It has been almost two weeks since I posted. And I am very happy with that. I needed to do some work on my heart and in my home. My last post made me super sad about how my priorities were so off. I knew my daily routine wasn’t pleasing to the Lord, and I was happy to take time away from a lot of things to work on that.
Just like God always does, He sent me two reminders that being honest is helpful…for myself and others. I had a night in with a friend of mine, after that last post, who shared with me she was struggling lately too. It was so nice to open up with her and share our struggles! We were able to vent and find joy….over the same things. It was a great reminder that I am not the only mom in the world that is grouchy or is not consistent with her Bible time. And while that doesn’t mean I will just rest easy that I’m not alone and go no further with changing, it was an encouragement to make the changes God was putting on my heart because I want to be able to go back and share with her about our changes and overcoming those former struggles with the Lord’s help!
The second reminder came from my sweet, sweet sister. She is my role model, to be honest. She has the most gentle and meek spirit ALL THE TIME. Sure, she gets upset with her kids; however, she isn’t screaming at them. She is so calm and loving with them – honestly, it puts me to shame! But, she texted me and shared that she, too, was struggling with having consistent Bible time. Like the awesome woman she is, she suggested we text each day and share what we read for devotions and something we’re thankful for. She made a good point – not being thankful really feeds the grouchiness! This reminder from the Lord was that I can talk/type all I want about changes, but I need to get my behind in gear and do something about it! And now, I have my sister to keep me accountable. No, she is not yelling at me on the days I miss Bible time. She is just a sweet encouragement to keep going. I love her so much (and probably WAY more than I ever show her and more than she even realizes).
And wouldn’t you know it….as soon as I open my eyes to where I need to be spiritually, God brings more into my life to confirm it. Our small group’s lesson last week was about the Enemy attacking our homes. They touched briefly on the obvious, the Devil. BUT, they also went on to speak extensively on how WE ARE OUR OWN WORST ENEMY IN OUR HOMES! Well, ain’t that the truth!! I was again encouraged to work on my heart in order to have a healthy, godly home. How can I point my children to Christ if I am not reflecting Him at all?!
This past Sunday and Monday, too, was more encouragement that I am where I need to be – at home with my kids, educating them in a Biblical way. Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis came and held several different meetings, sharing how the church and families need to really be grounded in the Bible, so we can train our children to follow the Lord and His Word. The world just wants to flush out the godly teaching with all the crap out there – evolution, premarital sex, gay marriage, abortion, etc. We parents need to know what we believe and why….so we can share it with our children and give them a good defense when the world attacks (and I don’t know if you’ve noticed lately…it’s attacking. And it will just get worse). We need to
“…revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…”
(I Peter 3:15 NIV)
I know my thoughts were not in any great order above. Just wanted to share where I am at. I have set my eyes on Jesus, and I want to surround myself with constant Biblical teachings in order to learn as much as I possibly can about how the Bible says to “give an answer” for the hope I have. 🙂
I have also started listening to different messages from pastors across the country. Our Pastor’s sermons are on podcast, but I am up to date with any I might have missed the past few months. So, I have moved on to watching/listening to YouTube videos of Matt Chandler, Tim Keller, and more of Ken Ham. All three of those men really get into the Scripture and explain the background of the passages, the origin of different words used, and how to then appropriately apply it to our daily lives.
Another resource I am trying to absorb info from is a book my husband bought for his Old Testament class. It is called Grasping God’s Word, and it is a serious book. There is so much information packed into each page…I may be reading it forever. It explains how to read a passage of Scripture and then how to apply it.
Of course, the best resource is the actual Bible, and I am using all the tools I mentioned above to really dig into Genesis right now. I was reading through the end of the book for a devotional app, but I think I want to just start all over at Genesis 1, now that I have so much more knowledge about reading and absorbing it. (And I am secretly hoping that for Christmas my husband and I can just get each other the ESV Bibles we have been eyeing lately! He wants a huge ESV study Bible. I want a similar, smaller version of his. I mentioned it as an idea to him…really hoping he goes with it. HAHA!)
So, I just want to encourage all of you believers to really get into your Bible reading. Not just the daily chapter you’re assigned to read, but find a good study Bible and dig in! I feel like I have a duty to just be on fire for the Lord. All the “on fire” folks they keep showing on TV end up being the WORSE example of Christianity. There needs to be so many more regular folks, like me, just doing what God is asking me to – love my husband and children, teach my children Biblical truths, live out what I believe, and SHARE more with people (the sharing is my least productive area…ugh. really need to work on it)! One of the ladies in our small group mentioned that she has been feeling the Lord pushing her to share her faith with those that she sits with in her oncologist’s office whenever she has her appointments. She finally worked up the courage to just ask a lady “is there something I can pray about for you?” and the woman said she was so thankful that she asked her that. I mean, if my friend can speak up in the oncology waiting room (after dealing with cancer for the past few years), I can certainly speak up everywhere I go.
All we have to do is be willing to be used! God will do the rest. But, it usually turns out that I am not really willing. I will type and type and type about how ready I am to get out and speak about the Lord, but then as soon as the opportunity arises I let antsy kids or my hunger (seriously…I get hangry, people) or whatever else stop me from saying anything. And then I’m like “oh, next time I will do it.” I am not guaranteed a next time for anything – a breath, a kiss, a hug, a smile from my kids, an opportunity to share Jesus with a friend or stranger. We have to take each moment that we can to do something for Christ!
So….WHO’S WITH ME?!?!?! 🙂
(And Mindy, I am expecting you to hold me accountable on this, as well! Love you!)