Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Purposeful Life

I have been having a lot tumble around in my heart recently about the purpose of life, and if I'm living up to what I was made for.
We were created to be in relationship with God. We were also created to bring glory to God. That is the end of which all of our actions, words, and thoughts should be focused on. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." I have known since elementary school that the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever but am continually learning what that actually means. I knew there were moments in my life when I was intentionally sinning, but I have not always been so aware of "harmless" things I do that do not result in God being brought glory. The verse says WHATEVER I do I am to do to the glory of God. There are so many areas of my life that I do not do unto the glory of God. If I was created and exist for this very purpose, which I believe with all of my heart and mind, and I do not act in that way then I am not functioning to my full capacity. All other things I do are useless. They are pointless. They are a huge waste of my time. I can't get the picture out of my head of a circle that my life is supposed to look like- and when I act outside of that how ridiculous it looks trying to be a square instead. A square is not the same thing as a circle! And I can't cram my square life through the circle that God has created me to live through. I know that my words cannot convey the frustration in my heart and mind of all the ways that I DON'T GET IT! I know they don't because I have tried a few times lately and I do not feel like people fully understand what I am trying to say. I think there are a lot of cultural things that we accept because it is all we have known and doesn't seem as blatant of a sin as adultery or murder. I DON'T want to live a life that does not fulfill the reason I was created just because what I know is normal. I have had a fierce hunger recently to pour over the words that God gave me in the Bible to know what my life is to look like- not what Christian America tells me. I am slightly frightened by that because I'm pretty sure it is radically different than what it looks like now. I DO NOT want to stand before the throne of God and say- well that's what all the other Christians around me were doing so I thought it was right. I am not to line my life up with others- I am to line it up with HIS word. The lazy side of me is SO overwhelmed by this. But when I submit that to the Lord the Holy Spirit gives me a restlessness that drives me to change.
Even those that don't believe in Christ were created to bring glory to God. It upsets me greatly to think of those that are living their entire lives missing the point of their existence COMPLETELY! No wonder the world is such a mess and people don't have a hope. When I live out my life purpose- then I believe those that do not know their purpose will have their eyes opened to that. When I live to bring glory to God in all areas of my life then God will glorify Himself and I know that includes others calling on His name. Then their lives will be full of purpose and hope as well.
Two of the main things on my mind recently that I see Christians missing their purpose on is politics and sports. I think about the time we take to express our OPINIONS on RIDICULOUS things. Things that will NOT flow over into eternity. If were only so passionate about the name of Jesus, the things on His heart, and his standards as we are about our candidate of choice, sports team of choice, music of choice etc. we would actually see people around us changing. I don't mean to just stop being expressive about the things that don't matter and to be silent. I mean to open our mouths to speak about the things that will matter for the rest of eternity.
I know a part of politics are some of those issues. I just don't see the God created picture of marriage that is to be a reflection of Jesus Christ and HIS bride the church, and the preciousness and value of unborn lives as most of the things people are opening their mouths about. In Acts the early church begged the Lord for words that were His and a confidence to speak them. Acts 4:29, "And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bondservants may speak Your word with all confidence." Please, if you are a follower and submitter of your personal will to Jesus Christ- use your words to further the things HE has put value on. Otherwise you are wasting your time and emotion.
I don't think sports needs to be explained much, but then I see it as a huge problem so maybe it should be explained. People are willing to treat a brother or sister in Christ in a terrible way because of a favorite differing college athlete that would not stand up for you in any way for any amount of time. I don't see how this is not clearly a waste of time and emotion. Enjoying sports is not a problem. I like sports a lot. It's when it comes before our call to treat others with love and to have our words seasoned with salt. It seriously blows my mind. I can't get too much into it, because my natural tendency is to become exactly what I despise. Just a question to think about- how much time do MEN in our churches spend talking about sports with each other and how much time do they spend talking about God's word? I pray for a change in this ratio. Men who lead courageously in this will bring Glory to our Heavenly Father. ZERO doubt in my mind.
I do not mean this to be a finger pointing. I tried to open my post with disgust I have with myself over my own failures and how I miss completely my created purpose. I also want to do what Hebrews 10:23-25 calls me to. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging on another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."
