I so failed at this challenge, so I am beginning the "blog whenever you can challenge". That I can do!
I have had a few things on my mind and I am pretty sure the Lord put them all together for me today, but it may or may not come out right...
Sunday morning I was irritated. I don't even remember what started it, but I do remember making a list in my head of all of the things "I was doing" and how tired I was of doing EVERYTHING. Getting breakfast, getting the kids ready, getting myself ready... Let me add a disclaimer, Jeffery is typically very helpful with the kids. This day, however, either in reality or in my head he was not. The kids were bugging me, I felt irritated at everyone. Then comes church... And I was expecting greatness (which I ultimately did receive). If I had a bad morning and didn't want to do anything or be anywhere surely that mean Satan was trying to get at me and church would be spectacular. On the cover of the bulletin read a Tim Keller quote "There is a terrible spiritual danger involved in the receiving of any blessing. Success can easily cause us to forget God's grace, because our hearts are desperate to believe that we can save ourselves." Well, that is a great quote, one that you highlight in a book, write in a journal or blog, but nah, doesn't really apply to me. Then Paul (the pastor) started talking about the dangers of "success" and you know what my immediate thought was? "This sermon totally doesn't apply to me, I am not successful in any way." Talk about Debbie Downer... So I listened, enjoyed the first few minutes- Paul is the best story teller I know. But again, ehhhh not really for me. Then he said a few things that I was like- huh, ok maybe.
So side note/ ADD then I will go back to the sermon. After Sunday, and thinking I am a totally unsuccessful person, I decided to think about what I thought success was. I could totally lie to you and say "success to me is reading my Bible, doing daily devotions, memorizing scripture, blessing everyone I see..." WRONG, I am totally more messed up than that. I realized "success" to me was being liked, being the "perfect" mom and wife, being organized and clean... if any of you know me, you will laugh because I FAIL miserably at those things EVERY day, hence the reason I am unsuccessful. I also think of Money or a career when I hear the word success ( just in general).
OK, back to the sermon, one note I wrote down was "Success- Because I am loved, not because I am needed." WOW after making my list of what I consider success - ouch. That is like... IT, I want to be needed by everyone, my friends, husband, children, coworkers, family... and what? That is not success? You mean to tell me that just because I am loved by my heavenly father, THAT is success? Well, that's easy. I also wrote down notes like "leaning against success not the Lord." I totally do that, I thrive on being needed. "Any idol cannot stand up on its own, it must be propped up." So this is where it all started tying together for me. I think a few posts ago I mentioned my children being an idol of mine. I have always in my head pictured an idol as maybe a stack of money, or a gold statue, standing on a hill alone and light shining from it ( I know weird)... I have never pictured an idol me, standing holding my family together piece by piece, member by member. OUCH again.
So, we have been planning on getting a labradoodle. Had a deposit down, were picking out names, we were going to pick her out this weekend. Jeffery, I could tell was struggling even beginning on Sunday morning, and he basically said he really felt like it was a bad idea, to much work, too much stress, too much money. All of these things I know to be very very true. But I want my dang puppy. I tried telling him- the kids will be crushed, yeah for like a split second then they were like OK, no problem. I still want my dang puppy. All this time, I was not only putting them on this pedestal and wanting to give them everything, I was being so selfish too- it ultimately was about me, not them... How many times in my life have I done that? Or am I doing it? It is not that I was deviously doing it, I really truly wanted it for them, but it was more important to me.
Success, I can say is really to benefit those around me, to be the best mom, to be a good fried, to be the best wife. But really, and it makes me feel slimy just typing it, it is all about me. Making myself feel good. None of that glorifies my Father. It should all be about the fact that I am so so so blessed to be loved by Him. I so relate to the verse in Judges where Gideon tells his men to call out "A Sword for the Lord, AND FOR GIDEON." It should have just been a sword for the Lord. PERIOD. I do this every day, BE a great friend, make me look good while doing it. Be the best wife, and make people think it is all me... NONE of that, again, glorifies the Lord. Not only that, it is not SUCCESS to Him! He doesn't even demand we be "successful" good jobs, good behavior, good Christian... nope just let me love you and know it, that is success. IT IS SO STINKING EASY.
So not only did I have a horrible definition of success, I realized that my idols, that I was holding on to and up for dear life were the things I based that "success" on, all the while not even thinking about what my success needed to be, and how easy it is.
Let go of "success," being the best, idols, even your labradoodles and let the Lord love you and know it.