I was busy this morning making beds, collecting laundry, wiping down bathrooms, you know the stuff I always say I should do. Yes, I was actually doing it, but as I started down the steps I heard a small voice say....
"Why are you so busy? stop, Stop, STOP!"
I turned on my heels and went back upstairs, laid out on my neatly made bed and held my Bible. I closed my eyes and turned my focus on that voice. God wanted to know my heart. He wanted me to say out loud why I was so busy, too busy. So, I confessed that I am afraid of the changes He has been making in my life. While I get excited about seeing His works, I am a little afraid of the unknown. Truly, I am lost on His plans for me. I know He has them. Jeremiah 29:11 has become a popular verse around me lately. So, I asked Him to show me His plans. I want Him to plant a seed in me that will grow as a dream and turn into my purpose.
As I was praying I asked that He showed me in His word and I opened my Bible. Immediately my eyes fell to a little box in my Bible with a little green title that said : God Prevails in His Plans.
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21
At that moment my heart cried, "I have a God that is real, and BIG, and all in my life. I've asked Him to start revealing His plan for me. Slowly throughout the day He has unwound it for me. He's given me direction and first steps.
I noticed in my journal from back in April that I had written a message from Him that was on my heart after reading Haggai 2: 18 & 19.
"Come back to Me. My Spirit will bless you. I will remove chaos. I have a job for you to do. You can not be trusted with this job unless you stay close to me. Talk to me in everything you do. Do not become distracted. Do not forget. I have called you to serve many but you are weak and afraid. My children need You now more than ever. Write so you won't forget and seek My face daily!"
That journal entry was the last one written until I opened the book today. See, God forced me to go back and see it. My computer that I had been journaling on had failed and I grabbed the one I write in from time to time. For weeks, it is obvious that He has been giving me instructions to write.
So the rest of today's story goes....
I'm working on a book.
I'm writing it even if no one reads it because it was given to me to write.
I'm doing this because He is telling me it must be done.
I have found that if I say "I can't" He makes it possible.
About a month ago I told a friend about my little project and how I just couldn't bring myself to turn it into a book. She asked why. I had no real answer. My answer was that I didn't have time and that I was a little afraid of being so bold. Two weeks ago a blog reader messaged me and asked if I had my project in a book format that could be downloaded and sadly I said "no". Last week that project landed in my Inbox in a book format and I was too afraid to see it until 3 nights ago, I finally opened it and I just smiled. I'm so humbled that someone would love my work enough to do that for me. I'm more humbled that my Father thought it was worthy enough to put it on someone's heart to take that next step for me. The monthly requests from a publisher have never stopped since my first inquiry 2 years ago. Tonight, my husband said "I know you didn't want to publish, you told me a long time ago you didn't want to." I promise if it were up to me, I would not dream that big.
So, here's how I look at it. God is clearly calling me to do more. I'm not a gifted writer, I just enjoy spilling out things that are in my head and on my heart. I am a lover of books. I love books and reading them! So, I guess I will roll with it and maybe take a few extra steps to see what happens next. I feel like this project is His anyway. It never was mine.
I'm a little overwhelmed with all the clues and gifts He's given me today.
"Write so you won't forget."
This morning I was reading and stopped to reflect on my morning. I was kicking myself for not putting God first, once again. I got up, rushed the kids off to school, read and started getting ready for the day. My day, once again, did not start with Him...or did it?
We have a chalk board in our kitchen that says: God first, Family Second, Career Third.
I wrote it on there as a reminder to myself. Today, while I was kicking myself God said to "STOP, I don't have to compete". He is not in a competition with my day or my heart. He's already claimed victory on my day and my heart. Instead what I pictured was his presence in EVERYTHING around me, in every book page, in every picture on the wall, in every drink of water, in every breath I take in and out. He's already first. I do not have to run around all day trying to be a "Good Christian" and beat myself up when I think I haven't put Him first.
If we say that God is competing for our hearts, time, day or anything then we are saying that He doesn't already own them. We are competing with ourselves, we are setting standards based on others expectations and not His, we are the variable...He is not, He is constant.
You see, I can not stand it when I make mistakes. I don't like letting people down. If I make mistakes I feel that is an open door for ridicule and criticism. Others find my weak spots, my misspellings, my misuse of time, my expressions, etc They find them and then the devil delights in taking advantage of my own conscientiousness of these faults. The devil wants us to feel that we are incapable of pleasing God. I sometimes feel like God's standards are too high for anyone to achieve...especially me. It's not easy to live holy.
I will never understand "Jesus Jukes" as Jon Acuff calls them. The "head in the clouds", "glib-tongued" Christian who says he never experiences adversity and life is just perfect. These people are a mystery to me...or just liars. Is it humanly possible to please God? OH yes, without a doubt it is! Do you want to live in obedience? Then tell Him you do, He needs and wants to hear it from YOUR own lips.
I have found that God is more easy to please than any person I know or ever will know. He is consistent in His expectations, He waits and waits for us, and He has confidence in us that just does not waiver. He knows I will return to Him. The real truth is that we as humans are harder to please than God! Subconsciously, it isn't Him we are trying to please, it's everyone around us. It's impossible. We become slaves to "man-pleasing".
