friend Abby" all the time. I saw a link to her blog from her blog, so I thought I'd check it out. I check it frequently! I just love how you write! My husband is also in residency (he and Trent were in the same class), so I relate to your "Jeremiah had a late night" stories. We also have 2 kids the same age as Pace and Mary Aplin, but they're boys! Anyways, back to your question...I feel God's pleasure when our family is together just spending time with one another. I get so much pleasure out of seeing our kids learn, interact with each other, and be kids. It makes my heart smile. :) I know without a shadow of a doubt that God made me to be a mommy and stay at home with our kids. As a side note, I also feel on cloud nine when my house is clean and organized!

Rhett, Megan, Claire and Ford said...

Hey Abby,
I think you mentioned the book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn in an older post but this post brought it to my mind. I also just read an amazing book "Total Truth" by Nancy Pearcy. Reading your post also brought her book to mind. She talked a lot about how sin (the fall) has infiltrated every single thing on the Earth because all of creation fell. The good news is that every single one of those things have been effected by the resurrection and the removal of sin. It is so exciting to think about Heaven "aka The New Earth" and what it will be like there. It is fascinating deep reading (heavily influenced by Francis Shaeffer) and I highly recommend it.
Anyway, it is so easy to feel joy and pleasure with two precious babies around me 24-7. Having kids just gives you a glimpse into a special and different kind of love. As I have thought about this I keep coming back to instances involving people or nature. What pleasure there is to laugh so hard your belly hurts with an old friend, share a sweet quiet moment with your husband or share God's truth with children. Or to stand on a mountain top and seemingly feel the majesty of God. Or stand by the ocean and literally feel small but at the same time incredibly safe because you can feel that God is so big. I have also learned that I feel pleasure and joy from God the most when I am stripped away from my life and am relying on Him for every single thing I need. I have a favorite memory of walking down a dirt road in Haiti - no make up, no blow dryer for my hair just a long simple skirt and flip flops. I'm looking up at the mountains around me and I literally feel like I am walking down that path with Jesus. Now that is joy.

Kelly said...

I work in the office bldg attached to the Galleria. My guilty pleasure is getting cotton candy from the mall. As I sat here eating some last night after a long day at work, I thought....you know, I wonder if when God decided to make one of the plants He created to be the sugar cane...if He paused, sat back and had a little chuckle thinking "I bet Kelly will really like this one day." So, I am feeling God's pleasure in cotton candy. Something that makes me smile...makes me feel like a kid again...and makes me feel indulgent after a really long day. And, if I do say so myself, I am a champ at eating some pure sugar!! Abby, thanks for helping me look for God and His pleasure even in the little things!!

Sue said...

Abby,
I am relatively new to blogging, but came across your blog and find myself returning daily to see what you have written. I think for me it would be when I am having people over to my home... I really enjoy serving others and making them feel welcome.
Sue

Marisa Jo Merliss said...

Hey Abby! Thanks for you message on my blog! I'm in the process of back blogging since so much has happened over the past several months, I hope to soon be up to date and breathe out the life that happening day by day as you do so beautifully in your eloquent blogs!
I am in Phoenix for the summer, I hardly know anyone out here so if Taylor get lonely for a southern-loving girlfriend to go shopping with or grab ice cream, tell her to look me up!

I love chariots of fire and that quote gives me chills everytime!!
To answer your question...when I am dancing-particularly in church, driving to a place I've never been before and watching the sunrise with a baby in my arms at the children's hospital!

Hope you are enjoying the summer! xoxo

livingtotellaboutit said...

Like you, Abby, I feel the Lord at work through me in words, both written and spoken. And I totally identify with the experience you shared of having written something and then thinking "where in the world did that come from?" You should know that yours is the first blog I began to read regularly, and played a major role in my desire to start one of my own. It has been such a joy to have another outlet for my writing. Thank you for the inspiration...In Christ, Dana McCain

WhitneyG said...

Hey Abby,

I just want you to know your blogs are such a joy to read. You are a gifted writer!

I think I'm writing and singing are when I feel His pleasure the most. Great thought!

Take care,
Whitney Gilchrist