WARNING: What you are about to read is a bit long winded and just a little raw but I wanted to be honest about how God is working in my life. So there you have it.
God's been working on my heart in so many ways. A couple of weeks ago I was at my sister's house for lunch. We often discuss what God is doing in our lives and I very much treasure these conversations. We were having just such a conversation when suddenly, before I even knew what was happening, I found myself having a melt down of sorts. I sat there and basically sobbed to my sister about the areas of my life I'm failing in (and some of these areas I wasn't aware of or at least hadn't acknowledged up until that point) . She was, of course, very encouraging and comforting. But the more I heard her say ,"It's ok. You've got to give yourself a break." the more I thought, nope. I think that's the whole problem. I have been excusing away any area where I feel like I've failed. I always come up with a reason and its never one that sounds like I had any other option but failure. It's never my fault. Now I do want to clarify that failure is a part of life.
Thomas Edison made 1000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, "How did it feel to fail 1000 times?" Edison replied ,"I didn't fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps."
Winston Churchill had to repeat a grade in elementary school and he was asked, "You mean you failed a year in grade school?" His reply was, "I never failed anything in my life. I was given a second opportunity to get it right."
The reoccurring theme in these stories that I see different from a lot of my circumstances is that they kept on trying. So much of the time when I feel overwhelmed or like I've failed I just give up. I stop trying. That is true failure, failing to try.
I've been praying that God would show me the areas where I am believing lies. Show me truth. Reveal yourself and your character to me. And here is His truth that He revealed:
"If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful for He cannot deny who He is" ~2 Timothy 2:13
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever." ~Psalm 107:1
Regardless of how many times I fail or am unfaithful, it does not nullify God's faithfulness. I get overwhelmed when I fail and think there is no point in even trying. But I need to look at it differently and realize that God doesn't expect us to be perfect but He does expect us to try. He never gives up on us and that alone should be my motivation to try, try again.
If you are human (and I think you probably are) you will fail. But until we go to live with God in heaven someday we will not be perfect. He doesn't expect us to be. Don't dwell on your failure but learn from it, move on and try again. God is good all the time. He never changes. He never contradicts His own character. We can trust him. He is faithful even when we are not.
Trying...failing...and trying again,
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
Have you ever got to the end of a meal and been so absolutely full that you were not only past the point of being satisfied you were very uncomfortable?? I have to admit that I do it way more than I'd like to admit. And often I wait a half hour or so until the yucky, "I'm going to pop" feeling starts to go away and then I have dessert. Yup...
God's been showing me in the last week that food is not the only area where I am guilty of this "fill myself to the brim so there's no room for anything else" syndrome. I just finished a book and this is one of the quotes I read...
"If we are not hungry for God, it is because we have allowed our souls to be satisfied or satiated with other things."
I fill my time with so many things: computer, driving, shopping, reading, cleaning, sleeping...and this list could go on forever. Some of those are even "good", if not necessary, things. The problem is that I don't just stop at necessary. I fill myself with these things until I am full to the point of bursting and then I wonder, "Why don't I have more of the hunger that I should for God?" Well, if I look at the big picture I'm not surprised. There's no room left. I keep my mind busy with everything else. So, in the last couple of days I've cut out a LOT of my normal "keep my mind busy" activities. I have been reading my bible instead of going to zone out in front of the computer and praying instead of getting in the car to drive to town and spend money.
I've been amazed at the amount I've learned and what God's revealed to me in just a few short days. And even in the area of food, I'm learning to eat until I'm satisfied and then I stop. Remember, "Food is fuel, not comfort."
I hope this inspires you and I hope it gives you hope. God has so much in store for us. He has so much that he wants to teach us and free us from. We just have to give him our time. The more time we give God the more of a sensitivity we will develop for Him. If you want to read about a great example in the Bible check out Luke 2:36-38. In these verses we see Anna's keen sensitivity as a result of never leaving the temple but worshiping day and night..
Making room in my heart,
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
You know those couples that are truly inspiring? They seem to be kind, gentle and poised all the time. You can't help but want to be around them. They treat each other with great respect as well as everyone they come in contact with. Well, we live next to a couple. They moved in around 5 years ago...And they aren't like that at all. I can honestly say that I have despised these people. We've had several interactions with them and none of them have been what I would call pleasant. All memorable...but not pleasant. Well, during some quiet time in the last week while I was reading I found a verse in the Bible that I have read many times before but it stuck out to me more this time than others.
