Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Give it away

Sometimes we hear the same verse, story, message again and again. I'm thankful for that, cause God knows it take a little more than one time for my ears to hear him. Recently in church we heard a sermon on the woman who anointed Jesus' feet with all that she had in her alabaster jar, then again we read in my Bible study (the same week) about when Mary poured her expensive perfume over his head to anoint him and Judas condemned her extravagant gift.

Praise to God, this week I had a profound opportunity to put this into practice. My very generous mother-in-law gave me a beautiful gold necklace. I, however, don't really wear gold jewelry and John told his mom this (I would have never said anything and just kept it, but my husband does not accommodate such social graces. So my mother-in-law told me to sell it. John also told me I should sell it. So I started rattling through in my head all the things I'd love to buy with it, and decided I would ultimately buy a pair of UGG boots, to keep my feet toasty in the Colorado snow.

That was a long story...but bear with me. So here I am, thinking often about the new boots I'll get, and how cute they'll look, and how I'll get some great attention with these adorable boots and will have something practical to wear (I'm just being honest here, I know it makes me look ugly, I'm okay with that). So fast forward a few days to our friends inviting us over for dinner. Now, she's a stay-at-home mom, and he's a musician, and they're on a tight budget. So she begins telling me this story after dinner about how she dropped her wedding ring in the disposal and ran it, and the ring is trashed, the stone is gone etc. They didn't really have the money to buy the ring from the jeweler (they had the same one still for sale) so she was going to have to scrounge up enough gold to sell to buy the ring.

So you know where this is going. I began thinking about the woman who gave everything, extravagantly. And God totally put it on my heart to give her the necklace so she could use it to put towards her wedding ring.

This caused such an overflow in my soul, blessed me so greatly, being able to let go of this covetous, worldly side of myelf that just wants more more more, and give. After this happened, God began showing me more and more where I can spend myself.

Listen to these verses:
"For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" Mark 8:35-36

I began thinking about how tightly I hold on to things of this world, to wanting more, to struggling to give even a little, and I'm not just talking money, I'm talking how hard it is for me to give of myself, my time, my energy, my prayers, to my kids, my nation, my husband, my world. I often do nothing because I feel I can only give a little and believe that it won't amount to anything. I think of problems like the sex trafficking industry, Haiti, orphans, abortion, a world that hurts and groans out for a Savior and some hope. And I know that hope! I can share it! Yet I'm so greedy, so caught up in my pursuit of gain, in my selfishness that I turn a blind eye. Today I heard a speaker say this and it was as if God was speaking directly to my heart:

"nobody is greater mistaken than he who did nothing because he could only do a little."

Go forth, and give your life away.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


The other day I went to pick Ellie up from the child care at Bible Study and when I got to the door and saw her in someone's arms she was completely content, not even looking my direction. As soon as I said "Ellie" she turned fast immediately knowing whose voice she heard and reaching for me.

There is something about mothering that creates in us a gaping hole for Christ continuously. That is why I want more kids, and at the same time don't know if I can handle more. I am shepherding my little ones, as I am being shepherded. When I saw Ellie's reaction to my voice, God recalled this verse to my mind:
"He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice." John 10:3-4

There are so many voices I'm tempted to listen to throughout my day. Second by second voices are telling me I should put my kids in daycare and get a job, because this is too hard for me. That I'm ruining them. That I'm not good enough. That I'm always tired, grumpy, snappy, and that's what they'll remember me as. That anyone else could do a better job than me, or that mothering is not one of the best ways I could spend my prime of life.

I pray that I will spend enough time listening to my own shepherd's voice before all the other voices begin in my day, that when they start with their lies, I will clearly hear and follow my true Shepherd, and react just like my little Ellie the moment she knew her mama was near. Crying, reaching, and striving to be near.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Lord is my Shepherd

Mommying got hard again. Dang it.

I coast. Seriously, I'll be drifting along, running my errands to Target, doing whatever I want to do (emphasis "I"), when eventually I realize, I'm not even investing in these kids. So I start staying home more, being more there, being more engaged to train them, and starts to suck.
Or at least suck the life out of me.

Recently I've been reading about God being our Shepherd and this morning found particular peace and encouragement in my Good Shepherd. Particularly the fact that he goes before me.
Here's what he said to me this morning:

"Jenn, I've been on this part of the trail already, I've seen it, and it gets a little rocky. It's probably going to be hard for a while, but I wouldn't lead you here if I didn't KNOW that you could do it. Just follow me, put your feet exactly where mine go, don't stray off and if you do, trust that I'll bring you back here. Follow. I have been before you. I know what it's like and I'm leading you somewhere amazing."

Read Psalm 23