Generation Cedar

We are creatures of control.  Beings given to making lists, planning ahead, and anticipating the future.  I think we were made that way, and those things have their place.  But we make a mistake when we too carefully plan our “life list”…

The title asks, “What’s wrong with Christians?

If you ask most Christians to make a list of priorities, they would start with “God” as number 1.  “You gotta put God first“…sounds right.  But it’s not.  God can’t be compartmentalized…who do we think we are?

God must consume–encompass, our list.  In fact, the list must really be His…only scribbled in pencil with our hand, ready with eraser.

When we were redeemed, we were given a new nature, and were commanded to continually crucify the old one.  That old one that wants to remain in control….to clutch our list tightly to our breast, and raise a fist if the order gets rearranged or disregarded all together. But we still struggle so, don’t we, with “Your ways are not my ways, nor are your thoughts My thoughts…”?

We don’t live “God-consumed lives”, where every bullet-point is surrendered to His will and purpose.  We still fidget to fit God around our agenda, neatly tucked in the right places and smoothed out of the way of others.

But once we do–if ever we get there, surely it is the sweetest place of peace and joy one ever lived.  Just to know that “all is well” even if it’s not.  That I no longer have to wring my hands over this decision or that, because every ounce of myself is wholly given to only one thing…“In Him, I live and move and have my being…” Acts 17:28

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14 Responses

  1. Kelly,
    Many Blessings to you.
    Hope you’re getting your rest.

    I hunger to hear the Christian masses and ministers talk about what’s right about being a Christian.

    from Kansas where the buffalo roam.

  2. Amen. It’s easy to say “God is in control” when it’s something that “I” want Him to control, like giving me lots of babies, but not so much when it comes to things like my attitude (me? an attitude?). I have so much to learn…and so much to let go of. Thank you for this!

  3. Thank you Kelly. I need your help. My husband and I are contemplating a vasectomy. (This post about planning things, made me want to ask you this stuff). We have a two year old and a six month old right now. I get REALLY sick when I am pregnant. Can’t get off the couch sick. I am up eating at 3 a.m. to stop myself from throwing up through out the night. (hence the 50-60 pound weight gain.) You get my drift.

    Is pregnancy easier as your kids get older, in the sense that they can help me and others. What about homeschooling? Do you think it will be impossible for me to do when I am sick 9 out of 9 months of pregnancy?

    I know you are super busy. YOur reply can wait as long as needed. Thank you for any help you can give.


  4. Great post. What’s that old saying about, “Man plans and God laughs”? I feel very blessed that I learned that at a relatively young age. My first son, when I was 22, was born at 27 weeks. All of my plans were ruined – not to sound harsh , but just being honest. Financially it was a catastrophe. Dh took jobs he didn’t really want. We ended up renting a house from my parents because we couldn’t afford a regular apartment. We sold and pawned stuff. My chubby little dream baby was a skinny little baby that I couldn’t hold for weeks after his birth. I became very humbled because I needed so much help from others in the hospital and out of it. Once home, there were surgeries and therapies and a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Not my plan lol. That beautiful child is almost 11 years old now, walking and talking, and driving me up the wall like any preteen. There are still therapies and slowness and I still bathe him, help him dress, cut his food, BUT he is doing great and has taken me on a different path then I ever would have chosen for myself. When my oldest was 4, I finally got my chubby full term baby after a few miscarriages, and I haven’t gotten pregnant again. Not using bc but not “trying” for any more kids either. Whatever God sends me I will take. 🙂

    Anyhow this ended up being long, but knowing not to count on anything has made me a much more relaxed person. Honestly, it is all in God’s hands. I still get anxious about things but I have a living reminder daily in my son that God will see His Will done, me worrying doesn’t change anything except get me upset. Me planning things in stone isn’t anything but wasting my time. I can petition the Lord, bring my plans and hopes to Him, but truly, What can I achieve out of my own will?

    Thank you for your wonderful blog!

