Friday, May 16, 2008

Breaking My Pride...One Blog at a Time

Check out this 5/12/08 edition of the comic strip Pearls Before Swine. If you don't have time to link over, the basic premise is a housefly lands on a computer keyboard, and before the main character can kill it, it starts a blog. The end frame says "This trend is out of control."

I know how the character feels. In April I decided to start a blog to try and inspire others with true life stories and biblical themes. I also figured writing 3 days a week would improve my writing, and the visibility wouldn't hurt either. Shortly after seeing mine, a friend started her own blog... and then another friend...and then another friend! "Wow, am I a trendsetter or what?" I thought...or was it "This trend is out of control."

These 3 beautiful godly woman are my best friends and my spiritual mentors. All help grow me and teach me at every opportunity I am with them. So what's up with me? My pride. "What if they're better at this than me?" Well, I guess I already feel they are better at so many different things. They're often better moms, better wives, better reflectors of Jesus in their daily lives. So what's a gal to do?

But wait! Wasn't my goal all along to inspire others? And what if for just one moment they did see the light of Jesus shining in me, and are now letting their light shine; all of us creating a beautiful prism. Each different color beautiful, each shining brightly, reflecting and dispersing God's light.

Chris Sligh has the right idea in his song, "Empty Me." (You can click to listen). The lyrics say: "Empty me of the selfishness inside, Every vain ambition and the poison of my pride, And any foolish thing my heart holds to, Lord empty me of me so I can be filled with you. "

It's not a pun to say that I am "full of myself." Isn't that an interesting phrase? Yes, I am full of myself. Lord, empty me of me - so I can be filled with you. Amen.

Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Greatest Gift

My oldest daughter attended a birthday sleep over with a gaggle of girls on Friday night. She came home Saturday with a painted, decorated picture frame; a handmade headband; and a handmade bracelet. All this cutie crafts were orchestrated by the birthday girl's mother.

As I looked over her loot, I couldn't help but feel inferior to the other mother. You see, I am craft-challenged. Not a little bit, either. As a matter of fact I am challenged in many of the little ins and outs of mothering, as I never had a role model to teach me such things. I am self taught (or by girlfriends) in the art of meal planning, cooking, etc. I am not that domestic. So as I looked over these cute crafts, I felt a bit bad.

"I'm sorry I'm not very crafty." I told my beautiful 8 year old. And she responded matter of factly, "Mom, I love you just the way you are." There is certainly no sweeter gift I have received from her than that! If only I could learn to apply it to myself, loving myself just the way I am.

We also have a God who loves us just the way we are. In Jeremiah 31:3b, God says "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. " Zephaniah 3:17 says "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Can you imagine the God and creator of the Universe takes great delight in you, rejoicing over you with singing?

I am so thankful to receive unconditional love from my Heavenly Father. And I'm also pretty proud of an 8 year old girl who loves me, just the way I am.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a tough day for me. I am truly blessed with 2 wonderful girls and I try to focus on that, but I can't help but think about my own mom and the pain associated with that.

I grew up in a home with an alcoholic, mentally ill mother. It was a very painful childhood filled with fear and shame. And even as an adult, the pain and abuse continued until I finally had to end the relationship.

As I am trying to focus on my writing career, I recently entered a "mother's day haiku contest." Most of the 5-7-5 syllable Japanese poems spoke in glowing terms of their mothers. Mine, not surprisingly, did not win. It said:

I can forgive you
for the alcoholism
but I can't forget

Now, it certainly evoked emotion which good writing does, but none the less, it was not a "winner." Not the hearts and flowers and little butterflies that Mother's Day is supposed to evoke, but does not to me, or my sisters and brother.

In Mark 3:31-34, Jesus is preaching and his mother and brothers want him to stop preaching and come outside with him. The story says "Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you." "Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

Thank YOU my precious "brother and sister and mother" blog readers and friends who support me. And if you, like me, do not have a relationship with your mother for any reason, we do not need to mourn, for we have the Perfect Parent in our heavenly Father, the perfect family in Christ Jesus. And we have each other, sisters in Christ. Praise God!