Sunday, June 28, 2015


I'm ugly....but it's a beautiful thing. :)

Disclaimer 1: this is going to be raw.  Personal. Just warning you.

Disclaimer 2: If you see a bunch of quotes or pictures from FLYLEAF lyrics, it's because for the last few months, I've been listening to them on my runs.  God has used a handful of the lyrics to really spur me on in digging deeper into my own heart.  No, they aren't super theologically deep, but I'm thankful for the thought their lyrics have provoked...

Let me give you a few snippets of my background to flesh out the picture a bit.

Most of my life, I have been one of two extremes:

1. Highly praised and favored or
2. Highly assumed, backstabbed or just...the recipient of mean.

For number 1, the main things I have heard over and again:  "You're so encouraging, the most humble person I've met, sweet, kind, beautiful, fun..." ...

For number 2, I won't go into details, but let's just say my trusting vulnerable heart got hurt many times by both guys and girls.

Because I have had so much praise, while at the same time so much hurt, a few things happened.

1. I became puffed up with pride, while...

2. I became insecure in my identity, so...

3. I started becoming a huge people pleaser, which...

4. Over time, lessened my fear of God and increased my fear of man, which...

5. Fed my pride and built up walls to keep people from knowing my ugly, which...

6. Has kept me in a life of legalistic bondage in my thinking, in my talking with God and in my ability to receive and give grace.

7. Kept me seeking man's approval and constantly fearing rejection because my identity was... honestly... built on what others say I am.

***  I'm just going to add here a few more pieces of the picture:

-While I have MUCH to be thankful for during my growing up years (including my parents loving me and doing the best they knew how), I grew up the entirety of my life (up until marriage) not fully knowing what it could look or feel like to have my heart pursued.  Not the  "oh, you are xyz in all these areas and I love you" kind of pursuit, but the "how is your heart, where are you at, how can I help you, I've gotta call out some sin because I love you" sort of pursuit.  I grew up lonely.  Secretly, devastatingly lonely, yet terrified of being known at the same time.

Then came marriage.

I have to first say, I am married to the most amazing man I could have ever asked for, God's greatest gift to me outside of my salvation.  I am so thankful for my husband.  :)

That said... marriage hasn't been easy on me (ha, does any really deep, really wonderful marriage come "easily?").

All of a sudden...

I'm not that encouraging.

I'm one of the most prideful people ever.
Sometimes, I'm sweet and fun.
I'm beautiful, but my sin... not so much.
Fun? Well, now that everything I knew about myself has felt "insulted" let's just say my sense of humor went into hiding a bit.

Now, again, I don't want people to see this as my husband has been unfair or discouraging or anything like that...but, marriage is really a great and very clear mirror for oneself.

Let me just tell you, in the beginning of marriage, I really didn't like the mirror.  I bucked it so hard.  Tried with everything to turn the mirror onto my husband instead... or anything else that could take the view off me.  I didn't receive correction as love... even if done in love.  I didn't want to really hear how I was anything but "beautiful." I wanted to be "Princess..."  Princess because I was entitled, worthy and beautiful, and wanting the praise for it... not because of what I have now come to know as a "true princess" (if you want to read more about me and being a princess, you can do so here ). many details, but I want to stay focused.

Over four plus years of marriage, God has been doing two big things in my life that are monumentally HUGE for me.

1. Showing me how ugly my sin is

2. Getting rid of the sin

Now, both 1 and 2 are prayers that I have prayed and that God has and still is answered/answering.  Both are monumental because it hasn't been until last year that I finally got the desire (by asking for it) to beg God to show me my sin.  I wanted to see my sin as great because I wanted my need for my Savior to be great... and to see my GOD as great.  Because I have been so highly praised by people, I have begun to realize that I was seeing my sin as "not that bad" (see blogpost specifically on God's work in this area here ).  I had become prideful, judging (mostly in my heart, but in marriage, the judging definitely came out!), and to be painfully honest...

I valued the approval, praise and identity of and from people more than I did of and from my great, and beautiful, King of kings, creator and father GOD.  

((((Of course, since I am still human, still fighting my flesh till the day this body dies, I still battle the desire for man as my everything.  Aka...idolatry.))))

I remember times throughout my life that I'd ask God to show me my sin. But really, deep down, I didn't want to see it, much less deal with it.  You see, I have spent so much effort trying to "keep" the identity I've created for myself based on the praises of man, I have had to about kill myself in exhaustion to "protect" myself from being found out...

