It’s 2 am as we speak, most my community is tucked in their beds…. I am not. My head is spinning a million miles an hour. I have butterflies, I feel sick. I have waves of excitement replaced by those of dread, then full on panic. I had a “bomb” dropped on me this week. The news has sent me into a tail spin. My business partner has decided to step down for the sake of her family. Because of this, I have some pretty big decisions to make myself. Do I proceed onward and upward, or do I forfeit the store front- in favor of working on a smaller scale. I love our little shop! I love the people I meet because of it, I love the chances I have to minister to others through those meetings. And that is what this little shop has been for me- my ministry. But I can’t do this alone. So I am left with this unsettling feeling of just what to do.
So-at two a.m. as I turn to my bible, I end up with this passage- and it’s subsequent devotion:
I will bless the L ord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the L ord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. (Psalms 16:7, 8 NLT)
It is human nature to make our own plans and then ask God to bless them. Instead, we should seek God’s will first. By constantly thinking about the Lord and his way of living, we will gain insights that will help us make right decisions and live the way God desires. Communicating with God allows him to counsel us and give us wisdom.
How do I have the wisdom to discern my plans and God’s plans for me? He is good. He has granted us success with this shop. He has opened doors for me to meet people that would have never come into my life, were it not through the store. But, what about the ministry of motherhood? Because right now, we are DEEPLY lacking in that area. My family’s cracks are growing wider. I am at this point- is my glory to Him in a shop or in my family??
Can I be at peace in a simple life? Do I want to define my worth through my children or through my work because, now is that time.
Now is when I decide the answer, and act accordingly.
No scriptural reference this morning- just a little journaling.
Hubs finally got a job offer last week, not one I was happy about. I know. Who’s NOT happy about a job offer after several interviews and many months no work?? Me. Apparently. You see, I had my reasons. I’m upset with the company still (same place that laid him off). I just feel like we have seen our day with this company BUT…. and then there is the small issue of money. They offered less than he’s making now, but NOW they will be taking out for insurance and retirement. We countered- ok he countered- and they didn’t even budge. Not even one penny. So I have my issues with that as well. (Is the employment world so changed that the employer is THAT entitiled!? In the world I remember, they give a little wiggle room so they can move up a bit- but ok). So needless to say for my own selfish reasons I’m less than ecstatic about hubs “new” job. That is until last night at church.
Last night I listened to one of our a church families as they asked for prayer because they just found out- due to recent cutbacks in job- that they will have to sell their house and downsize. I listened to her go into detail about the worries they have putting food on the table and figuring out bus fare to get their 13 year old daughter down to them for her monthly visit. Then I listened as another member of our church family explain uncertainty with their workplace, firings and resignations that have completely tipped his team over the scale of normalcy and efficiency.
Then we continued on our discussion of the book of the Judges.
All the sudden I could see how selfish I was being. How entitled I felt. I’m tired of treading water- I want to get a little ahead. If our car dies I’d like to have some wiggle room that we can make a car payment if needed. But that’s not the plan.., right now. I keep giving God the praise to the outside world but in my prayers I try and negotiate with him. “If you offer this, I will do this in return.” And just as I was shown in sermon last night– Jephthah negotiated with God and he lost. He gave glory to Him when he won his battles but in prayer he negotiated. He negotiated himself out of his only child.
Soooooo…..rounding things out. I was shown the ugliness of my grave sin last night. I am sorry to God for not accepting His gifts to our family graciously. I am sorry to my hubs for causing him to doubt himself and (I’m sure) his ability to provide sufficiently for this family. I apologize to my church family because I thought i was so entitled that i put my needs above theirs and was blind to their struggles. I am human- I am prone to selfishness, poor decisions, works based thoughts for salvation, and ungrateful actions. But that is why Jesus sat on that cross for me. Not because of who I am- but because of His great love for me.
My reading this morning came from :
He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the L ord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15 NLT)
I’m going through a sermon series right now on gracious parenting. It’s called Heritage Parenting by gracecovonline.com— in case your wondering. BUT. it has been overwhelming. The ways in which I’m doing things wrong, the fact that time is slipping by me to mould these little hearts and souls that have been entrusted to me, sometimes it feels like an army of do’s and dont’s is heaving at the gates. Sometimes that army takes the form of my to do list that is always a mile long. Or perhaps, work related stuff, afterschool activities for the children, keeping a clean house, being on mission…. You see my army takes on many faces. Unfortunately- there are many times I heap these tasks upon my self and feel the breath of my army on my neck. I need to remember this…today….don’t be afraid! It is not my battle but God’s. If I submit to him as a ruler and general on my heart in my life, I will wage that war and win!
