Saturday, January 26, 2013

Broken, Second Stop: Rest?

Photo Credit

Stop #2 on Revelation Road: How Becky Is Being Broken
(Find Stop #1 here)
Mark 6:31 
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Coming, going, no time even to eat. This verse sounds so familiar - except I find time for eating. (Actually, I find A LOT of time for eating...but that is not what this post is about. *ahem*)

Quiet...and rest.
I could have SWORN I carved out some quiet amid the busyness in my why am I not rested?
Well, it could be because I often multitask quiet moments.
Quiet time drinking coffee with girlfriends.
Connection with my hot husband next to Christmas lights and quiet music. 
Curling up with one of my almost-too-big-to-snuggle-boys when they are avoiding bedtime in the quiet evening.
I am very protective of those quiet moments too.
(Read that, "Don't interrupt my special time unless you're on fire!")
BUT having quiet while connecting with friends has not provided the rest I seek.
(I want the kind of rest that penetrates to the depth of my soul, that re-energizes me - even when I have to face the crazy real life again.)

"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place"

The verse isn't talking about just any ol' quiet moment. It specifically mentions quiet time alone with Jesus.
Well, I DO spend time alone with Jesus.
I am not, however, very protective of THOSE moments.
Children wake up, someone calls, I stop reading my Bible to send a verse to someone ELSE...or Facebook distracts me. (Apparently, I think of funny things that I JUST HAVE TO POST during my daily devotions.)
Maybe THAT'S why I'm not rested.
No, even on undistracted days, I have obviously been missing the mark; because I'm too often tired.

And then it hits me. *POW* (like the old Batman TV show)

Jesus was also with the disciples IN THE CROWD.
If they ONLY saw Him when they rested, but faced the crowds and daily work alone...I bet they would be tired too.
I am exhausted because I get sucked into life and leave Jesus back in my quiet time.

If Christ is my focus - even when I'm surrounded by others, ESPECIALLY when I'm frustrated by burden will be lighter. My perspective will be clear. I won't be focusing on myself, and I won't get so weighed down.

Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I was just reading "Power of a Praying Woman" By Stormie Omartian.
She suggested that we treat our daily frustrations as promptings to open our arms and ask God to fill us with more of Himself.
How lovely! (No really, I'm not being sarcastic.)
It's a great message for me. I really do want to see my anger, my grief, and my confusion as a reminder of how desperately I need God in the midst of the crowds. Those emotions can be a PROMPTING to call out to Him.
Lord, please remind me of this "Aha moment", so I don't blog about it and then promptly shrug it off.

Stop #3 will come soon.
I'm trying to stop writing as each post approaches "too long".
I've realized that my youngest son will NEVER make it through a whole post in one sitting if it's too wordy. On that wonderful day when he is ready to sit down and actually READ this post, I want him to read all of it without nodding off.
I have to keep my audience in mind, and since I already keep forgetting to use bullet points; my husband, Clay (who gave my youngest his short attention span), probably already ended up skimming this post and stopped to read THIS sentence because he saw his name. (I love you, honey...I'll try to use more bullet points in the future.)

There I go making it longer...I'm really going to go.
See you at Stop #3.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Broken, Part 1: I Won't Wear My New Shoes

I found out in September that I'm flat-footed.

I bought (expensive) inserts for my shoes in hopes to correct my arch and take some pressure off of my back. I don't wear them. They bug me.
I just need to get used to them...but I DON'T WANT TO.

So now, God is using those silly shoe inserts as an object lesson in my life.

Let me explain...
We have very limited time on this earth.
You'd think that fact would change how I go about my day, but it hasn't stopped me from daily sitting on my high horse and being critical of those nearest and dearest to me.
I too often let unrealistic expectations blind me to the beauty of those I love.
I too often choose to live in the world that I think "should be" instead of the world that is.
It's exhausting trying to force my husband and children (and myself) into the mold of Biblical and cultural "perfection" that I cling to in my head.

God wants me to change this negativity that I heap on the heads of others. He wants me to let them be different than I want them to be.
I know my life will become less frustrating when I die to my own expectations and love others where they are...but I'm stubborn. I haven't been willing to give up the imaginary world in my head where I always get my way.

Now, how does this have anything to do with shoes? I'm glad you asked.

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
I keep picturing God giving me this new pair of spectacular and beautiful shoes (that represent all the qualities mentioned in the verse above). He wants me to take off my holey (very comfortable, even if my feet got a little wet) I can be clothed (or shod) in something much better.

I know just by looking at them that they are the answer to so many of my problems. They will complete EVERY outfit. They are versatile and attractive. They aren't too wide or too narrow. They are fitted PERFECTLY to my needs. They even have inserts in them to get rid of my pain!
Inserts. Oh yah, that means I won't wear them.

You see, each time I obey and slip my feet into this new way of walking, it feels weird.
As the insoles correct my step, they work other muscles that haven't been used nearly enough. I get a bit irritated and sore.
This new method of traveling isn't comfortable like my old ways...even if I look SO MUCH MORE attractive.
Let's face it. If shoes are cute enough, I'll wear them...but only until they start to hurt.
It's worth it for a while...just to get the "Wow" effect from my girlfriends.
After the girls have noticed my shoes, the reality that it might take Clay and my boys a LONG time until my shoes actually catch their eyes starts to sink in...
So, I kick them off in the mudroom as soon as I hit the door of our home.
Oh, I think about them, look at them, dream about the relief I would have if I would just wear them...and then I sluff around the house in slippers - with back pain and looking frumpy.

God wants me to TRUST Him, obey, and KEEP them on...even with my family...even when nobody notices them...because they are so healthy and good for me...and I can praise HIM if people DO notice them. *sigh*

The shoe lesson is just the tip of the iceberg.
I'm on quite a path toward changing the way I look at my everyday little world.
I've been walking it long enough that my old shoes (of self-centeredness and expectations) are starting to REALLY feel like they need replaced.

Since I can't learn lessons without sharing them, I'd like to take you all on a little trip.
We'll call it Revelation Road: How Becky Is Being Broken. 
This blog is part one of the journey. I've already written part two, so it is coming soon.
Maybe we'll stroll far enough into truth that we'll BOTH want to wear new shoes of humbleness, compassion and kindness...even if they take a little getting used to.
Feel free to invite friends.