Okay so I know that but, today when she said it, it really hit me pretty hard. I am a woman and I "feel" a lot. I've made way too many decisions based on "feelings". I am constantly praying for TRUTH and today my truth telling friend helped me see a few things I need to really commit to praying about. I truly believe God will answer my prayer. But I need to be diligent in truly casting all of my cares upon Him instead of allowing my mind to carry them for me.
It's all about you Jesus. I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it, when it's all about you. It's all about you Jesus.
When I walked into the library filled with Moms, babies, toddlers and old ladies, I felt refreshed. The little old ladies were smiling at the kids and Josiah was saying over and over again, "Mommy, I love the library! Let's get some Thomas The Train Books! And lets get some movies!" And let's not forget how great it feels to walk inside where it is COOL. The library seems to consistently be cold and cold is good when you've just unloaded three kids out of the car in triple digit weather. (I don't know if it really is triple digits today but it's hot, really hot!) So you get the point. Josiah is totally excited about the idea of picking out a pile of books to take home and a few movies, Ava Beth is excited about looking for a princess book and Ezekiel is sitting comfortably in the Baby Bjorn carrier I'm wearing. Not only am I wearing the Baby Bjorn, I am also wearing a pretty nice smile. I've been lazy this Summer so I did some research on books for the kids and some ways to help Josiah learn to read before starting kindergarten next year, so I head to the library. I'm feeling good as a Mom and proud that my kids are not watching Noggin at the moment! Instead, we're at the library and Barbara Bush would be so proud!
We have not made a library trip since moving here so, today was the day I needed to get my library card. Patiently I wait at the counter while the library employee scans books in that someone just returned. Finally she notices me and my heavenly library trip turns hellish!
Here's the script! (I'll just write it out like I would a drama so you can relive it with me.)
Characters: Library employee with really bad attitude
Mom with three kids who is happy to be at the library
Employee: (annoyed tone) Mam, is there something I can help you with?
Mom: (aware of employee being rude so trying to kill with kindness) Yes, (smiling) I just need to get a library card.
Employee: (really, really annoyed) well you need to fill out the application over here (pointing to her left).
Mom: Oh, okay. (walks over to application counter) ***can you believe there is an application counter??! SERIOUSLY! (after she finishes application, she walks back to the line.)
Employee: (takes application from mom's hand) Uhhh, I'm going to need to see your driver's license. (The Mom hands her the DL.) Uhhh, this is not the address you have written on the application.
Mom: (holding back the need to say "NO CRAP LADY!) Yes Mam, we moved here a few months ago and I have not had it changed yet.
Employee: Well, you do you have a utility bill with you?
Mom: (holding back the need to say "Yes, I carry those with me every where I go. Would you like to see the water bill, electric bill or phone bill?) No mam. (Mom's four year old child in the background begging for books) Do I have to have a bill with me to check out books today?
Employee: (now talking to Mom like she is stupid) Yes. You cannot check out books unless your license is correct or unless you have a bill with you to prove you live there.
(Mom's four year old now whining about not getting books and movies.)
Mom: (now mom is annoyed not with the stupid rule but more with the employee's rudeness) Your serious? (mom begins to put DL in back in wallet when all of the sudden, employees does the unthinkable)
Employee: (picks up application before Mom can put it away in diaper bag, holds it up in front of her face and rips it up.)
Mom: (STUNNED, totally STUNNED. And pissed!) Mam, why did you just rip up my application?
Employee: Well, I have to destroy it if you are not going to use it.
Mom: I spent time filling it out and I was going to bring it back tomorrow or Saturday. That was not very nice.
Employee: Sorry, you will have to fill out another one.
Mom: (the Mom has an Ally McBeal moment and envisions jumping over the counter to tackle the library employee but instead walks away and tells four year old that this library is not a very nice place. Son then asks if they can go back to the nice library at their old house. Then the Mom fights the urge to turn around and yell, "YOUR LIBRARY SUCKS!" But she doesn't. Instead, she gets into her car after loading up the three kids in triple digits and cries. Yep, she cries.)
