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Monthly Archives: March 2009

It’s Time to Face Up, Clean This Old House

There’s a song I’ve been listening too a lot recently called “Whatever You’re Doing” by Sanctus Real (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZayut9i45M). It really reminds me of what my life has been about for the past few months….but especially today.

Today is the day our family has been waiting for for weeks…probably even years. It’s the day of reconciliation. It’s the day I choose to make God’s name famous despite my fears, worries, and anxieties. It’s the day I choose to recognize and admit my sins from the past to Bloke and to seek his forgiveness. It’s the day I will choose to forgive him. It’s important for me to note this word “choose” because my emotions do not match my choice.  How I’m feeling and what I’m choosing to do don’t necessarily match up.  This is not to say the desire isn’t there for me to forgive, love, and move on.  This is to say that I am…that we are doing this despite how we feel. It’s a terrifying day for both of us.

But it’s time. It’s time to clean this old house. It’s time to breathe and let everything out. It’s time to let go. It’s time to start again. It’s time to choose God’s way not my own and it’s time to trust God. It’s time to relinquish control and let God take the wheel. It’s time to acknowledge that I am not at all in any way humanly capable of forgiving, relinquishing, or loving without God. He’s going to have to do it for me. I just literally can’t do this on my own.

I know, though…I have to believe that taking this step will be a blessing and that the Lord will guide us and keep us safe and will restore this family…more like he will create this family from nothing. I made the decision to allow my husband to move back in with me and the girls. I made the decision based not on how I feel but on my hope in Christ.  I’m hoping He will fix this broken family, marriage, and our broken hearts.  Unfortunately, my faith right now in this moment is small, but my hope is big.

I can’t equate these feelings to anything.  I imagine jumping out of an airplane, maybe, and those moments between when you jump and when you pull the string for your parachute to come out are quite possibly terrifying (at least on your first go).  You might think, ‘what if the chute doesn’t open?’  That’s the closest feeling I can place with what I’m feeling.  I try to remember that feelings can lie.  Emotions are unreliable.  But the Lord is consistent and truthful.  So in the words of this song is my life, my emotions, my fears, my brokenness, and my desire to let God do whatever he’s doing.

It’s time for healing time to move on
It’s time to fix what’s been broken too long
Time make right what has been wrong
It’s time to find my way to where I belong
There’s a wave that’s crashing over me
All I can do is surrender

Whatever you’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos somehow there’s peace
It’s hard to surrender to what I can’t see
but I’m giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Revaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will
or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything I surrender…
To…

Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I’ve wanted to say for so many years
Time to to release all my held back tears

Whatever you’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You’re up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly

Whatever you’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly
Something heavenly

It’s time to face up
Clean this old house
Time breathe in and let everything out

Lyrics by Sanctus Real


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Chasing Me Down

16″For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.[b] 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”[c]

John 3:16-21

We all know it. Even many non Christians probably know it. The first verse is everywhere. And when I saw that the sermon this past Sunday was going to be on this passage, I, probably like many others in our congregation, couldn’t imagine what else there possibly was to say about it.  Fortunately, I had prayed on the way to church that my eyes, ears, heart, and mind would be opened to the gospel and to the truth of whatever was going to be preached about…otherwise I may not have been writing this.

The first part of the passage (John 3:16) wasn’t the part that really struck me.  What struck me was the last part.  For a couple of weeks, I have really been struggling to face my sin (my planks), to face God, to pray, to hear God’s voice.  I’ve been in the midst of spiritual warfare, questioning my own salvation and spirituality.  I’ve felt sorry for myself.  I’ve withdrawn from people who love me.  I’ve stacked sin upon sin and just saw no way out of my darkness.

I kind of liked my darkness.  It was…safe.  I didn’t have to answer to anyone.  I didn’t have to confront anyone.  I didn’t have to think about God or religion or family conflict or anything.  On the other hand, I felt horrible physically and spiritually.  I was depressed and angry.  For almost two weeks I lived in the dark, in a pit of despair. I really questioned my salvation because I couldn’t imagine if I was a Christian how I could live in such a way.  Somewhere in the middle of this chaos, I did mange to half-heartedly call out to him, literally, one time. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I know there was no thanksgiving in it.  There was no asking of forgiveness.  There was no real desire to repent.  It was more like a “whatever’s going on make it stop” kind of call. God (the knight in shining armor that he is) came to my rescue.  Despite my wretched behavior and feelings, despite my sin against Him and others,  He saved me.  He came into my darkness and pulled me out when He knew I was unable to do it on my own….when He knew I wanted to come to Him but just couldn’t quite manage it, the Lord came to me.  He carried me out of my two weeks of depravity and brought me back into His light.

