Yesterday I sat down to write today's study and when finished I wanted to hit delete. Instead, I hit save instead of publish. A good friend once told me, "If it's of God, then He will make the path peaceful and easy". It makes sense; as long as I'm not going against His Will, I won't feel as if I'm swimming against the tide. So, that message from yesterday is sitting in cyber world, waiting for it to become what God wants it to be.
Today however, I was overwhelmed with the desire to leave my child's school and run home to my computer. He gave me a message and it has stewed within me all day.
Today I was at a middle school dance as a chaperon. I was actually excited about it because I was a substitute for a teacher and so I was getting paid to chaperon. The kids came in and the music started and I was standing to the side watching. After a few fun songs a different song played, the lyrics were familiar and the voice was sweet. I thought, "I've heard this song." All the kids ran towards the stage and started dancing like crazy. Then like a punch in the gut I realized what song it was. The song doesn't really matter but it is the nature of the song that has bothered me, it was the clean version being played. It's highly popular and the video shows a girl naked riding a metal ball. The song and artist will remain nameless. When I looked out at those children they were LOVING IT! What I saw was a whole generation of children who are young still and very much of this world. My heart broke into a thousand pieces right there.
I fought back tears. Yes, it's true! What went through my head was "NO!" Don't they know they are all special, don't they know that there is an evil world out there tainting their minds. I never considered myself one of those preachy women who shook her head at the music kids listened to or how they danced. I have become that woman. The funny thing is, I'm cool with it. However, I am not cool with the devil playing with our children. What struck me and truly brought tears to my eyes was thinking about how God must feel. Girls and Boys, not even pre-teen are worshiping the things of this world. They don't know how amazing God is and the goodness He has for us. In Exodus 32:17&18 reminds me of today. God had something amazing for the Israelites but their partying kept them from it.
God has something amazing for us too.
The accounts in Exodus are constant reminders of the good God has for us. Actually, the book of Exodus had a huge part in my personal transformation years ago. The story of God's promise and how we constantly keep ourselves from it amazes me.
Exodus = mass withdrawal, departure, evacuation, leaving
Kind of sounds like the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport to me.
Years ago I did my first Bible study all on my own: me, Bible, and God. It was directed specifically at healing my marriage that felt broken, "Meet Me In The Laundry Room" was born. I personally have completed the study, not once but, 3 times. Each time my marriage changed and grew. It is a personal study that was directed at my heart and one I plan to continue to improve upon. My marriage was renewed and is amazing. God is good!
Recently, God has been working on me about other things...
here's the story as raw and real as I can get.
My dreams are coming true. I am now a stay at home mom again.. I worked my direct sales business to the point that it exceeded my teachers salary and allowed me to come back home to raise my boys the way God intended me to do. Before, I was missing everything and it broke my heart so I came home. More importantly I felt like the one job God had given me I was failing at miserably because of a "career". These were my own personal convictions for my family and they were strong. So, I'm home now and I have all this time on my hands, what's a girl to do.
Well, I start a running group 3 mornings a week and sadly, start watching way too much TV while at home. This was NOT at all what I had intended. I let life get me down. Why? What? Say that again! Yes, I had my dream of being a SAHM again and I was failing at that! I folded clothes slowly during the day so I could catch up on shows on Netflix. In the mean time, I retreated for much of my week and became best friends with my love seat. I started letting people down in my business and THEN one day I went to here a girl speak about everyday idols in our life. I had an idol in my life and it was HUGE and it was letting me down.
The ladies conference I went to was set up, sold out, and planned JUST FOR ME! Kelly Minter was the guest speaker and did you know she drove all the way to my church from her home in Nashville just to talk to ME in that room full of other women! God sent her straight to me to pour into me what HE wanted me to hear. It was the most unreal thing I had experienced in a long time. My heart pounded as she spoke with love and conviction straight into my heart. I could not believe the words she said, she said them for ME. Then I looked around that sanctuary full of other women who sat quite and stunned and I realized...it was for them too. I bought her books and her CD's and took them home and put them on my night stand right along with other books I had been given recently.
God's conviction came down on my heart swift and fierce as I started slowing plowing through the first days study and first chapters of her book. I shared my findings and feelings with others and then popped in a CD. I listened to the days devotions over and over and over because each time I heard something new. That was because I listened to them all distracted by my day but still very hungry to hear them. Then one day something happened that changed my mindset and it was the most powerful day I'd had in a long time.
I had listened to an amazing devotion on that disc and the sweet voice kept saying "if, then" over and over. I glued myself to it and listened. Sunday morning was just the beginning of that powerful day. I walked into our church sanctuary and saw on the big screen
I think I stood with my mouth open during worship. All day God spoke to me about "if, then". "If I did this, then God would do that..." If I kept a clean house, then I would feel at peace. If I talked to more people, then my business would flourish. If I could lose more weight, then my life would be complete. Right? Does that sound anything like what goes through your mind? Do you think anything along those lines, like... If I did this, then my boss would respect me. If I buy this dress, then my friends will not suspect the debt choking us. If I don't pay this bill, then I can buy groceries. What ever your "If, THEN" is...mine was coming.
