Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Am Lightening Up!!

While my hair is scheduled to get darker, (post about that tomorrow!), this girl is going to lighten up! At least for a little while. It will be an exercise in enjoying life.

Some of my friends tell me that I’m too hard on myself on this blog. That I talk too much about my sins, my insecurities, my struggles. That I often sound sad, solemn, and strictly religious.

I might be giving the wrong impression.

If you know me in real life, I’m a happy girl. I laugh. I enjoy life. I love people and things and experiences. And yes, I am often introspective, a thinker, and serious.

But I am joyful.

Joy is worship.

See, there’s a fine balance in Christian blogging. Above all, I want to glorify God. To talk about Him. To show His glory more than spout off about myself.

BUT… it is a blog.

By nature, blogs are designed to build the feeling of connection between the reader and the writer… to create community. I want people to read my blog and be pointed to Christ… but I firmly believe that the best way to hold the interest of others is to write vulnerably and honestly about myself in relationship to Him. I am not writing a manual, or a Biblical commentary guide, or a theology guide… I am writing personal testimony.

This is my life.

And my friends are right… I am only displaying part of it.

Maybe I am only LIVING part of it.

The Bible says that all things were made by Christ, through Christ, and for Christ.   All things. But maybe I’m only focusing on the “churchy” things. What if I really began to live as if ALL things were by Him, through Him, to Him? What if my every moment and every delight became a gift from… and TO… Him!?

What if my humor were for God…
My lip gloss!
My friendships.
The silly things my children say.

What if I didn’t just declare God through Bible verses and Christian quotes, but also through how hard I laughed with a best friend and how juicy my cheeseburger was!

I am not talking about soft Christianity. This is no health, wealth, and prosperity gospel.  My dad taught me that suffering is one of the greatest gifts God could give us, and I believe him. Yes, sometimes losing everything except for God is the best way to see how satisfying He is.

But what if we haven't lost everything? Isn't it worship to joyfully receive all we still have?

If I am going to believe it is possible to make ALL of life an act of receiving and giving gifts to and from God, then that includes the lighthearted and the trivial.  (Like my mama's green nail polish, which just makes me happy!)

And another thing. If I insist on being honest on this blog about how I mess up... How I neglect God... How I sometimes feel unattractive and unable and guilty...

... then shouldn't I also be honest about the gifts God has given me?

Is it such a scandal to admit that God gives me abilities, assets, things, experiences, strengths? Can I stop playing the humble Christian card long enough to admit that God gifts me?

I feel like I'm at an AA meeting:

"Hi. My name is Rachel, and I am actually a pretty decent writer when I try."
That was hard, but it felt good. :)

And holy lightening did not strike me dead for arrogance!

Perhaps, so long as I understand that anything good about me comes straight from the grace of God, I can stop feigning modesty and say even the good things I think of myself.  Perhaps God even likes when I appreciate His gifts in me!

Ah, progress.

Part of me worries that I'm changing. And then I remember... Change is good!

If I can learn to thank God for my iPhone without clinging to it materialistically... making an idol of it...
...if I can learn to enjoy great home decor without becoming envious and while recognizing that the Eternal is infinitely more beautiful and satisfying...
...if I can thank God for a fatter-than-usual paycheck while simultaneously being willing to give it away because He helps me think that is thrilling...
...wouldn't that be a worshipful life? To enjoy His gifts?

So I'm experimenting on this blog.

With the trivial. The silly. The mundane. The real.

I still love theology and Bible and quotes. They're here to stay. There will be talk here as always on the value of suffering, the dangers of materialism, and the ways I've failed and hope to grow more like Him.

But if the "serious" posts are sandwiched between writings about an incredible movie or concert or snack or green nail polish, don't be surprised.

I'm thanking God for ALL things.

I'm lightening up.

It feels good.


Linda P said...

OH Rachel, I love you sharing your heart! That is what makes me want to read more. Keep writing.....

Jenay said...

Oh this is GOOD! The whole post is just sweet and God Glorifying!!!! You are right...your writing is good, and it is thought provoking and it is heart is just good.