Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My God Box

I have a confession.  It really hasn't been three weeks since I blogged.  It actually was only about a week, but every.single.time I sat down to blog, something came up.  I know that sounds unheard of with seven kids, but for some reason, this summer break has flown by like a raging river and it's taking every last brain cell I had left in this feeble head of mine.  It's actually kind of depressing.  I can only take comfort that in eight extremely short weeks, the older five minions will go back to school and a few of my brain cells can be salvaged.....

So I had been batting around some ideas in my empty head and had found one I really wanted to talk about.  The problem with me and my blog is that sometimes, I have some amazing ideas swirling around up there, but I'm so darn tired after battling seven little people and one big dude I call hubs, that I haven't the energy to muster any strength to collect my thoughts.

Throw in a month of continuous company each weekend and you're looking at a natural disaster waiting to occur.

But blogging isn't a job for me.  It's a way of organizing my thoughts and typing out what is going on inside my heart.  I don't blog to change the world, I blog to inspire myself.  Cause it's all about me.  No, really, it isn't.  I blog to see that just like my motto says, the grass really IS greener right where we water it!  Even a crazy Catholic momma like me who apparently gives the incredible false sense to others that I have it all together.....which is sooooooo not true....at.all.

So back to my blog topic.  My God Box.

I will show you what my God box looks like and perhaps you have one similar.

My God Box
Isn't it pretty?  I chose this particular box because it's very simple.  It also has music notes on it and I'm very into music.  Mostly Christian and classical these days, but it's my passion to get good music out there in the hands of our young people.  But, simple in the fact that I'm about as fancy as a used cleaning rag left at the bottom of a rag box.  I always tell my adorable husband that I'm that simple girl who dreams of being fancy.  You know the one, who longs for her house to look like the houses in the Southern Living magazines?  (does anyone up here even read Southern Living?  Is that magazine even still in  existence?)

But I'm a simple gal and this is my simple God Box. 

What's a God Box you ask?  

If you were to open my God Box you would see a few things in it.  Sit back and relax and think about your God Box and let's see if we have the same things.....We might be surprised, maybe even shocked, how we pack our God Box up....so neat and tidy, and just the way WE want it....

I've talked about my struggles with bargaining with God before.  It's no secret I didn't plan to have such a large family.  Well, super large by the worlds standards.  I always wanted five children.  In fact, when we moved to the great white north, we had our "completed" family.  My youngest was 17 months and I was looking forward to the day when all my babies would be in school and I could FINALLY, after 13 years, do something for ME.  (cause frankly, it's all about me....as I have stated before.)

God and I had a plan and I couldn't WAIT to get started.  Hence, the first object in my box...my desires.

But then it happened.  

He started to soften my heart about babies.  

I've always had a soft spot for babies since first seeing my FIRST baby on an ultrasound at just eight weeks.  There was an amazing heart beat and limbs, and a body, and well, I suppose I just was clueless up to that point just how amazing life, and ALIVE life was at such a young bean sprout age!  Not to mention, it took us almost two years to even GET pregnant with our first, so to finally see this little, bitty, adorable peanut on the ultrasound was overwhelmingly amazing to say the least.  

So my heart had been soft for a while, but after the birth of nutty number 5- I was content.  Not overwhelmed.  Content.  

Then the softening came.  I began to long for another baby.  For reasons I'll never understand, not until I meet with my Maker at the end, I had probably the roughest two years when it comes to child bearing.  Three miscarriages in a row.  One that was so gruesome, I had to be rushed to the hospital.  Finding out my hip has a tear in the joint.  Pending surgery.  Surgery cancelled because I tested positive for carrying the double stranded DNA which could indicate the arthritis in my hip could be RA.  (rheumatoid arthritis).  

What exactly was God wanting from me?  Didn't we have a deal?  Didn't I package that deal in a nice, neat, box with a pretty bow on top?  Wasn't I willing to have another baby despite what the world was yelling in my ear?  Why was it becoming so hard?  Was it simply because I was "old" by OBGYN standards?  I was 37...that's about like comparing me to the dinosaur age.....

My box I had created for God wasn't working.  I couldn't figure out why He wasn't allowing us to have any more children.  Or allowing us to have a child, only to find the child had passed....

It was painful to say the least. 

But my God Box wouldn't fail me.  We wound up pregnant with baby #10 and had one of the funniest, spunkiest, independent little toots we could have ever imagined.  

God is good.

But would He not be good had she not been born?

Than my box was filled again.  This time with dreams and schemes of where God wanted us.  I just KNEW He was ready for us to move back south.  We had put our time in up north.  We had tasted what it was like to pretend we were Yankees (ok, that is not meant to be offensive, but my husband to this DAY says he wishes he had put some southern dirt under the delivery bed of our last two babies...)

"GOD!  When are we moving?"  I would pray....  