Okay, so seriously! This is how I expect o be treated at the DMV or the DPS but the LIBRARY? I understand there are rules okay? But isn't this the country that has a First Lady who has a platform relating to children getting books for free and doesn't she go around reading stories at Libraries and Schools and promoting early reading for kids?? She's a former librarian for crying out loud and she wants my children to read!! But today I got sent home! Have you seen the Soup Natzi on Seinfield??? Well, I think I met the Book Natzi today!
NO BOOKS FOR YOU!
Needless to say, the library trip sucked in every way so why not make the day better and go to Wal Mart? Hey, what the heck? That's where all the nice people hang out! HA! Let's unload three kids in triple digit, scorching hot weather one more time! After all, it would be a fast trip. I needed butter, milk, yogurt, cauliflower, broccoli, bananas, apples, glue sticks, stickers for a chore chart and re fried beans! How easy could it be?! Super easy, until Ava Beth starts eating yogurt in the cart! Who needs a spoon, right? I couldn't see her due to Ezekiel's car seat. Then it got worse when I began to self check and realized the apples I chose rang up at almost $2.00 a pound! And I bought a lot of Apples! But then a sweet cashier (which I usually have grumpy cashiers in Wal Mart and that's why I like to go to HEB Plus instead) tells me how she loves my hair and how much I look like PINK! She must have been talking about my ripped physique! Nope, it was the hair. :)
And now my little sweet dumplings are all sleeping...
Labels: mean people
The past several days I have been thinking about how much running symbolizes my walk with Christ. One of my favorite scriptures is Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Today I looked up the verse in different translations and found that it jumps off the page for me in The Message translation.
1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
There are several parts in this translation that really speak to me. Strip down, start running- and never quit! I can't tell you how many times I thought about quitting in the beginning of our runs. My body constantly fought the urge to walk instead of run. The pain in my side, the pain in my shins, the difficulty in keeping a steady pace, I longed to stop and walk. It's in those moments that I am reminded of how much I struggle at times to keep going with things I have committed to or things that I am responsible for or even my relationships. I've had moments in my marriage where I really felt I could not longer do it. I never contemplated divorce but I thought about not caring anymore. As a Mom, I struggle to find creativity in my parenting. I struggle to stay positive and some mornings I wake up with a longing for no responsibility at all. When friendships get difficult, I would much rather choose flight instead of fight. I would much rather think of myself instead of them, especially if there is conflict. It's much easier to be a slave to fear, laziness or anger. It's much harder to strip down and run the race marked for me to run.
Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in.
One of the things I prayed this morning was that the Holy Spirit would convict me when I take my eyes off Jesus. I do it so often! I know I do it because when I take my eyes off him, my entire perspective changes. Instead of seeing peace, I see strife. Instead of seeing blessings, I see troubles. When I take my eyes off of Him for one second, I lose my place in the race. I get further and further from the finish line.
Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever.
If you ever decide to run, you have to know it's hard in the beginning. The aches and pains, the soar muscles, the difficulty with being steadfast and the way you even have to train your mind to keep you going is very tough. I can honestly say that it has gotten so much easier physically and mentally. I don't want to quit in the middle of the run. Instead of the desire to walk, I have a desire to keep on running and a desire to push through any pain I may feel. I constantly think about the finish. I envision the church parking lot constantly because that is where we always end. The last mile, I can see the church and just being able to see the place where I will finish, keeps me moving and often makes me pick up the pace. It's in those moments that I can't lose sight of where I am headed, that exhilarating finish in and with God, my true running partner. Along the way I may have to endure a soar muscle, an ache in my side or a an upset stomach, but I put up with it because I see the finish! Life is full of difficult things. Heartache, tragedy, disappointments, whatever you want to call it. Pain we will endure, but we press on. For the finish line is within sight. And for that, I will put up with anything!
And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
I love that! The long litany of hostility he plowed through! Jesus really did it all for us! He plowed through and there is nothing, absolutely nothing we can't do when we run in His strength. I can run the race and have joy. I can run the race and have peace. I can run the race and have strength!
And she runs to the finish line victoriously...
