Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's Christmas Time!

Welcome to Christmas at the Perry House. Yes. I mean you.  :)

Christmas is in full swing around here. The tree is up and decorated, complete with presents! My Nutcracker collection is out and hopes to grow this year. (Chris has been giving me one most every year since we got married... SO sweet. I got to play Clara when I was 11 and have loved it ever since!) My small nativity scene is out and Joseph's head got glued back on after it's unfortunate incident last year. Whoops! The mistletoe is hung and has been put to good use (while the kids were turned the other way of course!)! I made my Pinterest project and turned my summer time tomato cage into a lit up Christmas Tree on our front lawn! We have a beautiful doorway surrounded by the garland we got last year on sale 75% off hung around the door! (LOVE those sales! I've been waiting all year to hang it!) Stockings are up! Oh my... we even made Christmas cookies last week and took them to a few places near where I work. So fun. I love this time of year. I love watching my kids eyes as we go out into the living room every morning and they see the tree all lit up. They get excited EVERY morning! I love driving around looking at Christmas lights and drinking hot cocoa. I turn into a little kid again, all giddy and excited about my presents. Yes. I love presents. Presents are a big deal in my family. They are fun. I like giving them more than receiving. But receiving them is fun too.... I won't deny that. I'm really excited for my present this year.... I'll reveal it after Christmas. Let's just say that I have big plans for my living room.

All of these things are so fun. And I don't want them to be a distraction for my own heart or my kids' hearts... I want them to be a street sign, pointing them to the reason for the season. We've been teaching our Little Man about Jesus this year. I meant to do an Advent calendar, but never got around to making one. I'm putting that on my to do list for early January to prep for next year. I'm serious. I want to be preapred! But for this year (my kids are only 1 and 2) I'm settling for just taking about it. Telling the story, over and over again. That the star represents the star that lit up when Jesus was born. Jesus.... our God who became flesh to save us from our sins. It's created some great conversation opportunities with Landon to tell him the gospel.

The other day I was gently reminding Landon to obey. His response: "I don't want to obey!" Oh my.... so I explained to him that his desire to NOT obey was exactly the reason that Jesus came at Christmas. In our hearts we fight against God, so he had to send Jesus to earth to live a perfect life, and become the perfect sacrifice, dying to pay for our sins. I cried. Little Man looked at me gently and started to obey. I think that maybe, just maybe, he's starting to get it. He's only 2, so he has a ways to go. I hope that we can continue having these conversarions.

Last week at church our pastor was teaching through a Christmas series and was focusing on Joseph but he pointed out Matthew 1:21--where the angel was speaking to Joseph. The angel made it clear who Jesus would be. "She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Those words have just been ringing in my mind for the last week and a half. "For he will save his people from their sins". He will save his people form their sins. That was the whole reason Jesus was born as the sweet little baby, to save his people from their sins.

I loved this post I read today on Desiring God by Rachel Jankovic called Of Kids and Christmas. And I so agree with her. ENJOY Christmas and all it's craziness. Stay up late making cookies. Give your kids presents. Decorate. Decorate. Decorate. But let it all point to the reason why we do it all. Let your traditions in your family point your kids to Jesus. He is the one who came to save them from their sins.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 22-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

Today, I am acutely aware of God's grace. Some days you just feel the weight of your sin more than others and for some reason today is one of those days. It's a day not much different than others, but God's grace is on my mind, and I am so thankful for it.

Day 21-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

I am thankful for my education, particularly, my graduate work. When I started out in college as a 17 year girl, bright eyed, with the world at her fingertips, really... I had no idea what I was doing, what I was getting myself into if you will. Looking back, I would have done things differently. However, I say that, knowing full well that I have thus far lived out God's plan for me, in every minute detail. And He had (and has) a plan in mind that is exactly what I need to grow in sanctification. I can clearly see how he has used undergrad to get me to grad school, and grad school caused a dramatic shift in my perspective that I'll always be incredibly thankful for. It was there that I came to understand the full sufficiency of Scripture, that the root of ME is my heart... my desires, longings, dreams, etc. and that my heart dictates how I live the rest of life. I have to continually refocus my heart on Jesus Christ and His gospel, making him my greatest desire. It changed how I relate to people, how my husband and I interact with each other, and really just the foundation of how I think about life and Scripture. For those things I am tremendously thankful. My walk with the Lord and understanding of His word is deeper today than it would have been without those things that I learned.

