Laurie Vinson and I went to college together and our lives have reconnected now that we are moms! During our days at Appalachian State University, Laurie’s love for Christ was obvious (and contagious). I admire her so much. Read how she so beautifully offers herself to the Lord in parenting, in homeschooling, in life.
What’s your foundry? A foundry is a place in which metal castings are produced. At a foundry, metal is placed in a huge vat and the heat is gradually increased. While the heat goes up, impurities are burned out of the metal in order to produce the purest element. God has placed me in the foundry of life to offer up to him my impurities for His glory…..
Hi, my name is Laurie Vinson and I’m a recovering people-pleasing perfectionist! Can you relate? People and relationships have always been of great importance to me, but as I’ve looked back over my life I can see where they took precedence over my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Whether it was in high school trying to become that “ideal” weight in unhealthy ways, in college being “busy” for Jesus, a young married seeking after “best marriage” award, or as a young mom trying to be everything to everybody, the issue was the same. I had idols, and if I was honest, I still do. I believed those idols would meet my every need and want with just the right amount of perfection. I experienced God’s sense of humor on my perfection when he blessed us with 3 little boys in 3 ½ years. Those first 5 years were a blur of laughter, exhaustion, diapers, meals, go to the YMCA for workouts, and repeat. In that season(and still today), I realized how much a idolized “ME” and when God showed me that I offered it back to him. Change my heart, O Lord…..
So when it came time for me to consider schooling for my kiddos, God refined my world again when He led our family to home-school. I shouted, “Really, Lord? I’m not sure I can do that all day-everyday!” I was so thankful to have more time with my boys, but a part of me “needed the break,” hence why I put the boys in childcare at the YMCA to get my workout on. The other part of me “felt selfish” for doing so, and I once again saw the idol of myself. I wanted to do what I wanted, when I wanted. I don’t think I’ve ever verbalized it that bluntly, but its true. My submission to Him was an offering.
Whether it’s home-schooling, having a home-based business, grieving the perfect ___________, working outside the home, marriage issues, we each have an offering that God is using to change us as we surrender to our Lord. While surrender is not natural or easy, we truly experience freedom to live only through our surrender to God. For me, surrender to myself came in the form of home-schooling. God used each day, everyday with my kiddos to refine me. Having my boys at home truly brought me to the end of myself and on my knees with my Jesus. I can look back over that season and see His hand in it, but man was it hard to stay in that foundry. Each day, messy activities and open-ended schedules and routines bubbled out the impurities in my heart for perfection and control. God was so sweet to give me those years at home with all the boys. Those years were an offering that will not return void.
The more recent impure offering has been control. When my oldest approached 5th grade 3 years ago, we knew it was time to send him to school. My relationship with him was more important than my need to be his primary teacher. Last year, our youngest, a 2nd grader was struggling with reading. Through a battery of tests, we learned he has dyslexia. So he entered school mid-year as a second grader and has been thriving ever since. His school could serve and care for him in ways that I was limited. So last year, the Lord really opened my eyes to trusting His plans and for our family. All in the same year, I had a 6th grader at private school, home-schooling a 4th grader, and a 2nd grader in public. (The controlling perfectionist in me would have NEVER gone for this 3 years ago!) What a messy offering!
Surrender means to yield voluntarily to the authority of another. I had to surrender to God that His plans and purposes for my boys were best for them. Being a year later, it is “oh, so fun” to see how He has worked in the spiritual, emotional, and physical lives of my family. I just want to truly encourage you to see God’s hand in whatever offering He asks you to give. He is continually refining us as daughters of Him, wives to our men, and mommas to the next generation. When I have loosened my grip, opened my eyes, and waited for Him, He has been faithful to meet me where I was, BUT God also loves me enough not to keep me there.
What beautiful offerings are you giving Him today?
Beautiful Offerings by Big Daddy Weave beautifully shares the story of our offerings to the Lord. As you listen, allow your heart and soul to be encouraged by your intimate journey with Jesus.