Monday, July 28

There Is NO Checklist!

There is no checklist!

At some point, unspoken expectations became a part of our Christian lives, a part of our churches, and a part of how we function. The odd thing is, I don't ever recall someone speaking from the pulpit about them or a person standing at the back of the church handing out flyers listing them. I've been racking my brain to find out why it is that so many us feel we have to live up to these rules that we believe exist. The conclusion I've come to is that we don't understand the true meaning of grace.
Grace hasn't been fully discussed, preached and defined to us. This all came about in a recent discussion with a close friend. She felt like being a stay at home mom wasn't enough, she wasn't doing anything big enough to be counted for God's kingdom, what she was doing was worthless.
I DON'T THINK SO! God gave me the words to speak to her, and I felt the need to share them with any of you that struggle with similar things. When you get to the gates of heaven at the end of your life there isn't a big white board with a checklist on it or ticker tape listing how many people you "won" for Jesus. He won't be looking at you going, "Welp, if you'd only saved five more people I'd let you in," or "If you'd missed less church in your life I wouldn't have to turn you away." Thats not how God works. The Bible says God is love, which means to me that His arms are constantly open to me. He always has and always will desire a relationship with me, and the only thing that truly matters is that I have faith in Him and have a relationship with him.

What stay at home parents do MATTERS! It counts. It's one of the hardest jobs on the planet. My mom was a stay at home mom for 13 years. I don't believe when she got to heaven God looked at her and said well raising two kids and teaching them about Me wasn't enough, you should of been doing more and adding more to My kingdom. I think He gave her a hug and said "great job, I love you and I'm glad you're here." What Jesus did for us covered any mistakes she made, any sins she had. When judgment happened - when God recounted her life - Jesus was holding her hand looking at their Father and saying, "Dad (a.k.a. GOD) I covered that for her, she is redeemed, she is saved, she is washed clean by what I did."

My husband is a stay at home dad - and a great one! What he does everyday counts. He's raising our son to be a Godly man. That counts! We have cast aside modern day gender roles, especially in Christian circles, and done things differently. We both have our own moments of not feeling like we're doing enough for God. The thing is: that's all in our head. We've made up a definition of "doing enough" somewhere along the way that is far from what the Grace of God is. God loves you and continually extends His grace to us all. That is all that matters!

Stop allowing the unwritten rules to exist in churches and christian circles, because they don't exist with God! To God every sin is the same, He doesn't categorize them like we do. Because every sin is the same, He sent Jesus to cover those sins. Judgement - even of ourselves - shouldn't be the loudest voice in our lives. The only voice that matters, the only one that truly matters, is God's. The loudest message that God wants us to hear is how much He loves us and wants a relationship with us. Think about it, He sent His only son so He could have relationship with us. He loved us so much He sent His son. As a parent that hits home. I know how deep my love for James goes and I know I don't have the strength to do what God did just so I could be in relationship with other people. Judgement in the end isn't the answer, Love is. You can disagree with someone, and yet still have the love you have for them be the loudest thing they hear.

Is Love louder than your judgement in your life? If not, it should be!

Sunday, July 13

It Won't End

It won't end, the list of things to do after my mom died. The ends to wrap up that keep going that hurt. The things I can't bring myself to give away or go through because it's too hard. The elephant in the room every time I walk in because there is a Rubbermaid container of things of hers that I packed the week after she died that I can't bring myself to sort, find spots for and put away. I have to call on bills again so we can begin the process of closing out the estate, her estate. I need to do this then at least they'll be done but at the same time then they'll be done. It will be over, it will be like she wasn't here on paper. I'm too young to do this. You shouldn't have to do this for your parents until you're in your 50's at the very earliest. I'm 28 in a month. She won't be here to celebrate with me. Birthday's where always a big deal because she made them a big deal and yet as it gets closer I just want to run and hide. I have to start going through stuff and letting some of it go at least but it's so hard. I've given myself until Jan., until the year mark but I need to do it now so it's not hanging over my head anymore but I don't want to. It comes in these rolling hills of pain, the grief. It's less frequent now but something will trigger it and even against my best attempts it comes out. It's gone from crying everyday to maybe once or twice a month but I'm so sick of it. I pulled out Gilmore Girls to watch months ago and James liked it so now it's the show we go to when he's upset or needs to calm down before bed. It was the show I shared with her. People used to refer to us, me and her as the Gilmore Girls at one time. I miss her and I hate that this has to happen, I hate all the emotion and crud we have to sort through now. I hate that I can't protect my little brother from this pain. I hate the US Congress because they wouldn't outlaw the horrible stuff that caused her to get terminal cancer. I hate the executives that choose to use the crap because it would make them a profit and the risk was worth it. I hate that she left us so quickly after she was diagnosed. I hate that I wasn't there to hold her hand as she took her last breath on this earth and her first in heaven. I hate that I was only 27 when she died and not 50 or 60. I hate that James won't know his Nana. I hate that I can't call her when he gets sick and get her to reassure me that he'll be okay. I hate that she left me before I was ready to say goodbye. I hate being strong and faith filled even though I know it's the right thing to do. I hate that she's gone. I hate the days when the sadness overtakes me or I let it overtake me which ever you want to say and my test gets tight and I cry an ugly cry until I can't cry anymore. I hate that she's gone before I was ready to say good bye. I have to go face the bin of bills and paperwork now and another bin of random things I packed up not knowing what to do with. I need to at least do one or two things. I wish I could allow myself to hide it in the back of the closet far away and forget but I can't, that's not me. That's not who she raised me to be.