My excerpt today is in 1 Sam 12:24
But be sure to fear the L ord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you. (1 Samuel 12:24 NLT)
We were visiting with family recently and had a conversation with a family member about the cans and cants in life. They are having a bit of trouble because his wife is so focused on what she CAN’T do rather than what she CAN. The hindering attitude brought forth with her thinking is affecting her health, and their marriage.
I can’t help but think that perhaps the same is with our relationship with God. If we are so focused on what he hasn’t done for us, how can we possibly see what he HAS done. If we remember those things he HAS done for us, big or small- all the sudden that shift makes it easier for us to see each and every blessing as it comes.
Instruct all the skilled craftsmen whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom. Have them make garments for Aaron that will distinguish him as a priest set apart for my service. (Exodus 28:3 NLT)
I am feeling a little tread upon this week by my business partner. Especially today. I feel that she has been short with me, and almost irritated. I am trying my best, but I am not as good at some things as she. I don’t go as quickly. That is the fact of the matter. My husband does not want to craft like hers does and it is what it is. I’ve come to see these differences, and instead of pushing Hubs, and keeping score what she and Her hubby are doing vs what we are doing, I’ve come to just realize that we are good at different things.
Today, I need this verse, and this devotional. I try to do it all instead of realize that I have certain talents that are different than my business partner’s. There is NO way we would have the presence we do if it were not for my mad social media skills. And there would be nothing for me to be talking about were it not for her mad painting skills. Therefore, I need to lift her up and support her in her skills. I need to appreciate her for all her hard work and hopefully she appreciates me for all mine. But nonetheless… I need to remember- I am not here for her, I am not here for me. I am purely here to give the Glory to God. He has set me in this place to be a donkey. I will set about my important work of carrying His Holiness on my back, and pray that I am good about meshing into the background so that He is all that others see.
The devotional content is as follows:
The tailors who made Aaron’s garments were given wisdom by God in order to do their task. All of us have special skills. God wants to fill us with his Spirit so we will use those skills for his glory.
I’m in the process of going through the Life Application Bible Study Plan Devotional. It’s pretty awesome because it’s typically one verse with a short little blurb. Sometimes- that is all I have time for before my elements wake from their slumber to impact my day once more. Sometimes- like today- I was given a little more time. So I read in Acts as well. Once again I am shown the red thread that weaves in and out of the books of the bible and binds them together as the truth that they are. Let me show you–
In Genesis after Cain has finished his unspeakable sin- God comes to him and gives him a chance…..
“Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” (Genesis 4:6, 7 NLT)
In Acts 3:19-20
Peter and John-through Christ Jesus- heal a lame beggar man and the people are amazed. Peter takes it as a teaching opportunity and he says to them: Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. (Acts 3:19 NLT). There’s more to it- Peter gets a little heated with em and shows them the mistake they made in killing the Son through which this miracle was possible. You should read it. Anyway- it was a good lesson….
I think this was a case of history repeating itself— Peter tells the Jews- y’all sacrificed the Son but it’s not too late for you. If you but admit your wrongdoing and repent of it– the gift is still yours to receive. When I am wrong- can I admit it? Can I be the one to apologize for my trespasses? Will I be able to accept God’s gift for me? Or will I be hard headed? Will I take my “I’m right” attitude to the grave?
The Life Application Devotion Plan devotional content for the Gen 4:6,7 says this: How do you react when someone suggests you have done something wrong? Do you move to correct the mistake or deny that you need to correct it?
So, today, as I look at the parallel’s in these two stories, and I know the outcome of the characters in both, I can certainly say:
I choose to bow my head in shame and admit when I am wrong!!!!
I was in Matthew today-Matt 7:7 to be exact :
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7 ESV)
Our God is a great, merciful, spoiling Father. Like a King with his children, there is nothing he would deny us…if we but ask. Sometimes I think- well He knows my heart why do I need to ask? But i’ve come to the conclusion the asking is more for me. And this is why:
One needs to be HUMBLE enough to realize they can’t do it on their own, they need to ask for help.
One needs to exercise PATIENCE when relying on someone else to provide for them.
One needs to show FAITH in the person they ask.
One needs to TRUST that the person they ask to help loves them enough to assist.
God WILL answer me once I can exhibit humility, patience, faith and trust in Him and his provision.