Friday, January 07, 2011

Not Who I Am

Living life as a wife and mother is not really how I envisioned my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my family.  Sometimes though, I wonder if I’m missing out.  On something different.  Something bigger. 

Being a wife and mother takes selflessness.  That’s something that does not come naturally to me.  I feel like everyone around me should be working hard or doing what it takes for me to succeed or grow, not the other way around.

But there’s no way around it, everyone’s needs are more important than mine right now.  They have to be.  And sometimes I’m not very happy about that.  Yesterday as I was cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, trying in vain to fix things, managing kids and chasing dogs I got crabby.  I hadn’t left the house in two days.  I was coming in the back door and started to cry a little. 

I was mad that my husband and kids are turning me into someone I’m not.  I don’t like living in the country or going to bed early to be with my husband or making supper or being the one that has to get up to get that next glass of milk.  That is not me.  I pouted about it for the rest of the night. 

This morning a still small voice prodded at me.  I was still pouting a little.  The thing that struck me was maybe who I think I am is not who God wants me to be.  Maybe in this whole process God is growing me into the person I should be, not the pouty, selfish woman I am. 

The woman I should be?  I think she’s the one who willingly gets up to attend to the crying at night.  The one who lets her own needs take a backseat in order to see her family succeed.  The one who cancels her plans when someone gets sick.  The one who checks backpacks and makes lunches.  The one who serves and gives until it hurts. The one who does like living in the country with dogs and kids and chaos.

Imagine my surprise when through being humbled and growing less selfish I  find myself right where God wants me; sitting at the pinnacle of success in His eyes.  Thrilled to be a part of supporting and cheering for my husband, children and friends.  Wanting God’s absolute best for them no matter what it costs me. 

I’m hardly selfless.  Definitely struggle with humility.  Border on laziness.  But God is redeeming all that through my family.  It’s not a burden, it’s a blessing.

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:4-6

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Total Pushover

I said yes to the Christmas surprise.


Yes to being a total pushover.


Yes to an obscene amount of chaos.


Yes to squeals of delight.


Yes to big smiles.


Everyone is very happy that I said yes.  Even me.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

If I Could See The Future, Part Three

It’s pretty quiet around here this morning.  The kids are back to school.  As fun as break is, returning to routine is nice too.  Although sleeping in, sledding and watching movies all day is pretty hard to beat. 

Sunday, while my heart was in Maple Bay at my Grandma’s 90th birthday party, my body was right here in Wrenshall thanks to the weather.  Though it was nice to be at church after the holidays and sickness quarantine.  I just love worshipping with my church family. 

It seems a lot of people reflect on their lives at this time of year.  Resolutions are made.  We hope for a better year than the last one.  Sometimes we fear the unknown.  Because as much as we like to think things will keep getting better and better, that is not always the case. 

We are coming up on the one year anniversary of a really tough time for Mike and I.  Looking back on those days fills me simultaneously with dread and thanksgiving.  Dread because it was hard and yucky.  Thanksgiving because of what God has done in us and through us since then.  Those scars will always be reminders of the graciousness of our God. 

So last year taught me that I think it’s a good thing that I can’t see the future.  What would I do if I knew what was coming a year ago?  I wouldn’t have had to trust God that’s for sure.  And that would be a tragedy.  Those moments of crisis show the true valor and force of our faith.  Each moment that we turn to Him, God grows that in us. 

The most life changing way I’m learning to look at the future is to see Christ’s open and loving arms because that is what our future ultimately holds for His children.  There’s the promise of no more tears or pain which will be great.  Reunions with those gone before which will be amazing.  But that doesn’t hold a candle to a reunion with Jesus Christ.  The one who willingly died for my sins.  Who loves me despite my ugly flaws.  Who is God.  And is preparing a place for me.  He is the ultimate of my future.

If that doesn’t change the way I live now, I don’t know what will.  It really puts everything into perspective doesn’t it?  I’m doing a Bible study on Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi where we are given a little peek into the future in a whole lot of references to “that day”.  I had to highlight all of them and make a list of all the things that will happen on “that day”.  Any guesses to what “that day” refers to? 

It’s the day Jesus returns.  These prophesies were made thousands of years ago.  It blows me away.  Here’s part of the list:

“The Lord their God will save them on that day as the flock of his people. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.”  Zechariah 9:16

“On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the Lord going before them.”  Zechariah 12:8

“On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.”  Zechariah 13:1

On that day when Jesus returns, very little of the things we worry ourselves about in this life will matter at all.  The only thing that will matter is Jesus.  And I can’t think of anything better to teach my kids than not to take their eyes off Jesus in this life and to rest their future in Christ. 

If I could see the future, I’d want to see myself kneeling at Jesus feet and resting in his loving arms.  And I want to see the same thing for my family and everyone else I know.  So why not fill my life with that?  I want nothing more than to make my life a platform for lifting up His name and bringing Him glory. When I think of Jesus and His glorious return there is no anxiety or stress.  My heart just swells with praise.

“On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost.  It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime – a day known to the Lord.  When evening comes there will be light.  On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and winter.  The Lord will be king over the whole earth.  On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.”  Zechariah 14:6-9