I’m not ready yet

26 Apr

the socks? came on her from china. she is hilarious.

To cut their bangs or not cut their bangs, that is the question!  Seriously!

Some of the ways God is chipping at me, gently refining me…

This past year when Chris and I felt this undeniable draw to adopt these two precious little girls that we now call our, I felt that God was saying to me over and over again, “Need nothing but me, I am the great I am.”  I had been reading through the Old Testament when we first spotted the girls photos on Rainbow kids.org.  For several months I pondered what “I am” encompassed. He wants to be my all in all.  I felt like I was doing okay.  I loved God and had been living my life for Him since I was 18.  For a few months I wrestled with this and it kept coming back.  “Need nothing but me.” I don’t!  I wonder why that thought keeps coming up.  I really don’t need anything but you!  The year before I had worked through the “need”  I had for my kids to be cooperative.  Good kids meant a good day for me.  Bad kids meant a bad day for me.  You know that whole dance and the dangers it brings with it.  I had nailed that down and preached it to friends!  No, not needing anything but you, God.  Then, as I sat in my Bible room one day it hit me.  Two things came to mind:  Coffee, I needed it.  REALLY needed it, honestly, not just liked it but addicted, unable to function without it.  I talked myself out of feeling guilty over needing coffee.  “Everyone needs coffee, not just me!  i’m not going to be weird about this!  God made coffee, right?  yes.”  The second thing that came to mind was CLOTHES.  Of course we all need clothes but as I pondered I realized that it had to do with how I spend my “off” time.  You know, those Saturday afternoons when I run to do groceries and Chris has all the kids under his care.  Those times of escape from “the home” ALONE.  As a homeschooling mom those times are very precious!  Especially when you are like me and get fueled up from being quiet and alone!

Ever since I was a very young child I have LOVED clothes!  I remember being in second or third grade and crying that I had out grown a favorite outfit!  “we will never find another pink and green sweater and pink wide whale cords!”  I loved putting outfits together!  In my early teens I worked after school at a local boutique, adorable, fun women’s clothing, on the main street of town.  I loved it and it supported my habit!  In my later teens I moved stores and became an apprentice to a window dresser.  That was fun!  He had contracts with several little shops on the main drag and gave me freedom to create along side him, picking out clothes to put on the maniquins etc.  In my early college I was always so excited for the next issue of fashion magazines to come out.  Then, GOD.  Then God stepped in and grabbed my heart.  I was faced with an “all or nothing” decision.  I was giving God a bad name.  Calling myself a Christian and not living like one.  At the same time our Christian college campus had a huge revival, a very really and exciting sweep of the Holy Spirit across the hearts of  many, many students.  I was one of them.  From that time until now I have not purchased any fashion magazines.  I am NOT judging you if you do!  But, God made it very clear to me at that time in my life that purchasing and focusing on fashion magazines was very wrong for me.  Becoming pure, some 20 years ago.  It felt good!

However, last November I was wrestling.  I felt that God was revealing to me that my “free time” should not be spent shopping or mindlessly walking around a clothing store.  You see, it’s not the money that I felt convicted about.  It was the FEELING.  I get a charge, a happiness, a fulfillment out of purchasing something new for myself.  I feel better about myself, I feel excited.  I love clothes, I love buying clothes!  I started thinking, “when I have some free time on a Saturday would I rather shop around for something new and cute or would I rather sit quietly and read my Bible and pray?”  Do I ever ask God how He wants me to spend those precious hours?  Most times I would want to get out and shop around, mindlessly, alone, feeling entitled to it.  Again, please don’t thing I’m throwing us all into the same heap!  I’m not judging you and your free time.  I’m just being honest and telling you that I could tell God wanted to change something in me.  Deeper still.  I decided after praying that I wouldn’t buy any clothes for a while, a year I told the Lord.  If that was an area that He wanted transformed, I wanted it transformed too.  I soon realized after a couple of weeks that for me this would include ANYTHING I would or could wear.  No hoping off on Saturday to try on shoes or belts or purses or bags.  God gently let me know that those things counted.  Well, December, January, February, March, no problem!  Not even tempted.

When we came home with the girls, not only was the weather beautiful but I was feeling super like I needed to be ALONE.  For the first time I considered, “why am I being so legalistic?  I LOVE God, I don’t put clothing in front of Him!  This is silly.  I made it all these month, I’m outa here!” The tan from our Florida trip had worn off under the Chinese haze, I needed a new little something for spring!   One day I was out with Gigi, just spending time the two of us and she saw my eyes wander like they haven’t in months, “temptation” was all she whispered to me.  Wow.  I don’t remember announcing it to my children, what God was doing in this area, but, she had picked it up.  Buying something new for myself make me feel better, fulfilled in some strange way!  I honestly don’t want to be like that anymore.  A few days ago I told my husband, “I think I’m ready to shop again, there are such cute things out for spring and I’m just being silly now.  I love God but this is getting hard!”  He said, “if that’s how you feel then I don’t think you are ready yet.”  And, deep down I knew he was right.  It wasn’t a temptation for me in the dead of winter.  But now under more stress and the weather change, pale skin, hair that needs to be cut or something, I’m using clothing and wandering around aimlessly as a “feel good”.  It’s a discipline for me right now.  I want to retrain my mind, to be more balanced.  Buying a new item with probably always be fun for me, I understand that. I have drafted this post a few times.  I’m not sure why but I really felt like God wanted me to share it, to get humble and let you know that I’m not someone who has it all together, I want to go deeper with the Lord, to learn and grow and honor Him.  I want to have my heart skip a beat and flutter over Him more times a year than a new top from Banana Republic.   Someday with prayer I will feel I’m ready, this is a journey for me (one of many, right?).  I thought I was almost finished with it!  But just for me, just in my heart, I know right now, I’m not ready yet…

My headaches got unbearable and when I saw the neurologist for the first time in March she said, “no more caffeine, give it two weeks.”  I was floored!  I really new God was doing something here.  I did go for two brutal weeks.  It was horrible, awful.   But, it was a time of fasting and very sweet preparation before my trip to China.  I started drinking again in China, just a little!

Enjoy your time in the Lord today!  Oh, how could I forget!  Gigi, Jonah and I took the girls swimming again  yesterday and they BOTH can swim without floaties now!  Jumping off the side and swimming around to the ladder!  I love it!

Laura

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One Response to “I’m not ready yet”

  1. Mary Carlson April 27, 2011 at 1:56 am #

    Laura… I love you!! You are so beautifully real and honest… thank you for sharing this!!! Being stripped of what we think we want, only let’s God’s beauty clothe us!!
    “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
    God will quiet your “temptation” with his Love (like sweet Gigi).

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