I am really loving this book. Chapter 2 made me cry and this chapter made me laugh. Before we get to it, let's talk for a minute.
This past weekend Alivia, Amiyah and I took off to KC for a well needed Girls Getaway with Kelley and her family. We don't get to see each other often, but when we do we just have such a great time. Saturday night we went out of dinner with my girlfriend Megan who just moved to KC with her family from Lincoln. Nothing like great fellowship over some wonderful Mexican food served by Ricardo, the best waiter from Peru. Ricardo who has a little boy named Little
It had been quite awhile since I had laughed until I almost lost control of my bladder, but the three of us together made for a great evening. Although they were not very nice to me.
I mean, how was I to know that people from Peru are Peruvians?
Not Persians as I lovingly called him.
Supposedly, Persians are cats.
I have only birthed three babies, but apparently when one is pregnant with baby #4, you gain some knowledge. One would think Megan had traveled to Peru before the way she held a conversation with Ricardo about Peruvian food and the beauty of the place.
Nope. Turns out that when her husband had to get a third job to support the family while in Lincoln, his boss was a Peruvian and she learned a lot about his beautiful country at the Christmas party. Incredible she could put that knowledge to use in less than a year.
Anyway, Kelley and Megan let me say "Persian" for quite some time. I was trying to sound intellectual like Ms. Megan when I asked where our sweet Persian waiter was for a water refill. I was wondering why Kelley kept meowing and Megan was saying "here kitty kitty" and didn't catch on until Megan schooled me on what the beautiful people from Peru are really called.
We all had a great time and made some more great memories while Gene was home watching football and Aaron was taking out his first date to homecoming. He assured me to not cancel my plans that have been made for 2 months since she asked him to her school's homecoming just last week. My Mom blessed him and took him shopping and he just looked so handsome....even though he was looking at the wrong photographer and what a beautiful date he had.
Okay...let's get to our book study.
CHAPTER 3: WHEN I FEEL LIKE I DON'T MEASURE UP
Anything in blue is a quote from the book.
Starting this chapter out, Lysa shared a story that happened to her just last year which she refers to as the "great brownie failure of 2008".
Lysa was making brownies for her children's school bake sale.
Turtle brownies with caramel swirl.
Cut up and packaged in individual baggies.
Lysa would carry her baked with love brownies to school in a wicker basket.
Lysa was proud and would surely look like a doting Mom to the other bake sale Moms.
Three minutes left until she had to leave to take her kids to school when she remembered.
These turtle brownies had nuts in them. Lots of nuts. And there I was standing over individually wrapped brownie number 97 listening to my daughter's reminder that our school is, in fact, a peanut-free school.
Then she had to make that dreaded phone call to the bake sale coordinator to tell her that she could not count on Lysa to bring brownies that morning.
No shining star. No Really Good Mommy Award. No ooohs and ahhhs over my rectangular wicker basket filled to the brim with the deliciousness known as turtle brownie. No happy, proud kids elated with their mom's efforts.
When my 15 year old son Aaron was in kindergarten he played t-ball. Wasn't really his sport as he would draw in the dirt during the game. One hot summer game I was watching my son draw as his teammates ran after ground balls when Skyler's grandma Ann asked me what I brought for snack.
Ann was assigned to bring the drinks. Which she had in her cooler.
And I was assigned to bring snacks. Which I had completely forgotten.
I told her I was going to run to the store and would be right back.
Fortunately, she had reminded me before the last inning so I had plenty of time to make myself look like a prepared Mom.
When I got back I asked her if I could put my brown paper bag in her cooler until the game was over.
It was so hot and after the kids told the other team "good game", they all came running full speed toward Ann and I.
Ann, who had handed me my bag and opened her cooler so the kids could see her display of icy cold pop.
Aaron was so excited and rushed up to my side as I pulled out two boxes from the bag.
A shriek of excitement rippled through 12 little boys when they saw the picture of the snack on the box I was opening. I'm sure one boy even patted Aaron on the back as if to say,
"you have the coolest Mom ever".
This would be one of those "what was I thinking" moments in my life.
I opened the box and started to hand out the cute yellow treats.
Happy, yellow smiley faces on a stick.
Or in my case,
white wrappers dripping out yellow melted smiley face popsicles.
All down the boys' hands.
Who did not have smiles on their faces.
I was horrified.
Ann started laughing. Hysterically.
And the boys just held their sticks staring at me.
And most of the parents did too.
WHO but Lelia Chealey takes popsicles to an outdoor game in 90 degree heat as a snack?
Oh it was so sad.
I kept apologizing to the parents and each child and just like Lysa, I received no Good Mommy Award.
Then I took Aaron to wash his sticky hands and get some Dairy Queen.
In the grand scheme of life, this was not a big deal. I realize that now. But in that moment, it felt huge.
Suddenly I was overcome by a tidal wave of memories recalling many other events in which I'd fallen short. The more I let my mind free-fall into the pit of negativity and shame, the more disabled I felt.
And that's exactly where Satan would have loved for me to stay. That's his daily goal, actually. If Satan can use our everyday experiences, both big and small, to cripple our true identity, then he renders God's people totally ineffective for the kingdom of Christ.
Wow. Did you hear what Lysa said there?
If Satan convinces us that we are nothing but failures, he wins.
Because he knows nobody who believes low of themselves will allow God to use them.
Lysa goes on to tell how Satan delights in our feelings of inadequacy and he wants to help us stay there.
Satan wants us to start questioning God when we feel like failures.
But instead of questioning the One who is always adequate and asking
"Why doesn't Jesus work for me?"
Lysa began to ask
"How can I see Jesus even in this?".
How does she do that?
Because for me, I can get so fixed on what I did wrong that I can't see anything else.
I never thought of looking at my situation the way God showed Lysa to.
So, how does she ask herself
How can I see Jesus even in this?
The only way I can ask myself that question is when I pull back from the situation I'm facing and separate my circumstance from my identity.
One thing that drives me nuts is when people talk about teenagers getting pregnant and how they've ruined their lives. I've told my daughter over and over again that this can enhance her life. Yes, she is a 19 year old with two little girls under the age of 2, BUT what would happen if she stepped back from her situation and asked herself
"How can I see Jesus even in this?".
Separate her identity from her failure.
That is exactly how Lysa saw Jesus in the brownie let down.
Lysa learned much from the nuts in the brownies that day.
She saw that she is not identified by her failures.
She became more intentional about being prepared for school events.
She did a heart check and to see what her intentions of volunteering really were and whose approval she was seeking.
And she learned that God never intended for us to rely on others for our sense of well-being. Only He is equipped to provide that.
Mrs. T ended the chapter with telling us that it's a matter of the heart and encouraged us to not rely on others to complete our joy. Because we will never measure up.
I have to rest my heart with Jesus only.
Remain in Him.
Stay faithful to keep His commands--even when I want to yell and scram and pitch a fit over nutty brownies.
Then my joy will be complete.
Not because I got an award or measure up in everyone else's eyes, but rather because I am secure in the fact that God loves me and must have had some good reason for allowing the great brownie debacle!
Oh, how I wish I would've learned that lesson with the melted popsicles.
But God's timing is so good, because now I get it.
Right on time in case I get assigned to take snacks to Alivia's gymnastics class.
Next week: chapter 4: Beyond Sunday Morning.
If you have something on your blog to share, please put your link in the comments section. I have to head out the door to take Gene to Omaha for his