Spitting Cobras and Facebook

1 Timothy 6:6 (NIV) But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Several years ago, Valentine’s Day went down like this:

I waited and waited all day excited as a kid at Christmas for my husband to get home. It was Valentine’s Day! We always said we weren’t going to do anything or that much, but I knew he would get me something and for some reason I was really looking forward to it this year. I kept checking the clock, listening for the garage door to open. In between cooking dinner, doing laundry, and playing with my son, I would take a peek at Facebook from time to time to see all of the pretty pictures of roses, candy and declarations of love. I thought it funny that all of the girls who got the biggest bouquets were either just newly married or barely even in a relationship. What’s that all about? I wondered. Then finally, the garage went up! Yes! Now it’s my turn. Doesn’t have to be much, he knows I love chocolate, I wonder if he got me chocolate? Ooo…this is going to be good. I can’t wait, so I meet him at the truck. I never meet him at the truck. He walks him in as if it’s a normal day…empty-handed! We greet each other. Finally I can’t take it any longer. “Uhh…Honey did you forget something?” His casual response, “Oh, I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had time to stop and get you anything.” Wha…? I turn around and march back in the house. It takes a while for my reaction to start to build. At first, there’s that numb shocked feeling, which slowly mounts to hot seething rage. You forgot?! Then there’s tears, as I’m angrily stuffing clothes in the washing machine. Then starts the in-my-head conversation, “You forgot?, What do you mean you forgot? After everything I do, going above and beyond all the time, working all day, still keeping the family fed, the home taken care of, making sure your son is cared for,….and you just forgot? So I guess I’m just not that important…there’s girls on Facebook who don’t do half the stuff I do and have three dozen roses right now! What do you mean you forgot!?” Well, I’m pretty worked up by now, so I turn around, march back upstairs and confront him in the kitchen.

And so starts my teary speech, “I work too hard for you just to forget! I deserve to be appreciated!” He looks at me, trying not to laugh, walks back outside and comes back in with a card, flowers and a box of chocolates.  “Do you really think I would forget you?” You see my husband is not usually forgetful, but he is definitely a prankster.

Well by now, I’m too angry to reverse course. I mean I am still spitting like a cobra.

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So I can do nothing else at this point but be very mad …and very embarrassed. I mean how embarrassing is it that I’m this old acting like a teenager and I’m so mad I can’t even switch gears? As I looked at how the evening unfolded, I had to admit to myself I got caught in the deception of looking at what everybody else got (via FaceBook) and comparing myself.  As I retell the story, I don’t know if I should laugh or go hide under a rock somewhere.

But how often do we do this, compare ourselves to others lives? And now through social media, we can even do it electronically.  We often think we don’t have enough, or even worse, that we aren’t enough. Someone’s life always looks better. To the mom at home, it may look like oh it would be so nice to have a career outside of the home and to be able to talk to someone who is older than four years old. To the working mom, she may constantly say oh if I only had more time with my kids! To the single mom, oh if only I had a partner to help me with all of this! And then let’s not even talk about comparing your spouse to someone else…oh if only he were as thoughtful as… oh he if would just…well look at their marriage….

Teddy Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

We can get so caught up in admiring the nice and shiny façade of someone else’s life that we don’t take enough time to stop and admire the beauty that God has placed in our own lives.

When we start out on this journey called life, we are filled with hope and expectation of a glorious future. But road bumps and curve balls happen along the way, and some things are not going turn out like you expected.  As you face disappointment, it can be tempting to sit down and have a pity party with the ugly twin sisters of bitterness and jealousy. These two evil siblings are at the root of all of the comparing. Just like Paul told Timothy, be content with what you have, for with contentment is great gain. And good Lord, get off of Facebook so much!

Today’s Prayer

“Lord! I adore you! Look at what you have done for me and how you have blessed me! I am speechless! You have given me much and I am so grateful for it! I will not dishonor your goodness by wasting my time comparing myself to others. Whatever comes today, I am content, I am satisfied, I am blessed.”

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The Wind

Isaiah 40:28-31 New Living Translation

Have you never heard? Have you never understood?   The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. 29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.  30 Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.  31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.  They will soar high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.


