Monday, July 9, 2007

Well, It's been a few days since I could get on the computer. DH has been busy doing paperwork on it, so I've hardly come near it. Well, if he doesn't do his paperwork, people tend not to want to pay, so I'm happy for him to do it.

Though there isn't any scarier question then "Have you seen such and such a receipt..I left it on the bookcase..." Argh. Neither of us are organizational types and we both hate bookwork. It's not good when you both have the same weakness and you don't balance each other out.

It has been hot here and getting hotter tomorrow. I start counting the days until October about now.

I don't know what it is but I have really been struggling with being tired. Not sleepy but just not wanting to do anything. Oldest daughter thinks I still have the end of that flu. I don't know. I've kind of got the blues I guess. Wish I could snap out of it because it makes everything a big effort. And have I mentioned I am teaching three little boys how to read? I think that homeschooling these boys is going to bring about a lot of sanctification in me.


Another aspect of our church odyssey was that I really hit a wall when I had 5-6-7 children. I could not keep everything going right at the same time. Up to this time I thought if "I" did everything right, if "I" home schooled, raised them biblically, followed the model of godly womanhood (And I was more sure about all that entailed then.) then my children would turn out to be the wonderful saints of God that I wanted to see them be. But I really hadn't come to acknowledge fully my own sin nature. It wasn't long in each day before I blew that whole thing. And if my children would be saved if I behaved in a perfectly godly way, then what is the converse of that? I was getting really very hopeless. Actually, I was doing worse and worse because the hope of attaining that sort of spiritual platitude was getting less and less. It was that the standard is wrong. The standard is right. My judgement of my failure of the standard was right. It does no good to try to get around the law. It always trumps you in the end. The problem was me. Is me. Always has been me.

That was when I began to have some conversations about Calvinism on a discussion board. I had never really thought about the doctrines of grace, or that theology was all that different from one church to another or anything like that. (Other than the Catholics, obviously, and the Mennonites, which I also investigated.) But these people on this board were arguing so passionately about it. I can't even remember how I was drawn into the discussion. But my goodness-frankly, it got a little heated. I felt like they were accusing me of being intellectually dishonest at one point. Well, that got my back up. I figured, "I can be wrong. I'm not afraid to admit I am wrong. I just don't see that I am at this point."

We lived in a trendy sort of Portland neighborhood at that time, near a trendy sort of bookstore. It was the type that was more likely to have books about Gandhi than Christian stuff. But it did have a really wonderful children's' section and I liked to go in there a lot. And once I "happened" to find _Chosen by God_ by RC Sproul. I didn't even realize what it was about when I bought it. But I read it. And after I did, I really had no further defense against Calvinism. I wasn't happy about it though! No, I was mad. But I figured if it was true, it was true. And there's no arguing with something if it really is true. But I pouted for about a year.

Finally once as I was mulling about it I felt God speak to me. "Your children's' salvation. Shall we leave it up to them? Or shall I decide?"

Now that was a thought to think about. That could be really scary. Yeah, I think God had better decide that. I mean, if He decides, then He has the power to bring it about. If they got to pick, who knows what could happen?

I didn't know it, but the doctrine I most fought against was the same one that held so many answers for me to finally find peace. I realized that God wasn't always ready to drop me if I blew it "one more time." That I could come to Him again and again and He wasn't going to run out of grace. That He had chosen me and that He was committed to bring about my sanctification. Instead of thinking that I could have small bits of good days with the inevitable gravity of sin to pull me back down, instead I saw that godliness would be my norm and that even if I did sin I wouldn't stay there because His irresistible grace would bring me back out. Also, I would always feel so helpless praying for others, especially if they showed no interest in God. But then I saw that the power was not in man's free will, but in the will of God. God is not free until He bumps into a person's free will and there we limit Him, but we are free until we bump into His will. He is the final say-so, not us! What a wonderful hope, because He is all good and we can trust His will.

Well, that ruled out Catholicism, then. Also the Mennonites. We did visit a Mennonite church for a hymn sing once, and I truly did enjoy it. But my husband at that point would never wear pants. Even in the dead of winter. But they are Armenian and now I knew we couldn't be Armenian.

So still...What to do, what to do.


Marbel said...

What did he wear - a kilt?

That reminds me of an amusing experience I had in Freddy's recently. I was in the clothing area near a rack of summer dresses - the loose, flowy kind that are in style. Two women in tight short clothes walked by. One of them flicked at the dresses and said "these look like what those Mennonite chicks wear."

Just the combination of "Mennonite" and "chick" made me choke.

Anyway, great post. I love reading about the spiritual journey of others. I wish I knew how I came to be a Calvinist. I have to admit I just sort of followed my husband. Now why am I almost embarrassed to say that?

Susan in Elk Grove, CA said...

Hi Kerri!
Took me awhile to get to your home the Monday after the wedding and have been go-go-going ever since. I've been feeling rather droopy and blah lately, too. Weird.

kerri said...

Susan-We've been droopy and blah too. There has been a bug going around the church, you probably took it home with you. Don't those bugs know it is summer? Give it a rest already!

Marbel-I would have had a very difficult time not laughing out loud at that conversation. :)

Dh always, always, always wore shorts. Carharts. Always.

We had to dig a pair of old Levis he had for roofing out the basement to go to the hymn sing.

Joyce said...

Dear Kerri,
I came to your blog from a link on Mrs. Darling's blog.

I can tell from this post that I'm going to really enjoy what you have to say. When the Lord teaches us, we get taught, whether we like it or not! :P

I hope you feel better soon!

Joyce Taron :)

Amy said...

I don't think I have ever seen Rand in long pants, lol.

I love reading your story about how you found RCC. I know it wouldn't be the same without your family. Come on already and give us the ending.

MamaK said...

My hubby is a shorts-wearer, too. It must be funny to people who think it always rains in the NW that some folks wear shorts year-round!

Marbel, I snorted out loud at the conversation you overheard. I think I would have done the same if I'd-a been there!