Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When God rants back at you

Sent an email out to some of my prayer sisters tonight crying out in anger and frustration, but of course it didn't make anything better. Have you ever noticed that when you vent in righteous anger, the kind where you actually have a legitimate gripe, you tend to feel a sense of release and the ability to look at things more objectively? It's kind of like a pressure release valve. But, when you vent in pettiness all you do is make yourself more angry, more frustrated, more sad. Yup, that was me tonight. I ended up sitting with the Bible in front of me and it opened to Deuteronomy, right where I had highlighted some verses awhile back. God decided to send some venting right back at me. Over and over these words kept popping out...

Deut. 6: 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Deut. 7: 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

Deut. 7: 12-14 If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your forefathers. He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land... You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor any of your livestock without young.

Deut. 10: 12 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deut. 11: 1 Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.

Deut. 11: 13, 14 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today - to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul - then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil.

are you seeing the theme here? All the things he asks us to love him with are the things he has to give us to live, our heart, not just the pumping organ but the very thing that makes us reach out to others, our soul, the part of us that cries out for his coming, for that perfect world and our strength, something we all feel like escapes us at any given moment. They are also the things we give away with increasing ease, we give our hearts to anyone who says they love us back, we give our soul to anything that takes away the ache for that missing part, we give our strength to all the things we think we "have to do" and we end up wondering why we feel soo far away from him and without anything left to give him... left to give him... left to give him, why do we get it sooo backwards?

I've been saying how angry I am at God right now, but it isn't righteous, it doesn't do anything but stoke the flames. Oh how Satan has been laughing at me and egging me on, I can feel it, and I'm tired of it, I have no idea of how to stop it. All I can do is place the Word in front of myself and pray, pray like I haven't before, pray for truth to step out in front of me, pray for strength to say "Get the behind me Satan" even when it comes in the form of a well meaning friend, pray for the wisdom to put away the keyboard and pick up His Word, pray that my narrow minded sight be widened to see more, more of what he wants me to be, see and do. I've been soo busy looking at the last part of those verses and not any time growing in the first part, it's time to stop focusing on what God can do for me and to just focus on God. My good and patient God is one day going to have enough of my pettiness and will let me stew in my juices and I really don't want that to happen. So my prayer sisters, I'm sorry, and I'm asking you to join me in praying over this stronghold, I'm done and tired of it and ready to be free indeed

Monday, December 21, 2009

If we focus too much on Christmas we might miss Christ

This Christmas has been strange, I don't know if it's because of the miscarriage or because of the sprititual changes God is making in Matt and I or a combination of both but it's been different for sure. I am having a hard time getting into the mode of comercial gift giving, deciding what to give people has been on such the back burner this year. And it seems like every book I pick up, every song I sing, every person I talk to has made me start to question what does Christmas really mean to me. I decided to ask some questions of my family to see what they would say. Here are the questions and responses.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Christmas?

Serah: getting presents, "Santa if he does exist after all", "Sometimes I think about Jesus and his birth but most of the time I don't"

Ethan: "I think about presents but also about the birth of Christ"

Matt: "bills, where does the money go?, hectic schedules, spending time with family and friends"

Me: "hectic schedules, pleasing family, getting it all done, looking festive"

What do you enjoy about Christmas?

Serah: "happiness, being excited, getting presents, being thankful"

Matt: "getting to do special things with family, getting time off of work to spend with family"

Me: "filling the house with good smelling goodies (baking), dressing up for parties, finding that perfect gift"

What does Christmas mean to you?

Ethan: "If he wasn't born we wouldn't be here today", "You don't give just to recieve"

Matt: " a season where we struggle to focus on the right things"

   I know the kids are just kids but it really made me wonder what the emphasis has been on so far in their lives, what have we been teaching them. I know that Matt and I both struggle with not losing our temper with them and each other each year as the stresses mount up. We battle the Bah Humbugs and the blahs, and only just manage to come out of it in time for Christmas Eve. Tell me, what kind of example is that?
   All this makes me wonder, what can we learn from this? Also, how in the heck do we balance what we feel God is showing us with expectations that won't change by people who either won't get it or aren't in the same place we are.
   I think we both are feeling the need to change our family's focus from inward towards us and how the season affects us to outward toward the people around us that are struggling each year, with pain, finances and everyday wants. How this is going to look we're not sure yet but I know one thing, next year is going to be less about what we can't do, how we don't feel or what we don't get and more about Who He is, What He wants us to do and How He makes us feel. All this in the hopes that it carries foward into the New Year and every day of our lives. It's time to make Christmas less about one day and more about Everyday.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shameless plug

I love words, I love reading and it's often how God speaks to me the most. My wonderful Sister and Brother in Love both have blogs that I check daily. There isn't a time when what God gives them to share doesn't speak to me in some way. Their last posts are so God given that I'm suggesting you go read them! Bethany is at http://his-beloved2.blogspot.com/ and Tim is at http://a-warriors-heart.blogspot.com/ . I love them both and love the heart that they share with us all.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Searching for Meaning

As we head into December and begin to celebrate the birth of a very important baby I find myself stuffing some lingering pain, anger and resentment about the miscarriage. I have had no desire to try to see what possible good God could have brought out of this or what he could be wanting to show me. It took a book about a mother being found by her son she put up for adoption to break through the wall I was putting up. (side note, if you haven't read any of Angela Hunt's books pick one up, this one is called "The Debt" and is amazing)
The son is hit by a car right in front of her and she gets to hold him as he is called home, just like she got to hold him right after he took his first breath... that part was powerful enough but later in the book she is talking to her husband and said this ...

"I drove around town tonight, Able, and I asked the Lord why he brought Chris into my life. I mean, look at it from an eternal perspective - I knew Chris only four days. If God meant to take him home today - and I believe he did - then he could have just as easily kept Chris in New York with his parents. but God sent Chris to Wiltshire, and to me. The Lord used Chris to pull me out of my usual places and patterns, and he had to have a reason. I want to understand it." (emphasis mine)

I had to put the book down and just deal with the tears pouring forth, from the first pregnancy test that was positive to the second that was negative was 4 days, it was a fluke that I took a test at all, usually I would have just waited much longer and probably wouldn't have even known I was pregnant, the only way to accept that God loves me through all this is to trust that there was an eternal reason why it happened. I'm still not seeing it and don't know if I ever will, I sure hope so, I am praying that whatever it is that he reveals it to me, the sooner the better for my pain sake but I know that sometimes the answer is wait, be patient or even sometimes No. I really struggle with genuine joy in a season that dwells on birth and new life and even sharing in the joy of those around me that are bringing new life into this world.

I'm holding on to promises like this one, Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. Psalm 126:5 and praying he can break through the walls I find myself erecting even when I don't want to.