Fire Alarms

“Wash away all my inequity and cleanse me from my sin” Psalm 51.2

Sometimes, when I’m walking past a fire alarm, I really want to pull it. Seriously, I do. It’s like it’s calling my name “Paige, Paige, come here.” Taunting me as I stroll by, tempting me with its shininess and untouchableness.

I have no real valid, legitimate reason for wanting to pull it. I really don’t. I don’t want the day to stop for people who are working. I don’t want people to be scared or worried.

I simply want to pull the fire alarm because I’m not supposed to do it

Am I crazy or what?

And maybe I am a little weird but I do think many of us suffer from the same problem. We might not be running around wanting to pull fire alarms but we all have some type of sin or temptation in our lives that we do (or think about doing) simply because we aren’t supposed to do it.

We can be like that  child who is told not to eat a huge plate of cookies and then his mother leaves him alone.  Hmmm.. those  cookies look pretty good.  I’m not really hungry but Mom told me not to eat them so they must be delicious. It won’t hurt to just eat one little cookie right?

Satan is a sneaky little character isn’t he? He likes to tempt. Likes to dangle things right in front of you that don’t seem so bad

The next thing you know your mouth is covered with crumbs and you have a massive tummy ache.

On top of being ashamed.

And in trouble.

But just like your mama still loves you after you have eaten all of those cookies, Jesus still loves you too.

He will wipe those crumbs away. Better yet, the next time you come across a plate of untouchable cookies, He will help you stay away from them altogether.

We just have to be willing to let Jesus in.  We have to open our hearts and souls to Him and stop letting the Devil tempt us with the cookies and the fire alarms and all the ways of this crazy messed up world.

We have to push that  plate away and make room for something far more satisfying and rewarding- a relationship with Jesus Christ.

After all, He is way better than gaining five pounds from eating a plate of cookies

(Or possibly losing my job for pulling the fire alarm.)

He is a million gazillion warm chocolate chip cookies.

And then some.

 

Sunday Mornings

Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

I cherish the moments I spend in church with my children worshiping the Lord. It’s such a peaceful time of togetherness and joy. They listen so attentively. They sing so passionately. They behave like the little angels God created them to be.

OK I cant even type that without laughing.

Truth be known, my children always seem to become infected by a little case of the crazies from the moment they wake up on Sunday mornings. They are grumpy. They are tired. They are slow to move. They aren’t hungry and refuse breakfast. This then transforms their mother, who always wakes up hopeful on Sunday mornings, into suddenly a not so lovable person. I end up yelling like a lunatic when, just a few seconds earlier, I was singing Toby Mac in the shower as joyful as can be.

The ride to church isn’t much better. Someone is going to say something smart or sassy or both. And then someone else might let go of the steering wheel while she tries to grab sassy pants in the back seat. That same someone might threaten to take away Ipads, basketballs, and trips to Grandmas all in the same breath.

Before we even roll into the church parking lot.

Then starts the stomping and slamming of doors as we get out of the car. Muttering under our breaths and looks that could probably break the stained glass windows in the sanctuary.

When we finally make it to the sanctuary, feeling and probably looking as if we have been through a tornado, there is the usual battle of musical chairs (you can’t sit next to each other boys) and the frequent requests to play with phones, go the bathroom, get water, and to sneak down into the church kitchen for food (they are of course hungry now).

Then comes the frequent removal of the legs from the back of the pew. Frequent requests to sit up. Frequent requests to stand up and sing.

Oh yes, it’s a never ending test of parenting every Sunday morning.  It’s not easy. It’s not fun.

I pray my boys are somehow (maybe through osmosis) learning about Jesus as we endure these Sunday morning battles. I hope they are catching glimpses of His grace, glimpses of His goodness, even amidst the chaos and frustration.

And when I do happen to catch the glimpses of Him, from the sweet sound of Eli singing It Is Well With My Soul to how seriously Brady takes communion, I realize that no matter how hard the battle is, no matter how much my hair is turning gray, we are still right where God wants us to be.   We might be frazzled. We might be harried. But we are together.

We are worshiping our Savior.

We are fighting the good fight.

One Sunday morning at a time.

 

 

Junk Mail

John 14:27   Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

I can’t stand junk mail. Whether it’s in my work mailbox or my home mailbox, junk mail is one of those little annoyances in life that really get under my skin. Kind of like an empty toilet paper roll that hasn’t been changed or a Lego piece left out in just the right spot for my poor little foot to stumble upon in the dark. Junk mail is appropriately named “junk” for a reason.

The problem with my junk mail is that I don’t really ever do anything with it. I tend to put off getting rid of it. I leave it in my school mailbox for weeks at a time and leave it in my home mailbox for way too long. I’m pretty sure I’m not my mailman’s favorite stop. There is something in my brain that prohibits me from simply pulling it out of my box and throwing it away.

Do you have junk in your life that you just can’t seem to get rid of? Whether it’s toxic habits, toxic friends, or toxic feelings? What is stopping you from simply pulling it out of your box and tossing it to the curb? Why do you the trash fester? Why do you let it build up?

Right before He left His disciples, Jesus left them with one gift. A valuable gift that they could never lose and or ever have taken away. He gave them the gift of peace.

Jesus doesn’t want us to lead lives full of baggage. He doesn’t want us to be weighed down by all of the junk that life can throw at us. He told his disciples that the world could never give to them like He could and He meant it.

Just like with His disciples, Jesus wants us to live lives full of peace. He wants us to empty that mailbox, toss out that junk, and to not that old garbage sit.

Think about what you have building up. Think about what you have festering. It’s time to get rid of it. It’s time to clean out the mess you have left sitting for far too long.

Start living a life full of peace. Not a life full of junk. Toss all of that mess away.

You’re going to need a clear view to see Jesus.