Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Late Night Confessions of a Part-Time Hypocrite

Dear Online Diary,

So I'm struggling a little tonight. I have a job interview in the morning and I can't stop worrying about answering every question just right so I get hired. And, honestly, I'm a little worried that I'll succeed in tricking people into hiring me for a job I can't handle or that I'll hate. Worrying to the point of a nervous stomach and a little tightness in the chest.

My mom said, "You've always trusted God before. Why stop now?"

That really struck me. And I thought, "Yeah, Big Mouth Blogger. Why ARE you stopping now?"

So I thought about it and realized that I was focusing on what I want rather than following God where He leads and waiting on His timing. It took a little journaling to remind myself that, ultimately, I really only want to go where God leads. I can trust Him, whatever the direction.

If God is leading me to this job, He is capable of sidestepping any stammering or lame-o answers on my part.

Likewise, I know from past experience that if we take the time to ask, God can be trusted to close doors we shouldn't enter. Years ago, in direct response to prayer, when asking for His guidance, cars have broken down on the way to my questionable destinations and college courses have been completely cancelled. So if this is not the job for me, I can trust God to close that door.

When we experience the closing of a door, even a door we were really hoping to waltz right through, nothing that really matters changes. We are still loved, provided for and sought after by our awesome Creator.

Oh, Dear Online Diary, after our little chat, I'm happy to say that the butterflies occupying my stomach have finally gone to sleep and I think am now able to do the same. I'll be sure to share with you later the results of tomorrow's - oops, today's interview!

Good night.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

This Dumpy House

Oh, yeah? Well, I'm so mad,
I could spit, too, buddy!
I am trying like crazy to get my house all spruced up so I can put it up for sale.  The whole process is extremely frustrating because while I'm improving one thing, something else is falling apart. Sometimes, it's the last thing I just fixed! While I'm re-fixing THAT, the dishes are piling up!

It's so much effort and stress, trying to make my house good enough for someone to want it and not reject it.

This morning, a metaphor just flipped up and smacked me in the face, like I'd stepped on the clawed end of a rake, reminding me that it's the same with ME!  Lately, I've been on all these self-improvement kicks. Yeah, mostly just in my head, because I never can stick with anything but I make all these big plans to eat right and exercise regularly and keep my home clean and spend my money wisely and use my time productively and stop cussing and whatever else I might notice that's wrong with me. Always, while I appear to be making strides in one area, I completely fall on my face in another area often followed by self-berating (and maybe a little bit of cussing - just being honest.)

Not a lot of curb appeal here. 

Don't you love when there's a BUT to save the day?

BUT I am not up for sale, hoping someone's going to come along and deem me acceptable.

I've already been chosen and purchased to be cherished forever, run-down and dumpy as my heart might be, lacking all the latest personality upgrades. Jesus knew all of my flaws, hang-ups, and mistakes, all of my selfishness and stubbornness, when He paid the price for my sins on the cross so those sins would no longer separate Him and me. He loves me in my current condition.

Yep, just like this hideous...whatever it was. 

I have to say that knowing this truth is a huge relief and a great joy because it's just too much effort, running around, trying to fix all of my flaws by myself.

And while Christians have a way of making Christianity appear exclusive, Jesus is anything but exclusive when it comes to purchasing souls and offering His salvation. He already wants you. He already loves you endlessly. He is not willing to lose even one of us. You can accept what Christ has done for you right where you are, just as you are, and still be a liberal or celebrate
Passover or wear a hijab. Some Christians might tell other people they have to do away with this or that, but ultimately, Jesus purchased the house and He will make renovations as He sees fit. Some things He'll leave in place that might leave some Christians disapproving. Other things, in His perfect timing, He will rip out and throw away, like self-righteousness or pride or that judgemental thought you just had about your neighbor's life choices.

Jesus is not looking for perfection but He is in the business of improvement, whether He's dealing with a run-down, dirty shack or a beautiful mansion. You think your place is perfect, my friend? Trust me, you've got a leaky pipe hidden deep inside those walls somewhere and Jesus has the tools to lovingly fix it, if you'll just let Him point out the damage for you. 

Well, my realtor might not be too jazzed if I take this laid-back attitude with my actual house. However, while I'm replacing plumbing hardware and scrubbing dirty windows, I can rest in the peace of knowing that I am deeply loved despite my flawed heart and my repeated failures and that God will fix in me what He wants, when He wants. I hope you will rest in that peace, too.