That I am rejectable.  Ugly.

A sinner.

Because I have valued man's identity over my true identity in Christ, every time I have been wounded by people (even unjustly!), I have been too deeply impacted.  That is, I have allowed the impact of wounds as they affect my identity to be far too great.  Instead of finding joy and freedom and acceptance in Christ, I have justified wallowing in the pain that people cause me when they "reject" me.  Which makes the sick cycle deeper as I then try to "work my way towards" or "prove" a certain image of the "beauty" I really am.  That means more walls, more denial of sin, more bucking of correction and... just... loneliness.

It is a lonely life to live in bondage to the sins that you are called to repent of and find freedom from in CHRIST because you refuse to even acknowledge their presence in your life as "that bad!" 


Paraphrased realities of what my "prettier" thoughts and prayers really are at root level: "I've messed up again.  Now I'm sure it will take at least 2 weeks to wait out the disapproval my husband must feel towards me because of my failure. Hopefully I can draw him closer to me in other ways so that maybe I'll be more desirable again."  "God, I want you to help me and heal me but I know that my heart isn't right so I'm going to try to be what you want so you might bless me."

No.  No, no, no.   Where is the humility? The seeking of grace by repenting and being forgiven?? Where is the motivation to have a beautiful heart so that I will honor my God?  The desire to encourage people to glorify God and not myself!?  


(at least enough)

I can go so much deeper and expound greatly on the realities of the journey to seeing my sin as great, but let's just jump to the GRACE that was given me when I finally earnestly asked God to reveal it to me as such.

Some really hard and painful (to my pride) happenings started slowly bringing to light how ugly my sin really was and, wonders of wonders, God gave me the humility to receive the truth of the Spirit's conviction and FIND PEACE.  Joy.  A taste of freedom.  Again, you can read more about this in a past blogpost linked above.

God took the blinders off.  It was like in one moment scales just got ripped from my eyes.  My journey to seeing God as bigger and most beautiful, though just beginning, really is helping my identity in him be more weighty and wonderful... and true.  

In the wake of scales and blinders being slowly removed, I have begun to experience a real life...


This is where my hurts, wounds and coping mechanisms from over many years come into play.

While many of my wounds are legitimate and need healing and a gentle hand, my response to the wounds has not been healthy... and even sinful many times.  Again, this is because of the heavy weight I have placed on man's approval.

As I am being sanctified in the area of seeking out the depths of my sin so that I might see my need for a savior as great, I am also, finally, for the first time in my life that I can remember, asking God to KILL my sin, to really root out everything that is not of Christ.

Whatever. It. Takes.  

Woah. Did I actually pray that?  Those words, "whatever it takes"... I have not been truly willing to repent of sin and ask for complete change whatever the cost, until recently.  I have prayed prayers like, "Lord, change me, sanctify me, but do it gently."  ... "Take away this sin, but let me keep ____." ... "Be kind to me, easy on me."  You know why I have prayed this way?  Because I know that when you pray for God to kill sin, he will answer.  And killing sin...

It hurts.  Badly.  


Answer to prayer # 2: 

Because I am loving God more than ever these days, the Spirit is working in me to want to root out anything that is keeping me from healing, freedom and wholeness.  What a grace!  I have become so exhausted lately as I am stepping out on "new to me" waters of making decisions not based on my emotions or my "own" wisdom/logic.  The flesh in me is crying out to react in my old comfortable "secure" ways, such as:

- using my own reason and logic
- blame and focus shifting
- protect myself at all costs
- save the face of my fleshly identity

Yet... at the same time, the Spirit in me is urging me to fight with Christ, with the WORD, and to lean not on my own understanding.  To lay down my life for the sake of the Gospel and to be willing to be hurt and show love in the face of pain.  To experience grace and power in my worth and hope in HIM and not in myself and man.  Be willing to see my sin as ugly so that I might see Him IN me as beautiful.  And worship him. HIM.

So yes, I can't say I am on the "other side" of my battle to find healing by way of rooting out deep buried uglies and wounds.  No, I'm in the the middle of it all.  I am already experiencing God answering my "whatever it takes" prayer of bringing things (not of him) up to the surface so I can deal with and get rid of them.  What does this look like?  It looks like I'm manic (or at least I feel like it)!  It looks like in the middle of a conflict with my husband I actually am hearing and wanting to lay myself and my hurts down for the sake of unity, for the sake of something much bigger... but at the exact same time, absolutely despising the idea of letting go of anything and pushing and demanding to be heard and served.  In the middle of something I feel is "unjust" towards me from my husband, I am feeling both tender towards him, desiring to know him and love him well, and also raging angry.  I'm even experiencing rage that is coming out of "nowhere" at random moments after feeling quite joyful maybe even minutes earlier.  


