If you've been following my blog for awhile, then you know that my family and I have been making some major life changes over the past few months. Sometimes I do change well, and other times I go kicking and screaming. I wouldn't say that I went kicking and screaming this time because the slower pace of life for awhile was much needed and much welcomed in our home. However, I am not a slow pace kind of girl.
I am so thankful and blessed to have the opportunity to stay home with our son and teach him this year. I am not a teacher by education and sometimes I get down on myself thinking that I am holding him back from learning so many things. We'll have a really bad day where he pitches a fit when it's school time and I will just want to give up. And then, we'll have a really good day when he learns math by using his favorite toy in the world - legos. It's such a roller coaster, and I am not a big fan of roller coasters!
The hubbs and I are really trying hard to cultivate a kind, humble, and selfless heart in our child. He is a great kid and he has a good heart. But he is a kid who has always had what he needs and mostly what he wants and since he's an only child (and been an only grandchild on one side until just recently), he's never had to vie for attention. Some days it's a struggle to get him to realize how to give to others. I get mad at the world and the enemy (satan) for all that the boy has going against him.
But here's where it gets raw and here's where it gets not-so-pretty.
Since I've been staying at home, I've had more time to ponder things. Almost immediately, I began to be pulled into the bondage of several things. Let me just be honest and say that I was probably always in that bondage but now that I'm not pulled in a million different directions I can see it for what it really is. And it's ugly.
See, I'm learning a lot about myself. And here is what I am finding out.
~I'm too materialistic. We are in the long process of remodeling our house and I can't stand the thought of people coming over because of how it will reflect on me. I have rationalized that away as normal, but I'm beginning to see that perhaps I am really held captive by what others think of me. The words of Christ come to me - "for where your treasure is, there your heart is too".
~I am selfish and more concerned about myself that others right now. This is probably the worst one of all for me to admit. I have always loved serving others and am honored that God includes me in His work. However, I have been home for the last two months wallering (a good southern word) in my own pity party. Since I'm putting it out there I will just put it all out there. I have thrown a pity party about the following things:
- the fact that I never went back to school makes me feel like I am a failure (which God tells me is so not true)
- that there are a few serious family issues in our extended family that I am tired of those people having to deal with and frankly, tired of having it weigh on me. Can't we just be normal for a change?
-that I am in a rut spiritually. I hate this most of all! But if I am being honest, then it's true. I, the church-going, good little Christian girl who called church work her vocation for a time have found myself jaded. I told the hubbs just the other day that I think I need just an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in my presence. I just need it to wash over me. Even my prayers are stale. It's a struggle to open the Bible and read it. I've been reading the gospels and the words of Christ. I am both enlightened and confused at times. I feel dry and empty.
But I am tired of being in bondage.
Scripture tells us that if we are in Christ, then satan has no power over us. NO POWER! That means that I am in bondage by choice. It makes me sick to think of this, but he has no power over me and while he is working to keep me in bondage it really is a choice I am making.
Today, I am choosing to get out of the bondage. Whatever it takes!
Here's what my head knows and I just need to get it deep into my heart and soul:
-I am not a failure. I have worked hard for many years doing different things because God has lead me there or called me there. And while, I would like to finish up the plans I had for myself in regards to education, they don't make or break me. God says, "I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope".
-That while my family's issues are rough there are others who are worse. On Wednesday, we went to our first life group at the new church we are attending. This was a huge step for the hubbs in particular as small groups have never been his thing. But we knew God was leading us and we prayed about which group to go to and we felt lead toward this one group. We felt right at home and like we belonged and can't wait to go back. However, the big thing for me was what this first night with the life group was like. Instead of doing their regular thing, we spent the evening in prayer for a brother and sister in Christ. Due to some very tragic family circumstances a couple who is part of this particular life group found themselves in grief and mourning over some tragic circumstances involving family. The hubbs and I have never met these people, but our hearts are broken over what they are going through. It is such an honor and humbling experience to take someone and their circumstances before the Lord. Even if you don't know who they are. So ever since that time praying with the life group, I hear the Lord speaking to my spirit and telling me - "It's so not about you, Paige. You think you've got it tough? Pour yourself out to the hurting and lost and suffering and then come talk to me about that". I am so ashamed to say that I have been caught up in my circumstances here lately, but really pushing that aside to pray for these people reminded me of exactly what I am trying to teach my son.
-We all go through dry spells and I am empty and need to be filled. I must keep opening my Bible to read God's word and I must keep uttering words out loud or in my heart to the Lord. He knows what I am trying to say. God is also reminding me of the great church and body of believers that He has lead our family toward. They are ministering to me and this part of me that's jaded. The sermons are fresh and relevant and real and the people are honest and true and real.
And let's face it - we all have our issues. Even the "best Christians" have issues and struggles. I say we just get real and honest about it and then we can deal with our crap. That's what I am trying to do today is put it out there, even though it's not pretty.
Pray for me, as I pray for you. I'm glad God isn't finished with me (and you) yet!