Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's the little things

Isn't it?

They just come up out of the tall grass and bite ya!


They just appear in the sky with their unmistakable arch and color and make you sigh with appreciation of God's promises!

Which little things are gettin' at ya these days?

Little goods?


Little bads?

I snap at my kids for repeating little bads that I allowed my television to teach them.

I snap at my hubs for a little bad that makes me go from calm & cool to boiling blood in 2.2 seconds.

I lose my focus and complain for little bads that are laying around the house after I've worked to rid it of clutter.

I sink into a state of obsessive "what if" thoughts over a little bad from a close friend.

Why are theses little bads playing such a big part in the game of my life?

And why am I so stinkin' slow to notice, to see, to appreciate, the little goods?

I want to evaluate less and enjoy more, ya know?

These little goods are being passed up, they are being ignored, they are being overshadowed.

By what?

Not just by little bads. Nope.

By my flesh who is hungry for bad.

Oh Christ, I pray you'll continue to crucify my flesh so that my hunger for good cannot be satisfied.

Sure, I let plenty of little bads go, but plenty more are the goods that do not receive my attention. And there is a difference, because sometimes I shouldn't let the bads go. They are foxes after the vineyard, as the Song of Solomon says, and some little things must be discussed, sorted through, and resolved.

But there are times to rest in misunderstanding, when the fox has done his damage, and the fruit is lost. This is when I pray God will make me more sensitive to the goods.

Today I shall look for the goods. I shall pray for eyes that see the goods. I shall pray for ears that hear the goods, a mouth that offers up the goods, fingers that type out the goods...After all, when I started this blog, my hope was that writing would help me appreciate. I pray today it helps you, too.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

a a a reply...

So, after I read threw a post on a friendly Facebook debate again this morning, I really felt as though meekness wasn't just being quiet, it was something different this time, and I'm hoping my discernment isn't failing me here...

I'm not choosing to post my reply on the growing post on Facebook, out of respect for those who may not give 2 hoots to come and read it. However, how can us openly, not out of hate, but out of love, seeking out His Word and what it says for our life, hurt us?

Here is my reply...

I feel I at least need to address a few things for the sake of the other readers out there :)

1. Not biblical that men are visual - you helped me out there, yes, all a man has to do is look with lust and it's a sin. Why is God warning against this? Because men are visual. Some women may get aroused visually, I'm not out to say that it NEVER happens. There is a reason why you see schlumpy guys with hot chicks way more than you see hot dudes with schlumpy gals...God made them that way, read Song of Solomon. Yes, it is biblical.

2. Men are not as emotional as women. hmmmm...actually, no...The Greek in 1 Peter 3:7 is clear that women and men are absolutely not the same when it comes to emotions, women were created to be softer, nurturing, and to reach our breaking point much quicker. In fact, He's giving instruction to the men on how to care for us because of that. It isn't God's intention for men to not be emotional, however, it isn't His intention for them to be more emotional than us. They are to be stronger emotionally than we are. Society may encourage them to bottle up their emotions, but my man, and most of the godly men I know, do not advocate that at all. They should have a caring, soft wife that they can come and seek refuge with, to "let it all out" if you hubs often refers to me as his sponge, he can bring me all of his woes from the day, and I'll rub his shoulders and soak 'em all up to be washed away!

3. Men and women are more alike than they are different - hmmm....not actually, there are numerous scriptures that defines our roles, our purpose, and how God intends for us to live, and ALL, but one, of them point to our differences, not our similarities. We shouldn't get stuck on the exceptions, the extremes, the "what ifs", we need only trust that the inspired word of God isn't that difficult...He meant what He said when He said it...Now, everyone loves to throw in Galatians 3:28 in here, however, the entire book of Galatians was written concerning what? Salvation. Yes, Salvation is given to those who God calls and they accept, but it doesn't change our role. To say that verse implies women and men are now equal in the roles, well it's typically because it's the only verse that can be twisted that way. However, you'd have to omit the passages before it and after it to come to that conclusion. You asked how we could relate if we are so different? Well, that's just it, Paul compares the union between husband and wife to a mystery, the same mystery of the union of Christ and His church. Ephesians 5:32 So, even though we may relate to one another at times, that isn't just cause to say we are more alike than we are different.Proverbs 30:18 also speaks of the mystery of a man and a woman coming together in love.