"The fear of man bringeth a snare; but those whose who put his trust in the Lord shall be safe." Proverbs 29:25
If we were to take a moment out of our morning and focus on His goals for just that day, pleasing Him is easy.
For years, even before we had children, James and I wanted to adopt. It was something we "wanted" to do. We had talked about it years before we even were married. Since we married in March of 2001 we have had the privilege of becoming the earthly parents of 3 amazing boys. Our youngest is almost 7 and our oldest is 12 today , we can't believe the years have flown by. In the last year, God has started opening our hearts.
If you could feel the petals of a flower open, that's what our hearts feel like. It's not just about "wanting" an addition to our family, it has become increasingly about rescuing our daughter. It's about becoming vulnerable. It's about allowing others to enter into what is sacred and exam us. It's about doing what is necessary in order to fulfill our purpose. Just like an opening flower. If we had to rescue one of our own boys, we would stop at nothing to bring them home. Tears streamed down my face at the thoughts when I said "that's how I feel about bringing our daughter home."
About a month ago I had a real talk with God on the issue because the feeling in my heart was growing but I wanted to be sure He had planted that seed there to grow.
Without vision the people perish. Proverbs 29:18
So, I wanted to know, what God's vision was for us. I wanted Him to plant that seed and nurture it. In the midst listening for Him I was overwhelmed by a sense of urgency. In a still, small voice I heard..."You have 8 months to prepare. Prepare your home, finances, relationships, and family because I'm bringing her to you." Obviously, with that sense of urgency you don't want to sit back and "wait". When He gives you a vision of your life with a daughter to raise, your feet start moving. Your mouth starts speaking and your heart starts listening because HE is leading you to her. Don't think I didn't get out my calendar and look to see what 8 months out looked like...December of 2014.
I told James I don't look at other people's little girls and think "I wish I had one." My heart doesn't ache with "wanting", it's so much different. It is simply a sense of urgency to protect our child. I believe with all my heart she is has not been born. I believe with all my heart that we are to pray for her birth mother daily to continue to make the important decisions for her growing baby with lots of love, care, and thought. I believe with all my heart that our daughter has a place here in our lives. I believe with all my heart that we are to raise her up as a child of His so that she can grow to be a Proverbs 31 woman and see the world through His eyes. She will be compassionate, honest, caring, spunky, and a difference maker. She will be a dreamer, creative, intelligent, and a worker. She will rock our world.
We are going to be making a bit of a mess to bring her home and at the same time lining up things in our lives that need to be taken care of. God is providing the way to bring her home. We are trusting Him in every move we make. We asking for guidance from Him, wisdom, and the means. He is her provider now and forever, we are to be her caretakers, her love, her open arms, her hugs, her discipline, her warmth, her security, her safety, and her everything.
Please be in prayer for us as we embark on this journey to bring her home. Any support we receive will simply fuel our fire and fan our flames. Please visit my etsy boutique (click the image above) to purchase patterns and handmade items to help increase our adoption fund.
Whenever I read this verse,
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:!4
I imagine a war where a solider who is armed and ready for battle is hunkered down in a trench with a bombs and explosions, fighting, chaos, basically what you see in movies about WWII. I imagine a young solider with eyes closed and being perfectly still while the battle goes on and then with open eyes, the battle is won...there is a quietness and peace and it all seemed like a dream. Then, I imagine mothers and daddies on the home front. Those whose spouses are off at war or at work while they are at home taking care of a house, babies, bills, groceries, and the world is noisy, full of chaos, and the threat of defeat is around each corner. I imagine that parent, when the babies are all in bed and the house is a total wreck but a moment of still quietness is calling. To be still for a second and know the Lord is fighting the battle that is already won.
I pray that women and men, in what ever battle they are in daily, remember to be still and know that our Lord is fighting. We can be unafraid and stand firm because our deliverance is here. The Lord is fighting for us, we need only be still.
While this verse is powerful, the verse that follows is even more amazing...
"Why do you cry out to me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward." Exodus 14:15
See, sometimes we read a really powerful verse and stop, not realizing that God's command was even greater than that of Moses. Moses simply said "Keep Calm!" but God said, "Keep Calm and March On."
Behind them He was protecting His people. They needed to keep their wits about them and follow their leader in unison, to believe and not to leave anyone behind. God provided ONE WAY to salvation for them and that was to trust and follow. Once they did they, they no longer had to worry about the army coming down on them. God took care of that too! He provides a way out for us if we will simply follow Him, turn to Him, trust Him. When we are under pressure, scared, and helpless then we are to completely be still and remember who is fighting for us, then all we have to do is with all the trust in our hearts, follow.
He is our guide through the sea, the storms, the wilderness, the desert. We must keep moving forward and letting Him lead us to his Mountain and on to the promised land.
When the waters returned and covered them. He covered them ALL. He's got our backs! Run forward with your armor on and He's got your back.
I am birth mom to my 3 boys, foster mom to 2 sweet babies, wife to my high school sweet heart, and daughter to my King. I love to write. I am no scholar but I love my Lord and He helps me.