Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Great Pumpkin

This week we undertook pumpkin carving at our house - the twins' first time.  I haven't carved a pumpkin since I was a child and forgot (or never got involved in) the hard work that it requires.  And of course, God used something as off-the-wall as pumpkin carving to teach me about what He's doing in my life.

You see, gutting the pumpkin is essential before it can be carved.  The very first step is making a hole in the top of the pumpkin; this requires cutting through the skin (if that is what the outer layer is even called) and the guts all at the same time.  Once the hole is cut, you pry the top off, ripping out pumpkin innards in the process.  Then you have to remove all the goo, strings, seeds and guts.  It takes scoop after scoop to get all of that out.  And then there is still work to do... you have to scrape the inside shell of the pumpkin to get it smooth and remove all of the actual pumpkin!  And each time you scrape some away, more strings and pumpkin guts appear.  It's layer after layer of removal until you get to the smooth inside.  (You get where I'm going with this right?) 

God's been gutting me like a pumpkin!  And He's down to those final layers trying to smooth me out.  First came the most painful part - removing the very first part of me - cutting through the tough skin and the guts all at the same time and then prying it away from me.  Then the tedious job of removing the squishy, easy-to-reach guts and finally, the scraping and refining. 

I agree with Lydia - pumpkin carving stinks!
I feel confident that the most painful, gut-wrenching parts are behind me and I'm onto the smoothing.  For example, I asked this week for Him to show me things I still need to work on.  And He convicted to put away my cell phone when my kids get home from school.  They need my undivided attention and reading texts during that time is not giving them that.  I have all day to text and respond.  They deserve a couple of hours of dedicated focus.  It's not a sin to read texts with kids around and I didn't do it excessively and that's not what God was saying; but that's just one little thing I feel like I can do to make improvements in my life and my children's lives.  Another area was resting.  I have NEVER in my life been one to rest - EVER.  If I wasn't at 110 mph then I felt like I was standing still.  But I realize now that I have to rest, we all do.  He built rest into our make-up.  It's ok to take a moment and regroup and recharge.  I'm better off for it and He is showing me that, without guilt and without anxiety.

Back to our pumpkins... once we had the inside smooth and clear, the kids got to create some great designs for all to see.  They meticulously worked on those pumpkins to make a cute kitty cat and a Saints fleur-de-lis. 

And that's where God is going next too.  He'll finish me off with a beautiful "design" for all to see.  A mark of one who has been gutted.  I know friends who show beautiful markings with their lives and I know the experiences they've gone through that left them empty, able to be a blank canvas for God's intricate handiwork.  When I meet people in the future who wear a beautiful design on their lives I will know that they have gone through the painful gut-wrenching process of being carved out!  What a great opportunity to show God's love and grace to the world.

Deuteronomy 8:2-10
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.

Medical News
I haven't had a great week.  I've been really dizzy, rocky and groggy.  I'm pretty sure it's my body adjusting to the medicine (or maybe it was turning 40???).  A friend who has taken Zoloft and my pharmacist friend both confirmed that it will take 2 weeks to get the chemicals in my brain "normalized" and used to taking it and then it should all even out.  So, I'm about 3/4 of the way there!  Please keep praying.  I still have weeks/months to go and I am asking to be prayed ALL the way through this.  I'm asking because I would not have gotten this far without all of your prayer and support.  I sincerely thank you!

1 comment:

  1. As always Nicole, you use such great parallels. You have such a gift with the written word. Praying that things level out and you begin to feel normal and ready to roll! Blessings to you!