I don’t know what you’re doing

green teaMy husband is addicted to Lipton Diet Green Tea.

I suppose (full disclosure) you could say that I’m addicted, too, but not quite to the extent that he is.

So, when we go to Sam’s Club about once a month to stock up on green tea, we don’t just buy a case or two. We buy 10-12 cases. Of 24 bottles of tea. 10*24=240 bottles of green tea. Minimum.

I stopped by there tonight on my way home from work and grabbed a modest 9 cases to get us through a few weeks. Did I mention the addiction?

What I neglected to consider is that my trunk is full of boxes, so I ended up stacking the cases in my backseat. During the ten minute drive home the cases slid or fell over as I rounded several curves. With each plastic crunching crash, I cringed. And then sighed. Now my car – like my house and my life – is a mess.

(It’s not as hopeless as all that, and I’m reminded that my mom reads my blog and hurts with a momma’s heart when I talk about hard things. But I’m learning that I can’t always stay silent to spare her further pain. To all the mommas, your children are going to go through hard stuff in this life, both when they are under your roof and years after they have flown the coop. Of the joys and pains, heights and depths of being a mom, this is one of the lows).

Where was I? Oh, yes, the mess. There’s a lot going on that I cannot control right now. I can’t fix the problem in our basement. I can’t fix my husband’s chronic pain. I can’t fix problems with relationships. I can’t fix my heart. Etc, etc. It’s all way too much for me to handle. And lately, I’ve been not handling it in very destructive ways.

Who You Are

So, I’m driving home with cases of tea scattered across my back seat and Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Jimmy Needham’s version) playing through the speakers. I found myself asking God, how? How can I sing that your faithfulness is great? How is it great?

I know the answer as soon as I ask. It’s faith. It’s believing everything I know about God as revealed in the Bible – that he is true, that he is unchanging, that he is sovereign. It’s also God’s faithfulness, not mine that I lean on. I run away. I abandon him. He never leaves me. He never stops loving me.

And, so, tonight, this is where I am. This is what I can say: I don’t know what You’re doing, but I know who You are.

I had never heard this song before today, but that line hits home so perfectly and gives me the strength to hold on for today. And then one more day. And then another.

I hope you take the time to listen to this song. I hope it helps you find faith to trust what God is doing in your life.

I’m linking up with:

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Day 21: What others are saying

God is Glorious

I’d like to share several things, mostly from fellow #write31days bloggers. They may or may not connect, but all have been impactful for me.

Beth, of Simply Beth, writes:

God does only good things. Although this is true, He will use our hardened hearts as an opportunity to demonstrate His power and to bring glory to His name. He will use everything to bring glory to His name.

She refers to the story of Moses to show how God accomplishes His purpose, even with stubborn people.

~~~

Jennifer Neyhart has blogged about C.S. Lewis this month. While Jennifer and I connected over a discussion on Eustace Scrubb, it was this post on longing in The Weight of Glory that really got to me. She quotes Lewis:

If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.

Jennifer concludes:

We were made for a whole, complete relationship with God, lacking nothing! So of course our heart aches for more than this fallen world can offer. And we know that God has set eternity in our hearts; he put the desire there so we would long for him and not be satisfied by lesser things. Praise be to God!

~~~

(Jennifer’s mention of Eustace, from The Voyage of The Dawn Treader, reminded me of a post I wrote on the stripping off of some sinful thoughts and behaviors – Stepping out of your skin.)

~~~

And on the waiting, Cheree Hayes reminds us:

Right now, things are not right.
Right now, things are broken…so broken.
Right now, you live here – on this fallen, muddy earth.

And right now, by grace through faith, you are also “seated with Christ in heavenly places.” You wait for His kingdom to come make its home on earth. You wait with Jesus in tears and groaning prayers, longing… You seek the things that are above. You are a citizen of the Kingdom. It’s who you are now. So you wait, eager for your faith to be made sight.

~~~

I hope you find some encouragement from these bloggers as I did.

