Monday, June 2, 2014

the big picture

I am so behind on blogging that I don't even know where to start catching up.

I have probably a dozen emails I need to reply to, and 200 or so that are junk mail in need of deleting.

I have a package that needs to be mailed that should have gone out last week..

I have about six loads of laundry to do - and that's just to get caught up with what's in the laundry room... there might be more hidden in closets ...

I have a few kids who are finishing up their schoolwork this month, before we call it quits for the summer... and they need a lot of encouragement to get there.

It's just one of those weeks where I feel a little behind the great eight ball of life.

On days like today I tend to overanalyze things. It should be opposite... I should probably look at what's on my plate and decide there is enough to fill me up and more... why take on the deeper questions of life like : What's my purpose here ? Am I doing a good enough job at everything ? Am I pleasing the Lord? Is there more I should be doing ?

But that's just how my brain works sometimes. I have a hard time prioritizing when I feel overwhelmed. Instead of taking a breath and conquering one molehill at a time I invite some mountains into my life just to make things fun.

End of the school year motivation levels are through the roof here. No, really.

So here I am ... blogging ... doing exactly what I just described  - adding something to my load, just because.

Why ?

Because I really feel like God is wanting me to be more bold in my faith lately, especially in my areas of influence. I'm a stay-at-home mom, and as such, I don't get out much. I admit it. I mean ... I do make the normal rounds - the grocery store, the post office, the doctor's office, the playground, church, sporting events, and an occasional restaurant or two. But for the most part, the people I see on a daily basis are the ones who share my last name ...

my grand baby, Macie Blair Rice. Swoon.

And so this morning, when I was praying and asking the Lord to help me not miss the big picture - because it would be very easy to do so when there are a million little things calling my name... He put someone on my heart ....

....are you done scrolling ???

It was you.

I may not get out much, I may have a small sphere of influence right now, physically speaking... but I do have you.

The people who have been reading here for several years, or several weeks, or maybe just a day or two.

I don't pay attention all the time to page view statistics anymore... it was fun when I started blogging, but the newness wore off  - and I really barely have time to get on the computer these days with six children to homeschool. But when I peek in and see the numbers, I have to stop and ask myself : what am I really saying here in this little space called A Perfect Lily ? How am I using my influence for the good ?

I mean if all I am doing is posting some cute pictures and tying some words together for a nice little package, then I'm really just taking up your time and mine .

Because there's so much more to our lives than fun birthdays and nice recipes and trips to the farmer's market.

Oh, don't get me wrong- those things have their place. Totally. I am thankful and grateful for those things. And I'm happy to post about them.

But this weekend I listened to a sermon my husband preached on eternity ... and it really made me think - again ! - about what my purpose in life is.

Because here's the thing  : I really do believe there is a Heaven and a Hell. I don't believe that the end of life, as we know it, is the end. I believe with all my heart that we were created with a purpose- to know the Lord, and to live our lives for Him.  When I got saved 29 years ago, I repented of my sins and gave my whole life to Jesus. That may sound like catch phrases to some of you - "repented of my sins" and "gave my life to Jesus." But they are so much more than that.

What happened at an altar in a little church in Tempe, Arizona, was that a 17 year old girl, with lots of questions -  about who God was, and why she was here, and how to get rid of guilt for things she had done - she found Jesus. She heard the gospel- the good news - that Jesus died for her sins, and that He made a way for her to go to Heaven. She listened to the words straight from the Bible that said she didn't have to be "good enough" ... because none of us are good enough ... to make Heaven her home one day. She heard a preacher read the words of Jesus when He said "Come unto me all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest." And she believed them. She raised her hand when that preacher asked if there was anyone in that church who wasn't right with God, and she timidly made her way to an altar. A beautiful Christian woman met her there (who is now in eternity with Jesus !) and led her in a prayer of repentance, asking God to save her and give her hope. She wasn't made perfect after praying that prayer- but she was changed.  She didn't get religion, she didn't decide to join a church - she met Jesus.

And how do I know that what I got was the real thing ?

Because He changed me.

I am no longer that timid, guilt-ridden teenager who walked to that altar 29 years ago. I have peace in Jesus. Am I perfect ? Far from it. (Ask my kids. In fact, anyone who knows me. I have problems.) I'm far from perfect - but I am forgiven.

And that's the simple message I hope you get out of this post today.

There will be lots of posts in the future about holidays and Down syndrome and product endorsements and trials and triumphs at the Rice Ranch. In fact, I have a whole batch of beautiful photos from our anniversary trip last week to upload and share.

I just wanted to make sure today that I obeyed that still small voice this morning, telling me to make sure I don't miss any opportunity to share the greatest truth of all in this particular sphere of influence.

Do you know where you're going to spend eternity ? It's really so simple.

We're all sinners.. we've all got problems.

As the Scriptures say, "There is no one righteous, not even one." Romans 3:10

We will all face death one day. Nobody gets out of here alive.

It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this, the judgment. Hebrews 9:27

There is a price to pay for sin... and a way out.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

God made it so simple for us. 

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

We can know peace - the true peace of forgiveness.

Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Romans 5:1

If you've made it this far and read through my words - thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read, and for letting me share my heart with you. I'll be back soon with more pictures like the one above from our sweet anniversary getaway...



Deborah said...

I love visiting your "home" on the internet. Thanks for sharing your heart - and reminding me of what's important. I just had a similar conversation with my father-in-law about priorities, and I think God is nudging me about a couple of things.

mex said...

Patti, youvate awesome! You truly are! I so look forward to reading your posts. I feel sometimes you blog things that I just need to hear. Xxx

crystalkupper said...

This post was intended for somebody specific, Patti, I just know it! Thank you for your willingness to obey and share your story.

linda said...

Missed you Patti....I loved this and needed these words today. Thank You!!

cathy said...


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cara said...

Beautiful post Patti! Thank you for sharing your heart and the truth with all of us. Very fitting today as I ache over the loss of precious Nora Rose knowing her mama's heart is aching to pieces. Life is so short, but those who hope in Him shall be saved for all eternity and will share in His Heavenly Kingdom.xoxo

gretchen said...

I miss talking with you so much! I would love to just hang out with you and talk. Please let me know if you ever want a trip to Glacier Park..we are right outside of it..and would love to have you here. You are one of my very favorite online friends! Love your words and your heart!

Monique said...

I love reading your posts. Thank you for this today.

Wendy Talley, Portsmouth, VA said...


Danielle said...

So good

teal915 said...

Amen! You will only know all the good and how God has used you when you get to Heaven. And I bet there will be a "well done, good and faithful servant" : )

Mariah said...

This is beautiful, Patti. Thank you for sharing it. I forget sometimes that as a stay at home mom (but now the kids are gone so I'm a stay at home wife!) that my sphere of influence is still wide, and my purpose in life is still God-ordained. And truly, what's more important than taking everyone we possibly can to Heaven with us? Our kids, our grand children, our neighbors, and those in our daily "rounds!" What an awesome privilege to be given such a sphere of influence by God Himself!