Through all the busyness of homemaking, running around, starting school, and investing in the lives around me, I have seen so clearly how much my God cares for me and is directing my life.
I have been challenged this past week as I realize how much I compare myself to everyone around me. As I'm sure most everyone feels at some time in their life, I was beginning to feel as though my life really didn't make a difference. I get up, go to school, spend time with friends, do laundry, cook dinner, go to a church event or spend the evening with my husband, go to bed, and then repeat it all the next day.
Where is Christ in that?
When I looked at other "spiritual people" in my life who seemed to be doing bigger and better things for the Lord, I started to feel like I needed to do what they were doing. To think that God would only be happy with me if I was helping the homeless and volunteering somewhere big was silly. However, as I contemplated this issue, I decided that I needed to do bigger things and made plans to do so the very next day.
God had other plans, however. Five minutes after making my own plans, I found out that a friend of mine was struggling with some health issues. I called her to see how I could help and ironically (or God-planned) she asked if I could watch her daughter the exact time I had been planning to go do the "big things for God".
It was great. As I watched my friends daughter, God spoke to me. I realized that He really is in even the little things that we do, it's not just about the big sacrifices that everyone sees. Maybe His plan for my life is to be that woman people call on for help and encouragement. Even in cooking, cleaning, and doing homework, God can and has been using me to bless others.
I now understand the body of Christ in a much more meaningful way. We all have gifts and talents that God can use if we aren't too busy trying to get everyone else's talents!
Friday, August 26, 2011
This past week has gone by so fast. I'm getting settled into the routine of school and homework and it's actually going quite well. If I can just stay motivated to get my homework done, I should be good!
Over the weekend, Jimmy and I were given a 2 free nights stay in the gorgeous West Bayden Hotel out by Patoka Lake. It was our first mini vacation together since our honeymoon and we really enjoyed being able to spend time together and just relax!
Out by Patoka Lake
Watching the sunset together
The hotel we stayed in. It looked like a castle!
Now back to work and school! I will write more on life later:)
Friday, August 12, 2011
"No one's perfect"
But why is that statement always followed up with a shoulder shrug and dropping of the topic. I am guilty of this as well. It is easier for me to just go on living my imperfect life, comparing myself with the status quo of Christians around me and feel pretty good about where I'm at.
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Why are we so complacent? Why do we just shrug our shoulders and keep committing the same sins over and over just because it's "okay"?
Recently as our church studies the book Crazy Love, I have realized how far we fall short of what our lives should look like as a Christian. Although we are almost finished with the book, I find myself going back to chapter on lukewarmness. He compares Christians with the parable of the sower and writes,
"I think most American church goers are the soil that chokes the seed because of all the thorns. Thorns are anything that distracts us from God. When we want God and a bunch of other stuff,
then that means we have thorns in our soil. A relationship with God simply cannot grow when money, sins, activities, favorite sports teams, addictions, or commitments are piled on top of it."
I really don't think we are concerned enough with our growth in Christ. If we are content being right where we are at for the rest of our lives, then there is a serious problem. Yeah, we take our Christian lives seriously, but do we take it more seriously than our jobs, our social lives, or finances etc?
As David Goetz put it,
"Too much of the good life ends up being toxic, deforming us spiritually. A lot of things are good by themselves, but all of it together keeps us from living healthy fruitful lives for God."
This is where I struggle.
I like the good life and I like fitting in. What if I don't want to be that radical Christian? Is it a sin to be content where I'm at? All my life growing up, I was different from everyone else with my big dresses, long hair, and amish-like lifestyle. I like being normal now.
Luke 14:34-35 says, "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
There's my answer. If I'm just going with the flow, I will eventually be no longer useful for the kingdom of Christ. God didn't call me to follow other Christians. He called me to follow Him and leave everything else.
No, I admit, I'm not there yet. I'm not a radical Christian. Maybe I'm not even close. But I believe I'm more on the right track now than I was because I want to be there.
So in the words of author Francis Chan I ask you,
"Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God's kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world?"
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
I am just about to leave to drive to Nashville to spend the night with a friend and then fly to Florida tomorrow morning. I am going to spend the rest of the week with my Nana, a couple of my Aunts, and my sister Helen there. It will be my first time visiting the state of Florida! I'm very excited, but also sad because my hubby isn't going with me:( It will be our first time apart since we got married and neither of us are looking forward to it.
Last week we had a great date night driving out to the lake for a picnic and some fishing! There was a beautiful sunset, reminding me of how beautiful my God is.