That evening after God had been showing me signs over and over that He heard my heart, I started reading in the book of Job. In the book of Job there is talk of silver and gold and how...God is my silver and gold. He directs even the lightening, the breeze that blows the flowers, He makes the waves crash on the shore and the sun give us light. I started feeling that there was something MORE, something I was missing, something BIG! Then the pastor preached about God's omnipresence out of Job. "Wow God! Really?" I thought in awe. At the end of the our church service I stood up and tears fell down my face because they couldn't stay swelling in my heart any longer and then it happened... In my mind I said. "Lord, if I am to go to your alter, then the preacher will say the right thing.(what ever that thing was)" As soon as I thought it I wanted to hit the floor. In hindsight I knew nothing the preacher said would have been right because my heart still had an over abundance of "if, then" and it only took that one for me to realize.
On the way home that evening I cried out to God right in front of my husband and kids in the car. God, show me! As I looked back down at my open Bible my eyes caught the scripture in Job that I had missed.
Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty
and will lift up your face to God.
You will pray to him, and he will hear you,
and you will fulfill your vows.
What you decide on will be done,
and light will shine on your ways. Job 22: 26-28
"God said to me, I am your Almighty...RETURN TO ME!" God was begging for me to return to Him. I was almost screaming, "I know I'm saved and love Christ but there is MORE." I know there must be something else, something I'm missing because I know GOD HAS MORE! I needed out of the dark place I had been for weeks. I needed the devil and his spirits of doubt and fear to stop rocking my world. I needed to return to the ONE who loved me and gave His Sons life for me. I was missed and He indeed had more!
So I prayed.
The next day I picked up a book off my husbands nightstand. One that was given to me by a friend in my life, the person who wrote it. It was given to me in Dallas after a church service back in August, this was October...why hadn't I opened it before? In this book the first message he wrote that caught my attention was "There is more!" I laid out prostrate, face down on my bed and cried out to God. It's all there. There it is, the MORE that God had for me.
He has more for you too.
This next Bible Study is for me, you can follow along but I will be sharing the amazing truth that God has already revealed and the more He has for us. Is it possible that this new study could be for YOU so that you can hang onto every word until God pours out the MORE He has for you straight into your life. I can not wait to share with you what God has opened my heart to in the last few weeks.
SCREAM! I had thought I turned on my alarm for this morning so I could go for an early morning run but I didn't and I just kept on sleeping. I however was happy for a minute when I woke up and it was just 66 degrees outside and I discovered I was 1.8 pounds from the goal I had set for myself before my trip this week. This week is a big week for us and I'm a little overwhelmed with everything that is about to go down. I have meeting this evening, football practice for the kids starts, a trip to Dallas, and I need to show my kids some summer fun daily and keep my house and laundry clean and make sure the bills get paid.
I got up, got dressed, drank a Spark, I put on my running shoes and headed to the track. My hamstring is still hurting but I ran anyway, sort of, I walked more than I wanted to and didn't go the distance so to speak. I got heated in the checkout line at Costco over the price of a watermelon plus I get heated shopping anyway. I felt super defeated as I heated up. My morning was turning out to be a big wash...pooey. A sad little run and no watermelon for the kids.
I pulled into the drive to see my husbands pile of car junk that he is working on and took a picture to post on social media with words of disgust. I did, and deleted it. The negativity is just pouring out today. I cried. I walked past the pile of new football gear, mountain of shoes, dirty dishes, and walked straight into my study and straight to my Bible.
Tearfully...sobbing actually...I called out to God for help. I'm overwhelmed by the sense that I'm not living up to my own expectations and just a big failure today. I knew I would read the scripture I needed as long as I asked for it. It's His Word that he uses to speak to me so I have no doubt that I will read exactly what I need to as soon as I opened my Bible. After a few twists and turns through scripture I came to 1 Peter 5:8-11
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because[a] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may[b] the God of all grace, who called us[c] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
It was then that I realized that a roaring lion was trying to devour me today. Whew! I tell you it makes my heart pound knowing that there are women all over the world who are feeling just like me today. That we feel defeated, that we can not do it all right. That we fail as moms and wives. That we can never get ahead. That we will forever and ever be trying to find balance. It wasn't me failing, it was the evil one telling me I was failing..
Truth is we aren't going to do it all right...we are going to have "fail" moments. But let's go back and read that scripture again.
The only one that is telling you that you are a failure is the devil. He wants you to believe that it isn't okay to make mistakes, to mess up, to fall short...truth is. We all do it. We all have dirty laundry, piles of stuff laying around, dishes that forever need washing, coworkers that rub us the wrong way, cashiers that don't listen, gas lights that come on, muscles that ache, alarms that don't go off...it happens! That's life! While we are suffering for these days and feeling defeated God is looking down on us and saying "don't forget about Me".
So, as I lifted my head I said...thank you Lord! Today is going to be awesome! Thank you Lord for giving me renewal, for giving me hope, strength, and seeing me for what I am...a child of yours who just wants this life to lead me back to You.
As I'm sitting here...my alarm goes off at 12 (noon). Weird huh? Let's just say that was all in God's plan for today and that it's time to start my day again with a new perspective.
Prayers for you my friends.