Friday, February 20, 2009

The God Chronicles-February 2009

I sat down to write out my God Chronicles today, but God started talking to me about something else. Something I wrote about almost a year ago. So, I'm going to use an old post today too.

See, my husband is away at a conference right now for 5 days. I have all three kids to myself for that time. I'm in a new city (well we've been here for a year now) with no family nearby and no close friends yet. So, I've been feeling all-alone in this. Truth be told, I guess I've been feeling kind of whiny. Which reminds me of this post. This is from my testimony blog Healing Hope. I hope it encourages you today, and I'll try to have some new material for March! :)

The Three-Year Temper Tantrum

I was having my quiet time and Bible study on March 28, 2005 and God spoke to me in a way that I still remember three (now four) years later. I wasn't even really listening to Him at that point, but I heard Him and I understood Him.

Let me give you a little background. I had a very protected and blessed life. I can't remember anything bad happening to me growing up. No illness. No death. No abuse. Nothing bad. I truly was spoiled. Not rotten, just spoiled.

When the first and only really bad thing to happen in my life happened when I was 24-years-old, it hit hard! I got used to things going my way. I enjoyed things going my way. This was totally new and I was unprepared.

When the doctor told us that our baby potentially had a fatal defect and would not live outside the womb, the walls of my world came crumbling in around me. I never thought that I was exempt from bad things, I just took God's protection for granted. I was in His Word. I prayed. I was growing spiritually. You just don't grow through normalcy the way you grow through adversity. I was totally unprepared for how much I truly needed Him.

The next 20 weeks of our pregnancy, I poured my heart out to God. I spent time with Him every day. I communed with Him all day, every day. I knew Him in a way I had never known Him before. I had so much peace in the midst of such turmoil and such uncertainty. I was seeking Him. I desperately needed Him. The problem was that I wanted Him on my terms. I wanted Him because He could heal her, and He was the only one who could. I wanted Him because I knew that there was no other way that I could make it through.

I experienced Him with such closeness that I decided I didn't ever want to go back to not "knowing Him". I wanted to continue that closeness and grow it until the day that I was looking at Him face-to-face.

Then He chose not to heal her. He chose to do things His way. He let me down, or so I thought. Jael was born. She died. I searched for Him. He didn't answer, or so I thought. I wanted His comfort. He didn't give it, or so I thought. This continued for 3 years, until that day.

In those three years, God had already blessed us with two healthy daughters. Things were going my way again. I didn't realize how mad I was at Him. I didn't realize that I was choosing to ignore Him. I didn't realize that I had believed Satan's lies. I didn't realize that I had given bitterness a root, and it was flourishing. Time passes quickly when we allow Satan a stronghold. As long as I was focused on the here and now, I didn't notice the absence of Him, or so I thought.

I spent time in His Word. I wanted to hear from Him. I just didn't want to hear what He wanted to tell me. I wanted answers, not Him.

Our second-born daughter was almost two-years-old, smack dab in the terrible twos and very "strong-willed" as some would say. We could not find any discipline that would work for this girl. She laughed at spankings. We physically had to hold her in "time-out". It was exhausting. We finally put a baby-gate on the door to her bedroom and removed all toy-type things. Whenever she would throw a tantrum, we would put her in her room and put the gate on the doorway. She could still see us, but she couldn't get out. All that was required of her was that she stop screaming, tell us sorry (in an almost two-year-old way), and we would come get her and comfort her.

This particular morning, she had one of those episodes. I can't even remember what it was about now, I just remember allowing her to get me very flustered. I put her in her room, but was so flustered that I forgot to put the gate up. I realized this a few minutes later, but wanted to see what she would do. She screamed in that room longer than I ever remember her screaming. I kept thinking come on child, quit screaming, I am right here waiting for you to stop crying. I want to hold you. I want to talk to you. I want to tell you that I am disciplining you for your benefit. It was killing me to hear her scream and not run in there to comfort her. She didn't realize that the gate was not up. She was waiting for me to come get her.

It was in my quiet time that afternoon that God reminded me of my daughter's tantrum that morning. You see, I had been throwing a tantrum myself. A three-year long one. I was screaming at God. I was refusing to listen to Him. He was wanting to comfort me.

I felt Him telling me that all this time, the gate was not even on the door. I didn't have to wait for Him. He was waiting for me. All I had to do was stop screaming, talk to Him, and walk into His open arms. No gate involved. It was all for my benefit. He was right there waiting to comfort me the whole time, and my screaming pained Him the same way my daughter's screaming pained me.

That was the day that I quit screaming at God, I told Him I was sorry, and I ran as fast as I could back into His arms. There were still strongholds to break, and issues to deal with, but I was ready to do things His way again. No more temper-tantrums.

