Candace's Photography Blog Has Moved... The Banks Bunch blog is still here....

I have decided that it would be best to move my photography blog to a new site...I will continue to post family updates at this blog.

Please visit my photography site at:

http://candacejbanks.blogspot.com

Blessings,
Candace

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My confession...

I woke up at like 430am this morning...and at first (ok, let's be truthful), for a half hour or so I protested...I wasn't ready to get up and start the day...but my mind wouldn't shut off... So finally, I gave in and asked God, "What in the world is it that you want me to do at this ungodly hour??...is there something that I need to be doing or something that I need to be hearing from you??"...and He immediately put one word in my head "Bible"...and guess how I responded..."yeah, yeah, but I'm really wanting to get some more rest before the boys wake up"...and over the next 20ish minutes, God gently nudged me--"get up and go read my word...I have something to tell you..."

So, at 520ish I finally got up and went straight for Ezekiel (that just happens to be where I am in my Bible right now...and I started a few days ago reading from the beginning of Ezekiel)...but this morning, as it so happens, God spoke directly to me through Ezekiel 14:1-11...He told me that I needed to repent of my sins...to confess to you that I have false idols and that I have been worshiping those idols instead of Him...so this blog entry will probably be uncomfortable for some, but I feel strongly that it is what He has called me to do...

Before I begin, it will help some if I put the scripture down...so here it is:

Ezekiel 14

Idolaters Condemned
1 Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me. 2 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 3 "Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? 4 Therefore speak to them and tell them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet, I the LORD will answer him myself in keeping with his great idolatry. 5 I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols.'

6 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!

7 " 'When any Israelite or any alien living in Israel separates himself from me and sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet to inquire of me, I the LORD will answer him myself. 8 I will set my face against that man and make him an example and a byword. I will cut him off from my people. Then you will know that I am the LORD.

9 " 'And if the prophet is enticed to utter a prophecy, I the LORD have enticed that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel. 1011 Then the people of Israel will no longer stray from me, nor will they defile themselves anymore with all their sins. They will be my people, and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign LORD.' " They will bear their guilt—the prophet will be as guilty as the one who consults him.


So, here we go...

I confess that I am controlling...I like to control everything...and if I can't be in control of myself, another person, a situation, etc, I get anxious and the anxiety overwhelms me...
  • I like to control what I eat (which is why I have an eating disorder...and I confess to you that I am a recovering bulimic)...
  • I like to control what I wear (and I have gained a lot of weight over the past years which some of it has been in my control (eating right) and some of it has been due to medical conditions)--and not being able to control that I don't look like most of my friends (fit and trim) or even like I "used to look" makes me feel out of control and anxious...
  • I like to control our money (and, yes, this is one of my responsibilities, but it's also something that I don't really want to give over to Kelly b/c then I'd have to ask for things--this one screams control)...
  • I want to control my husband--his actions, his thoughts, the way he looks (b/c I think he looks better in some clothes than others--I believe this is still control, right?)
  • I want to control my emotions, my fears, my doubts, my insecurities...I let these things be moved, shaped and formed by the world's standards, by my standards, and not by the Lord's standards...
  • I want to control my body--it seems like there's always something wrong with me...I want to control it--fix it--make it right, be normal...but the Truth is that God made me in His image, I am beautiful and He calls me His own...flaws, disorders, and all...so I need to accept myself and love myself and know that this acceptance and love only comes from Him...
  • My biggest control issue is one that causes me the most grief and it is the need/desire to control my children...their behavior specifically...I want them to behave like perfect little angels instead of like children whose only job is to grow up, to have fun, to learn, to experience life, and to frustrate their parents every once in a while (and some days/weeks/months/maybe even years all the time)...I get so anxious when my children start behaving as children (fussing and fighting) that I can barely cope--I panic--I freeze--instead of calling on His name for help, using His Word, that He so graciously gave to us to use as tools as coping mechanisms....
  • I confess that I don't call upon His name often enough...I don't read His word and commune with Him as often as I should...I don't lean on Him as much as I should and I use the world's and my standards as guides to my life instead of His to guide me...
  • I confess that I am a sinner of all shapes and forms...
  • I confess that I don't obey the laws of the land (I speed)...and somehow feel like it's something that maybe is owed to me or that maybe I shouldn't feel guilty about
  • I confess that I wrestle with my thoughts and feelings instead of giving them to Him and wrestling with Him on them
  • I confess that I feel inadequate most of the time...that I am insecure as a person, a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend, a child of the King...
Thank you for hearing my confession--I do believe it is what we, as a body of believers, are called to do...and what He called me to do this early morn... Let me further myself by saying I don't believe that I would be condemned to hell had I not listened to His call...for we do not live by the rules of the OT, but rather by the covenant that was made during Jesus' reign when He sacrificed Himself for me and for you...but we are still called to repent of our sins--to confess to others that we have sinned, that we worship false idols (remember that idols come in many shapes and forms), so that we can be renewed and cleansed by confessing....so that, once again, we can be saved by His amazing grace... It's hard, but it is incredible how wonderful we feel after we have that load lifted off our chests and give our burdens to Him. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for hanging on the cross for me...Amen.

