Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Learning Diligence

Lately I've been on a journey of overcoming in an area of my life that has caused a lot of fear, stress, anxiety and insecurity throughout the years.  This particular area was so normal to me that I never realized that there was even anything wrong with my way of thinking.  I recognized certain parts of it but I was never able to get a handle on it and pull it down to the root issue.

As long as I can remember I have had most of Proverbs 31 highlighted in every Bible that I've owned. I also have a handful of journal entries expressing my desire to be like that woman. But it seemed like just too lofty a goal for me. I had a lot of guilt and condemnation because I could never measure up. I finally came to the conclusion that she must have been a superwoman and that that goal just wasn't attainable.

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do to him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchant's ship; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hands to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hand to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.  Proverbs 31:10-31

What amazed me about this woman is that she was diligent in everything that she did. She had a good attitude, wisdom and kindness, she was creatively resourceful and good with money, and she was a blessing to her whole household. I really wanted to be a blessing to my family as well, I had the heart to do it but I just couldn't seem to get up the ability to be that or even to start working towards that level of maturity.

To me, simple things like cleaning the house, folding laundry, doing dishes, etc. were the next closest things to a torture sentence. Whenever I got roped into doing them, from when I was a child till just recently, I got so anxious that my chest would tighten and I would have a lump in my throat the whole time. The sad thing is, I thought that was normal. I just figured everyone else hated that stuff too and that only super driven or OCD type people could keep a house clean especially with two little ones terrorizing it. I had all kinds of justifications and excuses made up in my head. If my husband ever mentioned anything about the state of the house or the dishes or laundry, I'd snap back in defense with one of my expertly crafted excuses. Then I'd struggle with accusation and resentment towards him and myself, because he even dared to imply that I wasn't keeping up the house good enough and because I didn't think I was able to.

Finally this all came to an ultimate low; I got pregnant with baby number three. This pregnancy was different than the others because for the whole first trimester I was totally exhausted. If not much got done before, almost nothing got done then. Besides that, we were packing everything to move from Georgia to Canada, so whatever energy I did have went towards that. Even then, lots of times I'd sit on a chair an tell my husband what boxes to put the stuff in. When we finally got everything out of the house, some of John's family and my Grandma came over to clean the house for us and I was so embarrassed at how dirty it was because it probably hadn't been cleaned in months. I just kept telling myself and them that once I got my energy back I'd be able to take better care of things.

Now, it's one thing to be pregnant or sick and have a season of downtime which may be necessary to take care of yourself and recover properly. But for me, when that season ended and I entered my second trimester and got my energy back, my habits did not change. Now I had no excuse, but why couldn't I get it together? I finally started praying about it because for the first time ever, I realized that something was not right in me.

One day I was hanging out with my Dad and was watching him clean up the kitchen after a meal. I noticed how clean and uncluttered his house was kept on a continual basis. Dad told me that his wife, Margaret, had inspired him. He said that they had started a habit of preparing meals together and cleaning up as they went along so that after a meal there wasn't much left to be cleaned up. What impressed me is that housework was just a simple part of everyday life for them, it was just what they did, not some sort of torture sentence. This concept had never occurred to me before. Instead of waiting for things to pile up and get ugly and overwhelming they just dealt with it as they used it.

Around this time certain scriptures started to stand out to me in my morning Bible study. The first was Proverbs 12:27.

The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of the diligent man is precious. Proverbs 12:27

I could relate to that, I can't tell you how many times I've had meat go bad in the fridge because I didn't get around to putting it in freezer bags and freezing it in time. Then there was Proverbs 22:13.

The slothful man saith, There is a lion without I shall be slain in the street. Proverbs 22:13

And then Proverbs 20:4 says:

The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg bread in harvest, and have nothing. Proverbs 20:4

Ouch! These were all pretty harsh to me, no one wants to realize that they are slothful, that's kind of humiliating! Nevertheless, I was kind of excited at the same time to start to recognize the force that was driving me to avoid work. In fact I tried to avoid any project that I could possibly not do well at because  that would be an unbearable waste of time and energy for me. Therefore procrastination and fear of failure were a huge issue for me too. I also recognized how the fear and anxiety I felt when I was working were just a manifestation of these issues, it was almost as if there were a lion waiting outside to devour me. All of my excuses all of a sudden seemed pretty pitiful too.

The next step in my journey took me to Proverbs 27:23-27.

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens. Proverbs 27:23-27

And then to Proverbs 28:19-22.

