Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Be Who You Are

I'm going to tell you something today that I hope will set you free.

I just finished listening to Pastor Furtick's message from a couple Sundays ago for the second time.  I heard it in its entirety on that Sunday, but there was so much good stuff I was trying to get written down in my notebook that I was afraid I had missed something.  I walked out of the sanctuary and told Leah, "He wrote that sermon for me."  C'mon somebody...if you go to Elevation Church you know what I'm talking about.

His entire message was about assumption.  He used The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) to help us understand the danger in making assumptions.  To refresh memories, this is the parable where a master was going on a journey and entrusted five talents to one of his servants, two to another and one talent to a third servant.  The servants with five and two talents "put their money to work" and doubled it.  The man with one talent hid it in the ground and then only had one to show for it when the master came back.  Pastor Furtick said the trouble with the passage is that the servant who the master entrusted with one talent assumed things about the master (who represents Jesus) that were not true.   The English Standard version says, "I knew you to be a hard man."  He is describing his interpretation of the master, and not how the master really is.  A few verses before, the master said "Well done, good and faithful servant," to the man to whom he entrusted five talents.  Pastor Furtick said, sarcastically, "He sounds like a really tough guy."  In actuality, the master was not. The servant just assumed him to be a "hard man."  The one talent man missed out on an opportunity to grow his money because he feared his master.  Talents were given, "each according to his ability" (Matthew 25:15).  Pastor Furtick pointed out here, "Aren't you thankful God won't hold you accountable for what he doesn't give you?"

This all became relevant to me as I thought about my areas of insecurity.  Am I being a good enough mom?  Is my house organized enough?  Do I look semi-put together when I step foot out of my house in the morning?  Do I love my husband well enough?  Am I doing enough with the ability God gave me?

God may have given the talents each according to his ability, but that doesn't mean we can't take that ability and grow it.

I kept listening, which kept setting me free...

Just because you haven't yet doesn't mean you can't.

It's up to you how much you surrender and if HE gave it to you, you can grow it.

We overestimate what we would do with the opportunity we don't have and underestimate what we could do with the opportunity we do have.

I had become obsessed with several ideas I read about on a blog.  I could.not.let.them.go.  I wanted to totally reorganize our laundry room.  Paint it green, buy prints that said "laundry" in swirly decorative letters, purchase new containers that coordinated and concealed the items inside.

And then I realized...I read blogs to get ideas on how to make my house feel more organized and tranquil.  I can take bits and pieces here and there and use them according to my own ability.  My kids are little.  They need me to color with them, build Legos, and play catch.  They need me to read aloud to them, listen to them read, and call out spelling words.  They need me to make zucchini bread and hide veggies in their meatloaf because they don't eat enough.  They don't need their mommy repainting perfectly good walls and spending money on art for the laundry room.

What I realized after listening to Pastor Furtick's message is that while reading blogs is fun and often helpful in creating a clean, organized home, I can pick and choose what I want to do.  I don't have to have a complete makeover in order to feel good about my home.

All of this is so timely as two of my favorite bloggers mentioned the book, Love the Home You Have, by Melissa Michaels in their posts last week.  The summary I read about the book said Michaels is "the best contentment coach you'll ever meet."  Isn't that what we'd all like?  To be content with what we have?  To be content with our current abilities? I can't wait to get my hands on this book.  But in the meantime, I am celebrating the small changes I have been inspired to make as a result of picking and choosing...according to MY ability.

Before we had children, I read every best seller that came out.  I realized while it is entertaining to read current titles, it is more important right now that I read about how to be a good mother.  Right now, Parents magazine is on my nightstand, Real Boys, by William Pollack is playing on my ipod, and Wild Things, by Stephen James is my go-to reference.  Sure, I keep up with the books my book club reads--they're my collapse into bed at the end of the day good reads, and occasionally waiting in the car pool line books, but I know I need to keep my head in the game by focusing on how to be the best mom I can be.

I'd love my entire laundry room to look like Maria's (the one I obsessed over), but right now, I'll take her idea of putting a small trash can with a lid to hide the lint on top of the washing machine, and contain the items I reach for the most in a basket (which I already owned:).  I'll get to the painting one day.  That day is not now.

Our kids are little, but they need to know that Mommy and Daddy love each other very much, and want to spend time together.  So, we make a point of going on dates together, holding hands, and greeting each other with a hug and a kiss.  Even in the craziness of raising kids, I need to show my husband I love him.  I framed these pictures along with a sweet card my sister gave us for our anniversary as reminders to us to do the things we did when we were first dating.  Because when you're raising kids, those are the things that get harder and harder to do.

After listening to Pastor Furtick's sermon, and reading back over the parable in Matthew 25, I am content with my abilities in the right now.  

But I also have confidence in myself to know that I can grow my abilities.
And that is a good place to be.


  1. I'll let you borrow my copy once I get done with it. (I only got through the first chapter over spring break.) I know how you feel...it's so easy to allow comparison to steal our joy! But just so you know, I think your home is beautiful.

  2. Thank you, Rachel!!! Your comment made my day. Can't wait to read the book after you finish. ;)