February 22, 2013

removing the bowls.

Seasons of new truth and growth are wonderful and exhausting.

I'm learning loads about myself, but even more about the grace that covers all.  And so I want to know more about this grace and this love demanding a Savior.  I no longer want to depend on what I've been told second-hand my whole life.  A season of eating the real Word is good and needed.

But with it comes responsibility.  I can't read truth and act as if I haven't.  I can't have heart change without life change.  It just doesn't work.

Weeks and weeks ago I read Matthew 5.  Not for the first or even tenth time.  Who knows how many times I have read that we are the light of the world and to place my light on a stand instead of under a bowl (or basket, depending what version you read).

And in my overly-deep and analytic mind, this seemingly simple verse goes on a spiral.

I think in the past I have read this and thought I needed to go out and figure out where my light was.  Instead of realizing that I am the light.  Him in me is the light.  Right where I am.  In my day to day without even leaving my home.  I shine for my kids.  I shine for my friends.  I shine for husband.  Christ in me.

But in this season, I'm looking to identify the bowls I've placed in my life.  The friendships where I have shied away from speaking truth.  Even the attitudes where I choose self over Christ.  The moments where I can shine and serve, but it's easier and more tempting to complain and choose entitlement.

Sometimes my mind is exhausting.  Sometimes recognizing the bowls is exhausting.  And keeping them off is harder work than putting it on.

I think I like to hide under bowls in some areas of my life.  Two stand out in particular to me.

I think I like to put bowls on my blog.  There was a time last fall where I felt the tug to write more.  Share more of my heart.  Be real, truthful, honest.  Encourage, through my mess.  Not for the purpose of just airing my junk, but to seek Christ in the middle of it.

But, multiple times since then, I've been tempted to believe the lies.  That it doesn't matter.  That maybe I'm being too bold or in-your-face or offensive.  That I should back off the Jesus talk.  That nobody cares about that.  That is the bowl of insecurity in my calling here.  And the lies of the Devil.  As dumb as I feel sometimes about taking this little blog seriously, I really do.  But that's not to say I don't feel the risk of putting myself out there like I sometimes do.  I definitely feel that risk.  I pray against this insecurity all the time, but it is there.  Wondering who is reading.  Wondering what they think.

But ultimately, I know that those thoughts aren't from Christ.  Simply, they aren't.  So I keep walking and keep writing and remove that bowl.

I also like to put bowls on my hospitality.  Welcoming people into my home is not a natural gift I have.  It's another area of insecurity for me.  Many many times after I have friends over, I kick myself for not offering the water or coffee sooner.  For not asking more questions about them.  For not being more welcoming.  My natural introvert tendencies are to stay home and keep to myself.  Especially when it comes to inviting people over that I don't know.  But I also have a desperate need for community (I think us ladies were created that way).  Sharing my heart and sharing life with other women.  So I have to talk myself up and remove that bowl telling me I'm a bad hostess and invite the people over and share life in my imperfectness.  I share life with my messy sink and dog hair in all corners and my bedroom door closed, because that's where the mess all hides.  I am making it a priority to open my home, as uncomfortable as that can be for me.  Because sharing meals and sharing life lets the light shine.  It's so much harder to shine through the closed doors.

These bowls of insecurity prevent me from sharing life.  Sharing the light.  Sharing what I'm learning about Christ.  Sharing that I'm imperfect but have found grace.

What bowls do you need to remove to let your light shine?  

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