Its not about _______

Boy I’ve missed blogging.  Rough times right now with my mom have made even fitting in a shower difficult, let alone finding time to write!  But today I’m making it happen lest I run the risk of my head popping off from the ideas swirling in it.

As I’ve mentioned before, we have moved all over creation.  I think it was like 7 places in 10-11 years, or something like that.  The constant in that time was knowing that we were in certain places for a reason.  I fully believe that Acts 17:26 applies to us today – I am where He wants me to be for a purpose and I’ve seen those purposes play out in our many moves.  But living somewhere for 4 years now is a record for us and so this idea is taking on a slightly different meaning for me.  I’m not here for something to then move on to something else somewhere else — I’m here.  Still.  So now what?

A very off the cuff comment from our pastor at the end of a service several months ago hit me like a ton of bricks and Ritchie and I have since talked about it alot.

We are not here for _______, we are here for Him.  So how do we use ________ for Him?

This is where it funnels down to the day to day.  You could fill in the blank with a million things and it changes your perspective immensely!

I’m not here for the PTA …. so how do I use the PTA for Him?

I’m not here for shopping dates with friends …. so how do I use those dates for Him?

I’m not here for having a nice house …. so how do I use that home for Him?

If you ruminate on that a bit it could (and should) really rock your world.  There isn’t a thing — not ONE thing — that can’t fit into that grid.

I’ve contemplated getting a white board in the house with this phrase on it where we could dry erase on and off the issues of our day to see if we could take our eyes off the details long enough to see the big picture.  If you’ve been to my house you know it is being taken over by lists, posters, verse plaques and other signage to give me reminders, so I may have to get creative on how to fit this new one in!  😉

But here is where this train of thought has led us lately.  Baseball.

Our sweet boy plays sports back to back to back.  When one stops the next one starts (or like this week, the last week of one overlaps with the first week of the next!)  I am a rabid fan and his biggest cheerleader.  I come with video camera, still camera and extra big lens to every event.  I come home hoarse from screaming and sweaty from jumping around like an idiot.  I have a team hat, a team shirt and if those are dirty I at least find something in the team colors to wear on game day.  I am all in and none of that is likely to change, nor do I think it should.  But here is what I am also seeing….

We are not here for baseball, we are here for Him.  So how do we use baseball for Him?

As far as Grant is concerned, this is a discussion we constantly have with him.  He is gifted with athletic talent, but the purpose for these games is not only to hone a skill but to learn to be a team player, support and encourage others, show respect to your coach, be a role model and embrace humility.  He is only 10-1/2….he isn’t without fault….but he gets this and makes us proud beyond words with how he carries himself on and off of the field.

But Ritchie and I are both feeling a conviction over this for ourselves and so prior to the start of this new season we are getting some ideas on what that may look like.  The coach that we have….its for a reason.  We have returning boys on our team and new boys joining us.  Some we know and some we don’t…but all for a reason.  I will be at these games to cheer on my boy, yes, but for something bigger too.  I am praying that I will keep my eyes, ears and heart open enough to see what it is.  I will reach out to the other moms more.  We are hoping to plan some team functions so that we can ‘do life’ with these people a little more during this season.  I don’t want to be a bulldozer for God, plowing over these people in my path — but I want to SEE them instead of just be around them.  I want to LISTEN to them and not just hear them.  I want to truly LOVE these other boys and cheer them on as much as I do my own.

I want it to be about more than baseball.  I want it to be about Him.

So lets play ball!

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Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 11:08 am  Comments (1)  

I don’t want to be a whitewashed tomb

Whitewashed tombs.  What an oxymoron, huh?

By definition a tomb is something that holds the remains of the dead.  I picture dark, stinky, gross.  Being whitewashed on the other hand is pristine, clean, and anything but stinky.  Jesus refers to the Pharisees as ‘whitewashed tombs’ in the bible and warns us not to be that way.  You could dig into the meaning of that warning in very deep ways but one simple way is this:  Don’t put up a front like you’ve got it all together when truth be told, you’re a mess inside.

