Friday, August 30, 2013

The Joy of Expectation

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

Waiting expectantly on God is pure joy.  I've received affirmation after affirmation that I'm in the right spot where God wants me.  I'm at a point where I'm allowing Him to work in my heart, in my life and through me.  

As I've wrote before about my own plans and how they were not God's plan.  Although I prayed that if it wasn't in His will that I'd be OK with the demise of my plans.  But it didn't stop me to keep making plans, seeking something from this world.  Now that I'm plugged fully into His plans.  Fully enjoying where He has me here and what He has me doing (that was a big break through!)

God has given me great peace at where I'm at.  I have submitted to finishing counseling training.  I am committed to further simplify things around my house so it runs smoother, more efficient.  

He has put in front of me many times - I have plans for you.  God's plans are good.  Trust in My plan for you.  Stop trying to make your own way.  It has to start with Me and you before we can take you to the world.  

He has good for me.  I know He has something great for me to do beyond volunteer extraordinaire.  All the things He has me doing are valuable.  I just know there is more, but first I must wait for the training to finish - both inside of me and counseling.  I look joyfully and expectantly to what He has in store.  It's like waiting for the big surprise.  It's leaving my heart open to any possibility - for He is a God of possibility.  Grasp it!  Let it sink in.  He has a plan for you to!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Love of Emptiness - Part 3

What I like most about this term – love of emptiness – is the fact I do not love emptiness, yet it describes my habits!!  Being able to name it means I can recognize it and be alert when it creeps into my life.  I can follow the prompting of Holy Spirit when I’m doing empty things. 

When I argued back about the ease of hopping on the computer, or flipping on TV, just to fill a little time.  The little time that I couldn’t devote to real study of God’s word or be able to clean anything properly.  The excuses went on and on.  Perhaps this should have been my first clue that I was truly in the wrong.

So I asked Him to lead me to make His word available to me.  Help me figure out that setting down to read a short passage, without all the bells and whistles a “true” Bible study had to it.  (Not that I never did this, it’s just rebelling against doing it regularly.) 

I began to obey.  I left my morning study open and Bible open so I could just sit down and jump right in.  God did deliver me from TV watching – because I asked Him.  It was slow going, I was reaching for the computer more than the Bible, but that was coming.  God is delivering me from the mindless activities.  Giving me motivation to do what I really need to do. 

so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

God word does not come back empty.  It fills, makes beauty where ashes once where.  It reveals Jesus where only ugly sin once was.  Filling the emptiness with God, becoming so content with Him that nothing else will do.  

Monday, August 26, 2013

Love of Emptiness - Part 2

We fill the emptiness of our lives with a hundred pieces of world.  The smart phone is this – it must be check, must be looked at, must have the latest app to simplify your life in a complicated way!

We must stop!  It reminds me of the Never Ending Story that Nothing is slowly taking over the imagination of children therefore consuming all of  Fantastica.  The Nothing is spreading yet many are unaware of it coming.

You will eat but not be satisfied; your stomach will still be empty. Micah 6:14a

It is the same with any habitual sin.  We’re always seeking to fill up on the world, but since we are not filling up on what last, we are empty.

What to do? 
It is asking God to make me aware of His presence.  To help me focus on His word.  It remove the sinful habits of going to email, computer time, TV that consume my day. 

It’s not just stopping the above actions and bam, I’m no longer empty.  For Jesus said:

“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” Matthew 12:43-45

So we are to replace the emptiness.  For me, God prompted me to begin journaling first thing, writing out scripture and writing what He speaks to me.  This was the first step.  It meant I got up about 15-30 minutes earlier to have that quiet time.  And for someone who loves sleep, this is a big deal.  Slowly, God showed me how to replace the emptiness.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Love of Emptiness Part 1

I dug out some old material that convicted me once before and thought I would read it again to see if the same conviction leaped off the page at me again.  It is a short little pamphlet.  I didn’t get far into it.  I stopped on the front page.  The expression was so short, yet it fit what Holy Spirit is moving within my heart.  You must be free from ... love of emptiness...

Love of emptiness, what is that?  Why would anyone love emptiness?  That led to a further study. 

Meaning: emptiness is the noun form of empty.  The meaning for empty from is as follows: containing nothing, not occupied or inhabited, lacking reality, substance meaning or value, devoid of sense, hungry, idle, having no purpose or result, marked by the absence of human life, activity, comfort.

