I have been praying on something lately and I FINALLY had my "aha!" moment. I wanted to blog it for 2 reasons: 1) so I don't forget it later. 2) some of you may relate or it might help someone else.
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatever ye do, do all things to God's glory."
1 Corinthians 10:31
This was in a sermon a while back and it's been on my heart ever since. What does that mean anyway?
Aaron says it means doing things with your whole heart whether you want to or not. He said you don't have to like it you just have to do it knowing that it is where the lord put you. My husband is very wise and I find his insights helpful. This time though his words didn't make sense in my brain; it all just doesn't add up. for me anyway...
It all started when....
the laundry piled up, the house was a mess, there were dogs making messes, and kids making messes and screaming, and my world was full of chaos. I had JUST cleaned the house and here it was all falling apart at the seams. Sound familiar? In my house this is a daily frustrating occurrence. I know I'm supposed to be home right now. I know it is my job to raise my kids and keep my home in this season of my life. I go to school to do what God set on my heart almost 20 years ago but for everything there is a time and now is the time to raise up my children in this tender stage in their lives. Lately though it seems like it really is a job. To be honest; I do not delight in my home or my children always. I feel guilty because this is where I am and how can I not LOVE it all the time? How can I not seize every opportunity to train my children with a joyful heart? How do I not ALWAYS realize that my children are innocent and it is my job to shape them and realize that their actions are mearly a reflection of my own? My children are not my own, they are a gift and God has trusted me with them with a purpose in mind. Out of ALL the babies in the world God gave me these 3. So how is it that I find myself yelling at them with memories of my own childhood in mind? How is it that I can be lazy and begrudging in keeping my house and taking care of my family. I have news for you; I AM A LAZY PERSON by nature. I like to do what I like to do when I like to do it and often I do NOT like to do dishes and laundry and pick up the floor for the zillionth time that day. Why can life not be easier? Why can my character not just be good enough? Why am I stuck in this stupid cycle of bringing my impurities to the top and mixing them back in again?
Today as I did the dishes (again) I had an epiphany. To help anyone else who might be as imperfect as I am and struggle in similar ways let me show you my thought process.
please bear with me as I spider web my thoughts
-When you are struggling with believing or thinking a certain way, just act. Just do whatever you can in the right direction and the rest will follow. I heard this about 10 years ago in a different sermon in a different time in my life and I wish that Pastor Johnny knew how much this has helped me through the years.
So as I struggle with the process of "doing everything for the God's glory" I have decided to buckle down and just go through the motions with the intent of changing my heart.
-Today I was thinking and griping to myself at the sink and I finally stopped and just listened. FINALLY I just listened! God was able to slip in a word edgewise much to his relief and mine. "what would you rather be doing" he said to me. and I thought "huh... what would I rather be doing?" working? waitressing? sitting in a classroom? laying on the warm sand in a Caribbean location with a pina colada feeling with tide come in while the kids laugh in the distance? Mmmmmm.... Yes God, I vote for the Caribbean! "Yes Kristi, I could have put you in the Caribbean. BUT... I DIDN'T!" God answers. "You are here in Nampa Idaho standing at your kitchen sink talking to yourself."
The reality is that I am in fact in Nampa Idaho with no realistic future plan of laying on a warm beach sipping tropical drinks while my children laugh while running hand in hand with Elmo in the distance.
yes, I have seen 1 too many Sandals commercials during sesame street :-)
God put me here NOW. This IS what I'm supposed to be doing so why not do it gladly? If this is good enough for God then why is it not good enough for me? **::blush::** Another verse comes to my mind
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men..."
Because in reality it doesn't matter who we please if we don't please God. We may be saved but being saved (to me) indicates a desire for continuous improvement in the direction of being Christ-like. I AM working for the lord and that is enough.
Have you ever felt him? REALLY felt him? If you have you know that there is nothing better. He is enough! Laying on the warm sand anywhere is nothing compared to that feeling. It is like being warm and loved beyond comprehension, your worst fears don't scare you and the saddest things in your mind cannot even begin to dampen the comfort that you feel when God gives you a hug. If you have never felt like that you just need to ask with an open heart :-)
So when you feel discouraged I would encourage you to hold on to that feeling and realize for whom you do everything. I am no one special any more than anyone else but yes, God does care about my attitude and I know that it makes him sad when I am disgruntled at a task that he had in mind for me. If God put me at home so purposefully then that means that yes, even the dishes and the laundry need to be done with a cheerful heart because it really isn't much to ask and even though it seems like so little to offer and it seems like God wouldn't care how you do the dishes or even if they get done; he does in a way. He cares because those things are part of a bigger picture. The little stuff adds up and when I finally realized that I felt ashamed that I had let these little things trip me up and affect my attitude the way they have.
This thought process is what it means to be refined in one little way from those impurities that rise to the top when our lives get heated up.
I have SO much to learn and I can only pray that I can hold on to this lesson and not fall so easily back into my classic patterns. Someday I'm going to look back at my foolish self and laugh knowing that I will always be foolish in many ways.
When you think about it... it's kind of beautiful the way we stumble through life.