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Friday, February 25, 2011

Running without weights

What a challenge to figure out what are weights and what are necessary parts for our running! Knowing that weights aren't necessarily bad things but could also be good things that I don't need to be doing doesn't help. If I could just say, well this is a bad thing (sin) so that's a weight it would be easier to figure out. I like Elizabeth George's philosophy about good, better, best, but guess what it takes some prayer to figure these things out. To me, that's hard work, but then very necessary.

And when my heart's desire is something that is different from my husband's that's hard work too. I can choose to let it come between us or I can choose to love him and choose the right thing, him. But I've been on my knees lately about that one too and I'm feeling battered, because I've chosen him and his decision for our family several times, even several times a day and yet if I think about my heart's desire at all, I start trying to figure out a way to make it work. Hmm, sounds like a weight that I don't need. Don't need to be figuring stuff out when we just talked a lot about "waiting" in Bible study.

Waiting is super hard - at least for me. Have you ever had to WAIT at the dentist's office? Silly question. It's agonizing. Seems to me waiting should be easy, after all what are you doing when you're waiting, probably nothing. Well, except maybe worrying, especially if it's the dentist's office, or waiting for the biopsy to come back. Isn't it hard to wait then? Our insides are churning and our heart and mind are consumed with that one thing. And He says, "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

You know, I think His burden is lighter. The burden and anxiety of wondering about the biopsy or fincancial burdens is our burden, His is easier, just rest in Me. He can say that because He knows what's best, He knows when is best. Really??? Cuz' I think best is NOW!!!!! And when I'm all consumed with I need to know NOW, am I practicing Philippians 4:4-8??? No, I'm not. I'm not rejoicing. I'm probably not gentle. I'm definitely anxious. I'm not commiting things to the Lord in prayer and with a thankful heart. I'm not thinking on truth, noble things, right things, pure things, or just things. I'm not thinking about excellent or praiseworthy things.

Lord, change my heart. I think that is my constant prayer for I always fall short of where I should be. But I'm so thankful that You don't just look at that. Just as a father doesn't wonder why his one-year old isn't running, but excited for the growth of the first step.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trust in the Lord

Reading Psalm 37:4-5; Isaiah 40:28-31 and Proverbs 3:5-6 really emphasized to me that I don't have to do a lot when it comes to doing God's will. Technically, yes, it is the hard thing, but when I think of the commands, trust, dwell, do good, delight and feed, then in Isaiah - soar and Proverbs - trust and lean not, I can see that those aren't hard things. Obviously God takes care of all the things that we tend to like worrying about. :)

So instead of worrying about things, I get to spend time in God's Word and sit back and enjoy the ride.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Delegating and doing

I'm realizing how focused I am. I cannot multi-task very well at all, though would have said before that I'm great at it. But one thing and one thing alone gets the best work and even then it's not the best, a distracted and interrupted best. So while I'm teaching school, the housework goes to pieces unless it's on the list as school work and when I'm cleaning, well, let's just say the schoolwork is non-existent. So for this time, I really have to be vigilant. I can delegate both, but really have to be focusing on the delegating rather than the doing. For if I'm doing something, working on a project, Jeff's books, writing out next quarter's plans, during my day, then I'm not doing the two things I really need to do - housework and school.

Reminds me of a foreman - if he ran around putting up walls and hauling rock for driveways and is on the roof, who is making sure all the other guys are doing what they're supposed to be doing, or maybe they don't know what they're supposed to be doing. Sad to say, that Monday thru Thursday, I need to do a little less and delegate a little more.

But I must be careful, because when I'm practicing delegating, I'm training up delegators, not doers, so I have to be willing to get down and scrub, especially when I know that my doers are on track, but that comes on the days where I am not super busy and running to work. God, give me wisdom to know the times when I should delegate and when I should do.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why am I here?

This is one of the questions we address in the chapter for the week for Bible study. Such a good thing to re-visit every once in awhile in our lives. Am I here for things and to acquire as much as possible, or is there a bigger purpose? Or do I continue to be a working mom, simply because it gives me an outlet for evangelism? How does God view the pursuits in my life? Are they for His glory or for mine only?

I'm going to be thinking about that today and praying about that as well. Sometimes I just want to shut out my life and spend some time in focused prayer, but that's not always a possibility.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Focus on heaven

My dh and I talk regularly about God's purpose for us on this earth. One thing we've learned more deeply than ever in the recent years is if you don't know where you are going on this earth or what your purpose is, it's awfully hard to figure out what you should be doing now.

We started on this life fairly certain of God's purpose for our lives and then the basket upset and very basic decisions became difficult. If we were going to remain here, then we need jobs and a house of our own. But then if we are called back into the ministry, then we don't want to invest a lot of money in a house and getting "tied down" as it were to this place.

So, we really need to sit down and renew our minds before the Lord and ask Him to show us again what He would have for us today. It helps to know where we'll be tomorrow, but that isn't guaranteed.

