Thursday, January 30, 2014

I'm That Little Girl

I have been so frustrated this whole week. My Princess has entered into a stage where she moves slower than a sloth to do anything and absolutely nothing can motivate her to accomplish the things she needs to in a day - getting ready in the morning, caring for pets, doing her school work. The lost privileges and consequences have no effect. She simply doesn't care and doesn't understand why she should. I want to pull my hair out in exasperation at trying to get her to realize that she is missing out on so much good stuff in life by draaaaaaaagggging out the work!

Flashback. There was once another little girl just like this - me. I clearly remember being about eight years old, standing on a giant rock in the middle of my grandmother's garden, performing a song at the top of my lungs with the world as my audience. I was free! It was fun! Problem? I was supposed to be weeding the garden. My grandmother had told me that if I pulled the weeds from her flowerbed she would pay me and also take me to the movies that evening. I remember her coming out of the house time and time again to urge me to get the work stay focused and motivated. I never understood until now.

I am still that little girl. It has occurred to me that we are all like this in our spiritual walks. God is constantly urging us to do more, make more of ourselves. Our response? We would rather waste time on things that don't matter, wallow in irrelevance and get sidetracked by everything else around us! Chores, status, finances, jobs, relationshipsgossip, possessions...the list could go on and on. God doesn't encourage us to push these things aside and focus on His Kingdom because He is just a big meanie! He does it because he knows that if we focus on what is truly important, if we work hard and get "things" done, then there will be rewards! Life will be more exciting and fulfilling! 

Stop dragging your feet and get busy! You've got a life to live!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

You Will Never Be Good Enough

Yep, you read that right. You will never be good enough. Now hold on before you click to some other link that is more upbeat and cheery. This really is a pep-talk!

I have always been that girl that has to do everything right. I actually get very upset if I don't accomplish what I wanted to. It was great when I was younger going through school. It got me good grades. It kept me from making stupid decisions (most of the time). You get the picture. However, as a mom, it has not been a great quality to have. Of course we should always strive to do our best, but my problem was that if I didn't have all the items on my to-do list checked off, if my house wasn't up to "par," if my kids were having "one of those days," even if I were sick and didn't get my ducks in a row...I felt like I had failed. I was a failure as a mom. I was a failure as a wife. I was just a failure.

Well, in a way, the Bible says that is true. Let's explore:

Isaiah 64:6 says, "For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;"

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

We can never be good enough! There are never enough good things that we can do to make all of our mistakes "ok." We can never serve enough or give enough to pay the price for our wrong choices. That is why God sent His Son.

This isn't a bad thing! It's grace! It is freeing! What this tells me is that I can stop striving! I can stop trying to be perfect. I can stop trying to be the perfect mom. I will never be. I can stop trying to be the perfect wife. I will never be. But, that doesn't make me a failure. It makes me beautiful. Yes, because Jesus blood has cleansed me and I am now in right relationship with God. With His Spirit in me, guiding me and sanctifying me, I am perfect. The way that I am now seen is not based on what I have accomplished, but on what He has accomplished for me. I can live a life without the burden of checking things off the list and focus on loving others and sharing this message of grace with everyone that I can.

Now, that is a pep-talk!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

After a Time of Absence...

I know that it has been a long time since I have written a blog post...there's good reason! This past summer our family was blessed with a new home. It is a gorgeous old home from 1901, which I love! It has come, however, with the additional package of needing lots of TLC! So, between moving a family with young children, trying to maintain a "semi-normal" lifestyle of work and play, and starting another school year (in a new place!), and being married to the youth pastor (speaks for itself, right?), I haven't had much time for the extras. Along the way, however, I have learned many heart lessons, overcome many frustrations, gotten in too deep into projects and have come out with lots that I would love to share with you. So I decided to pick up my technological pen and paper and begin to write once again...

a time to tear down and a time to build...(Ecclesiastes 3:3)
This old barn is on the property where we have moved. As cool as it is, it is completely unstable and the insurance companies have all but demanded that it come down.  So today we decided to begin the painstaking process of tearing it apart (saving wood and lumber for this and that). Included in this process however, was the task of building a temporary shelter for our sheep, who are due to lamb next week! Using the materials we were tearing off of the old barn, we were at the same time using them to build, and setting aside other pieces to build in the future!

As I began thinking about this process, I realized that this is exactly what God does with our lives. It certainly sums up what He has done with my life this past 6 months! We often come to a point in our lives when we know it is time to tear down. There are things that just gotta go. I find it difficult when I am at this point to determine which things need to be "torn down." It is a task of prioritizing and can also be painful when you finally figure out which things need to go.

Once we have made it through this time of tearing down, God then begins to use those pieces of our broken lives to build again. Whether it is leaving a home to start anew in another home, getting a new job, terminating unhealthy relationships and building new ones, tearing down walls and buildings to make new, sturdier ones, (the list goes on and on and on!)...we then begin to build again.

So what I have learned that I would like to pass on to you today is this, do not be afraid to "tear down" because it is only then that you can build again. And our God is notorious for rebuilding things much better than they were before!