Day 20-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

I am so thankful for family time. Maybe I cherish it more because I'm not with my kids all day every day and my husband seems to have to work a lot lately, but our times together are so sweet and I am so thankful to have them. I pray that our kids remember them well and that as they get older.... and will remember more of their childhood... we can make good use of our times together and make memories that will last a lifetime, and create teaching opportunities that will draw them to the gospel. I love our little family that God has blessed us with and I just want to cherish every minute together!

Day 19-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

I am so thankful for some Godly girls who watch my kids while I work. The fact that I work is a whole other conversation.... but since I have to work right now and can't be with my kids 24/7, having someone with them who cares for them the way I want them to be cared for makes working SO much easier for me. God has blessed us with some friends who care for our kids (mainly Kelli but a few others who are 'back ups') and I'm just SO thankful for them. I really can't say it enough. They are a huge blessing. I couldn't do this without them! THANK YOU!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 18-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

I am thankful for our house. This is the house I've lived in the longest since I moved out and went to college. It's been a good little house for us. And it worked out so well that all my decorations and stuff from our last house worked really well, maybe even better, in it. I'm thankful that it's warm in the winter and cold in the summer. Important stuff :) It's the first house our kids lived in, so it will always be one that we cherish.

Day 17-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

I am incredibly thankful for our car. Well, our Ford Escape. For some reason I have always had piece of junk cars. For as long as I can remember I had an old car that seemed to be falling a part. And it has always been an old 'luxury' car. Leather seats, and fancy stuff in it from when it came out, but all the same, it was old and falling apart. Once we bought a car that was only 4 years old.... and the engine went out on it twice. We are cursed if you will with cars. I have had 5 engines go out on me in my 14 years of driving. (none of which were caused by anything I did btw.) It's rediculous. For a long time we only had one car. And an old one at that. Finally last spring we got a Ford Escape. It's not new, but it's new to me and so far it runs great. And it has a sunroof. And the kids' car seats match the grey leather seats. I like all those things. I love driving it. And I'm thankful for it!

Day 16-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

I am thankful for my husband's job. Chris' career has been an interesting ride since we got married. When we got engaged (and married), Chris was a youth pastor. We spent 3 years living out our dreams in the ministry. We loved ministering to those teenagers. I still love to hear from them (hint, hint to any that read this :) That season of our lives taught us many things and eventually lead us out of that particular role and we moved back to where we live now so that Chris could further his education. Since then he's worked 3 different jobs-one on the overnight shift (I didn't like that), one working for a horrible boss (I really didn't like that), and now the work he does at the bank. I'm thankful that overall he enjoys his job. It's hard at times, and requires a lot of hours, and we certainly aren't wealthy. But it provides for our family and he works hard at it. And he's pretty good at it. And he looks hot when he leaves for work each day all dressed us. I like that part a lot, especially when he wears his glasses :). Seriously, though... it's a good job, career even, and I'm thankful that God brought it to us when we needed it.  I look forward to seeing where God takes us in the future, as far as work for Chris, but right now, I'm thankful for where he has him.

Day 15-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

PINTEREST! I'm obsessed with Pinterest lately. If you don't know what it is check it out. I just don't have a creative mind. But I've always loved looking through magazines getting all kinds of ideas and trying to copy them. I love that pinterest allows me to look at what everyone else is doing creatively and copy them all! I have found tons of new recipes for my family, organization tips for my home, decorating ideas to make my house a little prettier, ideas for stuff to do with my kids, ways to love my husband, seriously... so. many. ideas! It's revolutionized my life! I am so thankful to have found Pinterest! (And the plus side is that I'm actually DOING them! Not just sitting and looking at them on my computer!)

Day 14-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

I am thankful for social media! Particularly Facebook. Naturally, I am not the most outgoing person. I do better getting to know new people in a one on one or maybe one on two type of setting, but in a group I struggle! I also don't have the best memory. I tend to only remember big things or people that I have been around a lot. Then enter Facebook! I love being able to catch up with people that I would never have kept in touch with. Old friends from high school and college. It's nice to see what's going on in their lives, even if it is only the highlights. I love being able to send a quick message to someone saying hello, or wishing everyone happy birthday (I never would have kept track of all those birthdays on my own!). Seriously, fabulous.

Day 13-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

I am thankful for Technology! Particularly for our Mac computers :) I'm serious! I love using them. I'm typing on one right now and in a second I'll send a text message on my iPhone, then go home and play music off of my iPod. I am blessed to have these tools and I'm thankful for how technology has allowed my husband and I to grow in sanctification. We have been blessed to read things that have taught us so much on the internet. I can follow blogs that encourage me to grow in Christlikeness. I can write these things that I'm thankful for on my blog, all because of technology! It affects so many areas of our life and I'm so thankful for the good it does!

