Loosening my grip...

This morning I was losing my grip once again. I overslept and as a result, didn't have time to prepare myself for the morning with the boys. All I wanted to do was unload the dishwasher, dry my hair & have a moment of quiet with my coffee and the book of Romans. I didn't get to the dishwasher until about an hour ago and my hair dried without my help. I felt tense and irritated because I wasn't the one in control--my children were. The morning was typical with diapers (3 dirty ones before 7 am, I might add), baths, crying, whining, breakfast...you know the drill. I could feel that my attitude was terrible and I stopped myself and wondered what I was so worked up about. My body literally felt rigid simply because I had chosen to grip tightly onto the control I really wanted. Silly and all too common for me...

Thankfully (and just in time) I was able to gulp down my coffee and read Romans 12 while standing up in the kitchen! Good thing. I've been reading through Romans in The Message because I wanted a fresh perspective. I've been loving it so much. I love the way Eugene Peterson makes scripture seem to dance...and he graduated from my alma matre, which is pretty cool! Reading through Romans has got me thinking about what it really looks like to follow Christ in the everyday. I think we have it wrong so often. The following passage brought me back to what I really desire and reminded me to take a step back and offer my everything as an offering before God. Everything...even dishes, but especially my attitude in the everyday, because these are the moments that add up.

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. Romans 12:1-3


Ginainchina said...

amy, that was so so encouraging to me right now, thansk for sharing that on your blog. i really needed to hear those words. you are a great example and inspiration ..i want to love the Lord more like you do! PTL. love, gina

Wendy said...

I can so relate to that type of morning. It makes such a difference in everything when I am up before everyone and I have spent time in the Word.

I completely agree about offering up everything, even dishes. Great post!

AndiMae said...

Amy, this post is so what I needed to hear today! The last few days I have really been learning that I need a balance of both planning my days (they seem to go much more smooth that way!)and letting go a little bit and just realizing that with two little kids life is going to be a bit chaotic! And I love the Message translation of that verse- that one just might need to go up on my fridge...

Mandy said...

I've been checking your blog every once in awhile lately- I found it through Andi's. Anyways, I just read that you graduated from SPU- & I figure we must have been there around the same time because I'm only 1 year older than you. I graduated in 02- how about you? Isn't that so funny that I never saw you at SPU while we were probably there together, but then randomly came across you in the blogging world?!

Munchkin Land said...

You know, I really don't read The Message very much but I REALLY appreciated this passage. I especially needed to hear it today. (Don't you love how God uses all of us to speak to each other?! He is an awesome God indeed!)

Amy, as Gina said, you are inspiration, with both your struggles and your victories! I love you, my friend!

Tarrah said...

Thank you Amy, I have recently found your blog and have really enjoyed it. I'm glad you had a great vacation.

I had the same kind of morning.
It is so hard when you dont have that time with the Lord in the morning, but just reading his word there in the kitchen is a wonderful way sometimes.

I have the Message bible also but had forgotten about it, I really should bring it down from the shelf again, I love reading from it every once in a while.

Thank you for the encouragment.

Elise said...

You are such an encouragement to all of us - even through your struggles. We can all relate to those mornings, but how generous of Him to provide you with a precious moment to gulp coffee and feed on the Word!
Thank you for sharing the verses - I think I may have to pick up my own copy of the Message - it sounds wonderful.

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