Tuesday, March 22, 2011

As I look back on my 2nd week of Lent, I can't help but be grateful. Grateful that I have almost another month to get it right. I read the words back to myself that I wrote when I started this. And I cringe. Did I shop for myself? No, and that is a freeing thing. It isn't all bad when you walk into Target and just KNOW you have to stay out of that ENTIRE SECTION of t-shirts in every color and cute cardigans or that one last thing to get you through the long dreary winter. I am surprisingly thrilled to not be stepping into a dressing room getting depressed at trying things on that don't fit right. I am easily throwing away catalogs by the droves as they come in and deleting emails instantly that are trying to convince me that this is "The greatest sale ever!! Again" . No problem with any of those things.

Yet, I missed the point.

I have failed to turn to my God and praise Him. I was here to find contentment and joy and peace that could only be found in Him.

I have stayed away from Him. I still choose other things over my time with Him. Whether it be the computer or a book or a magazine or a TV show or shopping still... for my kids.

I have found new clutter and fed the clutter that gets in the way.

I am still looking for joy and peace and contentment and my closeness to Him.

I have learned that I am just as happy buying for my kids or gifts for someone else as I am for myself or my home, so limiting to it just being about me, really isn't limiting me that much.

I am so disappointed in me right now that I can't even tell you. I didn't want to come here with this update. I wanted the rosy picture saying how GREAT everything is going and how JOYFUL I am now that I have put my focus on Him. And I can't.

So, trying to regain focus, I am learning about the purpose of Lent. The purpose in fasting as this is my first time doing this. And one line sticks with me. Taken from The Banner March 2011 by Dr John Witvliet "Lent was the church's way of saying YES to the free offer of salvation and NO to cheap grace- baptism without discipleship" Interestingly enough- to me anyways- every single time I read that I thought the last word was discipline not discipleship. I need discipline. I don't want cheap grace that is just handed to me with no strings attached. I don't want to just say "yup, I am a Christian, I am saved. I do whatever I want"

I know that I cannot just do as I please.

I need to learn discipline.

I want to BE a Christian. I want people to SEE the difference in me, not just hear me say the words.

Next week, I pray that I have a much better report. And if you see me, feel free to call me on it.

Linking up with Jen at Finding Heaven today...


Cherie Hill said...

You know sister, the transformation is ongoing . . . you've come before the throne and beckoned the Holy Spirit . . . He has BEGUN to work. We seldom like what He reveals . . . it means we've fallen short of God's glory. It's hard to accept. But once we do, freedom and redemption soon follow. It's those things that draw us continually to the foot of the Cross that prove God uses all things for good. And by His Promises, the work He has begun in you, He will bring to completion! (Philippians 1:6) Let Him do His thing, though the purifying fire may bring pain, you will come forth as gold!
Big hugs,

Jen said...

You know, you said you were disappointed in yourself, but see, I see real work being done. Through this season, it is about learning. You are learning more deeply what is separating you from God. Without learning that, you would be unable to grow closer to Him. You have to know what is in the way in order to move it out of the way. I think you are doing great.

Katharine said...

I actually think you are doing really well...It is about walking through Lent with Him, and you are learning what it means to find a closer connection! He's not dissapointed, I think He's thrilled with what your learning!

Karen said...

Awww, but see "grasshopper," you ARE learning!

Diane said...

I think it's coming to you and me in stages. I'll never forget our pastor saying when someone gets saved (or in your case is trying to overcome something) it can be liked to a great antique painting. A restorer doesn't just go in and start scrubbing that thing clean..... he gently takes off one level of grime at a time until it is perfect and lovely. We are like that. One level of grime and healing at a time. :O)

Gabby said...

Dust yourself off and start again my friend! His grace is sufficient!

Amy Sullivan said...

I like what you said about enjoying shopping for your kids and others just as much as shopping for yourself.

I am SO guilty of this. I think I am being so selfless in my act of buying for others, but in reality I'm still being selfish.

Good perspective, Alicia.

Bina said...

As I was reading what you wrote, I had an out of body experience as that is EXACTLY what I was praying to God today on my walk!!!

"Help me see YOU more and ME less so that You may be given the glory I so don't deserve, but often steal."

As has already been commented...the growth is shown in your ability to SEE your mistakes and His grace is shown in giving you another shot to get it "right".

Many hugs...I love you muchly!

Pamela said...

It's a walk with God. And when we stumble, He's close enough to reach out and grasp our hand. Continue on, my friend, with your hand in His.