Looking Beyond Myself

It has been a long few days at the Jones house.  Maybe even a long few weeks.  In case you have missed it, it is WINTER time in Ohio.  And it has been crazy.  We have had lots of snow days and even “too-cold-to-go-to-school” days.  

And when this happens, I will admit, I get crazy with cabin fever.  Yes, I often get to go to my job on these snow days, but even being out of the house for 3 1/2 hours doesn’t cut being cooped up at home with three crazy kiddos who are always “bored”.  

This last round of winter weather brought ice and with ice usually comes downed power lines and very cold houses.  I will let you in on a little Jones family secret– I don’t like being cold in my own home very well.  I have witnesses who could tell some great stories about that, but we will hold on to them for another day…

So yesterday I woke up super thankful that our home was one of the lucky ones who did not lose power through the night.  But I also woke up cranky because I have had a nasty cold for three days.  So I stayed in my nice warm home and worked on Blizzard Bags with my children for most of the day, while I watched on Facebook about all my friends whose homes were struggling to keep power.  

Yes, I did the right thing and offered that they come over.  No one took me up on that… but who would want to do with nasty cold germs infesting my home.  I also offered that some go to our church to get warm there.  But all in all I stayed focused on the fact that I had a cold and I was super cranky.  Doesn’t sound very Jesus-like, does it?

This morning on my drive around the block to work I saw this… 


In this moment I realized how truly blessed and thankful I SHOULD have been yesterday.  This little accident is right behind my home.  And yes, there is a power line that is ALMOST down.  But praise Jesus that it isn’t.  (I can’t even imagine how bad my attitude would have been if I would have been COLD with my COLD.)

But that brings me to what Jesus spoke to my heart this morning… “Grace, sometimes you can’t look beyond myself.”  Sometimes I just stay so focused on my needs.  Like yesterday, I really needed to get rid of this cold because I am too busy to be sick.  And I really needed my children to be quiet little angels because I had a super horrible headache.  And I needed them to finish their Blizzard Bag without much help from me.  And I really needed my husband to get home so I could go to bed…   When really, all these things that I thought I NEEDED are not what wanted me to be focused on.  

He wants me focusing on His Kingdom and what I can do to help further it.  I have kingdom work to do right here in my home— raising three children that God has blessed me with, helping them work on school projects with a good attitude and with minimal unglued momma moments, honoring my husband and doing things to help him when he is out at work, encouraging friends and helping neighbors.  

This week the verse I am working on for #TheJesusProject is pretty simple and it speaks directly to my cranky attitude from yesterday: Do whatever He tells you.  John 2:5

So I guess the next time that there are effects of WINTER all around me, I need to look beyond ME and see God’s Kingdom and what He is telling me to do.  I hope you will do the same- eyes wide open, palms turned up, ready to work further God’s cause.  



(for more information on #TheJesusProject, go to Ann Voskamp’s website.)