Wellspring

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23

Overwhelmed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiGb14tTaH4

This is what I felt at choir practice tonight.  Katie came with me to choir tonight.  What a joy!  As I sat next to her, listening to her melodic tone, I was overwhelmed with the goodness of God.    

Overwhelmed with His presence and embrace.

Overwhelmed with the mercy and grace that so freely flows from Him.

Overwhelmed with the hope He has given me.

Overwhelmed with how He heals broken people and relationships.

Overwhelmed with His love for me.  

There was a peace that surrounded me as I raised my voice in worship to Him.  I was grateful that I could express myself to Him and make a joyful noise. :)

About that time, Adam texted me to let me know he needed to be picked up from the youth group he had attended.  Katie graciously offered to go pick him up.  Shortly after she left, she called to tell me Adam was not getting in the van and he’d thrown a frog on the ground.  Apparently the frog had gone to the bathroom on him.  

Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed in a whole other way.  ;)  Reality sucked me back into its cold, icy grip.  

We are all busy people.  We are all overwhelmed with different things in our lives that can make us feel like we’re drowning.  When we are caught up in the daily grind, it’s easy to take our focus off of what is really important.  When that happens later tonight or tomorrow morning, I hope I can remember the shelter He provides when I rejoice in Him.

I hope you are able to listen to the words of Big Daddy Weave’s Overwhelmed.  Let them envelope you and shift your focus to Him.

Blessings & Hugs,

Elizabeth

Leave a comment »

My Days Are Numbered

Psalm 90:12-14

12 Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
    Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

 

This Monday morning I was reading the weekend devotional, because I’m a procrastinator, and it really spoke to me.  Do you ever read something and think, “Thank you God. I needed that.”?  Or maybe you hear a song that captures what’s in your heart.  I just love it when that happens.

So the devotional is about being disciplined.  Oh how I struggle with discipline.  This devotional tied it in with a divided heart.  When I think of a divided heart, I guess I think about something that seems clear-cut, like drugs, alcohol or pornography.  Those things can definitely divide a heart.  The devotional focused on things much more subtle.  Things like TV, online distractions such as email, Facebook or, please forgive me, but even Pinterest.    (Isn’t Pinterest the exception to the rule?)

All of these things are seemingly innocent, but boy can they suck the time right out of a day.  They can steal precious moments that were meant to be spent with the Lord.  These things may be taking the time that God meant to be spent working for him.

I don’t believe that God wants us to be all work and no play, but I do believe he has tasks for us to accomplish.  As Jeremiah 29:11 states, he has plans for us, to give us hope and a future.  That future can’t possibly be realized if we are stuck hours in front of the TV or computer screen.  Maybe it’s something different for you. We can’t possibly know what it is that He has for us if we miss spending time in the Word and in prayer.

This was my take away from the lesson, we need to do what God has called us to do because we only have so many days granted to us.  We don’t know, but God does.   I don’t want to meet my maker and say, “I’m so sorry God, I meant to _______, but the season finally of Sleepy Hollow was on.  I just had to know how it was going to end! It was so exciting!”  I’m pretty sure that God’s plans for my life and yours are more exciting than anything we can imagine.

So, what is your guilty pleasure?  What do you plan to do about it?

Blessings & Hugs,

Elizabeth :)

 

 

Leave a comment »

In the Eye of the Beholder

Last week my mom gave me a purse she had not used since she bought it.  She hadn’t used it and decided I would.  As a woman who likes accessories,  I accepted her offer.  Besides, I didn’t want to hurt her feelings by turning it down. :)

I carried the purse to church on Mother’s day for the first time.  Adam was sitting next to me in the pew, looked down at the new accessory I was donning and said, “Where did you get that?  It looks like you killed a blue alligator and made a purse out of it.”

Gee, thanks Adam.   I feel equally as much affection toward your grey and florescent green Nike’s.

When I first saw the purse, I saw its beauty and immediately thought of all its potential.  This purse would be an adorable pop of color with navy blue, hot pink, black, white and anything yellow.  Ooooooo, Ahhhhh, Ohhhhhh.

When Adam first saw the purse, he thought, uggghhhhlllyyy.