He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough. A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress. He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him. Proverbs 28:19-22

In my scripture journal after I wrote out these verses I wrote this prayer:
Lord, I don't completely understand these scriptures, please open my understanding and give me wisdom. I do recognize a generational iniquity of slothfulness and covetousness. I have not been diligent, you have given me so many creative ideas of things to do but I have procrastinated and pushed them aside. If I can't even be diligent with the things I have, how will I be with more? Please help me overcome this iniquity so that I can be a blessing to my household. Thank you for all you've provided for us, thank you that we have need of nothing. Please give me a creative resourcefulness to be able to use the things I have at hand. Bless this home and the work of our hands. Help us to train our children up in this early so that they will not struggle as I have but be blessed with wisdom and diligence and gratefulness from a young age. Amen!

God has been faithful to answer this prayer. I've been taking my life and my house back steadily, one piece at a time. It hasn't been all easy though, at first the enemy would wash feelings of overwhelming anxiety and weakness over me and I had to dredge through and actively war in order to overcome. It has been getting better in that area lately but just in writing this I'm already recognizing areas where I've slipped back a wee bit without realizing it.

This revelation has helped me to feel so much more fulfilled and confident with myself, there isn't a foothold for that guilt and shame anymore. This isn't something I've done in drivenness or performance either or even of my own power. God has really healed and changed something in my heart. It's not torture anymore! There have been times when I had to readjust my motives though; as soon as I started trying to do it to get more of my husband's approval or maybe even just prove to him that I had changed, the anxiety heightened again and up came drivenness and performance. Once I regrouped and put my sight on God again and started to do my work as a "thank you" to Him for all He's blessed us with, my peace returned. I even had joy in my work!

The amazing thing is that now, even though I am keeping up better with the house, and started an effective budget, I still have time and energy to spend with my family and to do the activities that I thought I'd have to give up if I did any additional work. I've even had the opportunity to do some graphic design work for my Dad which is something I've always enjoyed doing but never had the opportunity to really get into. I feel more blessed than ever and more grateful for the things that I have and for the additional things that God has entrusted to me since I've started working on this. Responsibility is no longer something to be feared but now it's an honor to me that I can be entrusted with it. In addition my relationship with my husband has improved dramatically, there is not nearly as much accusation beating us down. A lot of my insecurities in our relationship have faded as well. I'm no longer afraid of his disapproval, in fact he's been more approving and encouraging than ever!

My Dad told me a little while ago that when we aren't diligent with what we have, we are saying to God or the person who gave it to us that we don't appreciate their gift or provision. The reverse of that would be that when we are diligent with the things we have we are saying to God and others that we appreciate their gifts and provision and are grateful. There goes covetousness and ungratefulness!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

For the Love of Our Country

Today at church our Pastor shared a very important message that had to do with the current state of this country. He quoted the verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that says: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

I don't know about you but to me it does not look like the blessing of the Lord is still on this country it is sliding fast into an economic depression and the only vague glimpses of recovery are mere illusions to keep us from doubting the effectiveness of our current government. This is not an issue that can be resolved just by the right government or the right plan though, there is something much deeper, a law that is set even above the laws of our land that is being violated. According to the blueprint that God lay down for us to follow in His Word, prayer alone isn't going to help our nation. We need to repent and turn from our wicked ways before He will even hear us and then He WILL heal our land. The idea that God will still bless us when we are not serving Him but following the ways of the enemy is a dilution that most of us have bought into, including myself, it takes the responsibility off of our shoulders and lets us justify whatever we would like to do. 1 Timothy 1:9 says: Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers.

 I am not trying to hit anyone with the letter of the law but according to this scripture if we participate in any of these sins habitually we by default even just with "a little bit of disobedience," place ourselves back under the letter of the law as opposed to the Spirit of the law which we are called to follow as believers and followers of Jesus Chris which is love. Therefore if we are not walking after love, to receive it from God, to love God and to love others we are placing ourselves under the letter of the law and will be judged accordingly. Luke 10:27 says:
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

I don't know about you but I don't see love as the law of this land. I see parents killing unborn babies because they are inconvenient to them or because they don't measure up to certain standards. I see us being entertained by things that the Word says should not even so much as be mentioned among us including violence and immorality. I see God being cut out of public programs and schools because His truth isn't convenient anymore or somehow He is outdated. How is it possible that a created being could come up with a better way than the one the All Mighty God has set in place? 

