Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Help Meet or Pity Party?

From the beginning of time God has called us to be a helper for the men in our lives. More specifically our husbands. In Genesis God knew that Adam could not be alone and so he formed Eve from Adam's rib. Bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, literally. Sometimes we think that submission to our husbands is of a past time, but it honestly is an act that has been watered down and ruined. In its pure form, it honestly shows what being a "helper" is all about. If you were to look in the Strong's concordance you would find that a "help meet" in the King James Version means to surround, protect, or aid. There is another word that pops up... succor which is a British term for relief or bring aid. Basically rescue.

God wasn't asking Eve to pick up after Adam or even take commands from him like a servant. He was giving Eve the responsibility of aiding him in the garden. They were to care for and cultivate the land, while enjoying God's company. Talk about an ultimate equality and living as a perfect team. When we, as women, want to figure out the best way to make our homes a safe and inviting place, we need to get back to the basics. We need to figure out what God originally designed us for.

I have read the books about this topic and I have heard bits and pieces from other women what they think is the ideal situation for them personally. For me, I have come to find that in order to really live for God I have to understand what He created me for. I also want to share with you what I have found so that you can take it and see how you can develop your home life.

I am a new wife. I have no children but a wealth of family and friends. In my short time as a spouse I have come to find that in order to really enjoy this aspect of life, I have to untie my selfish motives and release them into the darkness. In its place I need to embrace selfless love. This is really hard for me to really make a life style. Those moments when Chris is out helping kids with baseball or practicing with his band, I get really lonely. He spends hours upon hours helping others. I will go into these little rants and self pity parties with myself while he is away. It really doesn't end well and honestly, just isn't productive. But I have done it.

Lately I have been trying to get over these feelings of self importance. I often get caught up in my own thoughts and feelings, placing them in what I claim as reality. In actuality, those feelings are made up by yours truly. Reality is far less complicated and stressful. When I start to think about how I can HELP or get myself involved in others' lives, I start to forget that I was even alone. It has taken me a LONG time to get to this place. I am still learning how to cultivate it so don't even think that I have arrived. There is never an arrival.

God calls us to be more like Him and in order to do that we need to look at His life. What I have seen in reading the gospels, so far, is that He is completely selfless. In the midst of experiencing the cruelest death and baring ALL OF OUR SINS, He prayed for His disciples' well being. Seriously think about that. Not once did he feel sorry for Himself or compare Himself with how the disciples were dozing off. He just did what He had to do.

So how can I help my husband in this life? I can stop complaining about not having enough time to spend with him. I can quit feeling clingy... I hate that feeling actually but somehow it just happens. I can provide meals for him when he gets home. I can keep the home clean and make sure that he has fresh t-shirts. I can have an attitude of encouragement and be there any time that he wants to discuss issues or accomplishments. Pretty much be like a cheerleader without the cheese.

Ya, I have asked myself why I haven't been given millions of responsbilities involving TONS of time. Sometimes we think that being majorly productive is where its at. But as it has been addressed, my life is not for itself but for a team. We need to take the time to compare ourselves only to what God designed and not what others claim is the best way to live. I wanted to share this with you in hopes that you will join me in this journey. Giving of ourselves is hard as sinful human beings, but I have found that letting God exercise those "selfless muscles" in my mind I actually feel lighter. Happier. Free and well in the midst of the Good News.

I have decided that I am not going to live a typical life. I have to remind myself every day of this. Trust me, those pity parties like to sneak in real good. Pray for each other. Pray that we might be the best warriors for Christ. You would be surprised what He will call you to do. You will be amazed at what a woman can do. We take on a whole other boat load of responsibilities.

Monday, April 21, 2014

He Became That Snake, So That We Could Be Clean

In my weakness I think that I am strong. Barely capable of accomplishing I think that I can survive this life. My heart is on reserve and my  intensions are defensive. All the power that I have seems strangely of another source but I cannot reason with it. I have no respect for the Giver of life. My enemies have me tangled even though I think I have the upper hand. 

Here is a perspective that ran its course for a while in my mind. I knew that God existed but I still claimed to do things on my own. I let worry run my life, avoidance smooth out my troubles, and anger protect my defenses. My feelings would reason with my mind, telling it that this is just how it is. This is my personality, there is no other way. It seemed normal. Natural really.

Maybe it is just the sin problem that gets us so wrapped up in ourselves. What is sin really? In a few words it is a "separation from God". We like to call sin the things we do wrong or what brings us woe. But in actuality it is JUST the ACT of taking ourselves AWAY from our Maker. Simple, but can take us in a crazy downward spiral. I want to introduce you to a new path. A direction that leads us back to God. Our Counselor, Solid Rock, Defense, Provider, and ultimately our Creator.

It is not till God comes along and pricks my soul, that He tells me I have it all wrong. What He does differently than anyone else is provide me with a solution. A solution that actually seems simple but at the same time feels unbelievable. The feeling of unbelievable is not what my mind has reasoned. It is doubt grabbing me single handedly.

God gives me hope after the discovery that I am the weakest of all. Forgetting the old way and taking on the NEW is so hard to do for this sinful heart. Comparing my ways with others and getting wrapped up in how I can save myself is consuming. It is a hard habit to break alone. I have a substitute and One who knows how to clean my heart. He can strip it clean to the bare bones. All that remains is room for Him to keep company and set His ways. 