P.S....One of the great things about blogging is that you can edit posts ...I just might have to use this tool and update my list...I am just putting this out there just in case you were feeling the need to be freed from the nails that bind you to the cross that you carry, that you will know that confessing isn't a one-time thing...we must do it daily (I have to sometimes do it hourly...confused??...here's an example...I say it out loud: "Lord, I confess to you that I am angry with my children!!! I confess that I feel out of control b/c of their actions...Lord, please forgive me for worshiping the idol of anger and of control. Amen")... I feel that God often uses me to be an example to others and this is a just another one of those times... I hope that you will be as blessed by reading this blog as I am by writing it.

6 comments:

Monty Montgomery said...

We missed you and the boys at Life Team last night.

summer said...

I am ready for a Candace hug. Hope to see you soon.

Jenny Wilkinson said...

Actually, Candace, that was really good to read. You should leave this one on here.

lisajo said...

From one control-freak to another...I feel your pain. Thank you for sharing your heart and for your openness to letting the Lord mold you through your weaknesses. You are great!

Renee said...

Candace, I have been out of town for a few days, but I want you to know that I have thought about you alot in the past two weeks. You are not alone, we are all broken people. God wants us to be broken so that he can truly use us. Hardships are just that, but the blessings that God give us spiritually when he carries us through are beyond literary discription. God is faithful, He will NOT abandon us, His love IS UNFAILING...Peace and Blessings, Renee

Laura said...

Candace -
Confession is really important and I would have to say that I admire you for being able to say all those things in front of all these people! You are a stronger woman than I am!

I can be a complete control freak about some things too! Reading what you've said makes me realize that I have several things in my life to think about! I completely understand about wanting to control the money! I do that too! I certainly don't want to hand that over to my husband and have to "ask" for money like you said! Wow! You totally have me there! And it's hard not to constantly think "well I didn't have this extra five pounds before ..." and this can be an impossible cycle to break. You're to be admired for recognizing it and confessing it! Thanks again for that example!

But one of your confessions was something I'd like to encourage you on. You said that the thing that causes you the most grief is the desire to control your children - THE DESIRE TO CONTROL YOUR CHILDREN SHOULDN'T CAUSE YOU ANY GRIEF! Children are the single most precious gift (on this earth anyway) that God gives us, especially us mothers. But with a great gift, comes great responsiblity. Wanting to control your children isn't wrong at all - it's BIBLICAL! So smile, dear, because here's what God has to say (about you doing it RIGHT!).

First, you discipline (control) your kids because you LOVE them. Look at Hebrews 12:6-11. "the Lord disciplines those he loves ... No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Second you discipline (control) them because when they are older, they will be better for it. They have to learn to do simple things now -like that they have to honor their parents by saying "yes ma'am" instead of "no!" and doing their chores and being courteous to guests and all of those simple things - because when they're adults, they will already know these lessons and will be respectful, honest, and selfless people, because they have learned those lessons while they were young. We discipline our kids for their FUTURE, even if it doesn't feel very good today.