So, while that doesn't solve my problem of wanting to know where we'll be in ten years, I can live at peace because I know that God knows and that's all that matters.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Encouragement for Today

As I've been looking at how I'm doing as a mom, sometimes it gets discouraging to see my failings. But our pastor said something yesterday that was a good reminder. Or maybe it was on Sunday, but that the flesh, the old man, has not been eradicated from my life. He still is a contender in my day-to-day decisions. Why is that good? Why am I encouraged by that?

Because as I look at my life and see lots of room for growth, I also am secure in the fact that heaven is my prize and always will be. I don't have to wonder, after a bad day, if I'm really a believer and if I'm going to heaven. I know I am.

I know that while I may have lost rewards that day, I am still "saved, yet so as by fire." So I can keep pursuing a full reward and still have a chance of hearing my beloved Saviour say, "Well, done, good and faithful one!"

Monday, February 7, 2011

Philippians 4:4-8

I was working on memorizing my verses for Bible study while in the nursery at church during Sunday School. I didn't think it would hurt for the little one-year olds to hear the verses out loud and the songs that I know that go with those verses are ones that I learned in Sunday school or with my kids. But as I studied some words jumped out at me, "Let your gentleness be evident to all." Conviction came as I remembered my morning as we were getting ready to leave for church.

We were late and I was reminding everyone without yelling that we needed to hurry and I need to be in nursery and we're having company and we don't want to have to do a lot of things when we get home. I wasn't yelling but I wasn't being gentle at all.

Does the gentleness being evident apply to our children? Do they really count as part of "all"??? If this is true, I fail often in this regard. Yes, I need to draw lines with them and keep those boundaries, but I'm sure there are ways to do that gently and I've gotten beyond that. I'm either ignoring what they are doing, reminding a lot or I'm jumping down their throats as it were to knock it off and start their work. Not consistent by any stretch.

So in order to be gentle, what can I do to make this work? First, as a mom, I must be vigilant. I don't go off-duty, except when everyone is in bed and even then I'm on-call. Yes, we can have some time where we carve out time for ourselves with the Lord. But if I am aware of what's happening and keeping track of what ultimatims I have laid down, I will be more consistent. I need to be slow to speak, as it says in James. If I'm quick to tell them a command, then I must be able or willing to follow through. So I need to be careful what I say. Slow to wrath - if I'm careful about what I say and keeping up with what I've said, then I will be slow to anger.

These things may be a bit difficult with seven children, but all the more reason they are necessary. I can't have my kids growing up where their mother is always growling about this or that. So if I can be patient at work and gentle with the people that I work with, then what about at home? Why not?

My perspective needs to change. If kool-aid is spilt on the floor, after I just mopped it, how will it help if I stand there and get frustrated with the child for five minutes? How about if I just helped him get a cloth and got down and helped him clean up, especially if he wasn't being careless. Or as is our usual policy, we don't get mad but they are responsible for clean-up. Even a two-year old can clean up his spilt milk. Not perfectly, but if perfection is what we are looking for then our perspective needs to change.

That's my thoughts for today.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wayne Watson's song "For Such a Time as This"

Today is cleaning day. When I finish with my outside job for the week, it's time to finish up school (hopefully the kids have worked ahead, so we don't have a full day) and then clean the house from top to bottom. That way when Daddy's home, we don't have to be cleaning the house, just maintenance and we can enjoy being together without huge messes. :)

While we were cleaning, someone turned on Wayne Watson's The Way Home. "For Such a Time as This" came on and it was interesting to apply it to cleaning the house. The words that struck me were, "Now, all I have is now, to be faithful, to be HOLY, and to shine lighting up the darkness." To be faithful, I get, but to be holy, that was a new thought. Yes, I am being faithful to do what I should - clean my house, but am I being holy while doing it. That is not always true. I would have to say that maybe I'm not even being faithful, if my attitude is wrong, but anyway that was my thought for the day. Might change the outcome for the day.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bible study with Forever 31

Well, I have my verse for the day now. "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and through the rivers and they shall not overflow you." Isaiah 43:2 This week has been long as I said yesterday and somewhat tiring, (o.k. exhausting) but I usually think of this verse when dealing with some kind of tragedy. But I was thinking this morning that any tragedy I can think of is so much worse than this week, so He's with me through this week too. What an encouragement!

Then the quote from Elisabeth Elliot - "Sometimes it takes everything you have to get up and do it, but it is surprising how strength comes." I think it's just putting for the first effort and once you start it goes smoothly. O.k. maybe not always smoothly, but much easier than when we first thought.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Colossians 2:10

"...and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. " A friend is studying Colossians for her next women's Bible study. So in preparation, I decided to start reading it during my quiet time.

Right now, I'm drained and tired after my first night of work this week, definitely not ready to teach school and we're just starting our second day this week. It's so nice to be "complete in Him". I have everything I need to make it through the day.