Confronting Sin

Confronting Sin

I am not going to lie. This blog post idea came to me really fast, and I figured I better write it down now while I have the courage and it’s clear in my mind.

Confronting my sin is not easy – I don’t believe anyone has an easy time facing their negative qualities of themselves, but this is something that I feel like I need to share. Maybe it will help you. Perhaps you can relate. Perhaps I am alone. No matter, here I go . . . 

While I was writing my book, I was spirit-led. I was filled with the Holy Spirit – I was constantly in the Word and felt so close to God. I was on fire for the Lord!

Then the book was published.

A few months after it was published, I had some big spiritual attacks and doubted myself so much. I have felt so negative and down about who I am and became very open to Satan’s attacks. 

I wasn’t in the Word. 

Instead, I was following very “loud” Christians on social media that were altering my perspective and thus made me very critical and loud as well. Looking back, I probably came off very “high and mighty.” Not always, but in some situations and conversations, I can see that now. 

Suddenly, I became so aware of every little sin I was doing and others that I became so negative and critical.

My spark was gone.

My smile was fake.

I felt depressed, critical, sad, angry, and nothing like the person who wrote about how God had remarkably worked in her life. 

I felt like a fraud.

Fast forward to today . . . in my BSF study, one of the first question boxes out the gate was, “David ended Psalm 19 with a prayer for his life. Write down your prayer for this year.” 

Without hesitation, I started writing and didn’t even think. I just wrote. In my prayer, part of my writing was ‘humble me.’ After I wrote that, I paused and instantly regretted it because I knew in my heart that I didn’t really want to see what God had in store for humbling me.

Shortly after that, I was faced with a sin that needed to be called out, though it was hard to hear. I had admitted and saw it in me, but when someone else lovingly says it, oomph. It’s hard. It’s humbling.

I am still a work in progress, but I am starting to see the light again. I pulled away from God and others. I withdrew.

I was pulling away from God, but God was still there, waiting for me to return to Him. And I am. I am not where I once was, but I am slowly climbing out of the valley and headed for the mountain tops. 

I am still being refined by my Master Potter Himself.

“Sometimes we’re on the potter’s wheel and we know why. Other times we are on the potter’s wheel and we don’t know why. As far as we can tell, we’re doing everything we can to serve God and to do His will. But then, without any warning or explanation, we feel the pressure of the potter’s hand as He is remolding and remaking us.”

https://pastorterryblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/sunday-sermon-the-potter-and-the-clay/

In those humbling moments, I remind myself that the Potter is still working the clay. “Perhaps it is in those moments of brokenness that the Potter is able to gently fashion the vessel into something beautiful for His glory.”

I am still being transformed and continue to grow. I know I have much refining to do, and the Potter has a way to go with me! 😉 One thing plaguing me the last couple of weeks was doubting who I am. I kept questioning my personality, how I interact, and how I do everything – and then it became instantly clear. I am focusing so much on ME and less on HIM. I was critical of myself and very negative and then realized that, yes, some change needs to occur, but it is not all about me. When I turn my eyes to God, everything changes. It is about Him. 

So that is where I am. I am a child of God and looking to Him, and I am still being refined and have much growing to do. 

Anyway, I hope this openness and vulnerability helps you or someone else. I pray that those I have hurt or been too harsh or rubbed the wrong way – that you forgive me and know that I am still a work in progress and will be until God calls me home. I feel much like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress, and even though I slip and fail, by His grace, His work does not depend on my invincibility. 

In this past lesson of BSF, this note stood out to me:

“Satan aims his attacks on believers at specific times and points of vulnerability. Our enemy flings accusations at us with precise cruelty, but he cannot steal the permanent shelter given to us by our God Most High.”

AMEN.

I need God. 

We need God.

He is sufficient.

Take me, mold me, use me, fill me
I give my life to the Potter’s hand
Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me
I give my life to the Potter’s hand

(Darlene Zschech)

One Final Word . . . 

One Final Word . . . 

This past week I fought the flu, and my body wasn’t pleased. While lying in bed, one has much time to think and reflect. And a thought kept occurring to me as I lay listening to my boys play. 

I don’t want to miss it. 

I don’t want to mess this up. 

