Sometimes during the message at church, I catch something and then my mind starts racing on that one topic and then I feel like I am scrambling to catch up on everything I missed throughout my conscious rambling! I feel like I am so extremely uneducated on a lot of topics and there is so much growth ahead of me. I think that the difference now is that I want so badly to learn as much as I can...to do the studying myself and to read a plethora of material in my journey and yearning to become closer to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is embarrassing for me, it is a major hit to my pride to publicly admit these weaknesses and faults that I have carried my entire life.
Yesterday's message at church was mind-boggling to me. PM used the scripture, 1 Samuel 14 - when Jonathan (son of Saul) attacks the Philistines. Jonathan is not a passive waiter during this story, instead he practices proactive waiting. Waiting for what? That is the question my ignorance led me to ask myself...then of course PM's message answers that question, and I actually caught the answer instead of allowing my mind to ramble on and on about how silly I felt about not being more aware of what the scripture says. But, as we have learned in a previous message, my goal of wanting to learn more about the bible is not to acquire more bible knowledge, but to acquire more GOD!! (Thanks, PM for sharing that message on Dec. 20th!) (More on how I plan to solve that problem a little later!)
Waiting for what? Many times in my life and especially here lately, I've heard and said..."I can't wait to see what happens...where God is going to lead me and my family." or "I am going to wait and when I see the sign...then I will know what it is that I am supposed to do!"
Now, I have said this to several of my close friends and really anyone who is willing to listen...I have never really understood what to "listen" for when people have said to follow what God is telling me. I just kept thinking, that I wonder why God isn't talking to me, but he is talking to everyone else. The problem wasn't that God wasn't trying to lead me or telling me what he wanted for my life, the problem was that I was much more interested in what I wanted for my life. I wasn't open to hearing God because it has always been about I I I I I...and this is true, even though my parents are amazing God loving Christians. I was raised in the church, my family was there pretty much every Sunday morning, night and Wednesday night. Even though I was given more opportunity than millions of people in the world, I still didn't open my eyes to truly understand, appreciate, and know God.
Okay, back to this week's message: First of all, my homework this week is to read, read, and re-read 1 Corinthians 12. I am ashamed of the fact that I am not familiar with that chapter...or many other chapters for that matter. Here is a question that I ask myself - What is my gift that God has given me to use in service towards others? Am I living up to the potential that God has given me? How am I going to be a servant to others? (My previous posts in the past week have been all leading up to this...I just didn't know it yet!) I need to LIVE LIFE on GOD'S TERMS...NOT on MY TERMS.
Another lesson learned - I need to keep pushing forward - I am tired of sitting back "to see what happens" - I am ready to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!
In addition, we shouldn't live our life on the "sidelines" or live vicariously through others. I should be active, live my life for God, take actions and do God's work!
As I am looking at these lessons learned, I think about the thoughts, emotions, and motivations that I have been praying over and turning over and over in my head...it all seems to go right together. I keep saying that I can't do anything about my desire or this pull toward wanting to be involved in missions and adoption. I keep thinking that I can't act on this right now, but DOWN THE ROAD...or IN THE FUTURE...or THIS SUMMER, etc...I will make a difference. I now resent that mentality that I have had...I have learned that God wants me to serve these children in our world by reaching out, teaching them, loving them, showing them God's love and devotion. I DON'T HAVE to wait, there are things that I can do here each and every single day towards this effort and area of need. This will be something that I will be searching for avenues to utilize to include my efforts!
So now that I have had this epiphany, what am I going to do about it? Well as cliche as it is...I am going to set some New Year's Resolutions! BUT...more importantly I am going to make these resolutions a habit, something that becomes a part of my life EVERY SINGLE DAY.
1. I am going to extend my daily prayer time with God by double. How can I expect to become closer to my Lord without dedicating a significant amount of time towards our relationship?
2. I am going to commit to reading and studying God's word each and every day. It may not be an entire chapter, but I want to read and study something from the bible until I understand what it truly means! Some ways that I plan to do this is by making the scripture something that I see on more of a regular basis (with post-it notes, index cards, or perhaps pictures made by my boys after discussing a bible lesson, etc.).
3. I also want to get involved in a women's bible study as soon as they get started again at church! I have actually learned a lot from reading some very inspirational blogs written by women who have extremely amazing faith in our Lord!
4. GET INVOLVED - research and discover ways that I can reach out to the children across the world...how can I help from here on an EVERYDAY basis? Plan for this summer: missions - as soon as possible! (I used our finances as an excuse or an explanation as to why I wouldn't be able to participate in missions for a long time...but through prayer and dedication, God will help me to find a way).
5. Show my children and my husband each and every day God's love through my actions and words.
Finally, I have always been hesitant in setting goals such as these publicly, primarily because my failure would be known by many people whom I admire! However, by putting my self out on a limb, showing my insecurities, faults, and weaknesses I am asking for your prayer, support, and to help hold me accountable! Please know how difficult it is for me to make myself vulnerable in this way, but I am feeling drawn to share these things with many and to ask for help. (Help has also been something that is very hard to reach out for!) Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts! I will try to keep my blog updated with my progress...I know that as I continue to open myself up to my Lord that the changes that will take place will be evident without a need for explanation!
4 days ago