Click here for more of The God Chronicles.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Memory Monday 2009-verse 4

"Blessed is she who has
believed that what
the Lord
has said to her
will be accomplished!"

Luke 1:45 (NIV)

For more Memory Monday, go visit The Simple Wife.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Question #31

In what area of your life do you most need change,
and what will you do about it this year?

Again, discipline!
This is something that makes a difference in all areas of my life!

I'm sticking to my daily quiet time, Bible study, scripture memorization, and exercise! Also, scheduling my "free time" so that I accomplish more!

Thanks so much for joining me in these questions! I've enjoyed learning more about some of you and I am excited to go into a new year with focus! I hope that you are too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Question #30

What's the most important new item you want to buy this year?

Silly as it may seem, beds for the girls. Poor Miss C is in the toddler bed still and Miss O is in the crib still, time to move 'em on up!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Question #29

If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice,
what would they say?
Would they be right?
What will you do about it?

I was thinking that I needed to be an audience of one more, you know pay less attention to what others think and more attention to what God thinks. But then, I asked the husband what advice he would give and it was this. "Do your best to find the positive in everything." Which is totally true and I've been working on it more and more each year. I grew up around a lot of negativity and I struggle with it constantly! Half-full it is!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Question #27 and #28

What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the
quality of your commute this year?

Well, I suppose I could walk more carefully down the stairs, seeing as how my commute is walking down to the basement to do school with the girls!

For those of you who do have a commute, my husband used to have a very long very frustrating commute through downtown in rush hour. He started listening to the Bible on MP3 and it helped tremendously. When I was in college and doing my student teaching I had a long commute and I relished that time as I would spend it praying for my day.

What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year,
and what will you do about it?

So many! I don't know about specific doctrine, because these "topics" incorporate several, but I want to learn more about heaven and believing God/Faith. I want to get some good concordances and study books. I also want to read Randy Alcorn's Heaven and do Beth Moore's Believing God study.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Question #25 and #26

What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?

Learn: Video Editing
Improve: Public Speaking.

To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?

There are two...

1. My husband's ministry at church and TentPeg Productions (the personal ministry started in memory of our daughter). Running camera, learning how to edit videos and then helping him create them, and helping with the media team at church in other ways necessary.

2. Women's ministry at our church. (Building a leadership team, teaching, planning, growing, etc.)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Question #23 and #24

In what area of your life do you most need growth,
and what will you do about it this year?

Self-Control/Discipline. This carries over into all areas of my life. I'm working on my morning routine and having discipline with my daily exercise and quiet time. Once I get that "habit" formed, I believe the rest of the areas will just fall into place, with God's help that is!

What's the most important trip you want to take this year?

The key word here is want. It's actually probably one I won't be taking. I really want to go to SheSpeaks and get some solid instruction and fellowship for starting and leading a women's ministry here. However, it's most likely financially not possible this year, so it will have to wait until next year.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Question #21 and #22

What one thing do you most regret about last year,
and what will you do about it this year?

Last year was a really good year! But, I do regret not getting healthy with exercise and good eating habits, basically that I didn't break those strongholds! Stick with it this year and draw on God's strength until it is done!

What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?

More babies? I don't know, just thinking about it because I am getting older. Maybe His blessing on making videos? Maybe success in starting a women's ministry (not for my success, but for Him reaching the women here). Maybe excellence and growth in my husband's ministry? I don't think I tend to pinpoint blessings to "seek", so this was a hard one to think on.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Question #19 and Question #20

Alrighty, I need to get through these questions because life is about to get busy and I don't know that I will have time to post here every day, so we're doubling up! Enjoy!

What's one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?

Continue to deepen my own relationship with Christ and share it openly with my children through a written journal (blog or paper) and through conversation. Using everyday moments to teach them about God. Set the example of rising early to spend time with God each and every day.

What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?

Oh I do love reading! There are too many to count! My reading list for the year is located on my sidebar on the right. I've already read a couple of those. The Bible Study I most want to do is Believing God by Beth Moore. As far as just reading a book, I suppose it is What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst and the new books by the Gosselins and the Duggars.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Question #18 and Memory Monday

What's one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor
(or to another who ministers to you) this year?

Consistently praying for all the staff and their spouses at our church. Stepping up to help in the area I feel God asking me to help with.

Time for a new verse...

I feel God asking me to step up and do some things at church, so I need to memorize this scripture to help me throughout this year! I typically memorize the NIV or NLT, but the wording of The Message really spoke to me this morning, so I'll be doing it out of The Message. It's longer and more "wordy" than I'm used to, so it just might take me the whole two weeks to get it right, but I will!

"Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that he'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely." 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (MSG)

Here's last week's from memory...

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves become burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

For more Memory Monday, head over to The Simple Wife and see what other's have memorized!