Monday, December 28, 2009

Gifts from God...Privilege or Obligation?

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 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 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 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!


  1. Amy -

    I am SO excited to watch God at work in your life. Your passion is simply contagious. Your goals are absolutely attainable... and, you are so right, you can start right this very minute on the things that God has laid heavy on your heart.

    All of us 'old ladies' are going to be excited to have you join in our study this semester... keep digging, girl, God will show you step-by-step which way to go.

    That vulnerability you mentioned is certainly challenging, but it is a beautiful thing to be able and willing to put it out there and trust that God will use it in His way.

    Standing on the sidelines cheering you on!

  2. Amy, I grew up much like you...but really didn't absorb much. I started understanding what life was really about sometime in the very early 90's, after I was out of college. I realized that I wanted what a friend of mine had...she had such a sweet peace about her (and still does. She is a godly woman whom I would call one of my "heroes"). Anyway, it only gets better and better, especially as you realize who your likeminded friends are and become even closer. It is a sisterhood like no other.

    I hope you got to enjoy your book today! It's a good one, and well worth reading and passing on. Blessings~ liz

  3. Wow! I am fascinated by your journey and humbled to watch your efforts increase in getting to know God. You are doing great at blogging in a way that brings people along with you and then challenges them to the next level. I am praying for your journey and all that it will entail. Also, I am praying to see how God will use you and others like you who are willing to risk it all and reveal your struggles and victories in such a public way. It is such a privilege to be your pastor, and an honor to be your friend. Keep the Son in your eyes!


    p.s. can I use some of this on our website with a link back to your blog?

  4. Phil,

    Thank you so much for your comment! It is scary to put EVERYTHING out there. At first I had no idea what compelled me to want to post all these personal thoughts and realizations, lessons I am learning, fears I have, etc. out here for anyone and everyone to be able to read and know about me. As I continue to process everything that is changing and growing, I acknowledge that God wills us to do things everyday. Sometimes it is obvious and we have no doubts and other times are more subtle and you really have to slow down to even see that (in this case, blogging for me) God calls us to do even the smallest of things!

    I would be honored to have you use any of this on our church website! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog, and thank you even more for your prayers and support! My family feels truly blessed to have you as our pastor, seeing God work through you in leading our church and spreading His word has impacted Brian and I in many ways. Thanks for all you do!



Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog! I appreciate your feedback and thoughts in response to what I've written!