How’s that for an inspiring and encouraging start to your Monday? Yippee!
My older 2 girls are upstairs engaged in a verbal war, and I don’t even have the energy or motivation to put a stop to it. And Nina is talking my ear off, and I want her to just leave me alone for ten seconds. Gabe just left for the day (he’ll be home around midnight-ish), and our good-bye was strained at best. Ugh.
For all my happy talk about God’s provision and being content and all that, yesterday sure was a stinky day. It’s my own dumb attitude. Satan has come in for a little attacky-tack, and instead of fighting back, I’m just whining at him, “Oh, don’t hurt me! Pleeease just leave me alone. Pretty pleeease. I just want to go to some zoooooos.”
God gave me plenty of opportunities to crawl out of the hole I was digging yesterday (like an encouraging phone call from a friend–thanks, friend.), but I mostly ignored Him.
The thought has crossed my mind several times that maybe this whole zoo endeavor is a bit selfish on my part. Making my family sacrifice so I can live out some dream of mine. Gabe and I had a little talk about it Friday night. Dreamer marries Realist. Doesn’t always make for smooth sailing.
But he’s willing to go with it as long as God keeps providing. And the girls are super-thrilled about the zoos. So, I know it’s not just me dragging them along when they’d rather be doing something else.
A couple things have come up that have chipped away at my Zoo Fund. Trying not to be bitter. God gives and takes away, right? His promise to provide doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges and setbacks along the way.
On an unrelated note, the past couple days I’ve been sitting under our big Bradford Pear tree in our front yard on a little camping chair watching the girls ride their bikes on the sidewalk. There is a squirrel who lives in the tree, and he’s a bit mean-spirited. He climbs to the tip-top branches, picks the fruit, eats the insides out, and throws the shells on my head. I move my chair, he moves too. And he’s a fast eater. Tosses a shell every 5 seconds or so. In a day or two, our yard and driveway are going to be buried in them.
Last night Livi and Nina were coloring together in a Flintstones coloring book.
Me: Good job, Nina! Do you know what that girl’s name is? It’s Pebbles.
Livi: Who’s this that I’m coloring?
Me: (can’t answer, trying not to laugh)
Nina: No, Libby. Bamm–Bamm.
My children are obviously growing up watching different cartoons than their mother.
Speaking of growing up, the other day I found a packet of papers I wrote in high school. Oh my. I might “reprint” some of them sometime for your reading “pleasure.” It will be an act of public service. My way of encouraging aspiring writers that even if your writing is laughable now there is still hope that you’ll get a book published in 15 years. Never give up!
Quick prayer request. I have a stinky attitude about something and it’s coming out in my words and actions. It’s not pretty. I keep trying to give it to God. And I keep taking it back. I’m feeling broken about it, but obviously not broken enough, because I’m still letting it control me.
I read Romans 7 this morning for a little commiseration from my buddy Paul. Here’s part of the end of the chapter in The Message.
What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.
17-20But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
21-23It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
I spent some time on my face this morning begging God to help me surrender to Him. Thanking Him for Christ who acted to set things right in this life.
Well, hey, Gabe just called me with some possibly-happy news. The girls are painting at the kitchen table together instead of screaming at each other. I’m feeling better already.
Have a great week!