My family got another chance to hang out with my Ugandan friends on Friday. I have been so blessed by these past few weeks of knowing these women and their little ones. And of course their wonderful translator Hellen. We got to spend some semi-undistracted (Matthew and Andrew were there so all things considered- it was good- haha) time asking Hellen questions.
She gave use some direction on how to go about pursuing adoption from Uganda through a lawyer. I am learning patience already in this process! There were some helpful answers, and there were also just names and email addresses of other people to contact. I am excited to have a little more direction though.
One of the things that overwhelms me is that even once we make these huge decisions, there is still a huge amount of money lacking to make this whole process happen. I was reminded in a conversation with the Lord yesterday that HE is so much more than I could ever imagine. I can trust that HE will be sufficient in all of my emotional short comings, and in all of the administrative details, all of the money that is needed, all of the love and patience I will fail at showering on this child someday in my own power. He wants HIS power to be made PERFECT in my weakness. His perfect power in my life seems like a pretty unstoppable thing if only I would be weak before Him. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, "And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weakness, with insults with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak then I am strong." Another promise I am holding to is 1 Thessalonians 5:24, "Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass." Adam and I both believe that God has called believers to care for the orphans, James 1:27, "Pure and undefiled religion in the sign of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." We further believe that a part of how He has called our family to take part in this is through adoption. If He has called, then He will be faithful to bring it to pass. I am so grateful that I have a consistent and reliable God and Father that I can trust. I am having to continually remind myself of all of these truths as fear and doubt creep into my mind in the many moments a day I think about all the aspects of this process.
Last little part of the post. Highlights from my family lately.
ANDREW SITS UP NOW! This kid is growing up SO much faster than Matthew did I feel like. I HATE it! I tell him everyday to slow down. He has two bottom teeth that he got in two days which was not so lovely- but they are awfully cute when he grins! He is enjoying toys and watching his older brother dash around and make him laugh.
Matthew is full of adorable and hysterical sayings these days.  First off, we try hard to teach Matthew about Jesus- but I also am so thankful for those that invest in his little life in his Sunday School class and his school class. He comes home saying the things that he learns there and it fills my heart.
Yesterday He made a paper sword and shield in Sunday school (a little boys DREAM!) and was running around the living room in the afternoon saying that God fights our battles for us. Sometimes I am afraid my heart is going to explode. That was not something I taught him. Thank you to the crew that it takes to make Sunday mornings run- you are pouring truth into my little sinful boys heart that I am praying will not return void.
More sweet Jesus moments from Matthew... Each night that I put Matthew to bed I pray for God's hand of protection to be over our house. I believe that there is lots of evil that can happen in the darkness of night and I pray over my little boys each night. One night Matthew prayed, "Hand protect and all my blessings." It is sweet listening to his little voice pray.
One day recently after many cloudy days, we walked outside and it was sunny. I was excited to see blue skis but didn't say anything. Matthew immediately looked back at me and said, "Mommy! Way pretty outside! Jesus made sun." Jesus got the glory for the sunshine from Matthew and not me. That kid keeps me on my toes.
One night while I was fixing dinner, Andrew was playing on the floor and crying. I needed to finish something quickly before going to get him and the next thing I know I see Matthew laying on the floor next to Andrew rubbing his back and singing Jesus Loves Me to him! Once heart was melted into a puddle on the kitchen floor!
A few funny ones...
Matthew is learning what some of his body parts are called. He asked me what his nipples were in the bath one night so I told him. A few minutes later I asked him what they were and confidently said, "my normals!" I giggled and said, "No. Try to remember what mommy said." With just as much confidence he said, "My pickles!" HAHA.
We had the privilege this past Saturday to go to the FSU game against Duke in Tallahassee. Someone let us use their season tickets. I was SO excited for Matthew to go to his first game. Andrew too- but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't care at all about what was going on. Matthew did LOVE all the ritual and hoopla about the game. I loved hearing him do that chant. F-L-O-R-I-D-A S-T-A-T-E. FLORIDA STATE! FLORIDA STATE! FLORIDA STATE! WHOO! His rendition was F-J-R-T-S K-P-E-B-L-T WHOO! So sweet. Those were two tired boys and a tired Mommy Daddy and Mimi after the day was through!