A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Christ

Confession :: I didn’t do one single Easter/Resurrection craft with my kids. 

Late Saturday night, I was perusing Facebook seeing pictures of all these clever crafts that other people had done and I thought “Oh crap. I should have done that with the girls! I totally missed the chance to share the Gospel.” Immediately I felt guilty. And even as we were going to church on Sunday, I was struggling with the guilt of not doing enough, not talking about Christ enough.

Then when Hannah announced that she was so excited it was Easter because then she could wear her pretty dress {the same she wore for Halloween and Christmas} I knew, just knew, I had failed to make them understand the deep meaning of Easter.

And it’s true, I did fail. If it were my job to save my children, to “talk them into the Gospel” then I am a failure. I will never succeed at that. There are no words within me that are powerful enough to lead my children to salvation.

Thank God for that.

Thank God that my children’s salvation is not in my hands. Thank God that my own salvation is not in my hands. Because if it were, I’d fail. We all would fall short of God’s glory. We would be condemned.

But, Easter is proof that God is in charge of my salvation. That I am not capable of saving myself, saving my children, and therefore Christ did it for me.

Thank God for that.

So I missed a Gospel centered craft. So Hannah liked Easter because of her dress. So I failed to make my children understand the overwhelming power of Christ’s resurrection. Thank God for that. Because it shows me all the more how dependent I am for Him to move in my children’s lives, in my life, in order to move us closer to Him.

And while I know, and treasure, that it is my job as their mom to share the Gospel with them, to speak of God and His amazing works, I rejoice that it is not in my ability or words or power to save them, but in Christ only.

Thank God for that.

I’m not sure when it first dawned on me that I’m an angry person. Fiery, sure. But angry? Me? Never. Angry is something mean people are. Angry is that man who loses it over being served a tomato on his hamburger when he clearly asked for none. Or that woman at the store who is yelling at the top of her lungs at the cowering manager. I am not angry like that.

Do I tend to get heated over certain topics? Of course. But that’s passion.

Does my blood boil when someone crosses the line with me? Yeah. But that’s justice.

Yet for years there has silently been a fire burning inside me. A fire that has lashed out at my adoring husband and sweet children. A fire that has slowly been burning my house to the ground.

One afternoon, in mid-February, the fire took over. I raged, literally, raged with anger, and my girls felt the full effects. While I’ve always been pretty transparent on my blog, I’m keeping the details of that moment private because frankly they are painful and heart crushing – nothing worth retelling.

The after effects of a fire are not pretty. Life is burned. Ashes of what once were are left in heaps on the floor. It is ugly and resembles death.

When I walked away from that moment, I crumbled. I hid from my children for the rest of the day. I couldn’t trust myself. When Jonathan came home, I wept. “I need help. I’m scared of myself, of what I am becoming.” I cried. Through an evening of prayer, repentance and reconciliation, I took my first steps toward putting out the fire.

I finally came to terms with the fact that I have some deep seeded anger issues. How and why they are there are varied, but one thing is certain, they cannot stay. I refuse to allow my children to grow up with an angry mom. In what has been a bold, yet humbling step, I’ve started meeting with a counselor. For the last month, I’ve been taking what seem to be minuscule steps toward recovery. I’ve spent a lot of time identifying my “trigger points” and learning to redirect my thought process and words during heated moments.

I wish I could say thing are rosy and peaceful now. But they aren’t. I still struggle with lashing out. I see the effects of my anger played out before my eyes, especially in Julia when she lashes out in the same manner that I have. Which is heart breaking coming from such a sweet child – and soul wrenching realizing it’s my sin that has done it. My first reaction to most stressful situations is still anger. But, through more grace than I will ever comprehend, I am starting to see moments of healing shine through. Moments that would have made me scream and yell, now make me step back and redirect. Moments where I feel a peace only God gives, because I know all too well that it is not my own. Moments of healing and restoration, of finding joy where there was once sorrow.

Facing your sin is hard. It’s ugly. It’s painful. It gets down right nasty at times. But there is hope. Hope in the promise of Christ. He ransomed us from sin through his death and resurrection, because of his overwhelming love. So, yeah, facing your sin is hard. But through Christ, and what He’s done, we don’t have to face our sins alone.

Last year, I was convicted about how our family celebrates Christmas. While we talked about Christ, our focus during the holiday was never fully on Christ. Rather, it was the presents, the decorations and the tinsel of it all. This year we are implementing new traditions, one of which is celebrating Advent.

I had the great pleasure of reviewing Oh Amanda‘s new ebook, Truth in the Tinsel : An Advent Experience for Little Hands.

Amanda provides 24 days of awesome Advent crafts to do with your children. Each craft is an ornament that your child could hang on the tree or, like we are doing, on their own little craft board.

From a candle ornament to cute little sheep, Amanda has provided fun, easy ways to teach your children about Christ’s birth and the real reason for celebrating Christmas. Each day there is a Bible verse to read that correlates with that day’s craft. In addition, Amanda has provided wonderful simple truths to share with your children while you’re making your ornament.

I’ll be honest, the idea of crafting with a 2 and 4 year old every day seems overwhelming with a newborn. But after seeing how easy these ornaments are, if I can do it, anyone can. While Amanda’s versions are simple, your ornaments don’t even need to be anything more than construction paper and crayons {as I am sure many of ours will be}. The biggest thing is spending time each day with your children talking about Christ and shifting the Christmas focus to Him.

On December 1, Amanda is issuing a “challenge” on the Truth in the Tinsel Facebook page to go through the book with your children and post pictures of the crafts you’ve made. It will be a great way to see what others have done and to encourage one another.

If you buy the book today, Black Friday {November 25, 2011}, you will get it for the sale price of $2.99 {regularly $4.99}. The ebook includes daily Bible verses, instructions on how to make the ornaments {along with printables}, and truths to talk about with your children.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to help teach your children about Christ’s birth and the reason for the Christmas season.

Buy Truth in the Tinsel today!

Disclosure : This post contains affiliate links.

Today is a day of celebration. Today is a remembrance of Christ’s death on the cross. His sacrifice for the world. While His followers at the time didn’t fully understand “Good Friday”, His followers now know that Easter would never have been Easter without Good Friday.

And what an amazingly good Friday it was.

{photo credit}

What’s your Friday joy?

Last week I was reading through the book of John, when these verses jumped out at me:

At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go?* You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:66-69

To whom do I go? My heart tends to stray away far too often from my Father. I get distracted by life, by hardships and saddest, by entertainment. I cheaply go to those things rather than God. I think the internet will provide me with knowledge. I think television will provide me with rest. I think shopping will provide me with fulfilment. But none of it does. In the end, I find myself even worse off than I started.

Jesus has the words that give eternal life.

Do I think that daily? Do my actions, schedule, speech reflect that? Honestly, I don’t think that daily. Honestly, my life doesn’t always reflect His eternal giving.

It seems overwhelming to see an area of your life that needs change. Changing a thought process. Changing a habit. Changing a lifetime of wrong. A daunting task when you go it alone. But the beauty is, I’m not alone. You’re not alone. Jesus is right here with us, feeding us words of eternal life, showing us the path. We can start this day plodding forward, knowing there will be mistakes, but pushing through it, pushing toward Christ. After all, to whom else would we go?

*Emphasis added