Thursday, July 02, 2009

Freewrite on Jeremiah 1:18

The section of The Life You've Always Wanted that I read today was about asking God to speak to you through scripture and being washed and cleansed by his word. I have to say that believing that God can actually SPEAK to me through any means seems farfetched lately, but I'm trying to listen as hard as I can. The suggestion in the book is to meditate on a short passage, read it slowly, think about phrases or even just words at a time and ask God, "What are you trying to teach me through this?" So I opened up to the passage that I had read just prior to opening TLYAW this morning - Jeremiah 1. I asked God to speak to me.

First: "Stand at attention while I prepare your for your work."

What work are you preparing me for? I feel like you are preparing us. Refining us. Teaching us to be dependent on you and to have faith in the midst of our doubt and fear. Is there more? Are you preparing us for something more than this?

"I'm making you as impregnable as a castle, Immovable as a steel post, solid as a concrete block wall."

Crap. I feel this, too. I do. I feel like You are supporting us and making us stronger through all of this. I do. It sucks, though. It really does. Can't we be finished already? My faith is stronger, yet probably weaker, too. You have given us supports to hold us up - very recently in fact. I have hope, though, in reading this - solid as a concrete block wall - my faith will stand firm and will be unshakable.

And then this, which immediately produced tears: "You're a one-man defense system against this culture."

The previous two sentences I felt related to our Jones/financial situation, which is becoming scarier and scarier every month... all the while it is becoming more hopeful every month. Lets just say that there are two emotions running through our house throughout the month - both at opposite ends of the pendulum and we swing pretty freely between them. A melt-down last week. Incredible hope this week. Hope and despair. Faith and Doubt.

This last sentence, though, hit me in probably my biggest struggle. My biggest area of duplicity in my life - yearning to live one way, but struggling to not live another and struggling to not WANT to live the other way. Battling for my girls. Battling.

Its hard. It is hard to be a one-man defense against this culture. It is especially hard when I'm trying to defend three tiny souls who don't know what is going on. It is hard to do what I consider the right thing every day when the family that I come into contact with the most is always doing the easy thing. I'm battling against over-indulgence, entitlement, poor discipline, snottiness, lack of respect for others, children running the family. That is what my girls are exposed to every day, but I can't keep them from it without locking the doors or completely leaving the house every single day, all day. Recently I've felt a little under attack for the way I choose to parent - have been made to feel stupid or foolish for my choices. I need to be that concrete brick wall - stallwart and unmoving, not shifting, not compromising. It is important to me that the girls are exposed as little as possible to advertising, inappropriate clothing and behavior, the disrespect of our culture... so we don't do much tv. I don't want over-indulged children, so they hear NO a lot and don't have every single toy ever created (although it feels like it lately). They aren't allowed to eat all day or to have treats more than once a day. They have expectations of how they should behave - trying to find a fine balance between allowing them to be kids and expecting them to be well-behaved. I don't want my girls to have an inherent sense that their bodies are to be used to attract attention or manipulate men. They have brains and I want those to be important to them and I want them to have a sense of confidence where they don't feel like they need the approval of the "generalized others" in their lives. I want them to respect others - whether it is someone older than themselves or a peer or younger... respect for all people that they come into contact with.

Its hard, God. Its hard. I'm beginning to think that the first two sentences may not have applied only to our financial situation.

Finally - a verse later: "I will be with you through every inch of it."


Mommy Brain 6:42 PM  


Kristy 7:19 PM  

Thank you for this post. I love it!

ps I'm totally going to harrass you now Mrs. Grammar mama. You said "prepare your for your work". Your or you? ;P Thats it,can I borrow your knife please???

love ya!

April 12:05 PM  

Man do I completely understand where you are with your girls. I feel that way with my very own kids! I always wonder if it would be easier to care less about how they turn out and just watch over them and let them do their own thing....then that brings in a whole different fear that they won't turn out if I don't tend to them daily. I am tired of it most days, but I just can't let their lives be destroyed by mainstream thinking. Lord help us!

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