Friday, January 16, 2009

It's against my nature

So, being direct has never been something I've been gifted at being. Should I want something you'll often find me, setting the stage, giving the background, defending my request that hasn't even been "requested" yet! Ask my husband. It drives him crazy.

It could sound something like this (me speaking to Eric, my husband).

"So, remember back when I told you about Lucy and the thing she was going through with the kids and how it was affecting her job? And then she had this other thing happen in her extended family. Well, now her husband had this work thing, which then meant she had to miss this fun thing, which now means that the time she and I had set up to meet can't happen. She's really upset and disappointed and I really think that she needs a friend right now and it's been on my heart to reach out to her.... It's just so sad. I've been praying for her and hoping I'd have a chance to encourage her."

(blah blah blah ad that the right word? hmm... spell check doesn't like it!)

Then he looks me and says, "So you should hang out. Call her, get together."

ME (*feeling satisfied and a lil sheepish that my ploy worked*), "Really? Thank you, that'd be great. I mean, I just think that she could use a friend and it's been a while since we got to have a heart to heart w/o kids running around or talking on the phone w/o having to deal with the madness of the kids running around like maniacs...." blah blah blah

TO which he says, "All you had to do was ASK!"

That's just ONE example of the countless ways I can figure out to delay "asking" in hopes that my husband will just "figure it out". It's a LOUSY way to communicate and it's equally unfair to both parties! Not only does it put him in the position of trying to "Read b/w the lines" (of which MOST men will tell you themselves, they are LOUSY at it!!!). They weren't made to read our minds, they weren't meant to have to decript our messages. And honestly, as women we send them such tremendous mixed signals, that even if they COULD read our minds, can you imagine the mental breakdowns they'd have, trying to keep up with us?! LOL Just look at that last sentence! Women, probably followed me, men, perhaps not! hee hee

I am striving to have more boldness in my requests to my husband! When I need to run out in the evening for something, after a hard day with the kids, I just ask. When I have a ministry obligation, I run it by him, directly. Instead of giving the 6 different reasons I need to be there, I just say, "Hey, I'm needed _________ and will that work okay with our schedule? It'd mean you'd need to cover the kids and do bedtime." To which, I kid you not - - 90% of the time, it's not a problem! He appreciates my more direct approach and doesn't feel manipulated into saying yes. I haven't fed him the "emotional sale". I'll still often want to explain the why even after the "go ahead" has been given... which, sometimes he still looks at me with this, "It's FINE, I already said YES" kind of look. LOL Isn't it just like us women, to wanna have the details and give the details! (*NOT* always a good thing as it can so easily lead to gossip and "chatter" but that's another topic for another day!! :) )

In the same way, God doesn't want us tip toeing around our requests to him either! And yet, we do - don't we? I know I do. I will speak in vague terms and not be specific in my prayers.

Matthew 7 says to be DIRECT with God. Out of the Message again (matthew 7:7-11)

"Don't bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn't a cat and mouse, hide and seek game we're in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn't think of such a thing. You're at least decent to your own children. So don't you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?"

So, why do we NOT ask for exactly what we want?
~shame that we're asking for things we WANT and not things we NEED?

~fear that he won't give us what we want?

~perhaps fear that he WILL give us what we want - and then we have to live with the consequences - whether those good or bad

~lack of depth to the relationship. We see Him like our drive thru "Go to guy". I'd like wisdom, with a side of mercy, and i'll take some everlasting life .... oh and can you biggee that too for an extra $10 bucks that I'll throw in next week's offering plate!?!"

~distractions - life's so busy we're lucky if we get a "hey God" in all day, let alone lay it out on the table what our needs are.

~assuming he just KNOWS already and what's the point in saying it all. (and yet he DOES. we were MADE to be in relationship with HIM. he desires our conversation and our affection in a deep, incredible way - unfathomable to me.. yet true! he wants to HEAR our cries and comfort us.... to meet us right where we're at, broken, joyful, thankful, in despair,'s TRUE he KNOWS our thoughts... but to have a relationship work, takes 2 sides putting in the effort! I think we all know that when our relationship with the Lord is lacking, it's not b/c he's stepped away. we have.)

~the assumption we can just handle it on our own (yeah? how's that goin' for ya?! LOL)

God WANTS us to lay it all on the line. TO boldly come to him with our requests. To not approach him un with uncertainty and fear. Ephesians 3:12 says we can boldly come before HIM with CONFIDENCE! In the Message it uses this phrase "When we trust in him, we're free to say whatever needs to be said...." When we fully TRUST Him to give us what is BEST for us, we can ask with all kinds of freedom. Knowing He has our best in mind, KNOWING He will supply.... and with WHAT we need, WHEN we need it.

Like Matthew 7 said, we'd never intentionally with hold goodness from our children out of evil intentions. We want their happiness, yes. But most of all we want their safety, their lives to be blessed, their hearts to be soft toward the Lord and their spirits to be giving and loving. Sure, we can't/don't always give them what they WANT. But we see the big picture. We see how 2 steps down the path, that choice would be destructive.

God sees the whole picture. Trust in today's "frame" and know that it's a snapshot on the adventure and that as each day unfolds, so does HIS marvelous plan for our lives. And ASK to your hearts content for the things that you desire. In the process, examine your heart and your motives and then truly just lay it out there before him. He will answer - one way or another. And when he does... TRUST it.

SO... in a practical way - how am I praying specifically these days?
Here are a few to get your brainstorming on how you can to.

1. God would give me good deals at the grocery store on the needs and that at the end of the month, I would have left over in my grocery budget.

2. I am praying for my husband, in very specific ways - a soft heart for the Lord, integrity at work, a joyful spirit with his co-workers, a playfulness with the kids, understanding for me (his crazy wife!), and more...

3. For my children: that they would be hungry for the Lord, be eager to learn and soak up stories and think about how it applies to their lives. That they would be selfless - NOT selfish. That God would grow them individually and that they would committ to following Him and using their lives for His glory.

4. For myself: that I will continue to earnestly seek Him. Ask him His opinion, be silent and listen for his answer. that my friendship with the Father would grow and deepen, rooting itself in a love that can never be shaken or moved. That i would be SLOW to anger.... and quick to LISTEN to my family. That i can bless my husband and honor him infront of my kids. That they would see a united team. And that I keep myself open to whatever path God would call me down.

Go make yourself a list. :)


L.L. Barkat said...

God sees the whole picture. What a comfort that is to me.

Welcome, btw, to High Calling Blogs.