Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Christmas Cactus

Isn't this amazing? I bought this at a church rummage sale. An old man named Judson Wright, a World War II vet, cultivates these in his green house and uses them to raise funds for his church.

It blooms three or four times per year and as you can see, not just at Christmas.

Nailed to the Cross

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

I often stand in awe of the writing ability of my dear Internet friend Debra from As I See It Now at One of the things I most admire about precious Debra (as all of her loyal readers do) is that she is so transparant, even in her struggles in the Christian life. I wish that other writers, published and bloggers alike, could have Debra's courage. She took a little bloggy break recently as she struggled a bit and then shared honestly with us all when she came back.

Instead of writing that I wish I had her courage, today I will share my struggles, even though I don't really have the courage to do it. I'll do it scared and uncomfortable anyway.

I struggle constantly with my sinful nature. Not only do I beat myself up about past mistakes, made both before and after accepting Christ, but also for simply stupid, confused, awkward and less-than-perfecft things I've done.

Deep breath. For instance, I have been tortured for years about being in a bookstore with my husband. He was wearing cowboy boots, jeans, and a red plaid shirt. I was absent-mindedly looking at a book and we had gotten separated in the stacks. I suddenly came across Bruce, seeing him out of the corner of my eye and took his hand. Only it wasn't him, it was some other guy dressed the same way! I've suffered agonies after that for 22 years.

Or the time in junior high-school, self-conscious goober that I was. I was balancing my lunch in tupperware on my pile of books when it fell to the floor, where the top flew off and splattered all over three of the cool kids. Agonies over thinking of this for over 30 years.

Sins I commit and have committed torture me. Not that still, small loving voice of God telling me I have done wrong, but the shrill, obnoxious, convicting voice of the Accuser of the Brethren. Thinking about something silly I've said that came out wrong. Musing about what someone else meant when I perceived that they had spoken harshly. Frequent thoughts about not being good enough or cool enough or pious enough.

Yesterday after church, I was listening to praise music by Selah on a CD and heard the lyrics I've listed above, from the old hymn, "It is Well With my Soul." I'd never heard that verse listed.

Suddenly an A-HA moment! It is all nailed to the cross! Sins before accepting Christ, as well as after. Not only sin, but my shame, my embarassment for being an awkward teen and an awkward grown woman. My pain of often feeling as though as I do not fit in, that I do not measure up. All of it...nailed to the cross. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul!