honestly?

I’m a firm believer that a bad attitude = sin. For a believer in Christ, a crappy attitude isn’t an acceptable lifestyle choice. Sure, there will be times when you feel sad, hurt, discouraged. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about a conscious choice to be in a bad mood, to be irritated with God because you’re sick of your circumstances, to be focused on nothing but yourself, self, self.

I’ve been sinning a lot the past couple weeks.

I haven’t shared a lot of personal stuff on the blog lately–for a couple reasons. 1–I’m not in the mood. 2–I really don’t want any grief from my “friends” who only comment when they have something mean to say. 3–I’m not in the mood.

I walked into church this morning in a bad mood. They were already singing, and I didn’t join in. When Pastor Mike started his sermon, entitled “God Will Rock You,” I pretty much dared God to try to break through the hard shell around my heart. I wasn’t in the mood.

I sat there with my Bible open to Acts 16, my notebook open, and my pen in my hand. But I wasn’t writing anything. I wasn’t in the mood.

Even when it became completely obvious that God was chipping away at my heart-shell with every word being spoken, I resisted.

I listened to the familiar story of Paul and Silas being unlawfully thrown in prison, of the earthquake, the statement they made by staying put instead of escaping. See, all that stuff that happened? It wasn’t really about them. God had some people to save and some injustices that needed made right.

Maybe the trials I’m facing right now aren’t about me (ya think?). Maybe, according to Pastor Mike, “God is rocking my world to advance His.”

I’ve been begging God to deliver me (us) from some stuff. The last three words of Acts 16? “Then they left.” In other words, they made sure they stayed put until God got all the glory.

God’s greatest agenda isn’t my immediate deliverance, because I’m not the center of the universe. His plan, His story, is so much bigger. Which, ironically, is the whole point of this Zoo Story I’m writing.

So, as I sat there listening to God speak through my pastor, I started to soften. I started writing. But then, when we started singing again? I just wasn’t in the mood.

And then? As I walked out to pick up the girls, I was stopped by my friend Morgan. And can I just say that God used that beautiful girl to break me? She did something for me that just crushed that stupid shell around my heart. Tears sprang from my eyes. She hugged me. She told me she loved me. And I felt that bad mood just wash away.

Bless you, MoMo. You have no idea what your sweet, selfless gesture meant to me. But, my goodness, my bedroom smells good.

After lunch, I took a 2-hour nap. Then we got together for a church staff bonfire with some of the most wonderful people ever. And I’m reading a book that I’ve read so many times it’s literally falling apart, but it’s just what I need anytime I’m feeling sorry for myself.

So. That’s where I’m at. Kind of broken. Which isn’t such a bad place to be.

14 thoughts on “honestly?

  1. whimzie

    Thank you for being honest. I don’t know if brokenness loves company the way that misery does, but if that’s the case, please know that you are not alone.

  2. mary kate

    dude. didn’t mike totally bring it on Sunday? (i’m ashamed to say) sometimes i struggle with talking through the sermon with mike throughout the week. like – “sitting here can’t possibly be the best use of my time. i must have something more important to do.” but i think God needed me to hear that one 4 times last week. on sunday, i was trying to read another part of the bible during the service…because OBVIOUSLY i had learned all there was to learn. but i couldn’t focus on Titus 2 because God was still trying to beat Acts 16 into my head! praying for a humble heart this week and hoping to learn from the many folks who love the Lord in my life (like you!) thanks for authentically sharing. 🙂

  3. Joslyn

    your blog posts speak to my hear every day, sometimes I think you’re saying (typing) just what I’m thinking/going through/can’t put into words. Thank you. Yesterday, I found myself in an awful place, snapping at everyone for no reason because I took on too much (as always) when I should have been communicating with my husband and asking for H-E-L-P. I can’t do it all alone and for some reason feel like I should.

  4. Lisa

    I’m kind of there myself lately, Marla. Not in the mood. At all. I’ve been avoiding church because everyone else seems not in the mood, too; I’m sick of grumpiness everywhere I turn, especially when I feel it’s been wrongly directed toward me! I don’t know what the stinkin’ enemy’s up to in our lives, but at least I rest assured he won’t have the last word. Like you, God’s been chipping away at me (what a great way to put it!) and I totally get the sense He’s saying: “Hang in there, Lisa… there’s more to this than you’re perceiving right now.”

    I just adore you. You always speak directly to whatever season/trial I’m in. May blessings suddenly multiply and overflow so abundantly in your life that you’ll be begging your neighbors for jars to catch them all!

  5. morgan

    Love you Marla! You are a blessing in my life. So glad we could share that moment. Amazing how God uses your friends in such unexpected ways.

  6. Crissy

    Such a hard place to be when God is allowing suffering so that others can know Him! I completely understand where you are coming from. Love you friend! {{{BIG HUG}}}

  7. joyce

    hmmm…this post struck a chord with me…my husband and I just had a ‘talk’ last night about my mood lately…first I was annoyed with him and was mentally running thru a list of ‘his faults’ if you know what I mean…but all of a sudden it really hit me that this was me being full of pride and to just quit it already. Psalm 19:14 kept flashing thru my brain too…”Let the words of my mouth AND THE MEDITATION OF MY HEART be acceptable in your sight O Lord my rock and my redeemer”….I’m good with the words, it’s the thoughts I don’t always control. I’m so thankful that He loves us in spite of our human-ness and His love never ceases and His mercies are new every morning. That is an amazing and comforting and beautiful thing.

  8. Ali

    Marla,
    Your writing makes me cry all too often. I used to be able to blame my pregnancy, but that is no longer the case. Your writing – even something as quick and simple as this humble blog post – is beyond beautiful.
    And the best part of the tears is that they are physical evidence of God’s mercy and grace as it is illustrated in real life.
    I am so stinkin’ thankful that we found each other.

  9. Holly @ Crownlaiddown

    And YOU have no idea what your sweet comment on my blog did for MY heart this week. It blessed me beyond what I can say. Thank you, Marla!

    Sometimes it’s hard to get up without a hand. So glad you have friends that walk with you like that, dear one. You really are a blessing.

  10. Denise N.

    You are precious! I am glad God chipped away at that hard shell. Pastor Mike’s sermon was powerful and hit me as well!

    It was great to hang out with you at the bonfire tonight. I just love you and those people!

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