(This post was originally written yesterday afternoon but I never found a moment to actually post it.)
This morning I walked into church for bible study with one child happily skipping next to me while wearing his backpack on the front (whatever works….later in the day he would enter JoAnn Craft and Fabrics with a Bass Pro Trucker hat on his head, plastic binoculars around his neck, and was carrying a lunch box filled with house shoes.) and another child screaming…SCREAMING…in my arms. Yes, we gathered quite the attention as Evelyn screamed “Bye Bye!” at the top of her lungs in protest over Mommy depositing her in class. Fortunately she is child number two and the embarrassment of the whole ordeal was minimal.
After basically tossing E. at her teacher and shouting out a word of “Good Luck” (shouting only to be heard over the screams as I normally do not yell at those caring for my children), I ran to drop Isaac off at his class. Once I was able to negotiate my way into the Fellowship Hall and find my seat in my own class, I was tempted to just put my head down on the table and take a nap. The Separation Anxiety phase children go through is a hard one and seems like my little girl has studied carefully on how to expertly demonstrate such characteristics.
Nap I did not. Rather I heard such an important message today and jumped on the computer to share it with you.
Currently our bible study is tackling how to hear the voice of God using Priscilla Shirer’s study (found here)….a difficult concept to say the least. A discussion point came up this morning over not becoming burdened over other’s personal convictions, meaning: God doesn’t call of us to do the same things. All though we are all made in his Spirit, we are different human beings with different talents and different callings. Women in particular tend to create this very binding box of what they believe they need to be based on examples of others around them/media influences/preconceived notions/ and the illusive Proverbs 31 woman. That box can be very restrictive and frustrating because no one really fits inside. Try as we may to cram ourselves inside, there is always a wayward leg or unmanicured finger sticking out.
The blog world has opened up the lives of others for us all to take a tiny glimpse inside. Sometimes that glimpse is enough to build a box based on what we have read about other woman and their families and desperately try to stuff ourselves inside, wanting to be just a bit more ideal and a bit more perfect. Try as we may, we aren’t gonna fit, girls. Proverbs 3:5,6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Great verse, huh? You’ve likely heard it at countless youth retreats and young adult devotionals in the span of your life and, if like me, have never really gone past the basic happy concept it provides.
Read it again and think about that box I mentioned, the box of being the perfect mom/wife/sister/friend/daughter/ect. Consider that box to be “your own understanding.” Scripture is telling us directly here that when we trust in the Lord and acknowledge Him…not just occasionally but always….He will make our paths straight. He will set us free and show us the path He has created specifically for each and every one of us. God is not a god of generics. He does not desire for us to be cookie cutter images of each other. Who cares that Random Mommy Blogger’s kids are reciting the Pledge of Allegiance each morning at 7:15am after scrubbing the kitchen floor to a high shine while your kids have barely managed to make it to the couch to catch a few morning cartoons? Press into God and you will understand the path he has for you, the gifts and talents he has bestowed on you, and the areas of life that just might not be your cup of tea (Household notebook, anyone?). Thank goodness God is telling us that there is no box, there is just freedom in a relationship with Him.
Toss that box out with the garbage tonight. Resist the urge to attempt to navigate life on what you think you should be/do/say. Trust God enough to experience the freedom He promises.