When I heard that sermon on Sunday it hit home.  ‘God wants you back,’ the speaker said (our actual pastor was out of town).  God wants me back.  He longs for me with an intensity like no other.  How do we know?  Because God gave his Son for his enemies.  I, personally, don’t give presents to people I hate…not that I hate anyone but…well, you get the picture.  Honestly, I’m pretty bad about giving gifts to people I love much less those that I don’t care for.  And I certainly almost never consider giving something of mine if I only have one of it (something I really should work on).  God did more than just give a gift to his enemies.  He gave one of something.  He gave his one and only Son forever and ever.  There will be no more sons (or daughters for that matter).  There will be no more children for God from God.  Could you imagine giving up one of your children for say a serial killer, not many serial killer. Just one?  I can’t even fathom that and I have TWO children.  What kind of love is that…that the God of creation would do that?  It’s the love that chased me down last Friday, captured me, and placed me back in His arms.

We long for things, material possessions – cars, houses, new shoes, clothes, etc.  We typically long even more for non material stuff like children, loved ones who have died, loved ones who are away for a long period of time.  Imagine the intensity of the longing of God for us…so intense that he sacrificed a human being that came directly from him.  The only human being that would ever come directly from him. I can’t even think of an earthly comparison for this because there simply is none.

Light has come to the world to save us from the darkness.  And as a Christian, I know that when I am unable to come to the Lord, the Lord will come and rescue me the same way He always does when I stray.  He will never let me stray far.  He will not allow me to stew in my darkness, in my sin and wretchedness for long…only so long as He needs to bring me back to Him.

Family Day

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I really have a kind of heavy post to write, but instead I really want to take some time to honor my family today even though we don’t all live under the same roof. We’re still a family. And we’re all striving each and every day to get closer to once again living under the same roof. And this time we’re really going to BE a family…a family honoring and glorifying God and a family honoring, respecting, and loving each other.

The weather here has been absolutely majestic the past few days, just perfect. So Bloke and I took the opportunity to spend some time together reconnecting as a family and doing things that are otherwise very normal and average to other families but new and wonderful for us! Here are some pictures from our special day!

sambloke-3
This is my Bloke.

taking-a-stand
The Bean

terrified
The Peanut

daddy-and-bel-march
The Bean and the Bloke (AKA daddy)

the-bird
Me (AKA the Bird and mommy)

Confessions of a Serial Sinner

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If you love me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15

I’ve been contemplating this post for a while now…a while being a few days. I knew I wanted to talk about it but I just didn’t know how. Then I read a devotional today with the above verse and it all came together.  It just popped out at me.  I made me think not really about my “big” sins that I tend to not do again but more about my “little” ones.  What sins do I commit against the Lord every single (or almost) day and consistently ask forgiveness for?  And if I’m continuing to do them am I really sorry for them?  Am I aware of how they pain God?  And, worse, what does my serial sinning say about my love of the Lord?

You know the sins I’m talking about.  Sins like not spending quiet time with the Lord, speeding, overeating.  Or even sins even bigger sins that you may do on a regular basis that you don’t want your church friends to know about.  I don’t know.  All I know is that they are there.  And my “please forgive me, Lord for not spending the time with you that I should” prayer is just not cutting it.  I mean, really, when I don’t start and end my day with the Lord, I’m not putting Him first.  When I don’t devote at least a small amount of my “down” time with Him, I’m not giving Him my best, my first fruits.  This should not just apply to tithing.  This should apply to everything.  It’s the sins that we’re nonchalantly asking forgiveness for on a regular basis that should make us stop and think about our relationship with the Lord, the sins that are constant and unchanging that should bring us to our knees.  I mean it’s obvious that “big” sins should bring us to our knees.  But those are the ones we tend to change first.  What about all that “little”‘ stuff?

I have sins that I battle with every day….unforgiveness, control, overeating, lack of devotional time, frustration, raising my voice.  At what point do these “smaller” sins become big?  When I have a heart attack?  When I hit out of anger?  When a relationship falls apart?  I HOPE NOT!!  They should be big NOW!  I should be begging the Lord to make these kinds of sins huge in my life and convicting so that I can obey His commands better and grow in Him more.  More importantly, I should ask for my love, my passion, my ultimate desire to be Him and Him alone so that I want to eradicate these bad areas of my life and heart.  Because if I haven’t made a point to not commit these acts again, then I obviously am not devoting enough time to He who can show them to me, convict me of  them, and give me the strength to overcome them which, in turn, means I’m not loving Him enough and not close enough to Him to let Him do it!

I love my God.  But I don’t love Him enough.  I probably never will.  I’m always going to have sin that is uncommitted to Christ.  Thank you, Lord, that we are not rewarded by our works (or lack of) but by Your grace!  Thank You for dying for every single sin I commit against You, the ones I recognize and the ones I don’t.

“We obey God not out of duty or fear or compulsion but because we love him…”  -Rick Warren