Flushing out Pride

A few Sundays ago I got my four year old daughter from her Sunday School class, then we went to the restroom. We went into the same stall and as I was using the bathroom she grabbed her bag that had her Sunday School paper in it. Full of enthusiasm she said, “Do you want to hear what I learned today?” “Yes, I would love to.” She proceeded, very loudly, to tell me the story of how Jesus feed the five thousand. As she did I could feel pride welling up in me. So proud that my little daughter understood this bible story and was so excited about it. I knew the other ladies in this full ladies restroom could hear every word my little girl was saying. I could imagine another woman telling me how adorable and precious this child was when I went to wash my hands. I would say thank you and smile as if I had much to do with this moment. It was my daughters turn to go to the bathroom. As I was basking in the glory of this child’s knowledge of the bible story she exclaimed, “Mom, the poop won’t go down!” My glorified moment was shattered. “What ?!” I thought. Then she said it again and she was starting to panic, “Mom, the poop won’t go down!” “Shhh! It’s okay. Just wait.” I said maintaining calmness outside but inside I just wanted her to stop announcing our bathroom moment. “Mom, LOOK!” By this time all glory has gone down the toilet and I just wanted to slide out of there unnoticed. I heard highheels clicking by our stall to the sinks. I thought to myself, “Just leave maam. I don’t want to be seen now.”

Finally the toilet flushed and all was well in her innocent little world. As she was going to the bathroom I was collecting myself and realizing what just happened. I was trying to take credit for her enthusiasm which is really something she was born with. She loves life and it shows. I was trying to take credit for her knowledge when clearly it was the children ministry workers that told her this story. I was trying to take credit for heart that loves the word and the bible stories she hears. This is something the Lord has also placed in her. It was wrong of me to be ready to boast about her with the mindset that this was a reflection of how great of a job I’m doing as a mom. It was wrong for me to be ready, and expecting, a pat on the back for her joy and knowledge of the Lord.

This is a very real danger as we serve the Lord. We may want to get prideful and take credit for what God is doing through us. As if it has anything to do with us at all. Like we should take a little cut of the credit before giving it to the Lord. Really we are vessels God is using. Just like a postman delivering the mail and packages. Does the maildeliverer take any cut of the bills we pay or get any part of the packages they deliver. Absolutely not. They would get in trouble for doing such a thing. They get paid their due when it comes time from their employer. Why would we expect to take a cut from God?

Pride is very deceptive and those caught up in it don’t even realize they are. It may seem like a badge of the great things they’ve done but to whom are they giving credit? If they are crediting themselves this badge is really a burden to them and they don’t even know it.

It’s been said not to pray for humility because it can be painful but I tell you that staying proud is even more painful to you. Ask the Lord to keep your eyes open to pride and to keep you humble as I had to do in the bathroom that day.

Pride brings a person low but the lowly in spirit gain honor. Proverbs 29:23

When Is Quiet Time?

For years now I have struggled with when to do my quiet time with the Lord. I am not keen on getting up early in the morning. I remember when I was a single/working mom with a full time job. I had to be at work at 8 a.m. but I had to get ready, take my daughter to daycare and commute. I kept thinking there should be a law that no one should get up so early. I eventually learned to enjoy watching the sunrise instead of complaining.

I’ve tried many times to get up faithfully at a set time in the morning before anyone in my family is up. Still I feel like I’m not at my best. I’m struggling to open my eyes as I’m pulling out the bible. Other times I was so anxious about waking the children I had a hard time focusing. If I didn’t get up I would feel guilty. I’ve tried reading my bible during breakfast or even after breakfast while the kids play. That worked a few years ago but doesn’t work as well anymore. Of course I have added a child (or two) since then.

I’ve heard some people say you have your time with the Lord first thing in the morning because that’s when Jesus got up to spend time alone with His Father. It’s a time with less distractions. Also because it’s like tithing in that you are giving Him the first portion of your day. Yet I’ve heard others say it doesn’t matter when you spend time with the Lord. Just as long as you’re doing it. What He wants is your heart. I can see both sides of it. Certainly if a person feels the Lord wants them to spend their quiet time at a specific time they should do that, but I’m not sure what to do. I don’t want to get legalistic about it either.