Fellow Christians and believers, we need to wake up for the love of a Country that we call home. Job 33:23-24 says: If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: Then He is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.

And again in Nehemiah 9:2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
This scripture refers to the time when the Israelites were gathered together in captivity and heard the law and repented to return to God and be loosed from their bondage. 

So as a child of God who cares about my country I personally stand in the gap and repent for the iniquity of my generations: Father I recognize the complacency and passivity of my generations. I recognize our pride in thinking that we knew better than you and our rebellion in trying to follow a way that we thought was right without seeking you're ways. I recognize our hardness of heart and our selfishness where we serve and follow our own desires and lusts rather than yours. I recognize our lack of trust in you in believing what you say is true and turning your truth into a lie. Father please forgive me and my generations and please forgive this nation and have mercy on us. Thank you for your compassion towards us thus far and I pray that for your elects sake, for the sake of your children, that you will turn away the curse of the enemy from this nation. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

We need to rally ourselves as believers to each take a stand together for our country. If you believe in this message, humble yourselves and pray too for God's mercy on this land and pass this message on. He cares for us and He truly does want what's best for us but we need to stand with Him and for Him in order for that to even be possible, otherwise we are asking the enemy to "bless" our land instead of Father God. 

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Epesians 3:14-21

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Lesson on God's Grace

I am completely blown away by God's faithfulness and patience with us in our learning curves. I mean I knew this already but I know it even more now, He really does love us and He really is the best Father we could possibly imagine!

Almost exactly a year ago, after taking a Financial Freedom Seminar course my husband and I decided that although we qualify for Medicaid we wanted to try to pay the doctor's bills by ourselves as I was expecting our second child. We made the decision not knowing for sure wether or not the idea was from God or just our own but we decided that in order to be able to hear God better we had to step out and make some choices and see what the results were so that we could learn from them.

At the time our income just barely covered our living expenses so my husband started maintaining some friend's yards in order to get some spare money each month. Even that wasn't entirely enough to cover the Doctor's bill but each time we needed it, the money became available in some way or another. We were so excited when we paid of the last Doctor's bill when I was about six months pregnant. We knew that God had sustained us to that point.

Then we went to the hospital to set up a payment plan for the actual delivery and hospital bills. We were completely caught off guard when we were told that because we qualified for medicaid they could not set up a payment plan for us, either we had to come up with $10000 before the delivery or we had to apply for medicaid and have them cover our bills. We were so crushed and confused. Up to this point we truly believed that God had provided what we needed to pay our bills but we were pretty sure $10000 wasn't just going to pop up in a few months. This is the point where we really had to stop and look at our motives as to why we had made this decision in the first place as well as evaluate exactly how we had gotten as far as we did. We started to see compromises we had made along the way and things we had started to entertain like pride that were even starting to separate us from our friends. We had even started to allow ourselves to think that we had a higher revelation than everyone else who was in a similar financial situation as us. We prayed through these things for about a week and repented together for how we had allowed a seemingly good idea to consume our lifestyle and take away from our family and fellowship time. We then swallowed our pride and applied for medicaid.

We never did regret paying the Doctor's bill by ourselves even though it was a rather large sum of money because we realized that we never would have been able to overcome some of those things that got exposed without allowing ourselves to try this and learn our lesson, and yes, get a sort of spiritual spanking. We never expected to see that money again.

Through this experience we were so grateful for the tender way God dealt with us that He worked with us the whole way and protected us and we never felt accused or abandoned. He even blessed us and provided in unexpected ways. After we repented He opened the floodgates of blessings even wider, our house sold after being on the market almost four months with no viewings, the first people to look at it were the ones to make the offer. Our house was under contract the day after our daughter was born. Everyone was amazed because of how terrible the market is right now in our town.

That wasn't the only blessing, our babies birth went so well that from the start of my first contraction to the time when she was born was exactly one hour. I was also able to walk from the delivery room to the recovery room without assistance which I was told almost never happens. The baby even beat the Doctor who came just after she was born. The whole experience was just so amazing and blessed I can't even put it into words.

We named our daughter Kaitlyn Grace. Kaitlyn meaning pure and Grace, according to the Greek translation of the New Testament scriptures, means God's diving influence on Man's heart. So her name together means the pure, divine influence of God on man's heart. How fitting to sum up our journey through that past year. Her name even now is a constant reminder of God's faithfulness to us even when we make wrong decisions.

