"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My motives, I'm a duck and ME FIRST!

James 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

I start with this verse because it is very powerful and is actually getting me through my day. I'll explain how.

First off, Sunday we had a serious thought provoking sermon. It was a sermon that makes you really turn your thoughts introspectively and not towards others who "need to hear that sermon". It is like the Holy Spirit was pointing His finger directly at my heart. David (our preacher) told a story about a group of Elders who were asked by a person to anoint him and pray for him as is described in the Bible. When the elders were talking to him they asked him a question. "Why do you want to be healed?" The point is-- what are your motives in your prayer? Is it so you can feel better, have a more fulfilled life, be rid of a thorn... or is it so you can glorify Him? Are you putting God into a neat little box in which if you perform the correct combination you get out of the box what you want? Well, am I?

And secondly, last night in Bible study (Walking by Faith- Jennifer Rothschild) I came across a question that made me think once again about my motives. The two part question started: "Respond honestly. What is the center of your life? What's most important to you?" In my honest response I said that what is most important to me is focusing my family on God. This is why I do what I do. The next question is the kicker here and it kicked me for sure. It goes, "If it is not God and your relationship to Him, what must change for God and His plan to become the center of your life?" Well the answer to the first question certainly was not about my relationship to God. I started thinking about this and how I could refocus myself. The not so profound yet remarkably profound thought came to me: I am busy herding my family towards God and not leading them there. You see I am pushing and telling them how to get there instead of walking toward Jesus and leading them as I head unswervingly toward my goal. Proverbs 4:25-27 Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. I need to work on my walk and relationship and they will follow in my footsteps.

Currently my eyes are all over the place trying to keep my little ducks in a row. Just picture me as a frantic duck all over the pond trying to get her ducklings in a row behind her. I am leading them in a crazy mixed up path all over the pond. I need to just straighten out my path and swim directly across the pond. (Think about it-- the direct route across the pond would prove to be the safest-- more order and less commotion which attracts the catfish and turtles to you as bait plus you get where your headed much faster and can get off the pond sooner...)

So, this morning was like most of my mornings. I lay in bed really not wanting to get up and thought about my motives. Why do I want to get out of the bed? I laid there thinking about this and asked God to motivate me to get out of bed. I asked Him to help me glorify Him in my day-- I certainly could not glorify Him if I just stayed in bed all day long. I want to get out of bed because I want to bring Him glory.

You see being a stay at home mom is quite redundant and sometimes feels like there is a bloody spot on the wall where I am beating my head so hard. It seems as if I am herding a flock of sheep and they just will not go where I want them. After a while it gets hard to try to push anymore. I thought my motives all along were good (herding my flock to God), but really I am as much in the flock as they are and I need to quit trying to be the shepherd. I asked God to help me do my daily grind in a way pleasing to Him-- that I may glorify Him in my getting out of bed and performing of my duties. I also told Him honestly I do not enjoy doing laundry and cleaning and refereeing arguments... but that I loved Him and my family and this is why I do it. I asked Him to help me do my job not begrudgingly and with a loving heart. I asked Him to motivate me, because I knew He would. All of this I asked before I got out of bed.

I must say God has accomplished a lot: I have yelled less (although I am currently wearing earplugs), done a science experiment with the girls, planned my AHG service project and meeting, and made soufflé for lunch. I keep thinking about myself and my own walk and example. If I keep running around frantically trying to get my children to follow Jesus instead of calmly leading the way, I am certain to give up. It seems a huge step of faith to trust that if I just do what I need to do and work on my relationship with Christ that His plan for my family will be sufficient. It takes faith and trust (no pixie dust) to relinquish this control (of which I really have none) over my family.
 I hope this makes sense. It seems so foreign to me. I just will cling to another verse as I continue to walk by faith and trust Him as the Shepherd: Isaiah 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

As I step into the dark unknown and trust God to lead me and my family, I know there will be treasures from Him out there much greater than any I could find on my own. It brings me peace to think that it is OK and His Will that I put my relationship with Him first. A point where me as a mom can focus on me and my God and less on my family and being their rock... He is the rock not me. It is OK for "me" to be in my number one priority. What a freeing thought-- I can put me first as long as it pertains to my relationship with God.

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