Don't beat yourself up for controlling your kids! That's a GOOD thing to do. A better thing to beat oneself up over is NOT disciplining your kids.

Look at Proverbs 13:24 - "He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly."

Now naturally, that doesn't mean to beat your children (which is something I know you don't do anyway!) but the Word says that the godly way to love your child is to discipline (control) them. So see? Your desire to control your children isn't wrong, it's God's COMMAND - you've got it right! :)

Look at Colossians 3:21-21 - "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."

It PLEASES the Lord when children obey their parents. I would also venture to say that it probably displeases the Lord when children disobey their parents. We are also told to HONOR our parents (one of the ten commandments), so I'm also venturing out here to say that it probably displeases God when our children are disrespectful to us (or anyone else for that matter!).

And I don't think (having been around you and your children) that you are "embittering" them either. They look like perfectly happy, healthy kiddos to me!

So, Candace - don't think that your desire to control your children is wrong - I think it's GODLY! (Being a control freak in this arena sounds to me something like this, "Child, only put three peas on your spoon at one time and sit in that chair without moving for 20 minutes except to breathe." - and to me, something that ridiculous would be a control freak. Loving discipline is NOT being a control freak!

You said, "children whose only job is to grow up, to have fun, to learn, to experience life, and to frustrate their parents every once in a while" - and I think you're RIGHT! Kids should totally have fun growing up! But I would add one more thing - A kid should have the job of learning about the Lord, and learning to OBEY and to respect. If a kid doesn't it learn it from their parents, they won't learn it at all. Then they'll be more frustrated as they grow up - and honestly other people don't like to be around people who have not been taught discipline (which translates into no self-discipline when older).

So confessing that you like to control your kids isn't a bad thing - it's something that you should be praised for. :)

I'd also like to mention that no kids are ever going to behave perfectly. Every kid will throw their fits and disobey and disrespect. This can be completely stressful, and you're right - it makes you freeze up, and freak out, and every other negative emotion in the book.

After being a nanny for many years and now having my own, I can completely sympthasize with wanting to pull your hair out sometimes! Kids are tough, especially high-energy ones.

My Pastor once gave me the greatest insight I have ever heard about raising children, and I'd like to share it with you because it totally changed my view of parenting.

He said that children are like a spring. The more you press on them and try to control them (by this he means be OVER-controlling, like watching/controlling every little thing they do, at all stages of life but especially at the teenage stage)the more you compress their spring. Then when they move out, say for college, the spring releases and they go crazy! So doing this results in kids who are wild, make poor choices and don't listen. But at the same time, if you don't give your kid enough boundaries and discipline when they are very young, if you don't teach them to respect you and honor you as the Lord commands, then they are just a floppy spring, wibbling and wobbling through life without any real structure. Doing this results in kids who throw fits and are unstable and fearful.

Parenting is a balance. No two parents are the same and no two kids are the same. Something that might be the right thing for your family will be the wrong thing for someone else's and vice versa. But it sounds like you're doing the RIGHT thing by wanting to control your children - so don't relax on that! As long as it's not what color underwear they have to wear on the 4th day of every month or something OVER-controlling like that - the desire to control your children is GOD-GIVEN. So, please be encouraged ... in response to what you say causes you the "most grief" - sweetheart, don't be grieved any more. You're doing the RIGHT and Biblical thing by wanting to control them, not the wrong thing. And even though discipline is probably actually harder for parents than it is for children, it's something you should feel GOOD about yourself for, not beat yourself up over.

So again, let me say how much I admire you by being able to be so public about confessions. I think that's simply amazing, and what awesome faith you must have! You certainly have set an example for me in that aspect! I hope maybe this can help take a little of that grief away for you. :) God bless, sister.