Monday, October 15, 2012

The Problem with Perfection


Why is it , that as women, have an obsession with being perfect? As far as I can think back I can't remember a time when I wasn't comparing myself to someone else (usually another woman) about something. This is not to say that I haven't been happy or joyful in my life or content with where I am. I'm also not saying that we shouldn't try to be the best version of ourselves that we can be or strive to be better. However I do think there is a point in areas of our life that we do get to the best we will be, yet we aren't satisfied because its not the same as someone else's best.

There are three things I was told before the age of 18 that have stuck with me that I am constantly reminding myself of:

       1. My mom once told me, as I was barely passing math (even though I had a tutor and did extra     credit), that if this was the best I could do then it was the best I could do. She expected nothing more or less that what was my best. She expected my best, not someone else's best.

       2. In one of my classes a girl, I now can't remember who, said the best advice she had ever been given was not to compare herself to anyone. And the reason was that no matter were you go there is someone you will think is smarter or prettier than you, but there is also someone there that thinks you are the smarter or prettier one. No one can be on the top all the time.

       3. If we were able to be perfect without God He wouldn't have created us to need Him. And that He has made each of us specifically the way He wanted us to be.

If we take a look in the Bible the only time the word "perfect" is used its in reference to describing who God is or what God is doing with us. So in other words He is perfect and is working on perfecting us. Meaning no one, other than Christ, was or will ever be perfect without God. We are perfected in Him.

I think as Christian women we know this, but rarely live it out. We are constantly comparing or bodies, our hair, clothes, homes, cars, abilities, careers, parenting styles, children, husbands, pets, and more. And more often than not whoever we are comparing ourselves to, in our minds, wins.

We never consider that the reason our friend may be thinner is because is up at 4am running while we are fast asleep, or worse she is hiding an eating disorder while comparing herself to every women she meets. Or yes she may have a nicer car or home but is going through infertility. The list could go on and on. My point is that we never know what is going on with the person we are comparing ourselves to.

I often question
What if we stopped comparing ourselves to each other an lifted each other in prayer?
What if we were honest about our struggles, pains, and hurts?
What if we loved each other the way Christ calls His church to love?

Could you imagine the changes that would take place with in our friendships, churches, communities, and with in ourselves?

What if we saw imperfection as our greatest asset, allowing it to be something that reminds us that we are all in this together?

I encourage you this week that when you see that woman your comparing yourself not as the enemy or the bar to measure up to but to as someone to reach out to. Lift her up in prayer.

Also embrace your imperfections and allow Christ to work in you through them.

Remember it is in our imperfections that Christ can shine the brightest.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Haleigh's Story: JUST LOVE COFFEE FUNDRAISER

Visit my sister's blog about my niece Haleigh

Haleigh's Story: JUST LOVE COFFEE FUNDRAISER: We have started a "Just Love Coffee" shop online  as a fundraiser for travel funds.  Please  click here  to visit Haleigh's Cup s...

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Life I Planned

I found this poem today and wanted to share it with everyone....

The Life I Planned
Has someone seen the life I planned?
It seems it's been misplaced.
I've looked in every corner;
It's lost without a trace.

I've found one I don't recognize --
Things missing that were dear;
Promises I'd hoped to keep,
And dreams I'd dreamed aren't here.

Faces I had planned to see,
Hands I planned to hold;
Now absent in the pictures;
Not the way I told.

Has someone seen the life I planned?
Did it get thrown away?
God took my hand from searching;
Then I heard Him say --

"Child, your ears have never heard,
Your eyes have never seen,
Eternal plans I have for you
Are more than you could dream.

You long to walk by sight,
But I'm teaching eyes to see;
I know what I'm doing --
'Till then, you must believe.

He's done so much, I felt ashamed
To know He heard my moans.
To think I'd trade in all He's done
For plans made on my own.

I wept over His faithfulness
And how He'd proved Himself;
How He'd gone beyond my dreams
And said to Him myself,

"No, my ears have never heard,
My eyes have never seen,
Eternal plans You have for me
Are more than I could dream.
"Yes, I long to walk by sight
But You're teaching eyes to see;
You know what You're doing --
'Till then, I must believe.

I felt His great compassion --
Mercy unrestrained.
He let me mourn my losses
And showed to me my gains.

I offered Him my future
And released to Him my past.
I traded in my dreams
For a plan He said would last.

I get no glimpse ahead;
No certainties at all,
Except the presence of the One
Who will not let me fall.

Are you also searching
For a life you planned yourself?
Have you looked in every corner?
Have you checked on every shelf?

Child, your ears have never heard,
Your eyes have never seen,
Eternal plans He has for you
Are more than you could dream.

Perhaps you long to walk by sight,
But He's teaching eyes to see;
He knows what He is doing --
Child, step out and believe.