I don’t want to look back when I am 80 and think about all the should-haves.

Social media has many benefits, but for myself, I have noticed a significant drawback: time.

Blogging, posting, podcasting, and the like take time. I have pulled back from social media many times and have yet to regret that time away. 

Over the years I feel that society has put pressure on women that being a mom is not enough. We must hustle. We must work. We must do something other than just being a mom. But being a mom is the biggest, most important job God has given us. We are physically imprinting and raising the next generation. When I look around at the world now, I think we are seeing the effects of the lack of parenting has had. The negative impact of both parents working full-time, putting off raising kids onto nannies, teachers, daycares, schools and babysitters, the lack of stability and good Christian foundations . . . we are seeing it now. And I don’t want to be a part of it. I want to return to June Cleaver’s time and be that housewife caring for my family. Go back to basics and be one hundred percent present in all aspects of my children’s lives. Cook and bake. Homeschool. Read the Bible together. Not concerned about what to post or how many people ‘liked’ an image or seeing what someone else is doing. 

My direct influence is here in my house. With my kids and my husband. I kept telling myself that I am sharing the Gospel so that is ok to post and stay on social. But I must pay attention to this nudge that it is time to step away. Maybe permanently? I am not sure, but I am sure that I get one shot at being a mother and raising Christian men who respect their future wives and know how to be great fathers. Who will go into the world strong and resilient against temptations and know the Truth. This world is so corrupt and the messages being funneled into our brains and feeds are primarily lies. We are being misled little by little, desensitized more and more. When I am 80, I am not going to look back at my social media and think, well done! But what I will look back on is my time with my kids and my role as their mother. I want to see my boys fully grown with wives and children of their own and know that I did the best I could and raised them entirely focused on them and God. 

I am personally reclaiming my role as a housewife and stay-at-home mom fully and proudly. And to say that most women cannot do that, I think, is a lie we tell ourselves. We just can’t homeschool because it is hard or our kids are challenging. We can’t afford to lose a paycheck. Yet we spend gobs of money on preschool, dining out and coffees, on homes that are out of our budgets, on décor and parties that are only temporary. 

We get one chance. 

Our kids are worth our time. They DESERVE our time and full attention. They deserve a mom who cooks meals for them and reads to them. They are not burdens we are to put off on someone else and just hope they turn out okay. It is our responsibility. God has given us these children. Let us reclaim motherhood and all that it entails. Step back to the 50s role of the housewife and abandon these feminist ideals that we must do it all. That we can have it all. That we can work and raise kids and do it both equally well. WE CANNOT. One will always get out of balance. And where will the pendulum swing? 

I don’t share all of this to make any mom or woman feel bad, but I do hope it sparks a thought. An evaluation. Why are we so busy? Why are we striving so hard for things that are not of great importance? Is it for wealth? For stature? For recognition? What is the driving force behind what we do? I have done it many times and found myself in the wrong place. And thus, why I am back to this same thought of it is enough. It is time to stop trying to busy myself and hustle because I have put this pressure on myself. No one else has but only myself. I have told myself that being a mom is not enough. I must do something else – sell this or that, write this or publish that, blog about this or podcast that. Work or do something more. 

But enough is enough.

I would love to say that this is the last blog post that I write or that my book was the one and only, but I can’t say that or promise that. But I will say that currently, in this stage of my life, my role as a mother is the most significant and heftiest role that I have, and I will do it thoroughly and entirely with no more interruptions. No more social media to distract me. No more things of this world to compete for my attention. For now, I am done.

I pray that wherever you are today, in whatever role you face, you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and turn to Him. Because He is all that we need. 

Blessings to you all,

Lauren


Mercy in the Mess Available Now!

Be God’s Person – Not You be You

Be God’s Person – Not You be You

While reading 2 Kings 17, I was reminded of God’s powerful wrath and multiple warnings to the Israelites. The Lord judged the people of Isreal because they had copied the evil customs of the world and followed their own desires instead of worshiping the one true God.

Recently I have been inundated with messages about false prophets and have been paying close attention to people I follow on social media that are your “big” Christians if you will. I am not going to call anyone out, but I have personally noticed some of these people that I use to admire recently sounding as if they are more concerned with prosperity and self rather than the true Gospel.

