Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More Ideas on Servanthood

Yesterday I came across a site by Priscilla Shirer, the author of a book I've been reading. The article (True Servanthood)that I chose to read there gave me much to think on. How like God to have some of the very same text from that article appear in the chapter of the book that I was reading today. I'm slow to get things I guess, and grateful that He's taking the efforts to make things clear to me.

I was really convicted of how often I offer to serve, but don't really mean it. Have you been there? I mean, you say, if there's anything I can do to help, just let me know. And like most people, including you, you know that offer won't be taken up on.

I want the boldness to be able to just do! To serve and not let myself get in the way. To not worry about if they really need help, or about my time or resources, but to give. I'm greatly challenged, but may I also be obedient. That's my prayer today. Lord, may I do the things I know I need to. May I serve, not grudgingly, but with a happy and willing spirit. May I serve, and not just offer to serve. May these simple things bring you glory.

AND if you find me at your doorstep with a mop, a casserole, or a shovel, well praise the Lord!


Monday, January 26, 2009

God Speaks

It totally amazes me that God should choose to be in relationship with me. Who am I to Him? He doesn't need my efforts, but He wants me. I'm greatly humbled...and amazed.

Today God has been just so wonderful. After finding it difficult to have time with Him, He's been so faithful. I fully anticipated that today would begin with Little Man sleeping in until 7 or so, which would give me some wonderful alone time in the morning. AHH. Twas not to be though. Instead he was up around 6 and required me to complete a "nuclear waste removal" process. I've never seen so much poop in a set of pajamas!

Ah well. Later I did find time to meet with God and how sweet He was. For several months I'd been wrestling with how I hear from God and what He says to me. Prodded on by a Bible study that made me do a lot of soul searching I felt really dry and lost in the end. I knew God spoke to me and I know I had a relationship with Him, but there certainly seemed to be a lot of silence. It's been so encouraging to continue studying God speaking to us and be reminded that although God does speak to us, we can't MAKE Him speak to us. Yes, we can prepare our hearts and need to do so, but God speaks as He wills. Our job is to pursue Him and continue after Him while waiting to hear.

What joy is mine as He is speaking to me. I continue to be bombarded with messages about servanthood. What wonderful reminders and challenges. Reminders that serving my family is part of my ministry and divine calling. Reminders that feelings are not a measure of servanthood, in fact, they often must be sacrificed. Challenges to follow in obedience as a servant even when we don't really want to go where we see the immediate steps taking us. Challenges to keep on when times are difficult. (A part of me is wondering what all this is preparing me for. What is the challenge that is ahead?)

Dear one, may you continue to seek Him at all times. I pray that you are encouraged today by the fact that He is speaking and choosing to talk with you. May we both have open ears and hearts set to obey!

Friday, January 23, 2009

How do they do it?

I've been thinking on some things in between extra loads of laundry from Little Man. How do moms really find time to be with God on a continual basis? I'm not saying that I'm not having time with God, but it's sometimes so broken up with the demands of the day that I wonder if anything is really sticking or getting through. I suspected that life could be like this as a mom, but now I'm thinking about it more, and wondering what the affects of more than one child is. To those of you who are mom's and you are maintaining a daily, vibrant time with our Father....YEAH! I'm cheering you on and I want to know your secret!

Prior to this week of mild "sickness" in the house, I was pretty good at being the first one up and enjoying some quiet time with my Lord then. Nothing like the Bible, a cup of coffee, and some "set things straight" prayer time to get the day going. Of course, that didn't mean I wasn't chatting with God throughout the day, but that morning time just seemed SO good. THIS week, I've been up with Little Man around 4AM changing sheets, letting him sleep on top of me in our bed, (since that's the only place he seems happy afterwards), and sadly missing my quiet morning time. He wakes me up and the day begins with a quick check in prayer and hopes to read something over breakfast.

I remember consoling my sister-in-law, who adventured into motherhood before me, that surely this was a season and that God would be faithful to feed her on the time she was able to make happen. I think that's still true, but sometimes you just get a little tired of quick prayers, hurried readings, and a "quiet" time punctuated with a baby's cry. Sometimes it feels like you're bailing out a boat that's taking on water too quickly.

So, if you're able to enjoy the luxury of having your time all your own, ENJOY your time with our Father. AND if you're in the motherhood boat, know that a fellow mom's encouraging you to keep bailing out your boat and that she's fixing her eyes on the One that was able to do all kinds of things from a boat!

AND seriously, if you have something that works for you to help build your relationship with God while doing the Mom thing, by all means, SHARE!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Be Still

I've had a chance to apply some of what I've been learning. There have been victories and failings. Dear husband hasn't been feeling well and Little Man seems to be under the weather, some also. I had my first experience cleaning up after a sick little boy, so new ground in the servant area! I find that I'm not as compassionate or tenderhearted as I probably should be. And I'm continuing to strive to understand what it means to be a servant in my home. Philippians 2:5-8 continues to speak to me. The phrase, "took the humble position of a slave", is one that I'm really thinking on. I'm not saying by any stretch of the imagination that I'm working like a slave or even close to be feeling like one, but at the same time, I'm thinking about what the meant for Christ. A slave doesn't have rights, and I think that's the big point. So, when I want to scream for my time, my space, my rights, I need to think about this.

