I had just done the most stupid thing ever. I mean, in the history of Lisa, this one ranked with the dumbest. I was making the announcements during our Sunday morning service, and I was describing how excited I get to make the announcements because I LOVE to hold a microphone. And in my zeal, I let out a squeal. Into the microphone. Imagine a loud shriek, amplified around a room, zinging into your ears. OUCH!
I was mortified! I’m taking steps to become a professional Christian Communicator, and I know better than to squeal into a microphone.
I immediately started to apologize for my behavior. I think before my short stint of holding the microphone was over, I apologized three times. I walked off the stage feeling like a total failure, knowing I would NEVER be asked to make the announcements again.
Lately I’ve been praying a prayer that I know is a fantasy. I’m in a period of transition, between stay-at-home mommy to
“Empty nester” and I’m trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do next. I don’t know what my future holds, but this is my honest, fantasyland prayer:
God, give me a job or a ministry where my feelings don’t get hurt.
I’m wondering if maybe I could be an accountant, because numbers are kind. Maybe I could go volunteer for a local ministry or nonprofit and be their janitor, because toilets don’t talk. In my dreams, I could be a hermit in the mountains, not interacting with anyone.
I felt like such a hypocrite. I was sitting at my Bible study desk preparing to teach a lesson on Hebrews Chapter 6. In this passage, we look at Abraham, the great man of old, who through “faith and patience” inherited the promises of God. Then, I looked at my own life and faith compared to Abraham’s. The enemy came in low and strong and dealt me a devastating punch.
“Lisa, you are such a hypocrite. How can you teach about faith when you don’t have any?”
This blog post is different from any I have written before. It is fiction, an allegory, a story I saw take place in my mind as I did a Bible study and looked up the word “redemption” in the original Greek language. It means, “to be purchased from the slave market of sin, totally free, never to be sold again.” Enjoy.
The day was dark and gloomy as Jesus wandered the city streets. His heart was set on a mission but He wasn’t quite sure yet of the outcome. He was fully God but also fully man, so some things were still hidden to Him. But this He knew: the Holy Spirit was propelling Him to find something. Or someone.
He headed to the market area, and as He drew nearer, He could begin to hear the shouts. It was a place of market, a place of trade, where one exchanged one’s valuables for another person’s goods. It was a place where food, blankets, and fine linens were sold, but as Jesus drew nearer, He saw that the market was also darker and more sinister at one end. It was also a market for people. Slaves. Men and women of flesh and bone, sold into servitude for their debts and crimes.
It was then that he saw her. He could see that at one time she was young and lovely, but today she was grimy and disheveled. She was bound by the wrists and feet by heavy rope that had no hope of being untied. She probably had once struggled against her bonds, but as he looked at her, he saw that hope had long fled her heart and despair had settled in. She sat there in defeat, and all around her were shouts of condemnation.
Over a dozen years ago a praise and worship leader named Paul Wilbur came to Wilmington. He is a talented musician who primarily plays a messianic worship style of music which is conducive to Jewish dancing. Many dancers from churches in Wilmington came together to choreograph Jewish dances for these songs, such as “The Days of Elijah.” My four year old daughter Hannah and I were among them.
I have an addiction. And it’s not to chocolate, or Netflix, or to coffee, but it’s to old ladies. You know, those little old ladies that carry humongous purses and who wear strong perfume and whose homes smell funny. They walk very slowly in their Alfred Dunner outfits and they buy their shoes from the SAS store. I love them.
I grew up watching my mother love old ladies. Honestly, as a teenager, I thought it was a waste of time. She would take me to their homes and I would be bored to tears. Her first old lady was sweet Gwendolyn – she lived alone in the bad part of town and she was strongly independent. The next old lady was Catherine, who was a genteel Southern lady who loved to make crafts. And then there was Sybil, an avid gardener whose daylilies continue to grow in my yard.
I’ve been a housewife and stay-at-home mom for over twenty years now. And in filling this role, I’ve spent a lot of time, well, at home. Through the years, one of my favorite splurges has been to take an afternoon nap. Before I would take a nap, I would shut the garage door and lock all the doors. I would check to make sure that the windows were shut and the children were playing peacefully. As I would go off to sleep, I would rest securely knowing that my children were safe inside our home. We were all “snug as a bug in a rug.”
Everyone who knows me well knows that I have a touch of OCD. My earrings and Solo cups are all arranged by ROYGBIV. There is not a crooked picture in my house….I’m sure of it, because I would be the first to notice and have to fix it. My grass is largely weed-free because in my mind, grass and weeds should not co-exist.
If you have ever seen the TV show Monk about the obsessive-compulsive detective then you should know me well. I am Adrian Monk.
It was a sacred moment for me. I entered the stately brick Methodist church through wooden doors that were twice my size. I journeyed down hallowed halls that were filled with a holy hush. Then I found the room where the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group met.
This was my very first speaking engagement in my new journey as a professional Christian communicator. I was prepared, a little nervous, and to bolster my self esteem I had on a lot of hot pink. My presentation was about how God’s grace was a greater factor in how our children turned out than our own mommy failures.
I was telling the story about how an autism therapist gave me a list of strategies to teach social skills to my son. She wanted me to take him to the park and initiate social interactions with strangers. Even while she was talking, I knew that I was not going to do that. It was too hard. As I shared my thoughts with these young moms, my words didn’t come out right.
They came out in a way that nearly made me wet my pants.
Beth Moore Bible studies are always life-changing for me. Somehow the way she leads us through Bible passages and then asks heart-provoking questions leads me to truth. In my Entrusted study of 2 Timothy, we looked at how Paul served God with a clear conscience and how Jesus’ sacrifice for us enables us to have a clear conscience, too. And then Beth asked if there was an area where we had a guilty conscience.
I do. It’s a heavy burden that I have carried around for nineteen years, from the day when I refused to nurse my newborn son because I had postpartum depression. The staggering load that has weighed me down is mommy guilt.
Yes, mommy guilt.