Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fear Thou Not


Today's message was straight from God.  And just what I needed to hear.

It was what every single person in our sanctuary needed to hear.

It's what the visitor who is suffering from cancer needed to hear.

Pastor J C Fulton preached on Fear.

It will take your breath away, then give it back with a bold new song.

Please take 30 minutes to listen to it right here.

I meant to get a post up this week.  Rob was gone on a business trip practically ALL week.  There were a lot of things that I hoped to do with my "extra" time.

Guess what?  I didn't get much of anything done!  Surprise, surprise, surprise...

Oh well.  The important stuff happened: School every day, 3 meals, a few snacks, clean clothes, a couple of movies.
And pumpkin seeds.
We gutted the volunteer pumpkin on our front porch and had a grand time mushing the gooey, stringy seeds around before we toasted them.

It's the simple things that memories are made of.

The post I was going to write would have been entitled "Our Daily Bread".
Jesus encourages us to ask for our daily needs, knowing that our Father will provide all that we need for life and godliness.  Our Creator remembers what we are made of.  Basically, we are walking, talking mud pies.  And we have needs.  He is the self-existent One.  We are the most dependent of creatures.

"Therefore take no thought saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  ...For your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." Matt. 6:32

I get so overwhelmed and guilt stricken sometimes.  Feeding and clothing a family is really hard work.  And I can get to feeling pretty inferior.  Other Moms have it more together.  Other Moms dress their children better, feed them better snacks, take them to more fun outings, make sure they have a top notch education, give their children i-pads and cell phones, keep their noses wiped with a better brand kleenex...

It's not hard to have an A-list pity party.  And I am the life of my parties!

But we don't NEED all those things.  Jesus didn't promise an i-pad in every lap.

Last year, when I was at my lowest and barely able to function, I jotted down the top 3 needs that must be met for my family every day.

They are:
1. Everyone must be fed
2. Everyone must be dressed
3. Everyone must be loved on.

That's it!  God has promised to provide all of these needs.  "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the (trouble) thereof." Matt. 6:33-34

This was huge in helping me through this week.
 Food, Laundry and Love.
If we ate nothing but beans and rice that's okay.  Everyone gets fed. (to hear my kids tell it that is all we ate, but it's not. I swear!)
If there is only one set of clean clothes in the drawer to put on that day, it's alright.  At least there won't be any streaking. 
If we don't manage to get any school done but to sit and read library books on the couch and watch a few movies together, that's fine.  In fact, for young children, that's perfect!

It's amazing.  When I lower my expectations for myself to the three basic needs, I feel so free.  And when I am trusting, begging for God's help to survive the day, God always provides so much more.  We always wind up having so much fun when I am not stressing over being the perfect mom.  When I allow myself to be human, when I admit that I am actually needy.

There are days when I bring my best game.  And I trip.  There are days when I feel good, but nonetheless recognize my need for God's blessing and wisdom.  And He gives it.  Then, there are the days when I know I have nothing to give.  Not one shred of patience, no strength, barely any love, maybe just one quivering nerve and there's a toddler jumping on it.  That is where God loves to come running and show me it's not by my might, it's His.

His strength is made perfect in my weakness so that I will KNOW it is HIM, NOT ME that is so awesome!

And so, that is how I survived the week.  And last year.  It's how I'm going to make it tomorrow.  And next month.

I'm afraid this is a rather disjointed and confusing post.  I was interrupted several times while writing.  And it really is two separate posts, joined rather awkwardly at the hip.  I have a feeling I won't have a chance to write it this week and it's just begging to be let out.

But then again, I started out with a sermon on Fear.  Maybe this does belong in the same post.