If you're anywhere close to my age (us young whippersnappers...) you fondly remember Lisa Frank and doing everything in your grade-school-power to get a hold of everything she produced. Trapper Keepers. Folders. Stickers - lo, the stickers! Everything was beautiful and peaceful and fantastic, and chic! So chic! It didn't matter that unicorns aren't real; plastering them on our school supplies gave us renewed hope and energy!
But those images did nothing to actually help us in school. Those pictures and ideas and dreams didn't do anything to help us study, or keep us focused. They didn't do anything to help us pass our tests, or drive home the importance of education. We got all-things-Lisa-Frank because it was what we wanted. Any folder would have held paper the same way, but we wanted the unicorns. We wanted the rainbows. We wanted the stickers. We wanted to be cool like everyone else. And because that's what we wanted, that's what we got.
Lately I've been convicted of living as, or being, a surface-level Christian. I pull out a verse or two, but throw a whole lot of "God is" and "Jesus is". I serve up a lot of spiritual potatoes without the meat. I want to apologize to you, and repent of shallowness. Lately in the words and fruit of Little Miss, I've realized I need to be a more intentional parent with regard to my faith. I don't want her thinking church is a thing we do so we can get Taco Bell afterward. I want her knowing and believing church is a place of fellowship that furthers us and encourages us in our way of life, and in our way of worship. I don't want my kids to walk away from faith later in life because it lost entertainment value. I want it to be what they live, not what they do because their parents do. I want it to be my life. My reflection of His work in me. I want them to see Him, at work, through me, daily. Moment by moment. Not just on Sunday. Not just one day when they pull up my blog and think, "Wow, Mama sure did talk a good talk..."
The truth of the matter is, being intentional in my faith - especially as I try to sort out what my faith looks like after losing Harlynn - is hard work. Some days it's more work than I want to put forth. So I sit and say, "Okay God...show up." And He does. But then instead of delving deeper, I accept it, then replicate it, strictly at surface-level. I don't dig deeper. I don't seek the root of His fruit. I talk a good talk, but it has no depth. I've become content with my complacency. I've become comfortable in my stagnant position. This is a scary place for any Christian to be. Yet here I sit.
I've been Lisa Frank-ing my faith. Adorning it with stickers of fanciful flare, I focus on the appearance of what I want my faith to look like, rather than the contents of what it actually holds. Look at my Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper! But don't dare open it. It's a mess in there, and I don't want you to see what might spill out.
As I close in on the last few days of this 31-Day journey, I want you to know, I have done a lot of reflecting. In my quest to feed your souls, I've been led to examining mine. I started this journey with the arrogance of thinking I needed to do this for others, when the reality is, I'm the one who needs to delve deeper. I'm the one who needs to live out the implications of the words I minister with. I need to live out loud.
Day 22. It only took nearly a month for me to realize. While I believe everything I've said in previous posts to be truth, I believe I wrote it all with an arrogance of exempt-ness. Do as I say not as I do. Trust God because I say so, but that's all I'm going to say.
One of the many reasons I love our church home so much is because they take the Word, and they base all things around it. Sermons, activities, fellowship - everything begins with scripture. They don't choose a sermon topic and pick verses to support it, they choose scripture and unpack it in a sermon. It's time I get on board with doing that myself. It's time I stop living at the surface, hold my breath, and dive a little deeper. Stay a little longer.
No more unicorns and rainbows. No more Lisa Frank-ing it. So hold on, because I'm about to open up my trapper-keeper, and sort out the mess I've stuffed inside.