My Blog’s Not Dead. Just Quiet.


Lately I have been wrestling through what I’ve found is a pretty common mom thing. I can’t help but feel that over the years I have lost a part of myself. I miss who I was before I took on the responsibility of being an adult. The creative things that once made me feel like me. The things that used to make me feel better when I was down. The things I felt made me unique. But once I started paying back those college loans, had the responsibility of a career, of being a wife and then being a stay-at-home mom trying to balance the budget, those things started to seem kind of irrelevant. ┬áSo those things got pushed more and more to the side. And part of me hollowed and dried up.

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And then my kids got a little older.

 


I’ve been hearing rumors of this for years. That life will open up a little bit as the kids grow. That there would be room again for my own pursuits. And here it is. So I’m feeling these nudges. Nudges toward discipline, toward trying something new. Toward trying something old, toward putting myself out there. But there is a problem.

I’m feeling completely creatively barren. I’ve been drained dry from fifteen years of adulting pretty hard. (blah, blah, blah, refinance! Blah, blah, blah–escrow!) Not to mention I can hardly put two thoughts together. I want so much to say something, but my mind fails me AND my heart lacks the courage to say what I want. I definitely didn’t start a blog because I’m overflowing with post ideas.

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I went to a prayer retreat with the ladies from my church recently. It was one of those grassroots efforts by a group of women within the church. They didn’t bring in a curriculum. they didn’t bring in a speaker. One of our ladies taught, and we prayed. We didn’t talk about praying, they didn’t give us handy tips, we just prayed. It was such a sweet, sweet time. We studied Hannah in 1 Samuel 1-2, which is where I got the term “creatively barren.” Barren was defined to us as “Incapable of producing, unproductive, fruitless.” Definitely how I’m feeling. I don’t want to minimize the pain of being actually physically barren, I just appreciate that the passage can be applied further than that.

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It became pretty clear pretty early on that in addition to my stage of life, God is allowing me to have this block because me being creative has always been about me. Developing me. Glorifying me. Calling attention to me. Inviting admiration of me. What I heard God saying last weekend is I have a worship problem. There is a part of me that believes the Gospel is there to make me look good. Ouch. And if He gives me back my “voice,” it’s not mine to hoard or exploit.

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Just look at Hannah, who wanted so badly to have a baby. Not an uncommon desire, even today. She even pledged that if God gave her a child, she would dedicate him to service in the temple his whole life. So He gives her that child and she actually goes through with it. Not in bitterness, but in joy. Because she knew that God is sovereign. She knew God loved Samuel more, and she knew Samuel was not truly hers to begin with.

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And you know what? Neither is our Samuel. Anything we create is only because the Lord allowed it and gave us the intricate bodies and brains we have. We are made in the image of a creative God. One who can resurrect lifeless dreams that rattle in the breeze.


 

Idols Stink (Literally!)

In BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) we spent a day in our homework studying the part of the Bible often referred to as “the golden calf.” It’s the worst. It makes me mad every time I read it. I’m absolutely positive its a reflection on me. But every time I read it, I still think “I wouldn’t have been one of those…revelers! (“Do I look like a frolicker!?!”–Beryl Patmore)

Back up. Israelites are wandering in the desert. Moses climbs up a mountain to receive God’s law. Israelites use his lengthy absence as an excuse to turn away from God and make their own new god out of gold–a calf (thus the golden calf). And they go all out in their rebellion. When Moses shows back up (God warned him what was going on) he throws the stone tablets that the finger of God had inscribed His law on and, among other things, ground the calf into gold dust and made them drink it. My totally profound takeaway?

The Israelites pooped gold.

And then they presumably looked at it and thought “Huh. I was just worshiping that.” I’m not sure what else to say about that, so I’m going to let you draw your own conclusions.

*Alternate super spiritual application question: “What are YOU pooping?”*

Why Humility?

Of all the things to focus on in a blog, why humility? There are about 500,000 sexier, more click-inducing topics to cover, right?

First and foremost, I am struggling with nasty, ugly pride. And the more I prepared to launch this site, the more I saw it. One way to deal with pride is to (gulp) expose it for what it is. I’m hoping to get up the courage to do that as we go.

