You want me to do what??

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Today’s adventure with Jesus takes place over two days. More and more I’m putting into practice what Jamie Winship teaches, this honest revealing of my thoughts and actions to Jesus, followed by listening for His ‘take’ on my situation and what He wants me to do. The other night in one of his videos I heard Jamie say that in the Bible people’s reactions to hearing from God is one of surprise and resistance: “You want what????”  Think Joshua or Gideon or Peter about letting down the nets on the ‘wrong ‘side or mingling with Gentiles. Then there is Simon who greeted the newly blinded Saul, notorious Pharisee hunting down Christians.

I had one of those, ‘You can’t mean You want me to….” reactions.  Yep, that was JUST what Jesus had in mind.  Hard to resist God, isn’t it?

Part 1

…not pursuing dishonest gain; Titus 1:7 NIV

I’m a thief who plans her robberies.

Stopping at Target, I purchased 5 items, paying for them in the self-checkout area. “Oh, I’ll be able to ‘stock up on’ (ahem…steal!) extra Target bags for the cat litter.”

Other stores’ plastic bags are not sturdy. So, I look forward to getting Target bags. Last time, I took an extra 5, on purpose.  This time I grabbed about 15.  But then, God!

Focused on pilfering these ‘poop bags’, I walked out, ‘extra’ bags in hand, minus the purchases.  Suddenly, my empty hand startled me – “Where are my 3 cans of tomatoes?” Running back, I found the self-checkout employee who handed me my bag.

Then the Holy Spirit convicted me! It took that episode to show me just how I was dishonoring God. “Is this how King Jesus treats His adopted little sister, reducing her to poverty so she robs Target?”

Today’s appointed reading and Jesus’ gentle message pressed: ‘Go confess this to the manager!’

My response?  “Yes, Lord Jesus.”

Part 2

if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship 1 John 1:7

Yesterday I agreed with Jesus and told Him I would go to Target and confess my theft, but after Christmas.

But then I couldn’t sleep and resolved to go this morning, but after church.

But then, I couldn’t wait. I showered, quickly dressed, grabbed my stash of Target bags and drove off.  Entering the store, I bee-lined to Customer Service. The gal eyed me approaching, waiting to help.  I quickly admitted my theft, handed over the bags, and told her I was sorry.  Listening, she smiled, then said “It’s okay.”

“No, it’s not!  It was wrong and a sin” and something about Jesus and getting this off my chest. I thanked her for listening, eyes moist with tears, and left Target a free woman.  Freed of sin. Free to fellowship again with Jesus and light of heart.

Help me remember, Lord Jesus, that you call us to stay in your light, enjoying your affectionate peace.

No more stuffing feelings; adventures await!

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Hi Friends

It’s freeing to be able to share with Jesus each messy feeling and perplexing situation that come to me. With no reserve, not filtering out any detail.  And it’s Biblical.

Here are 2 entries from this past week.  What pleasure God gives me, to write daily, but no more than 175 words.  I love the limit!

**

December 10

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you, Psalm 55:22 NIV

…..casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you 1 Peter 5:7

Mike grabbed his lunch, headed to the garage. He admitted, “I’m fighting anxiety about this morning’s meeting we prayed about last night.”

Spotting Satan’s tactic I encouraged: “Mike, don’t fight the anxiety!  Cast it on Jesus!  Spit it out; tell Him all the details. Then listen for His words!”

Don’t we all tend to tamp down those thoughts of fear, worry envy, shame, anger….?  We have heard Satan’s lie enough times to believe it: If you were really a good Christian, you wouldn’t be feeling X, Y, Z!

That’s not true!  Remember the father’s confession to Jesus about his son’s healing?  ‘I DO believe, help my unbelief!

What relief when we confess all to our good Father.  Jesus knows Satan’s tactics, the slight twisting of the Word.  He understands the temptation to accept the lies.

His response?  Life-giving words of Love, not of fear and condemnation. Let’s train ourselves to recognize His voice and trust Him.

**

December 12

You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35 NLT

Spanish renders blessed as: ‘bienaventurado’.

I LOVE this word!  Separating bien from aventurado, you get well, good followed by adventurous, exciting! (Maria’s unconventional musing.)

So, when you GIVE, a great adventure with Jesus follows.  It’s way more fun than receiving a gift.

