downtown :Minneapolis, Minnesota. 7.19.2008
We've all been through slumps in our spiritual walk, but recently I've felt the need to want and desire so much more than just to simply realize that I'm in a slump trying to get out of it on my own and trying to be more consistent in my daily devotions for a little while.
When I was at the Beth Moore conference a few weekends ago she mentioned how much we put on these fronts of who we are. We need to stop pretending. Tell people; " You know what I'm really only about 40% of what you think I am. There is a whole lot in my life that I'm too ashamed and embarrassed to reveal."
There is a lot of truth to that. Especially among women. We are tough critics, can be quick to judge, can be concerned what others will think of us, and although we are selfless in many ways to our family, friends, husbands, and children we also can be very selfish.
I think I'm guilty of being too envious of others. Their homes, their lives, their families, whatever. That woman has it together, she loves Jesus, has great kids, adorable taste, whatever, whatever. I care too much about that stuff rather than focusing on Christ.
I sometimes wonder if I'm giving readers to my blog the wrong impression of me. That I have it all together, my life is pretty well in order and whatever else. I know nobody thinks I'm perfect, but I certainly hope nobody thinks I have it somewhat figured out.
Because I don't.
I guess what I'm saying is, I hope to challenge myself more into being more honest with my struggles day to day, and that you ( my dear blogger sisters, family, and even blurkers) might be able to encourage me and point me to Christ.
Hebrews 10:24 challenges us to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
I think so often I become so consumed with myself, my home, my family, my looks, whatever it may be that I'm missing out on loving one another.
I've been realizing more and more the need for me take time from my own concerns to pray with my sister in Christ, to walk with her the way of the cross--with patience, selflessness, love and kindness. To encourage one another in the mundane of each week, how to keep a quiet heart that yearns for Christ and godliness.
I've been feeling really burdened lately about the kind of friend I am. The kind of friend I'm to my husband, to my family, and to my friends. That I've been a bad friend recently and well, always.
It's hard to narrow all of my feelings down, but when it comes down to it I just feel like I really don't know how to love people. Sure I care and show concern but I feel like I talk to much, overrule conversations with my obnoxiousness, and don't listen well enough or long enough. I want to be a person that my sisters in Christ (and my husband and family) know they can:
2. depend on
3. count on to REALLY listen
4. (and most importantly) point them towards Christ and his word.
While I know these past few years Christ has really woken me up to the reality of life, and he has taught me so much, I've also been realizing how much more I have to learn.
God has been trying to get my attention focused on him.
It's hard for me to describe but I've been feeling really lazy. Yes, our days our full, we do have some sort of schedule we go be each day but I see that something is missing. I spend too much time at Target and the grocery store and not enough time in the word or even just at home.
While shopping is not bad in itself, it can be. It has become so for me. I'm an impulse spender and our finances have suffered because of it. Like many couples, it has been the biggest source of conflict in our marriage. Justin and I think very differently about money, and I've been too proud to admit my poor money management skills.
Yesterday, I talked at length with my best friend since birth, my cousin Nicole.
She and I have been experiencing a lot of the same feelings. We grew up very similarly, our Mom's have been very close (especially in recent years) and we have a good understanding of each other since we have known each other for so long.
She has been rising before her son and husband (if he hasn't left for work yet) to be alone with God and his word.
I soon realized this was something I desperately needed in my life.
Let me tell you that first of all I'm NOT a morning person. Since Justin and I've been married we've loved sleeping in. When we first married we had crazy schedules because we were both still in school. We spent a lot of time sleeping in. Today Justin has to get up really early for work but usually sleeps in on Fridays and Saturdays when he doesn't work. Our boys sleep until 8 or so each morning and I've gotten into the habit of just getting up when they do.
Today I set my alarm for 7:30 am. I got up headed downstairs and filled my coffee cup. I sat down to the word and heard pitter-patter down the stairs. Maxwell was up exceptionally early for him, but I didn't let it deter me. I got him a quick breakfast , drink and had him lay on the couch and promise to be quiet. He was wonderful. Evan slept until a beautiful 9:30 of which I had the time to read in the word, go over some studies I had recently been in, and spend a good amount of time in prayer and thought. I even had time to get dressed and ready for the day before he started calling out for me.
It was a glorious morning.
While I don't feel like anything super profound was revealed to me, and I know that often my time in the word may seem like I'm not getting anywhere or growing in leaps and bounds. That is to be expected. But, I want to remain diligent, and close to Christ, clinging to the cross with my eyes focused on him.
I ask you to pray for me as I learn to discipline myself with waking up each morning (hopefully earlier as time goes on) to meditate and focus on Christ, reflect on him, and glorify him as I begin my day.
I hope this all sort of makes some sense, it's what has been on my heart and on my mind lately. I know there is more, and I could go on but I'll stop for now. Thanks for listening. :)