Tag Archives: Fear

I Am a Sinner

22 Nov

Satan wants me to be comfortable. He wants me to take my life for granted; to not notice the little blessings given to me each day. Satan wants me to think that I have it all together, because if this were true, why would I need to seek God?

The devil doesn’t want me to share my weaknesses; to admit that I am broken and need God’s grace.

Satan doesn’t want me to notice that I rarely pick up the Bible next to my bed or admit that I sometimes get too caught up in housework instead of spending time with my girls. Or that I hesitate to help others when it might inconvenience me too much. The devil doesn’t want me to acknowledge that I know he is behind any fear and resistance that I have been battling.

Why am I typing this stuff? Simply because I have read some amazing books by saintly authors lately. The Holy Spirit has been weaving some beautiful wisdom together in my mind. Hopefully, I can now articulate what has been knocking me over the head…

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“I am a sinner.” That’s the response that Pope Francis gave in his recent interview for America Magazine, when asked to describe who he was. These are the first words that came to mind of one of the holiest men on earth! What a humble example of who we are all called to be as Christians!

At the time that I read the aforementioned, A Big Heart Open to God article, I had just finished reading a section in Melody Green’s book, No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green, about her musician husband and how he started a “revival” in their community of new Christians. Keith had read a book by Charles Finney that discussed the concept of “fallow ground,” and this motivated him to confess his sins to his friends, ask for forgiveness, and turn grace into action on a whole new level. On page 269, Melody writes:

Keith explained, “Fallow ground is ground that was once tilled, but has since gotten hard and unusable. Before it can receive seed, it needs to be broken up and made soft again. Finney says to break up the fallow ground of our heart, we need to examine our motive, actions, and state of mind very carefully…” Keith quoted Finney again. “There are many professing Christians who are willing to do almost anything in religion that does not require self-denial. They are so far from realizing that self-denial is a condition of discipleship that they do not even know what it is!”

Keith was passionate about fighting hypocrisy among Christians and urged one another to move beyond “easy” grace.

For anyone out there familiar with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, you know that this is just like his term, “cheap grace.” In his book, The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer states, “Happy are they who know that discipleship simply means the life which springs from grace, and that grace simply means discipleship.”

Many Christians accept God’s gift of grace without accepting that we are also made to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him while on this earth. We are made to know our brothers and sisters in Christ; to love them and to serve them. This requires action…discipleship…grace.

We are not to take our amazing free redeeming gift of salvation and keep it to ourselves. Matthew 5:13-16 states:

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.

Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.

Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

“Getting saved” isn’t a one time thing, it is a a continuous accepting of Jesus by the choices that we make. Dr. Timothy Gray states in Walk the Walk: Following Christ as His Disciple, “Denial is always preceded by distance. Follow Jesus at a distance, and that discipleship will eventually end up in denial – denying Jesus.” He also states, “To not act on our belief – on our Christian thoughts – makes those Christian thoughts completely fruitless and vain.”

Can we ever do anything to earn grace? No, of course not. God freely gives us his love and mercy over and over again. Grace should inspire thankfulness – a heart overflowing with gratitude for something that we can never deserve. Thankfulness humbles us. Thankfulness is the key to joy.

I’ve been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and her book is absolutely filled with numerous ways we receive grace and blessings. She says:

Thanksgiving creates abundance; and the miracle of multiplying happens when I give thanks- take the just one loaf, say it is enough, and give thanks- and He miraculously makes it more than enough.

When we have more than enough, we share. We share our joy, our blessings, our hope, so that others will seek Jesus, accept His grace, and follow Him. We are called to live radically and walk boldly in faith. Without God’s grace we are nothing, and this is precisely why we owe our lives to Him. This is why we should want the Lord to till our hardened soil and plant seeds of love in our hearts.

I am a sinner. A thankful sinner. A thankful sinner who wants to shine His light.

Catholic Woman’s Almanac No. 2

18 Nov

It’s taken me a little longer than I thought to get back to joining up with the ladies at Suscipio, but better late than never!

Thanking God for…
…my wonderful, amazing husband and little girls.

…my brother moving to Tennessee after living in California for 8 years.

…a job with flex days, so I can work from home a few times each month (like today)!

I am praying…
…for the grace to continue writing and articulating the truth that God reveals to me.

…for the Christians being persecuted throughout the world.

…for the success of my father-in-law’s new business.

I am pondering…
…what direction my blog will go in 2014.