But, how much do we give? To whom? When do we give? So many questions left unanswered. Especially to one like me who finds it harder to give of my time than money.  Is Jesus calling us to do as He advised the rich young ruler? Sell all our stuff and give the proceeds to the poor? Or, in my case, dedicate all my time to the service of others?

We don’t have to guess, for Paul helps us in Acts 22:10 when he modeled the way: What should I do, Lord?

Jesus invites us to check in with Him, always. What a relief!

And what other great adventures with Jesus await? We can always check back to the Sermon on the Mount where He describes other circumstances, sure to be thrilling.

**

What about you?  What do you hear Him say when you’re honest?

Each day I look forward to talking with Jesus!

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I’m practicing being honest with God.  This week, He seems to be encouraging me NOT to filter my feelings. He’s been encouraging me to ‘spit them out’.  I realize how often I stop myself from acknowledging any thought that feels like sin.  Like pride. Or judgmentalism.  But you know what I also realized?  That if I don’t tell Jesus what I’m thinking and feeling, then I don’t allow Him to speak.  I cut myself off from what He thinks about all this and what He wants me to do.

Here are two entries from my journal this week.  

December 5

Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt 18:3 ESV

What are little kids like? I think of Elizabeth, my very verbal granddaughter, who is 6.  Every time we are together, she asks a million questions. She wants to know everything.

Just how does that make me feel? Happy that she is interested in what I think! She also wants to show me her latest drawings and what she can do, from cartwheel to piano melody.

Am I annoyed?  No! I enjoy her company. 

I wrote yesterday that God has called us into koinonia: intimate, conversational fellowship with Jesus.  He wants us to talk and listen to Him non-stop.  Without an ‘adult’ stuffy filter.

Someone said the other day: ‘Oh, I don’t want to bother God about the little things in my life.  He’s way to busy!”

One of Satan’s favorite lies! And definitely not what the Bible teaches.  But do we actually believe what Jesus said?

Chatter on, dear friends!

December 6

We tear down arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor 10:5 Berean

In my study this morning, I saw Paul’s statement differently.  So, I rewrote it in my journal like this:

We capture every thought, bringing it out of Satan’s governing purview, and present each thought and the feeling it produces to Christ who is Lord over our thoughts, our feelings and our actions.

I’ve written about Jamie Winship and how greatly his training in both knowing God and recognizing false identities is changing me. The first step is to bring our thoughts out into the light and ‘confess’ them to Jesus. 

Next, we think through what that thought or feeling implies about ‘who we are’, (who we THINK we are).  All this, without any filter.  Then we ask Him: What do YOU say about this, Jesus?  What do you want me to do?

Then we listen.

I like how Paul says the same thing.

**

You know, this freedom to bare all to the One who already KNOWS it all is a relief. I find that I can’t wait to tell him what’s on my mind and in my heart. And I’m curious to hear from Him, too.

Each day, I look forward to hearing from God!

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I’m practicing being honest with God.  This week, He seems to be encouraging me NOT to filter my feelings. He’s been encouraging me to ‘spit them out’.  I realize how often I stop myself from acknowledging any thought that feels like sin.  Like pride. Or judgmentalism.  But you know what I also realized?  That if I don’t tell Jesus what I’m thinking and feeling, then I don’t allow Him to speak.  I cut myself off from what He thinks about all this and what He wants me to do.

Here are two entries from my journal this week.  

December 5

Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt 18:3 ESV

What are little kids like? I think of Elizabeth, my very verbal granddaughter, who is 6.  Every time we are together, she asks a million questions. She wants to know everything.

Just how does that make me feel? Happy that she is interested in what I think! She also wants to show me her latest drawings and what she can do, from cartwheel to piano melody.

Am I annoyed?  No! I enjoy her company. 

I wrote yesterday that God has called us into koinonia: intimate, conversational fellowship with Jesus.  He wants us to talk and listen to Him non-stop.  Without an ‘adult’ stuffy filter.

Someone said the other day: ‘Oh, I don’t want to bother God about the little things in my life.  He’s way to busy!”

One of Satan’s favorite lies! And definitely not what the Bible teaches.  But do we actually believe what Jesus said?

Chatter on, dear friends!

December 6

We tear down arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor 10:5 Berean

In my study this morning, I saw Paul’s statement differently.  So, I rewrote it in my journal like this:

We capture every thought, bringing it out of Satan’s governing purview, and present each thought and the feeling it produces to Christ who is Lord over our thoughts, our feelings and our actions.

