Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Something New

There is something comforting about a very used Bible.

I have had the same Bible for at least 8 years (I can't remember when I got it, but it was perhaps sophomore year of college). I've been through a lot with that Bible. I see scripture underlined & I can remember when I underlined it & what God was doing in my life at the time. There is a Post-It note in the front of it that has what I had engraved on the inside of Josh's wedding ring, which I placed there before we were even engaged. There are pages that are almost entirely blue because of my markings (mainly in the book of James, Ephesians, & Isaiah). We've been through a lot, me & that Bible.

A couple of months ago, Josh was given three large boxes full of Bibles. (It is neither here or there how he ended up with them.) Last week, we went through the Bibles & picked out a few to keep & boxed up the rest to give away. Among the ones we are keeping are an ESV study Bible, a prophecy study Bible (I have a thing for prophecy & can't wait to spend some time in this one), & even a book of common prayer that I am using as a devotional. But we kept two ESV Bibles that we really liked - they are actually a lot like my old Bible (same translation & manufacturer), but bigger & the print is laid out a bit differently. Josh immediately decided to start using one of these Bibles in place of his other one. But I was hesitant. I knew where all my favorite passages were on the pages of my old Bible - on the left page, on top, for example. I could skim through it & read what was underlined & knew I'd get a treasure. So I sat the new Bible off to the side, & decided I'd save it for when my old one fell apart or something. But I ended up pulling it out the next day, & I've been using it for about a week now.

There is something refreshing about a new Bible.

The pages are blank; my favorite scriptures are not located on the same page they were before. I flip through & there are no pen marks. But now as I open it to a particular page & look for a scripture, I almost read it with new eyes. I'm not reading it through the lens that God has used to speak to me in the past. I am beginning to add some blue ink to the black. God is still reminding me of precious truths He has revealed to me before, but there is a newness, a freshness, to what I read. And it's good, particularly for this season of my life where God is doing a new thing in me, while scraping up some of the old, crusty parts that have been around for far too long.

And part of me can't help but be extremely thankful that I even have the opportunity to own & hold & read a Bible, & even so, more than one. So many believers across the globe would do anything to glimpse the pages that I have in my possession. May I never, ever take for granted the freedom I have to read & know the Word of God.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lately, spiritually & not

So my last post ended up being pretty accurate. God has used my current life circumstances to refine me already in so many ways! Or rather I should say, we are on the path to refinement. The first week or two was rough, but once I completely surrendered to what God wants to do, it has been so good to see the areas I am lacking & what God wants to do to grow me. So far, I have learned that I have an issue with control that is rooted in a lack of trust in God (which also results in fear & holding too tightly to the things of this world, primarily people). I care too much what people think. & I am learning what it means to glorify God in my life. That is a very short summary of what God is doing in me right now, but I'm excited to see it all worked out. Not that I'll have all these things down anytime soon (or ever), but I know this is going to be a period of much growth & transformation, because God has promised to do those things if we are willing! & I am. So let's do this.

On a more superficial note, over the past couple of weeks, we have turned our study (which is really a formal dining room that we never used for dining) into a playroom. We bought some cube storage pieces from IKEA as well as a cute little kids' table with chairs & a rug that doubles as a place to play with cars (it has a town with roads & buildings on it). I ordered a pocket calendar (the kind that you manually change out every month) to hang on the wall, will buy an easel, & have my eye on a "playroom rules" piece at Hobby Lobby. Once I get all the necessary materials, we will start going through a preschool curriculum. We moved all of the study stuff into the sitting room that is off to the side of our master bedroom, which now feels more like a cozy nook than it did before (study stuff on one side, love seat with lamp & bookcase on the other). I'm excited to have a designated space for playing & learning!