Easy like Sunday Morning

bible-1031288_1920I’m easy like Sunday morning…

That song popped up in my head this morning. I guess it goes to show how much sarcasm is simply wired in my brain. Oh boy, at least I make myself laugh. ‘Cause let me tell you, this lovely Sunday morning started out as anything but easy.

My youngest had a hard time staying in his Sunday school class. We eventually bribed him. Mom of the year award, right? He eventually walked in the classroom and plopped on the floor with his arms crossed. Just as sarcasm flows through my veins, stubbornness flows through Oliver’s. At least he isn’t crying, I thought and off I went to meet Matt to head to our bible class. After I checked on him a couple more times, that is.

After dealing with that, we weren’t eager to get to class. We went, of course. It took a few minutes and a few deep breaths to be able to focus. The subject was on slowing down, something I actually just blogged on recently. Gotta love the way God reinforces things for us. There is something about slowing down that sometimes leads us to feel guilty. We shouldn’t, but it’s as though we feel we can’t say no. We feel like we are being lazy if our calendars aren’t filled to the brim. Anyway, the leader even had all of us stop and sit silently for a full minute. Powerful to think of a room full of adults in complete silence.

After class and before worship started, Matt whispered how he was glad we went to class this morning. I nodded and added how funny it is that Satan works hard on those Sunday mornings when you really need to hear something. Satan sure is a jerk!

Like I have said before. Don’t just turn to God. Turn away to God. Turn away from the busyness, the distractions, and all the other noise of this world. When we don’t stop and sit at the feet of Jesus––when we don’t stop and study His word––just think of what we are really missing. His still small voice is what we are missing and that is what we need more than anything in this crazy world.

From a Manger to a Cross

fullsizeoutput_e.jpegI apologize to anyone who read my post last year…or other similar ones, but things lay heavy on me and what else am I to do?  I feel there is more depth this year than last and am wondering next year if it is possible to transcend further into whatever it is you’d call it that I feel post-Christmas.

Life starts shifting back to normal. My kids are exhausted. My house is a disaster.  I’m exhausted as well.  I’m a bit of an introvert.  I absolutely love people, I love to be around people. I also need and crave calm and quiet at times.  I need both.  I need time to reflect and get lost in my own mind. When there are many things I need to get done, like before Christmas, it sucks my energy.  I become a bit recluse trying to do what needs to be done.  Plus, this year I was sick and couldn’t rest trying to get it all done. I feel like I need to buy a t-shirt that says, “Sorry, I really do like you, but I’m peopled out.”

I am looking at the heaps of gifts scattered throughout our house and tell myself I’ll organize it later.  I feel grateful for my family and for my husband’s family.  We both have pretty low drama and intact families, at least compared to the norm.  My kids are shown love and it is almost too normal for them to have the best of everything. I do my best to show them how blessed they are for all these things. We give back and I allow the boys to to be a part of choosing where and how we do so.

Obviously, I want to have my good life. Who wouldn’t?  I feel blessed and I thank God for all we have.  But, I feel a pulling inside me that just keeps growing.  When did it start?  I think it has always been there my entire life. It is just that sometimes I feel it to the point it physically hurts. I see what I have and I see what others don’t have and it makes me sad. The older I get the more I see and feel it.

Lately, I don’t think it is enough to just recognize it.  It isn’t enough to donate clothes and old toys.  It isn’t enough to donate money, goats, and so on to the poor.  It just doesn’t feel like I’m dong enough.  No, I’m not going to give up all we have to go wander the streets with my family to make myself feel better.  I truly don’t know what I feel like I should be doing.  I’m in this praying, waiting, praying stage.  I’m practicing what I preach to others.  Give it to God and wait on His answer.

I sit here staring out my window and reflect on the life of Jesus. It began in manger, a feeding trough. It ended on a cross, Him literally nailed to it. Everything in between the two was not a life fit for a king. Yet He is the King of Kings. Through the world’s eyes, no one would ask for such a life. He was not rich or powerful. He lived a life full of sacrifice. I think about sin and how we easily can sin on a daily basis. There are sins we fight daily and it takes great sacrifice not to succumb to at times. Think of all the sacrifices He made to live a sinless life. We know He was tempted. Yet He chose a path we could never.  We are too weak to live a life such as His.