By Beth Moore

No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived what God
has prepared for those who love Him.
{1 Corinthians 2:9}

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The "Un-telling"

Have you ever had to "un-tell" people something? I've rarely experienced this in my life, but with the decision to not attend graduate school I have. I knew there would be questions and people would want to know why the sudden shift in plans. And there was worry in telling those that had expressed how proud they were of me.

I have had the following questions:

Why?
Are you pregnant?
Were you not able to get in?
What are you go to do now?

I expected the first one. The second and third ones annoyed me. The last one I think was my favorite. It seemed to imply that not going to graduate school was a destructive decision. I have also gotten the blank/confused/awkward silent stare of those that weren't sure what to say, as if I had told them I had been diagnosed with some awful disease.

The hardest part was explaining that I knew this was God's will, when just weeks earlier I had boldly stated that the plans I had created were God's will. The only thing I can say is that I was wrong before and God revealed that to me. I have had to remind myself that I don't need reasons other than this. I have caught myself numerous times saying "I'm not going to graduate school because of ___________". Remember that if you are in God's will you don't have to apologize for it.

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed."
(2 Corinthians 4:7-9 NIV)

On another note today I had the opposite reaction from a friend. She said she was proud of me for listening to God and doing what He said and that she was excited for the child (however that he or she comes into our home) that God will bless us with.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bumps in the Road

Found out tonight that we don't qualify for China adoptions for multiple reasons. I am surprised considering the one child law and number of children they have available that the requirements are so strict compared to other countries we have looked at.

Our list is getting shorter due to many countries closing their boarders to international adoption. Also some countries only allow those individuals with that country in their heritage to adopt within their boarders. I know God has called us to adoption and that this is just a bump in the road. I know He will lead us to where we need to be when we need to be there.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Freezer Meals

In trying to learn ways to save money, especially with us being called to adoption, I have found freezer meals. I have to say it is great! I took one day and cooked/prepped meals for the whole week. Jason and I have a bad habit of eating out when we don't feel like cooking. But this way the prep is done and all you do is throw it in the oven when you get home or in the crock pot that morning! Another way to go about it, which is how I plan to try it next time, is one or two nights a week double the recipe cooking half in one pan for that night and freezing the other half for another night.

Here is the link to the meals I tried this time. This blog is great for recipes and I highly suggest following it.

http://joyful-mommas-kitchen.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 6, 2012

One Cry



I invite you to be apart of One Cry, a call for all believers to pray for revival.

Go to www.onecry.com to join the movement today!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Have Thine Own Way Lord

After God woke me up the other night I was reading through Ecclesiastes my Bible (sometimes I will randomly open God's word and just read). I landed on Chapter 7 which was was on wisdom.

What really hit me was the devotional on the next page on Adelaide Pollard (1862-1934). She was a missionary trying to raise money to go to Africa. It wasn't going well and she was questioning God's call on her life. In other words, "Did I hear Him right?" "Did I get it wrong?" and so on. We all do this, questioning ourselves and God.

During this time she came across this passage:

I...found the potter working at his wheel, But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Then the Lord gave me this message: "O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand"
-Jeremiah 18:3-6

As Adelaide did, I have decided to allow the potter mold me into what He wants. To follow Him and listen to His voice. And yes sometimes I may fall and get it wrong, but He is already there to catch me.


Have Thine Own Way

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.

- Adelaide Pollard

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

PLANS

In the early morning hours I am generally not someone you would find awake. But this morning around 3:45 I woke up with pain in my back. I grudgingly got up, took something, and crawled back into bed. I was sure I would fall right back to sleep, however this did not happen. I was now awake and it seemed I would stay this way. Something wasn't right.

As I tossed and turned thoughts of the recent weeks ran through my mind. Jason, my husband of four years, started a new job that allowed him to be home more. He was also called to lead worship at a local church, as they are going through a transition in worship style. I am about to complete my last undergraduate class and receive my degree in Leadership and Cultural Studies. Well, 2 weeks ago I decided I needed to go to graduate school. I have wanted to be a Marriage and Family Counselor for many years. Had meetings, purchased GRE study books, submitted my application, and so on.

I had a plan and a peace about this plan I had organized. So why was I second guessing myself at 4am on a Tuesday! And at that moment I truly believe I heard God's voice more clearly than ever before. He started asking me questions I didn't want to answer: "Heather, can you truly be the wife Jason needs you to be if you're in school til 10pm two nights a week? Is it truly honoring me if you have to take out thousands of dollars in more student loans? Will you be able to do the things I'm asking you to do with excellence? How will you stay at home with the precious child I've told you to adopt from China?"
I knew what the answers to my questions would mean. And I know many would say you need to pray about it. But how much do you have to pray when you already know God's answer to your question?

Graduate school is no longer an option for me. I will preparing for my plans and prepare for His. I know in my heart He has been with me so far in my journey to finding out His desire for me. I was afraid of who He has made me to be. There was a false sense of needing to be something more, but I am learning that the story of my life will be amazing because He is  the author of it.

He has called me to be faithful and my response Lord is "here I am, use me".