Reminder: those that create their own religion tend to live selfishly.

As Isreal learned, to live for oneself brings serious consequences from God.

You can die to self or die for yourself. Die to self means that you take up your cross and proclaim the Good News of Christ, no matter what. Or you can die for yourself – which will end in eternal death.

Determine to be God’s person and do what He says regardless of the cost! What God thinks of you is infinitely more important than what others think of you. Don’t worry about what others may think – I know, easier said than done. But by reading God’s Word and spending time with my Father, I have learned over time that no one’s opinion of me matters more than that of my Father. By not caring about others’ opinions about you, you can turn away from the customs of the world much more easily.

And so, dear brothers and sisters,I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
- Romans 12:1-2

Here, Paul warns Christians not to copy the customs and behaviors of the world that are usually selfish and corrupt. But our refusal to conform must go deeper than that. “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” – only when the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates and redirects our mind are we truly transformed. It is easier as Christians to just avoid worldly customs, but we can still be proud, arrogant, covetous, selfish, stubborn, envious. We have to give these selfish behaviors to God and nail them to the cross – die to self, raise up our cross, and be set apart from the world that values pride, lust and worldly success.

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
- 1 John 2:15-17

What God thinks of you is infinitely more important than what others think of you.

Don’t be “you” – be God’s person.

Be set apart from the world.


Mercy in the Mess Now Available!

Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 30 with Scharlee Glenn | Living Eternally

Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 30 with Scharlee Glenn | Living Eternally

A few weeks ago, I was asked on my friends’ podcast to chat about my book, Mercy in the Mess, and when I was chatting with Emily about the next topic for the podcast, living eternally, she immediately told me that I needed to chat with her mom, Scharlee. And boy was she right! Scharlee is so wise and I loved my conversation with her about living eternally. I know you will, too. 

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© 2022 Lauren Greci

Music was provided for the show by Matt Bowen.

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Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 29 | Love Like No Other – An Excerpt from Mercy in the Mess

Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 29 | Love Like No Other – An Excerpt from Mercy in the Mess

Today I am excited to read a small excerpt from my book, Mercy in the Mess, regarding love. The topic this month is love – and if you missed the last episode regarding loving difficult people, please go take a listen here

Click here for a free LOVE ONE ANOTHER printable.

Mercy in the Mess is available now!

 

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© 2022 Lauren Greci

Music was provided for the show by Matt Bowen.

Did you miss an episode? Here are the last few you don’t want to miss:

Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 30 with Scharlee Glenn | Living Eternally

A few weeks ago, I was asked on my friends’ podcast to chat about my book, Mercy in the Mess, and when I was chatting with Emily about the next topic for the podcast: living eternally, she immediately told me that I needed to chat with her mom, Scharlee. And boy was she right! Scharlee is so wise and I loved my conversation with her about living eternally. I know you will, too. 

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Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 25 | Contentment

Happy 2022, friends! This month we are diving into the topic of contentment. This quick listen is just a glimpse of what we will be discussing this month regarding this topic. It’s a new season and I am excited to bring you content-specific topics this season, special guests and so much more! 

Keep reading

Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 23 with Liz Bornstein

My guest for the Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 23 is Liz Bornstein. Liz is the owner of Fridgefull Thinking, a personal chef service in the North Texas area. She helps so many people and families by creating and crafting delicious meals for families, accommodating all sorts of health issues, allergies and restrictions.
Liz shares why she started Fridgefull Thinking, as well as her own battle with health issues, trauma, and her healing journey. Much like myself, Liz is an enneagram two and an empath and we bonded over many similarities! Her story is encouraging, insightful, and I learned so much!

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Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 28 with Kim Lukas | Loving Difficult People

Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 28 with Kim Lukas | Loving Difficult People

I am excited to welcome back Kim Lukas today as we chat about loving difficult people. We had such a great conversation and we. went. there. I hope that this conversation blesses you today!

To hear my last conversation with Kim, click here

Click here for a free LOVE ONE ANOTHER printable.

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© 2022 Lauren Greci

Music was provided for the show by Matt Bowen.

Mercy in the Mess Available Now!

