Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
I am a planner. Perhaps it can be attributed to spending the past 25+ years in the theatre in some form or fashion but I like having a production schedule, rehearsal schedule, long-term and daily to-do lists. Although I may not accomplish all the tasks I have hastily scribbled on my calendar, I feel productive and efficient just by having a starting point.
I am not good at being still and resting. I doubt myself – am I doing what God has commanded by being still to listen for His voice or am I just being lazy? Am I wasting the time that He has given me? I am learning to distinguish between stillness and idleness, but as Lysa TerKeurst writes in her book Unglued, it is most definitely “imperfect progress.”
I have been neither still nor idle these past few weeks but rather restless, unsettled, unsure. I desperately want to do what God has called me to. I want to be obedient to Him. I want to please my Heavenly Father and how easy it is to believe the lie that His pleasure is found in our doing.
But what my Father has been showing me is that He wants me to do less and be more.
And that begins in my own home. Instead of projects, strategies, and plans to send His Word out into the world I just need to be the wife and mama that God has called me to be. I need to be fully present whether at home with my husband and children or at school with my students.
I want to share with you an excerpt from an email I wrote to a friend a few weeks ago when, loudly and clearly, God called a halt to all my scheming and planning.
I am not proud of the words that follow but I am thankful that when when we ask God He will show us the true desires of our hearts. When we ask him to “create in me a pure heart” to “purify my heart” and to “purify me from all unrighteousness” He will. It may not be easy or pretty, but when we ask, He is faithful to answer.
From my email …..
“God kinda knocked me on my butt a bit over the weekend – in a very necessary and good way- through a combination of places and voices – a message from a random stranger on facebook, my pastor’s sermon Sunday morning, my Bible study group Sunday evening, followed by an unexpected and rather heated “discussion” with my husband …
I realize that I have the best of intentions and I talk a good talk – about being fully present, living in the moment, being aware of what God has done and is doing ….
and I know how important those goals are ….
but God has shown me that I am not living the truth of what I have been speaking.
I have spent most of the past year so caught up in “being ready” for what God may have in store for my future that I have been missing what is right in front of me. I have been neglecting my family – my husband and my two little boys. I have been ignoring the needs of my students because I have become all caught up in Bible study and ministry. And while those are good, even God-honoring desires, I know that first and foremost I am called to be obedient where I am right now.
Side note: If you have been reading for a while God was telling me this exact same thing almost a year ago. I think my husband would be quick to tell you that I can be a bit stubborn and maybe just a little hard-headed.
So maybe I received and shared the message, but I’m not sure how well I’ve been living the message …..
God is asking me to humble myself, to put aside my own wants and desires, to trust Him to work all things together for good in His way, in His timing and to truly put my husband and my boys first. God has done miraculous things in my marriage but I know He wants to do so much more – if only I will be obedient to Him.
And the most difficult admission, the one that I am most ashamed to share is that I even caught myself wishing that my kids were grown. I was wishing away these few precious, fleeting years, trying to fast forward to a season in which I would have more time to devote to building my blog and doing ministry work. It absolutely breaks my heart that, even for a moment, I wanted to wish away any part of my time with my boys.
(Except for the whining and the crying and the wiping of poop-covered butts …. I think it’s okay to wish those parts away. We all need a little grace.)
But I thank God that He has opened my eyes – so that instead of talking a good talk, I can begin to walk in obedience to Him by focusing my attention on the blessings He has already given – not ones that I hope to come in the future.”
So, as we close out one year and begin another God has laid the following verses on my heart ….
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:18
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
It is not enough to be a woman who loves God’s Word; I want to be a woman who lives God’s Word.
I don’t know what this may mean for my activity here on the blog but I am trusting God to show me my next step one day at a time.
My prayer …..
God, I thank You that You have given me such a hunger and a thirst for Your Word, now please help me to apply and act on Your Word. Please help me to walk in a manner worthy of Your calling on my life. Please help me to become a woman who not only loves Your Word but a woman who lives Your Word. Please write Your Word on my heart so that when people look at me they see a woman covered by, infused from, overflowing with the goodness and the grace and the mercy of You. God, I thank You for the good work You have begun in me and I thank You that You will carry it on to completion. I thank You that I don’t have to do the work; that You will carry my load, You will do the work, I only have to take the next step you place before me. God, please help me to be obedient in all that You call me to whether I consider it “big” or “small” please help me to see it all as Your kingdom work. Please help me to carry on, to press in, to run my race that You have set before me keeping my eyes on You, the Author and Finisher of my faith.
I thank You.
I love You.
I praise You.
In Jesus’ holy and precious name I pray,