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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

YES to GOD study: Chapter 4

OH, don't you just love our

I'm so glad you are here.



Last night the tooth fairy found her way to our home much to Alivia's pleasure this morning after lifting up her pillow. Last night she was supposed to be getting ready to go to bed when she stepped out of the bathroom with her arms covered with soap with a dilemma. "Mom! I was washing my tooth and it just fell down the drain!"



Super Mom to the rescue answers, "Oh, it's okay just write the tooth fairy a quick note of explanation; she'll still honor that."



Worried toothless girl looks relieved as she smiles~"Okay mom".


Mean Bedtime Patrol Guy interferes with plan: "Uh, no. It's bedtime. Brush your teeth and get your behind in bed."


Alivia's cheeks are instantly covered with falling tears.

Super Mom steps in: "Oh, Gene it will only take a minute."

MBPG doesn't even put up a fight and retreats back to bedroom to watch Monday Night Football.

Alivia quickly brushes her teeth and writes her note splashed with as many hearts and smiley faces that one minute of time would allow her to draw.


Note left on dresser for Tooth Fairy to see and after prayer Super Mom is instructed to hurry up and go to sleep because the Tooth Fairy will not visit a house with lights on.


Super Mom leaves and goes on coin hunt.


97 cents later...a big deduction from the last lost tooth takes teenage son up on his offer to help write a note back to hopeful toothless girl.


Instead of blaming the cut in coins from the last tooth on the economy he blames it on the fact that she has had a cavity before and tells her if she brushes for 2 minutes and flosses faithfully then maybe the next lost tooth will be better rewarded.

Uh no, says Super Mom and rewrites the note.

"Dear Alivia,
Thank you for your note.
I checked your mouth and did see the empty space, but next time if you don't leave me a tooth I will have to pull one out with my pliers, for I have to return with proof.
Have fun buying gum balls. Share with your mom, she's really super.
Love,
The Tooth Fairy"


Aaron thought the threat of pulling a tooth was sick, but she thought it was funny this morning as she reassured me that "Don't worry, she is just joking Mom". And bless her heart, there was no complaints that she was jipped. You think I could have found 3 cents to make it an even dollar, but I was tired and knew that out of all 3 of my children she is the one that would let the Tooth Fairy's cheapness go unmentioned leaving Super Mom/Tooth Fairy with no after-guilt.



Okay...let's begin our discussion of Lisa Whittle's awesome book,
"Behind Those Eyes".


CHAPTER 4: Ms. Happiness
Remember, anything in blue is a quote from the book.


This chapter was bittersweet for me and each page turned cut a little deeper into my heart.


We desire to be happy so much that we are willing to do most anything to gain it.


I'm not 100 percent convinced that our standards for happiness are really all that high most of the time.

Amen, sista!


Two weeks ago our son attended another school's homecoming dance with two of his friends. Three girls that they didn't even know approached them and offered to do oral stuff to them. The guys told them no (thank You Jesus), but I can't help but feel so sad for these girls. What they think will bring them popularity which at their age brings happiness, they are willing to sacrifice everything for nothing. What those girls don't know that what they are offering will only bring them bad reputations, diseases and later much regret, but never happiness.



A lot of things can make us feel happy for a time. But a lot of things can also let us down almost as quickly as they perked us up.


The aftermath of regret is almost overbearing when we chase down the wrong things. It's like a happiness sugar high, when it wears off, you just crash.



I loved how Lisa talked about how our natural tendency is to look for the source of things to satisfy our curiosity and shared the story of the girl clipping her nails in church.


Ms. Happiness is the outward personification of a jovial girl, even though she is still searching for its inward source. Though able to act happy, since she has never truly found the root of happiness, she is forced to continue looking for it in places it will likely never happen.



Oh, how many of us have been on this treasure hunt with the wrong map?



Then she shared with us Ms. Happiness' tactics:
1.) You can make yourself happy
2.) Someone you love can make you happy
3.) Something you have or do can make you happy


Yuck. This would be the part of the chapter that I wanted to close the book, shut the blog down and tell Lisa sorry, can't finish the study with you girl, you got too real for me, but insted I read on.


One of the most painful times in my marriage was years ago when I discovered the lie of the second tactic. Thankfully, God prepared my husband's heart as the confession of my unfaithfulness was met with grace, love and forgiveness that only can be given through God.


Seeking an outside source to make us happy will never do the trick in the long term.


Finding happiness from a relationship with another will make you happy until it doesn't.


I loved what she wrote there.
The visual that came to my mind when I read that is that it's like dancing.

Picture being on the dance floor being whisked around by the one that you think will bring you the happiness you're convinced you deserve. The faster he spins you the happier you are. Then the song comes to an end and the deejay shuts down his portable music box. And there you are. Face to face with the enemy disguised as your happy dance partner. No music, no glitz, just the reality that even this can't fulfill what only God can.

Suddenly, dancing with the enemy has lost its appeal and you are back to being unhappy again.



If only I had read, memorized and lived what Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes before making the choice to break my vows.

He encouraged us to not forget about our Creator.
To honor Him.
To fear Him.
To obey Him.