God is working. He is answering my prayers, and it hurts.  He's sanctifying me in places I've never let the Spirit in before.  

He's showing me that my identity in man is ugly and full of striving, condemnation and fear... and that my identity in HIM is beautiful and full of freedom, peace and confidence. I am dead flesh, brought to life in the Spirit.  

So yes, I'm ugly... but it's a beautiful thing.  

Lord, "Lead me to the cross where your love poured out.  Bring me to my knees, Lord, I lay me down. Rid me of myself, I belong to you. Lead me, lead me to the cross." (Hillsong United)

If anyone reading has any questions or wants more of the above filled in, feel free to message me or talk to me privately, I'd be happy to share more.

Friday, June 5, 2015

When I am afraid I will trust

Trusting God.  Do I even know what that means?!

I think lately as there have been a lot of stressors in life or reasons to want to give into anxiety, I have been asking myself some deeper questions about my heart, and about how I have been trusting God.  Part of the reason for peeling back the layers of my heart is that I am not really finding myself able to trust in God when the pressure is on.  No, rather, I recognize that my pattern is to first look to myself

See, in the past I think I've always just sorta chocked trusting God up to simply telling him my needs, asking for help, and then waiting for him to do something about it.  I have told myself I need to surrender to him and not try to make something happen, but...what winds up happening is...I quickly take hold of the reign (or at least I think I'm holding it) and try to tell God or imagine ways that he will do things "my way."  I suggest to him ways I think would be quite good for all involved and could bring him glory in the process! I really ok if he says "no."   Can I really say and actually mean "your will be done?"  Sometimes, I'm ashamed to admit, I even feel like I have done well with the fact that I've gone to God in prayer asking for help, and then legalistically wait for him to reward me for my righteousness (gag).  I could go on about my legalistic tendencies that I have to fight, but I'll save that for another time.


I think I have 
1. Gotten surrender all wrong and 
2. Left out a really key part of being able to truly trust God.

Let me expound on number 2.

I like the comfort of knowing what's ahead.  I like to make plans based on what I know.  Prepare. in control.  But, is that really comfort?  I know that I know that I KNOW that I would make a terrible God.  No.  never, ever would I want that.  Yet, I act and think as if being in in complete control, and trusting in my ways, my thoughts (aka trying to be God)...will bring me comfort and security.  Well...guess what.  It doesn't (big surprise there!).  You know what I have found comforting though?   THINKING on who God is,  and then DWELLING on who he is, and then PRAISING him for who he is.  And when I am done doing that, I find...that I can't help but be comforted and feel secure.  For example, just dwelling and thinking on God's goodness and sovereignty....and how he is never one and not the other...blows my mind open and I find myself humbled on my knees in thankfulness and praise, asking him to help me LOVE that about him.  The fact that he is above all things, knows all things and orchestrates all things, and that for those who love him, all things are for GOOD (Romans 8:28).  I could go on and on about how God being good and sovereign is so amazing, but my point is...I find what I'm looking for when I think about who God is:  Comfort and security and...a DESIRE TO SURRENDER everything to God and LEAVE it there.  I discover joy that I can't know all things, fix all things, or control all things.  Because I have acquired a peace that he does, and he can, and he will.  

So...trusting God.  Lately, it's meant not looking for him to answer my specific ideas of how to fix my life and my heart, but rather, dwelling on and praising God for who he is and finding the natural desire to surrender all to him and to leave it with him.   I know that there is so much more even, that is part of trusting God, but for now, I will leave it here.

 I love God.  I love His Word.  And...because I love his Word, I will leave you with some that has been encouraging my heart lately.   

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God, whose Word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid." -Psalm 56:3-4 (emphasis added)

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?" -Matthew 6:25

"No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do as he had promised." -Romans 4:20-21 (emphasis added)

"For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down.  For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.  For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.  This God--His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him."   -Psalm 18:27-30 (emphasis added)

"I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, oh most High...And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, oh Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you." -Psalm 9:1-2,10 (emphasis added) so sooooo much more scripture I want to put down, but I'll stop here.  For now. ;) 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Faces of Pride

Hey friends,

So it is a bit uncomfortable to share the following with you as I am a beginner/not professional in my writing skills.  At first I started writing a "rap" with a chorus and then I think it turned more into a poem or spoken word?  Whatever this is, it's from my heart and I hope that it encourages and challenges. 

