Wow, its been a while. I do not do this consistent blogging thing well! Always with the good intentions but never the follow through... not with the blogging anyway. My intention this time around is to blog along with an online study, hosted by Suzie Eller, on Spiritual Growth. I have done really well about being in the Word on a near daily basis, but I've noticed I've become stagnant. This past weekend I was convicted about how my walk had become check-list oriented. My study had an agenda or an intense focus on what I wanted to learn. Now don't get me wrong, searching and praying with purpose is a great thing. But I think God is trying to let me know that I'm becoming too "busy" in my time reading and studying His Word and I haven't earnestly gone to Him seeking His will and direction first. It seems like one sure fire warning that I'm not growing is when my actions stop lining up with what I'm studying. When my walk isn't lining up with my talk. That happened this past weekend with an argument that led to melt-down between myself and my husband. And every single time this happens, whether the fault is mine or his, I can always go back and trace my steps to where I went off the path. And yesterday I found myself in my prayer closet (a small walk-in coat closet that we turned into my bible study area) feeling worthless. I felt like a pattern has shown itself in my life and that God had to be tired of hearing my apologies just as much as I was tired of saying them. I felt I was given a pretty stern warning from Matthew 5:13 about how my life is not my own and the way I behave influences, for good or bad, the lives of those closest to me and can ripple out from there. My actions have a pretty big impact on my husband and are to be an example to my children. Am I on the brink of becoming unsalty? Because in the day or two after the melt-down, I feel pretty worthless. Hmmm... I'm getting an analogy. Salt is thrown out on sidewalks and stairs to melt ice. So maybe I can remember the next time things are spiraling toward a melt-down that its a sign of worthless salt being thrown out and trampled underfoot. I love it! Thank you LORD! He knows how much I love a good analogy. Anyway.... after spending time in repentant prayer followed by my sincere paraphrasing of the Lord's Prayer, especially the part of feeding me His truth as my daily bread, He guided me to 1 Peter 2:1-3, "So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness."
Now I'm going to attempt to make my thoughts flow here... wish me luck!
James 1:22 tells me that I practice deceit whenever I spend time studying His Word yet don't apply it! "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." I'm lying to myself! I need to honestly come before the LORD with humility and pray for him to search my heart and open my eyes to my shortcomings! And its completely hypocritical of me to teach my children to act one way while I act another and then justify it by the circumstance. And I've thought about it before... what people would think if I had hidden cameras inside my home where they could see the other side of me; the tired, worn, cranky, yelling mother. The cold, pouty, angry wife who didn't get her way or who blows things out of proportion when expectations aren't met. I know we all mess up. I get that. But over and over and over again? In the same area? Proverbs 26:11 says, "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness." OUCH! and EWW! I don't want to make excuses for myself, here. I want to be honest and find a standard and try my hardest to measure up. I don't want to keep making the same mistakes or re-act the same (wrong) way whenever I read in Scriptures that I'm supposed to be different. If I just say, "That's why we have grace." and brush it off I will never change. And I want to change. GROW. And jealousy, that's what caused this most recent melt-down. I was measuring our family's happiness factor against what I perceive most other Christian families to look like and I didn't feel like we were measuring up. And maybe we're not... but they don't have live video feed in their homes either, so who knows how happy they really are. I must remember, "Comparison is the thief of joy!" And you know I couldn't call this episode a melt-down if there wasn't some unkind speech. A lot of unkind speech. That's what I regret the most. And its my BIGGEST problem. I fly off at the mouth and spew all these hateful things that I feel in the moment. And every. single. time. I do, I become a fool.
So back to this concept of growth. After finding this Scripture in 1 Peter, I ended up on FaceBook and in my newsfeed is this post on growth from Suzie Eller. The timing was perfect. So without further adieu... here I go to read the first installment (not counting the intro)....
My next blog post will be my thoughts/gleanings. I really do just love her heart!