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Monday, April 27, 2015

I Want A Jesus Book

Last week was a rough one for me.

Friends, I can be an emotional person, but I usually tend to keep my “butt-hurt” on the inside. I try not to be overly sensitive when my family doesn’t give me the appreciation I feel I deserve, or when things aren’t going my way. Typically, I TRY (keyword there: TRY) to let God handle the things I can’t, and make the choice to treat everyone—even the kid who complains every time a plate is put in front of them—with love, respect, and dignity.

But here’s the thing, guys. Last week… Well, I decided God had just not done His job in my life. He was supposed to put me in a position to help orphans, or sex-trafficking victims, or the homeless. I wasn’t supposed to be wiping butts and cooking elaborate breakfasts that nobody ate. I was supposed to be doing things for His kingdom, not unloading the dishwasher.

I let the simultaneous feelings of inadequacy and over qualification take root in my heart in a way I’ve never quite felt before, and I recognized that I was literally in a battle of Spiritual Warfare. Evil was trying to worm its way into my life and set up camp.

Sometimes, when we get those feelings that we could/should be doing more for God, or that we aren’t enough, it isn’t coming from Him at all. It’s Satan trying to turn us against ourselves and our families. He’s trying to cause chaos within us because we’re, in fact, doing exactly what God would have us to do! 

It took me a little while to figure this out, and when I did, I told someone. Keeping that kind of thing a secret eats us up, but letting it out diminishes the power it has over us, and we can begin to heal.  And the healing began almost instantly. (Thank you, Jesus for the friends who say “I get it.”)

Even in the midst of my anger and resentment, God began to show me some verses and a blog that I’d like to share with you today, as well as some excerpts from my journal. It’s my hope that if you’re a person who feels like me, it might help you some. 

Thursday, April 23

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, rejoice-- for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world."
1 Peter 4:12-13

"For if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for He will never fail you."
1 Peter 4:19

Journal Excerpt: God, I am under attack. Please let my suffering glorify you, and let it bring me closer to Your Kingdom. Please, call Satan off. He has no power here.

Friday, April 24

“Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly—not grudgingly—not for what you get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.”
1 Peter 5:2

Journal Excerpt: (On mission work) I don’t know why these desires are on my heart when I am in no position to do anything about them. I feel really alone in this, but I know God is with me, and He has a plan. So, for now, I’ll watch over the little flock in my house… 

Facebook Status Update: Guys, I want to tend ALL THE SHEEP. And sometimes, I forget there are lambs living in my house. I get blinded by their first world privilege and forget, that while their bodies want for nothing, their souls still need Jesus.

Blog Share: This blog is really great for those of us who are “just moms” or anywhere we feel like we aren’t making a difference.  I needed it so, so badly.

All last week, I just couldn’t see any difference that was being made through my existence. I wasn’t hugging babies in Ethiopia, or rescuing trafficking victims in India, or giving sermons about social justice.  I was cleaning up spilled milk, and running kids to baseball practice.  I was serving dinner people cried over. I was folding towels, and making beds. How could God have been using me in any way?

But, this morning…

This morning, Mak came into my room, dressed for PJ Day at school. She said she wanted me to choose her a book to read because they get to read anything they want for part of the day.  I started going through my classroom library (which is now our kids’ actual home library) to find her something fun.

“No, mom. I want a Jesus book. Can you give me one of yours?”

You guys, I would have cried right there, but she’d have thought I was nuts, and I NEEDED TO FIND A JESUS BOOK. 

A lot of my “Jesus books” are on my Kindle, so I sent her off with Love Does by Bob Goff.  It’s one of my favorites because it's filled with REAL EXAMPLES of how to love people the way Jesus did. Crazy, loud love. Love that requires action.

Just when I felt all hope was lost. When I was sure that nothing I was doing was making a difference. When I felt like my lambs had scattered, and nobody was ever going to make their way back, God used my suffering for His glory. He showed me that by caring for the flock he entrusted to me, I AM affecting His Kingdom. 

I may never get to spend years in Africa doing orphan care, or move to far off places to rescue victims of human trafficking. I may never build clean water wells, or free modern-day slaves. But I will continue to care for the lambs inside my home. Maybe one day He will entrust me with a larger flock, but for now, I’m okay with the ones within these four walls. Even if they do complain about their dinner.