Do you feel like life kind of depletes your joy? I found comfort in today's devotion, and it's such a simple thought. Isaiah 61:10 says, " I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!" Are we? Really? Sometimes, yes, sometimes....ummm, no. What about when your day goes wrong the second your feet hit the floor? Or when something happens between your kids that you are mortified about? How about when depression or discouragement settle in? Or what about that time you said (or thought) something you really shouldn't have?
I take joy in the fact that first and foremost, the Lord is there for me to delight in. When I ask His forgiveness, He forgives me. Just like that. When I ask Him to guide me through something, He does. He does these things freely~not because His Father tells Him to, but because He wants to. That alone gives me immense joy. I used to think that leading a Christian life was so boring...you never get to do what you really want to....that you just had to be so GOOD all the time. But you know what? It is NEVER boring. Just because I wear the badge doesn't mean that my life is boring and perfect. It is FAR from it. God has gotten me out of my comfort zone a time or two. And that goodness part? My flesh still settles in for a stay every few days. I get mad or upset over the DUMBEST things. Seriously. And I still worry sometimes. Really? Have I not learned that worrying does not add even a single hour to my life? If I profess to love and serve and follow my Lord, then worry should NOT be a part of my daily routine.
I do have this comfort zone~I live a Christian life, read Christian books, hang out with Christian friends, listen to Christian music. I'm safe and content in my little box. Well a few months ago, God put this idea in my head to "step out". Okay, I thought. I can do that. So I started speaking a little more boldly wherever I went. I remember this one day quite fondly. I was eating lunch with coworkers and I said something about the relationship I have with my Jesus, and the whole room just went silent. You could have heard a pin drop. Then, very quickly, the subject changed. I laughed to myself, thinking, "I must have struck someone's nerve." Little by little, things like this have started happening.
Then God put this thought into my head: "You want to go on a mission's trip, but why can't you do something like that in your own city?" Again, not a big deal. Until we were in church and they mentioned Sidewalk Sunday School. It was like a bell was ringing in my head, DING DING DING!!! "This is it, child, this is what I want you to do!" I looked around me, thinking, oh great. Really? Me? Are You sure???? I hate being outside when it's 150 degrees in Memphis. I hate getting up early on Saturdays, much less getting up and then leaving my home. I HATE going into areas of town that I am unfamiliar with. And come on, Sidewalk Sunday School is a TWENTY~THREE WEEK COMMITMENT. Sure, I don't have to go every week, but what excuse would I have for NOT going? I wrestled with these thoughts for WEEKS before I started to feel a peace about it. Then that peace was replaced with excitement. Huge excitement. And now? I can't wait to start!
I know, I know, you're reading this thinking, "Give me a break, this is not a big deal." But for me, this is huge. God keeps on putting ideas into my head about other things, as well, things that I am very very very unsure of. I just feel the need to stay in tune with Him and His will for my life. I feel the need to seek and ask for guidance through prayer and petition. I need to do a better job of putting all my trust in Him. For when that happens, He will show me His way.
I have been wanting to do some sort of outreach thing with the boys. Last year, Todd was a part of a ministry that our church had going feeding the homeless. He took Graham with him a couple times, because we figured he was old enough to handle it. And the child LOVED it. There were these kids that were showing him how to shoot hoops properly, and how to play a more aggressive game of basketball. I would have loved to have been there to see it, but I stayed home with the other boys. We didn't feel they were quite ready to handle something like that without asking a million times, "Is it time to go yet?". I know that Graham will love going and doing this with me, but the other three, I'm unsure of. The Thompsons told us that they don't want a bunch of church kids sitting in a big group together to the side. If kids go, they want them to be mixed in with the other kids, and helping out. Graham LOVES this kind of thing. And who knows, maybe before it's all over and done with the other boys will have come with me a time or two. The thought of serving community TOGETHER as a family is extremely appealing to me. It's all about that, isn't it? Serving.
Well, I just looked at the time, and I must stop for now. I hope you all have an amazing day and weekend. I hope to see some of you at church on Sunday!!!!! If you're looking for a church home, come give ours a try~Memphis First Assembly of God. If you need someone to sit with, I'll be that someone. Love to all!!!!!!
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