Dying to Self

by Funhog Family on August 4, 2011

Our story is about a family of seven with five little kids setting off on a challenge to see and adventure in all 50 states, making family the adventure and relationship the journey. This is only our story, our message is much much more. The following two passages of scripture are our message:

Malachi 4:5-6See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.

Luke 1:17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

God called me to take my family on the 50 state challenge, because He knew it would take something of that magnitude to start turning my heart back to my children. For me, this could not happen while I was spending the majority of my time focusing on my work instead of my family. I need the real, in your face, life that this trip provides. I was and am looking for those struggles that will humble me, build my character, and make me useable. The following opportunity just occurred and I pray that God uses it to change my life.

A Sleeping Beauty

It is the middle of the night and I awake to the screams of one of my children. Her default mode is screaming to anything that frustrates her. This time the frustration is her sleeping bag, which she likes to zip up all the way and sleep on top of. The problem comes when we have a night cool enough that she wants to be inside the sleeping bag. Drugged with sleep, she is unable to crawl into the sleeping bag in the dark. So, in my frustration, I react with harsh words delivered without any compassion or kindness. What eats at me is I know better. Even in the middle of the confrontation, I am aware that I can interrupt my reaction with a thought and turn it into a response. I intentionally continue in my disobedience to Christ and lash out at my child in my frustration. Her response is a learned one, one that I teach every day when I willfully choose living for myself over laying down my life to serve others. How much I have to learn!!

How do you die to self? After my very un-Christlike reaction, which I will have to humble myself and apologize for (again) [in the morning], I lie awake begging the Savior to help me. I desire with all my heart to get it right. I want to be like my namesake, David(my middle name), a man after God’s own heart. Like David I am a broken vessel, but I know that I can be used by God in my brokenness, if I can just allow Him complete control over every aspect of my life. To do this I have to die to self. My own selfishness and pride are what must be sacrificed. Lord, please do whatever you need to do in my life, to remove all my pride and thought of self. I know I can not do it without You, as all I end up doing is having to apologize again and again for my failures (which are many). I want this to be about more than words, I am seeking complete brokenness, so that I may be useable to my family and to my Savior. Start with me Lord, turn my heart back to my children and my disobedience to the wisdom of the righteous. Make me and my family a people prepared for the Lord.

 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan Levin August 9, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Amen, Brother!!

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Funhog Family August 14, 2011 at 3:07 am

Thank you for the encouragement Dan! May we all grow through each others experiences.

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Sandra Dorris August 10, 2011 at 7:20 am

What a good reminder.

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Funhog Family August 14, 2011 at 3:04 am

We all need the reminder and often (especially me)! That is why God keeps me up at night to help me remember.

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