a new normal

I spent most of last week having small panic attacks- the kind where you’re walking out of the grocery store and you go “Holy no, where is Owen? Did I leave him in aisle 9?” I kept forgetting I didn’t have any small people trailing behind me during the precious hours of 9 a.m. -3 p.m. anymore.

(If you missed last week, you might want to start here for quick perspective)

I eased into a new normal with a little fear and a lot of trepidation. Don’t get me wrong. I actually love being alone. My happy place is sitting alone at the beach (or, second best, on my couch) with my Bible, a good book, and my green felt journal in my hand. And that is precisely how I spent the majority of the week.

 

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It wasn’t until I got still before the Lord – day after day - that I realized how much stuff I needed to work out (as three very active boys at home doesn’t leave much time for one to ponder and process on paper). It was good to just be with my God.

With this prayer planted in my heart from last Sunday……….

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……. and hours to let the Lord guide my thoughts, I found myself strangely content. A new peace, not as the world gives but the kind that comes only from Christ, held me. I swear my heart rate slowed, a feeling with which I’m not well acquainted.

I also took time to reflect on God's faithfulness to me (I highly recommend this!) I don’t think we I value enough the time that is spent tracing my finger over God’s goodness and faithfulness, not only in my one little life but in Genesis to Revelation. If I did, I’m certain I'd toss and turn a lot less.

In the little things and in the tragically big things, He has been so outrageously faithful. Why is it that I so easily forget that He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow?  

 

The simple act of 

remembering His faithfulness yesterday

&

giving thanks for His faithfulness today 

enables me to rest in the promise

He speaks over my tomorrow,

“And I’ve got that too!!”

 

But now for confession time……..

I manged to squeeze in “doing” one small thing (because, like I said last week, I'm not good at doing nothing). I decided to sell several things – things that I’d begged my hubby to buy me many years ago when all of the wrong things mattered to me. (Please hear me when I say this - I’m not saying the “things” he gave me were wrong, it was the condition of my heart when I wanted those thing that needed purifying.)

And who knew it would be so much fun to rid myself of the things that reminded me of a time in my life when I'd been sucked into the vortex of more, more, more.

Maybe you’ve been there – a time when you’ve felt, “If I can just have ‘this’ I will be happy” or “If I can just have ‘that’, I will feel complete.”

It was a time, though I didn’t realize it then, when my faith was rooted in Christ but my identity was not.

I was listening to the loud external voices shouting, “You are what you can attain, achieve, and accomplish” rather than the gentle internal voice of the Holy Spirit whispering, “You are who God says you are.”

So I got busy storing up earthly treasure, which is ironic really, since I’d memorized, in my childhood, the verse that tells you just how far that’ll get you.

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6: 19-21 

Seems I memorized the verse by head but not by heart.

But if you’ve been there you know -

You know how the appetite for more is insatiable.

You know how generous gifts from God quickly morph into idols for our fallen hearts.

And you know how our worship of the gifts, rather than the Giver of the gifts, can so quickly be caught by (even when not internationally taught to) our children.

I’m not sure confident I haven’t done a stellar job teaching our children about the thankfulness that the Apostle Paul speaks of in Philippians, Chapter 4.

It’s part of what I’ve been so convicted about lately.  I mean yes, we’ve done all of the small things I wrote about in Parenting the Wholehearted Child to instill thankfulness in our kids, and small things are good. Really, really good. I believe God delights in our service to our next door neighbor as much as He delights in someone else’s service to those suffering across the globe.

I think I’m just saying I want more. Not the kind of more I wanted when I begged Mike for that stupid purse. I want the more I talked about last week- to pour out this one little life for Christ in ways that will allow me to know HIM more. (Although come to think of it, I may have told Mike we “need” a boat a few weeks ago?!? I was thinking it would be a really fun family thing to do on weekends,……. and that means my motivation is pure, right?)

So clearly I’m still working all this out. But I'm thankful to be doing it with you.

Thanks for listening and sharing!

Love, J