Sunday, June 15, 2014

Motherhood is Not Hard

Motherhood is not hard.

It's physically taxing, it's exhausting, it's demanding, but it's not complicated. It's not hard.

Learning to let go of expectations, now, that is hard. I mean think about it. Almost every source of frustration in and toward motherhood is because things don't go the way we think they should. Motherhood is simple. Our flesh complicates it. Society complicates it. Expectations of how things should be complicate it. 

Society and expectation says your child should be well behaved all the time, quiet in public, never rebellious, obedient at all times, compliant, and genius to boot. Your home should always be a model of a museum with a place for everything and everything in its place at all times.  So called "experts" say that your baby should crawl at 6 months, walk at 12 months, be speaking in sentences by 18 months, potty trained by 24 months, and if you have somehow failed at any of these points (as if anyone can force a child to use the toilet if they aren't ready...) then you are obviously a failure as a mom.

Society is wrong. It's time to lower our expectations. Go into each day expecting only the grace of God, and you will never be disappointed, because we serve a living God who is forever faithful to His promises. Children will make messes, they will rebel, and they will have ear-splitting tantrums in the middle of a crowded grocery store. Children develop at different paces, and that's okay! More children fall outside the median line on the percentile chart than within their perceived "normal," so that should tell you something about the true definition of normal.

The world complicates things,  but motherhood, the heart of motherhood, is oh so simple.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Ground is Level at the Cross

 We know that man judges by outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (1 Sam 16:7, John 7:24). So why are we so quick to trust our own judgment in reference to other people? 

It  IS  the Christian's job to judge by fruit those within the church, but it is Christ's job to judge those without (1 Cor 5), so why then do we chastise those without, while the pride of ourselves, those within the Church, runs unbridled and unchecked?

When a brother falls, we are to restore him to fellowship, in all meekness, and we are to bear each other's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6). The Law of Christ being not so great a mystery, and neither such a complicated one either... but that we should believe on the name of the Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. (1 John 3:21-23) No brother was ever restored with a whip and a broom handle, therefore pay heed to your slicing tongue. 

We, as ambassadors of Christ and instruments of Grace, are called to be many things in this temporal world. Among these things are light and salt. 

Light: The Lord is light, and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1). We ought to regard and foster no darkness in our own walk, for how can a light corrupted by darkness be a light at all? Bitter water and sweet cannot mingle, for in the instance that it does, even the sweet water is corrupted and becomes bitter itself (James 3). So ought we to have regard for our own struggles, temptations, and shortcomings, and keep them ever present before us, lest we fall into bitterness and temptation, corrupting the very Light that Christ has called us to bear.

Salt makes a man thirsty. We are called to live in a way as to whet the appetite of sinners and saints alike, and cause them to thirst after the living God. In speech, we are called to let our speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that we may know how we ought to answer every man. There are two parts to the way we are called to present ourselves in speech. Grace, and salt. Our speech should work to make others' thirsty for the Lord. In regards to Colossians 4:6, Matthew Henry so aptly puts it: "Let your discourse be as becomes Christians - savory, discreet, seasonable. Thought it be not always of grace, it must be always with grace. It must be in a Christian manner, seasoned with salt. Grace is the salt which seasons our discourse, makes it savory, and keeps it from corrupting." An accurate word spoken without grace is just as unprofitable to the Kingdom as a witness never spoken at all. Grace, the very heartbeat of the Gospel, ought to season our entire beings and cover us, just as the waters of baptism covered our bodies on the day of our public testimony. Every act, every word, and every thought ought to be seeped in Grace, saturated in Grace. THIS is our biggest testimony, as Christians. The grace in which we walk. Because, it is by grace alone that we are enabled to come to the level ground at the cross. How foolish is it of us to think that, as partakers of grace, we are somehow more pleasing to God. Our works are but filthy rags, but in Grace, UNMERITED FAVOR, Christ is glorified. Should we sin that grace may abound? God forbid. BUT, let us be cautioned, lest we think so highly of ourselves that we are comfortable and tempted to forsake grace for pride. This of which we are all inclined.

Here's the thing about Grace, about the unmerited favor of God:

The Ground is Level at the Cross.

Here's the thing about labels, and critical spirits, and the prideful manner that leads us to so harshly and roughly ostracize and scald those around us, both within and without the Church, but often times mostly those without:

The Ground is Level at the Cross.

There are but two labels in this world that really matter, when it comes down to the line: Lost, and Redeemed. 

Those of us who are Redeemed, let us be careful not to let the unmerited favor that has been so graciously bestowed upon us feed our ego, and let us daily remember where we came from. Every single one of us has past sins that would cripple us in humiliation if they were to be brought to light, so let us treat sinners with humility, care, and compassion. Let us treat those Lost, those without the Church, in a manner that glorifies God and exemplifies His abundant grace, even when they aren't around to hear us, lest the Word of God be blasphemed. Let us be careful not to elevate our filthy rags, those works that we take so much pride in, over the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. They say that Every Saint has a Past, and Every Sinner has a Future, and that rings more and more true as life goes on. God specializes in fixing broken things. He delights in using broken, marred, distorted, and charred vessels. He glories in the reshaping and remaking of dishonorable vessels, and fitting them unto honor. 

We ought to treat others' sins as we would desire for others to treat ours. Not giving excuse, but acting discreetly, and compassionately, and charitably. Charity is: "in a general sense, love, benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good." We know that we can speak with the power and truth of God, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and have faith enough to move mountains, and relinquish our worldly goods in their entirety to feed the poor, and even deliver ourselves up to be martyred, but if we have not charity, all of our works are meaningless, and it all amounts to nothingness. In 1 Peter 4 we are called to have fervent charity among ourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Charity, or that love and goodwill toward men, does not make excuse for sin, but it does cover them. It covers sins. It covers shortcomings and misgivings and ignorance. It does not write them on a sheet and run them up the flagpole to air, it covers them. 

The sinner is inclined to be of softer heart toward those who would humbly cover their sins, rather than toward those who would flagrantly and with gross disregard take a broom handle to their ignorant backs in front of the community of witnesses in order to feed their own pride and arrogance. Therefore, Charity glorifies God in ways that fire and brimstone cannot. Fire and Brimstone is God's job. He is the only righteous judge of those without the Church. Charity does not displace fire and brimstone, but even as God is longsuffering and is staying His hand of judgment ‘til the appointed time, so should we ought to stay our own hand and tongue. It is BECAUSE of fire and brimstone that we love so fervently. It is BECAUSE of fire and brimstone that we weep over the souls of the Lost. Brother, Sister, if you have failed to weep and pray for the lost and backslidden, then don't you dare raise your voice in judgment against them! Ever mindful of the power and the glory and the righteousness of God, we go forth in love and COVER sins. Brethren, we are called to Grace. Making no excuse for sin, but rather covering sin with charity as the precious Blood of Christ covers us even now. 

The Ground is Level at the Cross.

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." 1 Cor 13:4-7

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Poll: What do you think is the biggest hinderance to your work as a mother?

What do you think is the biggest hinderance to your work as a mother?
Guilt/Being afraid of being selfish
Loneliness/Lack of support
Feeling unappreciated
Poll Maker