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you...If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others?..." Matthew 7:43-44, 46-47a
And then my head was filled with the following thoughts, "But I don't want to pray for these people. They're terrible and foul and rude and arrogant..." That was not the end of my list. "And they certainly don't deserve my love. And how on earth am I supposed to love someone that I feel very strong emotions for that are in fact quite the opposite of love??"
And then today I read this:
"To truly love someone takes great effort. We must know and receive God’s love for us first before we can love others. Love is not something we are born with but something we learn through our rebirth and connection with God. In fact we must be born of God to “love” others in the proper ways."
And I also read this:
"Love is a gift from God because only something as precious and wonderful as God’s love can help us to love someone who has wronged us." (Matthew 5:38-42)
And what I really heard the loudest when I read that was, "God's love can help us..." It is absolutely impossible to love my neighbors by myself. I can't do it.
A few years ago I was in a bible study and we did a little exercise that I'd like to share with you now.
1) Read 1 Corinthians 4:1-8a (You know...Love is patient, Love is kind...)
2) Insert your name wherever you would normally read "Love" (Are you cringing as much as I did?)
3) Now replace "Love" with "Jesus". (Sounds a lot better, huh?)
4) And finally replace "Love" with "Jesus in me".
You see apart from Jesus we are dark and dirty and not even capable of love. Jesus died on the cross not only to save me, but he also died on the cross to save my neighbors. If you've accepted Jesus' gift of salvation God now sees you through the lens of Jesus. And He wants me to shine his light so that more may know and experience His love. I can't do that if I'm holding onto hatred and bitterness. It's not easy, but we don't have to do it alone. Ask for His strength and embrace it.
I love you all millions more than I'm capable of on my own,
photo courtesy of luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
photo courtesy of luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Thursday, April 5, 2012
...And this is what we woke up to. It really hasn't bothered us too much though. It's not super cold and the snow isn't sticking to the roads so that's a good sign.
The boys have been happy to just play inside for the morning. Taylor worked on coloring a poster he made at school yesterday. "Do you like it mom??" "I love it Tay! We'll hang it on your wall when you're finished." Take some time today to build your kids up and help them realize how amazing they are. Just like they say in Veggie Tales..."God made you special, and He loves you very much!"
You may have seen in a previous post that Ben got a guitar for his birthday. Well he started guitar lessons yesterday. I was so proud of him when the teacher came out of the lesson saying how amazing he did. She though with just a few basics lessons he'd take off and do it all on his own. Ben loved the experience and was beaming from all the praise.
Now I'm going to finish drinking my latte, get everyone cleaned up and then we're off to deliver a few little gifts to my family that we won't see on Easter.
Cozy mornings and caramel coffee creamer,
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
It's really easy for me to get stuck in ruts. I'm not one of those super-go-getter types. I like to get things accomplished but I'm not that person that gets to the end of the day and feels so much better about myself because I got every single thing on my to-do list done. It's just not me. So every once in a while I find myself not even wanting to leave the house. Now, I will say, I am nowhere close to agoraphobic. I like my outings! But I can fall into the rut of feeling like it's too much work to get ready to go anywhere. Sounds terrible but it's the truth. Thankfully my husband has a job that allows me to tag along once in awhile. I love spending time together and usually going to work with him means I get to see some beautiful landscapes.
And I think by now you all probably know how I feel about sunshine. I L-O-V-E IT!!! It really is what fuels me. My husband also works a job that puts him outside for about 50% (or more) of his day. So, during the spring and summer months I try to go along as often as I can.
I wonder if this "stuck in a rut" problem is common for stay at home moms?? Anyone else ever have trouble with this?
Anyway, I rode along this morning and it was gorgeous! So glad I did. It was a great start to the day. I feel energized and that's good because I've got stuff that I have to get done. Silly kids think that eating is important. Guess I better go to the grocery store.
Hope you all are enjoying spring wherever you are.
Green grass sprouts and crisp mornings,