4. I consider it a privilege to share the good news, but yes it is a commandment, just as it is a commandment to obey our husbands.

5.causing others to sin, responsibility - If I regularly dress immodestly, as a believer, and excuse it away, the Word of God is blasphemed. Titus 2 If I think it is the man's problem that he thinks I'm attractive, yet my chest is exposed and my skirt too tight, I'm not taking responsibility for my own sin. 1 John1:6 I've heard stories of young boys who attend church in pure agony because of the women who think they are "just being attractive'. These boys, struggling with raging hormones, can't help but become aroused by the tight skirts and plunging neck lines. Now, there are extremes, but let's not get confused here, what is said by the way we dress? Sin isn't just something we act out, in fact, in the Bible, sin is used more times as a verb than it is a noun. It is an active entity that is wrestling against the Holy Spirit, and when we fail to dress with chaste, we are not helping our brothers in Christ. We should honor God in how we dress, or in what we drive, if it is to catch people's attention, then yeah, it's sinful. I dress in a way that is attractive to my husband, but also have to be respectful of the other men around me. To be honest, my hubs and I struggle here. I'd feel more comfortable dressing more conservative, however, Greg likes me to look a certain, it is a thin line I walk being careful to please him and still feel I'm honoring God.

6. Now to be fair, with the whole women vs. other women thing...ah, this is one of my favorites...I have hot friends, lots of them :) So, I totally can plead not guilty to that one :) However, it's interesting to me that this is constantly brought up in this type of debate. As though women who are advocating that the way we dress isn't an issue are somewhat more secure than those who feel called to be more conservative. However, isn't the opposite the truth? Typically, women who dress immodestly are doing so to feed an insecurity and to make themselves feel good. However, for me, I feel MUCH more secure in who I am now than I did 10 years ago when I had no conviction over my appearance. And let me be clear, I feel it is pretty easy for me because I'm also blessed with a man who not only says, but proves daily, that I am the hottest thing since sliced hooch with her tatas hangin' has a chance :) oh yeah, and Greg is my ordained provider, 1 Timothy 5:8, God provides him with his health, his work ethic, his smarts, his abilities, and lucky for me, his rugged good looks, and he goes out and brings home the bacon!

7. The Bible, what it does say, and what it doesn't...God's word does say that we can equally receive Salvation, that we were both made in His image, and that we both can study, learn, grow close to the Lord, and receive wisdom regardless of our gender...However, Sin didn't bring about the beginning of a male/female relational hierarchy, but it did bring the disruption of the God-intended role of our husbands as the leaders and us as naturally submissive. Women were created to be caring and to be a helper, not as a slave, but supportive of her man, however, because of Eve's sin, we were cursed to desire to rule over our husbands although God clearly call us to submit, and our husbands to lead. Now, nowhere do I read that by being a woman, I am in any way inferior because of male-headship. Honestly, it's the opposite to me, I'm free. I'm not in bondage. However, Paul was clear that God's original plan was for us to complement one another. It isn't a curse to be submissive, at all, rather it is a curse to fight against God's calling on our lives. I am a complementarian, and we do not practice, nor teach, that women are functionally second-class. There aren't "some verses" that are "now used" to treat us as "different", there are SEVERAL verses that are a common thread woven from Genesis to Timothy and Titus, that God gave us to find freedom His intended call on our life. Gen. 2:18; 1 Cor. 11:9; 1 Tim. 2:12-13 are just a few, I'd love to hear which ones, when read in context, support God's curse being submission. If that were the case, then Paul would have been cursing us over and over and over and over again in the New Testament. It isn't a punishment. How could loving, serving, supporting, nurturing, and sacrificing selfish ambitions for your man be a curse? No, God is clear that it is what He intended, and if it were a curse, let me be clear, it wouldn't be so stinkin hard! It would be easy for me to be quiet, to submit, to do what he asks, to think of his needs before he thinks of them, to wake up focused on what God needs me to do for my husband and my children...but it isn't always natural, it isn't what my selfish flesh would be seeking, that only helps confirm, that the chain of authority God put into place isn't the curse, it's the design. We talk about all of those verses, on a regular basis, and yes, some used them to have slaves, some used them for pride to act as though they were better than others, and some make a mockery of God's Word, and His call on our lives, by using them now to teach that women are no different than men.

