Friday, July 20, 2018
Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals, and her friends, for this blog post.
I'm posting this YouTube video first, because it is my favorite thing that I've seen around the interwebs all week long and I boohooed my way through it yesterday. Click on it and watch it for yourself, but I promise, it does not feel like forty-one minutes, but more like ten. This is one of my favorite authors and speakers, Lisa Harper, talking about the goodness and faithfulness of a redemptive God. You will never be sorry you watched this, my friends.
I shared it on Facebook after I watched it, and apparently, a few of my friends needed to see it yesterday as well.
Also, I have a little story to tell you. I promised to write about this earlier in the week, I can't remember which day, but just know this: it does not paint a perfectly with-it, put together version of me. I have been accused many times of being "fake", but I promise y'all this, and if you don't believe me, just ask my husband: God took away my ability to be able to lie well. (I am guilty still, of saying that I'm fine when someone asks me how I am, even if I'm not. So I do still do that, yes, because just because people ask you how you are, DOES NOT MEAN they really want to know how you are. Because of that, I will not say that I no longer lie. But about life in general, and the big stuff? I have no poker face.) Lisa even talks about this topic of our messy selves in the above video. I struggle. I know we all struggle. Let's not attack one another over social media when we post about something the Lord showed us and accuse someone of being fake. Also, let's not bash one another when one of our own is struggling. We never know what people face, and what it's like to walk in someone else's shoes. But I digress. Here's my story.
Y'all, I'm getting older. My eyes are no longer what they once were, and I struggle with reading most days, even with my reading glasses ON. Because of that and the fact that I have to use a booklight to read at night in the living room, my darling, doting husband bought me a floor lamp to have beside my chair. Isn't that the sweetest thing? When he told me he had bought me this on Prime Day this week and that it would be here on Thursday, my response was considerably less favorable than one would imagine. Immediately, I wanted to know what it looked like and why had he bought me a floor lamp, when I wanted TWO NEW TABLE LAMPS????, and before I even realized what was happening, this flood of ungrateful words just kept coming out of my mouth.
(This is the second time in our married life that God taught me a lesson through my husband and through a tangible item or appliance in our home. The first time was through a washing machine. Ours was broken, and though our dryer was fine, I wanted a new shiny set of those beautiful colored front loaders that had just come out. But Todd repaired our old one, instead, and much to my dismay, at the time. And once again, I wasn't very grateful. Then one day, God had me reading in the book of Philippians, in chapter four, in the verses before verse thirteen. Paul was Paul was telling the church at Philippi that he had learned to be content with a little and with much, that whatever his circumstance, he knew that he could do anything through the Lord, who strengthened him. And like a lightning bolt to my heart, the Lord showed me through that passage, that He is the only One who would ever be able to bring contentment to my heart. Not a person, not an inanimate object, but HE ALONG was my contentment, and even my joy and definitely my peace. For years, I had those verses taped up to the cabinet in my laundry room above the washer and dryer, because I didn't ever want to forget what the Lord taught me. And of course, later on, I went back and apologized to my husband, and then began to thank God for a handyman of a husband, who is able to save us all kinds of money by repairing things around our house himself. He has a brilliant mind, my Toddley, and I thank God for him all the time.)
And then we hung up, because I was being a brat and he was mad, and rightfully so, though really it was more that he was hurt and upset, not mad. And not even one minute after we hung up, God brought deep, deep conviction to my heart. If you're wondering why and how God brought upon me deep conviction, it's because of Psalm 51. I pray this Psalm to the Lord every single day almost, and this is just further proof that the will of God is found within His word. Here is what Psalm 51:3 says:
"For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me."
So I pray, "Lord, please keep my sin always before me." And He does. I pray that for my husband and sons, as well, that the Lord would always bring about conviction quickly, and that none of us would be able to rest until we have confessed our sins to God and repented of them.
And then I pray, word verbatim, verse 10 of this same Psalm.
"God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
And He does. Each time He brings about conviction, and we confess it to Him and then repent, He forgives us of our sin.
I love what verse 17 says:
"The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God."
God desires for us to come broken before Him. Not perfectly put together and with it all the time. He doesn't want eloquent and flowery words, either, not if we don't mean them. He DOES want to be our burden bearer, though, and I am pretty sure that He doesn't mind when we say the same things to Him over and over and over. I also don't think He minds when we cry out to Him in our anguish or anger over a situation. That's just my opinion. He wants all of us, and He wants us to come to Him humbly and broken. That means with our junk and with our messy selves. He knows our struggles, and He knows what it is like to struggle! When Jesus walked this earth, He experienced rejection, loneliness, temptation from the devil, and many more things than just those, but those are some big ones for me. He knows what it is like.
I tell you that story to remind myself and, God willing, someone else, that just because we are believers does not mean that we are perfect. I cannot count how many times I've heard someone say, "Well, so and so is a Christian, and she did this and that (fill in your own blanks there)." I do not know why people think we always have it together. I wonder if it's not our fault, though, that people think this about those of us who are believers and followers of Jesus? Is it because of a picture that we paint of our own perfect lives?
I'm preaching to myself there. In this day and age, it is always so tempting to do that on social media. It's why I like to open and honest there, too, and it's why I shared this image yesterday.
Because though I not one to curse, those words I spewed off to my husband over the lamp thing? If that wasn't foul language, I don't know what else would be that. Perhaps that is why the Lord made me love this verse so much. Just ask my friends. I quote it ALL. THE. TIME. Everyone who knows me knows this verse is one I claim as my own.
I share other things on social media, too, not just images like this. But I have to remind myself all the time to be careful and to examine why I post things. If it's because I want attention, then I should not post something. If it's because I want to encourage someone, though, or inspire someone for something useful (like with dinner ideas), then I will go ahead and post. Sometimes I just like to share fun memories. Social media is whatever you make it, and I know I always want mine to be mainly about Jesus and pointing others to Him. (I have many friends on different social media outlets that are not believers.)
That is when I would pray Psalm 51:10 again, asking Him to create a clean heart for me, or I might ask Him to purify my heart.
So that is pretty much how my week has been. I pray that God uses these words today, in the heart of someone who needs encouraging. I'll leave you with two last adorable pictures from the past weekend that were some of my favorite moments. These are my precious great-nieces, Kinsley (left) and Kylie (right).
I could just eat them up. I got lots of kisses on their cheeks while they were here visiting.
Thanks for reading, friends. If someone would like to talk more, feel free to comment or reach out through my email. It's firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on Instagram as jenlloydgoodwin. Love to all.
P.S. I did talk to my husband again after my ungratefulness that day, and very genuinely apologized and told him the Lord had instantly convicted me of being so bratty. And, as always, he quickly forgave me.
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