Thursday, October 31, 2013

An Epic Battle

So, sleep has always been a idol of mine.  Not only do I WANT it, I feel that I need it in order to properly function.  However, over the course of the years, the Lord has slowly been weaning me from my sleep.  Why would I begin this post about sleep.....well, as I have been wrestling with anger and what the Lord says about it, I have purposed to get up early to be alone with the Lord and his Word and guess what, it has not been that hard but you know what is funny???  If I wake up at 5, my kids wake up at 5.  Hmmmm strange don't you think?  And, let me tell you, we do not keep a quiet house so it is not like they can "hear me" and so they wake up.  They both have noise machines on in their rooms and I basically sit in a dark room with enough light to read by.  Call me crazy, but I think it is a spiritual battle.  Because, on Sunday morning, when it is time for Church, I am in their rooms throwing cold water on them to get them out bed!!!  ;)

This morning, was no exception.  The other mornings of the week, my #1 child was bounding down the hall the minute my feet hit the floor and I gently and sweetly sent her back to her room and she complied so I was able to finish my study......not so much today.  (that is a WHOLE other issue) So, discouragement is rising in me.  Thoughts like what is the use?  Why try to change?  If it is always going to be a battle then at least I could sleep a little more and fight a little harder in other ways.....but then, I read this:

Morning and Evening Charles Spurgeon
ps 51:10 Renew a right spirit within me

.....Let thy personal weakness, O christian, be an argument to make thee pray earnestly to thy God for help.  Remember David when he felt powerless did not fold his arms or close his lips, but he hastened to the mercy-seat with "renew a right spirit within me."  Let not the doctrine that you, unaided , can do nothing, make you sleep; but let it goad in your side to drive you with an awful earnestness to Israel's strong helper. O that you may have grace to plead with God, as though you pleaded for your very life......Be in much prayer, live much upon the word of God; kill the lusts which have driven your Lord from you, be careful to watch over the future uprising of sin.  The Lord has his own appointed ways; sit by the wayside and you will be ready when He passes by.  Continue in all those blessed ordinances which will foster and nourish your dying graces; and, knowing that all the power must proceed from Him, cease not to cry, Renew a right spirit within me."

Oh Lord, Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit with in me.  Cast me not away from your presence Oh Lord, take not your holy spirit from me.....restore unto me the Joy of my salvation and renew a right spirit within me.---amen!

Monday, October 28, 2013

not sure how to title it

Yesterday was a soul cleansing kind of day for me.  Sadly, I did not get to hear the sermon at church but from what I gather, it was GREAT!  I will be listening to it on line tomorrow....Kevin and I had a wedding to attend at Petit Jean Park and so my mom came to keep the girls.  What that meant for us was a little over an hour drive there and the same time back, just us.  Alone in the car with only our thoughts to discuss.  We have had a rough couple of weeks.  The Lord is working and we are thankful for that, but it has been hard.  So, needless to say, I was weary and really  not wanting to go.  

As we settled in, we were just enjoying the silence when I asked if he was interested in talking about anything serious.  I knew that it was a stretch for him as his week had been major crazy, but I really needed to talk.  So, in his kindness, he said, sure what do you want to talk about?  (I will add an aside here.....) I know that many women are blessed with good marriages and some are not, and not all good marriages look the same.  I have a GOOD marriage.  I have a good husband who is growing by god's grace.  Our marriage is probably unlike most peoples.  We fight hard and we love hard.  We are intense and we are passionate.  All things that are not wrong or bad, just different from what some people would care for.  But, it works for us!  

I began to confess to Kevin that I was dealing with some strong anger issues.  That I had been dealing with some other sinful struggles and that I was nearing despair.  My sweet husband listened to me.  He sympathized with me and listened some more and then, he encouraged me to confess it to the Lord right there and to ask the Lord to give me the grace to move past all that I had shared with him.  He offered me insight and counsel and he committed to pray for me as well.  So, now, here we are, and here is what I am thinking.  I am planning to do a word study on Anger and Frustration.....Kevin says they are the same....And, it the past, I would have said, Oh okay and moved on...(now, I am sure he is right, but don't you think it would be way better for me to search it out on my own and see what the Lord has for ME to learn?)  Yes, I do too....

That is the other thing, I see the kindness of the Lord in that over the past few weeks, I have thinking about what I really believe about certain things and why I believe them and it was like the Lord was confirming for me that I have been given a mind to understand things, and that He is there to teach me.  This is not a new concept nor is it a new concept for me, but it is one that I need and want to pursue.  You see, I have fallen into this pit of doing the "right thing" based on standards that are set by it family, friends or whomever.......and, most of the things ARE right, but I need to make choices based on what I believe matched against the standard of God's word.  I am excited to see what the Lord has for me.  I am anxious but it a good way.  I hope to post what the Lord teaches me here.....Until then, I am praying for wisdom and for grace as I seek to get up early each day in order to search out what I want to know, and wisdom to understand exactly what the Lord has for me!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

God is SO kind, and good, and .............