Did you miss an episode? Here are the last few you don’t want to miss:

Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 22 with Jenn Smith

My guest for the Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 22 is Jenn Smith. Jenn preaches to my soul on this episode and I know she will reach you wherever you are in your walk with the Lord. There are so many nuggets of wisdom that Jenn shares with me and you all – I literally can’t even say enough about this episode. This episode is so encouraging and uplifting. Grab your coffee and lean in to our conversation.

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100!

As I was editing a recent podcast and creating the blog post for the episode, it dawned on me that over…

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Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 27 with Alexcia Griffin | Content in Christ

Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 27 with Alexcia Griffin | Content in Christ

I am excited to welcome back Alexcia Griffin today as we chat about finding contentment in Christ. I loved this conversation and I hope you do, too.

To hear my last conversation with Alexcia, click here

Click here for a free CONTENTMENT printable.

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© 2022 Lauren Greci

Music was provided for the show by Matt Bowen.

Did you miss an episode? Here are the last few you don’t want to miss:

Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 18 with Alexcia Griffin

My guest for the Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 18 is Alexcia Griffin. Alexcia recently moved to Texas, joined our Life Group at church, and we instantly connected!
Alexcia shares how she met her husband through a rehearsal for a play in NYC, how she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior, and shares more about her walk with God.

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Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 17: Hebrews 11: 1-3

The Go & Tell Podcast is all about sharing testimonies but this episode is a little different. Hebrews 11, otherwise known as the ‘Hall of Faith,’ has been weighing on my heart and mind and I just felt like I needed to share the testimonies of these ‘hall of faithers’ stories, confirming the fact that God chose seemingly unlikely people to further His Kingdom, who were called to obey and be faithful with what God commanded.

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Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 16 with Alisa Hauser

My guest for the Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 16 is Alisa Hauser. I found Alisa through a mom’s blog where she shared a very eye-opening article with four tips about finances from a widows perspective. Alisa’s husband tragically passed away when her babies were little and through her own experiences, she encourages other women to know where and how the finances are kept.

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Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 26 with Lisa Hernandez

Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 26 with Lisa Hernandez

My guest for the Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 26 is Lisa Hernandez. We recorded this episode a few months ago but our conversation is still so relevant! Lisa shares some wonderful insight and wisdom. You are going to love this conversation!!

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A Lineage of Grace: Biblical Stories of 5 Women in the Lineage of Jesus – Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, & Mary by Francine Rivers


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© 2022 Lauren Greci

Music was provided for the show by Matt Bowen.

*As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 25 | Contentment

Go & Tell Podcast with Lauren Greci: Episode 25 | Contentment

Happy 2022, friends! This month we are diving into the topic of contentment. This quick listen is just a glimpse of what we will be discussing this month regarding this topic. It’s a new season and I am excited to bring you content-specific topics, special guests and so much more! 

CONNECT WITH LAUREN:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Pintrest


FIND THE SHOW ON THESE PLATFORMS:

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© 2022 Lauren Greci

Music was provided for the show by Matt Bowen.

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Why We Don’t Do Santa Anymore

Why We Don’t Do Santa Anymore

Honesty is something that I try very hard at, especially with my children. I want them to know that they can always trust me and believe what I say is true.

A couple years back, though, it slapped me in the face . . . my eldest son, who at the time was just six years old, came running in from playing with a friend and told me that I was growing poison in our garden. He was adamant that my newly sprouting cilantro was poisonous because his friend told him that it was. I told my concerned six-year-old that, no, in fact, it was not poisonous and was an herb used in food and cooking. He was determined and informed me that it was poisonous. I finally got him to stop yelling at me and told him that no, it was not poisonous but not only that, I would never lie to him, and he can trust me. 

Santa.

Immediately Santa popped into my head. I will never lie to you . . . unless it’s little fibs about Santa.

I knew in my heart of hearts that I didn’t want to tell him any tall tales about Santa and wanted him to form his own opinion on the matter, but I also didn’t want him to miss the excitement of Christmas morning and see the tree packed with neatly wrapped presents and the ever-exciting new bike sitting by the fireplace ready to ride. So, I started answering his questions with an open-ended question: “What do you think?” I would nod along, never affirming or denying his thoughts. But after that poisonous cilantro incident, I became much more aware of being honest with my children. I want them to trust me and know that they can come to me for honest, real answers. When they ask me about Jesus, I want them to know that He is real and everything in the Bible happened, not just a tall tale that someone made up. 

