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Monday, March 11, 2013

The Faith Journey # 3

Welcome back to The Faith Journey.  This Sunday series is about my faith walk, and the things the Lord is teaching me as I go. I hope you will join me on this journey and grow in your faith as well.
“Mom, can you get me some more mac and cheese?” 
Getting up for what seems like the 100th time I say, “Sure.” 
No sooner do I sit back down then I hear, “Mommy, May I have more water, please?”
“Yes.” I mutter through clenched teeth.  Once again I am on my feet to fetch some more water.
Back in my chair, I pick up my fork.  I take a bite of my dinner…cold…again.  Sigh, I stand up to stick it in the microwave.  As I do, I hear, “Mom, may I have another piece of chicken?”  I can feel the heat in my face as I slam the plate of chicken onto the table.  My husband gives me a look that says, “You need to chill out.” 
Grabbing my plate out of the microwave I sit back down hard…too hard.  “Mom, May I be excused?”  Exasperated, I stab my food with my fork.  “Go ahead,” I mumble.   I haven’t even started to eat yet and the kids and my husband are all ready to leave the table. 
As they all stream out of the room I think.  “Maybe now I will get some peace.”  But as if on cue, the baby starts to cry.  She is ready to eat now too.  Not even tasting my food, I shovel it down so that I can go nurse her.
Later that night, as I am complaining to my husband about the dinner situation and how tired I am.  He says, “Meredith, you chose this life.  You are the one that said you wanted to do the stay at home thing.  No one is making you.”  It is true.  I gave up my place in the working world to be able to stay home.  It is a choice I have never regretted, so why don’t I act like it?  As I sit there contemplating this, images of me screaming at my kids, losing my temper with my husband, and gritting my teeth while cleaning all flash through my mind.  My cheeks flush red with embarrassment.  My attitude has been anything but pleasing to the Lord!  A passage comes to mind.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” - Colossians 3:12-17 (NIV)
I roll those words over and over.  Hmmm, I definitely have not been clothing myself with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”.  I don’t think I am “putting on love” or being thankful.  And I am pretty sure I haven’t been doing all I do in the name of the Lord Jesus!  I can even hear a voice in the back of my mind saying, “Meredith’s will be done…To Meredith be the glory.”  Ewww!  Such an ugly side of myself!  I realize how selfish I have been.  I want to run and hide because of my shame.
A revelation occurs to me.  Service is not just about doing things for other people.  It is about allowing Christ to shine through me, in all that I do.  In realizing this, I know my heart has to change.  Hot tears sting my cheeks.  “Lord, please forgive my selfish ways.  This is not about me.  This is not about my pride, or me needing to get acknowledged for what I do.  This is about you!  This is about others seeing you through me!  I need to show them that.  Please Lord; help me to show them you through my life.  May my life be a reflection of you.”
I begin to think about how I can apply this to everyday life.  I know I can start by apologizing to my family when I lose my way.  I can be thankful for them.  I can also remind myself, that I am not doing things to bring glory to myself, or to “bless my family” but instead to glorify the Lord Jesus. I can also look back at some of the biblical illustrations of service from last week and see how they dealt with their struggles, and learn from their example.  I am so grateful the Lord has given that to me.
Another verse comes to mind as I type this. 
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9(NIV)
I am reminded that no matter how many good works I am doing for the Lord Jesus; it is not just that which will save me.  It is through faith.  Faith in Jesus Christ as my Saviour.  Yesterday, I missed an opportunity to share this with a friend who told me she believed we are saved by our good deeds alone. I have been kicking myself as a result.  I want to make sure I have not skipped sharing that with you as well.
Thank you for sticking with me and following my Faith Journey.  Please feel free to share with me about your own faith walk.  What is the Lord teaching you right now?
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  1. I do like this series!

    Though it's not about our deeds, it is good for me to serve happily. Through faith alone...and praying that faith is evident to others.

    Dinner is esp difficult for us...picky eaters don't help. I have stopped getting up during the meal...serve food on the table. If a drink is needed, it waits till an adult plate is clean. (Ketchup is a different story...)

  2. Thanks Annette! It has been relly hard to humble myself enough to do it, but I am learning a lot about myself through it.

  3. i like reading your blog's an encouragement to me across an ocean : ) thank you.


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