Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm a bag lady.

It's been a week. I had a moment at the store the other day, my kids were playing in the play area when another parent comes up to and asks, "is this YOUR son?" That's never good. For some reason this week has been hard. We have been feeling emotional, tired, embarrassed, tense with eachother. I'm just d-o-n-e. Last night got a little ugly at our house...We went to bed tired, feeling defeated.

I got up early this morning, had some real quiet time with the Lord. As usual, things shifted right into perspective. "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say REJOICE!" Phil. 4:4.

I have been reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan (GREAT book, BTW). In chapter two, Francis says, referring to Phil. 4:4, "You'll notice that it doesn't end with '...unless you're doing something extremely important.' No, it's a command for all of us, and it follows with the charge, ' Do not be anxious about anything' .(v. 6)"

I had noted this verse last week in my journal, and as soon as I cracked it open this morning, I knew I needed to revisit it. I needed it. Here it is:

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I knew I need to give my stress, my anxiety, my embarrasment, over to Him, and fill my mind with the wonderful things he has done in my life. I made a "thankful" list. I gave my kids and husband, my menu plan, my budget, all back to him, where they belong. All day long, I've been chanting in my mind...Rejoice! Rejoice! God is good.

Francis goes on in chapter 2 of Crazy Love to say this: "When I am consumed by my problems--stressed out about my life, my family and my job--I actually convey the beliefe that I think the circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a "right" to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities.

Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives.

Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, oru lack of grace toward others, or our own tight grip of control.

Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance.They declare our tendancy to forget that we've been forgiven, that our lives her are brief, that we are that we are headed to a place where we won't be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God's strength, our problems are small, indeed."

Sheeee-yoot. Guilty of all of the above, right here!

Lord, forgive me for clinging to my worry and stress as if I had some control over the things in my world. Fill my heart and mind with the knowledge that you are the one with a grip on this planet, not me. Let me freely release my bags full of crud that I carry around with me each day. The bag that says I'm a lousy mom, when my kid embarrasses me in the store with his shocking behavior. The bag that says we don't have enough money. The bag that says I am not good enough to raise respectable respectFUL kids. The one that says I need to do more. The one that says we need this or that...Lord, take them all. Replace them with your joy. With bags full of lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Let me be full of thankfulness and peace. Let that flow into my kids lives and fill them up too. Amen.
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  1. Amen. Thanks for contributing and warming my heart to hear more of God's love for me and how stress and anxiety really don't have a place.

  2. mmm....double Amen! I need that encouragement today. Thanks for posting!

  3. Thank you so much for this. I never realized that all those verses together are addressing attitude.
    Be gentle.
    Do not be anxious.
    Think about good things.

    It's all about what we let our minds focus on, what we choose to dwell on. So often I dwell on the negative. But Paul says to look on the bright side and let it go, so to speak. Rejoice. No matter what. Thanks Eryn. I need to be reminded of this every day.