A friend of mine shared her experiences with her parents and Santa and I will never forget it. She was very much like my oldest son: quick, smart, keen, observant, and literal. Her parents always told her about Santa and how he would deliver presents to good girls and boys, how he would fly around the world quick as light and would eat everyone’s sweetly decorated cookies and drink the cold glass of milk . . . oh and don’t forget about the reindeer! They always enjoyed their carrots, too! But when she found out the truth, she started contemplating everything her parents had told her . . . “Well, if Santa is fake, is Jesus? Is Mary and Joseph? What about Adam and Eve?”

Boy, that hit home. I don’t want my kids to think that I fib and tell lies to them and exaggerated truths. But again, I wasn’t quite ready to throw Santa out to pasture either. 

Last summer, my then seven-year-old asked more questions about Santa. Honestly, at this point I was ready to just sit him down and tell him the truth. I was tired of the litany of questions and smiling and nodding and just going with it. Yet again I asked him, “What do you think?” To my surprise he said, “I think moms and dads leave the presents under the tree and say that it is from Santa.” 

YES! 

This time I replied, “You’re right, dear.” He wasn’t shocked, disappointed, or upset. He simply replied, “I thought so.” 

I began really contemplating Santa and the Elf of the Shelf . . . why do we do all of this as Christians? Christmas is not about Santa or the Elf on the Shelf . . . it is about God sending His Son to earth, born in a manger to one day take our punishment for sin on the cross. Yet Santa and the elf get almost an entire month of fanfare when Jesus gets one day. We tell our kids to “watch out” because the elf will relay info to Santa . . . how about they just be “good” because we are watching and God is, too? And not only are we just fibbing about Santa one time – it is drawn out to such great extents: moving the elf daily, dragging out about how Santa is watching, leaving cookies and milk . . . I’ve done it, too! I even wrote a letter from Santa to my son! But again, this has been a work in my heart, and we felt moved as parents. And to continue to do it just because it is a “tradition” just doesn’t fly with me anymore. My kids will have a wonderful and joyous Christmas regardless . . . and Santa doesn’t get any of the credit for the awesome gifts they receive (haha!). I took my boys to get pictures with Santa this year for the pure sake of lining up the photos to see how they have grown, but not because of belief . . . and honestly, this is probably our last year.

I want to remind my children that Jesus came as a baby, held tightly by his mother, to save the world from sin so we may live in Heaven with God forever. In addition, this verse hits home: “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

The Bible is true. Jesus is true. God is true. Everything that we read in the Bible happened and it is real. 

I want my children to remember that when we read the Bible, that it is real. That it is true. I want what I say to matter to my kids. I want them to know that mommy tells the truth. So, when they ask the hard questions, even if it is awkward or hard to say aloud, I will say it. I will tell the truth because that is what they need. The world is sinful and already full of mistruths and lies. I want them to know that they can come to me to feel safe and secure. By lying to them about the little things, I am not being the example that I want them to be to others one day. So, when they ask if a shot is going to hurt, I say, “Yes, it will. But it will be temporary and won’t hurt for long.” One day, when they ask about where babies come from, I will tell them the truth and use the actual words of the body parts. I will have the uncomfortable discussions because I want them to come to me to find the answers instead of asking their confused cilantro-is-poisonous friends. 

Not for one second do I judge ANYONE for doing Elf on the Shelf or Santa – this is just something that has been on my mind, and I wonder if you will pray about it yourself. We can still enjoy Christmas and all its magic without believing that Santa is the one providing it. If we say that Jesus is the reason for the season – than let’s act on it! Let our homes, our actions, the way we live show that we are Jesus followers, not the worlds. No judgement here – I promise! I share all of this with you to just stir some thoughts and questions that stirred in my heart: Why do we still do Santa? The Elf on the Shelf? Is it purely because of tradition? The kids will be sad? Christmas won’t be as “magical”? I can attest, after not doing Santa last year and now this year that Christmas is so much more magical, special, humbling, and awesome. Jesus is awesome!

May you all have a very blessed Christmas!