Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Humble thoughts

My house is a mess.

There are dirty clothes on every bedroom floor, and dishes in my sink. My laundry is piled up high. Every time I look at the kitchen counter, all I see are the stuck on crumbs and sticky finger prints. Crusted on to the stove top are the remains of last night's dinner.

I snapped my eyes shut and walked away, up here to my bed where I can lay still for a bit while Clare naps. The mess is driving me crazy, yes, but I can't will myself to stay upright long enough to do anything about it. And that is really saying something...

Pregnancies (at least these last 2) have a way of truly humbling me. No matter how badly I want to keep up with things or push past the nausea, some days I just can't. And it is a very dark place for me. To be laid so low, so incapable. I have wrestled with this in my mind, day after day, begging the Lord to help me submit to His will for my life joyfully.

Because He is allowing it, is He not? And He loves me, and is working for my good. I know this. But in the very dark moments, late at night when the *morning* sickness is at its worst, I am weak and I forget. I'm kind of having deja vu here...oh yeah, been there before I guess. :)

A few days before I discovered this new little life, Dave and I were thinking and praying about what God had for our future. We both felt so very blessed and sure that He was leading us down a new road, that He had something new for us in store. We were praying about what that might be, and excited about the possibilities. Little did we know, He was already at work and intricately weaving our child's life, a fourth blessing. This was an unexpected gift, yet such a far cry from what we thought this next year or two would hold.

And so, we attempted to mentally switch gears a little, to embrace this plan of His.

I am very thankful for a God who has a plan. I'm especially thankful that He asks hard things of me, and that even if I wouldn't necessarily want to walk down a hard road, He will nudge me along and teach me His ways. How to live humbly. To realize more fully all my inadequacies. To beg for His help to do this job He has given me to do.

I actually made it to Bible study this morning, and it was like a breath of fresh air. Just to be surrounded by God's Word and others who love Him. The book of Isaiah has been challenging and convicting, just what I need.

Because sometimes when you're going through a trial, the fluff just doesn't cut it, you know? You need to see God, to understand Him more, to catch a glimpse of His character. You need to be reassured of His love. And of His power and strength.

In Isaiah 42, God says that for a long time He kept silent and held Himself back (v. 14). He did not immediately punish His enemies, He did not immediately cast out His people when they stopped following His ways. The Lord has ultimate self-control, and even when the circumstances are stormy and the trial is great, this does not reflect on His ability to calm the storm. If He were as emotionally charged as I am, He would probably bend to any plea for relief that I might make. But He waits...because He can hold Himself back and persevere to fulfill His plan. He loves me enough to do what is best for me. And ultimately for Him, for His glory.

That is one thing I have been struck by in the book of Isaiah - God's glory. It is so very important to Him! Verse 8 says,

I am the LORD; that is My name!
I will not yield My glory to another
or My praise to idols.

In chapter 44, God proclaims that He is the only God, that treasuring anything other than Him is worthless. This is the irony of the situation, that we as humans would choose to essentially worship the things that we do or accomplish or create, rather than the One who really deserves our praise. {For myself, keeping a home or making healthy, gourmet meals...or being a fun mom}

It is in the quiet moments, sometimes in the midst of a dark trial, that everything gets stripped away, and there is nothing left that we can do or perform, our strength is gone...and we become very aware of who we are before the Lord God.

I am counting on this broken little life to give Him glory. At least, that is my prayer for this pregnancy, and this journey of motherhood. For Him to strip away all that I can do or accomplish in my own strength and teach me more of Himself. Because when I look back over my 32 years, the difficult periods of life have been the times of growth, when the Lord has seemed very near to me. I haven't always understood what He is doing, nor do I have all the answers now, but He has always been faithful to me, and to His character.

I'm holding tight to that today.

{Clare just joined me in bed, and as we snuggled up together in post-nap sweetness, she noticed the wind was howling outside my window. The wind is talkin', she says... I love 21 month olds. :) }


Jeni said...

Love this. This is just what the Lord has been teaching me this past year. There is such beauty in true brokeness, and It is our honor and privilege to glorify Him through our nothingness and our pain. I also empathize with your sickness, and will be praying for you!

Jessie said...

Thanks for sharing Rachel. The truth of God are so encouraging. the truth that God IS Sovereign has helped and encouraged me this year and this pregnancy as well.
Love you - prayed for you today :)

Sarah said...

Wishing you a weekend full of rest and more times of sweet preoccupation with His faithfulness! I am currently struck with His patience with me, His church, and this world, so your thoughts resonated quite a bit over here. There's nothing like being totally physically weak to help us realized our need for His strength in every aspect of our lives!

jenica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jenica said...

Maybe you're having another girl? That would be fun!
Praying for encouragement through this tough time and that the sickness will not last much longer.

I love that Jeremy Camp song~ "I will walk by faith even when I cannot see, for this broken road prepares Your will for me."

Caleb and Anna said...

Beautiful thoughts Rachel. I am impressed that you have the where-with-all and stength to write them down! I would LOVE to sit with you over coffee and discuss what we are learning in Isaiah at BSF. I am enjoying this study so much and finding it so relevant to where I am with my relationship with the Lord.

Rachel said...

I know, Anna...I feel like every lesson is the Lord's personal word to me. It has been so very good.

Wish we could meet for coffee too. :)