So Ryder crashed today after his wonderful day at the zoo yesterday, and he’s made a new personal record of napping for longer than two hours. I’m guessing that means that I’ve got about 2.5 minutes to blog as he somehow has “mommy’s blogging, so I’d better get up” radar. 🙂 By the way, I love my bubby . . . oh and he did his first, real, from the belly laugh at something that Mark did yesterday. Like we finally figured out what Ryder thinks is funny. Quite an accomplishment and quite a fun family moment as the 3 of us sat and laughed. 🙂 God is good.
And back to the point of this blog . . . . so Friday night as I was on my way to Boulder to do the first half of our 1st cleaning job (we call the cleaning jobs by the order in which we got them), I was driving down the back way to Boulder from Longmont. So I was on 36 as it goes from 66 into Boulder. It’s just a long, curvy road at night. Quite appropriate for driving and listening to a teaching cd. I was listening (yet again) to the wonderful ladies from the Colour Conference, and this time, it was Holly Wagner. I know nothing about this lady, and her voice is very California, very Hollywood, very loud, very not me. But I like her. And man, was she speaking some words that were like arrows to my heart. The topic of her preaching was unity within the body. How we need every person in the body, and we need each person walking in who God has made them to be, doing what He made them to do, not looking at every one else in the body and saying “hey, why did I not get that?” “Or why did she get that?” She compared it to being runners in a track and field race. We all run the race in our own lanes. In that lane, with our eyes on Jesus, is where the provision and the means to finish the race are. Not in the lane of the person next to you. Comparison or asking God why so-and-so has this or is talented with that is not for us. It does not benefit us in any way. God made us (as in you, and as in me) to be uniquely us, and He has a purpose that is uniquely for me to fulfill. His purpose for me is not His purpose for you. But is purpose for all of us is to work together in the body to do what He’s called us, as the body, to do.
She then moved on to the arrow that completely pierced my heart – criticism. 🙁 I almost hate to even talk about. Criticism is something I really struggle with. It’s hard for me to look at something and not find the area that needs improvement. And this is an area of myself that I greatly dislike, as it’s much easier for me to see the glass as half empty rather than half full. It’s much easier for me to see the areas that are not working rather than the ones that are. I’ve been asking for a lot of help in this area as criticism is also detrimental in a marriage. But we’re not talking about marriages . . . we’re talking about unity in the body. Criticism tears the body down; it does not build it up. And more than that, criticism brings bareness to those who criticize. That sentence about killed me when Holly spoke it. Yet it also turned the lock and opened the door to showing me why certain things in my life have not flourished. Her words resonated with me, brought conviction, and with the Holy Spirit’s help, shed light onto areas that I just could not get answers on. So I bit the bullet, swallowed, and repented. I truly repented of allowing criticism in my life.
And to end this, as I cleaned and pondered on the words that I heard in that cd, God also cemented in me this desire to really keep my mouth shut when it needs to be shut. Introverts get such a bad rap in life. Seriously, if I had a dollar for how many times I’ve been teased or criticized for being quiet, I would be quite rich. Yet the book of Proverbs repeatedly talks about how much better it is, how much wisdom is there, when we refrain from saying everything we think. It’s so much better to think before we speak; so much better (not in all cases but in many) to not always give our opinion but to prayerfully consider what we’re to say. My word count will be much smaller now as I refrain from saying (and thinking) thoughts that are not uplifting. And I’m so thankful that God is lovingly rebuking me, correcting me, and getting me in line. As humbling as it is and as difficult as it is to see ugliness in me, I’m much happier when I can get it out and to let Him deal with it. I’m so thankful that He loves me enough to not allow me to mire in the mud, but to teach me, clean me up, and get me on my way.
And the Bubby is up just as I predicted . . . 🙂 So that means that I’m going to have to end this without finishing my full thought . . . but I think this is sufficient for now.