Several months ago I went to a birthday party for Jason’s cousin’s daughter, Kristin. She was turning one. Our gift was the promise to do this “photo shoot” and we finally connected to do it tonight. The photos above are the ones that we’re framing, but we’re still sending copies of the ones below because they’re pretty stinking cute too and a pretty accurate representation of a normal, active, one year old. It was fun! Totally stole the idea from our friends, Amber and Brett. What do you guys think?
“If you start to see everything in your life as worship, you’ll approach it differently.”
I just listened to Mark Driscoll’s sermon on Worship, and it made me realize something…
I have a worship problem.
All the problems that I thought I had are really just symptoms of the real problem that I have. I worship the wrong gods. Sports. Food. Comfort. Pleasure. Myself. It’s not a matter of “fixing” these “issues” that I have, it’s a matter of shifting the focus of my worship. I used to think that Romans 1:25 (because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!) applied to people who actually sacrificed and actually bowed down to created idols. Well, I just learned something…I actually sacrifice and actually bow down to created idols. For me, my worship almost always goes to my pleasure and my comfort. If I want to eat, I eat. If I want to relax, I relax. If I want to watch tv, I watch tv. If something pops into my head that I know I should do, but I don’t want to do it because it’s hard or uncomfortable, I usually don’t do it. And a lot of times I come to the end of my day, and I wonder what I really accomplished that day. What did I do that REALLY mattered?
I really want to encourage everyone to listen to this sermon. It’s awesome, and I really think that it will impact everyone who listens to it. After you listen to it, let us know what you think. I’d love to hear how it affects everyone.
If I could say bah-humbug without feeling guilty I would. After all, I have a lot to be thankful for, namely Jesus. I guess for a lot of different reasons the last several weeks I’ve been sort of reevaluating who I am, why I’m here, and what my purpose is on this earth. I have so many things that I’ve struggled with in my (almost) twenty-eight years, and I really want to be at a point where I’m not the victim, where my past doesn’t define me, and where I can be useful to someone. Make a difference. Stop feeling sorry for myself.
All this “yuck” has been jump-started by finishing my Masters. It’s been 4 years coming, and now it’s done and I’m not even sure what I want to do with it. The uncertainty of the future is making me question all the pain of my past. And in turn, my purpose. All of my plans for teaching, youth ministry, buying a home, having babies, looking a certain way, being a certain person, and having a certain impact have failed. I am a shadow of the person that I thought I would be.
The lyrics to the song below start out like this: “I have built a city here, Half with pride and half with fear, Just wanted a safer place to hide…” I don’t know if it was my Masters, the infertility, struggles with my self-image, or all of the above. But my lack of identity has turned into a hurricane in every area of my life.
I’ve gotten distracted. I’ve gotten a bad attitude. I’ve been a hypocrite. I’ve complained. I’ve played the victim card. I’ve felt sorry for myself. I’ve hated myself. I’ve over-loved myself. I’ve tried to self-help myself. I’ve defined myself by the terms and expectations of others. I’ve hit road blocks, detours, and many closed roads. And here I am. It’s another December. I’m about to turn one year older.
And who am I?
I know who I’m not. I’m not perfect. I’m not defined by my successes. Or my failures. I’m not an amazing daughter. I’m not a respected teacher. I’m not a flawless wife. I’m not a faithful friend. I’m not a good housekeeper. I’m not a talented volleyball player. I’m not a mother. I’m not a good neighbor. I’m not an intelligent conversationalist. I’m not a hysterical comedian. None of that is true 100% of the time. I fail at all of it. At one point or another. So I can’t hang my hat on any of those for my identity. I’ve tried. Believe me.
I’m a mess. I’m a work in progress. But in Christ, I’m forgiven. I’m redeemed. I’m the daughter of the King. I’m loved just as I am.
And I’m wanting so desperately to know who He is.
He defines my future. He writes my story. He whites out my horrific, selfishness and pride. He heals my wounds and He waits patiently for me to come back to Him every time I walk away. He takes a beating every time I blame Him for something that was done to me that He has nothing to do with. He whispers truth to contradict the lies as I complain about my appearance, my intelligence, my abilities, and my life.
So I slow it down. Again. I look in the mirror at this wretched sinner that I get so frustrated with and I surrender. And the walls comes crashing down. Again. And I’m forgiven. Again. And He rebuilds. Again.
I have built a city here
Half with pride and half with fear
Just wanted a safer place to hide
I don’t want to be safe tonight
I need You like a hurricane
Thunder crashing, wind and rain
To tear my walls down
I’m only Yours now
I need you like a burning flame
A wild fire untamed
To burn these walls down
I’m only Yours now
I’m only Yours now
I am Yours and You are mine
You know far better than I
And if destruction’s what I need
Then I’ll receive it Lord from Thee
Yes, I’ll receive it Lord from Thee
And it’s Your eye in the storm
Watching over me
And it’s Your eye in the storm
Wanting only good for me
And if You are the war
Let me be the casualty
‘Til I’m Yours alone
I am only Yours
I am Yours alone, Lord
Most of you (okay, probably none of you) have probably been asking yourself, “I wonder when Jason is finally going to post about his progress on reading through the Bible.” Well, the wait is over!
Cody and I are officially 4 weeks into our plan, and I’m excited to announce that we are both on track. I’ll be honest and say that there have been a number of stretches where I’ve dropped behind a few days and then caught up, but as of today I’m completely up to date. So far, we have covered most of Genesis and all of Job (we’re doing a chronological plan, so we’re not following the “normal” order of the Bible), and it’s been really cool going through everything with Cody. Even though I’ve already read all of these chapters before, it’s great to discuss them with Cody and notice things that I’ve never noticed before. It’s so true that the Bible is “living and active.” –Hebrew 4:12
Well, that’s really it. I don’t really have anything deep or interesting to say, I just wanted to update everyone on the progress.