Sunday, January 24, 2016

An invitation to sit down

“I know it goes against all the words the world says are admirable:

self-reliant, capable, strong, and resilient.

 But I am in desperate need of a source outside of myself 
all the time. 

And so are you.”

Grace for the Good Girl, p 14 

I know this, but I need to hear it again, and again and again.

I need God's help. I need his help not just to deal with the big things that flatten me, but the little things, too. I need His help with my attitude, with my heart as it cleans this house and breaks up fights and tries not to eat yet another cookie. I need more than coffee to give me patience. I need God's grace, His forgiveness, and His help every single day.

And He is here, right in the middle of the mess of things, to walk with me and love me through this normal day.  We do not serve a God who stands far off.  We do not serve a God who waits for us to get our acts together before He helps. We are, in fact, served by God, right in the midst of our brokenness and need.

What does it mean to "sit down on the inside?"  What does that even look like?

It doesn't look like following that one magic formula that will finally make life "work." It doesn't look like being in control of schedules and children and emotions at all times. It doesn't look like faking happy or manufacturing holy feelings in tough circumstances. It doesn't look like completing the daily checklist and receiving a gold star.

It doesn't look like the little boy FLIPPING OUT because his brother got a cupcake for dessert and he hasn't gotten his yet and MOM MIGHT RUN OUT OF CUPCAKES, and he just might really shrivel up and die! Dear child, has mommy ever once let you leave the table hungry? I know what you need, what is good for you. I'm working on it. 

Sit down. Wait.

It looks like something we can't quantify or copy, but we can see glimpses, and we should savor them when we see them.  It looks like the preemie resting on her daddy's chest, receiving love from her parents, and IV pokes, too, and meanwhile her heart keeps beating even though she doesn't tell it to beat, and she sleeps. It looks like going to work and receiving whatever mess God sends you to handle that day, and when it gets tough, leaning on Him for strength instead of trying to manufacture it.  It looks like  pastor, pouring his gifts into his sermon, praying for the congregations he loves, and then trusting God alone with the growth.

Sitting down on the inside means sitting down in the pew and opening ears and heart to the Word God sends for that day. It means sitting down in prayer before the huge task. It means sitting down at the end of the day, with the jobs left undone, the messes still tangled, and the questions unanswered, and laying it all at His feet, and receiving back from Him the gift of sleep.

Today, for me, it looks like being interrupted ten times while writing this post. And dinner is late, and the kids spent too much time in front of screens, but God sent us time with friends, and a fire in the fireplace, too.

Sitting down, right here, means not worrying about what grade I got for this day, because nobody is keeping score.  The mix of ugly and beautiful in me and around me, it is all covered, all covered by the grace of God in Christ.

The main thing is settled. The main need of our souls has been met. The main problem has been solved.  The sin that had separated us from God has been atoned for by Jesus.

Will He not also give us all things?
We need only to trust, and wait.
He will not let us leave His table hungry.
He knows what we need.

Sit down.
Our God knows what He is doing.

Our soul waits for the Lord;

    he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him,
    because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
    even as we hope in you.

(Psalm 33:20-22)

What does it look like to "sit down" where you are, today?

updated from original post 9/3/12


  1. I haven't read the book yet, but my daughter is...going to borrow it when she's done! :)

  2. Your words about coffee hit home. Because as a new mom of 2, I am totally dependent on coffee right now. (Imagine me admitting this to a mom of 6!) But yes, we need more than that to pull us through these "normal" days.

  3. Oh this is such good encouragement to me right now. I need WAY more than coffee to help me with my attitude that's for sure. Lately i've been struggling big time with that!! I am so happy you link up with Into the Word Wednesday!!

  4. Hey,
    I love how you said "we do not serve a God who is far off." How true & how wonderful! He is the ever-constant perfect Daddy. What shall we fear when He is always by our side?

  5. I have never heard of the book :/ It sounds really good though! Thank you for sharing and linking up with Simply Helping Him! :)

  6. I just finished GFTGG over the summer! Fabulous book. This will be a great book club! Thanks for linking up!

  7. It's July 9. Many years...8 to be exact... And I just reread your book. It is so beautiful. I've been praying for your family as this anniversary comes ( it is actually it 8 year wedding anniversary tommorrow). It seems so unreal that those years ago a family wss facing such challenges as we faced such joy. It is my prayer your family celebrates with joy today. I've been checking your blog to see if you write here any longer. Do you have any new blogs? Your writing style touches my heart with the gospel in such a tender way. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes, we are definitely celebrating the anniversary of seizure freedom! It's been so wonderful to see this girl bloom and grow- for no other reason than God's grace and mercy. I do write on this blog but not near as much; I am no longer a stay at home mom; I work part time at church and life is crowding out my creative pursuits! Comments like this though help remind me to keep it a priority :)


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