Aug 172015
 

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.  Romans 5:3-5

Of course the 1 Corinthians 13 scripture, “love is not easily angered” was all I could think about.  That is, as I was currently in the midst of fighting off being easily angered.  This seems to be how the conviction of the Holy Spirit plays out in my life on a regular basis.  And I wish I could tell you my anger was the “righteous anger” type, over something of spiritual significance or logical sense.  But I cannot.

The struggle of my anger was birthed in trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole.  Not literally.  But figuratively, as it relates to an activity we all know and love-a birthday party.  Let me explain.

It was my daughter’s 5th birthday and I couldn’t seem to make her “dream theme” work out.  She wanted a “Queen squirrel” party.  My husband commented in response to her theme request, “You sure can tell our kids have grown up in the “Netflix/DVR/no commercials” society because you don’t see any stores marketing “Queen Squirrels”-no barbie party for her- this is her very own creation.”  Hense my frustration.

How was I to win any Mother of the Year awards when I couldn’t come through for my daughter on her birthday?  (I do not actually seek this award, but I recognize I place unrealistic/unnecessary pressures on myself to “be all and do all” for my children.  So Lord, forgive me of this pride which all around never bodes well.)  My internal temperature was rising as I was shot down by all my “go to’s” of Amazon, Target, Fred Meyer, Kohls and Pintrest for ANY sort of “queen squirrel” party decor.

After hours of mental anger (okay, and some outward snips at my husband and children who were not wise to be asking anything of me in this state), I came to a place where I could breathe more easily.  I resolved to the obvious conclusion. Queen squirrels do not co-exist/make sense for the majority of Americans.  So I stopped trying to look for them out in the world and decided to bring pieces of each of these things together to create my daughter’s imaginary world.   I was at ease in letting go of trying to make “queen squirrels” become a “thing”/suddenly appear in our nearby Target store.  And became excited about the creating and entering into the joy of my daughter’s world.  This looked something like a hodge podge array of decor-queen plates, mixed with a squirrel holding acorn cupcakes;  A song sung and book read about squirrels with a princess/queen movie immediately following.  Two seemingly unrelated/unable to be combined entites from the world’s standard-queens and squirrels-were joined together.  And a different world, my daughter’s world, was brought to life at her party.

I am thankful we as believer’s in Jesus live in belong to a different world as well.  A Kingdom world.  A world which is not so unlike my daughter’s party in which “queen’s and squirrel’s” coexist.  Where suffering and glory don’t co-exist.  And even go hand in hand.  Crazily, we can “glory in our sufferings”, as it says in the Romans passage above.  Knowing whatever struggle it is we are currently facing, if we hold onto Jesus, will result in perseverance, then character, and finally, hope.

So we stand on solid hope today.  In the midst of the shaky hard we are facing.  Even when the earthly people around us tell us “queens and squirrels” or our suffering and hope cannot co exist.  Even when other’s do not understand our unlikely, unrelated attitude of strength, peace, and joy in our trialing circumstance.  Because we will overcome in Jesus.  Knowing this world is not our true home.   And we will never feel truly at home until we get to heaven.  In which “Queen Squirrel parties” will be oh so commonplace.

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 222015
 

In the lives all around us the self-driven, self-seeking, self-esteem wishing priorities are evident.  And somehow we must find a way to step of the “self train” and enter into something better, bigger and best.  Something I am finding to be even more challenging than normal in my current state.  “Oh my Jesus, please show me how to lean into this ‘Love is not self seeking’ challenge’.”

Seek.  First.  His.  Kingdom.  And ALL the rest (the future worries, present pain, past hurts, current frustrations, current unknowns) will.  be.  taken.  care.  of.

Self-seeking versus Kingdom seeking moment-#1-My mother-Based on my current state, I keep checking the month to make sure it’s not April and that this “self seeking” love characteristic was simply God’s way of playing an April fools joke on my sorry self.  Turns out, “no”.  No joke.  Just real world lessons for me.  Jesus style. So-this word “self”or “it’s all about me” should pretty much be plastered to my forehead so those unknowing souls can quickly get caught up to speed about my current bedrested, all day sickness, pregnant self. Talk about feeling self-ish, self-reliant, self-undone.  This is more than humbling.  I find it much more comfortable to be the giver rather than the receiver.  Taker of the meal to the needy family, rather than being the needy family.  One extending a prayer of healing for a sick friend rather than hearing another’s prayer for me.

But as I sit in the “receiving” state, my mom, gets the “love is selfless” award of the year (and truly should receive this award for each year of my life).  Let me give you some examples:  she forgets to get dressed until halfway through the day because she is tending to my cold wash rag, eating every hour and a half, massaging, grocery shopping, laundry, dishes, and two girls’ needs.  When we found out I was pregnant and that it fell over my husband’s work planned 3 week trip abroad with his college students, she put her entire life on hold.  For me.  She has lived in my house and taken care of my oh so many needs, and let go of hers.  My mom is currently clothed as a real life Saint at the moment.  Truly.  The selfless love of Jesus.  Pours out of her. Onto a needy soul like me.  And I am forever grateful.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Phillipians 2:4

Who do you need to thank today for their selfless acts of giving to you?

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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