Throughout the week I complain about staying up late in order to finish my homework. All my heart desires is to crawl into my warm bed, wrap my comforter around myself, and have time to think about the many-and I do mean many-thoughts fighting for my attention. I look forward to the weekend when I will finally be able to sleep and process all that goes on in this head. But then Friday night rolls around and I stay up just as late-if not later-for "me time". And tonight, "me time" is updating my blog. Not the most exciting Friday night activity ever, but when compared to organizing our craft closet's beads by color and type, you can tell I am making progress.
I just came from babysitting some of the sweetest kids on the planet, so children are so on my mind tonight. Are you looking for joy, laughter, and a major humbling experience? Surround yourself with children. Oh my goodness. When I have kids, I am going to have a journal just to write down the funny things they say so I can remember them later. I have already implemented this technique with the three incredible kids that I tutor and occasionally when I babysit, and it is paying off.
I am still laughing at what sweet 2 year old Bryan told me tonight as I was cutting out foam shapes for his masterpiece: "Um, Miss Chesney, your face looks weird when you are cutting..." Ha! Guess I was getting a little too into those circles and octagons he asked for.
And the kids I tutor...I can't count the number of times that I have had to stop what I was doing to pull myself together after something profoundly hilarious (or profoundly true) makes it out of one of their mouths.
A conversation we had earlier this week took an unexpected but hilarious turn. The 6th grade girl was telling me about how she told her friends that she had had three tutors. "Oh, they've never had one?" I responded. Then the sweet 3rd grade girl asked emphatically from the other table "Why would they WANT one?!" Oh my. So humbling. Good thing I know that deep down she really loves me...I think...
Another example: a couple of weeks ago I became incredibly overwhelmed with school and the enemy took full advantage of my stress. He began speaking worthlessness and discouragement over me. My response was to try to be perfect. Of course I couldn't, and my failure to meet my own performance expectations drove me deeper and deeper into a pit of despair. At work one afternoon, I had my litter planner out and was prodding the 7th grade boy I tutor to tell me about his tests that day and his assignments. When I started to become way too obsessive about something, he looked at me and said exactly this (I know because I wrote it down immediately after I could sit up from laughing so hard): "Sooner or later you're gonna have a total meltdown and freak out about everything...that happens to everyone who over plans." Out of the mouth of babes. I laughed, but really was so thankful for his words. The child is so right. His words made me realize my need to let Jesus deal with the performance and perfection driven areas of my heart.
And Jesus did exactly that. The fact that my pens and pencils must all have their tips facing the same way in my pencil pouch clued me into the truth that I had some perfectionistic tendencies, but I would never have said that I was performance driven. Then I started college. And a job. And my desire to have things together and perfect all the time turned into a thought process of performance based worth. My inadequacy to meet MY performance standards in my school, relationship with Jesus, and relationships with others resulted in a deep sense of worthlessness, and let me tell you the enemy was all over that. But Jesus was so faithful to speak truth into my darkness and has begun a work in my heart towards completeness in HIS perfection, strength from HIS strength, and rejoicing in His delight for me.
Isaiah 62:4 (HCSB)
"You will no longer be called Deserted,
and your land will not be called Desolate;
instead, you will be called My Delight is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the LORD delights in you,
and your land will be married."
No longer called deserted or desolate. No longer called worthless. Because God delights in me. God delights in me. Just because He does. Because He chose to. Not because of my performance. If He chose to love me without me having to perform, then I don't have to perform to keep His love. His delight in me also solves my other problem. No, I don't want my sense of worth to be based on how I perform, but I also do not want to do nothing because "He delights in me anyways". Jesus revealed to me the freeing truth that SINCE He delights to love me for me, I am compelled to honor Him with my life. To please Him through His strength in me. Oh my, I could write another book concerning what He spoke about strength, but Ill save that for next Friday night.
Oh that His delight in us would keep drawing us closer and closer to Himself! And that kids would keep saying hilarious and profound things that point us to Jesus...or make us more aware of our facial expressions as we use scissors.