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Another way to deal with pride is to “humble yourself before the Lord.” Which sounds really good but when it came down to it, I realized I didn’t know what that meant. Other than kind of mentally stooping and wincing. Also God says He gives grace to the humble, and the more I see my sin the more I know I neeeeeeeeed that grace.

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Secondly, I want to encourage YOU in humility. I want the church to grow in humility. If the church is going to do God’s work by His inspiration and energy we need to reach out in humility, gentleness and respect. I’m sure you can think of examples of those who claim Christ, but their approach in doing God’s work is judgmental, prideful, and even hurtful. Maybe you have been the one hurt. Maybe you have been the judgmental one.

I know I have, even if I thought I hid it well.

I am so thankful for God’s grace–that I can be forgiven for that sin of pride that made (makes) me look down on others & I CAN grow and find freedom from that sin and the shame that goes along with it.

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And I’m thankful for the grace of humility in forgiving those who have hurt me too. Church, let’s grow and spur each other on–let’s take on this culture of pride and shame and build up a humble and gracious church!

Side note: how crazy is this?

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I found him crawling around on the snow during a storm. He was moving slow, but was definitely alive!

Speaking of Humble, Get a Load of This Tree…

I know I’m super late on the Christmas bandwagon, but I figured it might be better to share this before and after so you’ll have it in your brain next year if you need it.

I really enjoy having a real Christmas tree, so I’m willing to put in a little extra work and effort to give our Christmas that special *something*. However, we do have a little fake tree we bought when we lived in an apartment just after moving to the Minneapolis area. Our apartment complex didn’t allow real trees, but we didn’t want the girls to miss out on having a tree. So we bought the cheapest one we could find at Target. Behold:

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Yeah. Pretty great, I know. We ended up putting it up this year too. Pete’s super sweet aunt and uncle offered to bring us a fresh tree from their property in mid-December, but called us the day they had planned to bring it and had come down with a stomach bug. They had even cut it down and were ready to go, but alas. I couldn’t bring myself to pay the $40 for a tree that would only be up for a couple of weeks.

As I was unpacking that beauty and wishing it weren’t quite SO…sparse, I noticed some faux garlands in the bin that I was feeling too lazy to put up. So I decided to try wrapping them around the tree just to see if they would stay/look good. I used three garlands for this four foot tree. Once we got the lights and ornaments on it, it was a different tree:

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I mean, the scale is way off. I realize that, but whatevs. The bonus was that we could fit almost all of our ornaments on it because of all the extra branches. SO, if you have a humble tree and some extra garlands try making some Christmas magic!

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Humble Beginnings

Hello and welcome! This is my first blog post at Stuff I’m Bad At. I thought I’d start just by posting the text from my About page. Over the last year, I’ve gotten a pretty specific vision for this website. I have a hard time articulating it still, so I think this will be a good way to start.

“I think at the heart, this blog is about worship–who/what/how/why do we worship. But it is clothed in this issue of humility. This whole thing came about because I liked the idea of having a blog, but I truly felt unqualified to write one. I felt I would be more comfortable if I came at it from a position of weakness. I always prefer reading blogs of people who aren’t experts, after all. People who have done the hard work of exploring an interest and making what they learn accessible to other normal people like me, rather than those who it comes easily to. But what began as a tongue in cheek way to explore MY interests turned gradually into a curiosity and then a desire to understand and grow in humility. True humility. Please note, this is NOT a cry for affirmation or a pep talk. Though I do struggle with insecurity at times, self-esteem is not the antidote OR the opposite of what I’m seeking. But a true understanding of who God is. Once I know that, who I am will fall into place. So I will write about the silly and the serious and invite you to humble yourself too.”

So there you have it. I’ve been putting off actually clicking the publish button for about six months now because I want everything to be perfect. But come to think of it that’s the opposite of what someone who blogs about humility should do. So, here we go.

p.s. if someone knows how to fix my header and would be willing to share, I’d appreciate it. Because I have no idea what I’m doing. :0)