We’ve been home for most of the last week, due to the holiday and playdates getting cancelled when friends are sick. W is hyperactive and very bored. I’m very tired of hauling him off of baby sister, who doesn’t enjoy roughhousing as much as he does.
MP#1 – 34 day cycle
One concept that stands out to me from the book I recently read (Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World) was that I must participate in my own sanctification.
Previously I had been operating under the assumption that I can’t obey God today because He alone can give me the ability to stand against temptation, and obviously if He hasn’t made me patient yet then I can’t behave in a patient manner. Someday I will wake up and find that He’s transformed me into a patient person. Sanctification is His job.
Why, then, does my conscience accuse me when I snap at my husband or act irritated toward my kids? It’s because in that moment, I actually have a choice. Will I vent my frustration on the people I love? Or will I bite my tongue and send up an insta-prayer for help?
I think it was Oswald Chambers who said that God will not show us any further spiritual truth until we are obeying what He has shown us already. Our obedience in the things we already know opens the way for additional instruction to come.
God can only sanctify me to the degree that I cooperate with Him. In a sense, I am in charge of the pace at which this transformation takes place. If I wake up every day and deliberately yield my life and will to Him, committing myself to honor and obey Him in everything I do, then God has free rein to change me and do Kingdom work through me. Praise God! Transform me, Lord Jesus…
20 years from now, 2030
Both kids moved out.
Both kids know how to budget and handle money wisely.
Us retired, financially independent with ongoing passive income and self-insured.
Own a paid-for house.
10 years, 2020
Own house with 15-year fixed-rate mortgage.
5 years, 2015
D’s car is the uber.
In full swing with homeschooling.
Romantic weekend away.
1 year, January 2011
D done with NAET treatments.
Software project ready for beta testing.
If we sell the motorcycle, then rebuild suspension on D’s car.
Earning $500/mo profit on soap biz (selling 167 bars/12 logs/6 double batches).
Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all that you do, and He will direct your paths.
Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
God is working in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure. (Philippians 1)
Romans 8 – But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit… Therefore…you have no obligation to do what hyour sinful nature urges you to do.
James 1 & 3 – If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you… If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom… Wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reep a harvest of righteousness.
Proverbs 4:23 – Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.
Matthew 12:25 – A good person produces good words from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil words from an evil heart.
Luke 6:45 – A good person produces good deeds from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil deeds from an evil heart. For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Proverbs 17:22 – A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
Proverbs 20:9 – Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin”?
Jeremiah 17:9 – “The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
Proverbs 21:2 – People may think they are doing what is right, but the LORD examines the heart.
Psalm 139:23-24 – Search me, O LORD and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the path of everlasting life.
Ezekiel 11:19-20 – And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts [fn] instead, so they will obey my laws and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World – ch. 6 “Kitchen Service”
Fruit Happens.The fruit of our lips, of our deeds, of our attitudes. How can I make sure my life is producing this kind of fruit? It’s really not that difficult. You see, fruit isn’t something you can sit down and manufacture in your life. Fruit happens. You get connected to the Vine and pretty soon you’ve got zucchini – tons and tons of zucchini. So much, you just have to share! As we “abide” in intimate relationship with Christ, something incredible happens. We begin loving as we never loved before. Our lives change, and we become examples worth immitating. We begin producing fruit. Juicy, lusciously love, lip-smacking-delicious fruit. Fruit in our lives that tells the world who we are and what our God is like.
Jesus ministered as he went on his way. He was available and ministered as he was needed.
Jesus ministered as he went out of his way. His love for people moved him to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Jesus mininstered in all kinds of ways. Instead of guarding his life, Jesus gave it away. He saw a need and filled it – he didn’t limit himself to certain methods of service, or stick to only his preferred types of work.
As the mother of two busy little children, I’ve got my work cut out for me at home. I often feel that I can’t be useful to the greater scope of God’s work because I seldom come in contact with people outside of my house or my own limited social sphere. I felt encouraged by the remarks above because it means I can pray for God to bring opportunities for ministry into my everyday life.
Today – PRAISE GOD! – I saw one of those opportunities for the first time. My brother-in-law volunteers with a ministry to homeless people. He and other volunteers visit the various homeless camps around town and offer kindness, conversation, food and other necessary items to the people he meets. During the year he’s been with Salt on the Street, he has seen three people come to Christ and seven people successfully get off the street. In a few cases he’s actually helped save someone’s life who was in danger of freezing to death in wintertime.