The Faces Of Pride

I've been walkin' around with all sorts of bruises, life of wounds and wrong thinking, but to admit this my heart refuses 
'cus PRIDE.
Pride has many colors, many fingers and motives; to think I have immunity from any shade is just bogus.
Self-pity, it is pride, and it's wanting to be noticed; it's feeling sad for myself that my beauty is below His. 

I've got these shackles in the way, oh God I pray take them away; every-time I seek your face it feels like you turn it away, God no! 
please stay! 
Don't abandon my soul to the grave, no, I know in Psalms you say, that you've not abandoned me this day; you have delivered me.
I wanna be rid of disgrace, this constant striving for acceptance; but then I mess up again and think it's time to pay penance.

I get all bent out of shape at how humans treat me; I want to justify myself when they try to unseat me.  
such pain.
It's cus' there I go again trying to beat all that is wrong, instead of singing "this is my story, and this is my song."
Forgiveness, it is mine, and it's free, glory be!  Christ died a perfect death in my place, he hung on the tree. 


Whatcha gonna do when you build on the sand
Whatcha gonna do when your right hand man
is youuuuu? 
is youuu? 

Whatcha gonna do when you're sinking down
The clay gives way and you start to drown 
you prayyyyy
I pray

If God is so loving, also sovereign and good, then why did he make us, I've misunderstood.
what's good?
We're created by him and for him, his Word makes that clear; but why does he want me when I scoff and don't fear? 
I have raised myself high and stolen your glory, but when I find myself wanting I yell out "Lord, help me!" 

The problem is not that we live without knowledge; no, we think for ourselves, study up, go to college. 
We learn, we take in, and form our worldview; but we desire self-glory and worship smart thinking in lieu. 
of you.
Itching ears want to hear and the heart is deceitful, so to figure it out on your own, without His Word is just lethal. 

Whatcha gonna do when you build on the sandWhatcha gonna do when your right hand man
is youuuuu? 
is youuu? 

Whatcha gonna do when you're sinking down
The clay gives way and you start to drown 
you prayyyyy
I pray


So it seems the main problem is me thinking I'm no problem; trusting in my own understanding of who God is and what my heart says. 
Thinking I have arrived and there's nothing new to learn, of my patient Father God that he is kind and not just stern.  
I must learn to discern when I'm just trying hard to earn, my way, what I want instead of making a return. 
to my knees.


How dare you, how dare me try to be what we are not; all powerful, sovereign, and perfect like God. 
it's disgraceful.
You have washed me in your blood; you have covered me with grace; 
while I have sought out my own pleasures, not the beauty of your face.
I long to kill this pride, heal inside from all these lies, but the journey will stop short 'till I find you, my God, the prize. 


So I am sinking down, sinking down not on the sand; I'm dropping to my knees to surrender you my right hand.
oh, God.
Believing in the power that is released when our hands meet; rejoicing as all the lies I have believed fall in defeat.
You are my king and my God, and that's nothing short of glorious;
I raise my hands in praise, you rose from the grave VICTORIOUS!

(C) Sarah Codispoti, April 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Things for Thankfulness

So, I have been overwhelmed in every area lately...emotionally, physically, circumstantially, mentally, the point of I don't even know where to start with coming up with something to write, especially something organized.  I feel....flooded and stopped up at the same time.  But, writing is therapeutic for me, so I think today I am going to write a list of things I'm thankful for.  Watch out, it's a big list.

-My husband and family
-New church family
-Chocolate flourless cake
-Especially homemade chocolate flourless cake so that you can eat gigantic portions of it and still have some left for breakfast  snack the next day.
-Close to my parents with this new move
-Awesome place to rent
-Several sunshine filled days in a row
-Great area filled with parks and super cool libraries
-God teaching me how to trust him
-God teaching me that I CAN trust him
-God teaching me that I am desperately in need of him
-God comforting and helping me as I come to him in desperate need
-New jeans that stay where they belong when I try to walk and bend and sit like a normal person
-Money to pay for said jeans
-Fruit bits, Haribo Gummy Bears and anything gummy with sugar
-Hilarious moments from your toddler that slightly redeem non-hilarious moments (like painting your piano with white out)
-mug and candle obsessions that can appear slightly shameful when mug and candle collections are taken out of storage (but are oh so enjoyable) (can one ever have too many mugs or candles?) (don't answer that please).
-grace through friends bringing us meals our first week here!
-New coffee pot
-Dark, dark, strong, deeply dark coffee brewed in said new coffee pot
-Chocolate cake eaten with said dark coffee
-the WORD and a renewed hunger for it
-My siblings :)
-Half-price bookstore now accessible with a 10 min drive (Yes, you should be concerned for our pocketbook)
-A washer and dryer in our place! (I got tired of turning my underwear inside out back and forth for the last 4 years of marriage) (j/k)(is that gross?) (inappropriate?)(sorry)
-New dream job for Joshua
-The FACT that my husband is extremely good looking
-Mason jars and glass jars filled with food stuffs
-God's sovereignty
-Planners and organizational tools
-Sometimes, my brain
-Sometimes, the Lord despite my brain
-My whole freaking life.

