Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Not a Revelation About Dedication

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In case you missed the picture of my beautifully stuffy-sweatered children this weekend, here's an update:

We dedicated Cash (also known as "$$" for shorthand) to the Lord at church on Sunday.

Since $$ has a new routine of *ahem* clearing out his bowels at 5 AM, I had plenty of extra time on Sunday to consider baby dedication. I thought about times in the Bible that a baby was dedicated, and I was reminded of Samuel.

So, here I am, innocently trying to just read about Samuel getting dedicated at the buttcrack of dawn and then be done and zone out on some Daniel Tiger. But geez, the Lord had other things to say.

Here's the first chapter of Samuel in an extreme nutshell:

Hannah wants a baby really bad. She's tired of waiting and sad and crying. She has to share her husband with a tacky other wife who is making fun of her infertility. Husband is nice and tries to help with good words. DOESN'T CUT IT. She has hit the point of NEEDING a baby and cannot be comforted. She cries so hard that the priest thinks she drunk. (I'm sure she thought "if only...")

What is striking to me is that "The Lord HAD KEPT HER FROM HAVING CHILDREN" (1.6). It was the Lord's fault! He saw that she was DISTRAUGHT and that she was dealing with a catty close relative and HE hadn't given her children.

So then later on, she cries and prays some more and "pours out her heart" to the Lord, and promises to give her son back to the Lord if he would bless her with one, and badabing... she gets pregnant.


I have been feeling a lot of the same frustrations. It feels like the Lords timing is not our timing. We are prayerfully searching for a house and even made an offer on one last week (we got outbid), so that we can provide for the new child that we are trying to adopt.

I have to admit, my prayers have turned a little bit snarky.

"Lord... I mean... whatever... we're sitting here, trying to DO YOUR WILL and ADOPT A CHILD but I mean... you're the one closing doors here... so whatever, but let me remind you of how you've commanded us to care for orphans and that THIS IS PURE RELIGION but you probably know that because you wrote that... and let me remind you that WERE TRYING TO DO A GOOD THING HERE."


And then both of my kids contracted ear infections and needed to whine their way through several days which is so nice for team morale.

So bring it back to Sunday morning. It was like a lightbulb moment. MY TIMING IS NOT THE LORD'S TIMING EVEN WHEN IM TRYING TO DO A GOOD THING. There's a reason.

Here's the rest of Hannah's story. (Again, in readers digest form.)

She had that baby. She dedicated him to the Lord. The Lord made her supa-fertile afterward and she had 3 other sons and 2 daughters. 1 Samuel 2:  Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord. (v.21) He grew "taller and in favor with the Lord and people." (v.26) He served the Lord, and as he grew, the Lord was with him.

She writes a poem in 1 Samuel 2 about how the Lord reverses a lot of the things we see. Weak are strong, the infertile are fertile, the mighty are broken, etc...

And then Samuel led Israel into the time of Saul and then David which led to the lineage of baby Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. So. Maybe the Lord's timing was better for Samuel's life.

Maybe the Lord's timing is better for my life.

Maybe the Lord's timing is better for your life.

Hannah remained steadfast in her faith and confident in God's plan. (Stole that from the footnotes... thanks for the nugget Bible scholars.)

And after all of that, I didn't get any revelation about dedication, but I am choosing to trust the Lord's timing and copy the words and faithfulness of Hannah.

**As an update, we do plan to transition T into our home soon. Yes. 3 kids in a 2 bedroom apartment. We feel like it's time to bring him in, with or without a house. Please pray for all of our space-sharing hearts. Especially the little ones. Thank you friends. 

^ baby dedication cuties

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Problem With WWJD

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This post was born in the Chick Fil A drive thru line.

The grandma-esque lady driving the ride in front of mine puffed on her cigarette and dropped it haphazardly on the ground.

I watched her and thought "wow... that's kind of rude." And then, I kid you not, my mind went like this:
"but.... WWJD?!?"

If you didn't grow up in the 90's then let me help you. WWJD = What Would Jesus Do. One's level of spirituality could be easily measured by the number of colored WWJD inscribed bracelets worn all the way up the arm. Bonus points for the rainbow edition. (Exhale. That's before rainbow had a different connotation.)

So back to Chick Fil A.

What Would Jesus Do? 

My kids were asleep, so I had time to think about it. Would he

A. Put the car in park. Go pick up the cigarette, put it in the trash bin, come back, hug the lady, give her a holy kiss, a back massage, and then offer to buy her chicken sandwich?

B. Ignore it because HE DIDN'T COME TO JUDGE?!?

C. Slide out the side of the car, sneakily pick it up, hold it until she drove away, THEN throw it away so that his good deed could be done in secret?

D. Not overanalyze a stupid cigarette.

E. Not even be at CFA because his body is a temple?

Something else? Possibly tell a cryptic story about a man with a field and a basket of chicken nuggets that only those with "ears to hear" would understand?

I don't know. 

I've been a Christian for a 100 years (minus a few) and I just don't know. It's a silly thought, and I was prepared to be like Elsa and LET IT GO but then I came home and read an article a fellow Christian friend had posted on facebook.

Why did I even do that?

It was an argument by a Christian for other Christians to not support a particular Christian ministry. I kind of -ISH agreed with some of her points but I didn't think any of them were as hard and fast as how she presented them. And then I thought, "here we go again... what is the right answer here? WWJD?!"

Tis the culture to pick a pet thing and pull scripture to support it and feel really passionately about it and feel like YOU ARE RIGHT and then have a long facebook debate about it. Its so tricky though, when other believers that we love and respect feel differently about that thing. It can be so divisive.

YETTTT.... there is also a place for healthy disagreement and open and respectful conversation.

For me, this is where I have to go back to the hard and fast basics of my faith. The non-negotiables. Think through what those are. Then think about other things that I feel very strongly about but aren't necessarily a pillar of my faith. THEN think about things like the cigarette that's just burning away on the asphalt at Chick Fil A. Not a big deal. I don't know what Jesus would do. It's probably good to think though it, but it's not worth lighting a torch and storming the Marlboro Man's house.

Let's try to fight for what's really really important. Let's go back to what Jesus ACTUALLY said. Let's read our Bible instead of endless facebook posts. (But thanks for reading mine.) It's probably maybe possibly WJWD.