My Birthday Present

I’m getting a lot of them this year.  First and most importantly, I get to wake up on my birthday (Jan 21) and there will be a new President.  Second, “Lost” starts that day.  I know there is something else significant happening too, but I can’t remember what it is (so it actually must not be that significant).  Anyway, I’ve also decided to run a 1/2 marathon…or two.  First, I’m going to do the Tacoma City Marathon in May.  It’s exactly 17 weeks from tomorrow…which is the length of the training program that I’m going to do.   I also discovered that the Rock and Roll marathon is coming to Seattle this year!  YAY!  So, I think I’ll do that one in June as well.  I’m going to sign up and pay for both of them on my birthday….sort of a present to myself — and an incentive to keep training.  I don’t particularly like running, but I am the sort of person who gives things 100% when she sets her mind to it.  I ran the Honolulu Marathon in 2002, so I know I can do it.  It just feels good to have a plan.  May will be here before we know it.

Religion?

A few months ago, I joined Facebook and when filling out the profile information, I came to the “religion” field and didn’t know what to do.  I mean, I am Christian, to be sure.  But, the word “religion” just turns me off.  I think it happened one day when listening to a Mark Driscoll sermon (teaching pastor at Mars Hill Church) on Philippians.  In Chapter 3, verses 7 & 8, Paul writes:

7Butwhatever gain I had,I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8Indeed, I count everything as loss because ofthe surpassing worth ofknowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake Ihave suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

Paul realizes that everything he had been accumulating to buy his way into the Kingdom was rubbish, that’s the word he uses in verse 8…rubbish. And he gives it all up for Christ.  So, religion (as part of everythign) can be counted as rubbish.  I don’t articulate it nearly as passionately as Mark does, but that’s the overall gist of it.

So, for a long time, in the “religion” field of my facebook profile, it said “Religion is rubbish – Philippians 3:7-8”.  Nobody ever asked me about it, but I have often wondered what people think when they see it.  Do they look up the verse?

Yesterday, I was reading my Sojourner’s mail and there was a quote that jumped off the page at me:

Religion without humanity is just poor human stuff.

Exactly!  I almost think Paul would agree with this as well.

It’s been a long time

There has been so much going on in my life lately that keeping up with this blog has been hard. Most of my effort has been put into keep Maddy’s Blog up to date. Although, it’s not the same kind of outlet.  

I have been putting a lot of thought into New Year’s Resolutions this year.  I don’t like to make them….but I usually do.  This year, I’m not going to resolve to do anything new or different.  Instead, I’m just going to focus on celebrating life.  Part of that will include reading through the bible in a year.  I’m going to do the chronological bible.  It’s something I’ve never done before but have wanted to.  I also got a cool new camera for Christmas and I intend to take a lot more pictures and I hope to even take a digital photography class.  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. 

One of the things that I’ve struggled with since getting Maddy is selfishness.  I had gotten so used to having one child…and a child that is fairly self-sufficient.  I have never been much of a baby person either.  Now, I’m in it as deep as it can be….and I’ll be nearly 60 when she’s graduated high school (God willing we get to keep her).  It’s not how I envisioned my life.  And, yet…when we roll back the tape in our minds, there was no other answer than to say yes when we got the call.  It’s reminded me that God’s plans are often (usually) different from my plans.  That’s my motivation for reading through the bible….I want constant reminders of God’s greater plan.  I want to fit into it…and I want to do it without reservation, although knowing that it will require sacrifice. 

I may never get to sell everything and rent bicycles on the beach in Key West while Lloyd writes his novel.  So, I want to stop dreaming about that and just celebrate the wonderful life God has given me.