Thursday, March 26, 2009

How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You?

Today, I was getting a snack for the boys after school. I was trying to be a good mama and make some sugar cookies (trust me - they are refrigerator dough cookies) with little chocolate kisses in the middle of each one. One of the boys came up and asked if he could have a kiss...I told him to wait because I wasn't sure how many I had left. I am not kidding when I say he came back less then 60 seconds later and asked again - I was still unwrapping and sticking the kisses in the middle of the cookies. I turned to him and said very loudly, "HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT YOU NEED TO WAIT UNTIL I AM DONE".

yep

It was a bright, shining moment for motherhood.

But as I finished up the cookies I was thinking that God probably feels the same way. I know I have to be told by him many more times than one. Thankfully my God is gracious and slow to anger. But what does this say about me?

Proverbs 23:18-20
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,

and keep your heart on the right path.

James 1:19
My dear brothers, take note of this:
Everyone should be quick to listen,
slow to speak and slow to become angry

Listen to wisdom, and once you hear it, apply it, and practice it. So there is hope for me to be wise.

I am a babbler. I love to talk. The problem is I am not wise because of it. I pray that God will teach me to hold my tongue and listen more than babble. I will be a wiser woman for it.

I am always convicted when I read Proverbs 31 (what woman is not?) specifically verse 26

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

This is what I long for. But too many times I hear myself asking God something I have already been told, but have forgotten because of my busy-ness and self involvement. I sometimes think that my constant talk is from nervousness....but I don't want that to be a cop-out. It is WHAT I am talking about that is telling. Myself. Ugh.

Titus 2:7-9
7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.


As an "older" woman (I know - it almost hurts to say that) my goal should be to listen more and instruct wisely. I have been through the, "look at me, look at me" stage and should have moved on by now for pete's sake. The only way to show soundness of speech is to have wisdom and wisdom comes from listening to wise counsel and putting it into practice.

Another thought is - maybe my children need to see this in me so that I can be a better example of how it looks. Convicting.

James 1:4-6
4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's a Problem

I have been sick a lot this winter. I have managed to catch every bug that came through. Bronchitus, that turned into right lung infection, two stomach viruses the flu...pretty much from November until March. Miserable really. I also know that I am struggling mightily with my depression again. Not the deep black hole that I saw last year - but a general lethargy that is pervasive throughout my life. I am not pleased with myself or with my life. I want to know why.

The Word of God has been good for me. But I do not stay in it as I ought. I do better some times than others - which is normal...but I have not allowed it to be my strength - I am sure that is the biggest problem. Because I am so doggone determined to help myself and to be everything I want to be, I manage to exhaust myself in the process of trying to do it all by myself.

The struggle I find is that I really don't believe that God loves me. I can't imagine why he would think I am a trophy he is proud of - I try hard to wrap my head around it but it just doesn't seem to compute. I do believe it is why I am constantly trying my best to impress and do it on my own. Is it that I want to be proud of myself so he can be proud of me? Maybe? Of course this has caused me to be so self involved that I have managed to cut myself off from most people even. I no longer feel the fellowship of the body of Christ.

My goals for my household, my children, my husband, have consumed me and then overwhelmed me. The things I used to love, like writing, singing and drawing - well...there is no interest there. I have become so burdened by my desire to keep order in my life that I would rather veg in front of the computer playing games or watching TV so I won't think about it. I know there is so much else I need to be doing ...and so comes the depression - the lethargy, which has led to a kind of spiritual paralysis.


2 Chronicles 7:
1 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 The priests could not enter the temple of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled it. 3 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the LORD above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying,

"He is good;
his love endures forever."

Solomon had taken on the task of building the temple, after David could not. He dedicated it to the Lord with thousands of burnt offerings. His desire was to glorify the Lord in all he did. I understand that God is calling the nation to repentance - I am sure much as he desired the nation of Israel to seek his face and repent of their sins - he is desiring it for us (United States and any nation on Earth now) as well. Judgement came in the form of pestilence and famine. I understand that this repentance must come from a conviction of heart of each individual...

2 Chronicles 7:13-15
13 "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.


I see this pestilence and famine in my own life. I long to be free from it. I desire to humble myself before the Lord and to be healed.

Psalm 32
1 Blessed is he
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the man

whose sin the LORD does not count against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent,

my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night

your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.
Selah



Some how - some way I have got to come to a mental AND heart realization of my need for Christ. I am going on my face today and pouring my inability to do what I so long to do, to please the Lord in my own strength. I am not capable. I have been living in a desert...in the midst of so much blessing and favor shown to me in spite of my sorry state. How good is the Lord. He would bless in spite of my misery. My misery being all of my own doing.

The only thing I know to do is to start in square one. Come before the Lord, claim his WORD and seek to make it priority in my life. Instead of making my own way - which I am so apt to do, to actually - ACTUALLY seek his face and to know his heart so that it makes a difference in my life - in what I choose to pursue - in serving my family and others.

Psalm 32

5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, "I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD "—
and you forgave
the guilt of my sin.
Selah
6 Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you

while you may be found;
surely when the mighty waters rise,
they will not reach him.
7 You are my hiding place;

you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you and watch over you.
9 Do not be like the horse or the mule,

which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,

but the LORD's unfailing love
surrounds the man who trusts in him.
11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous;

sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Here is where I know I will find the solace and relief I am now longing for. I pray that God will allow me to remember that my strength is not my own - and that my pride in my own accomplishments means nothing to him. It is my dependence on HIM that he is seeking. He sees me as the person who has already attained this because of his son's sacrifice for me. My prayer is that I will live it out daily. My struggle is exhausting at times...but I am so very tired of taking the reigns back and trying to take control...for it leads me to this dreary place every time.

Lord give me a heart that depends on you - one that will lean heavily on you for my support and accomplishments. I am so tired of failing. I am so tired.

Psalm 121
A song of ascents. 1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—

where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,

the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—

he who watches over you will not slumber;

Praise GOD!