Monday, February 16, 2009

Giggling in the dark

I mentioned that I was recovering from surgery. My Mom informed me not to do this without being abundantly clear that I was talking about "spiritual" surgery and not in a hospital somewhere, lying in a bed, unable to CALL YOUR MOTHER!! Yep. We moms can get a little emotional over our little ones...even when the little one is 40 years old.

So, no...to clear up any confusion. I'm not recovering from any cutting on my body. But I am healing from some good surgery God did on my soul to sever some more flesh from the spirit he's sanctifying in me. And He got started while I was watching this talk from Matt Chandler. Before I post about his talk, let me tell you why all my girls were excited he had been asked to the conference.


Matt (May I call you Matt? Thanks.) has been used by God in an amazing way here in the Ransleben household. Brennan listens to him almost nightly. This came after months of trying to figure out how to settle her mind on truth as she lay in bed night after night, filled with anxiety...from what? You'll have to name it...because mostly she can't. Maybe it's something coming the next day. Maybe it's something happening 6 months from now. Maybe it's something that may never happen. But somewhere in that darkened room her fears would rise and her mind would race and the tears would fall. Night after night.

Then one night last summer, I was sleeping next to her in a hotel room and wasn't tired though I knew we had to turn the lights out for the girls. Don't you hate that moment? Well, I had come prepared with my iPod loaded with sermons. As we lay together in the dark, it was obvious she wasn't able to settle. We talked for a while about what might be concerning her...talked again about trusting the Lord...about talking to Him. I asked if she might like to listen to this guy I was listening to. He's pretty funny and was speaking about his kids which I thought she might like.

She pretty reluctantly agreed but soon started smiling along with me as we lay with our faces near each other, holding on to each other in the darkened room. Then giggles from her which, of course, caused her sisters to rise up to see what's going on. That made her relax even more. Mom and she shared a secret. Giggle, giggle. Her whole body sank into sleep as she listened because though Matt starts funny, interesting and even sarcastic and self-depreciating, it's not long before the truth of what he's saying penetrates deeply to the root of where I am turning from God. If you're like us, your body and mind quiet while the truth of God settles inside.

He's passionate about the Lord. His theology matches mine. His sarcasm makes me look kind. And his stories show that truth matters in real life. My kind of preacher.

Since that night, Brennan has gone to bed with earphones plugged in. She listens to the sermon from that first night over and over. She can literally quote most of it. But now she's heard almost everything he's ever said. She brings up the sermons when talking about life. She remembers them when she reads the Word. She tells me his points as well as her favorite lines as we drive together. But more than that, being under the Word through his teaching has settled the nights for her. As she listens, her mind shuts out the fears and fills with the Word. How grateful do you think I am for the gift of Matt Chandler to the church?

If you'd like to give him a listen click the link to the right under "Favorite People To Listen To". Brennan's favorite one is from 6.01.08 called "From Childish to Childlike". And when you get to the line, "That's old school, baby!"...think of her! That starts her laughing every time.

Another must hear is the series called The Cross (Parts 1-6). This was given between March and April of 2007. I can't recommend it strongly enough. I told this to Cassie shortly after Brennan began listening daily. She, I'm sure, thought like she always did when I tell her she's got to read this, listen to this, see this...Sure, Mom...whatever. I say it a lot. But she downloaded it to take on the Ukraine trip last summer with Wayne. She told me she thought she'd listen to them like Brennan does to go to sleep. Funny.

She griped at me when she got back for two reasons. First, she never got to sleep. How could I when they were so amazing?? And second, why didn't you tell me how great they were??? Everyone should listen to this!! I just said I was sorry. What can you do?

As I read back over this, you might get the impression that he's just a really good sleep aid! Promise that's not true. Even when Brennan does go to sleep during one, she immediately goes back to the last thing she remembers and starts from there. You won't want to miss anything he's teaching.

So, even though he is generally used to flay me open, I'm grateful...oh, so grateful...for the gift of teaching through Matt. Take a listen sometime and let me know if you agree. Tomorrow I'll let you know what I learned from 1 Timothy 4.

1 comment:

Karen and Shane said...

(Karen from Apples class here) Awesome stuff. Thanks Kim for a great reminder...I'll be downloading some for my ipod soon!

Can't remember if I told you that Matt used to go to our church in Abilene. I'm sure he has not the faintest idea of who I am but we all loved him there. He was my college minister when it was a tiny church in the middle of nowhere and its now a huge church! He also preached every Thursday night at a thing called Grace. Several years later he left and went to preach in DFW but came back every so often as a guest preacher. We loved it when he came back!

Every time I hear the song "Did you hear the mountains tremble?" I have a picture of him in my mind at Grace with his HUGE wingspan flung wide open singing his heart out. What a blessing he is and encourager to so many!

You should email him and tell him about your daughters...that is so awesome. I am consistently in awe of your walk with Him and how He is blessing you and your daughters.