Now here is the fireworks display at the end of this story and the reason why I am writing this now, so long after this whole ordeal. Today, we found a check in the mail from the Doctors office for the full amount of what we paid in. As far as we understood medicaid wasn't going to cover that because we had paid it too far ahead of the time we were accepted. I still don't know why we got it but I was so amazed that I burst into tears when I saw it. I was just so overwhelmed by God's grace and love and all the memories of His faithfulness flooded back.

Another amazing part of this testimony actually refers to a different part of our journey based on 2Corinthians 9:6 that says if you sow sparingly, you will reap sparingly and if you sow bountifully you will also reap bountifully. This convicted us a while ago because we were so concerned about our finances for so long that we were generally not willing to help others in need even if we were able to. We have really been working on this and trusting and believing God that if He was able to provide for another's needs through us, He would be able to provide for our needs when they arose. So we actually have been excited and thanking God when He provided what we needed to help someone else and we've really been enjoying the opportunities He's been giving us lately. So this check in the mail not only reminded us of His faithfulness and grace in our past season but also solidified the truth of this scripture stronger in our hearts. Our God is a good God and He means what He says, don't ever forget that Breanna! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

How God Sees Us and Disease

If we, by our own power and striving, can overcome the enemy, deal with the spiritual roots to our diseases and be healed, we could say that we did it ourselves. But if we cry out to God for mercy with an open heart to allow Him to work on us, whether we are healed immediately or over a process of time and renewing of the heart and mind, the glory will go to Him.

It is not His will that we be sick or that our bodies malfunction in any way. He created us perfect from the foundation of the world. Sin and iniquity has distorted His creation. If we accept disease or illness thinking that we "deserve" it, we are placing ourselves under the law and the gift of Christ is of no effect.

If however we stand on our faith and appropriate His gift we will be able to walk day by day in His presence to learn and grow by His leading. We do not need disease to spur us on to repentance although it may indicate a need to look deeper. God does not need disease to teach us. He needs an open and submissive heart. Disease is not given by God. It is not a tool or a temptation that He gives us in order to grow us up. He can, however, use what the enemy intended for evil and turn it around for His good and glory.

We should not accept illness or disease into our body when we feel it coming on. We are of more use to God and His Kingdom when we are healthy and have energy. If however we overdo it, our bodies may need to take a break (break down for a time) to recover themselves so that we can get a chance to hear God again. So, that is still more a consequence of striving or getting ahead of God and thus leaving His covering and protection and doing things of our own power. 

God is slow to anger and plentiful in mercy therefore He is not going to strike us like lightning with disease or curse if we mess up or stray. He is going to do His best to work on our hearts and lead us back to His green pastures and still waters. If however our heart has come to a place of hardness where we can no longer hear Him in that particular area of our life, He may have to give us up to our own lusts and desires for a time so that we can face the consequences of our decisions. 

If God was so patient with the Israelites even when they turned on him and worshiped a calf in the desert and complained because they weren't where they thought they should be yet even though He was completely providing everything they needed (Neh 8 and 9), surely He will have the same patience for us and surely He will still bring His Word to our heart and instruction as He did for them. He is the same yesterday, today and always.

God is not out to get us, He truly does love us and want what is best for us. Sometimes in our religious thinking we almost have it out for ourselves and drive ourselves to a point of perceived failure mostly because we do not understand the way He works and how He thinks about us. He is still looking at our heart and working on our heart and desiring for us to get out of our heads and to crawl out of the mindsets and iniquities of our generations so that we can really get to know Him and draw near to Him and find true relationship with Him. He wants us to find His rest. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. If we are burdened then there is something else occulting His truth and promise.

In Nehemiah when the Israelites recognized the iniquities and sins or their generations, they were grieved, but God told them to rejoice and celebrate in their new found freedom and to put away the garments of sadness and distress. He wanted them to throw it off and rejoice in Him without a second to lose. 

That is how we overcome we recognize, take responsibility, repent, renounce, remove, resist, rejoice, and restore others. REJOICE!!! (Be in Health's 8 Rs to Freedom)
The Lord is the light of my salvation, of whom shall I be afraid, the Lord is the stronghold of my life...
He will not leave us or forsake us. He never left or forsook Israel even though they rejected Him and turned from Him so many times. He was always patient, always slow to anger and always devising a way to pull them back to Himself so that He could bring them back under His covering and into His place of blessing. He desires to bless us so much. We need to submit ourselves to Him so that we can recognize and receive that blessing and His rest. 

