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8.31.2016

How Is This My Life?

A few days ago, Danny ordered me the Stand Firm scripture print from Grace Laced. It came in the mail on Monday. You better believe I opened that up as quickly and delicately as possible. The girls loved the print so much. We talked about what standing firm means and I told them what verse was painted. It was a fun, spontaneous moment as I spoke Truth to them and they soaked it in. We went on with our day and no more mention was made about the print.

While I decide where to hang the print, it's going to live on the counter that I like to use as my work station. It's not a particularly beautiful spot in our house. School stuff gets piled here. My books, my lettering, and the girl's church papers get left here. Don't get me started on the cords. As visually unappealing as this space can be, it truly is a hub for our home. If I'm standing around with the kids, it's most likely at this counter. So, for now, having the print in this location is practical.

my work station

Yesterday, I woke up to Amelia who had brought her ABC Bible verse booklet to me. She said, "Mama! I think is the same verse from yesterday. See?! 1 Corinthians 15:58! Here, I'll be right back. I'm going to get your Bible so you can have some quiet time."

A minute later, with my eyes barely open for the day, she plopped my Bible down on the bed. She climbed up and asked me to find the verse for her. We are beginning to teach her how to read a Bible and find verses. So I turned to 1 Corinthians and she helped me find the chapter and verse.

Before I knew it, all three girls were snuggled in my bed for quiet time as Amelia read the verse for us. And I was thinking, "HOW IS THIS MY LIFE!?"

my littlest disciples
Most days, I'm yelling that out of frustration because well, you might know how those days can go with kids. Those moments where you're like, wait? did I really just have to say/do/witness that? But this morning, it was from a place of pure thankfulness over *this* getting to be my life.

And I think back to this verse...

"So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless." 
1 Corinthians 15:58

Back in high school, I heard from a youth camp speaker that when you're reading scripture and you come across a "therefore", you should stop and ask yourself, "What is the 'therefore' there for?" With that, in some translations, 1 Corinthians 15:58 begins with a "therefore". If you go back to the beginning of chapter fifteen and read all the way back down, you'll find Paul talking about the resurrection of Christ and what that means for future believers and our eventual resurrection. Towards the end, he describes what our bodies will be like after being resurrected some day.

It all sounds super amazing, right? Transformation, glory, living forever with the Lord. At first read, I found myself feeling frustrated like, what about until then?

The life of a mom is not exactly always glorious. It doesn't scream enthusiasm as often as we would like. And oh yeah, there are transformation of all kinds, like our bodies after birthing multiple children in a few years and nursing, right? And in all seriousness, with or without kids, this life can leave us disoriented. It can be so difficult to see a day past the circumstances of our present, let alone a future glorious version of ourselves living with the Lord for eternity!! But there is a hope and a help beyond our imagination.

Something I've learned recently is that the Kingdom of God is not only a far off, coming reality. Jesus told the Pharisees in Luke 17:20-21 that the Kingdom was in their midst. They didn't understand, though. They didn't recognize Jesus for who He was, what He had brought into the world nor what He was going to bring as the Resurrected Christ.

Aren't we so much like the Pharisees? It's easy to lose focus and not recognize that the Kingdom of God is now. But friends, the very fact that we have the Holy Spirit within us, working to transform our hearts and minds to bring glory to God and invite people into lasting relationship with the Savior, is proof of the Kingdom now.

So, what do we do until that coming resurrection so beautifully described in chapter fifteen? What do we do on those days where our question of, "How is this my life?!" is way too exasperated and ungrateful?

We stand firm and immovable.

Each moment that I explain scripture to my girls rather than rushing to the next thing...
Each moment that I choose to stand in the strength of Jesus rather than crumble under the weight of anxiety...
Each moment that deeper wounds heal because of a daily choice to seek Christ...

Each moment that you love your husband when it feels easier to be angry with him...
Each moment that you give a little more to that family than what is comfortable...
Each moment that you speak the truth in love...

Each moment of our life where we choose to do work for the Lord rather than ourselves and our current comfort, trusting that He works everything together for our good and His glory...

We are declaring with our lives, "Death, where is your victory? Where is your sting?" The same power that conquered death at the Cross conquers for us today. The same power that will bring our physical transformation in Heaven gives us the ability to live spiritually transformed for Heaven's sake today.

As we go about our lives, standing firm and immovable because of the power of the Resurrected Christ within us, we see that none of what we experience is wasted. We see that the Lord is working in and around us moment by moment.

We get to ask enthusiastically, "How is this my life?!"