I’ve written about Jamie Winship and how greatly his training in both knowing God and recognizing false identities is changing me. The first step is to bring our thoughts out into the light and ‘confess’ them to Jesus. 

Next, we think through what that thought or feeling implies about ‘who we are’, (who we THINK we are).  All this, without any filter.  Then we ask Him: What do YOU say about this, Jesus?  What do you want me to do?

Then we listen.

I like how Paul says the same thing.

**

You know, this freedom to bare all to the One who already KNOWS it all is a relief. I find that I can’t wait to tell him what’s on my mind and in my heart. And I’m curious to hear from Him, too.

Hearing God

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The amazing discovery. I can actually have a conversation with the Living God and HEAR what He says. Not audibly, mind you, but He provides the sense or thoughts. Here are two recent journal entries.

November 29

Since you are precious to me, you are honored and I love you…… Isaiah 43:4 God’s Word Translation

I was lying. To myself. About who I am.

Identity is foundational. Watching a Jamie Winship teaching on identity, I pressed myself to be honest.

Since I was 8 years old I have believed that I am one who is NOT enough. And in order to be liked, appreciated, needed, valuable, popular, chosen….wanted, I have to DO a lot for people.

What does someone like me who doesn’t feel wanted for herself, apart from what she does LOOK like?  Competent and driven.

In the training, Jamie had us close our eyes and offer that false identity up to Jesus and then ‘watch’ what He would do. ‘Okay….I don’t think anything is going to happen,’ I thought. But I complied.

Immediately, a picture came to mind:   Jesus gently sweeping that identity of ‘Unwanted’ out of my offering hands, breaking it up into many sparkly, glittering particles that floated off into nothingness.

I realized: This is fact!  I am not ‘Unwanted’. Nor have I ever been. That is a lie absorbed, encouraged by Satan and believed –  all from my child’s sense of events.

Who does Jesus, the only True and Living God, say I am?

“Precious, full of honor and loved”. That’s the Truth.

30 November

Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace (Shalowm) to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Psalm 85:8 ESV

The text message arrived late. I didn’t want another obligation! Knowing I was to meet with Jesus in the morning, I nevertheless fell asleep quickly, having reminded myself that Jesus calls me ‘precious, full of honor and loved’.

This morning, coffee at hand, I read yesterday’s words in my journal (Psalm 85:8) – an invitation to confess my feeling of ‘resentment’ due to that possible obligation. Freely writing down how I felt, I next formed an ‘identity statement’:

  • I am someone who doesn’t trust You to supply enough time to satisfy me.

Then I asked Jesus: What do YOU say about this?

Closing my eyes, I raised empty hands to receive.

I penned what came to mind. The ‘bottom line’ was this:

  • ‘Connected to me, Eternity, I’ll always supply you with enough time.’

His words of peace satisfied – ‘Shalowm’.

Where’s my belt (of Truth)?

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Gizmo lost his collar in the house.

Our granddaughter Elizabeth with Gizmo

He also lost his identity when his collar went missing – that little tag that says WHO he is and WHOSE he is.

I keep losing my ‘collar’, too. That belt or yoke which joins me to Jesus and keeps me KNOWING my identity and who my God is. When I forget and think incorrectly about who I am and who Jesus is, I temporarily lose all my peace and contentment.  I start to feel either anxious or angry.

I’m sure you know that believers don’t lose that ACTUAL state of peace with the Father, once they have been transferred INTO the Kingdom through Jesus’ blood. But we can lose our awareness of peace, of connection with Jesus.

Do you listen to podcasts? I love them. News & cultural reports, interviews, stories, reflections are part of my daily routine.  But never have I taken notes from a podcast, nor listened to one twice!

However, when our son Graham described a couple of concepts he had learned on a recent podcast interview, I knew I wanted to take my time listening.to this one.  Not multitasking as usual, but actually sitting down and taking notes.

Jamie Winship, the interviewee, is a believer whose gift is storytelling. During the two-hour conversation he related a few experiences from the time he and his family had lived in the Middle East and he taught in a Muslim university. Listening to these accounts opened up and changed my understanding of hearing from God.

He also shattered some of my fixed ways of thinking about Jesus.

Let’s circle back to peace and what happens when I LOSE my feeling of peace and joy and fall into fear, worry or anger.

