ok, so do you have "that thing"??....you know what i mean, don't you? well, i guess i should be a bit more specific then.
i have lots of them actually. those "things" that make me, how shall i say....unique? ok, i'll say it, i'm weird. ;) i have a ton of little quirks about me that make me....well, me. my sweet hubby often will lovingly point them out too....like when we are eating and i go to take a drink from a straw....apparently, i tend to drink from the straw at the side corner of my mouth, so he will then immediately grab his drink at waaaaaay overly dramatize bringing his straw to the side of his mouth, over-distoring his mouth to drink it from the furthest point of the corner of his mouth. ha. ha. ha. he is such a funny, funny man. by the way, he looks way funnier imitating me than i look actually being me, in my humble opinion, anyway.
while i'm at it, i might as well admit that i don't like my food to touch on my plate. no oozing onto each other. no peas rolling over into the clearly outlined carrot area. no gravy flooding the broccoli. (oooh, that makes me shudder just thinking about it.) God bless the person who invented divided plates. i also eat my food in it's entirety in order from least favorite on the plate, saving the best for last! so, for example, i will eat all of the veggies (which is honestly only on my plate because my kids are watching and i am married to ryan....hey, just keeping it real, here), then all of the meat, and then, i save the yummy, wonderful, buttery, God-ordained mashed potatoes for blissful last. yum.
i also have huge texture issues with food. (my dear friends are all laughing right now and saying an emphatic, amen!) i'm not into creamy, creamy, yummy...oh wait, look a random chunk of something, how lovely...nope, not me. fruit mixed in yogurt: no. jello molds of any kind: no. casseroles with lots of unidentifiable ingredients with varied levels of crunchiness: super no. cottage cheese: absolutely, positively no. (c'mon people, that's just spoiled milk re-named, who are we kidding, here?)
i have other "things" that aren't related to food though...
i am sort of like a "dude" when i watch tv and stare at it with such intense focus that i tend not to hear the loving (and persistent) calling of my name by my dear spouse. mindless tv show, college football game (go tech!), preschool commercial about teaching your baby to read that i've seen 3,214 times...doesn't matter what it is. i'm zoned in. (my bad, baby, i love you!)
i talk a lot. i tell a lot of stories and actually have to make a conscious effort to be a good listener. often when people are talking, i'm fighting with my thoughts of "c'mon, i'm ready to say something funny, now!" horrible, aren't i???
i am AWFUL with remembering people's names. like really, really bad. often i have just met someone, smiled, our hands have barely let go of each other from the friendly and cordial greeting of a handshake, and POOF! my mind is like "oh, dangit, what was their name again...shoot, shoot shoot!" uh, i hate that one about me, because i LOVE people!! i love meeting them, being around them, talking with them, sharing life with them.....if only i knew their names.
i am a hard core believer that the toilet paper must roll over the roll, not under. that is like a rule people. but ironically, i don't really care much at all about how often the bathroom actually gets cleaned. hmm, interesting.
when i cook, i tend to use waaay more stuff than needed. if you walk into the kitchen and look around, you might be impressed....wow, pans scattered, pots-a-bubblin' a sink FULL of dishes, a strainer or two maybe, chopping block out with assorted knives, cabinets open all over(an inherited trait, i blame fully on my mom)....various spices open....multiple measuring devices in all varying sizes scattered around the (very) limited counter space....."ooooohhh", you might exclaim, "what's for dinner?" to which you will receive a joyful reply, "grilled cheese!" :)
all of these quirks are little things about me that make me....me. my sweet (and as you can tell after reading this...patient and loving, and clearly not that bright, cause he didn't know what he was getting into when he chose me forever!) hubby, ryan knows every single one, i am sure of it. why? because he has known me and loved me for a long time. he lives with me day in and day out and knows me better than pretty much anyone on this earth.
God knows me that way and then some. He made me. He actually chose to take time out of His day (which He invented, too, by the way) and carefully thought up how He wanted me to be. (psalm 139). and while the Bible doesn't actually say in verse 24 "and she shall not let thy food toucheth in any form, nor shall her toilet paper roll, rolleth ussunder"...it does say that He made me unique.
of course, the real "thing" that got me thinking about writing this post is a lot uglier and not as fun to talk about as all of these quirks. this "thing" is something that i don't talk as openly about at parties (or at least i haven't in the past, but i think i might be called to do so, now...maybe not actually at parties, per say..but you get my drift....i had to clarify that as a die hard sanguine, because i had flashes of my party-invites suddenly disappearing for fear of people thinking i'd walk in and start talking about this stuff!! oooh i have issues don't i?!?) and this "thing" also isn't as easy to laugh off as my lack of cleaning skills. (clarification: the cleaning skills are there, the desire...not so much)
i think if each of us are totally honest, we could say there is at least one "thing" God is truly working on in us right now. if you are like me, you could be totally honest and admit that you are having God put in some serious over-time hours with you and your drama currently. sigh.
maybe your thing is pride. you are "too big for your britches" as we say where i come from....and you don't really need God much. you are happy to have Him bless you, but you are just fine running your life all on your own. you have a great plan, thank you very much. chances are, if this is you, you aren't reading much through the rest of these anyway, because you are sure they won't apply to you, after all.
maybe your thing is jealousy. life just doesn't seem fair that every single person around is being blessed with good health, financial burdens released, obedient children, job promotions, skinny waistlines, and just overall joyful answers to every stinkin' prayer request they have...while, you on the other hand are broke, sick and yelling at your kids while you search through the job seeker websites in your elastic waist jeans...and your heart grows meaner and greener with every jealous thought.
