Bowing the Knee

by frazzledmama on March 1, 2017

For the last few years, I have been struggling with my flesh.  Okay well, technically my whole life I have been struggling with my flesh, but the last few years have been a very specific struggle. 

Material possessions.

I never really had huge dreams of grandiose estates and luxury vehicles…until I hit my 40s.  I began to see one friend after another building their “dream house” while I remained fixed where God had provided.  I watched as in addition to the dream house they got the new cars, and they began to travel more.  And day after day I climbed into the Big Blue van which was beginning to fall apart.  And I asked the Lord what have I done wrong??? Why are You with holding form me these things that You are giving to others???   

Mr OverKill and I would talk, look at houses and look at cars, but we both kept coming back to the same conclusion, the Lord was telling us to wait.

Then, the van broke down and because he was so busy with work, it took 3 weeks for Mr. OverKill to have an opportunity to fix the van.  During this time I drove what the kids affectionately call the “Dadillac”  you know like a Cadillac but not.  Anywho, the Dadillac is quite old, and quite leprous looking, yet extremely comfortable to drive…..Talk about deflating my flesh.  

When the van broke down we started seriously shopping for a new vehicle.  Mr.OverKill wanted another 12 passenger van and I wanted a Suburban.  Quite different opinions on vehicles, no?  As we talked and prayed and debated one thing became clear, Mr. OverKill wanted to buy something either brand new or with a warranty on it as his time is becoming more filled with business responsibilities and equipment for repairing newer vehicles cost almost as much as the car itself!

Twice we were headed to dealerships to buy 12 passenger vans, and twice the vehicle sold before we could drive the 2 hours to get there.  I began to think that perhaps the 12 passenger van wasn’t what the Lord had in mind for us, which was fine by me.  I started looking at Suburbans again, and conversion vans, and anything that looked remotely cool.

And I continued to struggle.  And the Lord continued to convict me.  I KNEW what He wanted me to do, and I was fighting Him. All this time Mr. OverKill wanted  to get me something new to drive, but the Lord had not given him the go ahead, and he couldn’t figure out why. 

A couple weeks ago,  I asked the Lord to change the desires of my heart.  I asked Him to literally take away my desires for all these earthly things that I thought I wanted and replace them with His desires.   That weekend on a whim we started looking at minivans.  MINI vans???? Really????

One of my biggest contentions for wanting the suburban was the cargo space.  We NEED cargo space yall. So I started googling which mini van has the most cargo space.  (If you want to know it’s Toyota)  In fact, this minivan had only 1 cubit foot less cargo room than a Suburban.  Say What????

So we drove down to our local dealer and took a look at them.  Sure enough, they have a TON of cargo room, it’s just more horizontal than vertical.  We test drove the most basic model and I have to tell you, I was NOT impressed.  Neither was Mr. OverKill.  But for some reason we kept coming back to this minivan.

This was my attitude about the minivan, “Fine I’ll drive it for two years and then we’ll get something  else.  I don’t love it, but it is nicer than what I had and it will be more dependable.”  Not a great attitude.  Definitely not an excited attitude….what a brat!

Our anniversary was fast approaching and we were headed out of town for the weekend.  That Wednesday I finally realized what a brat I was being.  I finally came to terms with the root of my issue about not getting the car I wanted….and it really wasn’t even about me, it was about what everyone else would say.

Middle school much????

But that is the long and short ugly truth of it.    We weren’t going to “look” a successful as the Jones.  It’s a miracle the Lord didn’t just smite me!

This is what the Lord had said to me continuously when I asked if I could get a Suburban, He said, do you really want to tie up all the financial blessings I have given you on car so people will think you are successful?  What if Bubba goes away to school next year and calls you with a financial emergency and you have to say, “Sorry son, I can’t help you because I drive a Suburban.”  The Lord also reminded me that some boast in chariots(or cars) but we boast in the Lord Our God.

And so here is my lengthy blog post, finally coming to a conclusion, and boasting in the Lord MY God. 

Thursday I woke up with a new attitude about the minivan.  I was….excited about the minivan.  I didn’t care what people would say when they saw me in a minivan, I was just….Content.

Thursday morning, as Eli was seeking the Lord in prayer about our vehicle situation, the Lord told him, this is what I want you to do.  I want you to buy a brand new minivan for your wife.  I want you to put $XX down on it, and you should pay no more than $XXX for it.  I will provide.

Friday morning came and we headed out of town for our anniversary.  We decided to swing by an out of town dealer to see what they had on their lot.  As we drove the hour to get there, I shared with Mr. OverKill the struggle I had been having, at which point he shared with me that the Lord had not given him the go ahead to buy me a new car until Thursday morning….after my attitude adjustment.  I got teary eyed and apologized to Mr. OverKill for being the one who was causing the delay in an answer from God because of my attitude.  Mr OverKill told me about how the Lord had given him very specific parameters in which to buy this new car. 

