Thursday, October 16, 2014

a little bit of everything

Every week at this point, I am stunned that another week has gone by so quickly.  It seems like my life goes from Friday to Friday.  I am glad I'm not "busy", though...that is one thing that we don't have much of right now, and for that, I am thankful.  Sports are not being played, school outside our home is not happening and both of those things contribute to this non-busy season we are currently in.

I am convinced that busy-ness is from the pit of hell.  And yes, I'm serious.  I wish I could tell you how many friends I have who let sports rule their lives.  And the lives of their kids.  We've never gotten into the competitive team sport thing, except for when they played lacrosse.  They did the church sports when they were young and will do them again if they become interested in them again.  I have come to hate sports that my kids play~not because I don't enjoy watching them play, but because of the parents around me.  At some point along the way, it stopped being just for fun and became more than a little mean spirited.

I'm all for playing well and performing to the best of our ability, but I don't like the seriousness with which some kids play.  And it's not just the kids, by the way, it stems from the parents.  I do not like competitiveness.

I know...some of this struggle is just me personally and how I can let fear of man take over my life.  (I am a people pleaser and want everyone to be happy and to get along.)  It's a real struggle with me, and it's something I am constantly working on.  I don't want to hinder my kids in any way, and though I would be happy if they never played another sport in these years at home, I don't want them to suffer because of the way I feel.

Right now in my life, I feel like I am in some sort of a holding pattern.  We're not busy, we don't have a lot going on outside of our little family, and I am content in that.  I know this won't last forever, so I am soaking up these moments while I can.  I have had some crazy seasons of life, being very busy every single day of the week, so trust me when I say that I am enjoying this time.

I am waiting.  I am trusting the Lord that He has me right where He wants me.  He is teaching me new things daily, through the study of His word and the Bible study I am currently in, and I am growing in the grace and knowledge of Him.  I can say the same for my kids.  They are studying the book of Second Timothy in their weekly Bible study, and I know that they are growing in that same way.  I am not saying that each day is perfect and that I am always happy, happy, happy~that is not the case, I assure you.  But I am confident that my kids will not forever be scarred by me.

I get upset with them over dumb things, and at my husband, and I have to go back and apologize.

I strive for perfection in my home, and I know I shouldn't.  My love for order and organization can quickly become an obsession of mine, so I have to try really hard to keep all of that in perspective.  I know that the mess will not be the end of the world, and I know that my kids will not grow up to be slobs.  (That made me smile.)

I also have to work really hard at not being judgmental.  Because I can so tend to be that way.  I have to remind myself that my salvation is not based on works, like Bible study and reading the Bible.

I have to remember to just let my husband talk without interrupting him.  He doesn't always need an answer when we talk, or a solution to what his problem is~he just needs a wife who will listen with a sympathetic ear.

I have to remind myself not to nag and to not be defensive when someone offers constructive criticism.  Because I tend to be defensive.

I have to stay far, far, far away from gossip.  Because I am drawn to it, like a moth to a flame.  I've had to pull away from relationships because of this, making me seem standoffish.  (At least, I'm pretty sure it's making me seem that way.)  I have to combat it all the time (in my head) with Scripture.  With phrases running through my head like, "Honor one another", or "Who is wise and understanding among you?", I am reminded of this truth over and over.

I have to remember that as Christians, we are called to be in unity with one another.  In Ephesians four, we are told that there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism~and that we are all to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  We are to be using our spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit gave us, and we are to be working together in these gifts, to build up Christ, so that we will reach unity in the faith.  Since when did it become okay for Christians to slander other Christians?  We have no idea what it's like to be in someone else's shoes until we have walked in them.  And yes, I am preaching to the choir.

I say all these things, because I am a constant work in progress.  I never want to be the same in my faith.  I always want to be growing closer and closer to my Lord Jesus, and in order to do that, He has to prune some yucky things off of me.  The things listed above are just a small example.  Have I given you ways you can pray for me?

The struggle is real.

I try to keep my mind fixed on Him.  In order for me to be able to do this, I am in His word all the time.  I love no other book more than I love the Word of God.  I pray throughout the day.  I listen to worship music.  I concentrate on the lyrics of the songs I sing, and I offer them back to Him in praise.

This is what I have playing while I write this.  I try to constantly fill my mind with music like this.

After meetings like today's at my homeschool group, I am so thankful for a group of like-minded women.  There is something so sweet and so precious about women getting to know one another with a common goal.  Our goal is prayer, our goal is unity in the faith.  In this day and time, this week day is so refreshing to me!  It's the one day when I don't hear of the horrid things going on in this world, I don't hear complaints, I just hear requests, pleas to God for mercy and wisdom and understanding and strength.  We meet and talk and pray and study His word.  It's been so amazing, as a small group leader, to see the women in my group grow in their faith.  I pray for them and for our group as a whole every time I pray.  We have struggles within our group~any time someone meets to study God's word, the enemy gets mad.  He tries to get his foothold in, but we meet early each week as small group leaders and pray against that.

I have a friend who told me about a dream her daughter had a while back, of a battle that she was witnessing.  Some people were being attacked from the left and right, and they were losing the battle.  There were others fighting that were clearly winning the battle.  My friend felt like the Lord was using her daughter's dream as a spiritual picture to show her the difference between people who pray to be dressed in their spiritual armor each day versus those who didn't pray for that.

I have taken to praying that I will be dressed each day in that armor~the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith~which is the word of God, the belt of truth and my feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

I pray each day that I will long for Him, like the deer pants for the water.

And in doing these things, I rely on His strength, and He never lets me down.  I pray that in revealing my weaknesses, the Lord uses it to strengthen you in your walk with Him.  You are not alone in your struggles.  We all have our junk, and the Lord has been showing me how important it is to be transparent with one another.

Love to all.

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