Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shopping = numbing myself to God's heart

Okay, I have many things swimming in my head right now, and just had to get them on paper, er, computer screen. Yeah, I pretty much put this blog to bed, but I felt like pounding some things out here anyway.

Brief, brief, brief update: L'll B has her first day of preschool today, thus, the opportunity to be at the computer uninterrupted. Since we brought her home last November, things have been amazing, awful, hopeful, despairing, chaotic, hilarious, full of self-sacrifice, full of self-absorption. And lessons from the Lord.

Today, one lesson hit home. For the past several weeks I have felt God teaching us more about His heart. He is ALL about teaching us how to live so we bring life into this world. To live lives that point people to Jesus. To be SERVANTS. I have been hit with Isaiah 58:6-12 many times in the past few weeks. God wants me to GET this. The fasting that passage talks about is fasting from ME, from my own self-absorption. So I can reach out to others. OTHERS. My healing, my wholeness can only truly come when I pour myself into others. And not just others in my home. I can often use my family as an excuse. Hey, we are a large family, a lot on our plate, blah, blah, blah. We are exempt from serving outside of our family. What????? LIES, lies, lies to feed my self-absorption.

So, anyways, I have been praying that God give me His passion, to really care about the hurting, the poor, the oppressed. And I sense this passion flaring up in me. Right now I can best describe it as a passion for JUSTICE in this world. But I have to know what to do with it. I am impatient and it is hard to wait on God, but what else can I do?

David Platt's book, Radical, is currently one of the catalysts to all the thoughts swimming in my head. CHALLENGING. Challenging us to look closely at what we believe, what we follow. Are we really following Jesus, the Jesus of Scripture, who calls us to live radically, to live to pursue bringing glory to God and justice in this world. To be missional. ALL OF US. All...of...us. All of us - not just the few who are "called" to missions. Or are we following the "American" Jesus, taking all the good stuff we like about Jesus, and holding tightly to that while dismissing some of the more startling, difficult truths Jesus taught and lived? Ouch!

So what about shopping?

Today, as I was processing some of these thoughts and praying about what God is preparing us for, I decided to go shopping. First day without L'l B, a great chance to shop alone. But I found that shopping can work in me to be a sort of instant gratification that temporarily fills my longings, the passion God is brewing in me. I went shopping, and I DON'T NEED ANYTHING. How many of us in America really do? Sure, I like to "update" my wardrobe, but I am not walking around shirtless or anything. Hey, I went to thrift stores and found some cheap stuff, so it wasn't a money issue. But it was just a lesson to me that as God wants us to GET what He cares about, to follow Him down roads He knows are best for us, I can get SO sidetracked. I can become numb to the voice SO EASILY. Something as ridiculous as shopping can work its magic (evil) to dull my senses toward God. I want to fight for God, be one of His warriors, not fight for the best bargain. I want to feel joy from pouring out the overflow of what Jesus has poured in me, NOT the fleeting happiness that comes from the perfect pair of jeans.

25 comments:

HollyMarie said...

You are where we are too. Isaiah 58 has been on my heart since the summer of 2001 when God first put it there. Living out what that means is difficult and I often feel as though I am failing miserably at it. I struggle tremendously with dying to self in order to serve others. My prayer is that I will keep coming back to Isaiah and other scriptures and that God will remind me again and again of what He desires from me. In small ways and big ones too.

Holli said...

please don't let this blog go!! you have reached me through your life and words and I AM SURE MANY OTHERS!!!

sorry I know my blog is private if you would like to read or know who I am you can email me at hollikieser at hotmail dot com. and will give you the password for blog.

THANK YOU FOR THIS POST/REMINDER!!!

Dardi said...

I hope you will continue to process on your blog so the rest of us can along with you! It blesses & encourages me when I see God working in others the same way He seems to be working in me.

BTW, the last time I "spoke" to you was via email b/c we were in the process of adopting a little boy from Ethiopia. Your reassurances were awesome, & he has now been home 4.5 months & is doing beautifully!

Paula said...

Well... seems we are at a similar place. I posted something kind of along similar lines awhile back. I think it's hard to be intimately acquainted with the third world and not find yourself questioning in this way, and wondering if you are able to "walk the walk."