  5. Kelly, as I dropped of our church intern at morning prayer at 7, I thought about making a list of the things I’d like to get accomplished today as well as a shopping list. How funny (or not) was your post. What a great reminder to make sure it is His schedule for me today, not mine! At the beginning of the summer, I made a huge list of all the things I’d hoped to fix, wash, polish, scrub, or steam clean. It was only 2 weeks later that I asked God if He wanted me to do all the things I wanted to do. His answer was “yes”, but how sad that for two weeks I was doing WHAT He wanted, but not HOW He wanted it done: in total submission. Thank God for redemption…

  6. I love that verse “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” 2 Cor. 5:15 Rather than seeing this as a command I see it as an explanation of the freedom I have. I am free from seeking what I want from life and from others. If we are not seeking what WE WANT, then we aren’t disappointed. We are free – free to be thankful and free to be open to any possibility.

    Your Ellia is beautiful. My youngest just turned five and I am a little jealous of that soft round one you get to hold and smell every day. God BLESS you good.

    To Mrs. LaPierre: I know your request is made to Kelly, but if I may say something. Please don’t make such a huge decision based on negative expectations. Your bad experiences are in the past or right now – but our Hope is in the Lord. You don’t know if future pregnancies will be bad. My first two were full of sickness and my third was a breeze – I can’t imagine not having my boy. We put our trust in God and His provision and not our own understanding. The Bible says “boast not thyself of tomorrow for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth”

  7. Katie,

    Mrs. Santos said it well, and I would strongly reinforce her advice–to not base the future on present or past circumstances. (Note: I had a friend who was deathly sick with her first 2 pregnancies and doctors almost insisted on a vasectomy, which they decided to get. Years later, hearts were breaking over that decision and they had an expensive reversal. They have had 3 more beautiful children and virtually NO sickness during those pregnancies!)

    My thoughts on a vasectomy are pretty strong…while I believe there may be a time for couples to prayerfully delay pregnancy, I think a radically “cutting off” of the ability to bear children is, well radical, especially if it’s done apart from a life-threatening condition. Just my opinion.

    Another thought…even if it’s that some women simply suffer more than others during pregnancy. I’ve known women who are on bed rest the entire pregnancy, or on an IV to keep from dehydration, etc…I think precious lessons can be taught through suffering (kind of like my birth story?) I’ve written before on the “mission of motherhood” that sometimes it involves intense suffering, much like other types of missionaries experience, or like Paul and many other saints of the past have experienced. (God has never asked His followers to base their decisions on how much suffering is involved…)

    I guess my overall point is that if we believe children are a blessing and God has placed that in our hearts, we have to be very careful about using suffering as a gauge for our decision to turn down more children.

    I want to be sensitive to what I know must be so difficult for you, and still give a realistic angle to what Christians are sometimes called to..i.e. suffering.

    Does that help at all? And by the way, yes, if your heart is after obedience to the call of motherhood, He will equip you for whatever tasks are at hand. It may not even look like what you think it should (homeschooling may be children piled up beside you in bed for a season, bonding, reading, praying, singing, talking, etc…) but that’s where the words of this post come in–His agenda always succeeds in a life totally surrendered to Him! BE ENCOURAGED!!!

  8. Yes, God’s ways are certainly not mine.

    I half-jokingly refer to myself as “Nebuchadnezzar” because I believe that when I get too full of myself and start fretting about temporal things, God does part me from my sense of sanity until I am ready to settle down and admit I really am not in control after all.

    I love the part of John’s Gospel (and 1 John) which focuses on “abiding” in Christ. We are not to run ahead of Him nor drag our feet behind but instead to make our home “in” Him. I have a lot to learn in that respect…

  9. HI Kelly, thank you so much for the encouragement. And Mrs. Santos. It is definitely easy to forget in the valleys what we know at the mountaintop. At the mountaintop I know any amount of suffering will be worth human life. It’s not the suffering that is my biggest concern. It is letting my house, husband and children fall by the way side because I physically can’t get off the couch. I must remember, His grace is sufficient!

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