Friday, June 10, 2016

Jesus. The Beach & Chicken Strips

It never ceases to amaze me how God is always present in every situation we encounter, even when he seems far away.  

He is always so personal and specific to what we need to hear, feel, etc. This week while Chris was gone, I struggled greatly with my kids. As bad as their behavior was at times I found myself being the ultimate source of the problem. I also found myself with the answer to my problem, I was just to stubborn to take advantage of it.

We're in a series at church about the Holy Spirit and it has been incredible. I had the strong desire Sunday when I left church to want to become more engaged and in tune with allowing the Holy Spirit to move and operate in my life on a more deeper level. Satan knows exactly where to throw the punches below the belt, and for me that is with my kids and their behavior; but also my response and reactions. 

This week was just bad, no other way to describe it.

I had a long time praying with God yesterday and was so convicted and encouraged. This power that as a Christian I have access to, I wasn't utilizing. What I wanted on Sunday wasn't evident in my life at all this week because of my lack of trying. There are some changes happening in my life that are good, even despite the fact that they caught me totally off guard. For some time now God has been dealing with me more in areas of fulfilling the call he has on my life. I have been so consumed with the growing passion I've had for IT (the calling) that I've neglected THE calling in my own home, if I may be honest. 

It's hard for me - and that is no excuse whatsoever. I butt heads with my girls, I have a temper when things don't go my way, my anxiety kicks in and all kinds of emotions go crazy in me. I have said multiple times in my head, "I am not good enough or right for this mom job" not because I don't love my kids, but because I allow them to trigger the worst parts of me. I even freaked out on Chris this week because he said something that I took the wrong way and I ran with it. 

What am I trying to say? I'm a visual person... I picture my life in levels, and when I get one level accomplished, or taken care of I move to the next. 

The Bible talks about the man who built his house on the sand and the man who built his house on the rock. I love how the Message version puts it (while some may disagree, that's okay!).

 Matt. 7:24-27 "24-25 “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.
26-27 “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a foolish carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”
Regardless of what ever level in life you're on, if you're foundation at the bottom isn't solid everything you've built on it, added to it, accomplished and so on will collapse if the words you have heard and said amen to doesn't become the foundation underneath all of those things. 
Maybe it's your marriage that's falling apart. Maybe it's relationships with your kids. Maybe it's your health. Maybe it's choices you're making. Maybe it's not saying no to things you should be. Maybe it's things you refuse to get over. Maybe it's life, just that word says enough. 

As I sit in Zaxby's writing this, I'm reminded of our trip we took to the beach last year. In fact that's why I came here for lunch because I am missing the beach badly. I had Zaxby's for the first time last year at the beach. I LOVE the beach, and that capital l.o.v.e is a major understatement. The beach just makes me feel all kinds of lovely feelings. The atmosphere, the sound of the ocean, the SMELL of the ocean. I can't get enough of it. As gorgeous, and all of the other amazing things the beach is, it's just sand, water, maybe some rocky places that the water crashes into, and the open sky. Not a thing solid about it. Sure, people build houses on it, but they're built on posts sticking out of the ground, not on an actual foundation. 
Can I encourage you? If it feels like life is crashing in on you. If you are like me and you have rocks on your sandy beach, per say, and the water is crashing into and over you. If any of those things I mentioned above, or didn't mention are affecting you, what is your life built on? I've heard all the right words, they've impacted me, changed me, and challenged me, yet sometimes I only use them when it's convenient, or takes little effort of me.  God has given us ALL that we need to live this life the best way we can live it. SO often we still try to do it on our own. I 100% believe if I would have acted on and worked in the desires and thoughts I had last Sunday, this week would have been totally different for me. Sure my kids may have acted the same, but I would have REacted totally different. I am confident that I wouldn't have felt as discouraged, flustered, more importantly powerless.  Life is chaotic, I get it. But how much LESS would the chaos effect us if we allowed the Holy Spirit to effect us and operate in us? So many Christians are afraid of the Holy Spirit, and that's a lie straight from the enemy. Satan knows how powerful and NEEDED the Holy Spirit is to our Christian life. 
None of us like driving in a car in the dead heat of summer without A/C. What if you went ALL summer hating life, sweating to death and you were the problem. You never turned the A/C on. Time after time Christians continue to live without tapping into their power supply because it takes effort. It takes effort shutting the world out and just spending time in God's presence. It requires a sacrifice of our time. It requires us getting off of our phones (throw's stones in own face). 
Turn on your A/C. If you don't have any, Jesus gave himself for you for free, you're only a prayer away.