Ok, I know I said it was going to be a long one, and it's a bit of a cop out to just say "my whole freaking life"...however, my only time to write without interruption is nap time,  (which is on my thankful list) and nap time today, just isn't working out.  Thus...a shorter than planned list.  Here, I will add one more to the list so I can end on a thankful note:

- Thankful for grace and patience for my kids even when they don't help me out in the nap department.

Now, I am off to go ask God for said grace and patience.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Day in the LIFE (in which I attempt to write something humorous on a dead brain)

I am about to commence an end of the day, entirely at the end of myself, barely have a brain left, post that describes a typical day in the life as a stay at home mom. I shall write this post by quoting Israel, Jericho and myself.  There shall be a narrator, and that narrator shall be myself, since I am writing this blog, and I want my own personal thoughts inserted. Is this even making sense? I'm not sure. Like I said, I am at "barely have a brain" stage. Whatever. Here we go.  No...wait...please make sure to read the "DISCLAIMER" at the end of this post, ok?

Me: Rolls over...feels for hubs...hubs is up already getting ready for work.  "Phew, I have 21 more minutes until Israel wakes up to try to grab a few more z's!"
*thump* *thump thump thump* *eyes staring at my face at the side of the bed*
Next 45 min-
Israel: (in bed with me) "Hummm hummmm"...."nose kisses mommy! 'boop boop boop!'"*kick, flop, roll.*
Me: "Want to watch a movie?" 
Israel: "How bout that one!? no THAT one! NO not THAT one!" 
Narrator: "Sarah likely is having a conversation in her head at this point about how worth it is it to try to grab a quick shower while her son is corralled in his high chair with a banana, apple and on his lucky days, coconut macaWOON.  Any minute Jericho will wake crying and isn't 5 min of laying in bed far surpassing of clean hair?"
Me showering: *Insert various and sundry interruptions and neediness pulling me out of said shower.* 
Narrator:  As narrator, I choose to delete the plethora of conversations or noises during the kids' eating, diaper changes, more eating, more diaper changes, and re-discovering of the toys put neatly away the night before. 
Me: *Looking longingly at the coffee pot.* Coffee, glorious coffee. 
Israel: "Mommy gotta make some coffee, mommy?" 
Me: *smiles* Thinks, "gosh he knows me well!"
2-3 cups coffee later
Me: "Wow, thank you Lord for the grace of coffee! Thank you for this energy which wasn't here this morning! Thank you for the joy they are and for the blessing it is that I get to be their mommy."
Narrator: The above prayer is actually a genuine one, not at all sarcastic.  However, it may or may not be a tad bit influenced by copious amounts of caffeine, but nonetheless, Sarah is well aware that it is a command of God's to be joyful always, and always we can find joy if we ask and look for it.
Early morning pre-nap:
Cars, crayons, crying, trains, play-doh...and THEN:

Israel: "Mommy! Israel go poo poo potty and pee pee potty and then get a SSSCHLOCOLATE CHIP!? One for pee pee one for poo poo!?" 
Sarah: Cleans up melty chocolate after the two deeds are done and the treat doled out...and eaten. Slowly, savored (melted) and eaten. 
More playing, laughs, tears.
Israel: *walks over to a corner where Jericho made a huge mess and exclaims to himself 'are you serious!? Are you SERIOUS!?'" 
Jericho: *cries and fusses*
Israel: "Golly Jericho, stop whining!"
Me: (about to tell Israel it probably won't help Jericho to tell her to stop whining, especially in that tone of voice, then realizing that he is probably saying that as a repeat of what I likely said to him moments before) *opens mouth.* *Closes mouth.*