Now, with all of that being said, and yes, that was a lot of all of that...Just because this Truth found me, doesn't mean that I am a holier than thou, more spiritual than thou, better than thou, perfect wifey...I fail, daily, but God's grace is sufficient. Do I think that a woman's salvation is based on whether or not she is an Egalitarian or a Complementarian? No. But not because I think God doesn't intend for us to rest in His complementary plan, it's because God is Salvation, we only accept...nothing I can do can separate me from His awesomeness. However, to teach women that they are free from this Hierarchy is blaspheming Christ. Christ, who put on flesh and died on the cross, He is the Word, and the Word is clear that God calls women to a different role than men.

May God bless you as you talk with your husbands about these verses. I am careful to not be teaching doctrine out of His will, but this is a sensitive issue that I feel Satan is using to attack our families, to attack our body of believers, and to attack our children as we attempt to train them up in the way they should go. I pray the Holy Spirit's work in your heart will be free to continue without confusion and bondage, yet full of clarity and freedom.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Things, besides my tan, I wish would fade...

This will be a slightly random post. As I desperately tried to sleep tonight, but failed to be able to pull it off mostly because of a 3 hr nap that I took earlier in the day, I decided to just give up, make myself useful for a few hours, and then try to close my eyes for a few hours before sun-up!

ah...with that being said, my tan is fading. Which I know seems trivial to some, but to me, it is more than just a sign that I'm going to age faster than you sun-block fans. I like my tan self better than my white self. Superficial? Call it what you will, I just know that I struggle with thoughts about my appearance way more in the spring, fall, and winter. There. I've confessed it. Moving on.

So, whats at the top of the list for things I'd like to fade?

The memories my children will have of me losing my patience, being too harsh, or selfishly practicing sarcasm at the expense of their feelings.

What I don't want to fade? Emma's quirkiness. I hope she keeps it forever.

Next on the list for things to fade?

My superficial thoughts of my appearance. Really, they just trip us up as women and feed our flesh vs allowing the Spirit to be our bread. I am asking God to fade these thoughts so that when I look at a picture of our family celebrating our son's baptism, I can focus on the love being displayed vs the size of my cheeks.

What I don't want to fade? My children's love for one another. about the old man? Yes, out with the old, in with the new. Three big cheers for God's ability to not just settle with fading! Ethan was baptized this summer. I am thanking God for His evident work in my son's life. I pray the feeling of guilt, for failing this guy from the beginning, will fade sooner than later.

What should never fade, is Ethan's commitment to follow Christ. Oh God, please keep my son close, let his desire for you grow stronger than his desire for the world.

Let's wrap things up, shall we? Fading takes time, right? Can't happen overnight? What do you think of when you say the word fading?
To have had a marriage that was miserable just over 2 years ago, to having such a blessed union today, I would say that a lot has faded for Greg and I. I have faded. The hard Jamie who was quick to cut down, quick to judge, and quick to choose bitterness over forgiveness has faded. The passion Greg had for things other than myself and his children has faded. Yet, they are both still there. Rearing their ugly heads every now and again, and by God's grace, being etched away with time.
What I pray doesn't fade? My desire to be his woman. I'm totally smitten with this man, and I pray that grows stronger and stronger.

Some of you may have things you wish would fade, too. Maybe you said something last week and have replayed it over and over wishing you hadn't.
Or maybe you are just so confident in who you are that you feel it is failure to admit there are things you want to fade.
Let me just say this, God has chosen me to become like His son, and in order to do that, there will be lots of fading. But only God can do that miracle, and I'm not helping if I can't admit there are bold colors in need of a good wash.
Here's to feeling good with pale skin this fall, and to spend more time seeking Him than anything else of this earth that will soon enough fade away.