Mother's Day Weekend is coming to a close. I had the most wonderful weekend. But my life isn't always what it may seem. I post the happy pictures of us. I have the children "pose". However, we are all struggling in our own different ways. I have issues! I once heard someone say that if we all stood in a circle and put our junk in the middle we most likely would take our own junk back. I have to agree. I don't want your problems any more than you want mine. So here are some of my thoughts:
Do you have someone in your life who will speak those hard words to you...in love? I am blessed to have several ladies who do that for me. They love me and my soul and dare to go where no one else wants to. One is so loving that instead of telling me what I need to do, she hands me a book called Humility. LOL
I began reading the book on May 1st. I SOOO needed it. I have been angry and arrogant for three months. Actually probably longer. (There is my confession if I haven't said it to you already).
I am so glad I journal. It allows me to go back and see where I was and how far I've come. It allows me to see the prayers that have been answered. It allows me to see where I really am experiencing God.
" How can anyone be arrogant when he stands beside the cross?" Carl Henry
The book gives practical ways to weaken pride and cultivate humility.
1. Begin your day by acknowledging your dependency upon God and your need for God (as well as your confidence in God).
2. Begin your day by expressing gratefulness to God. "Thankfulness is a soil in which pride does not easily grow." Michael Ramsey
3. Practice the spiritual disciplines.
- study of God's Word
4. Memorize and meditate on Scripture (Allow scripture to transform your thinking).
5. Cast your cares upon Him. "Humble yourselves therefore under the might hand of God. (Then He shows us how) "casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7
The next day (May 2) I open my final chapter in my workbook (Experiencing God). The title is Returning to God.
"The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven." Deuteronomy 28:25
This is how I feel. So bombarded. I laid in bed and thought about the humility chapter that I read yesterday. I live defeated every day and the victory has been won. The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy. He is stealing my peace. I have been in a spiritual battle since February 2nd. That's 3 months of my life! I think that I am further away than I thought. My reasons are carelessness, not taking precautions and turning aside to distractions.
As I am sitting here my cell phone rings. It's a number I don't recognize. I answer it and it's CBN's prayer line from The 700 Club. The man asked me how he could pray for me today. My request is to pray about me returning to God.
I was sitting there with my workbook open thinking about the last 3 months and saying "God show up". And what happens? The phone rings. Coincidence? You might believe that. But what are the chances that The 700 Club is going to call me to pray for me? What are the chances!?
I have to remember that whenever I feel buried under care, the real issue is pride and self-sufficiency. I must deliberately and specifically cast my cares upon Him and thereby humble myself. God wants me to learn to depend on Him, to need Him and in the end to give glory to Him with an ever-deepening appreciation for the might hand of God.
On May 7th I taped a paper with the Practical Ways (listed above) on a piece of furniture in my bedroom. It's the first thing I see when I wake up. We have to start our day right. We are always abruptly awakened...by the alarm, a baby, a teenager, an animal...you name it. We never just wake when our bodies are finished resting. Remember, Satan never sleeps.
Here are a couple of pictures of my bedroom:
Before I go to bed I review the day and give glory to God for the grace I've experienced throughout the day. Then I accept the gift of sleep. My final thought is gratefulness for the Cross.
For the last 3 months, I have not been able to sleep. I would finally fall asleep and then between 2 and 3 am I would wake up. I would be WIDE awake and go over in my mind the areas of worry currently in my life. Then I would finally fall asleep around 4 am and be totally exhausted when Amanda wakes me at 6 am.
According to my journal, May 8th was my last sleepless night. At 1:20 am I was reading Lamentations 3. Also, I have Matt Maher's song "Lord I Need You" on my mind. It is the first thing I think about when I read Number One on the list.
For the last 3 months, I have been in my pit. But I have returned to God. Jesus was always in the pit with me. I need to remember to look to Him to be enough. He is the perfect example of grace, mercy and most importantly LOVE. If I place my hope in anything but Him then I may lose my belief in the true meaning of love.
Have my areas of worry changed for the better? No. And they may not. But I need to thank God that He even looked my way. I need to count it all joy. (James 1:2-8). I need to humble myself and be transparent. Why? Because I have two children who are looking at me to be their example!