Narrator: Again, I'll spare the little details of diapers, water cups, sheet on, sheet off, door opened, noise machines set, etc etc. 
Sarah: *scuttles off to make some lunch* *Fixes lunch.* *sits down to eat...*
Jericho: "Waaaaaaahhhh!" 
Me: "Are you serious? Are you SERIOUS!? You're going to kill yourself from sleep deprivation, little girl!"
Narrator: What Sarah probably means in the statement above is: "YOU'RE GONNA KILL ME WITH YOUR LACK OF SLEEPING, LITTLE GIRL!" need to really point that out...
The remainder of Israel's naptime is spent playing with Jericho in a room where her delicate noises won't wake him.
Jericho: "cah-cah? CAH-cah!? CAH-CAH!"  
Narrator: (cah cah is Jericho's universal word for food, and it is translated as "cracker"). 
Narrator: lunch is lunch....some days hot dogs, other days... hot dogs. And maybe some eggs. Why don't we skip to post lunch...
Post lunch on the way to the grocery store-
Israel: After sitting silently, suddenly calls out "mommy don't gotta wiener!" 
Mommy and Israel: *discuss who does and doesn't have a wiener*
Grocery store-
Narrator: "Beenana chips" munched on as Sarah tries to make it through the store. Of course, this isn't too hard as both of her kids are so well behaved and sit quietly munching in the shopping cart, smiling at strangers, loving life, and even helping Sarah remember items on her list at times....of course!
Checking out at the grocery store-
Cashier to Israel: "Hi, how are you?"
Israel: "I like scones!!"
Narrator: ummm...sweet!?
Home late afternoon time-
Israel: "Can I take this car in bath? This one? How about this one!? And this one?"
Sarah: "Sure, just take the whole bucket!"

****30 min of "easy entertainment" time is ended abruptly early as Sarah has to follow through with discipline...dumping water out of the tub onto the floor...on purpose...equals all done bath.****
Narrator: More left out details of continued playtime, snacks, diapers, laughs, cries, and...oh! Sarah forgot to mention that she got a load of laundry in the wash (so what if it's still wet in the washer and not in the dryer 5 hours later!?) and 8.89% of the dishes done from the day!
Sarah finds out from a friend that Israel informed her that she had "lots of milk!" 
Narrator: "Milk," according to Israel, are...breasts. Yup, I just said it...breasts.  Annnnnnnd the outspoken observations from a thankfully loveable toddler begin...
Narrator: The switch is the time of day when both matter how good the day went for them and how well behaved they were...turn into wild, naughty, screaming, crying completely exhausting children, all whilst Sarah is trying to make supper. 
Sarah: "Jericho, stop hanging on mommy's legs!"
Sarah: "Jericho! My PANTS! *looks around* "Glad I'm alone in here!"
Narrator: Yes, Jericho did pull her mommy's pant clear to the floor one day.  How's that for a laugh?
Israel: "Israel gotta watch REAL trains on mommy's computer? Daddy gotta fix mommy's computer!"

Jericho: *cries some more*
Israel: "Israel gotta eat some of Jericho's puffs?"
Narrator: Puffs are the little cheerio-like snacks for babies...only they are real "natural" flavors such as "blueberry-blue sweet potato-banana."  I'm not joking!
Post two hours of terror, 7pm-
...The routine. Total sweetness. Songs, prayers, jammies, teeth, diapers, water...
Israel: *belts out from his bed* "Amaaaaaaaaaaaaazinnnng GWACE!!!"
Me: "Amazing grace indeed....thank you Lord for this day and for getting me through it.

Oh, in case you were wondering, here is what I look like immediately following my morning coffee:

Here is what I look like at the end of the day after the coffee has long since worn off :

Here is a day we mixed it up and had NOODLES with our HOT DOG!

****DISCLAIMER: I absolutely LOVE being mom to our dear children.  I wouldn't change it for the world.  This blogpost is real life, people...and sometimes I need to put a little humor on that real life at the end of a hard day.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It's not THAT bad

Psalm 66:17-18:  "I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened."

This scripture verse is like a battering ram to my a good way.  See, here has been my problem:

I have since becoming a new creation in Christ, a believer and one who is saved, known that I am called to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, strength and mind (Luke 10:27).  And, I have wanted to love him this way, OH how I have wanted to.  Prayed to.  But...while I have experienced and shown evidence of Luke 10, it hasn't been until now that I have found such depth of revelation and affection.  