maybe your thing is materialism. your family makes a great income and you have a lot of pretty things around you. hey, don't judge me...we tithe a faithful 10% every month. not a penny less.... and of course, not a penny more. you have designer jeans with a bejeweled cross on your hiney, and a custom purse to match. your skin is tan, your hair is colored, your nails are pristine (hands and toes of course, with the extra little $7 bling on your big toe) and your house looks like display of any trendy showroom, except with the perfect amount of crosses and Scripture placed strategically about. let me be clear...none of this is wrong in and of itself, a lot of it fits me. only you know your heart about it all. well, only you...and God.
maybe your thing is worry. you can't seem to get a full grip on trusting God. you can't possibly believe that He has good planned for you (rom 8:28) or that He is not allowing you to float around this life haphazardly, but instead each day is working toward His plan for your life. (jer. 29:11) when things go wrong, you tend to think that you "deserved" it...or if things are going right, you are waiting for it all to come crumbling down any minute. trust is too hard, if not in all areas of your life, then at least in one area. you can trust God with your eternal salvation, but not with the safety of your kids. or you can trust Him with your safety, but not with your family's finances. either way, worry creeps up on you and it always , and i do mean always, brings with it, its partner in crime; fear.
if you are like me, maybe you deal with, or have dealt with, all of these "things". maybe you deal with none of them. maybe yours is selfishness, or lust. maybe it is an addiction of somesort; to alcohol, to food, to shopping, to pleasing people.
if you really take a minute to sit before Jesus and ask Him, i believe He will reveal to you something (or, like me, lots of somethings) that you need to work on. better yet, that you need to allow Him to work on in you. things that He has no desire for you to have to deal with. things that are not at all a part of the abundant life He has in store for you. (john 10:10)
for me, the main thing God is working on in me right now is worry and fear. ugh. He is bringing on a full on frontal attack on this "thing" too, and i truly thank Him for it. i have dealt with this my entire life. my mom says that i used to wake up and be terrified that something awful would happen to her and she'd leave me. when ryan and i were dating, i would worry that he would find someone prettier and leave me. it was always in the back of my mind; always. did he ever give me reasons to think that? absolutely not. that was all me. this "thing" has manifested itself in too many ways to mention over these past years, especially in parenting. don't even get me started about worrying about my kids. (SIDS, carseat safety, choking hazzards, bathtubs....that list is waaaay too long)
and currently i have an ample opportunity to worry about my health. being that i have been on my couch, trusting Him through this medical trial for ten months now. unexplained diagnosis....unanswered questions....day after day of pain. He is allowing me to cling onto Him each and every minute of each and every hour of each and every day....something that i am cherishing. don't get me wrong i ain't cherishing the pain and i miss my ability to have my "normal" life. but, the intimacy of His presence i have experienced in a way i've never known, is something i have cherished He is growing me for sure in a way He couldn't have without all of this.
is it tough? yes. is it painful? yes. are there soooo many times that i go to my closest friends and tell them that i am D O N E dealing with this thing? um, yes. did i do that just yesterday? um, you betcha! are there countless more times where i go to my God and cry out to Him about it all? absolutely. of course, they know that i mean that i'm D O N E with my medical drama...but they also know that i mean this other "thing" too. i am doing all i can to simply wake up every day, receive His strength, His peace, His power, His grace, His love. i do not want to resist His refining fire. i want to rest in his will. i try to rely on the truth of His Word and not on how i "feel" that day. but is it tough? yes. is it painful? yes. is HE good? yes. is HE faithful? yes. i stick by that.
this week i have felt worse that i have in months. medical mix-up with my medication that has had AWFUL side-effects on my body. a mix-up that has come at the worst time for me, a time when i already had two sick kids and was at sheer exhaustion...something that my body simply cannot handle. but instead of freaking out too much and worrying about something worse being wrong, about me dying.....i am thankful that i was able to get through it so far, with His strength, my amazing family, my prayer warriors. i am still not over it, i still can't get up off the couch really. but He is getting me through, and i am thankful that i am handling it better than i would have before. to Him be the glory.
so, if you have read this and know your "thing". if you are, like me, and are D O N E with dealing with this. if you know God is working on you about it, welcome aboard. the Bible says that God chooses the lowly, weak, foolish things of this world to shame the proud, strong, and wise. (1 cor. 1:27-31) why does He do this? so that no one can boast except IN HIM!! let me tell you....this "thing" can only be dealt with by Him. i've tried on my own, and look at the bang-up job i've done these last 31 years! (sarcastic, just in case you couldn't tell) so...i give. i fold my hand. i bow down fully to the One who actually can deal with this and i'm letting Him deal with it. i will not feel condemned that i have been wasting time with this for a long time. and honestly, i don't know how long this will take from here on out. but i want Him to do His complete work in it. and i know He does too! and i look forward to the freedom of boasting in HIM about the victory i will have. i can do nothing without Him...this i know!
and while i'm quite sure God isn't as concerned with my cooking catastrophes or my bathroom cleanliness....i know He is concerned with how i show love to my man...and since he is an "acts of service" kind of guy....those are "things" i will be working on too.
but i stand firmly by the cottage cheese statement. and i personally think God agrees. :)
James 4:6 "God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble."
Psalm 62:8 "trust in Him at ALL times, o people, pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."