Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where is my mirror??

Hmmm... have you ever thought much about the difference between a mircoscope and a mirror?? I had never really given it much thought.

The only times that I remember using a microscope is in science class. And, I have to admit that I really didn't like it. Usually it was looking at something yucky.... and honestly.... I couldn't really see in there all that well. I just couldn't get my eyes adjusted to looking into those two little lenses.... and ending up with a clear image.

But.... as a female, I certainly know how to use a mirror. I didn't say that I always like what I see.... but I do know how to use one. When I stop to think about it.... mirrors are much more accessible than microscopes. You can find mirrors everywhere.... in our homes.... in public places... and in our purses. But not microscopes. They are much harder to find.

While working through my current Bible study last week.... we were looking at what God has to say about legalism. Matthew 7:1-5 says...

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. " "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank our of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

So... why is it, that it is easier for us to find a microscope to inspect others.... than it is for us to find a mirror to inspect ourselves?? It should be the other way around.

That reminds me of the saying I have heard since I was a child.... "why do you think you have two ears and one mouth??" Of course the answer would be because we should do more listening than we do talking. According to James 1:19...

"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry."

So... that would explain why mirrors are so much more accessible than mircoscopes. We need to spend more time looking into our own hearts and lives than looking so closely and judgementally at the actions of others. Not to be "self absorbed".... but to examine our hearts and motives for what we do. God looks straight into our hearts. We just can't fool Him with our actions. He knows what we do... and why we do it.

My Tuesday night Bible Study group is doing Beth Moore's Breaking Free study. I did this same study about 5 or 6 years ago. It was life changing. I am not the same person now that I was then. But... I am afraid that as I lead my little group through it... I am focused more on their freedom than I am on looking inside myself to see if there are areas that God desires to free ME. As we looked at the 5 benefits that God intends for His children to enjoy... I noted the things that made such a huge difference in my thinking... and my life. I so wanted to make sure that my little group caught them. I didn't want them to miss anything that God had used to change me. AND... honestly I do want freedom for them. BUT....

Where is my mirror?? I dont want to miss this opportunity for God to show me areas of bondage in my life. I want to make sure that I am using my mirror... looking in.... checking out my motives... allowing God to show me areas that are standing in my way of living the abundant life He planned for me. No wonder there are more mirrors than there are microscopes. HE is more interested in my "in". He doesn't want my focus to be on inspecting the "out" of others. Does any of that make sense to anyone besides me?? There are so many mirrors around... surely I can find mine.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

One of the hard things about parenting...

You know... I wish someone had really warned me about how painful parenting really is. I doubt that I would have listened... but I would have remembered their warning now.

There have been many hard things that I have had to do as a parent. Some have to do with disciplining my children. Some have to do with keeping them from doing some of the things that they want to do... but one of the hardest is to watch them hurt or suffer.

Last year... about this same time... I took my youngest daughter to the eye doctor. At her request. She loved to try on my reading glasses... so when she told me that she couldn't see very well, I just thought that she wanted to wear glasses like mine. I actually put her off for about a month before I made the appointment. She asked me several times a week.... "have you made my appointment yet?"... to which I always answered, "no, not yet." The day finally arrived to go to the doctor.... and boy was I shocked when she couldn't read anything expect the big "E" with her left eye. So... she got her first pair of glasses that day. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I couldn't believe that she had been telling me this for a month or more.... and I ignored her. It killed me on the inside. She was absolutely thrilled.

Fast forward to last Tuesday. It was time for her one year check up. So.... imagine my shock when she climbed up in the chair.... with her glasses ON... and with that same little left eye... could only read that same big "E" on the top line. WHAT?? One year ago these glasses corrected the vision in her left eye to 20/20. Now... she can barely read the top line of the chart. So our newest solution is wearing new glasses, patching the GOOD eye, to hopefully strengthen that left eye. So this is her today... and for 8 hours everyday....

This picture shows her smiling.... but believe me when I tell you it was only for the picture. She started wearing it on Wednesday. Within the first couple hours, we went through about 10 patches. It itched. She pulled it off to scratch. It wouldn't stick back. She cried. It got wet from the tears. It was uncomfortable. We changed it again. We finally got one on that seemed to be comfortable... and dry. So... off to church we go. The closer we got to church, the more nervous she got. By the time we pulled into the parking lot... she was crying again. She didn't want to go in to the childrens activities with the patch on. She was afraid that the other children would make fun of her. So after about 10 minutes of watching her hurt and worry.... I told her to take it off.

To some... I know that this may not be a big deal. But to this mom... it is a huge deal. I hate to think that she is going to have to wear this everday for at least a month or more. It is painful to watch her try to cover it up with her hair while we are in public. It is painful to watch the other children stare at her. It is painful to watch her look at the ground while others are around... to keep them from making eye contact with her. It is killing me.

God must feel exactly the same when his children are hurting. As we suffer through difficult times in our lives. As we endure the consequences of poor decisions. As we ask 'why?" when we don't understand what is going on around us. He knows that He has our best interest at heart. He knows what will bring us to the place where He wants us to be.... so that we can bring Him glory.

So... knowing that it is for her best... I will stand back and watch her go through this. With His help I will continue to encourage her... and pray that this will accomplish its purpose. Sometimes is just hard to see the big picture in our little worlds.post signature