Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Remix - Yet another top ten list (kinda)

Everybody's blogging about their reflections on 2008, their new year's resolutions, or how they're not going to make any new year's resolutions. Me? I gave up quitting. I'm going to a party in a few hours, I need to finish my laundry that I somehow managed to get sidetracked from (shocking, I know), and I need to touch up my roots so I don't show up at the party looking like I'm wearing a festive skunk hat on my head. (I'll give you a minute to get that joke.......)

The point is, I don't have TIME to write a new post. So I'm gonna punt. The following is a post that I wrote way back in June. Since I had a loyal following of approximately 5 readers back then (including my husband and myself), I figured it would be new to most of you. It's my pseudo-new year's resolution post. Happy New Year, Don't drink and drive, and Gee, your hair smells terrific! See you on the other side!

Have you read Boomama's blog? If you're female (especially if you're a southern female), I think it's worth a visit. I don't read it as often as I would like to, but she always makes me laugh. Last month, one of her posts was Twenty things that I will never do. It's really funny, and many things on her list would be on mine if I were to write one -- both of us share a strong aversion to clowns. No offense my clown readers, but you guys just freak me out.

But here's the thing. I strongly believe that when we say "I'll never do that", we often condemn ourselves to do exactly what we say we'll never do. I think the Apostle Paul has a pretty good angle on this one in Romans 7:15-20:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no the evil I do not want to do -- this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Paul's pointing out a few things here:

  1. Knowledge is not the answer. Before he understood what the law demanded, he was okay. Once he understood this concept, he knew he was doomed.
  2. Self-determination or willpower doesn't succeed. He was doing things that even he found unattractive.
  3. Becoming a Christian doesn't alleviate our struggles with sin and temptation.
  4. Being born again requires a moment of faith, but abiding in Christ while allowing Him to abide in us is a lifelong process.
  5. We should never underestimate the power of sin, or use or sinful nature as an excuse. We are responsible for our actions and we need to remember that the enemy has already been defeated. Jesus conquered sin once and for all.
  6. God's provision for victory over sin is the Holy Spirit that lives in us and gives us power. When we fall, He lovingly reaches out to help us up.

I learned a long time ago to never say never because you just don't know what plans God has for you. If you had said to me five years ago that I would leave the church family that I love to start another church, I would have been very tempted to say "I'd never do that." Again, God has the game plan, I don't. Here's a little list of things I said I'd never do before I completely grasped this concept:

  1. I'll never date anyone I work with. (Dated and later married someone who, while wasn't on the same payroll, was hired to work with my company.)
  2. I'll never date an engineer. (See Number 1.)
  3. I'll never use the television as a babysitter. (Yeah, right. We're all child experts BEFORE we have kids.)
  4. I'll never spank my kids when I'm angry. (If you wait until you calm down, sometimes you confuse your kids because they forget why they're being punished. Okay, maybe I'm justifying my bad behavior just a bit.)
  5. I'll never clean my kid's face with a napkin that I've spit on to get wet. (This grossed me out when my mom did it, but sometimes that's all you have.)
  6. I'll never be a stay at home mom. (Before I had kids, I couldn't separate my self worth from what I did for a living. Kids give you a whole new perspective on value.)
  7. I'll never lose touch with my childhood buddies. (Sadly, our lives went in completely different directions. I still cherish those memories, but I don't keep in touch.)
  8. I'll never forgive (insert name here) for (insert injustice here). (The true gift of forgiveness is that it releases your burden, not theirs. Jesus knows what He's talking about.)
  9. I'll never drink tequila again.
  10. I'll never, EVER drink tequila again. (No really, this time I mean it.)

So with a new understanding of this concept, I've updated my top ten list:

  1. I'll never have rock hard abs and buns of steel.
  2. I'll never have the perfect "wash and go" haircut.
  3. I'll never have a pool and spa with a great covered patio in the back yard. (Ron, honey -- do you still read my blog?)
  4. I'll never work a healthy diet and exercise routine into my busy life.
  5. I'll never get my house spotlessly clean, professionally organized and immaculately decorated.
  6. I'll never go to Australia and/or New Zealand.
  7. I'll never hear "Wow, I would have guessed you were closer to 30 than 40!"
  8. I'll never let my 6-year old eat Sun chips out of a bowl for breakfast while sitting on the leather sofa watching "Wow! Wow! Wubzy!" (Okay, nix that --it just happened. SEE WHAT I MEAN?! It's almost scary when you think about it!)
  9. I'll never truly die to my selfish desires and live a life completely sold out to Jesus.
  10. I'll never be able to use this blog as an avenue to reach out to those who have never accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I'll never be able to communicate that God wants them back, that nothing is too dark, too shameful, too horrible that it cannot be wiped clean by the blood spilled at Calvary. I'll never be able to convey the insanely beautiful, gut wrenching, life shattering peace that is the Gospel of Christ.

So. There's my top ten list. Do you have one?


Helen said...

Hi! I missed you! That was pretty clever the way you inserted the improbable as stuff you'd never do, hoping it would happen.