But it didn't happen (and don't think for a minute that it's been removed from my box...).  And I put my second item in the box- my plan.  If you think for a minute that God doesn't have a sense of humor, think again.  My husband's favorite thing to say is that God has an INCREDIBLE sense of humor.  And that excites me to some extent, because I LOVE to laugh.  Although, the humor my husband speaks of is of course the fact that God blessed him with SIX DAUGHTERS....and if you knew my "Rico Suave" back in the day, you would giggle uncontrollably as well if you heard he was blessed with SIX DAUGHTERS.....  God does have a sense of humor.

But my plan, and my desires are all in my box.

There's also something else in my box I'm sure you'll find fascinating.

What I know, God wants from me.

Yes.  That bears repeating.

What I KNOW, God wants from ME.

Not the other way around.  I know exactly what God wants from me.  Cause, you know, He speaks to me in an audible voice that kinda sounds like James Earl Jones (AKA- Darth Vader.)

NOT.

I know for a definite fact, God wants me to be totally happy, rarely sad, and not worry one iota about my salvation.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that He wants me to be completely happy and at no matter the cost, strive to find that happiness in this life because He doesn't want me to ever be sad, alone, without, lonely, sick, to suffer, to be anxious, or anything.

NOT.

I've been trying to study my bible more and more and I have come across something fascinating.  There are not many times when the word "happy" is actually mentioned.  Matter of fact, I find that words like, delight, joy, pure, blessed, faith are more commonplace through out the bible.  The funny thing is, if you google how many times does happy appear in the bible, you'll find a serious discrepancy because of just how many translations there are of the bible itself.  It can range from less than 15 in the New Testament, to 33,000 in the Old Testament!  I searched through my bible and really, when I read scripture verses about happiness?  None of them actually meant what we'd like to wrap up and stick in our bibles....

When you read where "happiness" or blessed, or delight are written about, it actually is quite the opposite of what we would expect.  The beatitudes are a great example.

THE BEATITUDES*

3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,*
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.a
4* Blessed are they who mourn,b
for they will be comforted.
5* Blessed are the meek,c
for they will inherit the land.
6Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,*
for they will be satisfied.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.d
8* Blessed are the clean of heart,e
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,*
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.f
11Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.g12* Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.h Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

I mean, I don't know about you, but does that sound like the kind of "happiness" I put in my God Box?  Or better yet, what about this verse?

Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish, for I would be telling the truth. But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me7because of the abundance of the revelations. Therefore, that I might not become too elated,* a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.b8Three times* I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,c9* but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,* in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.d10Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ;e for when I am weak, then I am strong.*

That was 2 Corinthians 12:6-11.  I don't know about you, but it sounds like to me, if we really believe God wants us walking around demanding happiness and everything awesome, He'd like us to take a piece of humble pie instead...

But that's how we operate.  Who actually walks around praying for pain and suffering?  Ok, yes, we have had some powerful saints who have, but I can find plenty of saints who have not begged for pain, sorrow, or unhappiness.  It's actually supposed to be a lot like fasting. Which, by the way, I put into my box ever so neatly as well- God really doesn't want me to fast because, well, I have low blood sugar and who wants a cranky, starving, mother of seven children walking around waiting to pound on the first person who walks by her smelling like a Krispy Kreme donut????

God does want me to fast.  Maybe not from food altogether, but maybe from dessert.  Or that second helping.  Or that portion that would feed a small family in Africa.... He does want me to be joyful and blessed, but maybe not necessarily happy, because happiness is temporary, fleeting, but joy is forever and blessings, when truly seen for blessings, are eternal.  God does want me to pray and ask Him where we should move to, but He also wants me to listen when He says, "not yet, crazy momma...."

God does want me to be open to life, and maybe it won't happen the way I want it to, and maybe we won't be blessed with or without more children, but what He wants is our total surrender to His will, not ours.  He wants to know we love Him and trust Him so much that we're willing to let go and just trust.

My God Box is constantly changing.  Just when I think I've "let go" of my own desires and wants, I realize once again, I have started putting Him back inside that box of mine.  I want to conform God to my beliefs, when instead, I should conform myself to God's beliefs.

I say this all the time.  God makes no mistakes.  He is a loving God, but He created us for good.  He gave us such amazing abilities and I find that as I grow older I see just how well we can work for the greater glory of Him.  I can also see how amazingly easy it is, to flip it around and have it appear we know amazingly better what is good for us and give God very little attention.

We are very good at cruising along when life is going swell and basically forgetting that just like in times of crisis, God wants to hear from us during times of joy and blessings....  I could stand to add that to my God Box.

So this is what I'm working on this week.  Changing up what my "box" looks like.  Perhaps even, taking God out of the box and letting Him just wreak havoc on my silly little "perfect" life.  He knows I could stand to have a little make over in that department!

I'll leave you with a little bit of funny in my world just to show you how crazy momma and a few of her crazy kiddos spend their free time....

video

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