Wednesday, September 14, 2016

for when you need to remember what you are given

There is something about being around small children that will cause you to question your sanity. They do not have to have come directly from your body or call you mom, nor does it need to be the same sweet small person following you around.  All that is required is for one or more to be a constant part of your life in some form or fashion. The continued presence of such small people with their energy and words and lack of filters and impulsiveness and overall beautiful not at all self-controlled thirst for life and the actions that are produced from that miniature minded carpe diem philosophy effects your brain cells in a way that causes them to flit away almost without being noticed until you try to speak an intellectual thought without time to process your words before they are let loose.

As a former babysitter, dance teacher, school teacher, and now mom, there have been a slew of wonderful children in my life and therefore a mass exodus of brain cells that once had my back when attempting to produce intellectual thoughts.  Now, and I am hoping you can relate, phrases will at times just spill out of my mouth that cause me to literally stop in my tracks and truly wonder if I have in fact finally gone crazy.  The carefree teenager and young adult mind of this mid thirties woman never imagined I would utter the phrase "We do NOT wash our hair in the toilet."  Never imagined I would stand in confusion trying to discern why I would have strung any of the commands together that I had just given and what on earth did they mean anyway.  I have felt, on more than one occasion, much like Ernest T. Bass learning to read and write.  Nohuntbewareopenandclosenocredit can sound like more Shakespeare than the times when my words come tumbling out in a hurried directive towards a blonde boy or three.

Then, there are those purposeful nonsense words you say, ones that can only be uttered at children for fear of losing your adulthood membership card when said aloud to anyone over 4'6".  Just last week while sitting in the lobby of our youngest's preschool, the other parents and I giggled to each other when hearing a lovely teacher sing a song to her three year olds about flushing the potty and washing their hands.  Every part of me was thankful for her desire to remind and teach about proper hygiene, but that sing song direction initiated a waterfall in my thoughts of phrase after phrase I and others have used to teach and remind depending on the situation at hand.

The one phrase that came before any others is one I guarantee you have heard and possibly said, not only to a child but maybe even to yourself.

You get what you get and you don't pitch a fit.

Its usefulness in the situations in the lives of children is countless.  Its lessons valuable.  Be thankful for what you are given.  Be content.  Do not compare what you have in your possession to what is in the hand of the one next to you.  Have self control in your reactions.  Do not pitch a fit over something that has just been handed to you free of charge.  Adults have uttered these words for so long that children will say them to each other, say them to themselves, and if the said grown up is honest, they have had to turn this phrase around on themselves as well.

In daily life on this world, it is a helpful rhyme that gets quickly to the point and nips many things in the bud before tantrums arise, but somewhere along the line, this quick child-rearing colloquialism can at times shift the view of who God is in our lives.  I have caught myself equating God with a teacher passing out suckers at the end of the day, reaching into the bag with no rhyme or reason, and handing out what happened to be in His hand to the next one waiting in line all the time reminding me that I get what I get so don't pitch a fit.

Forgive me for my doubt of your perfect plan.  Forgive me for my lack of Trust.  Forgive me for forgetting at times the Truth of who and what You are, Creator, Omniscient, God with me.  Forgive me for not remembering your Love.  For not remembering I am your Special Possession.

For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13)  He is intentional, specifically designing your heart and life to work out His good for the Kingdom.  He is not random.  You do not just get what you get.  You get what you are given.  You get what He gives.  

What He gives is abounding Love (Ps. 86:15), divinely orchestrated gifts from the Spirit (1 Cor. 12), every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3), a holy life --not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace (2 Tim 1:9)

And even better--maybe not better but just as amazing--is the fact that we are told to ask, to make our heart known, then sit as the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guards are hearts and minds then to Trust what comes next because the Lord is at hand. [paraphrase of Phil 4:5-7]

Semantics are important, different ways of phrasing can truly change how a person responds to your instruction or advice, but this is more than semantics, this is better understanding of who God is in your life and who you are because of Him.

We don't get.  We are given to by an Almighty Father.  And we are given so that we can give in return.

Everything you come across in life is ordained and allowed, nothing comes as a surprise to the one holding you in His hands.  It will not all be easy, but it will not all be hard.  It will not all be what you may have requested or imagined, but it will all draw you to Him in life altering, heart altering, magnificent ways.

Your world may even fall apart, but I promise it will get rebuilt.  Slowly or quickly, painfully or peacefully, pieces will come together and what was once crumbling will be made strong when it is built on the Cornerstone.  And you can use all of it to advance the gospel (phil 1:12) and to declare His glory (Ps. 96:3).  

Don't think about what you get, think about what and who you have been given.

Praying faithfully for you today, pray for me.

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