Since the podcast, I have been practicing what I learned.  That is, when I’m stewing in fear, anxiety or frustration, I am learning to STOP and articulate my emotional state.  Jamie calls this ‘confessing’.

Here’s what I noticed and worked through on Wednesday, writing it all down in my journal:

  • Jesus, I’m feeling overwhelmed and burdened by the number of people in my life who need my encouragement and prayers.

Next, I confessed the ‘identity’ these feelings revealed.  Jamie describes this step as formulating an ‘I am’ statement.

It took me several attempts to articulate this functional identity, to get to what I thought was true about me, what fed my feelings of unrest and churn.

(warning, what you read is very ‘stupid’ and not at all true, but it’s what brought on ‘burdened and overwhelmed’ Maria)

  • I am one whose prayers tip the balance in whether people receive God’s blessings.

There, it was out, on paper in front of me.  Even as I penned the words, I knew ‘this identity’ was silly and not at all true. But ‘confession’ is an important step to being cleansed, to being restored.

The next step was to ask God: ‘What do YOU have to say about that?’

I didn’t ‘hear’ God…but He was revealing in my thoughts, what actually IS true:

  • Maria, you’re not me – God!  It’s not up to you how I act in the lives of your friends and family.  I have invited you to participate in their well-being.  Do you really think I won’t do what is best for them? Do I stop being all-powerful, all-good, all-wise, just because you don’t pray?

What was my reaction?  A ‘sheep’-ish realization of how I had been misrepresenting God!  And relief! No, it is NOT up to me!  Yes, I’m one of Jesus’ little lambs, part of His flock and I get to help out.  But I’m not the only one who has received the privilege of praying for certain people in my life.  Besides, if all of us little ones fail to pray, there is still the Holy Spirit who, together with the Son of God at the Father’s right hand intercedes ALL the time.

What happened next?  Amazingly, and immediately the burdens evaporated. Peace and calm came over me. I was back to knowing my true identity and thanking God for who He is.   That is what Jamie calls repentance – a returning to my identity and my God.

Just as Scripture teaches, fear and anger are where Satan abides.  Peace and joy are evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence.

The simplicity of this ‘tool’, this listening prayer dialogue stuns and excites me.

I’ve been taking advantage of the rhythm of noticing what I’m feeling, confessing it through words in my journal and then asking God for His input and waiting and listening for His answer.  He has not failed to respond to me, sometimes just in thoughts that occur, often through Scripture that just ‘happens’ to pop into my mind.

Joy awaits!

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Genesis 1:3 And God said, ‘Let there be light!’

Psalm 119:130 Understanding your word brings light to the minds of ordinary people.  (CEV)

Explosive joy filled me the other day!

I speak French and am now working daily with Spanish.  But decades ago, when I arrived at university, I started Russian and kept at it for 3 ½ years.  Unfortunately, I have barely used it since.

Yet, 41 years later, God dropped a joy bomb into my lap when I read and understood a short text in simple Russian, forwarded on by a sister language coach. She’s writing a reader for her Russian learners and offered to gift me with the first 4 short chapters, together with a glossary. With dubious expectations of what I would be able to understand I sat down before dinner one afternoon to have a go at it.

To my shock, I understood the first page and a half!!! I could actually still read Cyrillic and comprehend the story line.  The sheer pleasure of reading in another language and understanding it shocked me. I think it’s because I have scanty Russian and as such, assumed I would struggle.

Au contraire!

Not only has the delight, the pleasing surprise stayed with me, this experience has confirmed the necessity of encouraging my English and Spanish on-line students to read in their second language.  Of course, I must curate the texts to ensure success and JOY for my learners.

That’s the goal – giving delight to another student, just as I, a re-invigorated Russian language-learner, received and was able to exult in reading with understanding. But this joy is not limited to second-language learners.  There’s joy to be had in reading and understanding God’s Word

Do you remember the exiles who returned from Babylonia to rebuild the city wall surrounding Jerusalem? The book of Nehemiah tells the account when Ezra read the Scriptures to the people. It goes on to say that the teachers of the law, the Levites, systematically explained to the people what the text meant.

Nehemiah 8:10, 12 (Nehemiah said)…..“This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.

When I teach Spanish and English, I make it my goal to clarify meaning and remove obstacles so that my students can acquire a language with joy.  Our Holy Spirit of God acts similarly, moving in us, shedding light and understanding so WE can experience great joy.