What do you think? When do you spend your quiet time with the Lord? Have you always done it that way or has it changed as your life has changed?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks!

Stepping out in Faith

Recently the Lord has been asking me to take some very large steps of faith. I’ve been excited and happy to do it but I find fear wants me to doubt and not follow where God’s will is taking me. I was having this battle when the Lord gave me this very clear picture.

What would happen if the fully developed child in the womb said he didn’t want to go anywhere for fear of the unknown? “I don’t know the world out there. Here it’s safe. What if I go out and don’t like it there? Once I go out I can never come back to the way things are now. Also, here I’m fed and don’t feel the pain of hunger?”

 

If the child stayed in the womb he would miss out on the greatest things of life. Sure, the sun may be bright at first but after awhile his eyes adjust and the light of day and the warmth of the sun becomes welcome. If the child stayed inside he would never know the love of his mother . To be held in her arms and her kisses on his face.

Not only would he never know these things but the womb, the place that’s comfortable, that he knows so well to keep him safe, will soon become an enemy for him. He has outgrown this place. He can not mature anymore in this place. It can no longer supply enough food to keep the child growing. It’s confining him. Restricting him from stretching and moving. What he needs now is to move out of this place to gain strength in his muscles. Though he will feel the resistance of gravity it will assist him greatly in his growth and should be embraced.

Though he fears the pain of hunger he does not understand that to stay in this confined place would be sentencing himself to starvation. He must feel the pain of hunger to get a new supply of food, a perfect food, that will flow in abundance just for him. Then he can truly drink and be satisfied.”

The Lord calls us all to go deeper with Him. To take a step of faith. Some steps are bigger and harder then others. When you find yourself wrestling with doubt or fear remember this picture of the baby that needs to leave the womb to grow and enjoy the next season of life. You never have to be afraid when you are in the center of God’s will.

What’s in a Number?

My 11 year daughter and I just had a fun evening.  I taught her how to play Scrabble (one of my favorite games).  We were having fun and laughing at silly stuff. Then I went to take my shower.  Like most normal evenings I stepped on the scale before stepping in the shower.  Except this time I didn’t get the normal number that usually pops up.  It was a few pounds heavier and has been for several days.  I think those pounds are on to stay. 

Now most people would be bummed at this point but I have just undergone a double hernia surgery.  One of those hernias was strangulating my intestines and my bowels were a little messed up but were repaired some at surgery.  So having gained a few pounds is wonderful news! This means the surgery worked.  My appetite has been larger and I’m gaining weight again.  My body is absorbing the nutrients like it should.  God has given me the healing He has told me He would give me for a year now.  Praise God!!

So why did my heart sink as I looked at those numbers?  Why wasn’t my first response to rejoice?  Why did it bring me down so bad that it was noticable to my daughter and husband who were laughing with me moments before my shower? 

It was those numbers on that scale.  I was afraid I would gain weight to fast.  Or gain and not be able to stop.  This culture tells us women we need to be thin, beautiful and youthful.  That that is where we get our importance and value from.  Somehow when we reach that “magic” number we’ll be beautiful and valued.  That’s what the culture says.  The culture is wrong!!  What a lie!  Why do I buy into that lie?  Am I a better mother at 105 pounds then I am at 150? How about a better wife?  I am still the same woman when I step on the scale no matter what the scale says.  Those numbers don’t solve any of my problems. 

I am not beautiful because of a number!  I am beautiful because I am a daughter of the King!  I am beautiful because the Holy Spirit shines through me!  I am beautiful because I am washed in the blood of Jesus!  I am beautiful because I am a new creation through Christ!  I am beautiful …because of who I am in Christ.

Let’s stop buying into the lie that the size of clothes or a number on the scale determines our worth.  We should strive to be healthy but I need to remember to keep it in balance.  The scale is a tool to show me how healthy I am, not to tell me my value.  I know these truths but the world has so been ingrained into me that I really have to remember to look to God’s Word to untangle me from these lies.  

If you’re trying to getting healthier this year I think that’s super awesome!  I plan on doing the same thing but let’s remember to look to God and His Word for our value and beauty.

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