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Though I may to give the facade that I have my life altogether… I most certainly struggle with sin more than I would like to admit. Today would be one of those “lower” days.

Augustine’s nap times are precious windows of opportunity to get as much accomplished as possible. During his afternoon naptime today, I realized I had been spending nearly almost an hour unfruitfully, and was quite discouraged to say the least. (fyi- I don’t mind purposing to rest or choose leisurely activities during his naps, but today was not one of these assigned times) What, might you ask, was I doing to occupy this time?

Context: I am hosting a baby shower and also a women’s fellowship evening at our flat in May. sin begins: I want all the lovely ladies to think my flat is perfect and a lovely haven of rest. Rather than finding my identity in Christ and having a thankful heart for what I have been given, I want more…

I began his naptime by putting baby sheets over the objects of uncontentment- also known as the living room chairs and sofa (I despise the plaid pattern)- and tried to assemble them into something asthetically pleasing. Not happening. Off white walls with white sheets look dumb. Besides, I don’t have enough baby sheets to cover all the furniture.

Thoughts in my head: “I don’t have a sewing machine, nor know how to use one.”  “A friend has assured me it will cost a lot to hand-make a classy slipcover .” “I don’t have an extra adult sheets to spare to contort some image of a slipcover without a sewing machine.” “… welp, I guess my next step will have to be scouring the internet.”

Mozilla, what can you offer me?    http://www.Ebay.co.uk…- all over £30.00 or not my style; http://www.gumtree- have they even heard of slipcovers? Google- I might have clicked on 12 different links of expensiveness; etsy- factor in shipping and high priced loveliness=no can do; amazon= overpriced; ikea= really?! no fancy slipcovers for my budget? “Wow, this would not be an American problem.” “I could just zip down to Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Target (how I miss it) and pick up something cheap.” another blantant sin: I don’t want to take personal responsibility for owning up to the fact that it is my problem I don’t like certain parts of this flat, maybe instead I will feel better if I blame the city of Aberdeen for their lack of goods…. Next step- creative thinking!

What other possibilities can I conjour up with the resources I have? This is when the frustration sets in.. “Maybe I could go to Asda (Aberdeen’s version of Walmart) and purchase some adult flat sheets for cheap.” But what color would I purchase? Off-white walls and a fading red carpet. ..”Perhaps if I also purchased a nice rug and classy curtains I could have more of a variety of sheet colors to choose from.” “then again- Shaun would kill me if I spent that much… probably not a good idea….” Look at the clock- wow, really?! a hour already? head to kitchen, and eat a cookie. Unlike my cushions, at least this cookie is good…

Analyze

-Admit sin: 1) I believed a lie about God: God is not good in his provision for my needs and desires, He is not enough for my satisfaction and fulfillment. I must have more material possessions for me to be happy. 2) I believed a lie about women: Women care more about the beautiful furnishing in my flat than they do about enjoying their time of fun and fellowship in my home. 3) Another lie about a solution: Through slipcovers, curtains, rugs, and who knows what else- If I spend enough money, then people will like me. My husband will enjoy his home. Ultimately, my problems will be solved. 4) I belived a lie about fulfillment: If people like me, then I will be happy and complete. 5) waste of good time: instead of using my time to do laundry, read the Word, read for my class, prayer-journal, write an encouraging postcard, or prep for dinner (all of which were supposed to happen), I choose to further my spiral of sin towards discontentment.

-True solution: 1) If I start to prepare my heart  (scripture, prayer)  for these ladies coming over- I am sure that Jesus could help me in my weakness. 2) Only God can satisfy me truly and wholly. 3) Set my mind on truth and thankfulness! Women are happy to come over to my home (slipcovers or not!). Shaun enjoys his home most when I have a cheerful heart. God has graciously provided a warm, spacious, flat for us to live in another country debt-free [that is, if I don’t give into my whims 🙂 ] 4) When meditating on what I deserve: seperation from God because of my sin, and ultimate seperation from God eternally because I did not live up to his standard of perfection. I realize the goodness of the gospel and my desperate need for it: It is only by Christ’s work on the cross (that is, through his death and resurrection- He took on the penalty of MY sin and suffered for it HIMSELF, thereby creating a way for the seperation to be restored with God) that I find true joy- not earthly happiness- but wonderful exclamatory reasons to rejoice in the goodness of the life now, and the one I will get to experience with God eternally.

Lord- please forgive me for the way I have conducted myself today. Thank you for your forgiveness and grace that I cannot earn on my own (no matter how hard I may try to be spiritual or do good things), but is freely given by you! Help me to live through your strength when I encounter temptations to sin. Thank you for allowing me to be humbled. I love and praise you! -Joy


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