I am reading…
No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green by Melody Green – Where do I begin with this one? There are so many parallels of Keith Green’s journey and where Adam is at in his own musical journey, that I will have to devote an entire post to it in the near future!

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp – I love what Ann has to say about grace and thanksgiving. It all has been tying in to other things that I’ve been reading, too.

The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer – I’m still working on this one! I’ve been devoting a lot of time to No Compromise lately, but will be getting back to this once I finish up that one.

I am creating…
…Christmas gifts out of glass blocks, vinyl, ribbon, and lights!

I’m learning…
…to step into fear and be more vulnerable.

In the kitchen…
I had a very productive day today! I steamed sweet potatoes for my girls, made a big batch of homemade vegetable soup, baked some healthy fruit-and-veggie  muffins, and even made pumpkin gooey butter cake for a work potluck tomorrow!

Around the house…
We officially took our house off the market this past week, because I didn’t want to deal with showings over the holiday season! It has been such a stress reliever! We may or may not re-list it in the spring. We’ll see…

Look what I found…
PowerSheets – I recently read about these awesome organizing/planning sheets on Anne’s blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy. I just ordered some to keep me on track for 2014. I’m really excited about them!

I am looking forward to…
…my sister-in-law and twin nephews coming to visit over Thanksgiving!

…Advent! I love Christmas-time, but I don’t listen to any Christmas music or put up decorations until after Thanksgiving! I can’t wait to snuggle with my girls and watch Christmas movies! I plan to enjoy the season as much as possible!

A favorite quote for today…

Stop living in fear and start living in faith. Fear paralyzes. Faith frees. -Crystal Paine, Money Saving Mom

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Good night and have a great week!

Fear & Resistance

14 Nov

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Blogging is freaking me out right now!

Yes, I’ve been busy and distracted the past few months with the house being on the market, car issues, and the upcoming holidays, but I’ve also felt a resistance that has been keeping me from completing half-finished posts. I’m a little bit at a crossroads of how to move forward.

I’m the type of person who wants things to be done right and if I can’t do whatever needs to be done as well as it needs to, I tend to give up and walk away. This is why I dabble in a lot of different things, but I’m not really a master of anything… There are a lot of things that I enjoy, but when it comes to working hard, sacrificing, and focusing on only one particular thing I tend to back off at some point. Maybe it’s because I don’t like to put pressure or stress on myself, I’m afraid of failing, or I don’t want to look like an idiot. If I’m being honest, it’s probably all of the above!

Trust me, I’m not trying to take myself too seriously with this blogging stuff, but I do want to contribute something that’s meaningful – something that matters. I love reading what my contemporaries have to say and feeling connected to their dreams and struggles. It is encouraging to be a part of a community full of young Christian wives and mothers trying to live their vocations the best that they can! I admire what so many other bloggers are doing. It’s easy, though, to start feeling inadequate and to question the importance of my little voice being heard among the crowd.

Something that I have come to realize recently is that I shouldn’t really be focusing so much on what kind of unique perspective I can offer, but just focusing on the truth that God is revealing to me. I have been doing a lot of great reading lately by saintly authors and so many ideas are linking together and overlapping so much that I know what I’m reading is true. There is something to be said about the cliches “great minds think alike” and “there is power in numbers!” The more we Christians speak the truth and share our faith journey, the more we may have an impact on others. The more that the messages we share are alike, the better!

Many of us are at different points in our relationship with Jesus. Some people are further along the journey and some are just starting to put things together, but there are those out there who are right there with us and something just might click and make sense in a way that others wouldn’t be able to do. I’m talking as much to myself as to anybody when I say, “Keep sharing your God-given wisdom and personal story!”

I know that this fear I’m dealing with right now of “not being good enough” is coming from Satan. I’m determined to resist the temptation to take the easy road and keep my blog on the back-burner. The devil wants me to keep my mouth shut and my fingers off the keyboard.

I know that what I write may not always be “Strunk and White”-approved or contain eloquent revelations, but I’m not going to let that stop me from offering encouragement and evangelizing. I also don’t want to cut ties with these amazing ladies who constantly inspire me and give me hope in this crazy, broken world (see blogroll below for some of my favorites).

Thanks to those of you who have checked in on A Dreamer’s Wife now-and-then. I appreciate your support and I plan to fit blogging into my life as much as I can in the upcoming months. I will be grateful for any prayers as I re-focus on my blog’s future and my Faithful Dreamers project (that I can’t wait to share one of these days). God bless and dream big!

Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows. -Luke 12:7