When I first started this blog I titled it “TreeHugginIsHard” because in 2010 I was working on becoming self-sufficient and I was teased by family and friends about becoming a tree-hugger. My goal for my family was to live off the land…Pioneer it up! I even started making “Little House” costumes…I know, a little overboard there!
Well, guess what? Tree huggin’ IS hard!
Working on the land-OMGOODNESS HARD!
What I found out though, life’s not only Tree-hugger-hippie hard, but it’s also Tree-hugging-Cling-to-the-old-rugged-cross hard.
A couple years after I started this blog, I was in a local Christian book store and I was looking at all the stuff by the check out counter and noticed a key-ring tab. On the front it said “I’m a tree-hugger”. Well, that got my attention right away…I was working relatively consistently on the blog at that time. I thought “I have to have this!”
I turned it over. On the back it said “I will cling to the old rugged cross”. I thought “Well, I like that song, I’m getting it”
I can’t remember how much it was. Christian stuff, it probably would have only cost a dollar if it said “Foxy Momma” or something worldly, but I’m pretty sure it was closer to $5…YES $5!!
It wasn’t until a few months ago when I ran across my keys (I may have possibly lost them for quite some time) and read it again. I’ve been thinking about that this evening.
1. On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
the emblem of suffering and shame;
and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
for a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.
2. O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
has a wondrous attraction for me;
for the dear Lamb of God left his glory above
to bear it to dark Calvary.
3. In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
a wondrous beauty I see,
for ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
to pardon and sanctify me.
4. To that old rugged cross I will ever be true,
its shame and reproach gladly bear;
then he’ll call me some day to my home far away,
where his glory forever I’ll share.
I called this blog “TreeHugginIsHard” originally as a hippy parody, but it truly has become an eye-opener to me on WHERE I stand with God.
Do I cherish the old rugged cross?
Does it still have that same attraction as when I was first saved?
Do I see the beauty in the cross or do I see MY burdens?
Am I true to the old rugged cross?
Am bearing the shame and reproach of the world gladly?
Do I really cling to the old rugged cross?
Lord, help me to remember my first love, help me to do my first works. Help me to have that same desire to see people saved as when I was first saved. When I realized in 2005 that I had allowed you in my life but hadn’t made you Lord of my life, when I wanted just enough of you to make things go smoothly, but not listen to the things you were saying, not allowing you to lead me in the ways you wanted me to go. Thank you for saving me, for giving me that chance, for being patient with me. Forgive me for not listening. Please be with me as I learn to live with the consequences of my actions, help me not to obsess over them daily. I know it will always be a thorn in my flesh, Lord, help me to draw closer to you during my moments of weakness and when all I can think about is having another baby. Help me to be thankful for the children you have given me. I love them dearly and I pray that my obsessing over a new baby has not hindered my raising them. I know that I was wrong in taking over that part of my life. You are in control and I should have known that, I should have realized that I wasn’t really holding the reins, you have had them all along, and that because of my choices, my life has went in a different, less perfect direction than you had planned for me. Help me not to think of MY burdens, but of your burdens. The pain of watching your children live the lives they do, adultery, drunkenness, lying, murder, homosexuality, a life of sin. One that you want them to come out of, not because you don’t want them to “do what they want” but because you love them and want to live a life of fellowship with them, to give them the very best that you have for them. Help me not to see that as a burden, help me to be bold and stand my ground for you. Help me not back down. Your word is right, it’s sharp and it cuts deep. I know that when your word is spoken that people will be offended. God, help them to turn to you and not be angry. You said that if we would lift up your name that all men would be drawn to you. Let your name bring them peace and comfort, don’t let them turn away. Don’t allow them to harden their hearts. Draw them unto you. Let them see you as their father, not as an enemy, open their eyes to you. Lord, help me to be all that you have me to be, let me be an example, a light on a hill. Let your love not be hidden in me. Let is shine to those that are lost, and give me the words to lead them to you. Lord, I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.
OK, well, I really didn’t mean to type all that, and I really thought about deleting it, but I guess God wants it posted!
Now that you have seen into my sordid life, pray for me. I have burdens that I need to LEAVE at the foot of the cross. Pray that I have the strength not to pick them up and try packing them around when God says “I got this”.