Have you known it?
You have felt it.
Did you know that you are the object of longing?
As a lover of your soul, as a child, as worth sacrifice to be close to. Someone was, is, and always will be ... longing for you. It's the greatest love story, and you are in it.
Romans 5:6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
I hope your eyes are open to God's pursuit of you through His Son Jesus and His Spirit. I hope you long for him too.
Have you ever questioned yourself? Of course you have...we all have. But I mean have you ever Googled your brightest idea only to find out that it has already been thought of way better, bigger, brighter, and ten years earlier than your idea?
Well, that is where I am at right now.
So, the question is... why have the idea in the first place?
Do you think God can use you and your not quite measuring up idea? Let's read some scripture on it:
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Yes! He can. It is not about you anyways.
Until the day of our transformation...Keep on. Count EVERYTHING else loss. Some people don't know. I want to know Christ, and I want others to know Him too.
I like things neat. I like things in order. I guess I really just like perfection. You know, the kid that only walked on the black squares through the grocery store, or who has strange quirks like always adding a pinch more sugar to a batch of cookies EVERY time. Standing back from something you've done and knowing it's better than it was before. If there's something wrong, just go ahead and tackle it. I have to purposely make myself STOP and remember to enjoy the moment sometimes, instead of trying to just make things better. Ah, the reward of "fixing" things, and the sense of accomplishment that goes with it! The problem is, when perfection isn't attainable, no matter how hard you try. Some things you just can't fix. Like yourself. And, as much as you like to make things better for them, sometimes not even your kids. And it's even more frustrating when it's something obvious.
Even since I was little, I've always hated how my feet turn in. I remember walking to Cal and Sandy's house, eyes on the pavement, watching my feet, making sure they were straight. Stumbling as a kid, and my parents wondering why I fell so much. Trying so hard to correct it, and hoping people wouldn't notice. But, over time, they have. Like crashing on the ski slope and standing up in such an awkward position, my family exclaiming I MUST have broken my legs, but such a position is possible for me. Or the time I was snowboarding with friends, and I couldn't control the board as it was. We went into the shop and my guy friend asked them to, "Turn the feet in, you know, cause she's a little pigeon-toed." Ouch! But it was true. And similar comments the devil stacks up and pulls out to remind yourself how you don't measure up.
Tyler has been showing signs of the same problem. And his seems a little worse, but maybe it's just his age. I knew I was going to "handle it", "fix" it. Do what had to be done to fix such an "imperfection", so he wouldn't have to feel embarrassed. Today, we went to Dr. Boxer; and, sure enough, he shared that his tibia, or shin bone, is curved. It turns his feet in and has been causing him to trip quite a bit. But, he shared, braces have proven to not work. Unless it's very severe, they don't do anything anymore, because it would require surgery, and so it is what it is.
Until now, I just saw it as something I was going to fix. But, now, I realize, it's just something I have to ACCEPT. And, in accepting Tyler's problem, I have to accept myself. How can you expect your child to handle the comments, and (hopefully not!), teasing, if I don't have peace with the way God made me? Now, I have to admit, of all the problems to have, I'd gladly choose this one. But it is something that's bothered me. And today made me realize the way I view my beautiful, and, in my eyes, perfect child, and I know God sees me the same way. I love Tyler because he's mine, and I even love that he's like me.
In our perfection-based world, I encourage you to love the "imperfections" around you because God has His purpose in it. And we're better for it. Love and accept yourself as God does, and do the same for those around you.
Last night my 3 year old son Clayton had his first sleep over with his best friend. He did great there and was very happy when we met up at Starbucks. Then, he realized that he had to come home with me. This scenario created a mild melt down at first. I just told him to shape up and say thank-you for a nice time. I visited for a few minutes not minding his quiet sulking.
Now, there is some background information you must know. I am NOT by nature either patient or gentle. I actually struggle with fits of rage probably as much as the 2 and 3 year olds I am trying to parent. I am loving, but in my loud, authoritative way. I have been praying for patience and the ability to parent without yelling, because I know the brain research behind yelling. I studied psychology in preparation to become a teacher. The recipient of yelling goes into to flight or flight mode and literally does NOT hear what you are saying. They are just surviving.
The knowledge I have from teaching worked great in the classroom. I could always keep my cool in a class full of 12 year olds, because I knew "I only have ___ minutes left." Parenting, on the other hand, can make me feel like there is no escape. This is for-ev-er. At that point, a wire snaps in my brain and all my knowledge gives way to my own self preservation and sanity... which usually surfaces as "ahhhhhhhhhhhh! Just ...... arghhhhhhhh!"
Now, back to Starbucks and the growing melt-down. I just start to pull out thinking that he will snap out of it. Clayton had other ideas and escalates. He started yelling repeatedly, "I wanna go to RAIDEN'S HOUSE! You're naughty mommy!!!! I don't want you!" He was thrashing at this point. The thought of driving 20 min home made me cringe, so I pull back into a parking spot and get firm, "You don't speak to me that way." I give him the count down, "1....2.....3.... Now that really did it! Finally, I tell him he needs to calm down and try to take him from the car, as he is grabbing the car seats.
God must really answer prayer, because I was somehow calm! I was given patience and to my surprise... understanding washed over me! I grabbed my little boy in a big hug and said, "Just tell mom who loves you that you are really really sad, and it is just too much to handle alone." I continued to hug him, and my little boy went limp and hugged me back. There we were sitting in the middle of the Starbucks parking lot...hugging. We just didn't let go of each other.
Tears starting to fill my eyes, and my little boy just cried: Not spunking, Not yelling, just sad. At that moment, I can picture my heavenly father quietly talking to me in my fits of rage, "Just call on me." "Just tell me this is more than you can handle. I will carry you." Oh how I love him! Oh how he loves me! Now... I can love my kids. I can be patient. I can be gentle.
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
P.S. This blog was in part inspired by one that I read a few weeks ago called the gentleness challenge.
I have been wanting to start a blog for a while. Of course in this life if you want to do something, you think of the reasons NOT to do it:
Everyone is doing it, I don't want to seem unoriginal
People won't read it
I'm too busy
I'll probably start it and never do anything with it.
This is my first post. This is me saying NO to the NOTS and YES to my SPOT in this world. =)
I am a proud person. I have always internally bragged about my ability to say no. I said no to smoking as a teenager; I said no to drugs; I said no to dating everyone (until I met Mike); I said no to self deprecating girl talk. I was and am very proud of my ability to say no to peer pressure.
What does that have to do with this blog? If I have the desire to do something in life and DON'T because I am worried about what others will think of me... I am succumbing to peer pressure in the worst way! What a hypocrite I have been: the "I can say 'no' to anything" girl. My pride has been robbing me of opportunity.
I am happy to say goodbye to my pride, follow a call, be true to my heart and start making some INK SPOTS. =) I pray that my stories and thoughts to come can spread the truth of God's word, and encourage.
If you are reading this... I love you for it. See... I was wrong... someone did read it. ;) Today, put your heart out there somehow. You know you have heard a still small voice or a longing in your heart. God created your heart and put desires in it for a reason.
Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.