Sunday, March 4, 2012

when you know it's time to play

I have a third child now.  He is furry, but although his dog years put him as a teenager, I'm still afraid to let him outside by himself (or maybe this is what it is like having teenagers?), for fear that he might jump the fence in order to get himself a mockingbird or two.

Needless to say, I'm mourning the loss of my clean floors.  And the ability to jog at my own pace (although the flip side of this might be that I become a much faster runner).  However, after a long period of not wanting a dog (one of my New Year's Resolutions was to to try to want one), I can actually say that I'm excited about the new addition of Hank to our family.  He's incredibly active (as I type he's whining, wondering why anyone would rather be inside typing on a computer instead outside chasing a ball), which means he's helping our family become more active.  And, he's super sweet and gentle.  I'm sure that God will use him, as He has today, to get me away from my computer and outside for a rousing game of fetch.  I think it will be an all-around good fit.  

With every addition, though, comes sacrifice.  This is to be expected.  Jesus says, 
"Then calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, 'If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.  But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.  And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?"  Mark 8: 34-36
I hear these words come forth from the mouth of Fr. Parker and I feel convicted.  I know immediately where I have been disobedient.  I know immediately where I have claimed ownership over something that isn't entirely mine.  I know immediately where I have been selfish.

I know this won't come as a shock to any of my long-time readers, but I've been struggling to remain faithful with my Sabbath.  In fact, I've even regressed back to trying to read all the Soli Deo Gloria blogs for fear that if someone does not feel loved, they will not come back.  And yes, this sounds somewhat honorable, but I'm totally confessing that I want a lot of people to come to the SDG party every week.  So, it's about love and it's about numbers.  It makes ME feel good to have a good turnout out the party.  And I just hate that I've made something about me when the very name means "For God's Glory Alone."  Really, people.  Really.

Because so much of my life revolves around ministry, it would be easy for me to say that I'm taking up my cross and following Him.  And, in many respects, I am.  But in others, I'm being totally selfish, totally controlling, and a little self-absorbed.  If the SDG community is meant to continue to thrive, it still will, even if I'm scaling back my time-committment to it.  I have to be obedient to how He has asked me to spend my time -- I have to lose myself in this equation -- and follow Him wherever and however He leads.  It's funny to me that right now, taking up my cross means laying my controlling nature down and just playing.  Playing?  I think God might think I'm a little high strung.  At any rate, I have to remember that my entire life, not just the incredible online group, is Soli Deo Gloria -- for His glory alone.

(and because I just really feel the need to ask -- will you forgive me for the times that I've thought about SDG in terms of numbers and not just love?)

Linking with Michelle at GracefulShanda for On my Heart, Laura for Playdates, and Jennifer for Godbumps.

14 comments :

  1. You are so refreshing because you are truthful and transparent...You bring us all joy and we love you for it....Thank you for encouraging us all to follow God more closely, to sit at his feet more often, and to be obedient more frequently....

    I love your new Hank....he's so cute....and yes I am sure God will use Hank in many ways in your family's lives....

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  2. two words: neato robot. it will clean your floors everyday so you don't have to! yes, it's pricey, but in the long run, totally worth it. i'm glad you got the dog. let me know if you want more info on the neato robot.

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  3. Ohhhhh, I love your new addition! They are like teenagers~ha! That was funny, scared to let them out the door on their own in fear of what mischief they might get themselves into, funny Jen!

    I run with our dog too, and yes, I do think it does bring you to a different pace but I also get a break inbetween because they usually have to stop and poop, that is annoying when you just get a rhythm!

    I still, even if I don't participate come over on Tuesday to read, it is always fun!

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  4. He's adorable!

    For me, taking up my cross is a daily decision -- sometimes I do well, and other times I fail. As a momma with a control freak side -- it is so, so hard for me to let go and follow.

    So glad you're sharing your struggles with us.

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  5. We live in a society that makes all kinds of things about numbers that shouldn't be, so it would be surprising to me if that didn't creep into your thoughts on occasion. However, it is clear to those of us on the other side of the computer that your commitment to God, to being the best you can and giving us the chance to do the same is your true strength and purpose. Let yourself off the hook a little and go play with that pup!

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  6. Oh, Jen, I totally feel your pain over the numbers vs love. The blogging world is so rich and yet can turn so self-centered as soon as it twists in our head. Okay, my head.And ministry IS a slaying of self until I start thinking that somehow I'm the one to make it work. Uggh! Thank you for your honesty. Happy playing! We serve a playful and wonderful God! (I bet your new "teenager' will remind you of that!)

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  7. Jen, I relate to this so well, I have put so many expectations o myself that I have been letting God down. Last night He reinforced once again that I need to be in silence before hi rather than planning an working on things I am doing for him. It warms my heart to read that you feel compelled to read all the posts link to yours. I just can't do it anymore and feel so much guilt. Yet, we have to be obedient first to God. Thank you for your honests.

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  8. Well, we are all human and He remembers that we're dust. And sometimes we're dust that cares about the numbers. The Lord is using you. He's so faithful that way, to use us in spite of ourselves!

    Also---I love your new doggy. We can learn an awful lot about love from a dogs, which are in my opinion one incredibly huge blessing. You know, one of those things God gave us just because he wanted to. :)

    p.s. Don't feel like you have to read every entry. It's evident that you love us. :)

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  9. I get this. In so many ways, I get this. Thanks for saying it.

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  10. He is just so adorable, and the name fits him beautifully. He will teach you so much, but especially about unconditional love. He will no doubt break your heart more than once with that one!

    You are so forgiven for thinking in terms of numbers. I am so grateful to have found your site and the lovely ladies that are drawn here. I think that most of us bloggers struggle with that tension of numbers versus our true purpose. I agree with Amy-please do not feel you have to read each post. We know you love us!

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  11. Absolutely I forgive you, especially because I am guilty of the exact same sin. In fact, just hearing your confession here makes me feel a bit better about my own sin and my own obsession with the numbers. Thank you for your honesty, Jen.

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  12. Hank is an absolute doll baby. I saw his photo on FB and fell in love. Jen, you are so loved and such a special lady. God sees your beautiful heart. And love covers a multitude...remember that. Cuz you've got a lot of love in you, friend.

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  13. Jen...you are so beautiful, inside and out!!! There isn't a blogger here who hasn't felt that way about their blog at one point or another...and I love that you took it back to Him and were so open with the challenge!! <3

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