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Archive for the ‘Sacrifice’ Category

I don’t really have a story right now. After I drop the boys off at school, I go to a job that I asked God for. I have a window view onto trees, shrubs and sunshine. No teaching, just processing information and tucking it away in a computer. Being a part of a team, too – I like that. My job is a blessing, the answer to a prayer. Sometimes, answered prayers come at a cost, a sacrifice.

Blackberry tea in an “I love you Forever Cup”, Pecans in one candy jar and mini-Cadbury eggs in other.  Got pictures of my boys, their art – and Maddie MacMath’s of Sweet Tea and Me, God Art Calendar and Scripture on my computer. I’m making a mini-nest.

Mothering is a little different. Homemaking is reorganizing itself. The time for writing – well, it’s like my energy and hours need stretchy pants at the end of a day because there’s just not enough room – or, maybe I am learning how much time waste existed in my day.

It is an intentional sacrificing, this job, a dying of the old ways to make room for the new ways.

I told God today I missed being able to write all morning. I missed the way stories and thoughts of Him would settle like clouds fallen on a mountain top for me to catch and pull substance from.

I miss the emptiness He would fill with ideas and thoughts.

Border-line to a self-pity decline born out of confusion, he whispered to me, this sacrifice, this giving up of the old ways – it’s part of His plan for my life. To trust Him.

“I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps”(Jeremiah 10:23).

He told me today, not to worry about the stories – they will come. That for now I am to sacrifice, to die to self.

It is through this sacrifice, this dying to self where rebirth and new growth happen.

“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8)

I still look for Him, everywhere.  Everyday, I bring my Father with me to work – sometimes He’s there right beside me. Sometimes He’s right outside my window. In the corridor. On a sidewalk. Yesterday, I prayed for someone at work, took her hands and prayed strength and faith over her challenge. Maybe that’s why I am there – because He needs to be there.

This dying to self is really the only way to live – it just requires some adjustment. I’m glad He knows that.


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“Mama, you’re the best cook,” my little guy says, sitting at the counter.

As he sees the smile spread across my face as I pull dinner out of the oven, his eyebrows rise and a saucy smile releases the words, “Opposite Day.”

I think as little boys move into the moody blues of elevenses, Opposite Day Words allow them to say, “I love you. You’re awesome” – when the little guy within who adores his mama battles with the emerging man who so doesn’t want to.

Opposite Day, when slow means fast, when pink means blue, huggable means squirmmy, when sacrifice means gain.

The universe has order – God made it so – how our blood flows, how my grandmother’s coffee cake bakes, how cells divide, how coffee brews – it is all orderly process. Yet, what He wants from us is sometimes like an Opposite Day Paradigm.

To give ourselves up – our dreams, our hearts, our time, our identity, our dignity – to beggar ourselves until we’re empty with nothing left to give – that is the great deception.

In God’s Opposite Day Paradigm

when we give up ourselves in marriage, we become whole

when we give up ourselves in the mothering, we become more

when we give our gifts and talents, they come back some how pressed down, shaken together and running over

It boggled my me-ness when I would read about becoming more like Him. Why would He create me if He just wanted more of Him? Until I realized in this “Opposite Day Paradigm” – when there was more of Him in me, I became who He designed me to be – I became the authentic me. I cannot be that without Him.

When I hold on to myself, I become less. Yet, when I sacrifice my dreams, my time, my pride to Him, I don’t become less.

This Opposite Day Paradigm take Sacrifice and turns it into gain.

Sacrifice reminds me of Mary weeping at the foot of the cross. Sacrifice reminds me of nail piercing pain. Wailing? Sackcloth? Weeping until there’s only hoarseness with each breath?

Yet that is not sacrifice.

The grace of sacrifice comes through choice.

Jesus chose to sacrifice for us. Lived sacrifice – from his birth in the manager, to every daily sacrifice that led Him to the cross.

Sacrifice never acts impoverished. Sacrifice never acts victimized. Sacrifice never resents.

Sacrifice overcomes. Sacrifice loved enough that death could not be contained in a tomb, in burial wrappings.

To sacrifice is to gain – an Opposite Day kind of thing.

 

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