Hebrews 4:16

Let us then come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Living in Non-Conformity

Occasionally I will save emails that I am waiting to read. Either I don't have time or I don't feel like reading them or... the list is endless I am sure depending on my mood at the time. :)

I was sorting through emails this morning and came across this daily devotion from the Proverbs 31 website

I had an aha moment!

Maybe you have or have not been that momma she mentions, the one with the toddler scurrying across the mall... or park... or for heaven's sake the theatre packed full of people. ( hint.. this last one was me.) Maybe you don't feel as though your invisible radar is on constant alert waiting... looking... praying that some how... some way you can make it through the social experience without having to apologize for something. Or worse.. that dreaded encounter with someone who is coming to tell you how to control that wayward child you birthed. 

I felt that way a good portion of my life. I still do. I still get nervous everywhere we go and worry. Worry.. hmmmmm..  there is element #1 where my displaced faith in the God who sees, loves, heals and restores... the One who is at work in my life for my good, but ultimately for HIS, is evident. Fear and worry rob us of the blessings we can gain in walking with God and trusting that He is truly for our good. Trusting that He can and will take every situation in our lives and manifest His presence into the midst of each learning moment. When He is present there is no need to fear because perfect love casts out all fear. (1John 4:18)

I allow the ideas and feelings of other people, element #2... other people's judgment versus that of the Lord , to weigh in as preeminently more worthy than His wisdom and guidance, take precedence.  I worry that we will be a stumbling block for someone else. I find myself asking.. " Do you think they saw Jesus in us?" ha! Did they see Jesus in me is really the question. Colossians 1:27 says that Christ in us is the revelation of the hope of glory being apparent in all we do. ( my paraphrase) 

Hope is an earnest longing for an expected outcome. The hope of  His Glory being revealed in what we do is by no power of our own. It can  truly only be manifested by His Spirit in you.  No matter how hard I try to do or be my best it will never compare with the Glory of God.  Yet, His matchless grace can be extended through my efforts, actions and words so that this hope of His glory being visible to those who are near me is executable.

As the mom of a teenager, and almost 2 in just a little over a week....( heaven help me.) I feel I am consistently asking God to help me raise my children towards Him... towards what He has called them to.
We sat at the dinner table this week, and this is where the majority of our family discussion rests. My family really likes food.... I really like to cook and so it works. That harmony that provokes discussion, you know, it works at the dinner table. That is why it is so important to sit down and eat together. Whether or not you like to cook or create in your kitchen is completely irrelevant, it is the act of sitting together and eating together over a common thread of freedom from the distractions that seep in and steel parts of our days and eventually our hearts.

As we sat there I made a startling comment ( well ... only to myself you know because everyone else knows those things about us that we are quick to dismiss). I was asked why I chose to be specific about something, I can't remember right now but I do remember stopping and looking at my inquisitive child and I said very swiftly.. 
" I am a non-conformist."

My husband laughed as if to say.. tell us something we don't know. But it surprised me! And then comes those moments, the time after such a declaration,  where the Lord reminds us of our words. As I read this devotional today, the very words that spilled from my mouth were replayed in my hearing... " I am a non-conformist"

Why does it take me so long to learn such simplicity? 

Why would I expect my children to conform? To be like the cookie-cutter mold my brain imagined would be the end result of my efforts to discipline. 

Why do I forget that they are not mine, but on loan from Him to sow protect, guide and teach? To disciple. To Love. To PRAY for. 

I am to come to the cross daily in intercession for the very lives of these amazing persons who God has blessed me to be called Mother for.. He has blessed me! That alone is awe-inspiring.  Their lives hold purpose  and majesty because they are made in His image alone, not the cookie cutter assembly line of a idea that represents some convoluted theory on what a child should look like.

Yet they  bring me to my knees so often.  I can list for you nearly everything I have done wrong as a mother. I can highlight all my faults that I see displayed in their characters. The tendency to react verses respond in love; the ability to judge without knowing the truth; the lack of grace abundant in the face of trails; the absence of love in my own humanity.... the list can go on.

What I forget to do is see those things that maybe just maybe led to stepping heavenward:

The moment I learned humility before the watchful eyes of my children.
The acceptance of God's grace in the midst of my human-ness.
To know love even after rejecting His gifts...the expanse of His mercy is overwhelming.
The simple joy of a deep belly laugh when the unexpected surprises you.
The liberty in knowing that He wants them to know Him more that I could ever know because they are crafted in His perfect plan in a way I may never understand.

So am I raising  non-conformist? 

Romans 12:2 says,"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God"

Praise God I hope so!  I hope that rather than being dictated by the ideas and constant influx of opinions of what is true, right, and Godly my children can cling to the only Truth ( Jesus Christ.. John 14:6) and rest in the assurance of His affirmation of love and grace.  They, like all of us, are meant to show forth His Love in a way that presents a picture of the Father to the world. A Father who loves with a deep abiding love that dispels fear, embraces the uniqueness of his creation, and who has mercy to pour forward for all who come to taste the living water  which quenches thirsty hearts for eternity.

Love in Christ! 

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