Oh there is just so much to go on.  So, through reading what I could find (really not much out there), prayer and meditation showed how it applied to me and what it means. 

But first what is it?

It’s a two fold inner state.  First, we’re empty inside and seek to fill it.  This is the natural state of man since the fall.  Then the world says to fill it with things, yet none last.  The emptiness grows because the things being put in only create more emptiness, never fulfilling. 

My example - watching TV.  Most shows I watch (HGTV) have no real value.  They add nothing.  It amounts to a time that I have an empty head.  I’m not thinking over some great thought, thinking about what I could do to serve and love those I will contact in my day, think and praise God for how good He is.  I go to it to fill my head, to be a distraction, yet it leaves me empty.

The emptiness grows from spending my time this way.  The emptiness also craves more.  It wants more of what it had.  The same could be true for anything - shopping, eating, computer time (Pinterest anyone?), the list goes on and on.  If anything the modern world has created is way in which to unengaged with the world, with our brains and become people of emptiness.

Of course, this could happen to a dedicated Christian after a major change.  When we just want to be alone and do our own thing.  It slowly creeps in that we’re trying to fill ourselves up with things of the world that distract us from the day to day.  This could be a loss of a loved one that upset your whole world, loss of job, an illness - basically any change in routine.  We make allowance for that period - we need healing, adjustment. Then next thing you know, your habits are set and you are slave to the mind numbing activity.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My work space

I need of a dedicated work space.  A place where I can continuously plug my laptop in.  The battery only lasts about an hour, so it needs to be connected.  We have a desk with a desktop computer - I'm sitting at right now.  However, it is on the laptop that my fingers love to pour out words.  I'm also less prone to check email and such on the laptop - less likely to be distracted.  The desk is shared with D and K, not someplace in which I can leave my stacks of books and Bibles.

I'm getting ready to start the writing phase of the test to be a certified counselor.  The test is sixty essay questions with a minimum of one page of writing per question.

My space needs to be:
  • a place where I can have my things all over
  • the ability to close my books and leave in a neat stack that won't be pretty, but will be available
  • to sit down and jump in where I left off
  • a firm chair so my back doesn't suffer
  • a good view that isn't so distracting
I chose this place.
It is the end of my kitchen table.  This isn't someone's "assigned" spot, for certain times of the year the sun is glaring into this seat.

It has a great view of outside. I love my little slice of Paradise.  I'm so blessed to live on a lake.  You can kinda see it at the bottom, below the bird feeders.
And the wall of my girl - pictures of her childhood.

I cleaned out the junk, moved over the paperwork and plugged in my laptop.  Now we'll see what my family says about this workspace - maybe I'll move into the cat's room, if I can find a gas mask to save me from the litterbox smells.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Heart Broken

I posted this on Camp in June.  Who knew it wouldn't be long before we would all understand why camp was cancelled.  What looked like something bad turned into a blessing.  It definitely hit me to trust God more, for He knows what we need - even to cancel an opportunity to minister to children.  For the morning that we would have left for camp, the leader's son went home to God. 

This is the letter I wrote.
My dear friends,
To say anything is so inadequate.  To do anything is so insufficient.  I know the Lord is protecting your heart from doubt.  Your ability to be others-focused through your loss is supernatural.  I'm reminded of Jesus when His dear cousin was beheaded.  He went to the mountainside for rest and mourn, but the people came.  They sought Him and He ministered to their needs.

I see that in you.  The salvation of other over dwelling on your loss.  The need to see God redeem, use your saddest moments for His great glory.  Your servant heart shines through.  May you continue to be a vessel for God to use and an example of what it means to love God all the days of your life.

Although I am insufficient, we love a God who is sufficient.  His mercies are new everyday.  His grace will see us through.  He is a God who redeems all of life.  None of our lives is wasted when we offer it to God.  May His wisdom that surpasses all understanding be granted to you.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Stealing Time

Ephesians 3:15-16  Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Last night I watched a program.  It referred to "stealing time" when a person spends their time at work on personal things or surfing the internet.  We are held to a higher standard than the "norm" that says we have a right to check email, read blogs and it is a must to check Facebook or twitter, ect.

Good thing for me, I don't "work" outside the home.  Oh, you know what happened then.  The Holy Spirit breezed in and said "this is what I'm talking about.  I sent this to you so you could fully understand what I'm trying to do in you."

