Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Getting Personal

Ok, first of all this is my 101st post. WHOOP! If you're not an Aggie, that probably won't mean anything to you, but I'm a proud member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2001, which means I have the right (and usually do) to whoop at any number that ends in '01. I know, I know, I'm a nerd, you don't need to leave a comment telling me these things, I'm well aware.
Ok, so that was my fun for this post. The rest will be more serious.
I have debated back and forth over the past few months about what I want this blog to be - a daily journal, a scrapbook of our family life, "baby books" for my kids, a place to write what God is working on with me. I haven't made any final decisions. It seems like it's kind of gone the scrapbook route, but that's not necessarily what I intended. It just seemed to happen - it's easy stuff to blog about and I know several people read it to see my super cute kids. Plus, it's a lot easier to write about our fun Alaska trip than the tough stuff God is trying to get into this stubborn head of mine.
But, today at least for one day, I'm going to get personal about what God is teaching me right now. I don't know if this will continue. I've actually thought about starting a different blog - deep thoughts by God by way of Page's head. YIKES. That could be scary. Anyway, I do feel like I am supposed to post about this today, so here goes.
For the last several weeks I have been doing a Bible study entitled Breaking Free by Beth Moore. I love the subtitle - Making Liberty in Christ a Reality in Life. I love it. I've only just begun and I know there is going to be some tough stuff that God and I are going to have to deal with - we already have, but I am so excited about it.
The idea is that there are 5 things that God intends for us as Christians:
1. to know God and believe Him
2. to glorify God
3. to find satisfaction in God
4. to experience God's peace
5. to enjoy God's presence
Beth Moore says that if you are a Christian and not enjoying these 5 benefits, then there is probably a stronghold in your life that you have not dealt with. Strongholds can come in many different forms and she goes over some of them specifically. That is where I am right now, so I can't really go into too much detail about the rest of the study.
So, I start doing this study and going through the 5 benefits and there are some things that become painfully obvious. (And here's where I am getting very personal. This is not easy for me, but I feel I need to say these things - out loud, or in type to you my closest friends and the whole stinkin' internet.) If I am really honest with myself, I do not find satisfaction in God and I do not really enjoy his presence. Now this isn't to say that those things never happen, but on a day to day basis, this is the reality of this so-called abundant life I am supposed to be living. Doesn't seem so abundant to me. So, now the question is: how can I get to where I am experiencing these things? For those of y'all who don't know me personally - I'm a good girl, always have been. I "do" all the right things. That should be enough right? Wrong. The Bible says that man looks on the outside, but God looks at the heart. And a lot of times my heart is in the wrong place. So, God, Beth and I are working through some of these issues. The stronghold today that I studied was pride. And oh man do I struggle with pride. I always have. Believe me, I've always been a good girl and I've always been really proud of that. How ridiculous. I am nothing except what God has done in and through me. I have nothing except what He has given me. I wouldn't even exist if He hadn't created me. And yet, somehow I get to thinking that I've got it all together. That I can be a great wife, mom, friend, child of God's, etc. on my own strength. And for a while I do ok - again from the outside it looks pretty good. But, then my attitude starts creeping in - I get tired, frustrated, upset when things don't go my way, when people don't recognize what a GREAT job I'm doing at all these roles. (Ok, I'm sitting here typing this and thinking that I cannot believe I am going to post this. This is being super vulnerable for me, but the only thing that would keep me from posting this would be my pride and I'm not going to let it win this time.) Then I realize what's going on, humble myself and start over - doing it God's way in His power, not my way in my power.
So, here I am - humbled before God and you. I am NOTHING without him. He has given me so much, talents, opportunities, gifts, family, support system. The list goes on and on. And all those things are good and can be used to his glory, but not if I take pride in those things. Maybe sharing this with y'all will hold me accountable. And I'm learning how to break through this stronghold. I'm excited to see where God is taking me. What he is doing in my life. The fact that He loves me, died for me, is willing to go through this with me again, blows my mind. I am blessed.
So, there's my rambling. If you stayed with me to the end - thanks. And if you'd say a prayer for me to keep my heart open and my pride out of the way, I'd appreciate it.
Note: There were 3 other things on that list of benefits that I didn't talk about struggling with. Not because I never have issues with those, but because I don't feel they are my biggest struggle.
Thanks for reading, my brain is fried now, so I'm going to stop.


Brittany said...

Awesome post. Thanks for the vulnerability. And I can probably speak for anyone reading this....We are all in the pit with you! Just very few people have the courage to say it. Thank you for sharing that. I struggle with the same things. In fact, I am dropping most things I am involved in b/c my identity has gotten wrapped up in being a "leader" of this or that. When in reality, I am a child of God. Everything else pales. I will pray for you as I pray for God to change my heart, too!!! Thanks, again!

soontobeSaucier said...

I was expecting pictures of your super cute kids. : ) This was better. I don't mean to sound silly, but it makes me feel comforted to hear you (someone I look up to so much) talk about your struggles in writting. Your the bomb and you should be proud! God made you and gave you so much, and for you to give him the credit is amazing! Sounds to me like you are following through with his plan. I think God would agree. : ) Love ya!

APATT said...

Page, thank you for sharing this. I love you and am encouraged by you and the way you live your life...Glory be to God for how He uses you! I have known friends who have gone through that Bible study and have really come out changed. We live in a prideful world and pride is definitely a stronghold in my life as well. I can totally relate to the part where you said that you get frustrated when people don't recognize what a great job you are doing in your various roles...whoops, there is that darn pride again! I have had quite a few of those moments over the last couple of months especially now that I am not teaching. I will pray for you as I am praying for myself lately that I will look to God for encouragement, assurance, and validity instead of the world...which at least for me leads to pride.

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