Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Hallmark Redemption

I live in a house with three other adult women and it is amazing that nobody has been arrested for assault as of yet. We all have quirks and drive each other completely crazy and Thanksgiving was no exception. Thursday went great. We decorated the house, ate pretty good food, and watched cheesy parades, Christmas specials, and a little football. It was a holiday so we treated each other well. But it was a long weekend and soon we started driving each other crazy. And I think I am probably the most crazy of all. It's like all of those cheesy holiday movies. You they are all, in one way or another about redemption. You may be watching it for the cheesy love story but there is always a good dose of redemption in all of the good ones. That is because we are all so full of hunger and longing for redemption. When I met Jesus I was completely redeemed...and nothing will change that. But I am still in need of and long for redemption...Just like how as the weekend got longer we found ourselves finding it more difficult to be kind to each other. How we are all bound up in this living of our lives as redeemed in a world that is not. For example,  I struggle to get over the rid myself of habits I know are wrong. There are events in my life that still don't make sense and people I am still working to forgive. I fight this fog of sorrow that surrounds me...knowing that I should have the joy of the Lord... I need redemption...from the habits that plague my life...from the sin that so easily weighs me down...from past sorrows I need to forgive...for  my lack of trust in what God has for me and my disappointment that the plans I had made for my life will never be. And my kids are no different. They need and long for their own redemption...because life never gets tied up as neatly as a Hallmark movie...but that is why I love those movies. They give me hope and remind me that God Himself will wipe away all of the tears from my eyes one day and I will rest in the place He has prepared especially for me. Until that day it is a struggle...there are moments of joy and times of intense sorrow...but God is present with me. There are moments, when living  in a household consisting of four adult women that I long for escape and think that I am the only sane person in the house...only to realize that it is me that is not only part of the problem, but most of it. God always puts us in the best situation for redemption and this is where He has me. Soon we will be adding a baby to the mix and I can only imagine the lessons we will all learn! Redemption is both a one time deal and a lifetime learning experience. I just sometimes wish my life would more resemble a cheesy Christmas movie and not a string of energizer bunny struggles that just keep going and going and going. But there is coming a day...soon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Giving my all...and then some

I have been thinking alot about this past weeks sermon. As has happened quite frequently lately there was much in it that God wanted to speak to me about. Pastor Sean talked about giving our all and then some, how good enough is never good enough and half efforts end in death. Sometimes I "do" a lot but still don't give my all. This past period of time in my life has been hard, disappointing, difficult to reconcile with what I wanted for my life. Sometimes hard to see God in. God has tested me in the deepest parts of my life, tested whether I honestly believe that He is enough, tested me to see if I will trust Him, even with all of my regrets. And to be honest, it's been hard. Sometimes the stuff I do is because I have no idea what I would do or who I would be if I wasn't busy. It isn't that I don't want or love serving God. I do love it. But I have noticed that there have been times lately when I am irritable, when I am so weighed down with what I have done wrong in my life that I cannot see beyond that. When I am so full of regrets that I cannot enjoy the present or see God in it. There are parts of my life that I cannot see any good resulting from and parts that I struggle to trust God to make a difference in. And that is where I am not giving my all and then some. I can "do" lots of things but God cares more about relationship than all of the stuff I do or anything I can give Him. In the "doing" of serving God all is well, in the "doing" part of relationship - praying, reading the Word, all is well, but I need to start giving my all in the "trusting," in the believing that He will take all of the disappointments, all of the sorrow, all of my regrets, all of my failures...that He will make them part of the beauty He is creating out of us who call on His name. I love Him so much. I want to give all of my all and then some, and then more besides.