Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mother's Day--Late

WARNING!! THIS MAY BE LONG, but I think its worth it...

A bit of a back story to start. On Mother's Day Matt and I went to Roanoke to visit my family. We went to my parent's church service and the pastor asked a question: What advice do you remember your mother giving you while you were growing up? My mom looked at me as if wanting me to speak up... I did not say anything, but as I sat there in the pew I couldn't help but think, she told me "Remember whose you are. Remember who you are." I'm a little fuzzy on which one it was at this point, but I think they coincide...

So, I want to give a shout out to my mom (Mishna to some, anonymous in the blog world to others)... this phrase did on some levels and had the potential to on other levels to determine my actions as I left for my nights out in the Noke... but, today as Jeff preached in Colossians this phrase came back to me...

Who do I say that I am? Whose do I say that I am? Why does this matter? The difference between what I do determining who I am, and who I am determining what I do is huge! This has implications on so many levels...

First on an initial level: How do you get to know someone? For example, I met someone new today (she sat in front of me during service and then we saw each other later in the afternoon). As we started talking we caught ourselves asking... "what do you do?"... both of us referred to the fact that that was an ackward question, and we would just like to know something interesting about the other person. So, how do you start conversations and how do you answer initial questions without sounding like a freak. Maybe I just need to risk sounding a little odd...

Second: If who I am determines what I do, I need to learn about whose I am so that I know more about who I am... I am a child of God. the more that I learn about his character, the more I can understand myself and determine the actions to take

third: One thing I have learned through years of therapy and consistant reminders is that, even if I "did" nothing else, God would still love me because of who I am and not what I do. I need to sometimes just rest, be still, and know that he is God and I am traci. Jesus plus (nothing)!

But, I don't feel comfortable just staying there. This could be due to my lack of ability to rest, or it could be due to the fact that when I learn more about who I am and whose I am, I am pushed to take my contemplation into action, allowing my heart to move my feet and my hands... I hope that I ask I walk, I am walking with the feet of Christ and as I act, i am acting out of grace

I could continue to list more and more implications of this simple statement: Remember whose you are, remember who you are. But, I'll stop here and and ask: Who are you? Whose are you? Maybe we can learn from each other.


Bernie said...

Great thoughts, Traci! A while back, someone (probably a pastor) encouraged me to stop asking "What do you do?" when meeting people, so I started asking, "What is your dream?" Usually, I get some funny faces, but then people really seem to enjoy answering this question, and I learn an awful lot about them and what God is doing in their life. Sadly, some don't have an answer, and then I hope that my question has perhaps sparked an important train of thought for them.

And thanks for reminding me that God loves me no matter how I do on all these papers I have to write before leaving Fuller. I'm really glad it's not a performance based system!

- Bernie (...or Ber-Ber if you speak Hannah-ese :))

Anonymous said...

traci- it's okay you didn't speak up!! i was having a hard time remembering any advice i gave you myself. it was 'whose' you are. When i was growing up my mom used to say "Be true to yourself". that was cool if i was true to my 'best' self but not cool when i was true to my 'worst self' then there was the whole thing of not knowing myself anyway!!
so remmember 'whose' you are was something i did not think about until i was a young adult when i realized that seeing myself as a (unique and loved)reflection of our Lord was the only thing that was going to pull me out of the place where i was thinking about my flawed 'self' all the time.
Freedom from that bondage is one of the most precious gifts the Holy Spirit has given me.
Another precious gift is reading how you have integrated this in to you whole life and being. I LOVE MY DAUGHTER!!

Ber Ber.. I like the 'what is your dream?'let's keep thinking about opening questions. One friend of ours will ask'what surprised you about...? or what was your high and low of that experience, trip etc.?

corey- i'm waiting for your treatise on 'chop wood and carry water'. i didn't aay that to traci as much cause she didn't need it in the same way, and i didn't say 'remember whose you are' to you as much cause you acted like you knew it already!!!
what are some other 'mother advices' out there! love, mishna and anonymous