Steadfast

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Today I have had my husband’s last name for 15 years.

Today I am nearing my #2,000 in my gratitude journal that I started 3 1/2 years ago as a result of reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousands Gifts Memoir.

This week The Babe, the youngest of my four daughters squeezed into a roller coaster seat next to me for the first time, because at long last she is 48 inches {she insisted we measure her at least once a week this winter, for the sole reason to see if she could ride the roller coaster this summer; she hit the mark early spring}.

After spending a year in Sara Young’s Jesus Calling Devotional that emphasized, over and over, day after day, the necessity and need and divine gift of cultivating the closeness of Christ in our everyday mundane and sin-filled existence, I am returning once again to my old stand by favorite: Morning and Evening Devotional written by Charles H. Spurgeon.  I have the updated version revised by Pastor Alistair Begg.  I listen to his podcast from time to time not only because he is such a fantastic teacher of God’s Word but because of his totally cool thick Scottish accent.

Today’s reading, coincidentally on my anniversary, was on the Church being married to Christ-All the privileges and mysteries that entails.  His second reading today was on the crucifixion of Christ-All the privileges and mysteries that entails.

But the North American Church has heard it-our eventual home in heaven because of Jesus’s past suffering- so much it has become like our favorite re-run on television. We keep watching it on Netflix because we love it, but no longer laugh out loud because we already see the punch line coming.  You can not really enjoy things deeply once it becomes so familiar.

I have written before how I am naturally restless.

I need to have a big plan and goal to strive for.

New things excite me.

I see the good in this and pat myself on the back.  Then I see the bad in this and grimace at my childish impatience.

I am at a point in my life where I have never had to struggle with this so much.

It is constant tension. Two people inside of my vying for dominance.

What to do with restlessness in the face of immobility?

What to do with big dreams and no platform?

What to with promises spoken but not fulfilled?

The answer:

“Be Steadfast”.

It has nothing to do with positive thinking or pulling ourselves up my our own theological bootstraps. It has everything to do with reminding ourselves how present our spiritual union in Christ is, that places us in heavenly places, and recalling how Christ’s past death work on the cross is a present practice for us now.

In short it is making peace with the constant tension of living a paradox existence.

Dying to our selfish wants of “fair” now

Living the deep life of faith of what we can not see now.

In the practical and applicable it looks like the hard work of marriage, filled with the pleasures of marriage. It looks like the constant measuring ourselves up, joyfully expecting, like my daughter, to see if we are grabbing ahold to what Christ gave us.

Since the age of thirteen {that is 22 years!} I have been immersed in Christian culture. I am very, very thankful for that.  But all this teaching is nothing if it is not experienced.  I want to experience the out loud enjoyment of being a

Child of God

Bride of Christ

Temple of The Holy Spirit

not just keep being a spectator of lines I already see coming.

The tension will never go away.

But if I keep doing the next thing I know I should do.

If I keep counting gifts

If I keep putting my back against the straight spine of scripture

it won’t matter,

because while it does find its mark and I then:

get discouraged,

let fear run rampant,

sin,

it is not the last word.

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The fiery arrows hit

but get quenched

just as Ephesians 6 promises

when we take our shield of faith.

When we are steadfast.

Cheers.

Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee with

#Tell His Story

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