He called to ask if my husband would like to come along just this once, because most of the volunteers are college-age and have gone home for Christmas. As I was talking with him an idea popped into my head. “Do you think anyone would like some soap? I have a huge bag of shavings from when I bevel the soap bars. Normally I just toss them into the kids’ bath, but if you’re welcome to take them if you think anybody would like a baggie of little soap pieces.”
Thanks to God, who showed me a creative way to bless others with something as small and unimportant as soap chips.
Wesley has been sick lately (we all have) so I’ve been keeping us close to home and not participating in our usual social activities. Both the illness and the cabin fever have made him extra cranky and out of sorts.
Today was Wesley’s 4th birthday. Daddy wished him “Happy birthday!” before he left for work and Wesley’s cantankerous reply was, “No! Don’t want happy birthday.” That was pretty much the theme for our whole morning and early afternoon. G-pa drove up for a visit from 10-1:30 and Wesley was contrary almost the whole time. For example, he was super excited when G-pa gave him a gift-wrapped box and tore into it with great enthusiasm. Perhaps he was expecting toy trucks; clearly he was not expecting wooden puzzles. He dumped them on the floor, saying, “Don’t want puzzles!!” I was embarrassed (as usual, it seems) and keenly felt that once again, my son’s behavior confirmed to my father that I am a failure as a parent and am in need of his unsolicited advice. In fact, at the end of his visit he helpfully tried to lend me a Dobson book titled Dare to Discipline. Argh.
As I write this I could just cry because I don’t know how to bring out the best in this child. I don’t understand him and I often feel that I can’t relate to him. He’s so extroverted and kinestetic and non-verbal. A person more precisely my opposite could not exist – except that we are both intensely strong-willed. I view it as a gift in my own life, and I know it has the potential to make Wesley a passionate mover and shaker for Jesus. But only if I can help him to refine and direct his will, show him how to joyfully yield to God’s will before his own human inclinations. And I have no idea how to do that.
After G-pa left and Pookie (19 mos) was taking her nap, I went to spend some time with Wesley. The house was quiet (a rare thing) and Wesley was in his “fort” tending to his stuffed animals. He told me his babies were sad, and made whimpering noises for them. I asked why they were sad and he told me they wanted snuggle-snuggle. So I laid down next to his teddy bears (which he had lovingly tucked under some blankets, up to their chins) and pretended to nurse them. He patted their heads and made babbling noises for them, “Ba, ba” then giggled. We climbed out of the fort and spent 20 minutes assembling the wooden puzzles and enjoying one another’s company.
Hebrews 12:5-11 List reasons why God disciplines us and the results of that discipline:
1) we are His children whom He loves
2) God’s discipline is always good for us; it enables us to share in His holiness
3) there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way
Joshua 1:8 – If I meditate on God’s Word and do it, then I will be prosperous and successful.
John 8:31-2 – If you remain faithful to Jesus’ teachings, then you are truly His disciple and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
James 1:25 – If you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free and you remember it and do what it says, then God will bless you for doing it.
Psalm 51:10-12 -God forgives us, even when we are at our very worst. He responds to a broken and repentant heart.
Make my heart clean, O God. Make my spirit loyal to You. Don’t give up on me or leave me! Bring me back to the first love I used to have for You. Let me overflow with joy when I reflect on the Salvation You have given me. Teach me to delight in obeying You.
ch. 9 – Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World
1) What kind of student were you?
In grade and middle school, I passionately did not want to be in the public school system. In high school I initially enjoyed the social experience and did well in school, but sophomore year I was bored and annoyed by the busywork. Junior and senior years I took full time classes at the community college and found them much more interesting, but still I was a procrastinator. I got good grades but could have done better. Same in Bible college, although that year the academics were the least important things I learned.
Then I transferred to university and I it was my second year there when I suddenly came into a love of academics. This was after a year of living a dual life as a part-time college student and full time employee. When I finally quit the job and took a 20-credit course load at the university, it was so freeing to be able to just focus on learning! I finished out my 4-year degree with two consecutive 20-credit quarters and a 15-credit quarter. After that, I was really tired and glad to be done. But I still enjoyed the intellectual exploration, and someday I might like to attend seminary or another institution of learning. Until then, I continue to educate myself every day by searching out resources on mothering, nutrition, soapmaking, and spiritual growth.
2) I consider Janet to be someone with a teachable heart. She is quick to listen, pleasant, calm, joyful, and always in search of a deeper relationship with Christ, both through her mind and her heart.