Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Preaching to ourselves

Even though it says, "Chip and Break resistant" on the bottom of a Corelle bowl, and even though Ruth Yaron recommended that you use Corelle dishes to serve your baby food because they do not break.....they do.

Ask me how I know.

They break into a thousand little pieces, when thrown by a naughty baby from his high chair, trying to get my attention to let me know that he is "all done".

And this happens on a night when husband is not here, when my tiredness has overtaken me to where I say to myself:
I just can't do One. More. Thing.-- can't clean or serve or discipline one more time, feel I'm going a touch crazy.

This is the stuff of motherhood, the moments that last only a moment, that add up to One Big Moment, so we better make it count, better not let those moments to act or react pass us by.

"This little stuff is the weighty stuff of great sacrifices and greater everyday heroes. This little stuff is the hardest stuff, the colossal act of living sacrifice.

As Goethe said, "We can offer up much in the large, but to make sacrifices in little things is what we are seldom equal to."

I understand, I know. I am up to gulping hard and stepping forward for the grandiose. But this daily dying, sacrifices in little things? I wince. The little stuff is the hardest stuff. And what He asks of us.

“Women like to make sacrifices in one big piece, to give God something grand, but we can’t. Our lives are a mosaic of little things, like putting a rose in a vase on the table” (Ingrid Trobisch). Or wordlessly picking up the trail of discarded socks. Or gratefully matching together the corners of the damp towel abandoned on the bathroom floor. So we piece together the mosaic of little things, graceful sacrifices in small, daily pieces.

This Christ-life is, at its very essence, about upside-down: last is first, dying is living, little is big, sacrifice is gain. And heroes, those who have laid it all down, live hidden, medal-less lives.

“It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses” (Dag Hammerskjold). When will I remember that this little stuff , out-of-the-way stuff, is the noble stuff—the Jesus-stuff? Like washing feet, and pulling children up on laps."
(Ann says all this so beautifully at Holy Experience.)

But how do I do it? How do I remember not to react when the Corelle breaks? To lovingly discipline my toddler, to teach him these things are not okay when something like this happens? To have patience when I feel a touch crazy? It's easy to know these things, another thing to do them. It takes trial and error, and I will never "make" it, but I can begin it. I need His word alive and active in me in order to make it a habit. I need His Word alive and active in me to refresh me.

I can begin to speak God's work aloud--believe and speak. I can preach to myself effectively this way.

The Word that God speaks is alive and full of power, operative, energizing, and effective.Hebrews 4:12 AMP

In Beth Moore's bible study Believing God, she explains a tool that we can use to effectively use our tongue to believe God, thereby having His word alive and active in us. In this way we can effectively "preach" to ourselves, instead of listen to ourselves.

She advises to write down verses on index cards that apply to your life at this moment. Say those verses. When we are anxious say:

Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you. I Peter 5:7

And so on. Ask the Lord to show you the verses He would have you use.

There is something so powerful about saying verses aloud. Thinking them is good, but saying them...wow. Remember, satan cannot read our thoughts. But he can hear us. Think about that for a moment.

So, what other way to preach to ourselves, than to say His word aloud? I hope that it will help me in the daily moments, the daily sacrifices....when a chip and break resistant dish breaks--along with other similar circumstances in my life.


Alycia said...

Another wonderful post Andrea! Thank you for the honesty that you share ~ your perspective is exactly what I needed to read today. Blessings to you!

Sarah said...

Praise the Lord for you Andrea, He speaks to me through you once again. I was just thinking yesterday how powerful it would be in my day to speak relavent scripture in those moments of "craziness" as you mentioned. Keep the insight coming!

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, yes, I preach to myself too! But mostly I pray to God from His own word...

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.

For the truth is that Satan (and whether he can read our thoughts or not is, as far as I know, not actually addressed in the bible, though Beth does have this view) cannot take me down any road I'm not already likely to go down. It's the heart change I truly need, for as Jesus said... nothing comes out of our mouths except what's in our hearts. Anyway, so while I wait for those heart changes, I plead...

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. (Ps 141:3)

Elise said...

Wasn't Ann's post so incredible?
And now your post has just amplified it even more..
I love Beth Moore's suggestion. I'm thinking to incorporate it during my early mornings - I write things in my journal, but asking Him for specific areas and verses to cover them is even better...
Touching crazy with you, friend, and pulling my hand back quicker now...

e-Mom said...

These are some poignant reflections Andrea, and all true. Motherhood is made up of a gazillion little sacrifices, and I thank God for the refreshment of sleep.

I like Beth Moore's idea of "preaching to ourselves." I do that with single Bible words... meditating over and over on them until they're IN. Hugs!

Mrs Wibbs said...

Andrea, there is so much there...
Much food for thought! I think i'm going to be spending part of my week end trying to work out what the Lord is trying to say to me through this, and how I can practically apply your thoughts to my own life. I have many such moments of craziness, and I think worship and meditating on scripture are amazing weapons against the enemies tactics; he so wants to destroy us as mothers, wives, women, people, that we need to take an active stand against him. Thank you so much for making yourself available to hearing His voice, and then sharing and being vulnerable with 'us'!

Christine said...

God has spoken directly through you to me today. The little things are always what I struggle with. I do pretty darn well in the big crises of life! But God, and subsequently joy, can be found in the little moments of sacrifice. Thanks for the beautiful post today!!! (I can't put enough exclamation points to show how appreciative I am)

AIMEE said...

oooooooooohhhhhhh good stuff, friend! A theme for me this past week is "the abiding life of Jesus" in me. Living life in His power that is in me and energizing me. My heart is His Bethlehem to live and grow and be manifest through me. Jesus, heal and break through my crazy!! :)

Holly said...

Ah, definitely GREAT stuff, Andrea! I like e-mom's reminder of the virtue of SLEEP, too! :) That is evidence of God's hand in my life.

I kid you not...the other night I was SO TIRED - and the baby was awake at 4 a.m. with a dirty diaper. I remember feeling angry - not with the baby - but just...cranky. I thought to my silly little self...If God really loved me he would make the baby sleep!

God was merciful and did not smack me on the side of my head for my impertinence. By dawn, my perspective was back and I was apologizing like crazy to the Father and realizing how far I still have to go/grow. Odd how sleep deprivation can drive us right out of sanity and make me a weakling all over again! :)

Stacy said...

Reading your posts on joy, here, Andrea. *Thank you*. If there is one thing God is speaking to me about lately it is this: JOY.
So timely.