Wrong Way

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what it means to try to be more like Jesus.  I mean, He was perfect … trying to stack my deck against His seems so ridiculous.  I’ve only been a Christian 5 years.  Wow was my life upside down prior to then!  And I have a confession to make — in the past 5 years since being baptized I was still sinning.  Sometimes *big* sins.  I still am a sinner.  I will always be a continual work in progress.

I’ve mentioned in at least one past post that my life has been kind of bananas lately.  And as a result I’m exponentially more stressed than usual.  Which means I’m more prone to occasional behavior that’s really not typical.  I’ve had times when I’ve been short with my husband, parents and my kids.  I’m having a harder time keeping commitments we’ve made to things that aren’t critical.  My sleep is suffering.  Running is suffering.  And the Lindsay I am is a shadow of herself… I’m quieter, less smiley and quicker to frustration.

Is it embarrassing to post to the world that I’ve not been myself?  No.  I’m completely okay with being a regular human being, and I don’t think being open and unapologetic about my faith means I have to be perfect and live a sinless life.  Too often I believe (and see) self-described Christians acting as though they must portray perfection, but meanwhile they’re stuck in grudges, being controlling, quick to anger, judging others, disrespecting their parents, committing adultery or idol worshiping – and sadly they seem to have forgotten they are the Christian in the situation.  As the Christian, I feel it is my responsibility to care more about how others feel than how I feel.  If I am truly living my life striving each day to be more like Jesus then I must be willing to put my hurts aside and try to find the good in others or in a bad situation.  And it is my responsibility to do whatever I have to do in order to get things back on track.  I know it sounds corny, but think about a situation perhaps you’ve been struggling with and ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?”  I have found more and more that asking myself that question when I’m in the midst of a difficult situation or dealing with a difficult person has helped me feel better about the way I react.  I want my karma to be more like Jesus.  He loved us even though we didn’t/don’t deserve it.

The good news is that I am cognizant of my indiscretions.  I know I’ve been off path and I am working to get things sorted out.  Identifying a shortcoming, accepting your fault(s), making amends and figuring out how or where to go to step into the right direction I think is the first step to healing and getting away from your sin.  It’s not always easy to get things corrected, but being strong and humble and again realizing I am *supposed to be* the Christian in the situation really helps.  People know I’ve been baptized.  If I’m a fair weather Christian then what does that say about Christianity to non-Christians in my life?

Never will I be perfect.  Never will I claim to be.  Never will every choice I make every day be free of error.  No one in any church is without sin or problems.

But never will I deny my love for Christ.  Never will I run from my sins or give up my Christian walk because I’m embarrassed over a sin I’ve committed or think I’ve messed up too badly to fix things.  To my Christian friends who are currently in the middle of a difficult situation I’d like to offer you this – work hard to make things right and focus your actions and heart on Jesus.  Stay humble and be willing to be the bigger person.  Show non-Christians in  your life what love and forgiveness really feels like.  I believe that kind of discipleship is what will open them up to the idea of getting to know Him.  We are His representatives.

Run by faith,

Lindsay

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forever and ever, Amen

As we become more and more emerged in the Hollywood “glam” culture, thus pushing ourselves further and further from the Bible and any kind of real wisdom, I find it a travesty that the sanctity of marriage has shouldered the brunt of the pain.  Marriage first, followed by the family, I believe has suffered greatly as our culture aspires to be more and more like the Kardashians and less and less like Jesus.

When we marry I find it significant that we vow to love without fail “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, and in sickness and health.”  In reflecting over this week’s “big Hollywood news” we know that Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce from her husband of a whopping two months.  Now it’s a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black for me to criticize Kim for her decision, as I was married for all of 9 months before filing for divorce myself (no, David is not my first husband).  But I was young, misguided, and did not know Christ.  Kim is older than me (ha!), richer than me (no joke!) and has been down the aisle before, thus she ought to know better this time around, shouldn’t she???

Not if she doesn’t know Christ.  Not if she doesn’t understand that worshiping herself, her body, her ego, her mother, and her money will not get her anywhere at the end of the day.  I hate to say it, but I think Ma$e and Diddy had it right, “mo’ money, mo’ problems.”  We live in a culture that worships at the alter of E!  We emulate the stars, wearing similar clothes, reading their gossip magazines, buying their fragrances and listening to their awful music.  I believe she is so caught up in the hype – the followers on twitter, the tv shows, the product promotions, etc, that she’s forgotten that there is a mighty God out there who has more riches than all her money could ever buy.

