Worn Out

Just “Be” This Summer…

The emotions welled up like a dam that had been waiting to explode.

We’d spent the morning with some friends at the park. Our kids had chased a frog, sat by the creek, and had lunch.

And for some reason as I was reading Esther her naptime book, the thought came quickly.

“You will never have that moment again.”

I blinked hard against the tears.

I know my kids are growing. (We’re the ones dishing out money for new clothes and shoes.) But sometimes I forget.

What if they never catch frogs again? What if fighting with bamboo sticks feels immature?

Raudel said it at church this weekend-“We’re human beings not human doers.

I’ve forgotten how to be, because I keep on doing.

Ann Voskamp wrote, “The way to experience unlimited elation may be to imagine unexpected limitation.”

Y’all…I need to just be for awhile. To slow. To see them as kids. To play. And laugh.

He needs to be enough, so I can say no more quickly.

Because of the grace of the cross, I have nothing left to earn. His love frees me to be.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)

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Breaking Down to Stay Alive

I remember hearing Dr. James Dobson say many years ago that Satan’s number one attack on our nation is the breakdown of the family.

Maybe I didn’t believe it then. Maybe I was “in love,” without kids, and thinking the “breakdown of the family” was a far-fetched idea for my perfect ideals.

But a mere 15 years into being a wife, and I believe Dr. Dobson was right.

It’s hard to stay committed in marriage. It’s hard because I’m a sinner. And Jeremy’s a sinner. And Heaven help us, we have birthed little sinners.

And I’d really like things to be calm around here. I’d like to weigh what I did on our wedding day. I’d like to feel loved like I was 18. And blissfully oblivious like I just birthed our first kid.

But so is life. And so is Satan. And his rampage goes on and on.

And we keep fighting.

Not because we want to win, but because we can’t lose. Lives are at stake. Futures hang in the balance.

And the cross tells me grace is the only way to win. Love is worth dying for.

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Didn’t we just celebrate Easter?

He is making all things new but only after we’re willing to die. He stretched out His arms so I can open mine. And He embraces me so I can embrace.

Yes…We stay alive in marriage and family and friendship…by breaking down.

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I.CAN’T.DO.THIS.

Because sometimes He speaks so clearly I stop in my tracks…

If following God means the joy I’m showing, would our kids want to be in His will?

I tell them:
-The best place to be is in God’s will.
-God loves you and has a plan for your life.
-Serving God is the greatest thing you could ever do.

Then I mope around the house. I’m short with them. I rush through bedtime to get a break.

Sometimes I probably look downright miserable doing what I tell them He’s called me to do.

Why would they ever want to follow Him with me making it look so terrible?

I’m the first to say that the life of a Christian is not one of ease. Christ suffered. Why would we expect any less? But I also believe a life without joy is not living the life Christ died to give us.

I’m also the first to admit that having kids is hard. And we don’t own it enough. And everyone looks perfect, so we keep smiling while we’re dying inside and just so, so tired.

But has He called me here? In this little spot we call home? Has He called me to be His ambassador? To partner with Him in shaping these little arrows to be sent out?

YES!

The disconnect…Working in my own strength. Carrying the burden He intends to bear. Talking God to our kids while not talking to God myself.

I.CAN’T.DO.THIS.

That’s where I find freedom. I can’t, but He can. He never asked me to do the things I’m trying to do. That’s why I get burned out.

So I give them to Him all over again. And I can smile and laugh and run and tickle. And yes, I’m still so tired, but it’s a joyful tired.

Because being in His will…where else is there to be?

  “Have you not known? Have you not heardThe LORD is the everlasting Godthe Creator of the ends of the earthHe does not faint or grow wearyhis understanding is unsearchableHe gives power to the faintand to him who has no might he increases strengthEven youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhaustedbut they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eaglesthey shall run and not be wearythey shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)

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And currently we have two two year olds!

 

Completely Not Perfect But Perfectly Loved

I scrolled through Facebook the other night before bed. Jeremy was gone. The house was quiet. And I literally found myself saying out loud, “So and so is so perfect. And so is she. And she. Why am I so not perfect?”

Y’all, I named names. Outloud. In our house. The jealousy and frustration were literally boiling over.

I’ve spent the last couple days cleaning vomit and giving medicine and wiping noses. All while feeling like death myself.

And far, far from those “perfect” pictures I let seep into my mind and harden my heart.

The root…I haven’t spent much time with Him lately. I haven’t heard Him remind me of His love. I haven’t cried out to Him and let Him comfort me.

Lately Jesus’ perfect life hasn’t seemed like enough for my imperfect one.

“When Jesus is gracious to us, why would we be cruel to ourselves.” (Ann Voskamp)

Admitting I’m not perfect is one thing. But condemning myself when I’ve been justified is another.

He was perfect so I don’t have to be. He sees me and loves me…grace upon grace.

“He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.” (Psalm 78:39)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

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When you can’t even change yourself…

The thing is you don’t see life change. It’s gradual. But we all change. Through circumstances. Through life experience. Through others.

I’d prefer to see it. Watch it unfold like a good movie. But in grace He works silently. Maybe slowly.

Could today be any more beautiful? White beaches, clear water, our boys throwing ball with Compassion kids. The hurting collide with the hurting and there enters grace.

Yes, let’s take away the poverty. Let’s take away the filth. Let’s take away all this pain. What if the world didn’t have hungry children who were counting on our measly $38 a month? What if they were all well fed, well clothed, well housed? What if every child was safe?

But they aren’t. And we can’t fix it all. Is that an excuse not to try?

I’ve been wrestling with the fact that our personal giving affected our ability to pay for our trip. It made me come to you. To ask the body for help.

Could it be that our giving opened up a chance for more giving? For more reliance on our part? For the body to become more of the body?

I can’t change the world. I can’t even change myself.

But God forbid we use the too big excuse not to try. Not to open our hands and say, Okay, God.

I’ve got no answers. Only a confidence that Christ came to love and serve. How can I call myself a Christian-a “little Christ” if I’m not doing the same?

Make me more and more and more willing, Father!

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:32-34)

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(Post written in the Dominican)