Day 12--Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

I am thankful for our church body. We have been studying through Ephesians the last several weeks at my church, Sonrise Baptist Church, talking about the importance of living life together in Christ as a church body. This is one of Paul's main themes in the book of Ephesians. This takes some effort for me. I tend to naturally life a pretty private life. But how blessed are we to have a family of believers with whom we can celebrate the good times, and who can support us during the bad times. I hope that I celebrate with others, and support others. I want to give as much as I get, actually give more than I get! I am truly thankful for our church body. It is a unique body of believers, different from any other that I have been a part of. And while we aren't perfect (who is?!) it is a joy to serve Christ together, and to grow together. And I am blessed to be a member there.

Day 11-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

I am so incredibly thankful for God's sovereignty. I know that in and of myself, I would never choose God. Ephesians 2 tells us that we are by nature the children of wrath, living life only to fulfill our own passions and pleasures. And I can attest to this fact. BUT GOD BEING RICH IN MERCY, BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE WITH WHICH HE LOVED US.... saved me.  I sometimes I can't even fathom this, but I am so thankful that he has allowed me to be His.

Day 10-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For....

I am thankful for the circumstances that God has given me. Life isn't always easy. In fact there have been some really, really hard times. Times when I really didn't know if anyone truly cared for or about me. But God has been faithful. He has been my rock. And he uses circumstances, both good and bad, for HIS glory. And he uses those cirucmstes to change me into the image of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I've not arrived at the end destination yet. God has some more pruning to do in me. But according to Romand 8:28-30, that end result will be a reality someday. And I so look forward to that day. And until then I will continue to be thankful in all circumstances for I know that they are for my good, and His glory! (and PS.... today I know that I am loved, both by my savior and many others that God has blessed my life with!)

Romans 8:28-30--And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Day 9-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For....

I am not the most consistent blogger. So I have several make up thank you's to get caught up on. Rest assured.... I have been thankful! I've just not been posting it consistently!

Today I am thankful for God's Word. It is God's revelation to us, communicating the truths we need to know Him and to glorify Him in this life. It contains all that we need for life and Godliness. I'm so thankful for the Word. Without it, I would be lost.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 8-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

Today, I'm thankful for my job. When I first had our Little Man I hated working. I just wanted to be home with him. And while that desire to be with my kids is just as strong as ever, I've come to grips with working, and I'm really thankful for the job the Lord has given me during this season of our lives. I've been able to spend more time with then working this job than I ever would working a 'normal' full time job, and for that I am so incredibly thankful. As much as I might gripe about work to my husband, there is much to be thankful for. And I am.

Day 7-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

Today, I am thankful for my family. For those of you who know me, you know I've had quite the family history. You think you have a crazy family? Let me introduce you to mine! Ha! I'm serious! (I do realize that every family has their own story..... and mine certainly isn't the craziest!)

I'm not actually going to give you all the gory details, but family relationships have never been easy for us. Alas, I am thankful for all of it... and all of them; my 7 siblings, my mom and dad, my step-mom and (2) step-dads, and all the extended family that goes along with that. Craziness I tell you! And EXPENSIVE at Christmas! But I love each of them and am thankful for the influence each has had in my life. I'm the oldest of all my siblings the youngest being 15 years younger than me. I have 3 siblings in high school right now. It's fun. I love watching all of them grow up. I hope that I can influence them for Christ.

Day 6-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

I certainly can't leave out my Little Lady. When the ultrasound technician told us she was a girl I could hardly believe my ears. I had secretly hoped for a girl and was SO excited that God has blessed us with one. Since the day she entered out lives just over a year ago she has been a ray of sunshine in our home. He smile is electric. Our friends often say that she smiles with her whole face, and it's true! I have recently loved watching her learn to walk. Every day she gets steadier on her feet. I'm personally just anticipating the day I can enroll her in her first ballet class (Hopefully she is as excited as I am!). I'm so looking forward to loving her and teaching her, hopefully helping her grow into a Godly young lady, and eventually a woman.  It's my most important role in life.