The biggest sorrow I have is that I let God down. Time spent foolishly left me with scars of the enemy's threat that I allowed to become real to kill, steal and destroy.

Take this as a warning for anyone who is even thinking of stepping outside your marriage: It is not worth what you will lose.


Giving yourself away is no different from the 3 girls proposing oral sex to my son and his friends at the homecoming dance. Those girls were willing to give away everything for nothing and if you step outside of your marriage you are joining these girls on the dance floor of death. Be wise my sweet friend. Your "happiness" is not worth it. Trust me and let Christ captivate your thoughts because every seeking of happiness begins with your thought life.


"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea."
~C.S. Lewis~



I once heard Beth Moore tell a story of when she was on a walk and came up on some ducklings playing in a mud puddle. Just over the hill was a beautiful pond. Her point was how often we play in a mud-filled puddle instead of the beautiful clear water of the pond God has for us.

The time is now to stop selling ourselves short ladies and let Ms. Happiness take hold of God's hand and find that He is inside Source of any truly happy person.



The Bible doesn't have a much to say about happiness, but it has lots to say about joy.


Miss Lisa closed out our chapter with nothing but the truth...
Happiness is not the holy grail. Real joy is where it's really at. True joy comes from within when we are operating in our life in the way that pleases God. And that's not by faking people out with our facade of happiness but, rather, being filled up with joy by the power of the Holy Spirit.



Ask yourself today...do I have real joy?
If not, what are you pursuing?
If it's not Christ, then run sister.
Run to Him and let Him catch you.

Lisa encouraged us to memorize one of the verses on pages 72-73, here is the one I chose...

Psalm 16:11
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.



There is nothing the world has to offer that has that promise attached to it.
Nothing with eternal pleasures and joy.
Seek Him and see for yourself.

He's one chase you'll never regret.



Sign up under Mr. Linky to share your insights on this chapter.

Next week in chapter 5 we'll meet Ms. Spirituality.


~Many Blessings~





24 comments:

Cindy said...

I got my post done early this morning. It is bad ugly but it is honest and from my aching heart.

Glad yours was better than mine.

HIS Daughter said...

Amen and Amen!! I haven't done my post, but your's totally is enough for both of us!

I know what you are saying from firsthand experience.

One thing I heard John Piper say was "guilt when we are in unrepentant sin as a believer is good. It's like having pain in the body. It lets you know something is wrong and I need to get help - a doctor...and with guilt - confession from a contrite heart and a broken spirit in total repentance before the one that will forgive."

We often deal with those horrible feelings afterwards as the weeds starting coming up threatening a take over from the seeds sown.

BUT, you and I and any other woman must know that GOD is not the accuser after repentance...Satan is...and it's usually, "YOU will never...YOU can never...YOU are..."

The answer is simple yet hard to grasp at times. He 's right about "you", but he is not right about the ONE that now lives in and through me and "you". He's banking on us forgetting that he was defeated at the cross.

I'm praying for you...whatever life is handing us...I pray that GOD's strength gives us what we need to suffer for HIS glory instead of doing evil. We suffered for that long enough!

Love you,
Teri

hkudla said...

Hi Lelia,
Thank you for being so open and honest. Though I haven't been down that road in marriage. I was down that road, seeking happiness in guys I thought I loved, and who I thought loved me. It has led to many regrets, much lost time, and lots of scars and baggage to work through. I am working through it, and I see the end in sight (Praise God).
But I know about those empty moments of feeling happy, only to wake with ashes in your mouth, and emptiness in your heart. It was emptiness that I thought Christ was supposed to fill and He hadn't. In actuality He had filled that space, was there all along, but I kept pushing Him away, and instead of going to the Source of my joy and happiness, I went to other things because that was all I knew...
So, now is the time of working through regrets of former things, letting them go, and grabbing onto the One who took hold of me, and looking to the joy and purpose of the future.

May God bless you Lelia, and thank you so much for hosting this study!
Love,
Heather

Jill said...

Lelia, As always it's great to read your words. Thanks for staying the course even when the road gets rocky, He will bless you for it. Why is it look for happiness when it's right there for the taking? He is a giving God, but we have to make the effort to look and then decision to receive. Have a joyful night, Jill

Naomi said...

Thanks for plugging on with this despite hurting. I'm finding it hurts too, but at the same time, after reading through it and praying and reflecting, it's 'releasing', and God knows I need that. As He knows we all do, Dear Girl. We are not THOSE girls anymore, Lelia, and so we can press through all the muck and mud and bad memories all the while knowing that and praising Him because He has cleansed us already. This book is simply unravelling our thoughts and memories in order to HEAL us as it is in HIS plan to have us give glory to Him because of the lives we have lived and now live... I will post tonight. Blessings to you... Naomi

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

Ok. I think it is time to go to the monasteries with our families!!! AUGHHH!! God help us get through the teenage years!
Praying for you.

In His Graces~Pamela

Laura said...

