Monday, May 25, 2015

The Days When No One Was Allowed to Make A Mistake

11:09 AM 0

I have thought about for many years now how difficult it is being a part of and raising children during the 24 hr news, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blah, blah, blah time period. It really is quite amazing how critical we have become. It is a two fold issue. On one hand we have to look at all the self promoting, self proclaimed "perfect" people. And on the other hand we see the demoralizing destruction of those who have been "busted" for not being so perfect. The funny part is we have actually begun to believe that perfect people exist. We elevate people to God status. We especially expect those in the public eye to say exactly the right words at all times and never ever make wrong decisions as they live their lives. And if these people make a bad decision we immediately demand a resignation or some form of severe punishment. We take snippets of people's lives (that either they or someone else choose to give us) and we conjure up in our own minds who we believe these people really are. We have never met them, never lived a day of life in their shoes, and in most cases never even been in the same town as those we think we know so much about. We sit at our computers either waiting with drool for someone to mess up or ready to look at ourselves in a negative light because we don't measure up to the "perfect" ones. I'm not sure how to tell my children about the way our culture views people in general. I think what I want to remind them of is that people are people. They mess up. They will have insecurities no matter what they try to portray. They will say things they shouldn't. They will do things they shouldn't. We all do!! In this age of social and regular media scrutiny it is easy to sit behind our phones, TVs, or computers and judge people for the mistakes they make or idolize those who hide theirs better. What's funny about this is that we all mess up and we spend massive amounts of energy trying to cover up our own mistakes and insecurities. Every single person on the face of the planet has messed up in both word and deed. We all are quick to identify and criticize someone else's errors but want only grace when it Comes to our own. As I move forward in this time period I vow to show grace when it would be easier to accuse. I vow to look for the positive when the negative is so much easier to see. I vow to love when hate reigns. I vow to encourage and not critique. I vow to remember that no one is perfect. Maybe if I live my life in this manner my children will grow up to be generous, loving, gracious, imperfect human beings. 
-Melissa Adkins

Friday, May 8, 2015

Letters to Jesus

10:53 AM 0
Basically it goes something like this, It is extremely hard to be a full time Mom, teacher, wife, friend, and blogger all at the same time.  For that reason something has to give and quite often that something is this blog.  I love writing.  I dream of "write-cations."  A tiny cottage in the middle of the 100 acre woods with a front porch swing, stocked fridge, no phone, but wi-fi of course.  A few days to get all of my thoughts on paper, well, not exactly paper, but you get the idea.  To be able to put in to words the countless ideas and even sermons that run through my head on a daily basis.  Now mind you, those sermons are usually ones that are being preached to me by the Holy Spirit, and usually the thoughts start pouring in when I am caught in that moment of decision.  That moment where I have to decide whether or not I am going to choose truth or a counterfeit, whether I will submit to The One who sees my future and my past, who knows my comings and goings, who has chosen the very time and place of my existence or will I, out of fear that He might not know what's best, take a bite of the apple anyway.  Let's face it, there are times when I want to be God.  When I am doubtful that He has taken into account all of the details in order to make the best possible decision.  I am able to convince myself that He will certainly agree with my decision and probably be glad that I didn't bother Him with all the details.  If anyone is tracking with me, hear this, I make a terrible God and so will you, no offense.

     "O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; You Perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.  You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me."  Psalm 139:1-5

This, my friends, is The God we serve.  You better believe that He has taken all of the details into account and is ready and willing to offer you rest from your worries, joy amongst your suffering, and refuge from your fears.

- "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" Matt 11:29
- "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."  Psalm 34:18
-"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" Romans 5:3-5

     Why then is it so hard for us at times to believe that God is actively alive in our hearts and working in our lives?  I believe the answer is very simple.  We are too busy to notice.  We max out our days, fill up our weeks, and are consumed and controlled by our "schedules."  We are so distracted that we miss out on the every day blessings and disciplines being poured into our lives.  I recently went through a time in my life where circumstances left me feeling somewhat disconnected from The Father, and questioning His involvement in my life.  Quite possibly I even held a pity party for myself, doubting that I was worthy enough for such a love.  In a desperate need for His comfort I began writing my prayers in letters to my Father.  I spent the first several days writing to Him in code language out of fear that someone might find my journal.  I wanted so desperately to talk so plainly to The Savior and over a process of several days I was released from that fear and began to pour out my soul in letters to Jesus.  It has been nearly three months since I started my prayer journal.  In this short time I have never in my life been more aware of God's infinite love and involvement in my life.  He has shown me things about who I am and revealed wisdom to me that I think I would have easily overlooked had I not been able to go back and see the journey in writing.  He has answered prayers specifically and he has disciplined me in ways and showed me the error in my thinking, opening my eyes to truths that have freed me from believing a lie.  He has shown me what I actually need as oppose to what I think I need.  He has seen the worst in me and loved me in return, gently restoring me through the Holy Spirit.  He is the best pen pal I have ever had and although this has not been a journey free of pain, sanctification is never without pain, it is a journey that I want to travel the rest of my days.  I would like to throw out a challenge to anyone who happens to come across this post.  Commit to 30 days of letters to Jesus.  Heartfelt, pouring out of your soul, letters to Jesus, no code language.  Worst case, someone finds your journal, reads it, and realizes you are broken.  They will then have the privilege of watching God restore you and sanctify you as you draw closer to Him.
Love you,

P.S. Keep me posted those of you who choose to accept!!


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