Thursday, March 31, 2011

Living in Celebration

There is a new song that I have become addicted to.  You have probably heard it.  The lyrics are:

Oh happy day, happy day
You washed my sin away
Oh happy day, happy day
I'll never be the same
Forever I am changed

It's one of those upbeat songs that makes you want to get up and dance wherever you are: in the kitchen (where my kids join in) or in the pick-up line at school (the other parents think I have lost my mind) or at the computer while balancing bank statements (the time when I need life to be put into perspective the most!).  It's just a great song!  It's a celebration. 

I like lots of different kinds of music, but I have realized that music affects my mood, my attitude.  Music is powerful.  I am not one of those people who will lecture about how Christians should only listen to "holy music," because I listen to other things too.  My girls have listened to Justin Bieber and Kidz Bop, and I have a couple of country stations programmed in my car.  But I do realize that I have to be careful what I fill my mind with.  When I finish listening to some country songs, I'm about ready to key my husbands car for infidelity that DIDN'T happen, cry for children that I HAVEN'T lost, or get revenge on a friend who HASN'T hurt me.  Or I can listen to the other genre of music that goes on in our car/house: Disney the time Russ gets home I have convinced myself that everything we discuss that night should be sung to me in the form of a ballad.  I expect him to sweep me off my feet into my "happily ever after."  And then he is forced to hide the Disney princess CD's.

And that, my friends, is why I usually try to stick to worship music, and I am completely stuck on this song Happy Day.  I think it's the celebration of this song that I like the most.  There are so many worship songs that bring me to tears and repentance (both things I need quite often) but sometimes I think Christians forget the sheer celebration of what we have received.  The lines:

I'll never be the same
Forever I am changed

excite me, but they also challenge me.  It goes right along with 2 Corinthians 5:17 "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come."  There is a line that has been drawn in the sand.  If we have been saved (FOREVER changed) we aren't supposed to be on the same side of the line as unbelievers.  Can we associate with them?  Of course.  Can we love them?  Absolutely!  Christ wouldn't have it any other way.  But this challenged me to live a life that is OBVIOUSLY different.  NOTICEABLY different   A life so full of joy and celebration that those who haven't found this freedom could look at me and say, "hey, I want what she has."  Because those that don't have it, might be happy, but they don't have joy...true joy.

So here's the dilemma I have found.  Sometimes I don't feel like walking around in celebration.  Why?  Well, sometimes I'm frustrated, annoyed, and tired.  Yes, tired.  Two nights ago, my precious baby girl woke up from 3am - 4:30am (and no, I was not calling her a precious baby girl at 4:30!)  By 6:15am when my alarm went off, I was TIRED!  I was in no mood to celebrate.  Trust me, my kids can vouch for that one.  I was snippy and crabby.  However, after a little time listening to this song, life kind of came into perspective again.  I may be tired, but I am forever changed!  Forever!  All the junk that I had dealt with or been tempted by in my life was instantly taken from me and cast as far as the east is from the west on the day that I was changed, and I will never be the same.  Somehow, that made whinny kids, telemarketers, unresolved bills and dishes seem a lot less stressful.  Life, the life I was meant to live, was once again brought into perspective.  

So that is what I have done for 2 straight days.  Every time I feel overwhelmed, stressed, tired, (insert other emotions here) I have turned on this song and simply celebrated.  Because I think that gets forgotten too often.  Sometimes, it's just time to celebrate...because we are FOREVER CHANGED!  Join me: 


Monday, March 28, 2011

Let Me Introduce Myself

I am a Christian, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend.  I am my own unique person called by God to my own unique ministry AND I was called to marry a pastor.  I am a pastor's wife, I live in a pastor's home and I raise pastor's kids.  I live in a fishbowl.  I live in a place that many find intriguing, that some envy and that others just want to press their nose against the glass and see how we swim around this thing we call "our life."  There are preconceived ideas about what it must be like to be a part of the pastor's family and live in his home: our laundry is supernaturally cleaned, our groceries appear in our refrigerator like manna from Heaven and our children flow in the anointing 24/7 thus ensuring us a life without hair-pulling or gnashing of teeth!  Ha!

You may be wondering, why on Earth is she doing this?  Because I like "real" people, and I'm willing to bet that you do too.  We're just real people doing our best to live the life that God has called us to.  And that's exactly what you should be doing as well.  We're not super-spiritual and and we don't have a more direct line to God than you do.  We are obedient, plain and simple.  We read the Word of God, we believe it to be true and we work very hard to follow what it says.  We believe that a relationship with Jesus Christ Monday-Saturday is key to seeing something happen on Sunday.  We just live what we expect other Christians to live, and we don't follow any preconceived expectations that don't have any Biblical basis.  I have been known to wear jeans and a baseball cap to church.  Gasp!  Why?  Because my clothes do not determine my relationship with my Savior.  And because sometimes that is just me...that is real...and I think people relate to real.  Or at least I do.   

You may be reading this because you are one of my closest friends and nothing on this blog can surprise you because you've seen my life inside and out.  You may be reading this because you don't know me very well and you'd like to get a better idea of what makes me tick, what makes me the crazy person that I am.  You may be one of the dozen or so people who have asked me to write a book because apparently my little stories on Facebook (just the facts and drama of my life) are entertaining.  You may be one of those who is intrigued by this glass house we live in. Or you may just not believe me when I say that we're a lot like most may see my husband and our family and think there is a secret to happiness that we're not sharing with you.  But I assure you, it's not a secret, just choices we make. 

So let me invite you to the fishbowl.  Pull up a chair, stick your nose to the glass.  You are invited to get a glimpse of my life.  You may be surprised to see that it is not much different than yours...or, at least, it shouldn't be.