I'll never be able to fit in my prom dress again! Now let's see if it happens. If it does, I've been trying on clothes at Goodwil, because I gave that thing away years ago. I figured even if I lost the weight, when would I have the opportunity to wear a white dress with red ruffles and huge red roses again? No, unfortunately that is not my sense of humor, that really was my dress!
Have a great day!

katdish said...

Wow Helen. That dress sounds, um, craptastic! I wish I would have saved the 20 ugly bridesmaid dresses I wore. Every one of them the bride thoughtfully picked out because you might be able to wear it again, you know, for Halloween or something! I think I smell a new blog entry!

JML said...

AMAZING post! I may have to rip this off someday. Totally kidding, but I think it's that good!

Kris said...

maybe we should have a 'wear your old prom dress/ brides maid dress to church day.


Jeff said...

Okay, so guys get lucky when it comes to wedding/prom attire. You rent the tux. You wear the tux. You return the tux. Very nice.

So, I submit to you our version of the old prom/bridesmaid dress: the company softball uniform. Typically evoking feelings that challenge even the most diplomatic:

"You're wife chose the colors? No, she's right- fuchsia will get us noticed."

"I suppose you have a point. Red polyester coach's shorts are, in their own way, a timeless look."

"Well, that is a great deal- you really saved some money going this route. But do you think it will be confusing since every shirt has the same number on it? No, you're right- that will get us noticed."

katdish said...

I'm so pleased that my deep, heartfelt (and fairly well biblically researched, if I do say so myself), post about allowing God to be in control of our lives has inspired my friends to talk about ugly formal wear and funky a** polyester baseball uniforms. I'M THE ONE WITH A.D.D HERE! (Well, Jeff most likely, too. But I'm trying to rant.)

Jake - You're off the hook. You know we're totally cool.

And Helen, we don't really know each other that well, So I feel I need to tell you that I'm totally kidding -- which you probably know -- but, just in case.

As for Kris and Jeff: Talk to the hand!

For everyone else reading these comments: Really sorry about using that pathetic "talk to the hand" expression. Thank you for reading my blog. Please come back.

Bridget said...

Huge smile : ) No talk of ugly formal wear! Great read!

Kris said...

ed read your post lat night and laughed out loud. your post was great, but you left yourself open for the formal wear comments.

is your hand clean? ;)


Kris said...

one more note. i too said i would never stay home with kids. i also said i would always make my own money. these are the biggest 2 that were proved wrong in my like. i stay home with two and homeschool them. am i crazy? i do not bring any money into the household (this used to stress me out). also, i am married to a man who is on commission (this used to and sometimes still does make me crazy). sometimes i think God has a sense of humor when it comes to our lives and how He sees fit to shape them.


Helen said...

Yes, I know you were kidding. So am I, sort of. Just in case, I wanted to put it out there, you know.

Stephanie Wetzel said...

The Festive Skunk Hats... That'd be a good name for a band!

I'll have to think about my "never" list. I feel a post coming on...

Sherri Murphy said...

I didn't realize you had posted a new post- it did not come on my feeder thingy!
Did Steph @ red clay put the feeder thingy curse on you?

I did enjoy it BTW!

Anonymous said...

1) I'll never finish school or get my degree. (Theology)

2) I'll never find a church accepting of a woman pastor.

3) I'll never fullfill my potential as a faithful follower of Jesus Christ.

Broke out in a cold sweat typing that. Might be more worry there than I thought.

Mary Ann said...

hmm...good stuff to ponder.

I think I might journal about my own top ten...just for fun. You've got me thinking. I really like to pretend I have enough control over my life to predict the things I would never do...regardless of the fact that I've already done so much I never thought I would have done like:

1. moved to africa
2. confronted the people I fear the love
3. become a public speaker (i used to be soooooo that surprising or no?)
4. wear a dress or skirt everyday for a year (blegh.)
5. mess up in a huge, unpredictable, no one would have ever imagined, kind of way.

So much to learn...

really...great post.

gonna go journal now. thank you.

*didn't show up in my feed either :(

Kris said...

i read this first time i skipped it

anyway, i gave you a shout out on my latest post

i saw your hubby and your preacher yesterday. they were at the house. so good to see them both. we need to get together soon

much love and happy new yr.


Helen said...

Hi Kathy. This is a good one to reprise for the new year. Good things to think about.

Anonymous said...

Your feeder thingy still says the old post on it.

WHat's up with that?

JML said...

SKUNK HAT!!!!!!!! Great visual. :)

katdish said...

Mare - your top ten list of things you thought you'd never do would probably be my "Dear God - please don't ever ask me to do" list. Now, just cuz I typed that, I'll probably have to eat some random animal innards.

Oh, and the feed thingy isn't broken. I didn't know how to republish the original post, so I just edited it and changed the publish date. That's why it's not showing up.

Helen - rereading these comments reminded me of your rosy ruffled prom dress and cracked me up all over again!

Jake - What was up with the groovy profile pic way back in the day? I always wanted to ask you about that, but I didn't want you to think I was rude. Is that you or some random flickr pic?

Anonymous said...

Of course you'll have Buns of Steel. All you have to do is buy our video.