sacrifice

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.

IMG_3294

Advertisements

A Fair Trade…

What are we willing to trade?

-Am I willing to trade a clean house for more messy fun?
-Am I willing to trade gourmet meals for flour covered, little hands?
-Am I willing to trade “me time” for extra snuggles at night?
-Am I willing to trade my plans for His?

Some days…yes. But there’s more…

He traded His life for mine. He carried the cross when I should have. He was crucified when my sin was the one that required payment.

What was He willing to trade for me? Everything.

And I call what I do sacrificing. Pat myself on the back. Judge you for your indulgences.

Yes, we make sacrifices on a daily basis. Yes, trades are a part of parenting. But dare I pity myself. Dare I look more at myself than at Him.

No parent is the benchmark for another. No parent is the measuring stick for their kids.

Only He is.

He made the ultimate sacrifice. He gave up the most. And only He can guide us and strengthen us through the trades we make each day.

“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)

IMG_3348

 

A Selfish Marriage

He was out of town last week for 3 nights.  We survived.  I was thrilled when he returned home.  But something made me feel  guilty.

I honestly enjoyed being in control.

It was nice not having to worry about another adult.  I liked running the show without additional input.

Am I being too honest?

We miss him when he’s away.  Everyone is happier when he’s here.  We thrive as a family.

But the sinful me still likes to call the shots.  I like it my way or no way.  And his leaving reminded me how desperately I need a Savior.

I need someone to look to Who has really laid it all down.  Someone Who’s said, “Not my will, but yours, be done.”

Marriage is for His glory.  It teaches me how to love like Him.  It teaches me how to sacrifice.

When the seasons are long, and marriage is hard, we can look to the cross.  To Him.  And we can lay it all down…all over again.  And love because we have been loved.

“And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done’.” (Luke 22:41,42)

043

Worth it?

After a busy (but fun) week of Christmas, I told Jeremy that I was looking forward to going back to work next week!=)  Senseless!  I followed that question up internally with, “Do I really believe all this is worth it?”  Basically, the “all this” could be defined as the craziness and self-sacrifice of having kids.  My answer was yes,  I believe this is all worth it.

Is it worth it right now?  Maybe not so much.  Will it be worth it one day?  Hope so.  Regardless, I have been loved by a Savior who understands and who answered with his death the question of “is all this really worth it.”

Because He loved me enough to offer me His worth, I can love our family even on the days when it doesn’t feel worth it.  And even on the days when I wonder if it ever will be!