"Extra! Extra! Hear all about it!"
This feels like one of those kinds of moments. Partially because my posts on here have become so infrequent. And, partially because this might just be something you want to know too!
Ready for it? (I'm sure you are waiting in eager anticipation.)
Here it is: Our imperfect, stress-filled lives are what life's all about - and they're the perfect time to praise God to the utmost!
Confused as to why I've just now come to this conclusion? Allow me to explain.
I've been waking up every day with this foreboding feeling in the pit of my stomach. Nothing huge is causing it - just a whole bunch of smaller things (all adding up to one big mole-ish mountain). Well, I've been mistaking this feeling for something that I need to devote energy to "overcoming." Something that I needed to ponder over, pray over, allow my mood to become sullen over - you get the idea. All in all, it's been adding up to me being in one fairly regular emotionally exhausting "funk". It comes and goes - but it's taken up residence far too frequently.
So along comes Cindy Bultema's "Red Hot Faith" July Bible study. I was excited to go to this for many reasons - but mostly (duh!) I'm ready to re-claim a Red Hot Faith!
The study is focused on the lukewarm church of Laodicea. Tonight's teaching was full of many great nuggets. (I just LOVE it when the Bible comes to life!) But it was the small group break-out session that started to get some things clicking in my brain. We briefly started talking about what kinds of things keep us from having a red, hot faith. I'm sure we all have our reasons - and many of mine probably sound like yours. But as one woman bravely shared her heartache...God hit me right square between the eyes. I have been totally missing the point!
I came home, started taking care of the dirty dishes, and continued to ponder what God was trying to get through to my thick skull.
Here's what I realized: I am currently living out the life I always wanted. Most of my dreams as a young girl involved being a wife and a mom and raising our kids in a happy, healthy home. Yet, somewhere along the way I have begun to think that the life I'm living isn't enough. I'm not where I'm supposed to be. I'm somehow lacking because of _____________ (the answer changes regularly). That pit in my stomach lately is the enemy trying to get me to believe that I'm lacking. That I'm not doing enough, or good enough or successful enough. But as I was washing my family of 5's dirty dinner dishes, God set a few things straight.
Oh sure. It's scary having aging parents and not knowing how much longer you'll have them around. It's intimidating being a homeschool mom and tutor to other homeschool kids - praying that I'm doing a good enough job teaching them what they need to know. It's sometimes worrisome making the budget and seeing the bills that just don't seem to go away fast enough (while the income seems to fly out the door faster than it should). It's hard work to make healthy-ish meals and work on exercising and losing weight so I can honor God with my body. It's mundane doing laundry, and dishes, and vacuuming, and blah blah blah. (You get the idea.) Well, I'm not sure where I started to think that I couldn't be full of praise and abundant joy in the midst of...all that. The fact is...if I'm waiting for life to be "just right" before I stop all the worrying and get on with the joy-filled living - I best start whooping it up now! 'Cuz this is it! This IS the life I've always wanted! Oh sure, the bank account isn't as high as I dreamed it would be - nor is the house as fancy as I thought I'd have. But THIS is it!
I'm a wife to an amazing man. I'm a mom to three amazing kids. I'm a daughter of the King of Kings! This is THE life!
Those dishes I was doing are a sign of many blessings: food on the table, healthy kids and husband who were here to eat it, the roof over our heads, and so much more. Rather than focusing on the things I've been focused on - it just takes a little shift to realize the reasons for praising are all around. I love it when God gives us a new perspective! I can't wait to wake up tomorrow morning and tell that pit in my stomach that it has no business here any longer! Remember - the causes aren't big things, they're just life! The trick is to keep looking at everything through God's eyes. Not to get bogged down by the mundane - but instead view it all as a blessing and a privilege. No one ever said the "dream life" wasn't full of its share of bah-humbug things. That's where I got confused. Life is full of all of this: the menial, the stressful, the boring. Full of the day-to-day stuff that we all deal with. The "dream life" isn't in the destination...it's in the journey. The 24/7/365. All this "stuff" that I thought I was just doing until the dream kicked in - well, this is it. It's not about waiting for the dreams of tomorrow. It's all about living in the blessings of today.
So, here's the scoop: I absolutely love studying God's Word. A perfect day might be sitting all alone, immersed in Scriptures and books helping me to dig deeper and better understand all the nuggets waiting between the pages. Whenever I seek Him - He always speaks. But, I very rarely get those kinds of days. So when I can go to a Bible study like Cindy's and get to hear the nuggets she has learned - that's the next best thing. I can already tell - this is gonna be a Red Hot month! Would love to have you join me the next couple weeks! You can check out the details on Cindy's website.
Thanks for listening to my ah-hah moment of the day. Let me know if you can relate - it feels better to know we're not in this alone. :-)