We think that we have to clean up shop before we can have a real conversation with God. That kind of conversation where we can ask for guidance or just talk with Him like He has been our friend for a long time. Do we treat God like He will be like our human relations? Do we think that He will fail us or that He will not like what He has to find? Speaking for myself, I need to understand that God knew me before I even thought of Him. He knew my condition and in actuality.... He is the one that got me to think of Him in the FIRST PLACE!!!!  As a vessel for His kingdom I need to realize that with Him inside of me I can be what He wants me to be. I can live a full life set on fire! So can you!

He sets fire to the once dead talents and drives them to selfless abandon. I cannot fathom all that He has in store or how He can make me completely resolved in His likeness. In my weakness He can shine like the dawn and show the world that He is good and perfect. He has the way to perfect salvation. Each day I have to remind myself of the One who owns my heart. I forget, remember?

How can I call God severe when He has become one of us in order to hang on a tree? It was a cruel and humble death to have to hang where we should have hung. He became a representative of sin, like the snake in the wilderness, so that we may look up and be healed. We have been redeemed and who are we to neglect the gift? Who are we to say we have a right to be in the condition we are in?

I want there to be a common ground between us (specifically women) before I get into discussing more about how we can be shining lights for God's kingdom. I want to remind you (and myself) that the harmful life that we may have developed for ourselves doesn't really have to stay that way. With God in complete control we can get the ball rolling in fulfilling His call.

Do you wish that you had more moments of energy? Do you want to be able to fulfill an idea and have it produce abundant spiritual fruit? Are there moments when you wish you were more or had more to offer your family or friends? I ask myself these questions and am slowly discovering that with God, there is a place we can go. There is a way that we can be great warriors for Christ. We don't have much time left here on earth. We need to do what we can. Just take a moment to consider what Jesus has done for you and then realize that there is so much more than He can do through you. That is if you haven't already discovered this. If so, keep moving forward!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Women: You Know We Have Influence

I know that God is the ultimate power. I don't need to give all the reasons for I know that He can explain Himself quite eloquently, but He has told us that when we speak of Him it is more effective in reaching humanity. He will put Himself aside just to reach us, to show that He has the greatest love of all. He will wait thousands of years just to prove His love. When we finally are able to be with Him on that glorious day it will be the beginning of discovering all His glory, power, and love. We won't ever want to go back to way things used to be.

Ok. So with that being said I have to say that when a person has to prove themselves, there is usually an opposition. With God, His opposition is the devil. From before the beginning of human history the devil had this thought growing real strong in his mind that he for some reason should be sitting where Jesus sits. He feels he should be lord over the earth. He won other angels to his side and after going in too deep to turn back God had to cast him out of His presence. He is now here on earth prowling about seeing who he can deceive and keep away from the ultimate Truth. He knows that his time is short. So why does God have to wait so long to prove His point?

I know that I am a doubter. I feel like Thomas, who had to touch the scars in Jesus' hands AND side. I am visual and so its easy to get swept up in forgetting that God is around. At this point I cannot stress enough about how much we need to focus on God no matter how doubtful we may feel or how distracted we may be. Each little moment in time that we acknowledge Him is another strong moment for Him to present Himself a million times over! The devil knows this... so he will throw little thoughts out like "you rarely think about God. You must not really be that into Him, so why bother?" or "you can't really expect God to want you back or to want to talk after you neglected him for so long". Ya... its really like that isn't it?

We need to be aware of the battle going on around us. We need to aware of the opponent BUT focus our attention on Christ and what He has to offer. We have to realize that, yes, we are nothing... but that in Christ we can go before God the Father with our petitions. What are our petitions? Well they vary. Sometimes its requesting strength to face ourselves. Other moments its needing to pray on behalf of another that can't or doesn't know they can. Then we remember praising God for He has richly blessed us. Not with what the world counts as success but more. Spending time with God is more about God than us really.

Ya we come to Him in selfishness, but He still wants us. He teaches us how to put ourselves aside and look to what He can do. I mean, look at Moses. God told him that He wanted him to lead Israel out of Egypt and what did Moses say? What we would probably have said, "I can't speak well enough." And we have the odacity to tell God we are unable when He bothered to give us instruction. Hmmm...

I have this desire. After putting myself aside I have discovered that it is crucial as women that we need to be God centered. We can trip people up BIG TIME. Our minds work like machines and we analyze just about everything. We measure people up, get what we want through subtle little ways, let our emotions get OUT OF CONTROL, consume ourselves with gossip, try multitasking likes its the rage (without taking time to rest), influence men with our bodies and manners, and well you get my drift. 

As they say in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, "The men may be the head, but we are the neck. We can turn the head any way that we want". Isn't that the truth? 

Which side of this battle do you want to be on? Who do you want to give your life for? Where do you want your life to matter? What purpose do you want for your life? I want to challenge you, as a woman, to evaluate your life and see where you want to be. In routine, exercise, diet, and spiritual endeavors we all need to ask ourselves who we are supporting. 

I think that in the future I am going to talk more on this issue. I can only speak for women because I am a woman, but I know that men also should evaluate their lives. God put a little thought in my head this morning and I think I am going to run with it.

Proverbs 31