Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Did you show him your bracelet?

I have been busy lately and putting my quiet time on the back burner. I don't know why I always end up doing this cause it gets me in a pickle every time. Do I really want to choose to have my day go off kilter? If I don't spend time with God and in his word it always happens.

When I say I have been busy lately, I mean REALLY busy. So much so that I stressed myself out and ended up in the emergency clinic with a pulled muscle in my neck that forced me to slow down. Ya know, God always has a way of sitting me down when I try to do things without him. Sometimes it doesn't have to be so drastic as a trip to the ER, it could just be a song on the radio or a conversation with my dear husband. I often find myself saying things to my children and then wondering if God feels that way about me. "I am tired of telling you the same things over and over and you still won't listen". "Be nice to your sister". "Use only sweet and kind words". "Let's try to look for the good in this situation".

I take to much on cause I want to do everything and then everything ends up going to hell in a handbasket, literally. The devil can get a hold on any situation that once brought you joy and totally mess it all up for you. Such was the situation for me this past Sunday.

One night a few months ago, I prayed that God would help me find a way to use my talents to glorify him. Just so happens there was a lady there that night looking for help with food for a class that was coming up in the fall. WOOHOO, I was so excited and planning and just couldn't wait. I was going to get to cook and give God the glory!!!

School started for the girls and then for me, and then the new midweek program started at church and life in general just started happening. College, third & first grade homework consumes much of our nights. Then there is cooking, laundry, house cleaning and the physical care for three little girls who in themselves can be a handful. But I was still excited about being able to do something I liked to do to help others. The first few weeks were a little stressful trying to figure out to best use of my time and how to make sure everything got done. We were chugging right along and then I started to get tired. Just physically tired. And that is when the devil started to see a crack to work his way into the situation.

Cooking for 35-45 people can be quite a venture for one person who has never done anything to this magnitude. Throw the fact that 10-15 of them are children and sheds a whole new light on things. Some kids don't eat jelly, some kids don't eat peanut butter, some kids don't eat mayo, you get the picture. I tried to keep the right attitude and do what I can to ensure everyone is happy when all the while I am thinking..."I am giving up time with my husband and children to do this. I could be at home on the couch in my pj's smelling my freshly bathed three year old's deliciously clean hair. This kinda sucks." And then God put this verse in my mind "Do all things in love". Which means washing dishes, putting up with differing opinions and saying the right things when being ridiculed. Wow, don't you hate it when He is so right and it makes you feel so small?

I decided I am gonna try to remember what Jesus would do. It sounds kind of trite and sometimes I think that phrase gets used to death for the wrong reasons. My favorite use of this ever is in the most recent Madea movie. Someone wrongs her daughter and Madea is hounding her to try to get revenge. When the daughter tries to confront the man in the right way, he is ugly to her and drives off. She is HOT! Madea then asks her, "Did you show him your bracelet?" It was too funny but also very true. You can't help what others do or what they say when you try to do the right thing, you can just SHOW what He would do. And you don't need a bracelet to show them who's you are!

(I know this post is dragging on FOREVAH, but there is a reason for it all, so bear with me and my, continuous, use, of, commas, !)

So, then a few days later I am confronted in a room full of people and asked if I was tired of hearing about what a bad job I am doing. I was embarrassed and ashamed thinking maybe they were right. But I know better. I am doing the best I can. And then in that split second, I WAS FURIOUS! How dare someone say that and embarrass me and who said that in the first place for her to repeat that to me? I said a couple of ugly things and then immediately tried to apologize for what I said. BUT, I was mad. Beyond mad. So mad that I gave my self the first migraine that I had in weeks. And I almost let it ruin my whole day. Then I tried to remember what Jesus would do. He would use the situation for good and God's glory.

The worldly Shelley wanted retaliation. The godly Shelley knew there was a lesson in all of this.

I decided this morning I was going to have to sit down and spend some time with the Lord to prepare myself for the next few days. I use the Journey devotional book for women that our church distributes to guide my studies on days when I am feeling less than inspired. Guess what I came across? A lesson on having a humble servant's heart. WOAH. God just slaps me in the face with his word ALL THE TIME! (Hence the name of this blog.)

I read Mark 10:44-45..."For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life-a ransom for many". True servanthood requires humility. Humility is something I need to work on. Being taken down a notch or two never hurt anyone. I went on to read Colossians 3:23-24 "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, AS TO THE LORD and not unto men. Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ".

Jesus had a servant's heart. He was ridiculed, mocked, beaten and then killed so that I could go to heaven one day. He did not complain about the job he was here to do, he just did it. No questions. Amazing.

So today I am praying for humility. To be willing to do what God and others ask of me with the right attitude. If Jesus can die for a low down dirty sinner like me, I can make someone a different sandwich with a smile. Thank you God for teaching me this lesson today and hopefully helping me to use this situation to help others who might me facing trials.

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