I desire something more in my life. I know there is a depth to my faith that I’ve not reached, not even touched upon. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God’s desire and plan for me is to experience Him on a much grander scale. Our pastor is doing a series called “Kingdom First”. And over the last 5 weeks I have been inspired to live differently, to live for His kingdom, not my own agenda. And yet…I find myself becoming frustrated because as much as I desire to change and grow spiritually and become a wholehearted, passionate follower of Jesus Christ, I struggle with what and how that plays out in my day-to-day life of mommy and wife. I, like so many moms, struggle to find that balance between God, my husband, my children, my family and friends, my ministry and my own personal dreams. I can visualize what I dream of my life to look like but the realities of every day seem to keep me from becoming who I desire to be.
My word for 2014 is “INTENTIONAL”. I am sincerely working on being intentional with my days, my family and my life. But fleshing this out in reality can be challenging to say the least. I need and want to be intentional with EVERYTHING in my life. But realistically, I can’t make every single thing in my life line up perfectly. I feel as though I have this constant, ongoing video in my head that shows me who and what I want to be and it reminds me just as often, I’m not measuring up.
Where do I start? Being intentional is my goal. But deciding on what to be intentional with first. That is where I’m struggling.
I have three children ages 1,2 &3. So you can imagine my days are consumed with feeding, bathing, toys, crying, and snuggling. I am so fortunate to be able to stay at home with them. But I’ll tell you the last 2 1/2 years have been busy, draining and challenging. And I’m very sad to say, my faith journey and spiritual vigor had all but faded away…until about 6 months ago. I started feeling God nudging me, drawing me back to Himself. I used to adore sitting and reading my bible …for hours, before children of course! I am a huge reader to begin with and I love to journal, especially what I know God is teaching me. But when I needed him the most, with 3 small children, I just couldn’t find the time to be with God. And honestly, there were times, when I just didn’t care.
My children’s January verse was Joshua 1:9 ” I will be with you everywhere.”. And I am so very thankful. That even when I wasn’t working on my relationship with God, even when I didn’t pray or read my Bible, He was there. Every day. All the time. Waiting and drawing me to Himself. He didn’t get mad or angry with me. He certainly didn’t turn away from me or lose interest. No. He waited for me. Right beside me. Never leaving my side. Always gently leading me and guiding me.
I’ve been angry, exhausted, frustrated and discouraged. He has been loving, forgiving, kind, and patient. As I write this, I am deeply moved by how amazing my God is. When I didn’t care, He always has. I don’t deserve the lovingkindess, mercy and grace God bestows upon me daily. In human relationships, when someone walks away and doesn’t invest in the relationship or doesn’t have any interest, the relationship many times will dissolve. Relationships need to be nurtured. But oh how thankful I am that God never turned away from me. I imagine Him with a gigantic smile when he saw me starting to open His word again.
So, I come back to where I started. I’m not where I desire to be, but I want more than anything to be a passionate, wholehearted follower of Jesus Christ. I love the Lord. I have received God’s gift of grace and mercy through his Holy Spirit. But I want more. I want to live for God’s kingdom, not for this world. So, what does this look like? How do I do this?
The answer came to me clearly through God’s word this morning. I keep “trying” to change, to live differently. The reality is that I CAN’T change. But the Holy Spirit in me can transform this every day mama into a sold out, on fire woman of God that lives in the freedom that my Savior paid the price for. God just asks of me this…
“Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him , and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way. “
I will paraphrase what I feel God was speaking to me through His Word:
Alissa, first and foremost trust Me, be content where you are at and foster the growth of your faithfulness. Faithfulness has to grow. It doesn’t just happen all at once. It’s something you must cultivate. Your source of happiness is Me. Find your pleasure in Me first. Not in your things, not even in your children or your husband. They cannot give you the desires of your heart. I will give those to you…joy, patience, peace, passion, gentleness, love and contentedness, romance and intimacy. Commit your plans to me. Commit your plans for your marriage, your children, your home, for blogging, speaking, homeschooling your children. All of it. Trust Me and I will do it. Not you. I will make the way for you. Trust me, not yourself. I am the source of your righteousness. Then, Alissa, rest in Me. Breathe. Do not be anxious. Do not take your desires and plans back from me. Rest in knowing I can handle what you have given me. And wait. My timing is not your timing. Do not try to forge a way ahead of me. Be patient. And when you see others pursuing and attaining your dreams and desires, do not compare yourself. Do not fret. Do not worry. Go back and read my Word again…”Trust in the Lord and do good, Cultivate faithfulness, Delight yourself in the Lord, Commit your way to Him, Trust in Him, Rest in Him and Do not fret.” Remind yourself of this over and over. These are not just encouraging words, but commands to obey.
Oh, Lord, this is the desire of my heart. I will trust you and delight in you–first, above everyone and everything. Nothing I have compares to you. I surrender everything I have to you. It is yours. I commit my plans to you for my marriage, my children, homeschooling, blogging, ministry opportunities, and my entire life. I want your will. I desire you alone. I trust you and know that what you plan to do, you will do it. I will rest in knowing you are God, and your ways are not my ways, nor your timing, my timing. I pray against anxiety associated with comparison, as I’m prone to do. Lord, I will delight myself in You, so that I shall become passionate and wholehearted servant in your kingdom. Amen.
What would it look like for you to delight yourself in the Lord?