Monday, October 15, 2012

The desires of our heart

Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 34:7

In the church today, many Christians (especially singles) buy into this idea that if they are living for God they get everything they desire: marriage, kids, house, job...sounds to me a little more like the American dream with a little God thrown in as a magic genie. A sense of entitlement with  some God to make it seem like we are not so self-serving. It's all the same...I do this for You God and You give me everything I desire. Because You are good, right?

I know that sounds harsh, and I used to buy into this too, but what if what we desire isn't what is best for us? What if our desires, though they may be good, aren't going to be God's best?

I truly believe that God puts these good desires in our hearts. These are good things, but what happens when these desires keep us from God and get in the way of a complete, honest relationship with our Creator? The desires can become what we live for and our identity instead of living for God and finding out identity in Christ. There are so many good-hearted people telling single Christians that if they are following God's will, they will get married...He will bless them with children...they will own a home...they will have their dream job...

I desires all of those things too (maybe no more kids), but I am finally okay with just me, God and my kids for the rest of my life if that is how I can serve Him the best. If I can love Jesus and people best in the place I am in right now, then I will trust God that I am not meant to get remarried or have a house again. If an apartment is it, then so be it!

I want to love God because he is my Abba Father and not because I get anything from it. He has already given me EVERYTHING I need.

I'm not saying this is easy or that my desires always fall beneath my desire for Jesus...more often than not I find my priorities  shifting towards my wants. The power of positive thinking doesn't change that nor does trying harder, but keeping my eyes on Him and my heart filled with Him does.

Check out this great advice column about this topic: Will God Grant Me The Desires of My Heart?   

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Preschool Theology and Life's Toughest Questions

When Austin was 4, I remember answering similar questions from him.

Tonight, Ryan asked me some of life's toughest questions on the way home from church.

Why do people die?
Who is Jesus?
Why did He die on the cross?
What is sin?
Will Papa die?
Who will drive our cars if we die?
I don't want to die.

So the last one is a statement, but most people would freak out if their 4-year-old asked these questions. Me? Well, I smiled and thanked God for His Love and Jesus, and gave my son answers filled with hope and eternity with our Creator. He still doesn't want to die, but I don't blame him. That's a difficult one for a 4-year-old who can't imagine God will have more awesome toys than the ones he has now.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Facing my giants

I had to face one of my giants last night. I didn't think it was a giant anymore, but as it turns out, it was a pretty big, anxious, traumatic giant.

The last time I was in the hospital (for myself) if was life-threatening. The healing process was long and the post-traumatic stress effected a lot of people around me, including my marriage. Read here for the story of my Factor V Deficiency and my last hospital stay, see here. 

A few weeks ago I got a pedicure (which I have been enjoying on the weekends the boys are with their dad.)  and, unfortunately, I received a bad one.

The woman cut into my hang nail and cut my skin. It got infected - badly - and ingrown even worse. After 10 days of antibiotics didn't work, I ended up in the ER to get it removed.

It's a simple in-office procedure. Why the ER you ask?

The last time I had a partial toenail taken off they did it in the OR with FFP (fresh frozen plasma). Everything has been preventative because of my disorder until the fiasco of Ryan's birth (again read the story.)

Going to the hospital last night, knowing the possibility of having to get FFP again was terrifying. I was so emotional, anxious and afraid. But I went. I faced it head on and came home without any FFP and part of my big toenail missing. I can't say this giant is gone for good, but I pray my visits to the hospital for myself (and for others) remain just as rare as they have been.

*For a great book on facing your own giants, read Facing Your Giant by Max Lucado.