Saturday, April 26, 2008

Praises in the early morn

Thank you Jesus for meeting with me this morning.

Well, as you can see it's 4:30 in the morning and I am....up. I visited my poor little nephew Jack and my sick sissi Britt tonight. Both were throwing up constantly, part of a weird flu virus going around. It starts and then goes away believing you are fine and then comes back with no warning at all. I came home and went to bed but received a call a couple hours ago that my brother-in-law was going to take Jack into the hospital to have him checked out. My sis couldn't go cause she was too sick. We prayed together and then of course me, I can't sleep because I am concerned and praying. It was my request that she call me. My Dad went to be with Jeremy and my Mom went to be with Britt. Dad called quite awhile ago and let me know that they think Jack just has a virus and they are hydrating him with an IV. Praise the Lord. And also praise to the the Lord for allowing my niece Olivia to sleep through it all. So all is well (pretty much) and I can't sleep.

Well , I decided to watch Wife Swap to numb my mind to sleep but.....still awake. So I decided to watch the Dove Awards I had on my DVR. I was really enjoying it. It is always fun to watch as that was once a dream of mine to be singing contemporary Christian or Worship professionally. Next up was Casting Crowns singing East to West. Okay so I have heard this song a million times and I really enjoy the Melody but it seems I have only really heard the chorus. As I listened and grasped on to every little word I was able to fully understand the song and relate to it in this moment. In my Beth Moore Bible study we are studying the Psalms of Ascent. These were the psalms that the pilgrims (those coming out of exile, those traveling for the feasts, etc.) would sing as they traveled to reach their destination. We are learning how powerful song is for memorization, for feeling, for getting us by. We are learning that we too are pilgrims on this journey to a destination also (our heavenly home.) And we need songs for the road too. East to West will be a new one of mine.

I have been really thinking about a lot of things lately and really seeking to divide my time in a way that would honor God and really make sure my motives are to serve Him alone. There are many decisions to be made on my part regarding my working life, home life, church life, family life. The weight of responsibility can be so heavy at times. I add much of it myself. I have also been experiencing so much stress and guilt and all the things that seek to steal a woman's joy. We have many hats to wear. I have also been reading the book Captivating which is really explaining to me more and more about our womanhood and why we have the desires we have to be cherished and loved and adored. I know this might not make a lot of sense but it all blends together very well for me. It talks about as women how we are sometimes made to feel (either by ourselves or others) that we are not good enough or too much.

I have decided that guilt and insecurity is a very sneaky way that Satan attacks me and I am assuming most women feel some sense of this and I am fired up and angry about it. It is such an easy one to miss because it really does seem to come from us. Why do I always feel that I am not good enough and at the same time too much. Because Satan likes to creep in and remind us of this even though it is NOT true! I never recognize him in those feelings because they seem to be just my own insecurities and self doubt. What I don't catch on to quick enough is often times he is whispering those thoughts! I am constantly trying to please somebody, constantly trying to be "enough", questioning myself after I leave a conversation, and of course trying to please God (this I will continue to do but I do know my salvation does not depend on it.) I also feel so much guilt. It is crazy, if I am playing with my kids, I feel guilty for not getting things done, if I am getting things done, I feel guilty for ignoring my kids, if I am working at the church, I feel I should be working to earn money to help with finances at home, if I am working, I would rather be serving, on and on and on... such a cycle. And then there are the struggles that continue that seem so hard to defeat... being content with what we have, losing my patience with the kiddos,etc. When you make the same mistake over and over it is very easy to feel like there will never be victory. I guess in this moment I am just feeling rugged right now. There are definitely strong days, hours, and minutes and weak ones. There always will be as long as we are on this journey.

Anyway....... so the lyrics really went deep into my soul this morning and I found myself on my face before my God and I wept. I wept for not recognizing the thwarts of the enemy, for being a woman so concerned with herself that her mind was filled with guilt and insecurity, for not seeing the beauty (inside of and out) of what he created me to be, for making the same mistakes over and over, for not grasping his rest and mercy. And He held me, loved on me.......and met me there. It really feels so wonderful to be in complete surrender to him. I try to do this often but at times I am so distracted or so concerned with time. But tonight....he kept me up for a reason, and I am so glad He did. Just pouring my heart out to Him was so refreshing and then praising Him and giving him the love and adoration he deserves was so satisfying. It is so amazing how praising him changes us. How he is so generous a God to allow us to receive out of the praises we give to him. We receive because we surrender and we release the responsibility of trying to do it all on our own. We recognize our need for a Savior and we can rest in knowing he's "got our back." I copied the lyrics below and placed the lyrics that stood out to me in bold faced print. I encourage you to add this song to your mix tape for the road trip of your life too!

"East To West"

Here I am, Lord, and I'm drowning in your sea of forgetfulness
The chains of yesterday surround me
I yearn for peace and rest
I don't want to end up where You found me
And it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight

I know You've cast my sin as far as the east is from the west
And I stand before You now as though I've never sinned
But today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

Jesus, can You show me just how far the east is from the west
'cause I can't bear to see the man I've been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest

'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other

I start the day, the war begins, endless reminding of my sin
Time and time again Your truth is drowned out by the storm I'm in
Today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

I know You've washed me white, turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through, to get me through this night
I can't live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals

I'm not holding on to You, but You're holding on to me
You're holding on to me

Jesus, You know just how far the east is from the west
I don't have to see the man I've been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other

One scarred hand to the other
From one scarred hand to the other


Anonymous said...

Wow, Erin, you blessed me this morning! Thanks, Cindy

Anonymous said...

p.s. Sorry to hear that your sister and son are sick. I hope they feel better today.

Stephanie said...

I just wanted to say that I am not ignoring this post. I was telling Anggi today that I love reading what God is doing in others lives, I have a hard time responding though cause I don't know how to say what I want to say in such a short space, I would rather just say it in person LOL! So Friday night I want to talk with you more about this and the Beth Moore series you are going through. I love to hear what God is doing in you!!!

Erin said...

Oh Steph,
That is so sweet. It is okay not to comment. I am just putting it out there. And then I got busy and haven't blogged since! Thanks for the comment!

Angela said...

hi - my name is angela im becky's friend! I loved your post and I can so relate with you on so many levels - CAPTIVATING is one of my FAVORITE books and I have learned sooo much from it! I will keep following your blog! You're welcome to check mine out, too and meet me there!
~ Angela