Saturday, May 30, 2009

Refiner's Fire.

I had a mouth. I have a mouth. Before coming to faith my mouth could spew some serious venom. Some of you may find that shocking, others, my cussing friends...just giggle. Coming to faith didn't change my mouth so much as it changed the venom. It didn't seem as vile as four letter words, but I still cannot get my forked tongue under control. A verse that I have had stored in my heart since 1997 is found in Psalm 141:3 "Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips." I feel like I need an armored soldier standing outside of my lips arresting any detestable thing that flows forth. I could blame my words...but Jesus says that the real problem is not my mouth, but my heart. In addressing the Pharisees in Matthew 12:34 Jesus says, "You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." I need the armored soldier...but I also need a clean heart.

This year has been really stinkin' hard. Since I started keeping another child my days were more like managing than mothering. I missed my children. I missed my house. I missed my life. My children have been with me, but when you babysit everyday (at least this is true for me) you become more like a babysitter than a Mama. I'm a pretty good babysitter, but I'm a much better Mama. I have seen alot of my human frailties and to be honest...I'm a little surprised. I really didn't think I was that bad. I joke about my sin, (which is despicable since sin is what nailed my Jesus to the cross)but have really seen that it's no joke. I'm just going to be honest. I thought I was a pretty good Mom. I am...to my children. I don't know everything about parenting...someone else's child. I know mine. God has given me divine insight, understanding, and wisdom to parent my children. I'm not the mother of the year...I'm their mother...this year...and every year, so I guess I am a Mother of the Year! I have seen how judgemental I really am. Thinking that I got where I am because of my own awesomeness. I mean...what else could it be? Hmmm how 'bout some GRACE? FAVOR? MERCY? God has shown me kindness because of Jesus. That's humbling. Do you (I say you because when I write this it's like I'm talking to a friend on my sweet front porch rocking chairs)think that you must be responsible for at least some of the great stuff in your life? I'll take credit for the screwed up parts, but can't I take some credit for the good stuff too? Nope. He is the Breath of Heaven. The Bread of Life. The Father of Heavenly Lights. Giver of every good thing. My Creator, Redeemer and Friend. He enables me to obey, repent, and love. I have made some great choices, but it is because He was leading me. They weren't my ideas.

So, I've just been sort of introspective. I'm finding some insecurities. I'm worried that I'm going to say something ridiculous and offend thousands. I find I want to withdraw a bit to protect myself and others. I'm finding that without the Cross...I've got nothing. It's been so precious to see my need because it makes me love Jesus more and want to honor Him in the things that I do. Then I make a dumb comment or mistake and feel like I'll never get it. I suppose that's where the whole "sanctification" comes in. A verse that I go to sleep thinking about is that His mercies are new every morning. I LOVE that Truth. I love knowing that in the morning I start over. I want to be that kind of person. I want to start new every morning with everyone and everything. I want to live in awe of His ability to deal with me.

So, I say all that to say I'm really excited about June. I'm excited about tearing down some alters and worshipping God instead of the other foolish idols that I've been looking to for salvation. I'm looking forward to having my kids back. I did't realize how much I enjoy them until I was managing them. I'm excited that the Lord has refined me this year. Burning away all the yuck that isn't of Him. I know that I'm not finished, but I can only withstand the flames for so long. He takes me out, looks me over, and in I go again. Thankfully. Thankfully there will be more refining. The thought of being the same for the rest of my life turns my stomach. I invite it, Lord. Please, burn away all that isn't of You. As long as You are the One doing the work I know it can be trusted and I know it will be worth it.

P.S.
I'm very proud that I figured out how to put music on this. I don't love it because I can't read and listen at the same time. However, I felt like these songs were appropriate and maybe it will give you a taste of what I enjoy listening to. Jo...whenever I listen to Jennifer Knapp I think of you...playing your guitar in our little dorm room...

8 comments:

Sheryl said...

Ali,
I hope ya'll enjoy your summering and time with your kids, time to just be Mommy. I am already loving it. No more telling my 4 year old that I can't play ninja turtles because we have to do school. I am getting a grip on the house for the first time in a long time and we are enjoying swimming and playing. We only have one month off but I hope to mesh life and schooling more this year. There's this goal I'm reaching for, a lifestyle more than a goal I guess, and although I'm not quite sure what it will look like; I feel a little closer to it each year. Its always good to hear from you. Maybe one day, our paths will cross. Love to your family,
Sheryl

Jo said...

Funny enough, when I heard the music, my thoughts went straight to us in college, too. :)

Thanks for this little fresh air this morning. I needed that. It's be a crabby morning. I hate that.

Just His Best said...

Love that post!!! :)

Linda said...

I MUST, MUST, MUST put that verse about the tongue in my heart...must. If you think YOU'VE got a wicked tongue...

It seems to be a weakness...a crack...where satan finds he can push through and before I've realized it, I've opened my mouth and spewed ick!

Glad seeing you back here! Missed you lately!

Ashley and Audrey said...

This post really blessed me and I LOVE your honesty and transparency. I struggle with so much of the same things and I know having two foster children in our home is going to be that much more of a test. But I know we can do it! Thank you for challenging me!

~audrey

lana said...

Ali,
I love you girl. It was great to see you all tonight :) even for a brief period of time. Lovin' your blog too. ROCK ON SISTA! Have a SUPER night!

lana said...

Just thought I would tell you it was great to see you all tonight even in passing. Its always a good day when I get to cross paths with great people and enjoy root beer floats to boot! :) Love your blog. ROCK ON SISTA!

Sheryl said...

Ali,
Don't be too envious of our beach trip. We only went for a day. lol In fact we were there for under three hours but what a great three hours it was. We skip the beach each year to do the Disney thing which we love doing while the kids are little. I got to go visit my sister in Charleston and she took us to the beach one day. Hope your beach trip gets here soon and that it is a blast!
Sheryl
And I am hoping to get our Singapore in time. I'm nervous about the math switch. Glad to know your husband thinks its a good choice.