We rely on grace and many times take it for granted.  We chew on the bread and sip the wine.  We know what a blessing and gift it is to partake in. Yet most times, at least to a certain extent, Monday morning comes around and we fall right back into worldly thinking.  We may read the Word and try to teach our kids the best we can. We send our prayers.  We serve in the church. But, we don’t love our neighbors as we should and we surely don’t spread the gospel as we should.  We don’t step out of our comfort to live the life God is calling us to.

The crazy part is God loves us despite all of this!  

We know this because He sent His son to live a life we could never live and to die a horrible death to save us from ourselves. We are saved because of our King who began His life in a manger and ended it on a cross. He lived that life and here I am living my easy peasy one…and it doesn’t quite seem right.

The Chair

In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

John 1:1

Sometimes it is hard to see and hear God’s voice in your life.  Human reasoning seems to get in the way, at least with me.  I try to take a step back to recognize how He is speaking to me.  Many times I still question whether it is coincidence or Him.  When it comes to the Word, I try to push out the doubt with all my might.  You know those times a verse just speaks to you and then the same verse continues to pop up in your life.  Whether or not it is a commonly used verse, it touches you more than usual.  I believe God speaks frequently to me in this manner.  It begins with the introduction or reintroduction of the verse…a “wow this verse really speaks to me” moment.  Then it is shown to me again and again, however many times I may need it.  Each time I hear the verse it gives deeper meaning to the verse and to my life.

John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” is the present verse being shown to me over and over again.  We had bible presentation at my church.  I was asked to do a reading.  I was handed the verse a few minutes before the service started.  I read it and I prayed over it.  It is never easy going in front of the congregation, but when I saw the verses I was given from John chapter one, a peace washed over me.  When I began to speak, “In the beginning was the Word…,”  I felt His power and His peace in the words.  A couple days after, someone told me they had a moment when I was up there reading the verse.  Pretty amazing how He speaks through us.

Yesterday, I went to my family’s church.  It was their 75th anniversary and they honored a few people, my grandma being one of them.  The church I now go to is a different denomination. I just find it so interesting to see the differences.  I know I belong in the denomination I go to, but a different perspective strengthens me.  I used to get confused and want answers to which is right and which is wrong.  The only thing I can come up with is there are strengths and weakness in every denomination.   (I know I have mentioned all this before.)  Why?  Because denominations are manmade.  The divides within the Christian church are not from God.  Heaven is not going to have separate places for each denomination.  “Lutherans go over there, Pentecostals over there, and Baptists here.”  We are one church.  We interpret things different.  We place emphasize on different things.  I am partial to the Lutheran ways, but that doesn’t mean Lutheran’s don’t have their weaknesses.

The sermon yesterday was a good old fashioned gospel message.  It truly was. The pastor began to speak the words of John 1: 1…a peace washed over me once again.  I’ll say he he had my full attention after that. I needed a good old fashioned gospel message.  He used great verses and examples that all pointed to the gospel.  It is funny, the last time I was at my family’s church was for my grandma’s funeral service.  The Holy Spirit moved me during her service.  I had been intending to read the bible…not just in the bible study sort of way.  I needed to read every single word of the bible.  After her service I knew I needed to start with the gospel…there was/is something about being at my family’s church, my childhood church that led/leads me to the gospel.  So I started with the New testament and then went through the Old Testament and then through the New Testament again.  Now I am going back through Old Testament.  I am glad I listened to Him and started with the gospels because He knew I needed it.

What I recently needed to be reminded of was to lay all my trust in Him, all of it.  It was His plan from the beginning. He knew we could not do it on our own…that is why His son did all the work for us.  Sometimes I place too much of my own weight and other peoples weight on my shoulders, instead of casting it all to Him.  I am not alone in this problem of trying to stand on my own, we all do it.  But we shouldn’t.

I will leave you with one example the pastor gave yesterday.  He pulled a chair over by him.  Now I am paraphrasing a bit but he said something like, “You can know the chair is a chair.  You can study it.  You can bow down to it.  You can even sing to it.  But what you really need to do is sit in the chair.  Put all your weight on the chair.  Stop trying to stand on your own when you have a chair that is always there.”