Monday, December 30, 2013

You Can't Earn It

Hi it's me.

I'm currently sitting at my computer with ear plugs in. BECAUSE TRENT IS LISTENING TO THE TV ON VOLUME 62!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Hey babe, can you please turn down the volume a notch?" 

2 minutes later..."Hey, can you turn down the volume?"

2 minutes later..."Turn it down."

2 minutes later..."I'M GOING TO PUNCH YOU."

We have had a really long last couple of weeks. Believe it or not, this is not the first or second or third time I have considered punching Trent. And it's really more of a punch with my words....which is probably a lot more damaging than my fist anyway. I'm kind of wimpy. 

We have been under some stress the last few weeks leading up to Christmas. It just snuck up so quick. Before you know it, I was finishing up my shopping on CHRISTMAS EVE. So there's that.

As far as family plans go, our fam's Christmas schedules didn't match up so well this year. Actually, not really at all. And it caused a surprising amount of tension between Trent and I. Also God and I. I am thankful that our plans all worked out in the end though. After at least 3 full on bawling breakdown sessions by yours truly. Not proud of it.

I am learning. Learning and growing more than ever. No thanks to me, though.

As God teaches me the immaturity of my attitude and actions, He brings me closer to Him, so that I can see the way He sees. 

Seeing the way He sees isn't easy. It's counter-cultural. It's loving someone who doesn't deserve it. It's choosing to forgive and not hold a grudge. It's seeing others as BETTER than yourself. It's choosing to wear ear plugs when someone turns the TV up to 62. Just kidding.

I am FAR from seeing the way He sees. And it is SO apparent to me after our Christmas stress. My actions and words leaked a judgmental heart. 

I didn't like being aware of that. I was tempted to stuff the judgement back in. Out of sight out of mind. 

But it is still there, whether I choose to acknowledge it or not. Growing thicker and deeper the longer I ignore it. But God sits waiting for me to hand it over to Him. "Let me help you" He says. "I can fix that." 

I wrote about redemption a few posts ago. If you didn't read that and would like to, you can do so here. I talked about how God pulled me out of a hardship, not because of what I did, but simply because I acknowledged my need for Him.

After such a powerful, undeserving experience, you would think it would be easy to hand anything and everything over to Him. 

But it's not.

Our natural tendency is to control.

Over the past few weeks I have replayed these questions time and time again. "How do I let God in?" "How do I let Him take control?" "How do I hear Him before I get involved and screw things up?" "How do I keep the redemption I experienced just a few short months ago?"

This is a humbling post for me to write, because I don't have an answer. I haven't fully learned how to incorporate God into every aspect of life.

Something I read this week stands out to me though. It's Luke 10:38-42, the story of Jesus visiting Mary and Martha. Martha rushes around preparing her home and gets frustrated with Mary who isn't helping with chores. Instead, Mary sits at the Lord's feet listening to what He says.

And Jesus says "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed -or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

This stuck out to me because I am a do-er. A Martha. If I were given the opportunity to sit at Jesus' feet and listen OR busy myself with chores to try and impress Jesus and make myself feel good, I would choose chores. I want to EARN my way to Him. I want to DESERVE Him.

But I am wrong.

Cleaning and sweeping the judgement out of my own heart gets me no where. Jesus says Mary has chosen what is better. Mary listened. She allowed Jesus to pour into her. He says THIS IS THE ONLY THING NEEDED.

Stop trying to do it yourself.


Listen to Jesus.

And this, of course, is advice to myself. That's the beautiful thing about writing. It helps organize the thoughts swirling around. I will keep you updated on this process of incorporating God into every aspect of life.

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas! Here are some photos of our Christmas, but mostly of my adorable nephew in hipster clothes.

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