Friday, March 29, 2013

Keeping it Real

I mentioned in my last post that things have really changed for me in the last year. I want to elaborate on that and give a little background. I grew up in a Christian home with parents who faithfully took my brothers and me to church, taught Sunday school, sent us to camps and prayed for us. I am blessed to have spent my life knowing about God and hearing scriptures.

 Growing up I was great at rule following and I knew the list about what Christians do not do and stuck to it. No drinking, no drugs, no sex, no gossiping. Well I never was great at the last one but it isn't even a commandment and I certainly wasn't stealing or murdering so I figured God wouldn't be too worried about me. I write this knowing it sounds so ridiculous and arrogant but I figured since I followed the list of what to avoid I was a pretty great Christian. I mean, ya we all sin but mine just weren't that big. Like I said, I know how bad this sounds but I'm trying to keep it real.

After college I married my favorite person and moved back to San Antonio. We went to the same church I grew up at where I knew people, worshiped God, taught Sunday school, was involved with VBS and was on a shower team. The trouble was, I still thought I was good. I didn't see myself as a lost sinner, I saw myself as someone who had it figured out. I was blind to my selfishness, lack of compassion for those less fortunate, and judgemental nature. I am not posting a list of personal struggles to hear things like "I don't think you are selfish" or "You are too hard on yourself. No one is perfect." I am putting it out there to let you know that I am a sinner in need of a savior. I am grateful for grace and I am called to change.

Nick got a new job, I quit teaching and we moved to small town Minnesota for a 9month training program. I will share more about that another time because it was a beautiful and simple time in my life that I will always treasure but I bring it up now to say that moving away from everyone and everything that I knew and loved prepared my heart for God to tear it up. If you get the chance to go on a scary, distant adventure, take it!

We are now living in Kyle, TX just south of  Austin and I have been blessed by the Bible study at Hays Hills Church in Buda. We just finished 7 (Jen Hatmaker is truly an instrument for destroying lives... in a good way though). I will never look at my closet or pantry the same way! I am learning to see my sin and how much work needs to be done in my life to be the Christian I have always wanted to be. I am learning to love people that I wouldn't otherwise see. I am learning to look for ways to answer when God calls instead of saying, "Jesus, I'm a little busy with Vacation Bible School in July so I really can't serve you in March. Maybe talk to me in early December." If you are reading this, friend and there is a way I can show you love, don't hesitate to ask. I want to be the hands and feet!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter for a tiny two

I have had so much on my heart that I want to share as God works to change it. This last year has been an adventure for me taking me far away from my comfort zone, shredding my ideas about myself and giving me a faith so different I would call it new. Everything I share will come from a place of love- for Jesus and for others. Friends I know and friends I haven't met yet. Christian or not, republican or democrat, someone I have always loved or someone I have come across as hypocritical to in the past. I want a chance to share the work that is going on in my heart and the love that Jesus has shared with me.

As we come into the week of Easter I have tried to be intentional when I talk to Adalynn, my two and a half year old. I grew up with a new Easter dress every year from my mom (until I was literally 25, thanks mom!), egg hunts and baskets of goodies. My husband Nick grew up following a chocolate bunny trail to his basket of treats. His mom and dad still throw the best Easter party around! Addy and Charlie (my sweet 5 month old) will do an egg hunt too, but I try not to talk about the Easter bunny. Somehow Addy still picks it up and asks questions that I gladly answer but I really want, even at this age, for her to know what this Holy time is truly about.

Tonight on the way home from the gym Addy was asking about the Easter bunny and if he has a phone (um... probably an iPhone 5, duh) and I asked her "Addy, can we talk about Jesus?" I told her about how tonight he would have been praying in the garden. (Matt 26:36-56) We talked about how Jesus died which is pretty heavy to try to give to a two year old and the great news that on Sunday morning his tomb was empty and he was alive again. She asked me "Why him died?"  I told her how the scripture was proved true by the way he died. She told me "Someday I will go to Heaven and Jesus will be there and God too but that will be bad because God killed him". We clearly still have some work to do. The nice thing is that Christ's story doesn't have to be seasonal. I have a lot of time to answer questions.

The Easter bunny is fun, easy and who doesn't love a little magic and some chocolate but I want so much more than that for my kids. Jesus is harder to talk about and messy and not really what I would always consider an "age appropriate story". Addy and Charlie have the whole world to teach them about a bunny and getting candy but it is only my job to teach them about Jesus. And just saying that weighs heavily on my heart because what a monumental task The Lord has trusted me with placing these two sweet souls in my keeping.