Thursday, January 5, 2017
(How awesome is the above statement?!)
Our week started out a bit differently than I had thought. Todd and Graham have had this weird cough all week, and poor Graham could NOT get to sleep last night because of it. But that is all it is~a tickle in your throat kind of cough. It got croupy once, and I gave him Prednisone cough syrup that hasn't yet expired. (Jonah had the croup cough last year and had the prescription, and the stuff is good and knocks it out after one dose, usually.) Anyway, the week has been slow and uneventful, which is always a plus.
Todd went back to work yesterday, and almost all the laundry got done, at last. I decided that when he's home sick from work, I like to be lazy. Like if he lays around, I lay around. I read an insane amount in two days and napped often. (I know some of you must be rolling your eyes at me. I'm rolling my own eyes at me.) I did make it to Costco one day and I've cooked all three days, so I haven't been TOO terribly lazy (we had this yummy crock pot chicken that I make on Monday, Cajun bean soup and cheese tortellini on Tuesday, and potato soup last night). But when he went to work yesterday, that was when my productivity set back in. The laundry was finished, beds were made, the floors were vacuumed and the kitchen was cleaned.
Yesterday was also the day that the boys started school work again. It was a light day for them, but still, the work got done. While they worked on that, I went and prayed with my dear friend, and then I came home and did my reading in the book of John for that day. Then, last night at church, two of the verses that our guest speaker talked about in his preaching were out of that same chapter I'd just read. The verses he read from (John 8:33, 44) were even two that stuck out to me in that time spent reading. I underlined them in my bible and wrote notes beside them...and then he taught from them. That is how the Word of God is living and active. I cannot tell you how many times that has happened to me. Church was so good last night, and it was GREAT to be back.
About all the reading I've been doing...I have finished three books this week. Two I had partially started and one I started Tuesday afternoon and finished last night before I went to bed. I'm trying to read more and watch television (Hallmark, Netflix) less. So far I've been doing pretty good. I'm picking up another book today that I started in the fall and never finished, and TWO people have now told me to read it again and stick with it. I'm taking their advice. I'm keeping up with what I read in my journal, so at the end of the month, I'll write a blog post on the books I've read. I am also starting a non-fiction book today that I've had for a year and haven't yet read. It's on prayer, and I'm hoping it will inspire my prayer life. Lately I've not been praying like I usually do, and this week has been a struggle. I am praying, just not as fervently, and I'm feeling that lack.
I am loving my new planner and will share a little more about it tomorrow on Friday Favorites. :)
Last, and most importantly, I have been sitting at the kitchen table lately for quiet time.
I loved where my scripture writing had me this morning~in John 14. I love verse 27, especially.
Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.
Lately my heart has felt troubled. I can explain some of it, but most of it I cannot. I go through times when I feel myself acting weird, and I don't know why, and nothing I do seems to make it stop. I usually try to pray through it, and I do, but I don't always feel a result of that prayer. When that happens, I end up asking God to just show me what to do or how to act or what to say. And He always faithfully answers that need. It's funny too, how I'll start praying for someone, and then the prayer will turn to me. It's not the hearts of others that God wants me concentrate on...it's MY heart that He would have me concentrate on. And right after that happens, He helps me cast off the pride that so easily ensnares, and He will lead me to act.
Then the peace that Jesus is talking about in John 14:27 comes. Sometimes I forget that He gives peace and He is Prince of Peace. He reminded me of that characteristic this morning...already, my heart feels so much lighter. I also STILL have a tendency to talk to others about problems before I talk to the Lord about them. He shows me this more and more, though, and I know He is working on me and in me.
The Lord is faithful. He always hears our prayers and He wants me to keep pouring out my heart to Him. I suppose I shared all of that to say that I am severely flawed and my heart is desperately wicked. Jeremiah 17:9 tells me that:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
I desperately need Jesus in my life, and I have such a hunger for His word. I will never achieve some grand status in my walk with Him. He is refining me daily, sometimes hour by hour, and I will be striving to be more like Him as long as I live. That is for anyone who thinks you have to be a certain way before you can call on Him. That's not true...He meets us as we are, and He does the work in us that we cannot do on our own.
That's called living a life led by the Holy Spirit. I pray all the time that He will help me to be led by Him, because it is NOT easy. In fact, it's the opposite of how the world works. I'm reminded of that often, that we are not to look the way that the world looks. Sometimes that means giving up friendships, or music that we listen to, or talking a certain way, or reading certain books, or seeing certain movies.
I'm human and I don't always want to live this way. Sometimes I let the worldliness creep in, but something will happen and He will remind me of this again. (And again and again.)
That was kind of the gist of John 8 yesterday, in the part that stuck out to me as I read through that chapter...not to be a slave to sin, but to remember that we are not of the world. And then I heard a message on what the Gospel is NOT and IS last night at church, and it all just sort of tied together.
I'll share about that another day, though....for now, laundry is calling my name and I need to get a move on.
Thanks for always reading my rambling thoughts and for sticking with this long and wordy post...as usual, it took a way different turn than I intended, but I know it's not accidental.
Love to all.