With joy comes strength. Strength to endure hard work, whether learning a language or overcoming sin, the world and the devil through faith.

Is there someone you can guide side-by-side, moving slowly through some Scripture, showing her that with the Holy Spirit’s help we children of God CAN understand what God has said and done? What a privilege!  What joy awaits you both.

When we gave up our rights, we gained privileges

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I’m down in Tampa caring for Chloe and Vera while my son and our daughter-in-law enjoy an anniversary trip to Tucson.  The girls attend a Christian school about 40 minutes away. This morning, I tuned into their radio station of choice, Joy FM, for the commute.

Songs filled the air, as melodic lyrics wove truth, planting seeds of life, hope and beauty about Christ.  During the chat segment one of the radio hosts recounted a profound reminder from her pastor that obviously resonated with her: “We gave up our rights at the Cross!”

Too bad we Christians haven’t fully absorbed that reality!  We have no more rights, but we do have PRIVILEGES that came with our adoption into God’s forever family.

One gift accompanying our new birth is spiritual fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faith/ fidelity, kindness, gentleness and self-control.

Yes, this harvest is ours for the taking as sons and daughters of King Jesus.  But there is a catch. We have to submit to the discipline and practice inherent in mastering any skill before we taste and savor the sweetness of the fruit.

Here’s what I mean:  Let’s say you have always wanted to ride a horse. In your Father’s stable you are free to choose and enjoy any horse you want.  But first you’ll need a horse-riding instructor to teach you the basics.  But that’s not all.  You’ll have to practice and do the kinds of exercises this master horseman recommends.

Acquiring any skill is hard work and demands hour upon hour of practice. Well, how many hours?

Have you ever heard of the ‘10,000-hour rule’?  Malcolm Gladwell popularized it in his book Outliers.  It goes like this: to become an expert or master at anything, you need to rack up that number of hours.  The Beatles did just that, prior to hopping over the Pond from Europe.  Violin virtuosos, ice hockey players, chess maestros, chefs de cuisine and even second language learners like me. (I’m only up to 1659 hours working with Spanish, the reason why my spoken Spanish still feels halting!)

But what is so great about reaching the goal of expert?  MUCH!  You get to enjoy, finally, the fruit of all those dedicated hours of hard work and practice. Scales for a violin player are probably no fun, nor are sweat-producing drills for athletes.  Do you remember ‘wax on, wax off’ from the 1984 movie The Karate Kid?  (look it up if you are too young to know this movie!). Those hours that Daniel spends painting Mr. Miyagi’s fence and waxing his car build muscle memory that translates eventually into winning karate skills.

So, what is the spiritual application?  Just this:  The 9 ‘flavors’ of the fruit of the Spirit are ours, too!  But just like the novice horse-rider, it takes hours of practice and discipline to become skilled enough to enjoy the freedom that comes with having paid one’s dues to become a master.

What is the equivalent of our practice and the fruit of the Spirit?  I think it’s our obedience and submission to God. Each time we obey God’s commands, we are chalking up one more hour of discipline toward eventual delight.  Think flavorful peaches, sweet but tart apples, refreshing grapes, juicy strawberries.

Submissive obedience with cheerfulness to God’s commands like:

  • Don’t fear, grumble, envy, covet, worry, hoard, criticize a person behind their back, place any created thing above God, think more highly of yourself than is true……

The list goes on.  You get the point.

To sum up the payoff – obedience and submission to King Jesus (with His supernatural help!) grow our holiness which creates our genuine happiness.  And true happiness looks like love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

Boasting in the wrong thing

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John 5:44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?

John 5:41 (Jesus said) I do not accept glory from men,

John 12:43 For they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

Pricked by the Holy Spirit and convicted!

I don’t name drop.  I book-title drop. I’m here to fess up to a recent display of my pride. It happened at a mid-week prayer gathering at church.

Arriving a few minutes early, I strutted over to where our pastor was setting up chairs and struck up a conversation. Purposefully but casually, I mentioned having finished a book he had recommended from the pulpit.  Then, wanting to impress Joe with the quantity and rigor of my deep reading, I preened, just like a peacock. I unfolded for him a few of my favorite authors.