Day 5-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

Today, I am thankful for my son. He is the most amazing kid. At 2 1/2 he is a little boy who is full of energy, life, and zest. Yet he has such a sweetness to him. A few weeks ago my dog passed away. She was only 6 years old, so it was very unexpected. I loved this dog deeply and shed more than a few tears over her death. My Little Man was very confused at first wondering why I was crying so much. When Chris came home that evening he explained it to him again and for whatever reason, he got it. And his first impulse was to walk over to me and wrap his tender little arms around me. Such sweetness for such a little boy. He wanted to comfort me, and comfort me he did. There is so much I can say about this little guy! Like the way he is learning his letters.... he is so excited to learn his letters! And colors.... blue in particular he can point out in any shade. He is so coordinated. We can't wait to start him in T-ball this coming summer. He can hit a baseball quite well if I do say so myself. I'm sure I'll have lots of games to attend in the coming year. I thank God for my little boy! He is a huge part of our lives!

Day 4-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

I've got some catch up to do!

Day 4's thankfulness is my amazing husband-Christopher Perry. I honestly can't remember our first meeting, but it would've been over 10 years ago now. We knew each other from college and more through our membership and involvement at church. He worked with the Jr. High class, I worked with the High School class. I never even considered dating him, and even broke things off with him once. But I couldn't resist the only guy who ever really got me. In God's plan, he was the one. The one who would just understand me. And we've been best friends since the day I figured that out. I can remember the exact moment, out to eat at Cheddar's with some friends, when I knew that he just got me and I started seeing him in a different light. I'm so glad God changed me (and my heart and mind). Marrying Christopher Perry was the best decision of my life. The Lord has taken us through some valleys and mountain tops in our short 7 years of marriage and I hope he allows us to grow old together. He's the one I want to grow old with.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Days 2 & 3. Today. I. Am. Thankful. For...

Fall is hands down the best time of year in my book. I. Love. The. Weather. Overnight, cool air moved in and I for one am rejoicing. It makes me want to go running. Not badly enough to actually make time to go today, but I want to (And that's the first step toward actually doing it, right?!). October is a great month, but I love that it's followed by November which is the 2nd most cozy month (the first of course being December.... because Christmas is in December, duh). November begins the Holiday season, a time when our hearts are filled with the warmth of the season and I'm glad that we start this whole time off with actually giving thanks. We have SO much to be thankful for. Then it progresses to the birth of Christ, our savior, the only hope we have, the ransom for our sins. And again, we have the opportunity to just be thankful, filled to the brim with gratitude. And then we start a new year. A new year full of new hopes and dreams. It's just a nice progression. So today, I'm going to be thankful for this season. A time when we as a society, and particularly as Christians are moved towards gratitude, moved towards Christ, moved towards new beginnings. It's just plain nice and full of hope. Full of Christ who is our only hope.

Because I missed posting yesterday I'm thankful for two things today! Not only am I thankful for the season, I'm thankful for what it points to....  God. He is constant. He is my savior. As I said before, he is the ransom for my sins. He is the everlasting one. He is so completely sovereign. I'll probably be thankful for some aspect of His being later in the month, but for today, I am just so thankful for Him, and that I'm His. The fact that He adopted me and made me his daughter floors me on a daily basis. He's the one I'll never get over, for all of eternity. God, thank you for making me yours.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving Day 1-Today. I. Am. Thankful. For......

In the spirit of the month, I'd like to share with you 30 things that I'm thankful for. I'm sure there are many more. I know some who have made lists of 100 or 200 things that they are thankful for. This month, I'm picking 30 of my favorite. These are things that are particularly dear to my heart. They have left a lasting impact.

Today started off a little rough. We've spent far too many nights up late over the last few weeks and I'm seriously starting to drag.  Everything changed however when just a little bit ago I left the stuffy space I call my office for a short walk over to the BBC mail room where I deliver my office mail each day to go out (For those who don't know, the office I work in is on the top floor of the BBC library). And the day just stunned me. It is gorgeous outside.

Today, I'm thankful for the gorgeousness that is called weather. I love the seasons and while we don't have as good of a winter here as I would typically like, I'm very thankful for the seasons that we get to experience here. Everything from the growth in the spring, to the heat of the summer (although that's probably my least favorite!), fall with it's crispness and pretty colors is my favorite, and who doesn't enjoy a good snow storm in the winter? It's all fun and a testimony of God's creativity and his plan for the cycles of the earth. Today, I thank God for his plan with the weather, and particularly today, for the beauty that is outside.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My favorite people....

My two favorite guys.

I'm sure you can see why! They just bring a smile to my face. I love watching them interact together: the man I fell in love with and the Little Man who is so much like him. And then there's my Little Lady!