Here is my confession, the ugly truth: 

-I often saw my sin as less than other people's sins.  
I haven't ever seen my sin as that big a deal.  As that significant.  I have prayed only half-hearted and almost vague non-specific prayers about the Lord killing my idols and helping me love him most.  I have never truly invited him in to show me the base level depth and weight of my sin, and therefore I have never FELT a great need for a savior.  God intended for his law to crush that we can rejoice in the glorious, undeserved gift of the Gospel.  

-My sins were small, and therefore my savior was small.  
I know that the sins of anger, unforgiveness, self-pity, lovelessness and revenge are just as bad as any other sin.  I have wrestled with these particular sins all my life.  Yet, I had not invited the Holy Spirit to work change in my heart, and help me kill the sins, even while knowing there were even deeper sin issues at the root of them!  Hence, the "cherishing iniquity in my heart."  I, unlike the Psalmist in Psalm 66, was not having my prayers to love/value God most answered, and it was because I was not humbling myself in confession, nor was I pursuing the death of certain sins. 

-I wanted to feel loved.
I crave for my feelings and emotions to back up what I know to be true.  But, when I didn't let the Lord into the areas of my heart that needed tending to, it was IMPOSSIBLE for me to feel the full weight of forgiveness and love from God (or thankfulness TO God) ...because I wasn't dealing with the sins to even confess them.  Therefore, I was not going to FEEL love from his forgiveness.   

-I esteemed being viewed as godly over actually being godly.  
 I was scared of pain, discomfort and rejection (of people) more than I was concerned over the disobedience of my heart in not valuing Christ as I ought.  Therefore, I allowed myself to be "content" to find my value and worth based off of the impressions people got of my godliness, and the affirmation they gave me for it.  

-I wanted glory and affirmation for myself.
 Sarah was Sarah's idol.  These confessions kill me because I didn't want to live like that!  It's not what true life is!  God says to live is CHRIST to die is GAIN (Phil 1:21)!  Yet, I didn't want to suffer the pain of dying...dying to self and the death of my sins (which would hurt my idol of ME).  I. was. THE idol.  

I was strongly convicted by this quote when I started reading John Pipers book "God is the Gospel:

"Most modern people can scarily imagine an alternative understanding of feeling loved other than feeling made much of.  If you don't make much of me you are not loving me. But when you apply this definition of love to God, it weakens his worth, undermines his goodness, and steals our final satisfaction.  If the enjoyment of God himself is not the final and best gift of love, then God is not the greatest treasure, his self-fgiving is not the highest mercy, the gospel is not the good news that sinners may enjoy their Maker, Christ did not suffer to bring us to God, and our souls must look beyond him for satisfaction...We are willing to be God-centered, it seems, as long as God is man-centered.  We are willing to boast in the cross as long as the cross is a witness to our worth.  Who then is our pride and joy?"   

So.  Who am I really?  I am: 

Proud. Self-consumed. Hypocritical. Wounded. Always wanting to make justice happen. Unworthy of all things good.

Who is God? He is:

Gracious. Full of compassion. Rich in Mercy.  Loving. Holy. 
Worthy, for he IS all things good. 

Isaiah 30:18: "Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for him." 

I have talked about my confession in past tense because the Lord has done a great work in my heart! I finally humbled myself before God and confessed. 

James 4:6-10:  "But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, 'God opposes the pround, but gives grace to the humble.' Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Huble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you." 

"My strength is found not in how intensely I struggle but how completely I surrender."  -Ken Gire.  

I surrendered my fears to the Lord.  Confessed my desires to be made much of, and asked him for help to see my sins as crushingly huge.  I wanted to make much of my Savior and the death he died for those sins I'd seen as "not that big of a deal."  You know what I found??

NO CONDEMNATION! (Romans 8:1!)
Hunger for more of Christ to a level I'd never felt before!
FREEDOM! Freedom to confess to the world and to God that I am a wretch...but because of Christ...I am seen as PURE and blameless by the Father! (Again, to a new level). 


I had not been living as one who is saved. A new creation. I had not been walking in free grace with the absence of condemnation.  

I was not delighting or loving God with all my heart, soul, strength and mind because again, I didn't see my sin as great.  More often, I was seeking God for me, and what he could do for me, not because He is EVERYTHING good and I want to know more of my creator God, his splendors and ultimately, worship him.  I was using him. And, because of this, I was ungrateful.  Entitled. 

THIS should be my heart: 
"What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him, visit him every morning, test him at every moment?" -Job 7:17-18

IN AWE that the GOD of the UNIVERSE pursues me.  

