Monday, July 28, 2008

Today is a NEW day!

I just want to take a moment to thank all who have encouraged me this week. I know that I am not the only SAHM who homeschools multiple kids and has rough days. Your comments have been very thoughtful and kind!

So here is what God has taught me in just 3 days time (oh, He is so good to answer prayer):

I am a "work-in-progress"!
I was reminded of this by Oswald Chambers this morning. He says, "His purpose is that I depend on Him an on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God. God is not working toward a particular finish [as I often think]; His end is the process..." (from 'My Utmost For His Highest', emphasis mine). Wow, does this ever help place my efforts on today's work and today's obedience rather than focusing on my being dissatisfied or unhappy with what I have NOT yet become in what I think is His purpose for me (that being perfect servitude and exemplifying of Christ). Funny also that this runs into my second point.

My focus should be on God's mission for me, not on my "shadow" mission.
Think about it - am I focusing, day-to-day, on what God really tells me is important, or on what I have deigned to be important (my "shadow" mission)? My best friend Sheetal brought this up to me yesterday (again, God's good timing) and it opened my eyes to see where some of my spiritual 'symptoms' (ingratitude, self-pity, overwhelming feelings) were coming from. I know from the Word that relationships are one of the most important things in life. Not our job, where we live, our clothes, how we educate our kids, where we deliver our babies, our what we eat! But I have let especially homeschooling, become my "shadow" mission. After all, God called us to it and it's a great thing to do for our kids, right? But if the planning, lessons, researching, etc. all begin to come before the actual kids (relationships given to me by God), then my focus is off and I begin to show 'symptoms.' I am glad to be learning this lesson now, just prior to the start of our new schoolyear. Jesus loves each of the beautiful children that He made for me and He wants me to focus on their spirits as I educate them at home.

I need to say "yes" to the Lord, today.
I was moved by how the Holy Spirit spoke through a pastor's message on yesterday (and reinforced it with Chambers this morning). He spoke about 1 Thessalonians 5:19 "Do not quench the Holy Spirit." I was convicted about how often I say 'no' to the still, small voice of the Spirit in my life. "No, I will not apologize to dh - I was right after all," "No, I will not keep my voice down - I've told them a million times not to do that!", "No, it's too hard to be humble and too time consuming to be grateful", "No, I will not consider others before myself -I deserve this!" The more I do so, the more consequences I gain and I end up with "Not my best day ever" more and more often. But, God is faithful to reward even the smallest act of obedience in my life in big ways! I have seen this over and over in my life. And so, today I will listen and say "yes."

God always provides the support and encouragement that I need. I am so thankful that He never gives up on me and is always working His good purpose in my life (even if it sometimes takes a bulldozer instead of a tiny chisel to do!). I am ready for this new day that He has given me!


sbharnish said...

Glad to hear you are feeling refreshed! Excellent word from Sheetal about all those little shadow missions...friends are so good for that! God is so good to bring them to us at just the right time!

Sharon said...

I'm so glad to hear that God has been teaching you through this and that you are feeling a lot better about things. I've been reading through "This Little Church Went to Market" lately and have been convicted about how our generation (and perhaps the previous one, definitely the next) are the first generations to have such a focus on "fun". It is a hard slog, this life. Yes, we all are a work in progress. I guess both of these things remind us to look forward with longing, upraised eyes to the moment Jesus returns and we will finally enter God's promised rest. I'll keep praying for you!
~ Sharon
PS If you can take a moment, I'd encourage you to read Matthew chapter 14. I've been reading through it this week with BSF and it has been wonderful to see how Jesus, too, had overwhelming days when he received bad news and the work load was just way over the top! What did He do? He took time out alone to pray. The result? Renewed power and strength of purpose for His mission.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Oh so dead on. Recently the planning of homeschooling is coming before the kids...I needed that little reminder of our mission, not the "shadow" one.

I found my blog taking the forefront of my time as a "shadow" mission and have had to refocus there as well...hence the less commenting from me :)

Kimberly said...

Hi! Cool blog! I will be returning for sure! Thanks for the encouraging words! Our homegroup is reading Oswald, as well!