Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Genesis 4 - The Story of Cain and Abel (A Sunday School Discussion)
Our friend, Nathan, brought up two famous Biblical brothers, Cain and Abel. 
Abel sacrificed a perfect, fat calf on the alter to God; and Cain offered some crops from the fields he had been working. They both were seeking and worshiping God.
Abel's sacrifice pleased God.
Cain's? Not so much.

I've heard all kinds of speculation about why God refused Cain's sacrifice. I was ready for that discussion, but Nathan threw me a curve ball. He didn't want to discuss God's 'why?'
Instead, He focused on Cain's reaction.

God was ready to have a loving, fatherly, teaching moment with Cain. 
Genesis 4:6-7 says:
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.
God SPOKE to Cain. They had THAT kind of a relationship.
Cain could have humbled himself and quickly made things right, but he chose to get ticked.
(How incredibly human of him.)

Cain thought God had some kind of nerve.
I mean, Cain was SEEKING God. 
He was giving God GOOD THINGS.
He was not living like the pagans. 
He was presenting what He thought God should want (the fruits of his labor)...
And God REJECTED what he offered? 
God wanted something different than what Cain had in mind...and Cain decided He was WRONG.

So...we were having this great conversation when good ol' Nathan asks, "How many of us are living like Cain (on our own terms) and thinking God should accept it as 'good enough'?"
*Oh, SNAP!*
Ouch. Something inside me definitely broke. 

What if I have been living my OWN version of right, but NOT God's version?
  • Could it be? My way looks GREAT on paper. Church people (and even unchurched people) would probably agree that I'm on the 'right' path. I have a good life. I laugh a lot. I get excited about serving others. I do good things. BUT WHAT IF IT ISN'T WHAT GOD WANTS FROM ME? 
  • What if God's way looks different than the expectations that this world, my church, and my imagination have put firmly in place? 
  • What if all the ministry and church-going I've been doing isn't where God wants me? Have I asked Him, or just assumed it was right...because I was seeking God...and because I thought it was 'good'?
My will, my expectations, my church background - none of them matter when it comes to following God.
Only HIS will matters, but I do a lot of things without checking with God first. 
I'm capable. 
I'm smart. 
My actions are (often) logical and even based on Biblical principles, but that doesn't mean they are right.  How much am I missing while offering what I THINK God wants...or what I think God SHOULD want?
It was eye-opening.
It's really a change for me to consult God's word and listen for His direction before every decision, before every word, before every moment.
I'm not very good at it.
In some areas, I've found out that what I've been offering fits more with my culture than with God's Word; and when He disagrees with what I've been offering, I need to humbly correct the situation.
If I decide I don't like what He has to say and keep on the same, comfortable path; then my brothers ought to start watching their back, because I'm really no different than Cain. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013


I've been up to my armpits this week in...well, armpits.
You'd think it would be a bad thing, but it's NOT.

Armpits have provided my family with HOURS of entertainment over the past few days. 
I'm not talking about this kind of armpit entertainment (which my youngest learned from his father.)

Instead, we found a new, much easier way for people EVERYWHERE to have musical armpit entertainment. (And when I say "musical"...I mean, my kids actually made MUSIC.)

Unfortunately, this discovery happened in the MIDDLE OF A HOMESCHOOL DAY. (I was reading one of my new favorite blogs My Life and Kids while the boys were doing actual work, and I just couldn't wait to teach them!) So, my children were distracted from improper fractions and ancient civilizations as they tried to focus on improper inventive methods for utilizing their new-found ability.

Music and race cars were two of the more creative ways that we smiled due to bendy straws.
I have video of them squatting and making faces and being quite gross as well, but you don't even need imagination to picture what THOSE look like. (Of course, those moments still made us laugh - a lot. I plan to sneak a straw into bed sometime this weekend and shock Clay with odd noises in the dark. It may not sound romantic, but he will be so attracted to me as we laugh...and laugh...and laugh. I just hope he doesn't "pretend" to have a straw...and answer me back.)

Last night we had another kind of  "Armpit Moment".
Evan took the fastest shower ever known to man. 
I had asked him to hurry, but his timing was warp speed. 
So I wondered out loud - to his face - about his success at actually getting CLEAN.

"Mom! I'm probably cleaner than NORMAL. I made sure! Smell my hair!"
*I smelled his hair
"It's clean isn't it? Smell my armpit."
"But it's CLEAN."
If someone asks you to smell his armpit, the answer should ALWAYS be 'No.'
*I'm constantly looking for a teaching moment...and he handed that one up on a platter.

And today, I have decided to quit writing my latest blog series: "Revelation Road: How Becky Is Getting Broken"
My attention span just can't handle it.
This doesn't seem very armpit-y, you say?
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
For me, a blog series is the armpit of my blogging world.
You see, I am only capable of keeping a theme 'fresh' for so long. Soon, all the hard work that it requires to keep my train of thought starts stinking up what started out to be something pleasant (like deodorant failing in an armpit).
I just have to give up, shower off, and start fresh.
(OK, maybe that's a bit of stretch to make an armpit connection; but I had something else to say, and I wanted to include it in this post.)

There were 4 main events that I planned to share in that little blog series.
They all led up to a big, wonderful crack in my bad attitude (a.k.a. Bad-itude) which happened on January 1, 2013. I knew it might not last, so I promptly instated a 2013 motto:
"Let the things that God is breaking, STAY BROKEN." 
(Notice it's not a resolution. My short attention span gets in the way of resolutions. I don't make them, because I WILL NOT KEEP THEM. But a motto, now THAT is something I can pull out of my pocket when I need it...without feeling like a big ol' liar when I don't quite keep it.)

The journey I took to January 1 is still pretty awesome, but I just don't feel like writing about it anymore.
This whole blog is full of posts where God has been breaking my self-centered will and helping it to line up with His; and I've had a all kinds of *NEW* lessons I've been learning in the past 6 weeks, but I haven't shared about any of them because I thought I should finish my "series".
I know I could finish the series later...and write other things now, but I still feel the expectation hanging over me.
So I'm being realistic about the small expectations in my life that I make into big deals...and the blog series qualifies. Bye-bye unneeded, imagined, unnecessary stress.
It's my blog and I can do whatever I want; and today, I want to laugh about armpits.