At the same time that I've been mulling this over, a devotion I was reading was talking about balancing servanthood with being still. You can't hear from God if you're always rushing around serving. So it's been good to balance this idea of servanthood with being still before God and making sure I'm full so that He can do His work through me. I'm sure there will be more about this "being still" thing, but for now I need to sign off. May you have time to be still and know that He is God.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Something to Share with a Mom

Today while exploring during nap time, I stumbled on this. Guess God has more to say to us, huh?

A Servant's Heart

One of the things that God's been talking to my heart about recently is servanthood. I'm grateful that he's taking the time to speak in this area and I have much to learn.

Some days being a stay at home Mom can be hard, as many of you know. (Other days it's the best gift in the world!) I find myself still dealing with my identity. I used to be the teacher. I liked the praise I'd receive and the attention I'd get during the day with my students. I was busy with things that although served others also served myself. If I wasn't working with kids at school, I was busy with something at church. My time was pretty much my own, because my husband's work took much of his time, too. If I wanted to do something, I could, there wasn't too much to it.

Now, as I roll towards year two of being a stay at home Mom, I still find myself fighting with time. Nap time seems so precious, because I can do what I want. If I want to serve in some way, I have to take in account who will watch Little Man. My husband also developed a constantly changing kind of schedule, which drove me nuts, because sometimes just when I'd have "my time" after Little Man was down, I was now supposed to take care of him. I found myself developing a hard attitude. I wanted my husband to provide freedom. I didn't want to always be taking care of things for everyone else.

Thankfully, God is preventing my hard attitude from being a permanent thing. Praise to Him...because woe is me if left on this track. He began to speak to me through my reading of The Shack. I was really struck by the conversations dealing with our rights and how we view others. (There will probably be some other entries dealing with this.) God used this piece of fiction to get me thinking and examining myself. He also began to speak to me through His Word. I began working on memorizing Philippians 2:5-8. It begins, "You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to." (NLT) WOW. I mean, that's a clear command. YOU MUST have this attitude. Jesus did not think that He should use his Godness to keep Him from doing what was required, so if Jesus gave up his rights, who am I to cling to them? I began to pray that I would serve in my home first and ask God to help me in this area. He's lovingly given me renewed joy. And the other morning when my quiet time was about to be upset because someone needed breakfast, He kept my heart from being hard and helped me serve. A small victory for me.

Another thing that helped me was a post on a blog I stumbled upon that called No Mundane Tasks which was taken from No Mundane Tasks by Nancy Leigh Demoss as part of the 31 day Makeover Challenge.. It's helped quite a bit, too.

So, if you're struggling with being a servant, maybe God is speaking to you to turn to Him so that He can give you His mindset. Know that you're not facing this struggle alone, either!

May we all serve with the heart of God.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Year Beginnings

Don't you love the new year? I do. As a girl I always loved getting a new notebook. I'd vow that every single page would be used perfectly and have perfect handwriting. There would be no mistakes in this notebook. How quickly that would change.

A new year gives me that new notebook feel. I know we're fifteen days into the new year, but I still have that feeling. I'm so glad, too. See, the past few months have been a little dry in the area of my relationship with God. He and I have been talking and spending time together, but it just hasn't felt close. I can't say what the reason for the dryness really was, but He's been gracious and given me a sweet time of fellowship with Him recently. As my family settled back to life without the holidays, He and I have had some wonderful times together.

I've been wondering a lot what this year's notebook will hold? What will He teach me? What will I do? How will I face the challenges that are around me as this year progresses? How does He want me to adjust to Him? It's exciting.... and I'm turning all those questions over to Him. I want Him to write on the notebook of my life. I want Him to fill the pages. That's my heart's desire this year....to be filled with Him for all to read. Have you talked to him about your notebook? What does He want to share with you? Before another day adds to the year, take some time to talk with Him about this and see what He says.


In talking with a friend today about Facebook and technology, I was amazed at how much time we spend with technology each day and how it affects us. I've resisted Facebook, knowing that it would be another thing I'd feel compelled to maintain and spend precious minutes with, even though I realize it has a great capacity to link people. But another reason for the resistance is the thought, "Who am I? Meaning...who am I that people should really care what I do throughout my day. After all, it is rather ho-hum."

And yet with this conversation being had, I begin a blog. Why? Isn't the same question being asked? Who am I that someone would read this? What do I have to share that would be meaningful?

Well, in spite of these questions, I find myself typing. The reason for this is that a few days ago as I was working on the blog I maintain for our family, I realized how much it was centered on my son and our life with him. It's great for keeping the grandparents and those miles away in touch, but it really doesn't go very deep. And I find myself wanting to go deep. I want to do something with meaning. My world seems so small as a stay at home Mom. So, God and I have been talking and he laid this idea on my heart. At first I went, "Huh? Do you really want me to spend precious nap time minutes working on another blog?" Then I argued, "But who will read it? I mean what's the use? What do I have to say that could really make an impact?"

Well, I don't have an answer to that last argument, but I'm obeying because I know God will use this for whatever His purpose is. Maybe it will be more for me and keeping me accountable to the path I'm walking. Maybe friends will follow it and add their wisdom to it. Maybe it will entwine itself in some ministry opportunity further down the road. Maybe someone out there in cyberspace will find something they need at just the right moment. I don't know. And when I think about it, it's not my responsibility to know the answer.

So, thank you if you are reading this and joining me. I hope we can learn together and become more conformed to the image of Christ as we walk through life.