Sunday, August 23, 2015

These Are the Days

I’ve sowed my wild oats. I’ve walked some reckless paths. I’ve trudged through some dark muck – you know, the deeper-than-your-boots kind that fills your shoes until you’re dragging through life with what feels like 100-pound feet. I’ve been the prodigal, sloshing with the swine one day and welcomed back to the fold with love and forgiveness the next.

Now, I am a wife and stay-at-home mom. According to outward appearances, I live a very moral life. But the funny thing is I feel more desperately in need of God’s grace now in my tame, domestic existence than I ever did when I raucous and reckless. Simply trying to hack it as a wife and a parent has made me more aware of the depths of my depravity that the licentious living of my past ever did.

You see, the sins that plague me now – selfishness, anger, pride – might not be as obvious to the people around me or considered as taboo by the church, but they are just as dark and ugly and real as drunkenness, sexual immorality, drugs, etc, etc, etc. Like a cloud of gnats that doggedly swarm your face, fly up your nostrils, and disturb your vision, these sins assault me daily with persistence.

Merging my life every. single. day. with a man who thinks differently than me, does things other than my way, and possesses his own set of needs inconveniently in competition with mine. Spending every waking moment of my day with precious little ones looking to me, learning from me, disobeying me when I REALLY meant it that time, and wanting my attention when I’m tired and want to be alone. These are the realities of current life that are refining me – poking at my hidden, ugly, dark places and stirring up my gnat cloud of sinfulness.

When I loose my patience, say something unkind to my 3-year-old daughter, and watch the tears well up in her eyes. When things don’t go my way, land on my husband as I’m looking for someone to blame, and see his back turn in hurt and disappointment. Oh, there are what seem like a million opportunities every living, breathing second of my day for my impatient attitude, my self-righteous anger, my selfish desires, my secret, ugly wish for my OWN TIME ALONE WITH MY CELL PHONE to rear their nasty heads.

And they do. And they cut my soul like a hot knife through butter.

Matthew 18:6 – I desperately do not want that millstone.

1 Corinthians 13:1– I desperately do not want to be that noisy gong.

Now, NOW, are the days when I really, truly see how much I need Jesus, how broken I am, and how badly I want to be first all the time at the expense of everyone around me. This season of marriage and motherhood that is both blessed and hard, both joyful and heavy, these are the days that I truly understand the greatness of grace and the kindness of my savior. These are the days that I deeply know that I NEED him. These are the days when I am desperate for him.

And, PRAISE GOD, these are the days that he is faithful. He answers me when I cry out. He forgives me when I come to him broken, again, over that same sin, again. He gives me JOY – the deep, deep kind – and hope that lifts me up, sets me back on my feet and makes me beautiful again. He restores what my clumsy, ugly hands have shattered into a million little pieces and rains grace – just buckets and buckets of it.

And just when I think the grace has run out, he showers me again.


  1. I believe that our generation has a huge anger problem and I can attest to having to deal with that one myself. It is such a blessing to see the evidence of y'alls growth as a family and in your life specifically. Great word and we pray for clarity and peace as you search, find and live God's vision for your beautiful family!

    1. Thank you, Nick, for your family's prayers for us! I'm curious; Why do you think our generation struggles with anger? I know it has been a persistent sin for me and my husband. Our church also did an informal survey recently (to help our pastors prepare for a sermon series), and our congregations overwhelmingly listed anger as the No. 1 sin struggled with.

  2. Anger is a sin that intertwines with other sins. I call these other sins, symptom sins. Why symptom sins? Symptom sins will change with different stages of life, but anger will accompany them until the anger itself is dealt with. There was a time in my life that I was constantly trying to treat my symptom sins. I was going crazy. I would notice I was sinning, it would make me upset, I would fall into self-condemnation and guilt, get angry and find myself back into my symptom sin. This affected the first 30 years of my life. I was angry, a control freak and a cocky, arrogant guy. I was good at hiding parts of my life and not good at hiding others. I was a very loud angry person. One day about 6 years ago, God revealed to me that my anger was the driving force to my symptom sins. Once He showed me this, I was able to learn how to address myself. I found that because I was a control freak, I was holding onto other’s problems. I was letting their problems affect my life. It would make me angry and then I would revert back to my symptom sins. In the last 6 years, He has shown me that I can only control the things I really have control over. It really isn’t that much. Once I was able to relieve myself of this unneeded responsibility, I was able to focus more on my decisions (the whole address the log in my eye before dealing with the speck in your brothers) and living out a life that has more self-control. Anger has crumpled many powerful people throughout history. The Bible tells us that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Anger is something that can be move into sin very quickly. We are warned in Ephesians 4:26-27 when it says to not let the sun go down on our anger and more importantly, don’t give a place to the devil. Anger is the doorway to our emotions. If our emotions and thoughts are not disciplined, we will not be able to control our anger in a positive manner. Our current evangelical church is engrossed in the grace, love, love, grace sermons. We spend a lessor amount of time focused on the discipline aspect laid out for us in the Old Testament law and how it transposes into the New Testament. We must live a balanced life in which we live in discipline through the law and live free through our redemption in Christ. I suppose this may have been a little longer than your question warranted, but this has been something that I have been simmering on for the last couple of weeks. I was actually talking to Kelli about this topic on one of our walks this week.



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