Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ugh...another birthday...

Yesterday was my birthday. Another year's past, another year older. Since 26, each birthday I have had has been a huge reminder that I am getting older, and my life is going no where (well, not really, but it hasn't gone in the direction or timing I planned). However, this year has been pretty awesome. It hasn't been easy at times but it has been a great year of growth and experience, and I am pumped about the year ahead.

Sure, according to my childhood plans, I am seriously behind schedule on my "life". According to my own plans, I am two kids behind, a degree behind, several years behind of ministry in Africa, several major healings and miracles behind, and several walking on water experiences behind. But, my plans don't matter. God's plans do. Nearly daily I surrender my will and life to him, so why is it I get so bummed out when he doesn't work according to my schedule? And whose fault is it that I am not where I want to be? Is it me following God's will and where I am is fully where he wants me to be, or is it my own laziness and fear that is stopping me, but I just blame the will of God?

I was talking to God about this the other day, or rather whining and complaining to God, and he seriously put me in my place. I was expressing my concern, or fear rather, on how long it would take us to get back to Africa. I was reminding him that I was about to be 29, and nowhere near where I imagined I would be, in my walk with him, in my life, and in ministry. He said to me, "Whose stopping you? Stop complaining and do something about it. You hold you back more than I. Get up and do something about it! Move forward instead of standing still, remember, I respond to movement. I would rather you move and stumble than stand still and go nowhere."

Wow. What a reminder that there is God's perfect will, and God's permissible will. I desire his perfect will for my life, but I think I settle for his permissible will too often. How often do I ask for his perfect will to be done in my life, but then do nothing to pursue it? God is perfect and unchanging, which means if we are not in sync, I am the one that needs to adjust. If I am not as close to God as I want to be. If I do know His heart as I desire to know it. If I am not as in tune with the Holy Spirit and I would like, is it because He is holding back? NO! I am the one that must draw near to him and He will draw near to me. I am the one who must seek Him and then all these things will be added.

Each year on my birthday, I look back at what the year has been, and think about the year to come. This year, I want to be on the move with Him. I want to be in pursuit of His heart and His perfect will for my life. I don't want another idle year to pass. I want to look back next year on my birthday....for which I will be 29 again....and say, "God, I know you more, I love you more, I am obeying you more."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Speaking of time, my how does it fly!

My precious baby boy turned 5 yesterday. I can hardly believe it. If I could, I would have video taped every single moment of the past five years, so as to not forget a second. It goes by too fast! Before I know it, he's gonna be all grown up and too cool for mater, cuddles, and sneaking into our bed at night.

Son is my sweet, sensitive, tender hearted little boy, who can't sit still for more than 5 minutes. He loves all things boy, sports, cars, superheroes, and tormenting his big sister. His big sister who is also his best friend!

I love you, Mr. Funny!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Priorities, Schedules, Time

I over heard a conversation the other day in which the comment was made, "it seems he feel like he has to get everything together, that his life has to be fully in order before he can move forward."

Oh, how that comment is totally and completely me!! I try so hard to get all the ducks in a row, so that I can "move forward" with life. I do this knowing it is never fully going to happen, yet I try anyway. I am constantly in "catch up" mode. I need to catch up on my house work before I can, start a new bible study, exercise, or just simply follow my normal daily routine. I need to catch up on the check book before we can follow our budget really well. I need to catch up on my paperwork before I can start working on ministry stuff for AFN again. The list goes on and on...

My goal--to be caught up on everything, so that then my life will run smoothly and on schedule, day after day. This seems to be the unreachable goal for me, I believe because it is a bit unrealistic.

Sure, there are things I could do to improve. I could practice more self discipline. I could say no to distractions. Distractions like tv and computer or a project that really doesn't need to be done now. These are distractions that I know are of no eternal purpose and are a waste of my time, and yet I do them anyway.

However, Life does not happen on a schedule, no matter how hard we may try. Life throws us curve balls that take us out of our daily routine. And no matter how much house work or check books we balance, there will always be more that needs to be done.

I believe it is better to change our mindset. Rather than try to follow a schedule or routine, to live life according to our priorities. We must change our perspective so that we do not see the long list of things that need to get done, but rather the important priorities that should receive our time and attention.

Before Son was born, I was blessed to work with an amazing company. I worked for a company who coached business people how to succeed in life and business. It sounds cheesy and gimmicky when you say it, but it was anything but. This company was a group of believers whose hearts desire was to see overworked successful business people begin to live their life to the fullest, beginning with a relationship with Jesus. They wanted to teach them how to live their priorities rather than work themselves to death only to look back at the end of their lives and realize it was all for nothing. The coaches and owners of this company lived what they taught. They were people that you looked at and said, I want to be like them! They were also very successful at what they did, and saw marriages and families saved, saw people recover from depression and addictions, and most of all saw many people come to know Jesus personally.

When you signed up for the program, the first thing you did was create a life plan. A picture of what you wanted your life to look like now and in 20 years. Then you create accounts, or priorities, and set your time and resources accordingly.

It has been a long time since I have looked at my life plan, but I know I could certainly improve in giving my priorities more attention. I could do better in living life according to what is important rather than by the never ending to do list. To do this requires two things: a change in mindset, moving from the list to the priority, and a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. He is faithful to lead us in each decision if we listen to Him. If I begin my day with Jesus and surrender to His will and schedule for the day rather than mine, I know he will lead me, and I will experience more peace and fulfillment in each day.

Two days ago, a friend of ours dad died unexpectedly. Unexpected deaths are much harder to deal with than the ones you know are coming. Although I did not know this man, the news startled me. In an instant our life on earth can be over. You do not always get notice, time to prepare. How precious is our time here. We only have this short time to store are prepare for eternity.

I came across a page of quotes my one of my favorite revivalist, Leonard Ravenhill. Each one stings and challenges, but this one seemed to sting the most today, as I think about schedules, priorities and the wasting of idle time. It is a quote I will be writing out and posting on my TV and computer to remind me of how precious time is and how I should be spending it. It is my challenge for this week to turn off the TV and get into the Word more and spend more time being with my kids.

"How can you pull down strongholds of Satan if you don’t even have the strength to turn off your TV?"