A Life of Surrender

As I ponder my last post, I want to express to you that I am nobody. Please, as you read my words on surrender and choosing “here”, do not put me on a pedestal. I don’t belong there.  I am just a normal average girl that struggles the same as every other girl. Maybe more.

Don’t think for one second that my sacrifice is any harder than yours. It’s not.

Jim Elliot said it best, “Missionaries are very human folks just doing what they’re asked. Simply a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody.

And since I view every Christian believer as a missionary, wherever they happen to live, we are just a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt our beloved Somebody, aren’t we?

The truth is, we all, each one of us, if we are living a life surrendered to His will, have our own crosses to bear.  Our own sacrifices to make.  They all look different, but they all feel very much the same.  And most of those sacrifices, no matter where we live on the globe are mostly made up of those small moments woven in and throughout our days.

Surrender is usually dying to self on a daily basis and most often found in the mundane.” Jennie Allen, Anything

Following the Lord and doing what He asks of you isn’t always easy.  It is a long obedience, one of many mundane moments.  It isn’t all lights and fame and excitement.  It’s a lot of little moments of choosing to live for the unseen. Moments that can be downright difficult. But ones that can be equally beautiful.

Someone asked me, “What does a life of sacrifice look like? What exactly does living in surrender mean?”

I think a life of surrender means being so in love with our Savior that we willingly fling up our hands and tell Him we are willing to do whatever He asks of us, no matter what that means.  And, doing it every day, again and again. 

 Therefore I urge your brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2

Offering the life He has given us back to Him, to be used however He wishes.  Even if that means small things.  Things like making your husband’s favorite dinner, or chatting with the lady in line in front of you at the grocery store, or rubbing your son’s back when you are so tired and all you can think about is crawling into bed.

It means starting out each day with the precious Savior with open hands and saying, How can I serve You today? 

It means living with Heaven in view and being about kingdom work, even in the midst of car repairs, haircuts, and Little League. It’s seeing your life and the people in it through HIS eyes. And using the gifts he has given you, “your thing”, to serve as you look towards Heaven.

What if heaven and God and forever became our normal? Wouldn’t that change everything?”- Jennie Allen, Anything

It is being willing, because of love, to pray this prayer of Betty Scott Stam,

Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life.  I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever.  Fill me and seal me with Your Holy Spirit.  Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt, work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.

And trusting Him with the outcome.


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Photo credit: My wonderful and talented hubby, Dave.

Choosing Here

As we haul bags into a stuffy taxi to make our way to the airport, he leans over at my frowning face with a smile and says, “You know, I think maybe going on vacation isn’t good for you. It’s too hard for you to go back.” He’s right.  As I mentally prepare myself for the “going back” it is always hard.  I sip my last Decaf Venti Iced Nonfat Vanilla Latte {say that fast!} that I ordered in English as I think over my life.

I’ve always known what I would be leaving, moving overseas.  I knew the first time, the time when we filled the big yellow bags to the brim and smiled in front of them, full of energy and excitement saying goodbye to family, friends, and the life we knew.  We were off to begin our adventure, the excitement of new things, the allure of the unknown.

But now, six years later, I know what I am choosing to come back to.  I know how the dog yelps non-stop day after day after day, crowding out my sleep, wearing me down like Chinese water torture.  I know the feeling of sweat dripping constantly down that spot where cleavage would be if I had cleavage.  I know that sinking feeling when the electricity goes off again, and it’s anybody’s guess as to when it might come back on.  I know the smell of the garbage piles on the side of the road, the ickiness of full sewers, and the constant noise of a city too packed onto it’s tiny island frame.

 I know.

And yes, there are the moments where I dream of pulling a Wonderwoman dive out of the taxi and crawling back under the fresh white duvet cover with the remote and watching Cake Boss until I fall asleep.

But then.

Then I remember the why. This life is short, and I want to live it surrendered, not comfortable.

Jennie Allen, in her book, Anything, says, “If we believe that this life is temporary, that belief alone changes how we live it.” I want this temporary life to be one that I can’t live on my own, one that I need His strength for each and every day.  Living in this way brings joy deep down in my soul. My sweet Jesus gave it all for me on the cross. He loves me so intently and He has given me the chance to offer back to Him a life of sacrifice.

And the truth is my life, the messy one, where I have to rely on Him to get me through, is more beautiful than any sea view, any candlelit dinner, or any afternoon spent journaling at Starbucks.  The messy life I have, the one HE chose for me, is far more beautiful than any comfortable relaxing moment I can imagine, because He is in it.

And, now, knowing exactly what I am in for, I choose it all again. 

 

Thanks for visiting! I invite you to subscribe to Grace Full Mama here!

Pic taken by my hubby, Dave. A  big thank you to Mandy from Biblical Homemaking for the cute clothes I am wearing in the pic.
*I understand that Starbucks may be a hot button issue for some of you, but as I live out of the country, I thank you for your grace in respecting my choice to drink some coffee from home.*

Linking up here: The Better Mom, Women Living Well, A Holy Experience, Denise in Bloom, Time Warp Wife, and Raising Homemakers

Weekend Inspiration

I love finding new and inspiring things on the Internet.  There is such a wealth of beauty and encouragement.  I am going to begin to share my favorite finds with you each week.  I hope you find them inspiring too!

1. I really love Kari Jobe’s music these days.  My favorite one, We Exalt Your Name, doesn’t have an official video, but this one, Steady My Heart is also really good!

 

2. Proverbs 31, Week 6 from my friend Angela at Good Morning Girls

A snippet,

“Don’t for a second think that no one sees how you care for your family with the beautiful hands God has given you……He sees all that you do! God sees how you tenderly rock your baby to sleep, He sees how you cook and clean so that your family can have their tummys full and a clean house to live in, He sees how you forgivingly embrace your husband after a disagreement, He sees it all…….and He’s sooo proud of you!”

Make sure you read the rest!

 

3. An amazing reminder from Ruth at The Better Mom to Live Intentionally, Love Generously, and Laugh Frequently.  I love this!

4. A sweet {free} printable from Mandy at Biblical Homemaking. So cute!

5. This book is what I am reading right now.  Have you read it? It is really good and totally challenging.  What is your anything?

AnythingHow about you? What has inspired you this week?

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