When we arrived at the dealership they had the model van we wanted, but it was pearl white.  I kind of had my heart set on red, but they didn’t have a red one.  Of course the dealer was anxious to sell us something so they were doing their thing, and we were trying to figure out what to do because their price was higher than what the Lord had given us.  I decided to see if there was another dealership on our way to our final destination for the weekend.  There was!  And they had a red one!!!!   I called them up and told them we were literally at another dealer, looking at the same car, but I wanted red.  Did they still have the red one?  Yes.  What would they do on the price?  They came in $500 higher than what the Lord had given us.  Then I had one of those lightbulb moments where I remembered my sister telling me that we might be eligible for a family discount because her husband works for the same brand dealer.  She asked and we got a $400 discount!  So that brought the price down to within $100 of what the Lord had given us.  Mr. OverKill looked at me and said, “Remember what Uncle Don used to say?  ‘God is a God of precision!’  Call the dealership with the red one back and see if they will lower their price by $100.”  They did!  So we walked out of the dealership with a “salsa red” minivan for the price the Lord had given.  Later that weekend as we were checking out our new car I realized that we hadn’t even considered the fact that we had bought a foreign car.  How un-American of us!  So we checked the sticker and it was built in Kentucky….guess when???? November 2016….the same month we started looking for a new vehicle. 

Isn’t God neat?!?!?!?!

I am convinced he orchestrated the entire thing! Then, He asked me to share this all with you.  Which has been hard, and humbling, and now I’m not incognito around town…..

van 1

van 2

But it’s okay because the Lord has given me an awesome story to share about His provision, and how He wants to bless us.  He has given me a very real example of how resisting the Lord does not lead to contentment, but when we bow the knee to His will, our hearts will be full of joy.  And He has asked me to share this struggle, even though I am ashamed of myself, so that maybe it will be encouraging to someone else to know they are not alone.

How many blessings have I missed because I simply would not bow the knee?

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The Meditation of My Heart

by frazzledmama on February 1, 2017

Have you ever just gotten stuck on a passage of Scripture….for like your whole life?  A couple weeks ago if you asked me that question, I would have said no.  And then our Bible study group came upon Psalm 15.  And there it was, the passage of Scripture that won’t leave me alone.

Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

He who walks uprightly,
     And works righteousness,
     And speaks the truth in his heart;
 He who does not backbite with his tongue,
     Nor does evil to his neighbor,
     Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
 In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
     But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
 He who does not put out his money at usury,
     Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things shall never be moved.

Psalm 15

I can remember pondering this year as a young adult, and as a new parent.  Even now, as an…old parent (would that be right) this chapter of Scripture pierces me through the heart.  Usually with a new dagger each time.  Last week it was verse 2, “He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart.”  Insert dagger here….

Speaks the truth in his heart, well let’s make it personal, in her heart… in my heart.

Do I speak the truth in my heart?  Sometimes. But other times I entertain thoughts that wouldn’t fall under the category of truth.  They would fall under more of the “I can’t say this out loud, but boy let me tell you exactly what I think of you in my mind.” Or maybe it would fall under the “I am SO unattractive…I wonder if my husband still….” Often in my heart is the anthem “You are not good enough!  What do you have to offer that person?  Nothing!”

Our hearts are a battle ground between the flesh, the enemy, and the Spirit.  We’ve chatted about that before. But I must continue to remind myself of this important truth, the heart is where sin begins.  The Lord has been so gracious and kind to us to reveal that truth to us several times in His word.

James 1:14-15 says But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

Did you see it?  We are tempted when we are drawn away by our OWN desires.  Where do these desires begin?  In our heart!  How easy it is to overlook what is going on in our hearts and minds, yet this is where it all begins.  I believe that this is one reason why the Lord had given us the exercises we need to strengthen our mind against attack. 

Philippians 4:8 says Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Imagine if our hearts and minds were simply stuck on non-truths…stuck on lies!  How despondent our souls would be without the truth in our hearts!

This week, each time I realize my heart is not full of truth or kindness, I am praying over myself Psalm 19:14…

psalm1914

I want to redirect my thoughts each time they wander into dangerous territory. This verse is so powerful!  You see we can’t win the battle in our mind in our own strength, but only by His strength.  He is the guard of our mind, and will help us to become more and more like Christ in our heart, so that the meditation of our heart will be acceptable and we may dwell on His holy hill.

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Intentional

by frazzledmama on January 24, 2017

This word has probably begun to annoy my children.  But that’s ok.  I can deal with it. It’s something I am working on personally, so of course it is spilling over into their lives as well.

Last year I felt like my life was a little out of control.  My calendar was dictating my life and all of our activities.  Good things….awesome things…but I began to feel a bit like a robot…or a chauffer..a roadie even.

So the Lord has challenging me with a few things this year, one of which is to be more intentional with life.  I remember near the end of her life, Mr. Overkill’s grandmother telling me that she was still learning to “number her days.”

So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Numbering our days does not mean to count them, but rather to assign, appoint and prepare. Dare I say, to be intentional?

So here I am, with my lists in front of me, “numbering” my days…and trying to be intentional.

Intentional to serve my Lord, and to love on those He has placed in my home and on my path.

Psalm 9012

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