I think this is how God views us.  He sees our beauty and potential when others don’t.  He sees our beauty and potential when we don’t.

Isaiah 61:3

….bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

Yep, He sees our beauty when we don’t.  No matter what mess we have gotten ourselves into, He sees the beauty.  No matter how deeply we’re hurting and have that ugly cry, (you know the one I’m talking about) He sees the beauty.  No matter, well you fill in the blank, He sees the beauty.

More often than not, we are much harder on ourselves that others are.  The enemy loves to use self loathing and self deprecation to keep us down.  When we look at ourselves and see what Adam saw in my purse – the uggghhhlllyyy-we have a hard time seeing past it.  What we see is not what our Father sees.  Thank goodness.

God looks at us the way I first looked at my purse.  I find great comfort in that.

Hmmmm. I guess I should look for the beauty in Adam’s shoes.

Blessings & Hugs,

Elizabeth

Leave a comment »

Happy New Year!

Lamentations 3:21-23 – Living Bible

21 Yet there is one ray of hope: 22 his compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day.

 Happy New Year!
I hope you’ve all had a terrific start to 2014. I have. Today I celebrated 14 years of marriage to Bill.  We saw a movie, ate out and are now home in our living room.  This is good in my book.
Some of you started earlier than I.  I did not usher the New Year in at 12:01, but I celebrated in my sleep. I dreamed of what lies ahead.  I dreamed of all the promise a new year holds.  There is potential for growth in my life in the coming year.  There is potential for God to use me in ways I’ve not begun to think.  There is potential for growth in my marriage, my obedience to the Lord, my family life, my children and my work place.  There is even potential that my household may become as organized as my mother’s and I will have socks in matched pairs for all my family members.
Yes, God is good!
I am not the only person that looks toward the new year with hope filled anticipation.  Most people look at the start of a new year as having a clean slate – a new beginning.
I’m sure you see where I’m going with this.  It’s not a new comparison.  It is worth repeating.
As a child of God and a follower of Jesus, we are in a unique position.  We are not held to human standards set forth by dates and events.
We are blessed each day with new mercies.  We are not bound, because of the grace our Father grants us.
I normally use the NIV, but I really liked the way the Living Bible said it.  There is one ray of hope – we have one ray of hope – His compassion never ends.  I don’t know about you, but I am always in need of compassion for something I have done – or haven’t done. :)
We are kept from complete destruction from the Lord because of His mercy.  I know there are times when I’ve believed complete destruction was imminent – at any moment.
His loving kindness begins afresh each day.
Afresh.  I love the way that word sounds.  It makes me feel l like I will awaken to the smell of fresh linen in a bright white Pottery Barn type bedroom.
 Ahhhhh.
 Doesn’t that sound delightful?
It makes me want to redecorate right now, but I’ve laundry to do. :)
Anyway, we don’t have to wait for the calendar to turn for a fresh start.  We have one every day from the one and only God of the universe.
Thank you Heavenly Father for being my ray of hope and keeping us from complete destruction.  Thank you for compassion and loving kindness that you give to us afresh each and every day unconditionally.  We praise and worship and adore you Mighty King.  Amen.
Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth
Leave a comment »

Repentance and Refreshment

Acts 3:19
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

On Monday night I was reading material about Jerusalem.  Why Jerusalem?  Well, that’s another post entirely, but I will get to it sometime within the next month or maybe the next six months, but I will get to it. :) Anyway, I came across this verse and it struck me in the core of my heart. 

Have you had those “Ah Ha!” moments?  Have you been digging in the Word and had perspective poured over you regarding the verse you are reading?  I hope so friend.  It is an intamite moment that the Lord has made for just the two of you.  Sometimes we are to share those moments with others, but sometimes they are just for us – right where we are.  For me there is a sweet presence that I feel.  OK.  This is a discussion for another time as well. 

Whew!  I’m chasing bunny trails, so I’ll get back to the verse at hand.