I absolutely love that C.S. Lewis comment. The man was a genius. I can't believe Beth had the same kind of observation! Just goes to show, modern day geniuses exist. Thanks for sharing your deepest hurts, Lelia. There is something healing is being so real, is there not?Bless you, friend.

Runner Mom said...

Hey, girlfriend!
Thanks so much for your openness and honesty in this post. Wow! The temptations that come our way-or the way of our children-are simply a temporary fix for a problem. Again, turning to Christ to fulfill us is the way to go. To be filled with His undescribable joy is awesome.

Hoping to get the chapter read and posted a little earlier this week!!
Enjoy the rest of your day!

Love ya,
Susan

Darlene said...

what a beautiful, thoughtful, and authentic post. Thank you for bearing your hurts and using them to His glory, by pointing to Him.

I LOVE this, Lelia,: "Ask yourself today...do I have real joy?
If not, what are you pursuing?
If it's not Christ, then run sister. Run to Him and let Him catch you."

glorious. just glorious.

Darlene

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I just love that Alivia more and more. She is pressshh-uuuuss. Precious, I say. Have I told you that lately?

As always, I was glued to your every word. You pointed out several of Lisa's words that I also shared in my post.

I was real and answered her question: do you have real joy and if not what is standing in your way. I hope I was right in being honest on the worldwide web.

Love ya, sweet one.
Paula

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

Great...great post my friend.

You've shared SO much...that my heart will be thinking...and thinking...well...probably for a week on all of this.

Blessing to your sweet heart...for your realness.

Tammy R said...

Lelia,
Not only in my first marriage but also in my second marriage I chose to dance with the...satan.

I love how you have allowed us to be a part of your pain and victories.

Your post has so much truth!

Blessings,
Tammy

nothingcanseparateme said...

I just loved your analogy of the dance with the enemy. Although I don't share a similar situation in my marriage I can see that "dance" in so many other sinful situations.

I agree with Pamela and the monastary idea--these teenagers are wearing me out!!

Bless you and Thank you for leading us in this book study even when the pain is so deep!
Love ya
Kim

Mari said...

Lelia:

Thank you for being so honest as usual. You are a blessing my friend!

Leebird said...

Hey Lelia girl,

Thanks so much for just laying it out there for us. I love you analogy about dancing with the enemy. It reminds me of a skit the youth at my church did where a girl is so enamored with Jesus and then gets pulled away by the temptations of the enemy...but Jesus wins her back in the end. I'll try to find it on youtube. Do you know the thing I'm talking about?

Loving you bunches and bunches today and always, Lee

Pat's Tuesday said...

Lelia,

I forgot to leave a comment the other week. Thank you for your honest in this post. I also have danced that dance with the enemy only i wasn't married. In fact sometimes I think I stay overweight so I will not be tempted in that way again. I know that I am stronger now then when I was younger but I was always afraid I would stray again.

I thank God for you and how he is using you not only in my life but in the lives of others. I am also doing "He Speaks to Me" by Priscilla Shirer and I wanted to share what she said the other Sunday night. 'Satan attachs us because he is intimidated by us' Thank you for being real with us as you show your daugther his grace. (I also had a aon without the benefit of marriage and the thing that helped me through it was my mother's unconditional love) I will be praying for your family.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Thanks for your heart, Lelia. Been praying for you this week.

peace~elaine

Paula said...

What a chapter! What a week! What a post you have posted my friend! Raw and real, and an inspiration for all of us!

This week has been a tough one with the realisation that my 'example' to my daughter has been a not so good one (does mimicking mummy sound familiar?), and then the realisation that I have been doing things wrong every which way I turn (trying to do it all myself without God's input), to the realisation that I am guilty of being 'Ms Happiness' (read my post for the dealio!).

I was discouraged with all things Paula yesterday, but I'm back on my feet again, and feeling rather free from getting Ms Happiness off my back.

I can't wait to spend some time reading through some more posts and comments and learning more about this wonderful walk with our Lord.

Love ya, Paula :-) xo

Lysa TerKeurst said...

Hi Sweet Friend...

I think of you everytime I walk by the beautiful green sign you sent to me.

Thank you for your kindness and thoughfulness!

I just got caught up on your blog. I am touched by the grace you've been extending to your daughter. Oh, as a mom of three girls, my heart hurts reading your posts. I feel your pain.

Just wanted you to know that I am standing with you and loving you from afar.

Sweet Blessings,
Lysa

Liz said...

I finally got my post up! I kept reading and having to stop and think about this! Wow. The truth does hurt. Thanks for plugging along with us. God has good things for all of us. I had to peak ahead at the future title chapters just to make sure we really had hope! LOL!
Joyfully flawed!
Liz

Amy L Brooke said...

Good stuff, isn't it? I liked the CS Lewis quote as well.

Hmm. That tooth fairy is pretty creative. Very fun.

Did the book come?

rusty'swife said...

Lelia,

I am running in behind. Hopefully I will get the chapter read, and a post done tomorrow.

Sallye

rusty'swife said...

I love it I love it I love it.

Sallye

HIS Daughter said...

I love you for all you do in not only doing the study with us, but your honesty and willingness to do the hard things.

Love and prayers,
Teri