ummm...on second thought...

Monday, August 2, 2010

all day i've been struggling with closing my blog down for 2 months.  even closing it down for 1 month.  and then i began to think of olivia's birthday coming up and her birthday post that i would miss posting.

and then in the midst of all that struggling i began to sense Jesus pointing me back to something that i had written yesterday.  had to do with my decision to shut down my blog.

i hadn't talked to Him about it.  hadn't asked Him if this was the best course of action to take. nope.  i made the decision all by myself, thinking that He would fall into agreement once He saw what a good decision it was for all involved.  how spiritual of me...

one of the things i love most about Jesus, and there are a lot, is that even when He is serving me a large slice of humble pie, He does so in love.  does so in a way that draws me even closer to Him, plants a desire to learn from Him that is so strong i can barely sit still.

the first slice came from this post.  it's called "girl enemies" and deals with the way we women deal with one another.  and frankly, if you read the post (which i strongly recommend) and get to the chart, if i stop writing because of fear, i am in the "avoidance" and "accommodation" squares and those are the last places i want to be.

the final slice had to do with an inconsistency on my part.  an inconsistency that i've been unable to reconcile in my heart.

i am a hypocrite if i refuse to get back up and try again but expect my children to.  does that make sense?  when i watch lyla fall and i watch her sweet face crumble in embarrassment and defeat, i walk over to her hold her and hug her and then encourage her to get back up.

but i can't expect her to be willing to listen to me if she hears my words but watches me live out an opposite reaction.

this was confirmed to me when i read the third part of a three part email that my sweet mamaB's bible study leader sent to her for me after i shared with her last week about a specific struggle in my life.

i can't remember who this is by or who to give credit to, and i will try and fix that in the next coming days, but this is what the email said,

"The influence of your authentic pursuit is a blessing beyond your own heart; it shapes the hearts of those around you. When a woman is truly free, she unlocks the doors of hearts that surround her.  Her comfort and confidence lower drawbridges for trapped princesses everywhere!  And if you happen to be a mother, grandmother, aunt, or fortunate friend of a child, you are modeling your freedom for them.  I have struggled in this area, and every time I am tempted to play small or let fear plot my course, I think of my kids.  I want them to grow up strong and free, and I want them to someday look back at mental snapshots of their mom and see a woman who wasn't afraid to be herself- a woman who loved deeply, wrote books and essays with words directly from her heart, ran marathons, spoke her mind no matter who was listening, laughed her head off, and lived life with joy and reverence.  I want them to prosper in healthy relationships with friends and spouses who solicit authenticity and encourage them to be everything they can be for God's glory.  It isn't enough to talk about an authentic life and hope our children find a way.  We have to show them by living it out before their eyes.
Your authentic self might have other opinions about your relationships, your choices, and your standards up to this point.  While you may have sacrificed your identity, minimized your calling, or lost respect for yourself on some fronts, by shifting the focus back to God you can regain all that was lost, and more.  Give yourself room and grace to explore and measure your old notions against the new.  And give equal grace and space to your loved ones who might need to adjust or get (re) acquainted with the real you.  Just as you require time to grow, others need time to grow alongside you.  Authenticity begets authenticity, so be prepared for others to start being more real too.  Grant the same freedom you have been given.
Anyone who really loves you wants you to be your free and authentic self.  We are truly pleasing to those we love (and who love us) only when we are being ourselves.  We are pleasant company when we are intent on pleasing God.  Bring your best to the table.  Your place card is set at the banquet; come and take your seat.  We are so happy to have you.
Ephesians 4:1  I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received." (emphasis mine)

it's hard, sometimes, to look at the big piece of humble pie in front of me, take a deep breath and dig in.  it's embarrassing to admit to a knee jerk reaction, to the giving in to fear of an opinion other than my Saviour's. but i can't expect my children to be free to be fearless if i allow myself to be brought down low by fear, ruled by something other than Jesus.

that isn't who He created me or you to be.

and so, i will keep writing.  i will keep sharing.  i can't not.  He's placed such hope in my heart that i can't keep it to myself.

and i will continue to bathe my blog in prayer, trusting that the One who has given me the words will use them for His glory. 

He's put me back in the saddle...