On a lighter note… Lincoln was adorable tonight.
He fell asleep in his high chair after dinner. I snapped a few pictures of him just waking up and of him before he took a bath.
Love this boy!
Matthew 25: 28-30
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
When I read these verses this morning I was comforted but also pretty frustrated. It is wonderful to think that God loves us so much that he will carry our burdens for us, but really, how does that work?
I can pray, and take my concerns to God. But I don’t feel a burden lifted off my shoulders.
I am comforted by the fact that God has my back, but my crap is still my crap, and it didn’t just disappear because I said a prayer.
I am still worried about my relationship. I still don’t know where money to pay for daycare is going to come from. I still struggle find my place in Jacob and Jordyn’s life. I still feel extreme guilt for my actions, and all this still affects my life on a daily basis.
The weight of these stressors is still on my shoulders.
This does not feel like a light burden!
I’m sorry. Maybe I am a lousy Christian (actually I am pretty sure that is true) and maybe my faith is completely lacking. But I don’t feel better after taking my problems to Jesus. I’m still stressed.
These verses in Matthew sound great, but I am not feeling it. I don’t understand, and I certainly don’t feel like my burden is any less.
Help me! How do I get to this point of peace?
Today we started a series in Galatians at our church. I am super psyched. I love Paul’s letters to the church and to the people of Galatia. I think it is amazing that what was written to a group of people so many years ago still applies to what is going on in the world today. Our societies may change and progress is always being made but when you cut to the core, people are still, and have always been, people.
I think I deserve some sort of prize for making such a plain yet complex statement (see what I just did there, I’m awesome at this).
This is fun, but back to the point. Not a lot has changed. We are all still sinners, and our struggles have not really progressed with the rest of our society. Craziness.
19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.
After having this so-called epiphany during the service my mind started to wander, as it usually does, to the screeching two year old sitting fairly close by. We sit at a similar location every service and this adorable, yet loud little toddler also sits nearby with her doting parents. This does not thrill me. I love kids. I also volunteer in the kids department of our church so I also know that there is a special, fun place for children to go during the service so that adults like me can listen to Jesus without thinking hidiously sinful thoughts about shaking babies. Ok, I would never really do this, and I don’t even really think about doing this, but this does really annoy me.
I started to think, wouldn’t it have been great if Paul had included this issue in his letter to Galatia. If I could write a letter to my church what would it say? Surely I would include the toddler issue, “How can you expect people to hear God when all they can hear is you cooing and your toddler screaming?” Truly, I am not a bad person. And obviously I don’t have children yet, or else I am sure I would be much more understanding. But…we have like 8 nurseries!!! If someone could give me a logical reason for this debauchery I am sure I would be much more sympathetic, but this just seems ludicrous to me at the moment.
ok, I’m done.
Back to my letter. Here it is:
Let me start by saying that I like you. I would not keep coming back if I didn’t. I think your music is amazing and your pastor is always preaching the love. I like the love. “And they will know we are Christians by our love.” I know this is an old hymn but I think it may also be a bible verse but I can’t find it anywhere so that is debatable. But I truly believe this, and I think this is what real Christianity is all about, and I feel the love in this church.
You are also fun. I like coming to church. I have a good time here. I was a little intimidated by the already established relationships at first but I got over it and you welcomed me in. Thank you for accepting me even if I don’t quite fit your mold.
But I have one question…and it is not really a nice question. It is not the type of question you should ask of your church. It is not the type of question that an attending member of your church should be asking, but I need to know. It has been bugging me.
When it was time to change locations of our church because of building issues, why did you choose to move to the wealthiest area in our already super wealthy county? The location was not close to the old location. We lost several members because of this move, I imagine because of the distance. And I already heard your rehearsed justifications. You said that the new location was in a central area to all of Kansas City. Really? I just don’t buy it. Call me a cynic but I know you are looking to grow. And money makes growth a whole lot easier. We now meet in a middle school surrounded by mansions and homes of professional athletes. I apologize if I just don’t see how this location brings in all of KC metro. To me it seems like it is a location directed in bringing in all of KC metros high rollers. So cut the BS church. If this was your motive, shame on you, and own it. Maybe this is where you felt the Lord was taking you, people in mansions need God/love just as much as someone living on the street, but you need to be more open. I need you to be a little more candid with your motives church, because I am a skeptic.
