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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Naked Truth

"After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground and he planted a vineyard. One day he drank some wine he had made and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers." -- Genesis 9:20-22 NLT

When I first became a Christian, I was fascinated by this passage. I mean let's break this down... God has decided that the entire human race is wicked "and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all of the time." In response, He is going to wipe out every living thing on the Earth except for Noah (and as a bonus, Noah's family). And I'm thinking "wow!! Imagine being the most favored person on the planet. Imagine being the ONLY person on Earth that God will spare from this catastrophic event. This Noah dude must be a seriously righteous guy."

And just as God said it would, the flood comes. And with the exception of Noah and the fam every living thing is destroyed. And after the flood Noah comes out of the ark and makes a pleasing sacrifice to the Lord and everyone is happy and moves on, right? Nope. The next thing that happens in Genesis 9 is crazy... in this very next account Noah, the most favored man on Earth, is drunk and running around naked in front of his children. WHAT??? This is the most righteous guy on Earth? This is the only dude worth saving?

It took me some growing up in my faith but I finally came to realize that God did not save Noah because he was good -- he saved Noah because he was faithful. Because Noah, flawed and sinful as he was, loved the Lord with all his heart and trusted that one day he would send the promised Messiah. That's it. Saved by faith alone.

WAY, way too often lately I've heard comments along these lines... "Shelly, we are so in awe of you and your family and your adoption. You are such an amazing/incredible/inspiring [insert other adjective of your choice] family." And I can promise y'all that we are not. We are just like any other family. I am often impatient and selfish. I'm sometimes lazy. When I'm tired and cranky and stressed I can even be downright mean. I may not get drunk and run around naked in front of my children but I'm every bit as imperfect as Noah. And yet, in His mercy and grace the Lord is able to use me anyways. He can use you too if you'll allow Him.

Y'all have probably heard it before... God is not looking for ability. He's looking for availability.

I promise that you could spend 15 minutes in my home and easily discern that I am not some kind of super-mom, ultra-Christian, Mother Teresa with an extra large heart. I'm just a regular old gal. Adoption is not for super-heroes, it's not reseved for those who are specifically "called"... it's just for anyone who's willing.

So for those who think I might be this super-mom, Mother Teresa lady, let me let y'all in on a little secret...

That's not me in the middle of this pic. I am the taker of the picture. That's Maggie. Or as my new ones call her... "MahGHEE!!!" Oh, Maggie. She is the baby/child whisperer. She typically sits for me once or twice a week and my children ADORE her. This month.. she's sitting every day. Yep. Every, single, day.

For now I have someone coming to clean my house every other week (yes I know I advocate against this service on my very own "tips" page on the corner of our blog... but desperate times call for desperate measures), I have a friend grocery shopping for me tomorrow and I think I have someone bringing me a meal every night this week. We're busy. We're crazy around here. But we're ok because we have so many friends willing to hold up our arms. Not because we're awesome. Bless y'all! 


sara said...

So thankful for community!! Greatful that you are being loved and cared for so well in this crazy time...love how many people are serving!!

Jane said...

Thank you for your honesty! It must be hard, just like if you had new born twins- just because they are older and can feed them selves and sleep through the night doesn't mean that it is any easier . Maybe harder then new borns, you got busy pre schoolers who are learning new and amazing things each day.

We are called to be faithful, but we are not to be alone in our faith, we have the body of Christ and as the body we are to help each other, encourage and if you can't ask for help then the body is falling short. Hang in there - it will get better and just like my friends who have twins, you will look up one day and say , this isn't so bad, we are getting the hang , we are going to be ok!

Mandi said...

Oh Shelly, this post is so helpful, so uplifting is the honesty. You restore my heart belief that my availability is all He needs. The enemy seems to remind me daily that my ABILITY is never going to cut it to adopt the 2+ children I've had on my heart for over a year now. We are relocated now with my husbands job (as of Dec 23rd :), and I open my hands again to the Lord again to say, now Lord? is now our time to adopt? Blessed by your post.

The Fruitful Family said...

I'm laughing out loud!!!! Love this post - you are such a modern Noah-type! (watch out for Dan and King you-know-who!) And I just love you for it!! Love Maggie also - what in the world would we do without her??? That is such an awesome picture of her and the Crazy Kids! Totally worth framing! Thank you for your honesty....it blesses me! Love you, girl!

Chasity said...

Beautiful words and heart. God loves you flaws and falters and all...just wanted to tell you that because I KNOW we all need to hear it sometimes! Praying for you, Dan and all of your babies.

Connie Miller said...

All of us moms try to be super mom at some time or other because we love our kids and family so! It's only in Christ's strength that we are able to do what we do. And we have a choice how we use our time, ability, resources, and gifts. That's where you are an inspiration and encouragement to us. If you can do, then maybe I can to (maybe not adopt 2 children, but I can do other things more relevant to where I am in life with what I have). Thanks Shelly for just being you. Let's all just be who we are, who God made us to be, touching the corner of the world we have for His glory.

jenna said...

Thanks for your honesty in this post - so refreshing! I can totally relate too as I've got someone cleaning my house right now, people making us dinner, and friends watching my kids. I'm so thankful for the body of Christ and how the Lord totally helps us in our weaknesses. So happy you are all together as a family of 7!