(the photo above is not mine…. Google is my source!)
This post will probably be one of my more candid, transparent posts that will leave me so vunerable but I am so excited and gripped (oh, how I love that word!) by where I feel the Holy Spirit is leading me and how He is challenging me.
(Sidebar: My church, Good Hope, has taken on a year long series “I Am…” and we have learned about distinct characteristics of the Father & Son… we’re learning about the Holy Spirit now, so I’m excited to be able to identify which part of the Trinity is doing exactly what. Nerd, Jesus freak, Freak out- call it what you may… I’m all of the above! lol!)
So, being the soon-to-be adoptive mama that I am, I am incredibly obssessed wtih other AMs, (IDk if that’s a real acronym, I may have made it up), their adoption stories, and how their lives change during and after the process. I tell you adoption is not easy and it changes you, there is a beauty and redeeming power that comes from adopting and joining with adoptive families that leave you changed forever for the better.
Thankfully, I have connected & fell in love with many mamas; I feel as if we’re our own little brigade! We so eagerly support each other through fundraisers and efforts to bring awareness and attention to our cause. I’ve also noticed that we are quite the creative bunch who thinks up these crazy ideas to grow our families spiritually and in number. We are avid seekers of our God. I know some other amazing mama’s who haven’t adopted, but who are also crazy over God with their own mad ideas that benefit the Body, their communities, & families. But, as you’ll see, I’m a bit biased.
One of these mamas who is a nut about Christ and adopting is Jen Hatmaker. I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me (YET!!!), but when I tell you she has a heart for Christ and an ability to draw you in with her openness and humor – I speak nothing but the truth.
I stumbled across her blog one night a couple of months ago and read about her rebellion against what I will call consumerism and American-ism. She revolted against excess in 7 areas monthly.
*Food *Clothes *Possessions *Media
*Waste *Spending *Stress
When I read about this experiment, the Holy Spirit whispered “Oh, yes.. do it!” and I was thinking, “Ugh…. I love my stuff. Can’t give it away.” then hurridly clicked over to the next post. I don’t like being convicted. But, this cleanse of sorts stayed on my mind… tucked away in a dark corner.
(it’s only as big as it is, so that you the words can be seen. I PROMISE!)
Isn’t it the perfect description of a sweet, little Christian girl? Right?
Last night, I found that a few of my AM friends took the 7 challenge and again, the Holy Spirit said, “Let’s go!” and I conceeded, then immediately became pumped. Another idea of mine that the Holy Spirit gave me a few days ago has grown a little face through my submitting. I’m looking forward to more distingushing features becoming more noticeable as this new little project of mine becomes more and more tangible.
I come into class today and turn on my Hillsong United or similar Pandora station as I do every morning, and watched my kids play Hangman on the board. I corrected their grammar and enjoyed them coming to my desk to check their homework, give hugs, and tell stories of whatever it is they want to talk about.
I thought about how I impact little people everyday and how I directly change their little thoughts about themselves and help them. I regularly pray that I would be impactful.
*** Still thinking of the rebellion ***
I start to write about how I desire to become even more of everything I mentioned above in the picture. How I am all of those things plus some but I wanted to do and be MORE like Jesus to be more impactful.
Holy Spirit REVEALED to me, as He does, that if I got rid of my JUNK, that there would be more room for the good to be perfected with the right motives. There would be a lot less JUNK to compete with and battle for importance. Fewer distractions to pull me away from my God work. Fewer character issues would contradict my God. So, I created this.
*** Don’t I even look different? ****
Oh, God. I just realized that. Look at how our JUNK colors us.
Now, allow me defend myself (is this pride?)…. I am not all good at all times, nor am I all bad all day. I am a mixture of both. I know I can be a lot less of the yellow when my mind is focused on Christ…. And, a lot less pink when I’m living in a whirlwind. Oh, I know.. it’s everyone. But, it doesn’t have to be. Was it even meant to be?
Is this rebellion extreme? Maybe. Unncessary? Possibly. Depends on your perspective. But, oh how I need it. Plus, this type of extreme behavior is right up my alley. I am so black or white. All the way in, or all the way out.
I am expecting to be broken, shattered, embarassed, and moved to change. I don’t believe this reduction, as Jen calls it, was necessarily meant to become a lifestyle. I believe it’s meant to shock your system into understanding how dependant we are on stuff, how truly consumed we are with things of the world. It’s going to show us where are heart is truly teethered to.
I contrast my current Christian lifestyle to efforts to living a healthy lifestyle.
I eat decently, I enjoy working out and do so reguarly (reguarly is dependent upon the craziness of the week! Which is my case in point). But, how much healhier and fit could I be if I was a bit more structured with my meals or pushed my workouts a bit harder? Instead of being satisfied with good enough. Likewise, how much more could I become more like Christ if I, for even just a little bit, shocked my system? What if I removed all of my distractions so that I could become more focused on Him? How different could my post-revolt life be?
I am excited. I’m ready to be challenged. To become even more of a follower and less of a sideline admirer.
I’m also terrified. I love my stuff. All of it.
My life goal is at the bottom of the “good Alaina” picture.
Do good. Love mercy. Walk humbly. Serve gladly.
I should probably add Love all. somewhere in there, too.
…. here’s to radical change. to depleting your person of all the junk that prohibits the shift from admirer to full fledged, unashamed follower of our Savior, our Redeemer, our Christ.