So of course I've mulled it over, fell asleep and forgot.  Not to be forgotten long, for I read my daughter her devo for the morning and low and behold these verses above and the need to spend my time wisely was the charge of the day.

I need to be careful.  I need to be wise.  I need to make the most out of every opportunity.  I need to strive for excellence (not perfection).  Because the days are evil!  I need to be careful!  Be wise!  Make the most of every opportunity because the evil is waiting to lure to not be excellent, not be wise, not be careful, not make the most out of every opportunity.

Now my girl has returned to school, it is like New Year's for me.  A time I reflect on what I did last year and what I want to do this year.  A time to do __________ that I put off over the summer so I could devote my time to my girl (yes, cleaning bathrooms were on that list, I'm sorry to say).   

A week or so before school started, God made it clear I was putting to much preference on TV watching and if I continued as I was going, all those things I wanted to catch up on and the study I needed to do would be lost because of TV.  I'm also distracted by the internet surfing.  

So the message last night sunk in.  I'm stealing time away from God when I spend it on things I want, not on the good stuff He's given me.  I'm not so careful when I pursue information that is not needed (what is a best-boy grip anyway?).  I'm not wise when I plan to get a lot done then devote the morning to reading blogs and facebook and I'm definitely not making the most of my time.  I'm not being excellent.

This isn't to say all internet use is stealing or wrong.  You know in your heart when you've crossed the line.  You know when you need to shut off the TV, game or whatever that is distracting you from doing what God is calling you to do that day - clean your house, do the laundry, seek Me in my word.  Praise Me with music, with the cry of your prayers.  You won't be disappointed and you won't feel empty and you'll have accomplished the work before I've set before you.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Seek Me

God is repeating Himself to me.  “Seek Me”.  I’ve read it many times in my books, but it wasn’t until recently that it stood out in a couple places – be focused on our vertical relationship over any horizontal relationships.  He did this just as He revealed and helped sink in (and answered prayer) to love Him four fold – mind, heart, soul and body. 

He has prepared my heart to go deeper – to really allow this to sink in – to become my new nature – part of my very essence – my heart.

Proverbs 3:6

In all your ways acknowledge (submit to) Him and He will make your path straight.  

What does it mean to acknowledge Him?  To submit my ways to Him?

It brings a new level of loving Him.  Wow, think of Him first.  To seek Him and allow Him to do the work in me.

When I prayed for more of my heart to be revealed, God convicted me.  When I’m convicted of something, I take hold and condemn myself.  I agree that the change needs to happen, then I get busy going about what I think should change and how I should change and when I should change and what the results of that change should look like.  I create plans that fail for I’m trying to do it. 

The change needs to be from the heart and the only way any heart changes is if God changes it.  I need to agree with God and ask Him to show me the steps to change. 

The example in my life if weight loss.  I was convicted (from God) and condemned (from me) to lose weight.  I allowed God to work many things out of me.  With the help of man made tools, I lost a substantial amount and kept it off because of a lifestyle change. 

With my physical issues and my lax with food, I’ve put on 7-8 pounds.  It has brought me to think I should return to lose weight and get to my real goal, which is about twenty pounds lighter.  Do you see the keyword here?  Me or my!

This is me taking something I’m convicted of (eating mainly) and deciding how it should be fixed and what the end results should be.

What is should look like:
  1. Listen to God – stock up on healthier food to snack on (Cheez-its don’t count!)
  2. Acknowledge Him in all my ways – especially when it comes to food in my mouth.

So in my own planning, I thought I would once again sign up for an online weight loss program and resurrect the gumption to do it.  However, God pointed He’s ready for a deeper heart change.  One that acknowledges Him and that He is enough for all things.

(This is in no way says that the man made tools are not Godly.  If He leads you, follow.  Right now He’s leading me another way.  It is a step of faith He wants from me)

 Until we meet again – may God be your eternal light.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What a summer!

I had a post prepared for how God lead me to take a break for blogging - and it seems it never was posted.  We enjoyed the last days of summer and here is the first day of school.  I plan to devote the morning getting all the notes God breezed into me over the past few weeks down and slotted to bring life back to this blog. 

Praise God in the wonderful day - who knew I'd be a mother of a 3rd grader!
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