Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Today, there are many facebook statuses and tweets about the crucifixion.  Praise God, there are people who are purposefully thinking about this day, what happened on this day, and what it means.

However, I can't help but notice that so many of these updates are man-centered.

Things like:

He thought of me above all.

I am worth it.

I am someone worth dying for.

We are tempted to make everything about us. Yes, I praise God that I get to have a part in the story of redemption!  But, I also praise God that Jesus' death was not [primarily] about me.  I was not his motivation. Humans were not his motivation. There is nothing about us worthy of Christ climbing that hill.

He did not think of me above all; He thought of the Glory of the Father.

He did not think I was worth it; He knew God's glory was infinitely worth it.

I am not someone worth dying for; I am desperately wicked.

Did Christ die for us? Yes! The Bible says, "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8. But, when Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives he said, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42)  His focus  was the Father.

He died for the Glory of the Father. He died so that God could be glorified through the magnificent story of utterly depraved humans being saved by His grace.  

He did not die to give us positive self-esteem. We shouldn't look at the cross and think, "I am worth it." Instead, we should meditate on the disparity of our sinfulness that it would cost so much to redeem. We should humbly marvel that God would allow us to be a part of that redemption.

So, let us be careful with how we talk of the crucifix. It is not primarily about us. It is first about the glory of God. I praise God that he would allow me to be a part of His glory through the story of redemption. I don't deserve it; I am not someone worth Christ's death. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Five Months

This guy has been with us for 5 months. I can't believe it.

I think back to when I was 5 months pregnant. I was barely showing. Strangers were JUST starting to notice. Even then, they were rarely brave enought to ask. I didn't feel like I had been pregnant for long.

But, I feel like I have been a mama forever. Five months with our son has felt like a lifetime. You know what parents say, "I can't remember life before our little one?" It's true! It seems like I have been his mom so much longer than 5 months.

At the same time, these five months have been a whirlwind. Already, I am forgetting what he was like as a itty bitty newborn. Remembering him then is made more difficult by the fact that he is a big boy. Yes, I am the mom who often gets told things like, "He's only 5 months? He's a big boy. He's gunna be a line backer!" And, I totally dig having a "big" boy. He is wearing 9 and 12 month clothes!

He is not really interested in rolling over, but is starting to sit up. I think he's not rolling over because his personality is so content. He's kinda like, "Oh that toy is out of my reach? Oh well, I will just look at it and talk to it, no big deal. No need to expend extra energy to roll towards it."

Naps continue to be my nemesis  He still takes 30 minute naps. 30 minutes. Thats it. Because they are so short he has a really hard time making it until bedtime. He gets a bit grumpy in the afternoon. This makes me feel as if I am ALWAYS either trying to get him down for a nap, or get him back to sleep at the end of a short nap (which does not usually happen). This all started around 2-3 months. Once in a while, for no apparent reason he will take a longer nap. But, this is so random and rare that I can't figure out the trick. And, I have tried EVERYTHING. No Joke. Everything. Twice.

He may take pitiful naps, but he does so awesome at night. He sleeps for 12 hours straight. Seriously. He started sleeping 8-10 hours straight around two months, then lengthened it to 10-12 hours around 3 months and has pretty much kept doing 12 (sometimes 13) since 4 months. Oh, the bliss!

So, perhaps the catnapping is related to him sleeping so much at night or maybe it is  just a phase. Other moms who I have talked to who's babies slept 12+ hours at night report their little ones did the same thing and say it levels out around 9 months. So, looks like we might have 4 more months of this catnapping stuff. Which means I need to figure out how to deal, ASAP.

Jude is not yet eating solid foods regularly. He's still pretty much only eating breastmilk. Out of curiosity, we have given him a little avocado, sweet potato and a taste of banana. We have decided to follow the baby-led weaning (AKA baby-led solids) approach. We know so many parents who have done this and have kids that are super awesome (read: not picky!) eaters. We will begin Jude with sweet potatoes, avocados  and other fruits/veggies he can handle in the next month or so as he begins to show interest in food, looses his tongue thrust reflex, and can feed himself. We do not plan on buying baby food or making purees, but giving him foods that he can manage in their natural form.

