Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Salvation

I finally got a full night's sleep!  The baby didn't wake, nobody needed nightmare comfort, and I actually felt like exercising!  (A first in over a year....)  I was elated and ready to tackle the day.  I was even excited to be outside for the first time in a year and announced to the brood that we would be going outside after mommy finished putting the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher and wiped off the sinks.

Then - "CRASH!" I couldn't stop it.....the container of dipping oil Rob had concocted the night before for our dinner with friends tonight went hurling onto the ceramic tile in an explosion of glass and oil and herbs....."Nooooooo!" I heard myself gasp.  And there it was - a huge mess I had no idea how to tackle.  After banishing the children to the school room in their bare feet, and denouncing our outside excursion, I sat down on the couch to drink my coffee and figure out how to clean up gloppy glass.  Wallowing in my self pity, my husband counseled me over the phone in a calculated clean up procedure, and while I was cleaning and practicing gratitude (Thank You, Lord, for the energy to deal with this today; Thank You, Lord, for equipment with which to clean the floor; Thank You, Lord, for whatever I'm supposed to learn, etc....) the toddler decides to urinate all over the school room floor.  Now, through gritted teeth, I am thanking God that I am in the middle of cleaning floors and I can just extend that into the school room, while yelling, "WHY WON'T THIS KID POTTY-TRAIN?????"  And I still have THREE loaves of bread to make and dessert to dress before tonight.  Not to mention having to REMAKE my husband's famous dipping sauce without his intuition at the tips of MY fingers.

A friend recently shared with me a book on "grace."  The author got to a point in her life in which she wouldn't "give up" when she was at the end of herself, she would "give up" before even getting out of bed!  Her alarm clock would go off and she would immediately say, "Lord, I give up today."  I have thought about that a lot and tried to even practice it, but I realize I am still preferring to live life in my own strength.  (The operative word there being "prefer.")  I PREFER to keep my expectations, I prefer to have "me" time and leisure, I prefer being "in control."  God brings me to the end of myself each day, and I still prefer NOT to cry out to Him.  My most comforting moment while mopping the oily floor with angry tears streaming down my face was admitting to Christ I didn't want to call to Him for help.  I wanted things the way I wanted them.  Ironically, peace washed over me and I prayed, "I believe, Lord, help my unbelief."

I have been studying God's words and the annointed words of others' dissertations on His word regarding marriage, family, and children for years and nothing has prepared me for walking in it like getting up every morning and walking in it.  I suppose because the sin in my heart (my pride and narcissism) is only rooted out by exposing it and repenting from it.  Just trying to do better, live better, and self-talking good thoughts in order to live a life that looks satisfying and enjoyable is not the goal of the Christian.  The Christian comes to the end of himself, sees the ugly sin that is woven into his very essence and says in the power of the Holy Spirit, "It is only Christ in me that is all my good!  Lord, help my unbelief!"  The goal of our kind gracious Father is to cause us to persevere unto glory.  How does He go about this task?  I suppose it looks different for each, and yet, we're all diseased with the same black sin.

The verse that keeps coming into my mind these days is I Tim. 2:15, "[A woman] will be saved through childbearing, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with self-control."  Strange, strange verse. (This verse was also comforting in laboring through 3 home deliveries, but that's another story....)  This verse is in the context of husbands' and wives' roles in the church, but it carries an evolving meaning as I live each day with the badge of wife and mom.  I will be saved through child-bearing, if I continue on, etc.....hm.....I am being saved everytime I get to end of myself with my efforts and energies in my mommy and household duties; I am being saved every time I administer discipline or training of children and feel ineffective; I being saved every night I fall into bed discouraged with my efforts and sinful attitudes during the day; I am being saved every morning I awake exhausted or dreading all that needs to be done; I am being saved every time I spend time playing with or teaching my children; I am being saved with every meal I make, dish I wash, load of laundry I complete, diaper I change, cheek I kiss, idea I execute, laugh I exhale, and love I make to my husband.  And the list goes on!

Let's face it - women are busy!  Busy bodies, too.  Women's minds and emotions are going a million miles an hour.  When a challenge arises, we generally want nearly immediate resolve; when emotions flare, we strive for nearly immediate peace and harmony.  When we have time on our hands, we will fill it with something.  God has made us so talented and fearfully and wonderfully capable and able to accomplish so much!  But He uses the mundane, the constant daily mundane, yet hard, work and interactions with our family to shape us into His image - to SAVE us!  To cause us to persevere to the end!  To root the sin out.  This is just what my loving Heavenly Father knows I need to truly bring me safely to glory.  I am being saved from myself, from the evil one, from death, through "child-bearing."

Being busy all day with household labors, cooking, cleaning; playing with, discipling, training, guiding, loving and protecting children and meeting my husband's needs doesn't give me much time to wallow in myself, pursue empty activities, or just waste time.  I am really living (though it feels boring or like a waste of MY life and talents at times) for eternal purposes.  My own eternity as well as my kids' are at stake.  Thanks be to God that He knows our hearts better than we do.  I would put myself right in hell, and not even care, for all that I want out of life on earth, this side of glory....."But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them,"  Eph. 2:4-10.  Soli Deo Gloria!

13 comments:

  1. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Eph.2:10 What comfort! What joy! What delight! By Him, For Him, In Him, For good works (!) - Prepared beforehand. Walk in them. Roll around in them. Bathe in them. Eat them. Because His Word is good to me.

    Thanks for sharing your life and heart. What an encouragement! Love you xoxo

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