Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Spoiled Brat.

I have had such a charmed life. I grew up in a family that loved me, protected me, had plenty of money, great vacations, and had very little in the way of hardship or obstacles. The sheen progressively wore off (as it does as we age into adulthood, and walk away from the innocence of childhood), and as it did I would get disappointed, thinking something was wrong/needed to be fixed because it wasn't 'perfect' or 'easy' like it used to be.

I heard a quote from Dr. Phil the other day (yes, I know, I'm about to quote Dr. Phil!) about anger. He said something like, anger comes from the feeling of something being unfair. (I know, I'm attempting to quote him and I don't even know exactly what he said. Sorry...). He also said it's an outward expression of hurt, fear and frustration.

I think, after some examination, I've realized that I have anger at the root of my frustration in life. I've been describing it as rebellion, but I think I should be calling it anger/frustration instead. I feel rebellious in it, because I'm sensing leading in some areas but I don't want to act on them because of this deep down feeling of 'it's not fair'.

So, after doing some prayer and psychologizing about my current state-of-heart, I landed on Romans 12. Where my bible heading reads 'how to behave.' Nice. :) So many verses in that chapter just jumped off the page to me... (I'm going to paraphrase) Do not conform but be transformed. Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought. Love must be sincere. Honor one another above yourselves.

I have spent too much time upset with some things that have not turned out as rosy as I thought they were supposed to. (And reflecting on those passages in Romans 12) Instead of being transformed (in the depths of my mind), I've been conformed into what I grew up thinking that family, happiness, health, and life were 'supposed' to look like. Instead of thinking of myself as a disciple/daughter of God, I've thought of myself as someone who 'deserves' such and such... :( I've realized that love MUST be sincere for it to be love... and I've not honored others above myself, but instead I've whined about the injustice of having to spend my time and energy on things that were not my choice, but were 'given' to me or happened to me/my family.

At the heart of it, the ugly truth is that I've been angry at God because I've expected my life to 'look' and 'feel' a certain way, and instead He's making it look the way He wants it to look (and we live in a fallen world, where disease, death, and stuff happens). The irony is that I've ASKED Him to make it look the way He wants it to look, but I get angry because 'it's not fair' that it has to be different than I expected, or more demanding than I anticipated (ha! it makes me laugh at myself to even type it- but friends, it's the ugly truth!). In my attempts to 'fix' it and make it look more like my life when I was a kid, I'm only frustrating myself and probably making myself more internally focused and self-centered! yucky truth.

So, I'm grateful for some perspective. At my breaking point/or point of true self-realization on this issue earlier this week, I spoke to the Lord from my heart and said "Lord, you must be so disappointed in me." To which I heard in my heart that he replied "No, Sarah, YOU are disappointed in you." And He reminded me that His grace is there for me, whether I walk in it or not. His love for me is there, whether I believe it or not.

Now to continue walking it out. Our God is so persistent. This theme has been reoccurring in my life for a while now... He's going to keep bringing up the subject until I surrender to Him fully in this area of my thinking. Gotta love how many scriptures are out there that take the focus off of us and point it back to Him. That is the cure, you know...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Eagerly watch...

In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. Psalm 5:3

I read this yesterday morning and it struck a chord with me. In the mornings I've been waking so hungry to see what God will do with my life, my kids, my circumstances; mostly because I feel pinned down in most of those situations, unable to provide radical change by my own doing/by my own hand. I read this verse and was so moved by the image of 'eagerly watching' for what the Lord will do in response to our prayers. What images come to mind when you think of 'eagerly watching?' I think of hunters sitting in stillness and silence waiting on prey. I think of checking the mailbox when you're expecting a letter. I think of that look on my kids' faces when they're watching an enthralling cartoon (imagine the zoned out zombie... you could drop a frying pan in the kitchen and they wouldn't flinch...).

In all of those images in my head, a few words come to mind: perseverance, hunger, determination, and excitement. I started to wonder about how those four words are playing out in my prayer life and in my pursuit of God as I 'eagerly watch.'

Our adoption process is officially 'moving' again, and we're back in line- but after reading a program update today, it looks like the whole program (on the India side) is stalled for an undetermined amount of time. So, I stared at the Christmas tree earlier tonight, wondering if we'd be sitting in the same spot next Christmas, pining over our little girl, OR if we'd be holding her in our arms so she doesn't pull all the ornaments off the tree? I don't know- but I do know that I can eagerly watch for the Lord to move- and I KNOW that He'll move, so why don't I just watch with expectancy and joy!?

When I got out our Christmas stuff this weekend, I pulled out this 'little people' brown skinned girl with a ponytail that came in a stocking that I had bought on sale last year and tucked away. I had envisioned that it would be a play toy this Christmas for my little brown skinned beauty, but instead, I hung it up on her stocking hook and laughed a little at the image of the word PEACE so prominently displayed on the mantle that's been empty of her real stocking for two Christmases already! :)

My cynical/joking side thinks that things are going to start proceeding pretty quickly with the adoption, because we relaxed with our finances this fall, and had some medical/car bills that dented our adoption savings! I reasoned that when our resources are dwindling, that God has a plan and that things are going to go forward with HIS provision instead. I'm not sure that's a healthy response to seeing my savings account dip, but it's fun to think that because it's draining God is on the move bringing our little girl! :) Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving! Happy Christ Mass preparation to you all! ;)