She is so sweet and smart. I love how much she's interacting with us lately. She has such an adventurous little spirit, but loves to lay her head on my shoulder.

Just thought I'd share.

Acceptable Speech

I've been thinking a lot over the last few days about my speech and communication with others. It started with a book our church family has been reading in small groups. Truth be told, I dreaded reading this book. I was bored by the last book we read by this author. But even more so, I dreaded the topic. Love. 1 Corinthians 13 love at that! I dreaded it, not because I think I know all about it, but because I know that this is an area of weakness for me and I just didn't want to work on it right now! Not that I don't want to be loving, please don't misunderstand me. But because I didn't necessarily want to feel guilty for not becoming any more loving than I already am.  This is an area that I often feel so deficient. 'Creative' loving is something that is emphasized heavily at our church, and for good Biblical reason. But I am just not a 'creative' person. 'Crafts' have never been my thing. I am capable of making pretty things, but I don't come up with the ideas for them myself. I can follow a tutorial (of which I have found SO many on Pinterst lately! It's fantastic!!) But the creativity, the going out of my way... I just didn't want to have to grow in this area. Wow... honesty at it's best, right?!

This book (have I mentioned it's name? Maximum Impact by Wayne Mack) has not challenged me to make more crafts for others (refreshingly so!). It has, however, helped me get a better picture in my brain of what true love looks like, and what it does not look like. And perhaps it didn't quite look like the picture in my head I've been beating myself up over for the last 4 years (sign of relief!). It does however require change on my part, and my speech is one area that I've been really challenged to consider. I believe it was in the chapter discussing 'Love is not rude' where he talks so much about our speech and how we talk to others. The Holy Spirit convicted me of three areas of my life in which I struggle... on the phone (I'm just an akward phone talker!), when I'm giving instructions to my kids, and when I'm communicating with someone of a differing viewpoint (perhaps an unbeliever, or someone who takes a largely different stance on an important issue). I want to be a good communicator and to communicate truth in loving ways so that my words are easy to hear and hopefully to take to heart. So here are some ways I want to make some changes. Perhaps these are areas others struggle in as well and my application can help you out too.

On the phone: I often cut people off and speak in short sentences.  I don't mean to. I think I'm just too busy trying to get my own words out. I also have a short tone of voice on the phone. I need to converse as I would in person and let others finish their thoughts before I start speaking. Perhaps even wait for a long enough pause so that I am sure they have completed their thought. Often I get off the phone just feeling akward. I need to be patient and listen to others better before I speak.

With my kids: This is a big one. I was reminded of two scriptures from Proverbs as I thought about this. My son is 2 1/2 and really struggles to hear instruction from mom and dad lately. I want to help him in this by putting these two verses into practice. 15:2 says 'The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable' and 16:21 says 'Sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness'. My temptation with the kids is to grow firm instead of sweet. But how much better do they listen to my sweet voice? Sweetness can help make knowledge acceptable for them. Speak kindly, Abbie! Make learning fun!

With those who oppose me: I get easily frustrated with those who think differently than me and can tend to avoid conversations that go in those directions. Of course that depends a lot on that other person, how defensive they are, etc. But I want to be good, particularly at sharing the gospel with those who don't believe it. It's the power of the gospel that saves! I need to be patient and calm and pay attention to those who are good at sharing it to pick up things that I can incorporate. Something else that Mack mentioned was speaking with humility, as a learner. This seems to be important particularly in this context. I want to speak sweetly, kindly, confident in the gospel, but with humility as a learner.

I want to have acceptable speech that is full of love, is not rude, and is easy for others to hear. Then perhaps God can use me to teach others His word.

Friday, September 2, 2011

When my heart screams 'I'm Done!'

The last few days have been rough ones for me. I'll just say it. I'm really frustrated at work. My heart really has been screaming 'I'm Done!" all day long. Not that I'm treated badly. For the most part, really, my bosses are very kind to me. They've done kind things I guess I should say. And I completely see why God placed me here over 3 years ago. It has been a good place for me during this season of my life. However, as of late, I've become very restless. There are some really neat opportunities for me looming on the horizon, but that horizon is a ways away and I'm just so ready for the change. I'm tired of feeling useless each day. I'm tired of not being with my kids. I really, really miss my kids this week. I know I'm not the only mom ready for a change. I'm not the only mom who would rather be with her kids. And really both of these things that I desire are good, Godly desires. I just don't want them to become idols in my heart and I fear that so often they become just that. So I've been meditating on Philippians 4... thinking through what contentment looks like in my life right now in this season of waiting. I've come to a few conclusions:

1. I really do just have to wait. God has me exactly where He, in His perfect plan for my sanctification wants me. Me not working just isn't an option right now. And I don't see a better option for a job either. The things I'm waiting on will happen in His perfect timing (or perhaps not happen at all in his plan!) and really instead of wishing for them, I need to pray for them more, but also, just trust God with them more. Like Paul I want to be able to say that in 'whatever state I am, I have learned to be content!'

