Saturday, January 31, 2015

Take Me Out of the Box- Stop the Labels

I have watched in amazement and sometimes with startling awareness that I have become one of "those" moms.

You know who I mean... I'm the homeschooling mom with the SUV- can't have a minivan because it wouldn't hold all my kids carseats. I'm toting 5 kids to doctor's appointments, grocery stores, chiropractor, library, um, pretty much everywhere.

I get stares like I'm a circus act. Oh hello, it's just me with a normal outing with my fabulous 5? Oh what, a freak show? No, I think not. I think you've confused us with someone else. We're totally normal.  As I'm trying to stop my four year old's nose bleed and set up my class for Classical Conversations while ordering medical supplies on the phone.

What have I become????

Stop. Hold the presses. Why are we so quick to label? Myself? Others? Comparing? Who is better? Who is more "natural"? Who is more frugal? Who is doing the best job educating? Parenting? Healthy foods? Creative arts? Music lessons? Who has got their crap together????

Why is it when we look around or when we look at the person reflected in the mirror that there is some label we slap on them and ourselves, some "box" we are tempted to put people in.

Aren't we all unique? We are each given our own unique stories that are comprised of different circumstances, challenges, blessings, difficulties, adversities, etc.

I need to let go of the quick judgements I place on myself and others and instead redefine ourselves by how God sees us- His creations. His unique handiwork. each of us have strengths. Each of us have weaknesses. We are all, each one made in the image of God!

I want to strive to love others... and myself. Stop comparing and beating myself up or tearing others down to feel better about myself. Instead I turn to the Lord and glory in what He has made. Let me be quick to encourage. To love others. To stir myself and others toward good works.

Thank you Jesus that you removed all my former labels: sinner, rejected, abandoned, forsaken, with God's anger directed at me. You took the anger. You absorbed the punishment and paid the price in full on the cross. You died and YOU ROSE AGAIN and have given me your righteousness instead of wrath. I am now loved, whole, complete, being made and transformed into the image of Christ, I am redeemed, cherished, chosen. And if you have allowed Jesus to be your Savior then these titles belong to you.


3 comments:

anne said...

1. I didn't even realize you were still blogging. I've pretty much given up on mine...one day again maybe. :) I don't read hardly any blogs anymore.

2. Yes, yes yes! I have been having this conversation with myself and others. I too often let peoples opinions of our large family effect me, I compare myself to others ALL to often. If only I were craftier, skinnier, etc. It could NEVER end...but when I think about the women I love and respect most...I don't think about ANY of those worldy things. I love them because of their heart for the Lord, their love for others, etc.

I am constantly being reminded of the verse in Matthew 6---"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." He cares about us most, takes care of every single detail of our lives and that makes us complete in Him!

Jennifer said...

Thanks Anne for commenting.

Isn't it funny (or just plain awful) how quickly I can forget to seek God's kingdom first?! I don't realize it how "prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love" I am so often. I can get so busy in the "doing" that I forget what it's for and who it's for... and that ultimately, I belong to Him. And seeking after Him is more important than all the other manifold "to-do's" in my life.

I didn't realize how having a big family would affect me, in terms of others opinion. People still don't believe their all mine. And I confess when I see a family in the store that looks like mine... many kids in quick succession, I'm kind of in awe... and I pause and think, "Oh, wow. Is this how I look to others???"

I'm tempted as well to think, if only I were craftier or skinnier... or a better writer, or mom, or homeschooler, or... or... or.... and I agree that women I love aren't defined by my comparisons in my head. You know what else I've discovered... even if my "if only" comes true it still doesn't satisfy.

So let's say it's a good day in the Napier household. The house is miraculously in order and clean and the kids have accomplished all their schooling and we also somehow managed to do something crafty and even went on a fun outing... like the zoo and the kids studied various animals and wrote and drew them in their notebooks... and I made a fabulous, nutritious dinner... I can still be left empty and dissatisfied if it's not done unto the Lord, for Him, for His glory and purposes

I get tempted toward self-righteousness, or even despair that I did it "all right" but still am unsatisfied. And I can acknowledge that my "good" days are few and far, far between but that I can rest and nestle in God's love for me on my "good" days and my "off" days... which are most days. Where dishes and laundry keep piling up. I'm unable to accomplish what I want with schooling that day. Where I let myself down with my own unmet expectations.

Yet I am His and He is mine. And it's more than enough. And my lack points me to my need for Jesus and sends me running to His arms.

So thankful to Jesus for meeting our needs... physical, mental, emotional, financial, spiritual... for "adding all these things unto me". And I hope to rest in that promise today!

Thanks for your encouragement!

anne said...

:)