I was so happy to see your post today! In fact, I was JUST thinking about you and your family this morning and wondering how things were going. We are adopting again from Ethiopia, so we will be up to three bio bigs and three ET adopted littles as well. Not completely sure we're ready for number six, but we have several months still. We already traded in our truck and another car for a used Suburban. :)

Might I just say that I think you are actually quite inspirational, so don't be too hard on yourself for the little things. And you have such a beautiful family. :)

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

So glad to hear from you again. You've been missed!

I would encourage anyone/everyone to read Radical ... it can truly radically change your life. Or, rather, the Lord can use it to radically change your life, if you will allow Him to.

Sorry things have been tough since bringing home your last little one. This mama knows TOUGH! We, too, have had a very challenging year. But, the Lord is continuing to direct and to guide as we walk this journey.

Be BLESSED!

Laurel

Sara said...

I'm currently reading Radical and wish I had more time b/c I would have finished it already. This is the second post I've read tonight about it. Good stuff. I feel ya with the shopping...

Deena / TEAM MARQUIS said...

So excited to see a post from you again...I added you to my "bloglist" a long time ago -hoping to hear from you again, and then, today you popped up to the top of the list! My husband and I have followed your journey since your first adoption. Your blog was one of the very first blogs I ever read. I loved reading about Ethiopia and your beautiful twins. I prayed so hard to follow in your family's footsteps one day and adopt, and... about three months ago we brought our little girl home from Ethiopia. I remember sharing your blog with my husband (when he was not 100% on board yet), and his comment was..."if we can adopt a little girl as cute as that girl, I'm in!" Thanks for sharing your thoughts today. I hope to hear more from you. I haven't read Radical yet, but when I read The Hole In The Gospel, I felt the same way!

coffeemom said...

HEy there stranger! So glad to read you again! I think of you often!!!!! I get what you are saying. If you want another book that is a zinger to the soul and makes you rethink, um, everything...read Thomas Dubay's, "Happy are the Poor". It'll call you on the carpet, it is very humbling but very worthwhile.

I think of you often and hope you are doing great. Your family is so beautiful. I know, it's crazed nd hectic and all the fun stuff. But just so you know, it's beautiful and we miss you here in the blogoverse!

becca albertson said...

that is exactly exactly exactly why i didn't buy anything for myself for a year. you are spot on... it is NUMBING to think that we need to shop to fill the holes in our hearts. NUMBING. great word, friend.
Sad that we're out of touch! I love you're realism... thank you.
love love
b

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Tonya Stultz said...

Wow! Loved reading this!

Tonya
www.familystultz.blogspot.com

Jen said...

Thank you for your post. I have been thinking about you guys. I think a light bulb has gone off for me because of your post. Fasting from me, my wants, my will. Thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for writing this. I've only read two of your blogs and already know that I will be back to read and reread. Please keep writing. We need to hear (read) the wisdom that God is sharing with you. :)

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Nikki said...

I randombly stumbled upon your blog and am near tears it struck home so clearly. I have 4 bio children under 6; prior to staying home with my kids, I was a clinical social worker. I still feel a pull to help others, but in a more profound and long-term way, such as embracing them into my home and helping them come unto Christ. I appreciated your words, as I can absolutely relate ... superfluous things of the world can distance us from our true purpose as disciples of Christ.

Graylock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Graylock said...

I am an old fat wrinkled and dying sinner with only one dream. That the life I have lived has given some joy and hope to at least a few that I have touched. My greater sins are cyber in nature and never hit the physical world. But all Christians know “that“ is irrelevant. Anyway, most of my internet walks are for information. As I travel through this inner space I occasionally come to a precipice, it takes me back to my days of thunder and lightning. There beneath me, would be this beautiful river valley. It would be bathed in sun light whilst I, high above, would be taking hail and freezing rain. My way out was behind me, so I would never touch this cliff again let alone what I saw below. Your Blog is one of those visions. I am left to wonder, is the valley still there? If it is it would be nice to know. If it is not, you should know that it was still, Beautiful. --- tics

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