I’m blogging on Crushing your kingdoms this month.

Click here to read all posts in the series

Day 13: The Words of Others

So, almost immediately after posting last night on all the hard stuff going on and not really knowing what to do with that, I read Laurie Wallin’s post – When We Can’t Control Life (and why that’s a great thing):

Regardless, I get Job because his story is about when life knocks us on our rear end.When we think we know exactly what could or might happen. . . then it unfolds so differently that we scratch our heads and proclaim, “You’re either clueless, helpless, or heartless, God! What gives??!”…

Then today I read a fellow #write31days blogger, Airman 2 Mom, where she says,

Before I left for Afghanistan I remember being scared. I was uncertain I would survive the adventure I was about to embark on. I’m not sure if it was the fear of dying or just the fear of the unknown, but either way I was scared and unsure. The Sunday before I left for training in Indiana the church I attended sang “Take my life and let it be for Your Glory.” I broke down. All the fear and uncertainty I was feeling were poured into that song. I realized I was trying to control a situation I had no control over and I needed to trust in God. Knowing whatever happened it would be for His Glory. Not mine. I couldn’t do this alone. I needed to trust in God. The song was a theme that I focused on during the whole deployment and it is still written on my Facebook page. My life is his and I am here to glorify him…

While I’m sharing from others, there are two blogs that I’ve been enjoying regularly as part of the #write31days challenge.

Tales from a Southern Catholic Momma is really stretching herself and her readers by walking us through the days earlier this year when she severely battled against depression and everything that accompanied it. I’ve never had such a privileged window into the thoughts and feelings (good and bad) of someone with depression. It’s been enlightening and engrossing. I’m on the edge of my seat each day, waiting to hear where the story will go. It’s heartbreaking, but I feel it must have a happy resolution, since she’s being so brave about sharing her story.

The Hope Diaries – blogging under a pseudonym, Caiobhe is writing painful, healing posts of the hope she found/is finding after breaking off an adulterous affair. I think my favorite post so far is Please be my strength, where she says,

Today is about survival. It’s about staying and not running away. It’s about God given strength because there is none of my own. It’s about surrender to God’s love, and a giving up of my will and my plans. It’s about holding on to hope. I have no words.”

crushing your kingdoms

This is just one day in 31 days of posting about crushing kingdoms. Click above to read through all the posts written thus far.

Day 5: Sit in the hard places

sunrise

Why am I focusing on crushing kingdoms this month? It’s sort of an odd turn of phrase, I know. Here’s a little back story to fill in the gaps:

A friend with a small handful of young ones recently reached out to me asking for prayer and declaring she was going to lose it. After a few questions to clarify what the issue was, she shared this:  “The house is clean. Dinner is done. Bathroom’s done. Laundry done. – The kids are not done.”

Yikes. I get that. Do you get that? There are times when surface things are running smoothly and it appears that everything is in place, but the reality is we’re falling apart. My friend continued, “My problem — I try everyday to build my own kingdom. We have a schedule, a plan, chores, worksheets, field trips planned. Then things don’t work out like I wanted to and I just get so frustrated. I don’t know any other way. How do I crush my kingdom? What does letting God build the kingdom look like?”

This and the ensuing conversation has stayed with me since that day. While I’ve been praying for my friend, I’ve also been mulling over my own kingdoms and what must happen to crush them and let God build the kingdom. This is what I hope to walk through this month.

I don’t know how to fix things. I only know a God who fixes. He is Healer. At times, he has to (figuratively) break bones in order to reset them properly.

Sometimes there’s not a pretty wrap up and moral to the story. Sometimes we have to sit in the hard places for a while. This is one of those times. Reflect on your own kingdoms and what must happen to let God crush them and build His kingdom.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

Click here to read Day 4: Counting Blessings & Revealing Messes.
Move forward to read Day 6: Stop building on sand.

Catch the whole series indexed here.

crushing your kingdoms

  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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