In the Hauling Trash devotional, I talked about being exhausted and distracted. Most of the time, constant distractions and being overburdened are signs that we are out of alignment, that we are doing something that we don’t need to be doing. My natural inclination is to be a doer and a fixer. I am always trying to figure something out (Why do you think I can relate to Martha so well?) For me, this means a lot of projects. I can be guilty of always starting or planning something. But often, many of those projects don’t get very far. No matter how hard I try, I don’t seem to make much traction. But then there are other times I can plow through large workloads and get-R done.  There are times I can go the distance and accomplish something over the long haul, even with several distractions. What’s the difference?

A few years ago, I graduated from grad school with a 4.0, while working a full-time job with insane deadlines, helping my husband in ministry, and raising my young son in his toddler and preschool years. I got through grad school this way by getting up most mornings at 4:00 AM and putting in a study session before work. People to this day look at me as if I am growing two heads when I tell them how I made it through grad school. Now when grad school was coming to a close (Thank you Jesus!), the grace to get up at 4:00 AM also came to a close. Suddenly, finishing up begin to feel like trekking through mud and landing in quick sand. Why? Because my grace was lifting in that area. There is supernatural assistance to accomplish the plans and purposes of God for your life. I believe God in loving parental guidance lets that grace lift from time to time just to remind you that it was Him carrying you and lifting you up all along. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles.” You have to have wind in order to soar like eagles. Birds flap their wings to get going, but eagles soar.

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According to scientists, Jon. M. Gerrard and Gary R. Bortolotti, “Eagles are capable of sustained flapping flight but they usually spend little time doing it.” Why? They wait for the wind to uplift and take them along for the ride. While the other birds are just flapping away, the eagles are traveling farther, accomplishing more and looking breathtakingly majestic while doing it. “They spread their wings and soar like eagles,..” (MSG)

 I’ll admit, I do a lot of flapping sometimes. But when I have God’s plan, His complete approval, and His desire, here comes the wind.  But they that wait…” What I have learned during this season is to slow down, and spend more time with God. I have learned to present those ideas and projects to Him before I just go flapping in the wind, doing much but accomplishing little.

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So, I encourage you to follow His gentle nudging and that inner witness. We are too in a hurry and too impatient. And so too often, we miss His leading. If He hasn’t spoken about it yet, then it’s not time.

One of the many reasons I am so thankful for my church is because we don’t rush through “song service”. We don’t do the standard two “fast” songs and one “slow” song. We take the time to worship God, to put Him in His rightful place and that is on the throne of our hearts. We wait until the wind and the rain of the Holy Spirit comes.

Eagles relish the storm and use it to fly higher and soar longer. What about the wind and the rain of the magnificent presence of God? Just enjoy His presence and get renewed, and build your strength up in his presence. Because when it is time to launch what God has for you to do, you will need all of that reserved energy. Then, you can soar and take flight, and look really good while accomplishing much, but with very little flapping. People will ask you every day what is your secret, how are you getting all of this done? Just smile and say, “It’s the wind.”

This Week’s Prayer

“God! My God! You are my source! You are my strength! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Show me your way and show me your plan, so that I am not just flapping in the wind. I will wait on you, so I can soar like the eagle you have created me to be!

Hauling Trash

Isaiah 40:28-31  (NLT)

28 Have you never heard?  Have you never understood?  The Lord is the everlasting God,
 the Creator of all the earth.  He never grows weak or weary.  No one can measure the depths of his understanding.  29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.  30 Even youths will become weak and tired,  and young men will fall in exhaustion.  31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.  They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint.


Let’s be honest, most working moms are exhausted. You love your kids, love your man, love your job, love your life, your friends, your family blah, blah, blah… But, oh if only you could take a nap. And even if you do by some miracle get to nap, you can’t turn your mind off. It’s multi-tasking at the speed of light, mowing down rest and peace like a freight train. Got to get it all figured out and make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be, doing what they are supposed to be doing. But Jesus said, “Come unto me all that are heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28).

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It’s a promise from straight from the heart of Jesus. He looked into the eyes of another overworked overwrought and frustrated woman, and said “You’re missing something, Martha.”

Luke 10: 38-40 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

Martha received Jesus into her house as a kind and gracious host. She received Him as a dignitary, as someone to be honored. This all sounds really really good, and it’s very impressive…until it is compared to true intimacy. While Martha let Jesus within the vicinity of her heart, Mary let him in. There she sat, right at his feet, clinging to every word, taking the time to get to know Jesus, not just about Jesus.

Mary was listening to his words. His words bring spirit and life (John 6:63), the very thing that Martha so desperately needed.

