Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Corner of This Christian Life

Since I've been in Brenham, I feel like the Lord and I have been working on a puzzle together. He, of course, knows what the final product looks like, and where all the pieces go, but I do not, and so I plug away, trying to fit pieces together, trying to make out some image of this Christian life.

Recently, I feel like He has helped me put some pretty important pieces together, through reading His Word, and praying His Word. He has been so gracious to me, continuously renewing my hunger for Scripture, making it come alive. Time and again, He has made me a feast when I expected some crumbs. He has saturated my heart with Truth, bringing It's taste to my tongue and It's feeling to my hands. I want to emphasize that I take no credit. DAILY, I am tempted to put our time aside, but DAILY, HE reminds me of His "ten thousand charms" and He is irresistible. And so, by His faithful beckoning, I have been wrestling with some difficult "pieces," and by His generous counsel, an image is becoming clearer.

Materialism has been an important piece through all of this. It has always been a struggle for me. And honestly, I don't know too many women who don't find it a struggle. Lately, my closest friends and I have been laying this sin out on the table, examining it, asking questions, searching for its root. Some of the questions that have been incubating in my heart are: Why do so many women I know struggle with always wanting more, especially when it comes to our homes? Is the desire to create a warm and inviting home a sin in and of itself? If not, when does it cease to be a godly desire placed in our hearts, and become dirty, lustful, greedy sin? So, as my husband says, I've been "sitting in the tension," waiting on God to share His wisdom.

While I've been waiting, God began to open my eyes to another area of sin in my life. In a nutshell: the community that I currently exist in, is perhaps, not completely reflective of God's Kingdom. I felt encouraged by His Word to enter into honest community with all walks of life, the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the white and the black, the full and the hungry, and so on. The point was driven home further as God reminded me of people I know and people I don't know that are hurting and suffering in ways I cannot imagine.

One night on the Internet, I was faced with some of these suffering people, children actually. My heart was so grieved. I was overwhelmed with shame, as earlier in the day I was pouting because I didn't get to work on my sewing project. What a silly thing! How ridiculously insignificant! I don't even sew! It was here in this tearful moment, that God, so tenderly, fit these "puzzle pieces" together for me.

This is what I have learned: If all I have to think about is pillows and picture arrangements and antique furniture, as a Christian, then something is dreadfully wrong. If the majority of my thoughts are spent conjuring up ways to make my home more magazine worthy, then I am not about the things of God. How can I obsess over such silliness, when there is such work to be done? I have made the hobby the full-time job and the full-time job the hobby, and I suspect that I am not alone. So as I look at this corner of the puzzle, of this Christian life, this is my prayer: That I would continue to drench myself in the Word of God and in prayer, begging for Christ to constantly make my soul aware that there is work to do. That I would obsess about the things above, and get to work. And then, I bet, that my thoughts and desires would come into a holier balance, and then what a joy it would be to sit and sew a pillow.


Erin said...


Casey said...

how do you know my thoughts? i have been feeling so guilty, and worldy as of late, (antiquing, decorating, spending many nights looking at magazines) My worry is: how can i turn it off? and, is it bad to want a nice home? but you said it perfectly: the moment the hobby becomes your life, and your life your hobby, then, something needs to be changed. Thanks Steph..

Jenny said...

Hello Steph,

Oh, yes, I go back and forth with these thoughts too especially being a stay at home mom and constantly in the home I want to warm and cozy up a little bit more. But always there is the Lord reminding me of His will first through my family, through my church and through those I fellowship with (much like you just reminded me and others on your blog). ANd for that I am thankful.

Anonymous said...

Very real, very insightful, very encouraging...I love it! Keep up the authenticity! You're a great writer, and so obviously talented. Could that be a piece of the puzzle??? hmmmm... :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Steph,
I actually came across their adoption website that told their story of adopting their first son and I emailed Jamie to tell her how awesome their story was and then shared with her our desire to adopt one day as well. I didn't realize who she was until later, now I see all the CB connections and know that the Barosh's are good friends with them. It's so awesome how they are adopting these beautiful children and how God's blessing them and others through it, I am so thankful I get to play a very small part in them bringing home Amos Dowensky.

You're welcome about the encouragement, it's all true. You are a very good writer!! Keep it up! Monty and I miss you and Casey a lot! We'll never forget how you were there for us when we needed it the most and I can't even begin to explain how far the Lord has brought us!

rachel said...

Steph, it's great to hear what God has been teaching you. I can relate somewhat to the part about whether the people in your life reflect His kingdom. Not sure if you've read our blog recently, but Ben posted about how we're trying not to get caught in a Christian bubble, especially being in seminary, living on campus and being sort of in the middle of nowhere (our GPS actually shows an arrow in the center of blank white space - haha). Maybe building community with all kinds of different people can be our prayer request for each other. Thanks for sharing! I echo the compliments on your writing ability!