Saturday, December 09, 2006

Humility and Grace redefined

Alright...I'm not much of a personal blogger.

This is very evident if you look back over my blog. There are various reasons for that-some good, some bad but I've enjoyed the privacy.

Keep it light. Make it look happy.

In person I am way too visibly transparent to make it look happy but on a blog...WOW, I'm a professional.

Maybe the last blog opened some floodgate and so I share a bit more but I promise to recover soon with a cutesy post about motherhood. Just stay with me!

If you would have asked me to define grace prior to these past few months it would have been something about the supernatural good feelings that you get that carries you through some terrible time that would otherwise crush your emotional self.

That is really not correct.

I'm learning that grace is the ability to do the right thing when everything about your situation compels you to do wrong. It's an undeserved favor with God that blesses your life in any light and helps you to persevere. The feelings may soften or brighten but they may not for a while or ever. That fact is really secondary to the good actions that are produced when otherwise there would be failure.

Humbleness. This is another hot topic for me. Choices made in my life may be humbling by definition but might not birth humility.

I preach non-judgment. I believe that stones should be dropped and love should be supreme.....But do I? In all ways do I humbly show compassion?

I thought so. THAT should have been my first clue.

That brings me to the problem at hand. We are in a bit of a financial crisis.

My mom raised me to "do it right" and save your pennies and if you do, you will reap the benefits of that. People who sink financially must not be "doing it right". Right?

I have always been serious about our finances. I pride myself that most of the time I run it like a business. We live modestly. We've never had serious debt if any. We save. My husband is willing to work ANY job regardless if it is his dream or not. In fact, he recently left his college degree job for a much more difficult, dirty job in the hopes that it would provide better for his family.

Sounds like the formula for success, right?

I have spent all day wracked with concern and listening to voices in my head. Concern about what will happen now that the employment is falling apart and no other jobs are surfacing and haunted by a familiar set of unspoken and sadly, spoken opinions about other people who were struggling financially in our lives.

The voice was my own.

I would never say that I judged people who were struggling with money even to the extreme place of facing a foreclosure or filing bankruptcy, but I think I thought in some way that as long as I "did it right" those types of situations would NEVER happen to me. Of course not. They must be doing something careless.

I've learned about stewardship and would have readily said that any money we have is not our own, it's God's but secretly I thought that He really appreciated my knack for budget discipline.

I've discovered that when we are responsible with God's money it has absolutely noting to do with our own goodness. If I have a moment of discretion with my bank account it is merely God's grace that has influenced my actions. If left on my own, I would squander every penny for my own benefit without regard for God's commandments.

And this whole "job thing"...That's a false security that takes over our hearts before we even realize it. If we are willing to do ANYTHING to pay our bills and provide for our family, THAT is grace. The ability to get a job and keep it is also entirely granted by God.

He will reveal His authority one way or another.

It's very humbling. Submission to it will produce humility.

"I get it God...Now how about a job?"

I'm praying for the grace to accept it but I know in my heart it's already available to me. So, I'm transitioning my pray for the desire to want to want to accept whatever God gives or doesn't.

It's hard to know how to end this post. The writer in me wants some clippy statement or enlightened thought that will make everyone impressed but I can't seem to muster it. It's very grey right now and I'm afraid. I want my Christmas with carols and presents and "tiny tots all asleep in their beds." Others seem to have that and I struggle being sinfully jealous. But, I am able to choose to remember the big picture and the beauty from ashes that God creates.

There's still time. Maybe just maybe I'll get some Christmas miracle, right?

Yeah...there's the clippy! Oh well!


*A side note to my friends and family who are having a hard time and are avoiding me now that this has occurred (as not to bother me!)...Let me leave you with my famous quotations:
"To help is to heal"
"My ears need to hear what my mouth is saying!"
"Counselor..Counsel thyself"

Stop trying to lessen my load. I thrive on loving you guys! Don't take that away!


Steph said...

Good post! And I DID call you and couldn't get you...check your caller ID - I called at one of my weepy since I couldnt' get you I went and read my Bible and prayed. Hmmm, wonder why God didn't make our connection go through! :P
Hang in there. And since you like those kind of books you should go get one about George Mueller! Very inspiring! I love the one about praying at the dinner table for bread and then having the bread truck show up.
Imagine what God is teaching Sam through this that you can't even see. It's the kind of thing that when he is older and you are sitting around the dinner table he reflects on how it changed his thoughts on something...

Setrn said...

A good post charity, yet again. I totally appreciate your honesty. Isn't it amazing how you can think that you have something "all together" and God says "Do you really?" Anyway I am right there with you praying for a Christmas miracle. But I will try to be satisfied because the true miracle of Christmas already happened 2000 years ago.