We should not be looking at how to fix ourselves but rather we should be looking to Him the author and the finisher of our faith. We should be studying Him and His ways and asking for understanding so that we can be more like Him. Focus on His goodness and seek first His kingdom. Don't be continually seeking out the enemies kingdom in your life, it will just bring you down and overwhelm you. Seek God's kingdom and it will help you eradicate the enemy's by default. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all of these things will be added unto you. We can't just get rid of the enemy in our life we need to be filling our life with good so that the enemy doesn't have any more room to stay. Looking forward toward the prize.

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice! 

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. 
7 Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and depart from evil.
8 It shall be health unto your navel and marrow to your bones. 
Proverbs 3:5-8

Father, please write your Word on my heart so that I might not sin against you.
Restore to me the joy of my salvation and renew a right spirit within me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sweet Sleep

For a very very long time I have been having a hard time sleeping. When I did sleep it was usually the restless kind that made me feel like I hadn't slept even though I had. I'd toss and turn all night and not want to get up in the morning.

Lately I was getting really sick of this pattern and have been discussing it with my husband and seeking God as to what might be the reason behind this issue. I remembered one of the teachers in the For My Life class that I had recently attended at Be in Health Ministries, mentioning something about having sweet sleep when you are able to lay down your fears and trust in God. From that I had started reflecting on the scripture that says: When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and they sleep shall be sweet. Proverbs 3:24. So I figured that all I had to do was overcome fear. So I began to strive to work out my fears but they only overwhelmed me. Another scripture that I started thinking on says: Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

I knew I didn't have perfect peace in fact I felt like I was going insane. I also knew that although I wanted to and tried and sometimes was even able to for a short time, I had a hard time trusting in God and not listening to the fears that seemed so loud in my head. Then recently my husband brought home one of the 7000 Project Journals from Be in Health where he works. On the last page there was a section about failure to fast and take time out for God being a possible block to healing. I remembered in that moment the class on Blocks to Healing in the For My Life class and how I had come across that particular one and intentionally bypassed it because something in me hadn't wanted to hear that. This time I was all ears (0r eyes because I was reading) and my heart was open to the idea and I was convicted that I really had not been making any effort to even talk to God on a daily basis lately. I was letting life get in the way and excusing myself because I was "too busy." I thought that a day of fasting would perhaps get me back on track with my relationship with God.

Another thing that article said was that fasting wasn't intended for us to get things from God but for us to get with God and draw closer to Him. In that day every time I felt hungry it was a physical reminder to get with God either by talking to Him or by reading His Word. It really helped to restore something in my heart that had felt was breached for a long time with Him. It was a really good day and guess what happened that night. I slept! Soundly and peacefully! Yup I finally realized, the key to learning to trust God and to overcome fear is to take time out for Him and keep in relationship with Him.

When you think about it, you are hopefully in relationship with the people you trust most. Why should it be any different with God? Some times in order for me to learn why He asks us to do something I have to fall down a bit so that He can grow in me the realization of how much I need Him and learn so that I can be strongly rooted in my faith.

Employed by God

Recently I was filling out some paper work and I was asked fill in my occupation. I thought to myself, "Well I could be doing something important but nope I got married and had a kid and had to give that stuff up so now I'm just a mom... I guess I'll write homemaker to sound more important." Yup that's pretty sad but that is where I was at. You have to be honest with yourself in order to be able to allow God to grow you and change you.

I've been thinking about my situation for a long time now, swinging between feeling trapped, guilty and like a failure in almost every level of my life. The guilt and failure mindset was a bit of insanity crafted by the enemy to make me think I was failing God because I wasn't out there ministering to people and leading them to Christ because I was stuck at home. But then I felt guilty and like I was failing as a Mother as well. No wonder I've been battling depression and fatigue type issues lately. The Bible says that a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

I have been praying about it and asking that God help me to be who He created me to be and to be content where He has placed me. I had no motivation to take care of my house, I'd try to slip out of cooking as often as I could (which for this time isn't so wise for us financially) and I really started just trying to get through my days instead of making the most of them.

God has been faithfully ministering to me over the past few month and gradually leading me back into relationship with Him. First I attended the For My Life class again at Be in Health where we live and that blessed my socks off, He really used those teachings to root out some deep issues that I had no idea I was still holding on to or that I had even allowed back into my life. Then through the following weeks as I've been walking out what I learned He has been showing me more and more things that have been separating me from Him, others and even myself. (I think I will write a separate post about one of those key revelations).

