Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Give It Up

I am trusting God for my words today.  It seems that all morning, the same message keeps flying at me in powerful bursts.  My Bible, my music, my reading....all of it one sum shouting of release.  Give.  It.  Up.

I think I am trying to live a surrendered life, but the truth is there are still so many areas that are wrapped tightly in selfish pursuit.

I desire so many things.  I want a lovely home.  I want a closet that reflects my eye for pretty things. I want my children to be adorable and have lovely bedrooms.  I want my garden to be perfect, and my creek bank to look like a mountain retreat.  I want to bust through the kitchen wall and make bigger windows.  I want our family to actually go on a nice vacation since we have not gone at all in years.

I want a gym membership so I can be thinner and more active.  I want to have coffee dates with girlfriends and keep a spotless car.  I want a little dog to join our family.  I want a daughter with red hair and blue eyes like her brothers.  I want my husband to be whole and completely healthy.  I want to see the world.  I want to write books, travel the world, and tell beautiful stories.  I want to upgrade my phone.  I want my boys to be violinists.  I want to learn ballet and dance on stage just once.  I want to swim everyday.  I want a home espresso machine and a new gas stove.

It is endless.

I think you get it. My wants can consume me, if I am to be honest.  I don't really realize that I am giving them so much attention, but quietly they fill my thoughts and my online boards. I am lured by the lovely.  I plan parties that I never have.  I make plans for decorations I do not own.  I scheme out renovation plans like it is my life's work.  I scour online and in stores for the new furniture we will soon purchase.  I look at paint chips and fabric swatches with great passion.

But, I read my Bible.  I teach my children.  I am faithful to my church.  I support world missions with a passion.  I pray a lot.  I go to conferences and read book upon book.  I love others and genuinely try to help others in my path.  I know scripture by heart.  I have two degrees from Bible college.  I write about my faith.

But, I still want.  I am human, and I want. I am restless. I am full of thoughts and ideas.  The list is very long.

Jesus tells us to "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Matt 11:29-30

But I am learning of Him.  However, I am learning of Him and living on earth.  I am straddled between two cliffs suspended over treacherous ground.  I am pulled towards the way of life that seems lovely here.  I find no fault in being a good home-keeper, mother, and wife.

But Jesus says, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell  all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." Matthew 19:21

But I don't have much.  I have worked really hard to have the little that I possess.  It is my job to build my home, love my husband, and nurture our children.  Scripture is full of teaching on being a wise woman, a Proverbs 31 woman.  I can do both.

But Jesus says, "And everyone that  hath forsaken houses or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life."  Matthew 19:28

My head is spinning.  I am not certain where this leaves me.  I am definitely straddled between the cliffs of God's promise and Earth's great pull.   Hanging between things that are not bad, and a life that few could understand.

I am trying to take it all in and put lovely words to it.  But there are not words exactly.  It is a faith issue, a question of belief and surrender.  I make another cup of coffee and read a bit more this morning...and I stumble across these words written by Jennie Allen found at A Holy Experience

It is as if everything I have said I believe is all of a sudden and miraculously real to me... heaven, God in me, freedom from bondage, my purpose here. And because it is real, I am living as if it is real. And living that way costs me something—costs me everything.
So we start to consider our priorities and realize we value things like comfort and people’s opinions and happiness.
Then God says to die and sell everything we own and hate this life.
And we say okay.We start thinking things like, Should we sell our new house? Or we have an empty bed—let’s fill it with a child who needs a home and let’s invite our neighbors to Easter dinner.
And then the people around us start saying things like, “Don’t do it for the wrong reasons”—like the love of adventure or for our own glory. And we say, “Ok, thanks for the heads-up.”
Then we have people who are praying the same prayers and thinking the same thoughts, and something is happening—not a feeling or love of adventure or desire for glory but something within us that is from God, a call to more: to die—to live.My heart is bleeding and I can’t make it stop.
So we are praying and willing and dreaming of living for heaven instead of the American dream, and it is changing everything. And I am strangely okay with that.
I am speechless.  Her words are my words because they flow from the heart of Jesus.   And I am strangely okay with that too.

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