Jude has not yet had any immunizations.  It's not that we are totally opposed to shots, but he had a virus at his 2 month appointment, so he did not start them then. Then other things happened, so we put them off. Basically, its a long, boring, drawn out ordeal, but he should begin to get (some of) them at 6 months. I dread that.

I love being the momma of a 5 month old. I love seeing him take in things and learn! I love the open mouthed kisses, belly laughs, happy dance (when he flails his arms and legs with excitement), reaching for and shaking objects that intrigue him, and that he enjoys independent play time.

Most days, I love, love, love being a momma though there is the ocasional meltdown day. I am so blessed to have a husband who is so patient, understanding, encouraging when I have those days. I am one blessed gal.

So, here we are. The parents of a cute 5 month old! I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Sin of Discontentment

It is easy to feel discontent. After all, we live in a culture that thinks no one should feel unhappy with their lot, or if they are, they are entitled to change it (or have it changed for them - but I digress). More than that, it is a part of our (sinful) nature to think that we deserve contentment with our circumstances and to make our own contentment in things or events an idol. I am guilty.

This struggle comes in may forms:

I am discontent with this job; I quit.

I am discontent with this house. Hello, mortgage I can't actually afford.

I am discontent with my body. Know a good plastic surgeon?

I am discontent, but it will be better when _________________.

It seems that we think that if we are discontent something is wrong. Something needs to be fixed. After all, our circumstances should provide us contentment, right?

Now, I know many of you are wiser than I and already have spotted the error of this logic. Honestly, I thought I got it, too. But I didn't. I was looking for contentment in circumstances rather than in God.

Philippians 4:11-12-  Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
This season of our life has brought with it temptation to be discontent about many things: 

Reduced income.
Living in the city. (I am a country girl.)
Adjusting to being a stay at home mom.
No health insurance.
Cultivating new friendships.

I began to interpret my lack of contentment as something wasn't right. Maybe we had made a wrong decision. Maybe something needed to change. We needed to "fix' this.

Of course, this thinking reveals sin, the sin of discontentment. I thank God for friends who are willing to call sin, sin. As Stephen was seeking counsel from a Christian brother and sharing some of our stuggles this individual pointed out that we are battling the sin of discontentment.

1 Timothy 6:6-7  But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.
Typically, we don't see discontentment as a big problem in the Christian life. But, it is a big deal.  Really. Discontentment is doubting the sovereignty of God. Doubting that God has a purpose for every season of our lives. It is forgetting that not one decision or event comes without the Lord allowing it.

Why hadn't I realized this before?  Just realizing that what I was facing was sin made a huge difference. The first step was repentance. Then, I began to look at things differently. Instead of trying to change something to feel content, I started to realize that this season brought with it great opportunity for sanctification.

And, by his grace, The Lord is teaching me much. 

I am learning to... 

trust God more,
be thankful,
invest more time into people rather that projects/home decor/shopping,
appreciate the season of plenty we had,
pray more, 
submit to my husband in difficult decisions,
and to parent more intentionally in the time I am blessed to spend with Jude.

Now, don't misinterpret this as, "I have mastered these things." No, at any moment I am tempted to be fleshly and discontent. But, still, there is such a huge opportunity for growth and sanctification, an opportunity that I did not see when I was only focusing on my discontentment and how I could "fix" it.

Are you dealing with discontentment?   Perhaps you, like me, did not realize the sinfulness of your discontentment  Perhaps you are consumed with "fixing" it by seeking out a new job, home, church, etc.  Dear friend, I encourage you to repent. I encourage you to see your struggle as an opportunity for sanctification. May the Lord use this to make us more like Christ.