These days a particular heart to heart with my sister-in-law flood my mind. After she had her first babe, she told me how hard it was to find time & energy to sit down & read her Bible or pursue God in anyway. She felt wiped out, completely drained of life, & felt guilty for not being a super woman & conquering God in the midst of her day.
I remember sitting there, probably on my sixth cup of coffee, wondering what that felt like. I probably smiled & nodded along, all ‘uhuh, totally feel you’, completely unaware of God’s humor through the whole thing.
Now his laughter fills the air as the coffee addict lives off about a half a cup a day (if that’ll even stay down) & thrives by sleeping until ten thirty in order to muster up enough energy to liven up by the time she goes to pick the kindergarten queen up & make dinner before the sweet man comes home from his day at the office.
With everyday comes a new revelation of how many secrets the pregnant ones keep from us innocent people. The glowing & big smiles & I feel great are only a percentage & you can lean on the fact you probably won’t be one of them. & if you are, God bless you, the rest of us want to punch you. & that advice that all of us have heard, to get as much sleep as you can now because that won’t be happening after little babe shines forth, nobody tells you most of your pregnancy you’ll be lucky if you even can sleep, as sleep insomnia is a very hot commodity in pregnancy. Maybe you could even get a side of Restless Leg Syndrome if you’re really lucky. But mostly, I’ll stop, because though you never think ‘hey, that girl carrying the baby must be really tired & maybe someone should offer her a scooter at Walmart’, you do know what a miracle a steady heartbeat can be. Especially when you’ve lost one before, you see the bump & the stretch marks & the bucket beside your bed for what it is: a sweet, sweet miracle. & though I’m a whiner, I am completely grateful for God’s abundance of life & love & second chances.
But now I’m getting side track, because the point was I’ve had no energy lately & my brain hasn’t reached a depth to produce a thought that turns into something more to write about. Prayers are short & sweet. Mostly repetitive. Sometimes just repeating a loved ones name three times. & I think God accepts my baby attempts, because to be honest he’s never been a fan of my super human ‘watch what I can do, God’ thing in which I try to predict exactly what someone needs by looking at them, instead of telling him ‘hey, I don’t know, so do you’re thing & fill the gaps & do weeding &/or whatever else I can’t see’. All my super cool God stories tend to be from moments when my specific prayer was ‘err I’m really uncomfortable & I don’t even know what to do or say because what even is this’.
So my brain is wandering & I understand the how can I even pursue you God thought process. All this to say I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while. These are my excuses above. Let’s proceed with what I really wanted to say & the time I felt it & probably should’ve said it.
What I felt months ago: Gentle & strong.
“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her.”
That’s what I heard within, when I wanted the words from God of what my little boy would be like in his kingdom on earth. All gentleness & strength. Those two words, definitely not what I was expecting, & I didn’t even really get it at first. Because today it seems like a paradox to say someone is gentle & strong, but the words don’t work against each other, but rather, compliment one another. That is a beautiful promise for my little one. That is a gentleman. One who knows his strength in the kingdom but the overflow of his heart is sweet gentleness, consideration & compassion, towards others. One who uses his strength in the way it was intended. Maybe it only makes sense to me, but that’s okay, because I’m his momma & I’m proud of the promises that God has spoken over him.
Two Sundays ago: to be a friend.
This is short & sweet, but something spoken in church made me think about how many of us are quick to say we have a personal relationship with Jesus, & that’s kind of our way of saying we’re Christians, I guess. But when I think in the Old Testament of how it says Abraham was a friend of God, I feel like that is what I want. I don’t want to tell people that I have a personal relationship with Jesus because I said yes one day to him.
It reminds me of my relationship with our sweet kindergartener’s Momma. Sure, we’ve small talked when in passing on several occasions, & yes, I would smile or say hi if I passed her in a grocery store, & I’ve even spoken about her to people who want to know about our girl’s Momma, but with this being the depth of our relationship, is this enough to classify our relationship as a personal or intimate relationship?
So I guess this was the day I decided maybe I’ve gotten a little lazy in my pursuit of friendship & intimacy with Jesus. I’ve become more talk than action, & that isn’t okay. This was a day I decided what’s most important is what Jesus would call our relationship, not what I would.
Today: minding my business.
“When Jesus saw that a curious crowd was growing by the minute, he told his disciples to get him out of there to the other side of the lake. As they left, a religion scholar asked if he could go along. ‘I’ll go with you, wherever,’ he said.
Jesus was curt: ‘Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.’
Another follower said, ‘Master, excuse me for a couple days, please. I have my father’s funeral to take care of.’
Jesus refused, ‘First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life.’”
MATTHEW 8:18-22 MSG
So it was the last line that got me & I feel like perfectly sums up the church in the present day. Its so easy for us to sit on all the things going on in the world where we think morality is slipping threw God’s fingertips, where we think God is losing control & what we’re doing & legalizing is wrong & thinking everyone needs to know what we’re thinking.
We hold death higher than life, swarming college campuses preaching against the LBGT community. We blow up Facebook news feeds with our feelings on abortion & what murderers we are surrounded by. & in no way am I saying I agree with or disagree with the platforms people are taking. I just can’t get the Black Eyed Peas out of my head & I can’t help but ask if this is what love looks like.
Is this what it looks like to pursue Jesus?
Are we hear to point out darkness or to increase the light?
Is this what it looks like to be a city on a hill? Did God really mean to shut everyone around us down & let them know their wrong & they’re going straight to hell? Is this what the salt of the earth tastes like? Are we encouraging peace or chaos?
I have my own opinions, but the thing is, I don’t think God has ever laid on my heart to cast judgment on others. Jesus could cast judgement, but does he? Did he condemn the girl who was caught in the act of adultery when everyone brought her to him, holding their stones high?
God was good to me, & while I was still living in sin up to my eyeballs he knew the only thing that could save me was love. So maybe we should stick with his ways, since they worked for us.