Let’s start with the first part of the verse.  Repent, then, and turn to God so that your sins may be washed out…….  I know what I’m about to say, but sometimes I need reminded of things.  (Just ask my kids and husband how much I need to be reminded of things.) Repentance isn’t a one time deal.  We don’t repent when we accept Jesus as our Saviour and then forget about it.  It’s not like the Ronco Rotisserie where you set it and forget it.  It is a continual process.  If we are to grow in Him, we cannot forget about repentance.  It is dying to self.  Most of us die to ourselves on an hourly basis.  Well, I tend to be that way.  I hope for your sake you are better than I. 

Repentance is an action verb.  (Do you remember those?  If not, message me later.  We can have a lot of fun rehashing an English class.) This part of the passage is full of action.  We are to repent (turn away from whatever sin(s) has been laid upon our heart) and turn toward God (after turning away, I would suggest running to God so you don’t get sidetracked by another turn) and He will wipe out our sins.  Wiping is most certainly an action.  Think of all the things you wipe.  This is not anything passive.  And the best thing is that God is doing this action for us.  We can now rest from all the turning away, and turning to, that is in the verse.  (It’s a good thing God does the wiping because after all this turning, I’m dizzy and I may miss some spots.) 

Another way to think about it is that God cleans up our messes.  He is really the only one that can do it thoroughly.  The rule at my mom’s house is, “If you make the mess, you clean it up.”  Thank goodness God pours out his mercy and grace upon us because there are a lot of messes I’ve made that no amount of wiping would make clean. 

Hmmm.  God is my personal housekeeper – the supreme Mr. Clean – if I only turn away from the mess, to him, and ask that it be wiped away.  Acts 3:19 ERV (Elizabeth Richey Version) :)  I wonder if he does windows too. 

The next part of this verse gives me goose bumps and the warm fuzzies inside.  It makes me fall in love all over again. 

Are you tired sweet sister?  Do you feel as if the harder you try, the harder the enemy rails against you?  Are you exhausted to the point of hopelessness?  Do Not Be!  Break the chains of sins’ bondage and find refreshment in the Lord. Just saying it makes you feel better.  Yes?

“…….that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,”  Refreshing may come from the Lord.  I love saying it. 

Why, oh why, do we insist on cleaning up our own messes?  Dirty boys, laundry, a muddy dog and spilled drinks are for us to clean, but soiled thoughts, poisonous words and unclean hearts are not.  We are not capable of such things.  God is more than sufficient to take care of these matters. 

Have you ever been around a child that insists on completing a task you know he/she cannot without catastrophe happening?  We are no different when we try to tame our sinful flesh.  If only the child would allow you to help, you could end their struggle.  That is what God wants to do for us.

Turn sweet sisters.  Turn right now to Him and receive a time of refreshing. 

Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth

Leave a comment »

Kind Words and Patience and AWANA is coming!

Yes, I know there is a lot in that title, but I’ve not been around here so I must make up for lost time. Do you believe that AWANA starts next Wednesday?!?!? I barely do. But it is. So here are some thoughts on this upcoming event in a “Let’s take a Sunday drive through the country!” kind of way.

This summer several women have been meeting at 6:30am, on Tuesday mornings at McDonald’s for a Bible Study. (We’d love for you to join us!) Because most of us have to go on to work from there, we keep it brief – about a 1/2 hour or a little more. Even though our time is short, we all come away with conviction and a deeper understanding of what we studied. At this time we are studying about how to handle the pressures we are dealt in life.

Two of these pressures that will apply to the upcoming AWANA year are about controlling our words and patience. Whew! Those are two heavy duty subjects. We could study on those two things alone for the rest of the year if we wanted. In both of these lessons, we’ve learned that it is not in our power to control these things. If we leave it up to our power, disaster is bound to strike sooner than later. It is only through transferring our control to the Holy Spirit that we can be right with our words and maintain patience in sticky situations.

Shall we speak of kind words first? I think so since it’s first in the title. Words are powerful. The Bible tells us many things about words of encouragement, wisdom and slanderous tongues. Oh that pesky tongue! It is hard to tame and James 3:1-12 tells us all about it. It is little but mighty and can “set the course of life on fire”. Fire is powerful and sometimes unpredictable, just like our tongue. Have you ever unleashed your tongue of fire on an unsuspecting soul Maybe you’ve loosed it on someone who wasn’t so unsuspecting? Oh boy have I. I’ve unleash my tongue like a wild untamed beast on my husband, children, my mother, a couple of coworkers and a few people who have waited on me or checked me out at a store or two……..or three…….maybe. I have sometimes apologized for my behavior and sometimes simply left bad witness and impression. How sad that I thought “setting someone strait” was more important than being the light of Jesus. It makes me pause and roll those sour thoughts around on my palate.

