Sunday–Depressing Christianity

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I just visited a blog of a perfect Christian woman.

Her hair was perfect.  Her kids were beautiful.  Her home was artistically decorated with perfectly restored thrift store finds that she perfectly painted to look like $500 Pottery Barn pieces.  She ate quinoa and was perfectly thin.  And perfectly happy in the restored home her husband bought on a few acres for half the price of their previous home.  Her perfect advice was “to be content.”

And I was perfectly miserable.

I walked into our very small kitchen and tried to shut a cupboard door, only to find something was blocking it, so I banged on it with my fist to get it shut, then started to cry.  Why couldn’t I have perfect hair?  Why were we still struggling to find enough floor space somewhere in our house just so I could do a sit-up?  Why didn’t I eat quinoa?

I couldn’t completely fall apart because we had company, and I had baked a Lemon Bundt Cake.  The trouble is that I was out of my Spray Oil with Flour, and thought that I could just use spray oil to coat the pan.  My Lemon Bundt cake came out in two large pieces and 29 small pieces.  I had made lemon frosting, so I thought I could cover the damage.  The 29 smaller pieces stuck to the frosting, and were spread all over my cake.  My smooth Lemon frosting now was lumpy and bumpy–just like me.  Why couldn’t I be less lazy?  Why didn’t I just grease and flour the pan instead of hoping the spray oil would work?  Why wasn’t I a better cook?

Cake was served, and then I realized that Little Man–who has been really good about the whole potty training thing–had filled his pants.   So I went from Lemon Cake to poopy pants.  Why did this have to happen?  Why couldn’t kids just magically learn things instead of having to fail and be taught over and over and over and over again?  While showering Little Man, I realized that the bathroom was unsightly, so I sprayed down some disinfect and cleaned the sink and toilet.  The floor needed a good scrubbing, but I was done.  Why didn’t I work harder?

Now I love houses.  I love colors.  I love peaceful harmonious rooms.  I love space, and wildness, and openness, and breathing room.  I actually feel like I kind of understand how an autistic person can desire to sit inside of a circle of books, or a circle drawn on the floor, or inside a circular slide.  To some autistic people, that gives them a sense of peace and harmony.  In the same way, an artistic presentation–whether in a room, or in the wild, or on a table, or in someone’s outfit–that beauty plays a string in my heart and soul that rejoices.  Beauty makes me happy.

Yet, . . .you would never know that if you walked through our cramped and cluttered rooms.  If beauty is so important to me, why couldn’t I have it?

Why did the LORD make me this way if beauty was always to be elusive?  Why was the Perfect Blogger’s christianity so depressing?

There are easy answers:  Be content.  Don’t be lazy.  It really isn’t important.

There are easy attitudes:  Sarcasm.  Self-defacing.  Bitterness.  Ridicule.  Jealousy.  Depression.

There are trite sayings:  She probably isn’t happy.  I visited a third world country and the poor people were so happy.  The more you have the more you have to clean.

Now my Struggle, may not be your Struggle, but we all have one.

But??

None of those easy answers fill the heart.  None of those answers give life.

What does?

It is times like these that I have to view eternity.  When I lose that view, I start to drown, just like Peter.  So with the Light of Eternity shining, let’s keep stepping forward.

First of all let’s get something clear.  Christianity is not about perfection.  In fact, it is the other way around.  Christians are sinners–sinners saved by GOD’s grace.

“Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.  11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’[a] For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”  Matthew 9:10 – 12

My thought here.  Christianity IS about perfection, but not mine.  CHRIST’s perfect work on the cross takes a sinner like me and makes me perfect in GOD’s sight.  Whew!

I was reading in Genesis 24–the story of how Abraham’s servant was sent to look for a wife for Issac.  The servant met Rebekah at a well of water and she offered to draw up water for his caravan of camels.  After this he asks her, “Whose daughter art thou?. . .” (Genesis 24:23)  I could ask the same question, “Whose daughter am I?”  And the answer, since I have asked the LORD JESUS into my heart is. . .”I am the daughter of the KING.” (see Psalm 45 and Rev. 1:6)

My thought here.  I am a daughter of the KING of KINGS!  Do I act like it?  Do I look like it?  Do I work like it?  Do I live it?  Instead of dismay at all my faults and failings, I should focus on THE KING.  For THE KING, I will get up, shower, and attack the day.  Royalty has a lot of responsibilities, and so do I.  For THE KING,  I will. . .(you could list your responsibilities/duties here.)

“These were the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work.”    (1 Chronicles 4:23 )

When I am working for The KING, over sleeping, over eating, over spending, over managing, worrying over, micro-managing, etc. . .all these bad habits aren’t really in keeping with Royal Duties.

Still in Genesis 24, and still with Abraham’s servant and Rebekah, and still by the well, I read.  “[Rebekah] said moreover unto [Abraham’s servant]. . . . . . . . . .and [Abraham’s servant] bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD. . . .” (vs. 27)

My thought.  What Rebekah said made Abraham’s servant worship the LORD.  It didn’t make Abraham’s servant look at her and worship her.  Her words (which were just about her home–“We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in”–) didn’t bring glory to her, but made Abraham’s servant worship the LORD.  I can take this from both sides.  May my words not bring the focus to me, but to my LORD.

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”  (Psalm 19:14)

And from the other side, when someone else is speaking (or blogging) may my focus turn upward and thank the LORD for their happiness or feel their sorrow.  (Perhaps that could be “the meditation of my heart” part of the verse.)

