Perceptions and expectations can get us in lots of trouble. They can also encourage us to believe lies.
I talked awhile back about a book I believe all homeschooling moms need to read: Lies Homeschool Moms Believe.
Today, though, I want to make sure you, my dear readers, are not believing a lie about me.
Today, I’d like to make something clear: I have a fantastic life, seriously.
And I did nothing to deserve it.
If statistics were true, if odds were right, if consequences always followed actions, I would be dead or have a serious disease or have no children or any number of horrid sounding things.
I led a life that not only was immoral, but stupid. In my teens. In my early twenties.
It’s true that I have made some good decisions, but even those we’re blessed by grace because they weren’t as good as they could have been. Should have been.
If you read this blog and and think I’ve done something to deserve this stinking wonderful life, don’t buy that lie.
Not one little bit of it.
I don’t want you to believe that I deserve this life. I don’t want to trick myself into believing it.
I do now seek to glorify the Lord in my life and to honor his ways, that’s true. Even in that, I fail daily. Hourly. Seriously.
I have found peace (most of the time) in the truth that God chooses whom to bless and how.
Yes, God blesses obedience… but Westerner Christians have come to believe (and preach) that blessings equate financial or some other kind of material extra. It may include that, but it certainly isn’t what Christ most blessed others with while he walked on Earth. And I believe it’s not how he primarily blesses now.
He makes us more like him.
That is the true blessing. The beyond words amazing blessing.
Six beautiful, loving, and precious children. A kind, affectionate, and gentle husband. A home with food and lovely things. A community of people I love and who love me. These are generous, above and beyond, undeserved gifts to me.
Any statistician could tell you so, if I chose to share my pre-Christ life experiences.
I’m telling you, though, because I don’t want you to do any of three dreadful things:
1) I don’t want you to think I earned my precious life. I didn’t. I’m beyond grateful for the gift of it. It’s stinkin’ amazing.
2) I don’t want you to believe you are too far off the “right” path for God to do anything with you and your life. If you had paused my life in 1989, you would have guessed that I would never have anything of value to offer. I was self centered and self destructive. As the Apostle Paul said, “I was the chief of sinners.” Yet… here I am. By the grace of God. Literally. No one is too far “off” to live a life that is a testimony to his love, mercy, and grace.
3) I don’t want you to believe that “right” decisions = things. Any kind of things. Family. Children. A great marriage. Beautiful house. Job that provides for trips to Tahiti. Right decisions never guarantee things. They guarantee pleasing the LORD. That is the very best “thing”. Anything above that is a gift. And gifts aren’t earned.
When we start believing thing are earned, then we believe we deserve them. That, my friends, is works mentality and it has nothing to do with grace.
Yesterday I was blessed by my precious friend (I am still stunned that God would bring me such a sweet & dear friend so quickly, answering my prayers) and her talent. She offered to gift me a family photo shoot to commemorate our first fall in her beloved mountains.
As I stared at three of the images she shared with me, tears welled my eyes. Looking at my beautiful, precious, beloved family… I was consumed with gratefulness.
I will continue to walk on the narrow road, but I will continue to ask my awesome God to keep me humble. To remind me that my life is a gift.
May I live it in a way that brings glory to the Giver of all good gifts.