Okay, so the other day, I was asking for recommendations for books on anger and stress that were written from a Christian perspective.  I know of a few out there but was wondering if there were others that I had missed.  Of course, there is ALWAYS a back story and I guess I will post that later, but what I wanted to share in this post will come first!  So, I got a few responses to my question but I wanted to begin reading right away, (instant gratification, anyone?) Now, I have two bookcases of books in my bedroom, which are full of great recent months, I have gotten rid of almost all of my fiction ones and mostly just have non-fiction.....(I want to get some new fiction but just have not taken the time to look at new authors).

Anyway, I was just searching through my shelf when this one popped out:  How Can I Change? victory in the struggle against sin....C.J. Mahaney and Robin Boisvert.

C.J. Mahaney????  Yes please!  So, here is how Kind and gracious the Lord is to me.  I opened the book and here is what I read:
Chapter 1:  Caught in The Gap Trap
The co-author begins by saying" All those who are struggling with anger, please come forward, we would like to pray for you."  He goes on to say that a few humble came forward that day.  It was not so much a surprise to him that any came forward, what was the surprise to him is that MOST of the people who came forward were mothers of young children!  He jokes that he often hears that anger is an occupational hazard for most mothers.  He then goes on to say that these women fall into the gap trap.....hmmm?  curious?  I was....
Gap-trap:"  a gap between the biblical standard of self-control and our own failure to live up to that standard.  Whether fear, anger, worry or laziness we have all experienced that gap of where we are and where we are should be."

Now, lest you think this is a feel good book, let me say, I am just a few chapters into it and yes, it has been a HUGE encouragement to me but also a challenge as I am looking head on into my own sin.  But, one phrase that I have used often is "I know what I should be doing, I am just not sure HOW to get there"....on pg 2,the co-author says, "....if so, we are confident this book can show you how to close the gap between who you should be in Christ and who you are in actual practice."

Oh this book is rich!  It is is a great reminder of WHOSE I am and what Christ has accomplished for me.  Yes, I am sinful.  And, the chapter that I read this morning reminded me of how little I value holiness and how easily I can shrug off sin but that is NOT the christian way.  That is not the way to holiness.  One more quote and then I will be done for today....

" I have often heard it said, "If I had been the only person on the earth, Jesus would still have died for me."  Although our Lord could have given his life for just one person, it most certainly would not have been because that person  was so valuable , but because God was so gracious.......When faced with that reality, we ought to weep for the selfless sacrifice of our Lord instead of finding in it one more opportunity for feeling good about ourselves."  Dan Matzat

Good stuff here!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

learning lots

Oh the days are full.  I am tired often, but I am learning so much.  I am loving what I am learning at ladies bible study, and I am loving (though it is sometimes hard) what God is showing me about who He is and who I am in light of who He is.  It is a good and painful process.  These past few weeks have been emotional on many levels.  There have been conflicts.  There have been great needs among my family and friends and I feel needy!  Some needs I am able to meet and some I just can not.  But, God knows.  There are days that I want to just crawl in the bed and never come out and then there are days that I can not wait to get up and see what the day will hold.  I am part of a well-taught church and I believe that I am growing, so I KNOW that I need to focus on what is true and not what I perceive to be true.  I am also reading a parenting book and am not sure what I think about it yet, I may post about it later.  I think anytime you read something, you need time to process it.  I do anyway.

 I was talking to a friend the other day who seems to be in a holding pattern of change....and I said to her you know, pretty soon you will find your new normal and things will be smooth sailing.  Ahhh words that I need to remind myself.  I think that "normal" for me means things always change.  I really thought that I liked change.  I see one of my children struggling with the smallest change and I am wondering where she gets it and then I am reminded that it comes from me!  I like easy change....but most often, growth and change is hard.  I feel like I am in a constant state of change....I find myself once again looking at what I believe about parenting, being a wife, being a worker at home and things like that.....I think that for so long, I have done what I thought was "right" and acceptable which is fine....but, I seem to be at a place where I am wanting more.....I know how that must sound but I mean that I want to understand why I do what I do and does what I do honor the Lord or do I do it out of fear of man or to be a people pleaser?   Oh Lord, help me to focus on what YOU want for me and from me.  Help me to point my kids and all who I come in contact with to YOU and your great love for us.