These lilies are just beautiful and we have quite a few plants by the house here in Gembu. Because our dogs Lady and Tramp think that flowers are better than bones to chew on, we have to put the fences up to keep the dogs out. For some reason these lilies are always poking out of the fences and because of that they get fairly mauled by the dastardly duo.
As I see these lilies frequently around the house this time of year, I have started to think about how much I have been like these beautiful, silly flowers. I have been thinking about it a lot this week. When you have 34 hours in the car with things packed all around you and reading or playing solitaire make you nautious, you think.
When I was a child, I was a pleaser. My designated role in the household was caretaker, and I embraced that role. Being the oldest child, I believed that everything I did had to be perfect and there was no alternative. If anything was less than perfect, I was mad at myself. I was mad at myself ALOT! I also believed that as long as everyone thought I was perfect and I could be sneaky about my non-perfect ways, it was permissible.
Well, as I grew into a young woman, wife, and mother I tried my best to be the perfect homemaker, mother, apartment manager, daycare provider, president of the womens group, etc. but I also thought that if I walk that line as close as I could to the edge between what I wanted and what God wanted of me and for me I would be okay. You see I was judgmental of those “less perfect” beings out there in the world. Moping around without a plan, the poor slobs just couldn’t help themselves! Of course, I thought they needed my “perfect, inexperienced, judgmental” advice! Guess how that worked? I think you know!
It has taken me so long to realize that the biggest change in my life has happened when I realized in my heart, not just my head, that I was not going to be perfect. Perfect is a lie! I was going to have to accept the fact that this lie that I have been deceived into believing was just that. A lie! I did not need a huge house, the perfect car, preppy looking children with adorable manners. I needed Jesus. Only Jesus.
The more I get to know Jesus and the God of the Bible, the more I realize that I want to be as far away from that fence as possible. Why would I want to be so close to things that tempt me or cause me to stumble, or people that bring out the gossip, hate-monger in me? I don’t. Not anymore.
You may be thinking, “that’s easy for you to say, Tina, you live in the middle of nowhere and are not in this real, dog-eat-dog world”. That is true, but here in Nigeria many times a day it seems there are so many things here that I have to look at through my father’s eyes, because to me it is just bizarre, evil, and weird!
This relationship with Jesus started 41 years ago and it is a day by day, minute by minute thing. Each morning and through the day I need to pray that I can see what He wants me to see and do what He wants me to do. No more, no less. I do have my own agenda of things I would like to get done, but I now hold that a lot looser than I used to. I am choosing to fully embrace and live in His strength and not my own. I can not do that anymore, living on my own strength has gotten me hurt, disappointment, and pain. I have found that living in His strength has given me such freedom and joy that it is really hard to describe. At this point of my life I am just trying to keep up with what He is doing through the ministry and the wonderful people He has placed in our lives and take it one day, one minute at a time.
Sorry for the rambling (remember long car ride). I do have a point for this week: My point is this. When you walk that tight rope between the world and God’s plan for your life there is a danger. The danger is that it is easier to fall into the world and you spend valuable time and energy trying to stay on that line. Stay away from the line. Get as far away as you can and embrace what He has for you this minute, this day, spend your energy and time on these things.