Labels: running a long distance race
Honestly, I am sick of the things I hear people say about Christians. I'm starting to take offense and want to defend my fellow brothers and sisters, as I should! How dare I walk into a church and criticize their message, their music, their vision, their programs and even the wording in their bulletin! That's what I have been doing for a few years now and in a strange kind of way, the Holy Spirit allowed me to feel that judgement I have placed on others as I took part in worship on Sunday. Saturday afternoon, I kept struggling with feeling judged by others. I could not figure out why it was so heavy upon me but I could physically feel it. Then on Sunday morning I felt like the Holy Spirit was revealing that what I felt is exactly what I have been doing to others. And when I am full of judgements, I'm pretty much useless. May sound funny, but I felt dirty, I felt convicted, I felt ashamed by my attitude.
Right now I am trying to find balance and understand what it is God truly wants me to "get" right now. One of the things I am wrestling with is the serving aspect, which I have written a lot about lately. Serving my neighbor, serving my friends, serving my community, serving strangers. I've been thinking about how I have crammed that down your throats in my blog posts and how me talking about serving the community, serving my neighbors, etc. really means nothing to all of you unless I am honest about my own, real life struggle with that word, SERVE. So if I am honest, I can tell you that serving is not the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning. Or at night while my head is resting on the pillow trying to go to sleep, I am not thinking "Who can I serve tomorrow?". I'm not thinking about the meals I can cook to take to a neighbor, cookies I can bake to take to the firehouse in town or signing up to do childcare for Bible study! Instead I am thinking about me, my kids, my husband, my home and all the things I need to get done. And I'm sad to say but I am not thinking about who I can pray for either. I've got a husband and three kids that I need to be praying for and I already feel like I don't do that enough as it is. My kids alone could consume my entire 24/7.
After a talk with my husband and some conviction I've been feeling, I want to ask my readers to forgive me. I think as believers in Christ, if we are truly communing with Him, we are serving. It really is a natural thing. We serve our church, our families and our friends. Maybe some of us need to get better at serving strangers and serving others without trying to get them in church but for the most part, I think we are all pretty much on the same page. Some of us are a little more self absorbed and need to do less talking and more listening as we connect with old friends and new but a lot of us are trying to find value so we are not sure how to let others shine. I, for sure, need to become a better listener and ask my friends and family more questions about their life and their families. That is a HUGE way to serve and I think I've pretty much sucked at that!
I've been beating myself up so much lately thinking about how much I lack in the "serving" area. But Jeremy brought out some really good points about how I have served the church and served my friends. It's funny because I did not look at those things as serving because I enjoyed it! I have always looked at "service" as a dreaded event. The thing is, I do believe that God has called me to minister to others and the way I do it will be different that the way you do it. I'm trying to get back to the basics and not worry so much about thinking outside of the box. I love people, I really do. I thrive on people and I am energized by them so I'm going to keep focusing on people and sharing Jesus in whatever way He shows me.
Please forgive me if I have hurt or offended any of you with prior posts. I pray that God will reveal to you my heart and I pray that He can use this blog to reach ALL kinds of people. I pray that He can use me to speak to new Christians, seasoned Christians and non Christians. If I am true to the woman He has called me to be, I can't help but to be a vessel.
Philippians 1:6, 9, 10 "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ."
Labels: back to basics
Marriage is hard, parenting is hard, relationships are hard, life is hard. I have not wanted to say that in a while because I've been trying to buckle down and roll with life's punches. But I've had a pretty incredible revelation this week and it goes something like this.
Sunday morning I woke up and felt as if I could not be a part of worship that morning. How could I possibly sing on that stage when I was struggling with so much crap on the inside? I felt empty and felt like I truly had nothing to give and was not sure I could even put a smile on my face. So I told God that I couldn't do it and I experienced one of the most awesome worship sets I have ever been a part of. My weakness, my sin, my struggle allowed God to come in and move because I was totally removed. At one point during one of the worship songs, I opened my eyes and saw hands lifted in the air and I could hear people singing. I was unable to sing the rest of the song. It was a moment I will NEVER forget. Everyone was engaged in worship and truly singing to the Lord. You could feel it, you could see it, you could hear it.
2 Corinthians 12
1I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. 5I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. 6Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.
7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
My attitude has not been very nice towards the "church". While some of my beliefs and ideas are true for me with this change taking place in my life, my attitude has not been all that great. I felt an incredible amount of encouragement on Sunday when I looked out and saw that everyone was worshipping in unison. I realized that we are all on the same team. My strength will always fall short, but HIS STRENGTH is perfect.