So much has happened, so how's about some bullet points? Yahoo!
- I am immensely grateful for godly women and a godly husband who point me to Jesus. In sum, I was led to Christ to see that he is still a God of grace, even when I feel so horrible and revert to old, selfish ways of thinking. Pretty much I reverted to believing the lie that I have a Jesus checklist that I must accomplish. I viewed my "quiet times" as something I must do to prove that I really am a Christian, as though the Holy Spirit sealed within me isn't enough proof.
But, God is a gracious, loving Father. He wants my heart. He wants my worship, so when I feel terrible and can't bear to read anything, I can pray and talk to him and ask him to help me feel better, and if not, the act of turning to him matters far more than if I force myself to read my daily few chapters in between bouts of puking. He loves me and is most glorified when my heart turns to him, not when I complete my self-imposed checklist of Christianity.
|What MiniMoose looks like! We'll be 12 weeks on Thursday.|
Click on picture for link to BabyCenter.com,
where the image is from.
- I am reminded that my body is not my own. Not only is it meant to glorify Christ, but being a selfless and patient mother starts now. See, I already fret about how I'll worship Jesus and not scream at my kids in frustration on those ubiquitous "somedays" that I'm sure loom ahead. Hardly ever do I consider how I am influencing my child in how I respond right now. I gave into the grumbling of my heart that felt totally justified in merely wanting my intestines back, just wanting to feel human again and not like a baby making factory. But, the thing is that my body right now is serving my child, and my heart can serve him/her by praying now for a selfless and patient heart bent on worshiping Jesus through all of motherhood, not just post-birth.
Ok, unbulleting now for the heart of this post. Here comes some soul baring stuff, so grab your popcorn and get cozy, kids!
I really love writing. And, I am also very scared of it. I am afraid that I won't be very good at it if I give it everything, that I'll fail, and so, to be very blunt, I kind of half-ass it. That way, if I'm never great, well, hey, I didn't really try. This is a major character flaw- rarely do I do something 100%, give it my all, so that way I won't feel all that let down if I fail. I can always know that if I had really wanted to be great, I could have, and feel safe in mediocrity in the meantime. Worst of all, I call it humility because I'm afraid that if I do try hard and am really good at something then I'll become really proud, ergo... false humility.
I know that's horribly wrong. Last week the sermon at church just convicted me to my core. The basic message was that it honors Christ when we work hard to be our best and glorify him by being great at the things he has called us to, gifted us in, made us good at, etc. I know that not only do I love writing, I'm called to do it, and enough people have told me that Jesus has spoken to them through my writing that I know Jesus uses it to serve people. I'm afraid that admitting this sounds incredibly arrogant, and I live cloaked in this fear that I'm a very proud, very selfish person. That is something Jesus is working through and breaking that false identity into the pieces of trash that it is, but that's for another post.
Here's the deal: I have spent lots of time the last few weeks on the couch. I've also watched a lot of daytime TV. Honestly, before the time to go down in history as first-baby-all-day-sickness I can't remember the last time I watched daytime TV. I went through an Ellen phase a few years ago, but then I did my semi-annual "the DVR must stop running my life!" cleansing and she didn't make the cut. So, now.
I was watching... dun, dun, dunnnnnhhhhh... Oprah. Here's the deal with Oprah- I am, regrettably, one of those Christians who pretty much thinks she's the anti-Christ. At least, I have been. I've been disgusted by her whole "everything good in the universe is god" panentheistic spiel and I and I am jealous of how her crap spewing has made her a multi-billionaire. Ok, I dunno if that's true. But she has more money than I could ever imagine. And don't even want that kind of money for myself... but my sinful heart feels annoyed that she has so much when I just want a decent Craftsman house with enough room for 4-6 kids and a car newer than 2005. So reasonable, my sinful desires are, and so ridiculous, her massive wealth and fame for crap-spewing is. That's how a greedy and selfish heart works, and mine never sleeps.
So, here's the deal. I was watching Oprah and became mega-convicted. Sure, I don't agree with most of her message, like look within and find peace with the universe and celebrate goodness in humanity because that is god. But I was thinking about the sermon I linked, and how to filter culture through the gospel. What can we receive? What do we outright reject? And what can be redeemed? I realized that Oprah has some stuff to be rejected, probably something here and there we can receive (I have no examples off the top of my head, but I'm sure there's something now and then), and much of what she says can be redeemed.
Example: A recent episode (rerun) was about how women who have an unhealthy emotional relationship with food overeat in order to fill a hole, because we deeply desire meaning and avoid pain. The message was to fill that hole with "god"- as in, all that is good, amazing, filled with wonder in the world. But that can be redeemed- we do feel a hole, because our purpose is to live unto the glory of God and be filled with him and when we don't then we do find ways to fill that hole. Overeating is one thing we do, and we abuse food, something good from God that is meant to glorify him in how we enjoy it. The hole never fills, and we never feel whole, just worse. And often we get fat, and that makes us feel worse about who we are because we listen to culture's lies that our worth as women is determined by whether or not we have a Victoria's Secret lingerie model's body.
Suffice it to say, I was thinking about how much Oprah has done, how many lives she has touched. Instead of sitting back and hating on her because I disagree with her message, what if I sought to look at every episode through the gospel lens of receive/reject/redeem? And then, what if I wrote about it? And thus, the idea for Redeeming Oprah was born.
So the plan is to watch every episode of the final season, be bathed in scripture and Bible study and prayer, and to use the gospel filter of receive/reject/redeem and write about it. I'm a little freaked out. What if I get lazy and don't feel like it? What if the excitement wears off and I half-ass it? What if I say something that's bad theology? Am I spiritually mature and biblically founded enough to do this? And is it legal? Can I get sued for watching her show and writing about it? Or, worst of all, what if it's really successful and I get a book offer or something and become proud and start wanting fame and quit loving Jesus?
So... you can pray for me. I am intimidated, but I also believe Jesus has called me to give it my all and seek to glorify him. He wants me to worship him through this, and I would love it if women who either aren't Christians or who don't have the Biblical foundation to discern the things that Oprah says that aren't in line with the gospel but sound nice read the blog and were pointed to Jesus. If it led women to read the Bible and ask Jesus his opinion and what it looks like for them to seek him... that would just be amazing. It would glorify God, serve others, and bring me joy-- if you listen to the sermon, those are the marks of redeeming greatness for Jesus' glory.
To do this well, we decided to get a TiVo. I can't miss episodes, but I can't live chained to my TV from 4-5 everyday, and this way I can rewind and pause and all that goodness. The latest models work with our over the air HD digital antenna (we cut cable awhile back), so yay. I need to figure out what I want the site to look like, if I can legally put images of her from the internet on there, etc, etc, etc. So time and money are going into this. I appreciate prayer for those things, too.
Ok, enough for now :) Do share your thoughts, insights, etc. I'd love to hear from you!