Merry More-Christ!

I seriously thought about not coming back.

Once you start to get spam comments awaiting moderation, you know your blog is having abandonment issues. And you start to wonder if you are a worthy blogger, if you should just give it up.

But I’ve had to fight lies a lot these past four months and I call “giving up” as a lie, too, though taking a break is not.

God actually told me to take a break from blogging. Much like He told me to stop writing poetry for a while.

It didn’t happen in one day; it happened over a period of time. I’d find myself yearning to go and blog and something would come up that needed my attention.

Namely, my family. Ah, there is that word I used two blog entries ago – when I said I felt called to serve my family more than I felt called to blog?

That’s still the case.

But on this snowed-in-Sunday where even church was cancelled, I find myself with a lot of thought and even some time on my hands as 3DMan is still asleep and the kids are with their uncle and aunt for the weekend.

And with Christmas so close, I thought I’d pop in and say hello.

A lot has happened since August.

AbsentTeen has returned home and while the transition was rough at first, I must say that my eldest has grown and matured in so many ways. It is truly a delight having her home and having her spirit be so healed. Miraculously, she is the most put-together person in this household right now.

Which doesn’t bode well for the rest of us, does it.

My Orange Rhino challenge ended a while back and things fell apart after that. Stress has a way of tricking you into thinking that being controlling will help the situation and then it eats away at your heart and at your family connections.

Suffice it to say, I am now on another challenge of Yell Less, Love More. I will continue to chronicle the journey when appropriate and hopefully encourage other parents to yell less and love more.

GlitterToes and I have had some ripples in our relationship. She is turning 10 next month and perhaps it’s my own resistance not wanting to see my last girl grow up into an opinionated individual, but I seem to be taking my irritability out on her. It grieves me and I must constantly seek the Lord for help in calming down and reorienting myself to His love and His provision.

Superboy is on his own mission to grow up. How dare they all grow up! Ok, half-kidding. He turned 7 this past Fall and he is becoming very Boy and less chunky-cute-toddler. Ok, he turned from that many moons ago, but I wasn’t looking. So all of a sudden he is using big words and having big feelings he needs help navigating. And still…he longs to be snuggled. I do treasure the fact that he still wants to be hugged and sung to. That might not last much longer and I need to hold these opportunities close. Hold all three children close.

I’ve since learned, too, that marriage is being constantly attacked by the enemy who seeks to kill and destroy. The enemy does not want to see godly families succeed and will use every insecurity and problem you have with your spouse to call attention to unhappiness, resentment, and bitterness.

3DMan and I have been fighting for our marriage for a long time, each in our own way. I’ve recently taken 2 Chronicles 20:15 to heart where God speaks through Jahaziel and says, “the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

I need to be putting on that armor of God (Ephesians 6) and I need to abide in Him and let Him abide in me and I need to stay in the Word and in prayer…

but when it comes to fighting for my husband…

God works in him, not me.

So my phrase lately has been, “lean hard.”

Lean hard on the One who can give me everything I need. The only One who can.

Lean hard on the One who provides all things, who makes all things possible.

Lean hard on the One who has it all in the palm of His hand.

There is that cliche, “let go and let God” but I’ve never found it to be so true as I do now.

Church-related news: we have continued to go to the second church. I will dub it We Need Jesus Church because I am so astounded at the transparency of the people there. It is the most beautiful transparency I have ever seen in a church. I feel so lucky to be there.

I have taken on a lot of hats at We Need Jesus Church and that has been an area where I’ve been tempted to lose myself and stray from the ways God calls me to serve. isn’t that interesting how even church can distract you from obeying God?

Let me clarify: I have started up a newsletter, started a prayer group, started a ministry of giving blessing bags out to the homeless, become a big part of the music worship team (which consists of two or so people, which is fine)…

and I wanted to do more!

Luckily, Pastor encouraged me to slow down and wait on God. And he is right. I have many good ideas to help our church, but I need to serve my family first. I’ve got to get my hierarchy in place.

1. God

2. Husband

3. Kids

4. church family

When home gets to be a hard place to be, i want to run to my church family and friends, but I need to run to the number 1 on that list.

It’s a process.

So that leaves me with Christmas. Last month I decided I wasn’t going to try to “make Christmas,” but let Christmas make me. I would let Christmas happen.

But my temptations got the best of me as I tried to get us all to do fun traditions I remember and when some members grumbled, I became very upset. When some were ungrateful, I spat at them, telling them they ought to be grateful.

Hhmm. Somehow I don’t think teaching gratitude includes yelling about how they should be grateful.

I found myself mourning the innocent, sweet Christmases of my youth and wanting to go back in time and be with my mother again.

All distractions. All attempts to lead me astray, away from the God who loves me and yearns for me to find joy in Him.

So that’s another process. Still allowing Christmas to make me and not me make Christmas.

Christ-mas. Mas in Spanish means more. I’m sure you’ve heard this. So I want more of Christ.

Christ-mas.

Christ-more.

More of Christ.

That’s what I want. Every day, all the time.

More of Him and less of me.

it sounds easy, doesn’t it. But you and I know it isn’t.

And yet… it is.

There is peace and joy and love to be found in Christ. Who is it that makes it hard? Not Jesus. He stands by the door waiting for us to knock. He waits to give us so many blessings if we only declare that we receive.

So maybe it isn’t that hard in reality. But our own fleshly nature makes it hard.

So with all that said,

I wish you a Merry More-Christ and pray that you would feel and be in His presence more and more this season and every day after that.

I pray that we would each seek God’s will for us and obey.

On knees, head low, arms high…

G with ornaments.jpg

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