1 Peter 3:1-4 says, “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

I think back to two months into our marriage and David and I had been together about all of a year total.  We also had a 2-month old baby, had just moved cross-country and were trying to settle down in to a new life together.  If there had been a “get out of jail free” card, I’m not certain that either of us wouldn’t have taken it and run for the hills.  That first year was really rough but we made it largely because we were actively on our journey to become Christians and we truly believed in “for better or for worse.” Even at the hardest times we knew “until death we do part.”  We both truly believed in our hearts that God had a purpose for bringing us together and we knew it was our duty as His followers to make our life not only work but be a happy one for the sake of our new family.

For us, the core to having a loving and sustaining home is Christ. Both our first marriages lacked Him and failed miserably. Our second marriage lives and breathes by Him.

When times get tough – which they inevitably will – whether you’ve been married 2 months or 50 years, we’ve learned you can’t just cut and run.  You can’t just do whatever because Britney Spears did (believe it or not I actually used that as rationale when divorcing #1). If we, as wives, are to love our husbands as the Church loves the Lord then we should be willing to go through at the very least what the disciples went through out of love for Jesus.  Which is a lot.  And our husbands should love us so much that they’d be willing to do any and every thing possible to lovingly protect and guide us through life’s ups and downs. Because we will get sick. Or get caught in a hundreds of thousands of dollars ponzi-scheme loss a’la Kris Humphries. Or simply have those moments where we’re not at our best. It’s important to know your partner for life is in it for all the right reasons, for the long haul, and holds their love and dedication to you and your marriage in the highest possible regard.

David and I are by far not perfect, but we go to bed every night knowing with confidence it’s till death we do part.  And that peace of mind is worth more than anything money can buy.

Run by faith,

Lindsay

What is love?

This whole ‘blogging’ phenomenon is a little bizarre to me but I’ve decided to try to utilize this forum to share a symphony of the random stuff I think about every day, which includes (but is not limited to) Jesus, family, and of course running.  I pray I find time to blog semi-regularly and I pray my blog inspires friends to read the Bible, love their spouse more today than they did yesterday, raise their kids to know Jesus, and take a healthier approach to their lifestyles.

John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Now think about that for a minute.

You know when your child(ren) get hurt and your heart breaks to pieces while you watch them bleed or cry in pain?  Have you sat next to them at the hospital, seeing them weakened from illness or injury and just felt so helpless because you knew there was nothing you could do?  Their fate was in God’s hands.  Whether or not you cared to admit it, to humble yourself to the thought, there was someone else, someone greater out there who had your child’s life in His hands.  If you were given the chance I have no doubt, friends, that you would surely lay down your life for your child.  Each time I was pregnant and in the delivery room with all three kids I told my husband, “If something goes wrong, please take me.  Please let them live.” The love for our children runs so deep we wouldn’t hesitate to harm ourselves to save them.

Now imagine loving someone so much that you would sacrifice your child for them.  God loved us so much that he gave his one and only Son.  He gave his Son knowing he would watch Him die on that cross.  Can you imagine the pain of losing your child for what you knew was a greater purpose… but a purpose that many would mock, belittle, judge and flat out refuse instead of appreciate?

When I told my husband, “Please let them live…” with the first two births he responded that he couldn’t.  That he needed me.  But the love I had for that child inside of me was too strong – I would have been so upset with him had he chose me over that baby.  With the third he simply said that we could make more children but he couldn’t make another me.  And today, really looking at it from this perspective for the very first time, I can even more completely understand how my husband felt at that time.  He loved me first.

Which brings me to the topic of love between a husband and wife.  It’s important in a marriage to respect and understand the relationship between husband, wife and children.  Women, I think because of the special bond of pregnancy coupled with our motherly instincts, tend to blur the lines and forget the rules that are clearly laid out in the Bible.  Ephesians 5:22-24, 32 says as follows, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything,” and “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”  Wives, remember today to put your husband first.  Above everything and everyone but God.  Glorify and respect him.  Unite as one flesh.  And he will shower you with love in return.  Perhaps he will respond slowly or with hesitation (because he might wonder what the in the heck changed!)… but it will come.  For God loves the church the same way that our husbands love us, but we must first show our spouse the love that God intended us to.

I absolutely without a doubt love my children, and they are still strongly planted as the number 3 seed in my heart and life.  If you strive to raise your children in a Christian home you must first show them what a proper relationship between man and wife is supposed to be.  The relationship between you and your spouse is the first and greatest example of love your children will know.  God so loved us – His ministry, that he sacrificed his Child.  He put the Church first.  Love your spouse.  Serve your family.  Live your life giving glory to Christ.

Run by faith,

Lindsay

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