Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What's Love Got to Do With It?

I realized this week that I tend to approach Bible reading with the following subconscious thought: "Ok (heavy sigh), let's see what else I'm not doing right that God wants me to get straight." Lately it's been hard to see anything but correction in my personal devotion times. And while I understand that correction comes because He loves me, the love seemed secondary. It's as though I see God as primarily being interested in pointing out the myriad of things that are wrong with me.

So earlier this week, I was reading the "Love" passage - 1 Cor. 13 - and I was expecting God to show me all the ways I have not been very loving lately. I haven't been patient with my child, kind to my spouse, etc, etc, etc. But that's not what I came away with. What I saw instead was that all those things about love are also about God Himself, since God is love, according to 1 John 4. And then something else occurred to me. All these things are characteristic of the relationship He wants to have with me - this is how He treats me!

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Cor 13:4-7

When I looked at the passage from a new perspective, I found that I was able to find encouragement along with reproof, love along with discipline. It shouldn't surprise me. Now that I am a parent, I find myself correcting my toddler not just so I can so "NO" 1835 times a day (and believe me, it feels like that sometimes). I do it because I love her and I want her to grow into the woman God intends her to be. Doing so means disciplining her even now. It means keeping her safe, adjusting her already independent attitude, and instructing her on proper behavior. How much more can I expect God to parent me in such a manner?

I love it when God screws my head on straight.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Under the Microscope

It's one of those very uncomfortable times in my life when it feels like all my many flaws are not just being exposed but also magnified to the point where nothing else about me is visible to me or anyone else.

I'm trying to figure out if God is trying to bring things to my attention or if the enemy is trying to distract me or both. I want to change, to improve, to let God deal with me. I want to be obedient to His will and yield to His discipline. I recognize that everything God allows is for my ultimate good and His ultimate glory. I just want to discern what of this is a trial - a difficult situation not brought on by my disobedience - and what of this is, as my mentor calls it, is a "spanking".

Ultimately, I just want to know from God the truth of who I am and WHERE I am and where I need to be. And I want to be understood and accepted during the process.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Choosing a Different Perspective

It was not an easy day. Something happened that, while in the scheme of things was very small, was nonetheless very frustrating. I was angry and I felt betrayed and violated. As I was feeling these emotions, I was being told by a person I respect that this was "just a test" and I should "be grateful" and all that James 1:2 stuff that I just happened to read yesterday. And in that moment, I just became more angry and more frustrated. I got the impression that having these "negative" emotions made me less spiritual - less holy - than I was supposed to be.

So now I'm conflicted. We're told that emotions are from God. We should be in touch with them without letting them rule us. I wanted to take my moment and deal with my anger, and THEN see it from a better perspective. But is that right? Is that even remotely Biblical? Should I feel guilty for being angry?

In Ephesians 4:6 we are told, "In your anger do not sin." This seems to indicate that the anger itself is NOT sin. So how long am I allowed to be angry? Probably not long enough for it to turn to bitterness. I guess the bottomline is that after I've acknowledged my anger, I must choose to hand it to God and let Him deal with it. By completely avoiding the emotion and just stuffing it, it may likely come up in some inappropriate way further down the line.

So I choose to recognize my feelings and surrender them (and the situation) to the Lord. Now the whole thing is His problem.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bound to Happen

I knew I couldn't avoid it forever. I hoped, I prayed, but in the back of my mind I knew that eventually I'd have to deal with it.

My child is throwing up.

I'm handling it much better than I thought I would. I thought that when faced with this I would just add to the mess but so far, I've kept relatively calm and kept my lunch.

Wow, motherhood is fun.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ebb and Flow

This is already shaping up to be one of those months when my schedule, even my life, is in a constant push/pull. Run here, run there, do this, that and the other. Hurry, get this done. Wait, you forgot to make this phone call! I'm trying to not succumb to the "tyranny of the urgent". Doing so means losing sight of the reason I do most of what I do - to love God, my family and others.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Big Girl

Today was the first day of Mother's Day Out. It was so strange for me to be packing a lunch for a 16 month old.

We got there, she walked into her room and barely looked back.

I thought I wasn't gonna have to feel this way until kindergarten!