Now.

I read this to The Hunni, and he said, “It sounds to me like you are right in the middle of this, not at the end of this, so maybe now isn’t the time to write about this.  Maybe you need to wait until you are at the end of this and have answers that have been tried.”  And he is right.  These are thoughts that are helping me (present tense), not things that have helped me (past tense.)

Right in the middle of it,

–rebecca

P.S.  Just in case I didn’t make it clear, Christianity is not depressing.  I can get depressed.  I can be depressing, but Christianity is not.  I also didn’t read anything about the need to eat quinoa daily.  🙂  Hope this helps.

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10 Responses to Sunday–Depressing Christianity

  1. Christie says:

    That sounds like a blog to avoid in the future … so appreciate the authenticity found in yours.

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  2. Carol says:

    I like Christie’s comment, a blog to avoid in the future. That is my initial reaction have read your commentary this am… However, this is similar to a conversation that I had over the holidays wih another Michiganite… And that has been going on in my head; We discussed that if we avoiding things (like blogs, Facebook etc.) would it help with the Christian jealousy. I am in the middle of this one. Do we flee and avoid, or do we improve the meditation of our heart?

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  3. Anna C. says:

    Thank you, Rebecca.
    Just read Psalm 45 this past week and was talking with Ellie about the difference between being a King’s daughter and a princess. For the purpose of our discussion we were thinking of the prissy and entitled attitude that tends to accompany what we might call a princess mentality. But in Psalm 45 we see that the King’s daughters were: among the honorable women, their companionship desired by the king, they were all glorious within, and they would be brought into the presence of the King beautifully clothed (in garments of salvation, maybe?) Just a practical thought that encouraged us 🙂

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  4. Kelly K says:

    Rebecca, I was just sitting down to write a post about us wives/moms letting the peace of God rule in our hearts and behaving like Jesus is truly our Lord, which dovetails with what you’re saying. And I agree – steer clear of the Isn’t My Life Perfect blog!

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  5. Carolyn R. says:

    Your children are formed and created in HIS image. And you are doing such an awesome job keeping the light going in their hearts. And John’s right, you are in the middle of the hard part. Hang in there and hang on to Him. You are an inspiration to me and others because of your love of the Lord.

    Yes, and lose that blog address asap. And print that picture of John Douglas and the ornament and put THAT on your cupboards……..Beautiful.

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  6. WOWMOMWOW says:

    I like the photograph at the beginning of your blog. There is “Light” at the end of the tunnel. Last night we had a beautiful meeting on Hebrews 6:9-end. The subject was “Hope to the end” and the “the Forerunner is there to confirm the veracity of the hope”. Much was said about Abraham’s faith that laid hold on the future promises, and his realization that the promises encompassed more than the physical land of Canaan. One thing was not mentioned that I thought about and it is in Genesis 15:1. “I AM thy shield, and thy EXCEEDING GREAT REWARD”. Yes, Abraham had faith to wait on the fulfillment of the promises in a future day, but the Lord gave him something infinitely greater…He gave Himself to Abraham as a reward for the present time that Abraham walked on the earth. Think of it! Is there anything greater? Yes, we must bypass so much, and God encourages us by the sure and steadfast hope that lies withi
    n the veil: but if we would stop for one moment and realize that He is a present reality for us to grasp right now! Is there anything better out there? O.K., I get to feeling the same way myself, especially as I get older and my relevance comes to question in my own mind, but when I think of the relationship that I can presently have with the Saviour who knows me in depth…my quirks, my inner most desires, my inconsistancies….and yet He envelopes me in His love! How wonderful!

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  7. Lisa Buchanan says:

    Right in the middle with you . . . .

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  8. Angie W. says:

    My sister just said it but it was exactly what I was thinking so I am going to say it anyway. Right in the middle with you. I have to flee the trap of comparison–comparison kills. Period. I could compare myself to you–she does such fun projects with her kids for homeschool, she blogs, she cooks yummy food, she sews darling aprons, she had an idea for a business and carried it out and it is a great one, she knows her neighbors, and and and. You are amazing and wonderful and I don’t know why those of us who love beauty and order and space and outdoors end up in crazyville kid land but you are right, if I can think of eternity and the One who is molding and shaping me, I can trust that there is a purpose to this. Sigh. But that doesn’t mean I start the day excited about it. I am working not being bossed by my feelings.

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  9. Suzanne says:

    The most encouraging thing I can think of for all of us mommies out there, is that IT IS COMING! We don’t have to shove away those desires for beauty, those longings for a better home, the ultimate desire for complete fulfilment. I don’t believe the desire itself is sinful. These are all desires that the Lord will fill completely in the kingdom, to our utter satisfaction. All we really need to do is be patient and wait for it… it really is practical advice. Read the story of Elisha and Gehazia. Not sure about the spelling there. Remember what Elisha told him when he came back from taking gold and clothing from Naaman? He said “this is not the time.” Not the time for getting, improving, buying, etc. He had his desires firmly rooted in this earth! He wasn’t willing to wait! The Lord says “seek ye first the Kingdom of God.” I believe that ALL these things will be added unto us. We just have to look at our cluttered laundry room, the broken sink, the wrinkles setting in on our brow, (add your own ETC.),and say ok Lord, I can wait.

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  10. whitsendmom says:

    Everyones comments were really helpful and kind. Thanks so much for sharing the “meditations of your heart.”

    Like

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