I think a real turning point to the issue of motherhood that I had previously mentioned was when a friend of mine who herself is a mother of four kids called me on Monday and asked me if she could come over and help me clean my house. At first I thought "She needn't trouble herself I can clean it myself... eventually." and then I thought "Having someone around will definitely motivate me to get things done, maybe this could be fun." So I agreed. She came over with a bucket of her own cleaning supplies and showed me how to clean quickly and effectively to make normally mundane chores a lot more bearable and doable. That in its self was such a blessing to me because everything in my house was starting to look so overwhelming and undoable especially with an eleven month old at my heals. She ended up staying long after we finished cleaning and I began to tell her of the issues I was having especially as a mother. She began to encourage me telling me of how important a mother is and the kind of ministry that God has given us not only to our families but to the friends and families of our children and to our fellow mothers. She reminded me that to bring up Godly children is a super important investment into God's kingdom and into the world around us.

Since then I have been meditating on and reflecting on what we talked about and just today I came up with an interesting revelation of my own (well not entirely of my own, I'm pretty sure it was Holy Spirit inspired). I realized that as a Mother I am almost entirely employed by God! I mean when you think about it He was the one who blessed us with and entrusted us with this child (and hopefully more children later). I don't have human employer although God has given me a pretty amazing partner (my husband, John). But I am accountable to God as to how I raise my children and how I interact with and bless the people He brings into my life. All of a sudden my life became a ministry opportunity, I realized that I don't have to work at a said "ministry" office in order to be useful to Him. I feel inspired and honestly although I loved my daughter big time through all of this battle, there is a new and deeper love and value for her in my heart now than before and I'm so excited to see the fruit of it. I now feel like I have a hope and a vision for our future, something to work towards. The Word says, Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

I definitely have the best employer that ever existed and I am so excited to participate with Him and His plans for me and the world. With Him all things are possible therefore the possibilities for my life and my family's life are limitless!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Refocussing My Self-Image

A few weeks ago, I was talking to my Dad about how much I was struggling with my self-image and with loving myself. He challenged me on two levels that struck a strong cord with me. The first was my pride, he asked if perhaps my pride was hurt because I wasn't what I considered the "fairest of them all." I immediately understood what he was saying and am still in awe that I never noticed that before. I've spent so much time focussing on unloving and self-hatred that I never really gave any attention to pride. It's funny how that one operates, if we have the basic understanding that these thoughts are not our own but are strategically placed by the enemy and his minions we can suddenly realize how pride (one such minion) is so often overlooked and even protected! For example an event may occur where we would say, "That hurt my pride." As soon as we take ownership of that pride we are basically putting a protective wall around that one and saying, "I'm keeping this one, I agree with the way it thinks and I want it to be a part of my life." Bleck!

The second part of my Dad's challenge was the cherry on top of it all. He read to me from 1 Peter 1:23:
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, the the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.
This scripture challenges us to put on an eternal perspective. If we are just seeds now, then what are we doing putting so much attention on the appearance of our seed? The seed isn't what is going to be seen in eternity, it's the plant that comes out of that seed! Can you imagine what a person's plant will look like in eternity that spends all of their time focussing on their self image and caring more about what people think about them than what God thinks about them. That's going to be a pretty pitiful looking plant because the only thing that was nurtured was their corruptible shell, not the spirit on the inside of that shell that would be the incorruptible plant. I decided that day that I wanted to be a beautiful, honorable plant in eternity and put more attention on that than on petting my pride and worrying about how other people see me.

Now, as I've tended to make it habit to do, let me pull this into perspective. Like many things, there is a balance to this revelation. I am by no means suggesting to stop taking care of our bodies because we are told in God's Word to take care of our temples (which is our body) I am talking about excessive focus or mindsets placing our value on our appearance rather than our Spirit which is the thing that God values over anything else. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The freedom I've gotten out of this revelation is exponential, I am so excited that as I walk this out I am gaining more confidence in myself on every level. Insecurities that I've been holding onto for my whole life are starting to melt away every day and I've been encountering breakthrough after breakthrough in regards to overcoming fear and the issues I've had with myself.

If God is a gracious God who sees what is in our heart, why can't we have grace and mercy on our selves and cut ourselves some slack? At a recent one day conference I attended with Ellel Ministry's founder, Peter Horrobin, as the speaker, he made a point that stuck strong with me. He said that God is Love, He is not capable of being anything else that is just who He is! Therefore He is not even capable of not loving us, His creation.