Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Waffle Lesson

Below is an object lesson I wrote for my daughter’s Missionette class, so the examples are juvenile and relevant to middle-schoolers, but I hope we can all find and apply a piece to ourselves.

A lot of times we organize our life like a waffle. We put our family in one square, school in another, dance class in another. We may act the same in one square as another or we may act totally different. Here is a square for friends, here is a square for boys, here is a square for enemies.

One day, we get “saved” and we try to shove Jesus into an empty square. Maybe we add a church square too. But our waffle squares never mix. If I have a fight with my mom in the family square, then I go to the school square and forget all about it. I get into trouble in science class, but later in my friend square, I laugh about it. Then, I see some girl who used to be in my friend square go over to my boy square and start flirting with the boy I like. So, I beat her up, yell at him, go home, eat dinner and get ready for bed. Then, just before I close my eyes, I remember my Jesus square. I say a minute-long generic prayer about all my problems and go to sleep.

That is how it is sometimes. But, is that how it is supposed to be? No. When I gave my life to Christ, I gave Him the WHOLE waffle. I died to self (Mark 8:34-35) and told Him that He could live THRU me -- He could use my body, my mouth, my brain -– for HIS glory. So, Jesus doesn’t get a square. Jesus is the syrup. He comes and fills EVERY square.

When Jesus fills up the family square, then HE lives obedient to my parents inside my body. Jesus showed ultimate obedience to authority/parents when He died on the cross, so I know that He can do the dishes, clean my room and speak respectfully THRU me.

When Jesus fills up the friend square, suddenly I am a good influence on my friends. I don’t follow them to R-rated movies, I don’t curse, drink, smoke, skip school or act mean. Jesus was the ultimate example of love -– He died for His friends in order to give them life. So, I know He can be a great friend THRU me.

When Jesus fills up the boy square, suddenly I have pure thoughts about boys. I don’t want boys to sin in their thoughts or actions because of me. So, I dress modestly, speak kindly and encourage them in their Christian walk. Jesus is the ultimate bridegroom, so I know that He can live purity THRU me.

I know that Jesus has a plan for my future, so I don’t have to fight for it! He will live the perfect life THRU me if I let Him fill up all my squares.

…We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:9-10

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Right Way?

This article was originally published in the Pitter Patter newsletter for my MOPS group in January 2001. It has "resolution" overtones, but they are resolutions we make everyday, not those that wait for big occasions.

Sometimes I feel inadequate as a mom because I don’t know the “right way” to do things. I don’t make my own gravy. I don’t cut cookies out very well. I clean, but not as well as my mama did.

I am a grown woman and I can’t tie my own shoes. At least, I don’t tie them the way everyone else does – one loop, go around. A frustrated kindergarten teacher gave up and taught me the two-loop method instead. Twenty-eight years later, I still haven’t mastered the “proper way.”

There are days I wish I could research all the information I seem to lack. I would love to take cake decorating, home decorating, home economics, cooking, sewing and other classes. But, I have two kids and a husband. Time is not on my side.

What to do? I’ve had to realize that maybe my way isn’t always wrong – just different. After all, I happen to like canned gravy and instant mashed potatoes. And my way of tying shoes has kept me from tripping over my laces for decades.

For this year, I also resolve to remember that “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” – Philippians 4:13.

I think that means that I have to let Christ be in control of my life. If He wants me to do something the “proper way,” He can show me, teach me, inspire me.