So now I start to psychoanalyze:   Where do I fall on this one?  Am I a whitewashed tomb?  Or do I display my ‘mess’ for all to see?  Or do I not have a mess to show?? (ok, that made me laugh….I’ve got mess alright!)

Here is what I know:  I have mess (as stated above) –>  I hate having my mess seen and known by others –> therefore, by definition I would prefer a ‘whitewashed tomb’ look to me –> but, I am wildly transparent about my mess (hence, this blog).  Soooo…..

I couldn’t stop smiling today when this little puzzle came together for me — my God is so gracious to me!  He knows how I’m wired and He knows my propensity for the whitewashed look.  He teaches me His view on things.  He listens to my prayers.  But instead of taking that propensity away from me, he adds transparency to the mix.  Then it becomes ball in my court.  Do I step out in that transparency and trust that it will bring good, or do I bury it and go on whitewashin’?  I LOVE THAT!!  He isn’t a cosmic magician in my life – making my faults disappear –  He walks beside me in grace giving me all the tools that I need to live past those faults!

Now I am no where near perfect on this – but here is what I have seen.  When I step out in transparency and share my struggles I am blessed for it.  With friends who share similar struggles and we can encourage and lift each other up – with deeper relationships built on truth and not facades – and with a peace and joy in knowing that I am overcoming that yuck inside of me to do what it is that He is calling me to do.

But here is the bigger point of this all:  Where else in life am I needing to apply this grace and walk with God through an issue?

God is in the business of transforming hearts, but not always in the way we think.  We tend to think upon 2 extremes – either 1) I will work hard to change me because I see the problem clearly, or 2) I will ask God to change me because I see the problem clearly and its one I can’t solve.  I don’t think it works either way.  God comes along side us and, without removing the problem, gives us tools to work through it.  Transparency to snuff out pride.  Patience to combat frustration.  Joy to overcome unhappiness.  Self control to win out over addictive habits.  Those tools are referred to as the Fruit of the Spirit.  They aren’t traits that we have (or even that God gives us), but are the tools of God in us that if we walk with Him in His grace He will display in our lives.

Looks like maybe I have some more psychoanalyzing to do!  It’ll go good with the usual Monday of laundry and mopping!

 

 

Published in: on February 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Treasure Buried Upstairs

So Peyton is our family’s entertainer.  We always joke that people should get her autograph now since it’s clear that she will be on a stage or screen somewhere in her adult life! (Side note:  she also tells me often that she just may opt to be a ‘regular mom’ like me!  That cracks me up!)

In cleaning up the toy room the other day (like any good regular mom would) I found – buried under mounds of dress up clothes and hats – a song that Peyton had written.  I had heard her singing parts of it that day, mainly the end where she would belt out “You gotta play the game, boy!” so I busily assumed it was a sports song or something.  Who knows.  These kids have made up hit songs about Sprite and Grills and Mac & Cheese, so it could be an ode to anything!  I stumbled upon the song in its entirety and it made me smile.  It was what I needed to hear that day and just made me marvel and how her sweet mind works.  Here it is:

Win/Life’s a Game — by Peyton Deffenbaugh

You gotta at least play the game; You gotta at least try harder

You gotta at least show respect to yours.  That’s all that you don’t know

Chorus:

There are 2 ways in the game of life

God’s way and Satan’s

I follow God – What about you?

Oh wait….you don’t play.

You gotta try to win-win-win-win.  Win the game of life.

You gotta take a second chance;  You gotta help yourself out.

God depends on these things, without a doubt!

(repeat chorus x2)

Oh, in order to win you at least gotta play the game, boy!

That paper is now filed away on my desk for safe keeping.  Whether she ends up a regular mom or the next Taylor Swift I will keep it forever.  And either way, I continue to pray that she keeps playing the game.

Published in: on February 2, 2012 at 9:25 am  Comments (3)