I remained blind to how blatantly I craved his praise until a certain church member arrived, one who likes to show off HER knowledge of learning. Suddenly God reminded me how I don’t like this gal for this very reason. I know, another sin! You can guess what followed next.

“You are the woman!” came a Holy-Spirit insight, recalling Nathan’s confrontation with King David. Shame filled my heart.

It’s been a few weeks and I have already confessed my lack of hunger for God’s praise and received His forgiveness.  But just this past Sunday, my co-teacher for middle school girls’ Sunday School praised me out loud to the gals present.  I piped up, “Suzanne, you don’t know me well enough, yet!” When she objected, I simply mentioned my pride which shows itself in boasting.

Now, to this morning. The first truth above in John 5:44 popped up in an old prayer that came up in my Prayermate app. This verse punched me in the gut, for Jesus calls craving the approval and praise from man – UNBELIEF!!

Does that seem harsh? Not to me. I simply felt sadness seeing my appetite for human recognition from God’s point of view – a subtle but ever-present hunger for public recognition.

I know that we believers mingle trust and unbelief in polluted and stained hearts. And that God is working all things, including one’s sin and contrition, for our good, for the purifying of these corrupt, world-focused desires.

Seeing my sin – my boasting, embarrassed me and I felt shame. I had displayed this ugly to my under-shepherd and pastor.

But I thank the Father that He is SO gentle with me. Yes, He rebukes me, but only to cause me to repent and desire to grow more holy, more like Jesus.  I recognize that in my own strength I can’t kill this lust for applause. I even lack the desire to put it to death. So, I join Paul in rejoicing:

But thanks be to God, for….. “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Rom 8:37

Do you ask questions of a verse?

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Isaiah 43:20 The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland

And just how do animals honor God?

I must have ‘run through’ this verse numerous times without ever stopping to consider, to ponder, to PICTURE just what animals do with the water. Just how DO they drink, so that the Lord calls it honoring to Him?

The wilderness is not a place known for abundance of water. That animals and people alike all need water to live is a given. We can’t create water OR food for that matter out of nothing. Only God can.

So, what is the big deal about this particular verse that the Holy Spirit directed Isaiah to pen? It’s that I paused long enough to ask a second question. What kind of animal would balk at drinking water if he were thirsty? None.

When the Lord provides what the animals need, He is pleased when they USE His gifts. That’s what He wants. This is how they glorify Him, how they give Him honor (giving ‘kabod’ in the Hebrew) for His provision.

What about us, what about ME? Do I always honor God for His provision? Well, when I don’t use His gifts for their purpose, I can see that I DIS-honor Him. Not submitting to His wise gifts, ignoring them is a way of denying God’s provision. It’s a withholding ‘the glory due His name’ Psalm 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Last Sunday was one of those days when I flatly ignored God’s provision. And He, my good Father, let me ‘thirst’. I was working on a blog post, something I have tended to do on Sundays. But I was craving rest. All I really wanted to do was SIT DOWN and read. But I kept pushing, pushing to edit well and ‘cross the Ts and jot the Is’. You know, those final details that go with uploading a post.

Standing at my computer elevated on a high table in the kitchen area, I realized I had to stop. The time had come for our beloved evening ritual of talking over the day, discussing what we had read while I prepare dinner for us. I tried to gather 5 more minutes for the post, by asking Mike to empty the dishwasher. When he moved on to fixing me a drink, I knew I had to close my laptop. I finished after dinner.

But I was all out of sorts. My mood plummeted. ALL was wrong. That night I lay in bed creating imaginary scenarios, all because I had not allowed myself to rest. My mood poisoned Monday, made worse by the restless night.

Finally it hit me…..as much as I ENJOY writing, it is still work. And I ‘work’ the other 6 days of the week, whether it’s my language tutoring, volunteer gig, household chores, cooking, keeping up with friends who need a word of encouragement or even going to the gym. NONE of it is restorative. I enjoy those activities. But they aren’t rest.

Lightbulb moment! That’s it, I needed a day of rest! Not just one day, but weekly, as something to look forward to.

And He has already given it to me. That is what I saw this morning, reading about the very smart wild animals who make use of the provision that God supplies. Our Creator KNOWS just what we lack. We honor Him by taking up His gifts and enjoying them. By drinking deep. By resting.

So, today is Saturday. If I finish this post, great. If not, it can wait until Monday. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, to my Sabbath rest. Just thinking about sitting out back and reading makes me happy!

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