I am sorry for doubting you and sorry that I do not trust you, but I don’t. I love you but you are run by people, and sometimes people can do things for the wrong reasons. Even if they think they are doing right. But maybe they are, I just don’t know. I am sorry for my doubts.
heidi- member (I sit on the right side near the front)
Well, obviously I am not a spiritual leader because my letter was nothing like Paul’s. My letter was judging. It was honest but judging. I am a judger. Thank goodness for people like Paul.
I spend many days worrying about everything from “will my alarm clock wake me up tomorrow morning” to “will I have a job next year.” I keep thinking:
Worry is like a rocking chair, it may occupy your mind for a while but it really doesn’t get you anywhere.
Ok, I think I butchered that saying, but you get the general idea. Worrying is pointless, it does not help anything and I cannot change the outcome of any event by worrying. Worry is especially pointless as a Christian. Doesn’t God call us not to worry and pray about everything? Is this even possible? Sure I pray, but that does not make my worry go away. At times I feel as though I am suffocating in all this fear- because isn’t that what worry really is, fear of the future? I am drowning in it. For two years now, since moving to Kansas and getting a teaching job, I have been worried about losing it (the job). Significant budget cuts are being made and schools are being forced to cut more and more teachers and I am the low man on the totem pole. I have been so worried, so fearful, and so stressed. And then, like an answer to prayer I received notice that I was going to be moved to a teaching position that is even better than the one I currently have (I was a traveling teacher and now I will be at one school). It is like an answer to prayer. For a while I wondered why I was so worried to begin with. God is in control right? Of course he is, everything went my way didn’t it? It is really is to believe that God is in control when everything is going your way. It is really easy to trust that God has a plan for your life when that plan is playing out just like YOU planned it. But just as easily as the relief and joy rushed in, the worry and fear came back. Kansas has changed their laws and the state is now able to terminate teachers all the way into June (in the past the law stated that you had to tell contracted employees by April 15th if they would not be contracted again). To make matters worse the law changed because of all the additional budget cuts districts may face that may cause them to have to get rid of more teachers.
So it’s back. The fear, the worry. I feel like I am drowning.
It is probably stupid. I more than likely have nothing to worry about. Every reasonable thought in me says that I have nothing to worry about. But worry isn’t always reasonable. In addition, would losing my job really be the end of the world? Of course not! I would be devastated because I love my job, but my life would not be over. My husband would still love me. We would still be able to get by financially, it would be a struggle but we could do it. Life would go on. I think more than anything it would hurt my pride. In fact, that is probably the biggest issue out of all of this. My pride. What an interesting, selfish revelation.
Anyways while dwelling on my worry this weekend I couldn’t help but ask myself how I would feel if I really truly believed God had a plan for me. Not the plan that I have set up; to be employed for a few years, save money, pop out a few kids, then work part-time , and on and on and on. How would my worrying be affected if I truly believed that God had a better plan for me. What if that plan did not include a teaching job next year? In theory I believe that God has a plan for me but in reality I obviously do not trust Him. If I truly trusted God and his plan than I would have absolutely no worry, no fear about what the future holds. It would be like freedom, it would mean true inner peace.
All this makes me think of Joseph (the Joseph and the technicolored dream coat Joseph). Once I stop thinking about Donny Osmond singing on stage I can actually focus on the story of Joseph. His life sucked, but God had a plan. Joseph started as a favorite son to a wealthy father, but his whole world soon crashed down around him. His brothers beat him out of jealousy, sold him to slavery, he was falsely accused of raping his masters wife, he was thrown into prison, and then…he became second in command to the most powerful man of that time.
God had a plan.
All throughout the story of Joseph it mentions that he did not worry because God was with him. When he was sold into slavery, he did not worry. When he was falsely accused of rape, he did not worry. When he went to prison, he did not worry. What would it be like to be so close to God that no matter what your circumstances, you never worry. How do you get to that place. How do you trust so much?
I believe, but I do not believe like that. I wish I did, it would be so comforting to know that God was with me and has a plan for me. And again, in theory, yes I believe this. But to truly believe would mean my worry would be gone, and that is by no means where I am at. That rocking chair is still rocking.
Dear Lord, please help me to trust in you and trust in the plans you have for me. I know that you
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.