Monday, October 29, 2012

Perceptions and Comfort...

I would like to control and adjust your perception of me. Yes, I just said that. I have no idea how many other people feel the same way. BUT, I do know that this same topic has come up at least 3 different times this weekend. One friend shared her struggle with it. And, she's reading a book about it. Another friend told me about an issue that she's dealing with that centers around how others perceive her. Yes Lord, I get it...the struggle is not just theirs. It is mine. I own it and I'm 100% responsible.

As I went to run this morning (in the frigid temps...well compared to a month ago anyway), I had Madison take this first pic....this is how I would like you to see me (loving life and ready to run at 5:30 in the morning)...please pat me on the back now:

But, truthfully this is how I felt and how I really desire to get out of bed or run or study God's Word:

I would like for you to perceive me as a Christ-centered, giving, caring, loving woman who supports and encourages my husband and kids....a woman who devotes her time to homeschooling because God told her to do who rises early to spend time in His Word and take care of her body in a way that honors the Lord...etc, etc, etc. The truth is that many moments/hours/days I am not Christ-centered. I care more about my own comfort and selfish desires. I do not care in the way I know Christ would have me to. I am ugly to my family and bitter about certain responsibilities. I have asked God to put my children on the bus some mornings (if God calls you to do that, obey Him. He has called me to obey Him by homeschooling, but there are days when I just don't want to do that). I struggle with teaching when a child doesn't "get it" or when learning is not happening. I want to stay in bed snuggled up under the warm covers. I want, I need, I, I, I, I...see the common theme!

I want to be comfortable! I looked in Scripture and guess what I found? 1 Corinthians 1:3 says that God is the "God of all comfort." Well, there it is. God WANTS me to be comfortable because He is the God of ALL comfort. I mean you can always find Scripture to back you up. Right? Nope, wrong. HIS COMFORT and my comfort are two totally different things. We, as Americans, have manipulated and changed the definition of comfort to be relative to each person. My idea of comfort is a beach bed in the Cancun with my husband, a good book, my children playing gloriously and quietly together, and the ocean waves. While it is restful, it is PURE laziness for me....which, of course, is a sin. God has NOTHING to do with sin so this is clearly not talking about my comfort.

My brutal honesty probably makes you think less of me, and I hope it does. You should think less of me. We should think less of people. Our minds should focus on the only perfect One there is. I am a sinner...plain and simple. I sin every day. I am selfish and unkind. I want things to be my way. I am critical and hateful. I want to avoid difficult people. I forget that people are starving. I think of myself and my needs. I detest lies to the point of detesting liars....instead of loving them with God's grace. I get easily frustrated. I lack patience. I seek friends over the Lord at times. I don't study His Word enough. My prayers are shallow. Uuuggh. Please think less of me. And, think MORE of Him. I must decrease and He must increase.

Today, my challenge is to get past my desire for comfort and for the perception of others (of me) to define who I am. I am a sinner who struggles daily to glorify Christ in my life. I am the woman who wanted to stay in bed today to sleep and stay warm. But, what I want submits to what He He told me to hit the alarm clock and get out of bed. He told me to study His Word. He showed me my sinfulness in 2 Peter. He showed me His glory and excellence. He told me to admit my sins. He told me to put on my shoes and be thankful that the weather is not hot. I will not control how others see me...I will, however, obey what He says. Ultimately, my life is about Him and not you OR me.

I am grateful to each of you who follows my ramblings and allows me to confess my sins each week. You encourage and challenge me in ways I cannot describe. I am grateful for you.

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