October 22, 2010

The One with the Joneses

I have to be honest with you. 
I'm not perfect. 

I know, I know. 
You're shocked. 

But it's true. I'm not perfect. I struggle all too often with uncertainty and inadequacies. Kevin could attest to how frequently I'm worried that I'm not doing my best or that I don't match up to so and so or that maybe, deep-down-inside, those people don't approve. I know the Truth and it's in the process of setting of me free, but in the meantime, I wanted to be real. 

I believe I'm called to a life of ministry. I want to be a wife who lives her days building into my marriage. I want to be a mother who teaches her children to love the Lord Jesus with all their hearts. I want to be a servant to the poor, the broken, the hurting. I want all people to know that the reason I lead small groups, bake delicious meals, clean my house, hug my (future) children, snuggle with my husband, play the piano, open my home, or laugh with friends is all for the glory of God. He is the very reason I take this next breath. My life is His instrument--to be used however He desires. 

With that said, I want to admit that I battle these lies in my heart. "Why aren't you living to your full potential? You could be doing SO MUCH more! Why aren't you working full time and ministering at the church and taking care of your home? HUH? All those OTHER women can do that--why can't you handle it? You should be contributing to your family finances--get off your lazy butt! Why do YOU get to make your own schedule, work from home, spend tons of quality time with your husband when so many women do not have those luxuries?" 

There. I said it. I'm a "comparer." I'm certain that I'm not good enough, not working hard enough, not living life according to the American standard. 

But wait. That's just it, isn't it? I'm comparing my lifestyle to the ONE (the only one) set up for 21st Century American Women. Work full time, be a full time mom/wife/homemaker, volunteer in the community, work in the church, exercise daily, eat right, make balanced meals for your family. People, this is CRAZY! Or at least it is for me. I have complete respect (and even awe) for the women that can handle that lifestyle and live it all for the glory of God. That. Is. Incredible. But I have to be completely honest--I am NOT that woman. And every single day, I have to be reminded by Jesus himself that that is okay. Because it is. 

I know I could go to work, I know I could do that job well, and I would be helping out financially. But I am convinced that God has called me away from that. He has called us--Kevin and Melanie--to live completely dependent on HIM. If I were working, we wouldn't "need" His help. We'd be doing just fine. But our lives are to be a testimony of God's provision, protection, and providence. He has a plan for us--a brilliant plan that we cannot imagine. (I'm *SO* excited!) The more control with give over to Him, the simpler our lives will be. Surely, God's plan will be done in the end despite the crappy decisions we make along the way. But what if we stopped making the decisions? And waited for His voice on where to take the next turn. 

It's kind of like taking a map with you on a trip when you have a GPS announcing your every move. The whole point of the GPS is to not have to worry. Everything is under control. Even if you mess up and make a wrong turn because for SOME REASON you decided to take the route into your own hands for a moment, that trusty GPS will reroute you again and again until you've reached your destination. Taking a map along for the ride is saying, "GPS, I don't trust you. I think I might need a backup plan." 

Speaking from experience, I will always take a backup plan with me when using a GPS. They have failed me time and time again. But Jesus has NEVER failed me. And He promises He never will. Making my own choice, creating my own plans, bringing in reinforcements is shouting "I DON'T TRUST YOU, GOD!" But the Lord says,  
"Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, 
       who rely on horses, 
       who trust in the multitude of their chariots 
       and in the great strength of their horsemen, 
       but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, 
       or seek help from the LORD." (Is. 31:1)
       "Surely this is our God; 
       we trusted in him, and he saved us. 
       This is the LORD, we trusted in him; 
       let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation." (Is. 25:9)

SO. I will take a stand against the devil's schemes of comparing myself to the rest of the world. I will live a life worthy of the calling I have received--even if that's a totally different life than the world's mold for me. Jesus has not promised an easy life, which is why I have to stop thinking about how my life is weird compared to everyone else. He has set me apart and demanded that I stop conforming to the world. We are all created with individual purposes. We are Christ's body which requires hundreds of different functions. I will live confidently in the path marked out for me, trusting that my God will meet all my needs according His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Look to Jesus, Mel. End of story. 


  1. Really good, Mel, REALLY GOOD post! Lately the Lord has been whispering Galatians 1:10 to me over and over...

    Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

    and for me, sometimes the approval I'm trying to seek can be my own self-assessment...you know??

    Thanks for this post!

  2. /applause. Thank you for being honest enough to admit what the rest of us are feeling. And it's not just women. Us guys feel it, too.

    'cause I'm swamped. I'm to the point that I don't know where I'm going to find the time or the energy to take the next breath.

    But then I remember that Jesus is here and holding me together. He is all I need, and my life, too, will be a testimony to His power, mercy, and love.


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. If you want share directly with us, feel free to email kevin.melanie@gmail.com