I am so thankful for what God has been showing me lately!  Since he has revealed to me the deep uglies of my heart (and I know there are more to be found), I am excited to pursue God, grow, love, serve and relish the joy in HIM that's always available.  Because...I will say it again...God is the good news. 

I still wrestle with my flesh. Pride. Selfishness (always will while here on earth), but I have realized this:  I can want all my life to esteem God as highest--to value the gift of forgiveness--yet never actually do so. 

Until I was willing to face my sin head humble myself before God and ASK him to HELP me die to self, I didn't value the greatest gift I have ever had and will ever have. My flesh wants to run from sin.  Divert. I want to be praised.  I want the glory.  Of course I don't "feel" like running into the pain of growing and killing sin.  But, I can know, that if I choose to "cherish iniquity" in my heart, that I will have a wedge between myself and the fullness of joy that is found in Christ. 
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks find, and to the one who knocks it will be opened." -Matt 7:7-8

I am praising God right now for opening the door to me!  For answering my prayers to see my sin as great and deserving of God's wrath...not so I would be hopeless in guilt and condemnation, but so that I could rejoice in the greatness of my savior who died under God's wrath in my place.

To find GOD as THE good news is to find never-ending desire for more of him while simultaneously living in complete satisfaction in him.

To GOD be the GLORY great things he has done!! time maybe I'll have a weightier post for you all...  ;) 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mommies, Plow Your Field.

Mommies, Plow your field.  This title came to me when talking to my husband (via text message which you can see a blip of below) about how I just don't feel cut out to be a mom.  More days than not I feel exhausted, overwhelmed, clueless and inadequate.  "Well," Joshua said, "that just means there is more room for grace!"  More room for grace.  Yes.  Today I was tempted to melt down in a puddle of tears because I just felt stuck in a place of "I can't do this anymore, but I have to...they need me."  I worked my butt off yesterday just being a mom and then all it seems that I got from it was the *occasional* tantrum, demand for more of me than I felt that I had to give, and a way too late bedtime.  Then, as I fought all day for patience, I slip up at the end of the day and express frustration and impatience in my tone to my littles leaving me to go to bed fighting guilt on top of all the other battles.  Grace.  I need to remember grace.  Grace to receive and grace to give.  Grace to keep plowing.  
Hosea 10:12 "Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow (unplowed) ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness on you." 

The Lord has gifted me with these precious children.  Yes, they are hard work.  Tears. Sweat. Blood.  Each day can be a battle to walk into, often time with inadequate armor.  (By inadequate I mean not enough bibs to protect from projectile rice cereal flung from the spoon you are attempting to hold onto but your baby grabs it and catapults the cereal directly onto your shirt, or not enough YOU to feed your baby while simultaneously dealing with your son's watermelon drippage down his clean shirt, into his high chair and onto the floor). hard and messy as being a mom can be, we have unplowed fields here, ladies.  We have souls that are ready to have the seeds of the love and truth of Christ poured into them.  We have a responsibility that is ginormous but we have grace.  We have the LORD who is longing to be gracious to us (Isaiah 30:18) and when we seek to be obedient, to lean on the Lord for help and give our children HIM, he comes and RAINS RIGHTEOUSNESS on us! I will let scripture speak for itself and post a few more truths/promises/encouragements to hold onto: 

Hebrews 12:11: "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace by those who have been trained by it."

Proverbs 10:28: "The hope of the righteous brings joy..." 

Nehemiah 8:10: "...for the joy of the Lord is your strength." 

SO, as my husband says in these text messages below, PLOW YOUR FIELD

Thank you, hubby for your wisdom and for inspiration for this short, likely discombobulated but heartfelt blogpost.  :) Now, as I get ready to wrap this post up, I'll leave some pictures that capture some of the moments that make all my sleepless nights and -0 alone time seem totally worth it. Well...almost. ;) 

Israel took a "solfie" on my phone. Seriously? Lord, I pray I would not foster a little narcissist by owning and sharing my i-phone with my toddler. 

Something funny to look at when Joshua and I really want a laugh in the midst of exhaustion:

Remember that watermelon mess I mentioned above? Well, the little helper was amazing at helping me clean it and then some up with this handy dandy mop: 

                                    Bumbo baby with another bracelet = butter hearted mommy:

                              Another heart melter....he had to keep his hat on all day just like daddy.  

My favorite person... on the third floor. Haha...He's my one and only third floor.  Yes.