2. I need to trust people. I came to this conclusion awhile back when I was reading an article about women emasculatig men. I know it sounds funny here, but I need to trust a few key guys in my life to lead in their circle of influence in the right way, thus opening up the door for me perhaps. I should open up some doors, but not push too hard. I think Scripture teaches that in my trust, and in my learning to let guys be guys and lead the way, I can honor God best by trusting him and the people in leadership that God has placed around me.

3. I need to do something. I have some time ahead of me where I'm at and I want to use the time I have to prepare for the future, whatever God makes that look like. One of those ways in which I want to DO is to blog more. Get my mind rolling with God's Word and how I'm applying it in my life. It might look like a parenting tip which I've recently figured out, or it might be a delicious recipe I've come across, or an easy craft project (because I don't have time for complicated ones!), or a way I've found to bless my husband, or serve others, or honor God.... I don't know. I'm gonna vary it up. But I want to share more about how I'm learning to express Biblical Femininity in my busy life with 2 kids, a full time job, and a husband who works 50+ hours a week and goes to grad school. It's a journey, but Lord willing, I hope I'm doing what I can to honor Him in it.

          Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.   (Philippians 4:11-13 ESV)

And Lord willing somewhere in the midst of the trusting Him, being content, trusting others, and the doing... My heart will stop this screaming and find peace in His perfect plan for me, knowing that he is using even this frustration to shape me into the image of Christ. (Rom. 8:28-29)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sit here, and spend some time.

A blog post I read last week has gotten me to thinking lately a lot about the structure of my life. I started this blog in hopes of it holding me accountable in my study of God's Word. That has not happened well. I used to be a very structured, organized person. But I am also somewhat a person of extremes and if I can't do something well, I tend to not do it. After getting married my life no longer was entirely my own to structure, and I started to struggle with disciplines that used to never be an issue for me... being in the Word being one of them. Then I got pregnant, then had my first child, then got pregnant again, and then had our second child. Now my life is rarely my own, and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's the place and role to which God has called me in this season of my life, that of wife and mother. However in my search to allow my husband to lead, and to serve him day in and day out, to care for my kids, etc. I very easily neglect disciplining myself. Two of the key areas that have gone by the wayside are my time in the Word and in prayer, and time for exercise.

Also during this time my understanding of Scripture has changed. I trust in and rely on God more than ever. I really trust his sovereignty. Granted, I don't know that I've been tested very deeply yet, but overall, I really trust Him to provide and it takes a lot to get me to worrying. I praise God for His work in my life in this area as it has not always been the case and it's all of Him that I've grown in this way.

By no means have I 'arrived' in my faith, but some basic concepts have become habit for me, such that I don't always feel the pressing need that I used to to build my faith. This is all probably sounding very proud, but I think I found in my understanding less of a dependence on pouring out my heart to God the way that I used to when every little trial seemed so huge. I just trust Him now and tell Him so. (Certainly not all the time! I still sin in my lack of faith!) But I still felt like that I should be 'learning' something every day in my 'devotions.' And I wasn't..... not in the basic reading that I had time for in this season of my life.

Then I read this blog post by Tim Challies and understood something that I hadn't in a long time. My time in the Word every day isn't to learn something new. Granted I might and those times will be fun and exciting as I understand a piece of my savior that I hadn't before. But more than anything, it's just to spend some time. The way that I love to spend time with my husband. Even if we're doing nothing. Just to sit on the couch with his arm around me while we both read a book is time well spent and meaningful in our relationship. In the same way I want to curl up with my savior each day and just sit and be.

Now that I've established that I've been working on a good time. At work has been working for me lately. But I do want to rebuild my early morning habit. I want my kids to someday wake up early and just find me 'being' with God in His Word and praying for them and others. For now though, this routine is working well and I'm thankful for this new understanding. Thanks Challies for sharing this very important insight with me. It has changed my relationship with my Savior.