"Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave my something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger adn you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. I tell you the truth whatever you did for one of the least of these my brothers, you did for me." Matthew 25:34-40
No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. I didn't go on vacation. And I wasn't even abducted by aliens (although it feels like my mind may have been taken over by extraterrestial beings). I've just been busy with this thing called life. So I haven't been on the computer to write.
That and I've had no material. You'd think that having three children and babysitting three others would provide me with ample material to fall back on, but alas they have failed me with their angelic behavior.
Then God decided to provide me with some new material. Some raw, disgraceful, utterly embarrassing material that I just drop my head in shame. I type this out of obedience...not desire. After this situation happened I immediately knew it had to be put on my blog. Why? Because of all the lessons I've been taught this year and shared with the people I love, I am still stubborn and failing. Everyday I'm failing to be the person God wants me to be. Thank goodness for GRACE, right?
So, the other night I'm at the stove making dinner and Nick says, "I think we should give that [a gift given to me] to [someone in need] to help them out a little bit."
(I'm just cringing as I'm about to write my response)
I immediately turn into a two year old child.
My foot stamps the floor. My arms cross over my chest to show that I'm standing my ground. My lower lip pouts out, and I say...
"YOU WANT TO GIVE MY GIFT AWAY!!! SOMEONE GAVE THAT TO ME TO BUY SOMETHING I WANT AND YOU WANT ME TO GIVE IT TO SOMEONE ELSE!!! NOOOOOOOOOOO WAYYYYYYYY!!!"
You may laugh and think this is a complete exaggeration. I wish I could say it was. In fact, I'm sure if you asked Nick, he'd probably add a few choice words, so more foot stamping and maybe even a few more NOOOOOOO's, and then he would say it was accurate.
Just shameful, but I was wrought with anger. How could someone want to take something from me that was MINE?
Nick in his great wisdom chose to walk out of the room and let me continue in my tirad e of the injustice in my little world.
Alone. To face my own greed. One on one with God. Talk about convicting. The conversation in my head with God went a little like this...
And then the flood of memories from my year came rushing through my head. Money in my mailbox from an unknown source, money in my adoption fund from unexpected friends, money when I needed it and when I least expected it.
Shame was on the horizon.
Then my Christmas list came to the forefront of my mind: a Kindle, Wireless Speakers to listen to music while I cook, an Ipod, and the new Taylor Swift cd.
Not one need. All wants.
Shame was now overtaking me.
Why was I so quick to say "Save the Orphans", "Help the Children with Incarcerated Parents", "Feed the hungry around the world", but unable to see the need in my own front yard? Was it too personal, too close to home? Or am I just that greedy that at this point I just wanted to keep something for myself.
Instantly, I knew I was wrong. It was almost as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. The adult temper tantrum that I threw wasn't what I wanted to do, but what my human instincts told me was fair.
I asked for forgiveness, from God and Nick, and suddenly I wanted to give everything I had to help out this sweet family. The grace that I needed washed over me, and I felt the joy of Christ's birth again.
Every time I see a picture of the nativity scene, my heart is thankful for the helpless newborn baby in that dirty feed trough. Who knew that He chose to come down from His comfortable, lush throne in heaven and live the life of a lowly, hated human just so he could die to take away our sins. Who does that? Jesus Christ. He knew we were selfish, he can see the black in our hearts, but He knew he could offer forgiveness. And He loves us enough to do that and still bless us.
"But after this, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:20-22
And when I let go of my grip over a few dollars you know what I found? An email saying someone gave a gift to our adoption fund.
Funny God. Your humor in my failures never ceases to surprise me!