40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

I purposely chose the King James Version for this passage, because the word cumbered paints such a vivid picture. I immediately picture someone heavy laden, hauling around a lot of junk, carrying baggage, hauling trash. The word cumbered literally means to drag all around. It further means to be distracted, to be driven about mentally, too over-occupied, too busy.

41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

On the surface, it seems Martha is upset because Mary isn’t helping her. But don’t you love how Jesus always cuts to the chase and answers the real question, even when it isn’t being asked? “Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things, not just today, not just this meal…girl, you have a lot of things going on in that head of yours.”

Martha was trying to get it all figured out…all by herself, when the life-giver, the ultimate problem-solver was right there in her midst.

42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

One thing is needful. Our harried, busy and distracted lives is usually an indication that we have set aside the one thing we all so greatly need and that is time at His feet, gazing into His eyes.  His very presence will replenish and restore you. If you consistently maintain this intimacy, little by little crooked paths will be made straight, questions will be answered, dilemmas will be solved.

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You will usually find that His presence will lead you to simplify your life and to focus in on the things that really matter, taking out the trash once and for all. Usually you are just plain doing too much and need to let it go. Let go of “it has to be done a certain way” before it becomes your undoing. Many times just enough is good enough, so you can have more time for what really matters…time with Him.

Working Moms

She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm. Proverbs 31:17 Amp

Working Moms

Many church folks take a traditional view of how the home should run. The husband is to be the sole financial provider for the family and the wife’s place is home with the children.  However, I would venture to guess that at least half or more (most likely significantly more) of Christian women with children, work outside of the home. But the Church tends to ignore this demographic, like we don’t exist. The sermons, anecdotes, blogs, experts, etc. that focus on marriage all take the viewpoint as if all Christian women are stay-at-home moms. All of their examples and advice focus on this family model. But what if your family doesn’t look like this? What if mom does work? What if, God forbid, not only does mom work, but she is the primary or sole provider? This possibility is simply ignored in the teachings I hear about marriage. That silence alone makes you assume that it is somehow bad, not good enough, something to be pitied, or… maybe even a sin! (Cue melodramatic music.)

To be perfectly honest with you, being a working mom is not all that glamourous and somedays it can be downright sucky. Like when you have a sick child but you must be at work that particular day. These type of time conflicts are never fun or easy.

But today, because of the life I want my child to have (both now and in the future), I choose to work. And so do many other women. And there are many women, Christian women, who want to work. To preserve her sanity and her family’s, they want her to work too!

Godly women clearly work today. Even in biblical times, they worked. The Proverbs 31 woman, who has been held up to us as the standard, worked while being a mother(Proverbs 31: 13-19, 24, 28, 31) . So, there is really no debate. What we must stop doing is judging each other for how we choose to best take care of our families. Show me a woman who has decided to stay home to take of her family, and I’ll show you another one who gets up every day and goes to work to take care of hers. Why is one right and one wrong? The objective is the same: a healthy happy family.

As all working moms know, there is no such thing as a “part-time” mom. So I don’t really understand the term, “full-time” mom. You never abdicate the responsibility of your child. Even when they are not with you, you are always managing their lives in some way, constantly thinking about and planning for their well-being.

So, stop judging each other and stop judging yourself…and stop judging your husband for not being Daddy Warbucks. Unfortunately, we look at what we think is the perfect family and we may begin to feel dissatisfaction with ours. Couple that emotion with the natural longing for more time with your kids and just more time in general, and if you’re not careful, dissatisfaction will turn into resentment. Especially if you listen to the silent disapproval of the church about working moms (And sometimes not so silent).

Newsflash! Some of us are called into the workplace! It is our mission field! There are people there who are your assignment, who only you can reach. But you are too busy resenting being there to look around you and see who is hurting, who needs prayer or encouragement.

And here’s another newsflash friend – God is in the kingdom business. He doesn’t waste talent. Look at the parables (Matthew 25:14-29). Why would he put those natural abilities and talents inside you if He didn’t expect you to use them? He also has the plan and strategy to help you be and do everything He called you to be.

Enjoy where you are at in life. Enjoy your kids, and if you’re married, enjoy your man. Enjoy contributing to the workplace with your skills. Stop wishing and waiting around for another life.  Stop waiting for someday! Enjoy the life you have! Enjoy and embrace being a working mom.