I've been away. Things have changed, we've moved, I've sprained my ankle pretty badly, my baby starts Kindergarten in 3 weeks, etc, you're caught up ;)
That is not why I'm here.
Lately God and I have been having some serious heart to hearts. Okay I've been running my mouth and I'm sure he's been shaking his head at me and wondering if indeed I will ever learn to shut up and listen. And I think, perhaps, that I'm getting there.
For a little while I was in a bit of a dry spell. That place in your Christianity where you become lukewarm. You still go to church, you give, you're a great 'Christian'. You just kinda leave God out of it. If that statement made any sense to you, then you've been there. Welcome to being human.
A few weeks ago we moved, and I was determined to make a fresh start in our new place. To start new habits, make new routines, grow closer to God. To find my place with him, find where I'm supposed to be. I decided to read through the Bible. I've done it a couple of times, but I decided I'd start all over. I made it through Exodus and realized that it just wasn't what I needed. So I moved to Luke. Ah... Luke.
I got through three words and realized that although I've read through Luke about 473.4 times, I knew next to nothing about it. I mean, I've gone to church my entire life, nearly 28 years now, and I know the names. I know the Gospel and I know salvation and love. But the historical aspect, I had no clue. Enter my fantabulous smart phone. I've been jumping from You Version, to Wikipedia, to Bing like it's nobody's business, and it's turned out to be an AMAZING way to study. By the time I hit chapter 2, I had learned so many things I never knew. That's the difference between reading your Bible, and studying it. And that is NOT what I'm here to blog about :)
I'm here to talk about church. The church is filled with people. People are not perfect. Therefore church is NOT ever going to be perfect. Just like we are never going to be perfect. And sometimes, that can be frustrating. There are times that things just aren't going to go the way you feel they should be going. And there are times that you perhaps will want to give up. You may feel discouraged, feeling as though your entire spiritual life is being affected by the goings on at church. I mean, really, I've spent my entire life thinking my spiritual life centered around church. I mean, after all, the church is the body of Christ. Going to 'church' is where we go to worship the Almighty. And he is the center of our spiritual life, ergo, church is the center of our spiritual life. And again, church is not perfect, because it is made of imperfect people. And that, my friends, can be frustrating.
However, in the last few weeks as I've been digging deeper and learning more, I've figured something out. 'Church' is only 4 hours a week, folks. 4 hours. And while those 4 hours are very important hours, if we only spent 4 hours focusing on work, we'd get fired. If we only spent 4 hours a week studying for school, we'd most likely fail. So what in the world makes us (me) think that 4 hours is going to be the center of and fulfillment of our (my) spiritual life. Surely I was insane.
I don't want to be frustrated any more. I don't want to feel discouraged because sometimes things aren't going to go the way I think they should be going. I am in no way implying that I'm pouting because I don't agree with what is being taught straight from the Bible because it's 'stepping on my toes' and I just want to hear the sunshine and roses. I'm more talking about politics, and issues that we sometimes nitpick on that just aren't doctrinal or 'essential to our salvation', but merely the opinion of a few slapped onto everyone else as gospel. And now I'm ranting. Again, not my intention.
I have learned (I can't believe it took me 28 years) that while church (the body of Christ coming together to worship) is so very important, that we are commanded to and should very much desire to worship our Lord on the first day of the week, it is NOT, can NOT be the center of our walk with God. There are 164 other hours in the week, and *those* hours should be spent with God, too. In everything we do, in all the time we have, we should be learning more, praising more, thanking more, teaching our children more about our amazing, LOVING, merciful God, our Savior. The reason we live, and the reason we are not afraid to die.
I want to know the Lord, and from now on, those other 164 hours will not go wasted. I will no longer rely on someone else for my salvation. I will always serve, always worship, always obey, whether I am in 'church', or not.
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.