The last few months have been filled with much enjoyment! I really have loved and enjoyed time with family and friends...and making new friends. One really never knows what the Lord has in store for them! July and August brought me special times with family. We flew to Florida where we spent time with my sister and her husband and enjoyed a few days with Andy's sisters who flew back with us! Some of the highlights were the following: sleep, the awesome zoo in Tampa, Disney World in the rain, putt-putting, and learning how to play hand and foot! It was so enjoyable...I didn't want it to end! So, I flew to Florida a few weeks later! I helped my sister and her husband pack for moving from Tampa, Fl to South Carolina. I really enjoyed my time helping her, and yet was happy to get home to my girls and Andy!
Before our first trip to Florida, I had a garage sale. A young lady came and through talking found out she was searching for Christian fellowship. It's amazing how the Lord works...I was hesitant to do the garage sale...and now the Lord has opened a door of minsitry to this young lady and her husband! HOW AMAZING OUR LORD IS! We have had opportunities to talk with her about various struggles and are praying the Lord will use us to encourage her and her husband.
I had the privilage of completeing 2 books in the last month. One was Every Thought Captive: Battling the Toxic Beliefs that Separate Us from the Life We Crave By: Jerusha Clark. This book was incredibly encourageing to me as I struggle greatly with my thought life. She helped me to see that my perfectionist attitude (always wanting to be perfect and do things perfectly) was holding me captive and hindering me from living a life free in Christ! How timly also was the opportunity I had to teach the ladies Bible Study at church and how convicted I was by this verse in I Peter chapter 2 verse 16-" Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover up for evil, but living as servants of God!" An aspect of being a servant of God is the freedom we have because of Christ's blood that was shed for us! Amazing that this verse's context is honoring authority! We demonstrate who we are by being free in Christ and yet honoring to those in Authority!!! Another aspect that I was convicted by was trying to please everyone! I love to please my husband, my children, the people in my home, those who come to my home, those whose home I am in...I try to please everyone...sometimes at the exclusion of seeing first and foremost to be pleasing to the Lord. I then read this verse in Galations 1:10 - "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or ofGod? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." Ouch!!! If I am still seeking to please man...I am not being a servant of Christ! I desire to serve Him in everything...and yet I struggle constantly with being a people pleaser...and being bonded to that! I have been praying that the Lord would continue to free me from seeking man's approval...even their opinions on my 'godliness' based on their standards (not God's)!!! It is hard because so many times there are good things that we are encouraged to do...and yet we get such false security because we are doing them...but our hearts are not right before the Lord. So we think we are godly...when in truth we are far from Him!
The next book I was able to finish was Satisfy My Thirsty Soul
By: Linda Dillow. This book was incredible! I love Linda Dillow alot! God has used her greatly to deal with my fears, worries, and trusting in His awesome Soverignty! This book was about establishing a life of worship. Worship is not something we just do on Sunday or when we have a quiet time...it is how we live! I have held this opinion for a few years now that many people are going through the motions of doing the "spiritual disciplines" but that we are not living lives that are filled with the spirit! We distinguish too much between the secular and sacred...there should not be a difference. We are God's chose people...holy and blameless in His sight...and we need to start living each moment covered with His Spirit and according to His Word. I loved how Mrs. Dillow exclaimed that even the mundane is an act of worship to the Lord and how our thoughts arn't necessarily always meditating on scripture or activly acknowleging His presence, but when we move from doing things to focusing on Him exclusively we can know that we have never left His presence for it will feel like we've never left! That is lifestyle worship! I tend to think that if we aren't acively acknowleging God...then we must now be worshiping, but I am learning that we can always be abiding in His presence whether we are sitting and reading His word, praying, or doing dishes and changing diapers! We are not bound to be in His presence only when we are doing the "spiritual things" but also the mundane. When we live lifestyles of worship...there is no difference it is all a spiritual act of worship to God!
I am learning more and more what living for Christ really is. For me it has been freeing (though I find myself bound in my thoughts and actions often) and I am praying that the Lord will build in me a lifestyle of worship! I love His presence and I long to spend every moment of my day there!
So, that's alittle abit of what I am learning...what's happening. Well...there is alot more (like homeschooling and such), but I will share more on that later!
Seeking to abide always in His presence,