Then there is the matter of patience. (I saw you roll your eyes……for shame.) Really, though, we act like patience is a gift that will be dropped in our lap and all will be right with the world. This is not at all true. Patience is not a spiritual gift. It is a fruit of the Spirit. Remember those? Love, joy peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

I used to sing a song to my kids about the fruits of the Spirit. Let me share a few fun words. “The fruit of the Spirit’s not an apple. The fruit of the Spirit’s not apple. So if you want to be an apple, you might as well hear it, you can’t eat a fruit of the Spirit. For the fruit is love, joy, peace, Patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Repeat”

Wasn’t that fun? If you ask me, I’ll even sing it for you the next time you see me. :)

What does the song have to do with this. Not a whole lot other than patience, a fruit of the Spirit, that becomes present when we are in the His will. And the fruits of the Spirit are to be exercised……practiced…….not in our power, but His.

Now I’m going to be slick and tie this into AWANA. These things are all things we need to put into practice every Wednesday night when we get the privilege and blessing of sharing our Jesus with all the little darlins’ that descend upon Marshall Missionary Baptist Church during the school year. The kids need, not want, but need us to be Jesus. They don’t care about what kind of rotten day we had at home or work. They don’t need to know what is ailing us and how we busted our buns to be there on time. They just need to see Jesus, in us. They need to see Jesus in how we treat each other and how we treat them. Isn’t that why we invite them into our church home?

And we don’t need to bring out the best behavior on Wednesday night only. We can put it into practice on a daily basis. Just think of how God could move through us! I’m getting goose pimples thinking about the possibilities. :)

If you are not a participant in the AWANA program, then pray for us all. Please pray! We will need it. Truly. :)

Hugs and Blessings,
Elizabeth

Leave a comment »

Who’s On First, What’s On Second and I Don’t Know’s on Third

Are you familiar with the famous Abbott and Costello routine? It’s all about confusion. They are both talking about the same thing, but neither one understands why the other has no idea what the other is saying. They both think they are communicating clearly, but it ends up being a big misunderstanding with lots of frustrating moments. It’s very funny to watch. It’s also a lot like my life at times. Yes?

Where you were going is not where you end up.

Can you relate?

You tell your kids, spouse, co-workers, or anyone else you want to add to the list, things that are important to you or important to what they are doing and they look at you like there are lobsters crawling out of your ears. What language must you be speaking? Don’t they know that what you have for them is important, because you said so?

It makes you feel, as my Aaron would say, a little “cray cray” (crazy).

All of the sudden the path you thought you were taking has been derailed. There was a miscommunication. You were directing them for good……..

Wait a minute……you…..ummm…should there be someone else first?

Where did you start?

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

This is one of the verses in the Journey devotion today. The devotion is about the role we see ourselves playing on a daily basis and what sort of significance we feel. It’s illustration relates to moms, but the theme is pretty universal.

We all want to feel like we are making a difference and that what we do is important. We want to guide those we love. I believe it is easy to get caught up in our day-to-day routine and forget the big picture. I know I do. Today’s schedule and tomorrow’s schedule and what is going to happen next week consumes my life until I am like a fire deprived of oxygen. The air is sucked right out of my life.

Do you ever feel that way?

Are you ruled by schedules, check lists and the demands of things around you?

Sometimes, even though I feel drained, I’m drowning in a sea of priorities and expectations that are not mine.

Help!

Can I get an Amen my sisters?

It is at this point we should maybe re-evaluate where we are going and what we are doing.

Seek ye first sisters. :)

We are lucky to have each other to help us along the way. When one is down, the rest can pick her up. That way our lives don’t sound, look or feel like an Abbott and Costello skit with no direction.

And on that note, would anyone be interested in starting their mornings off seeking God together? I’m an early morning gal and would love to join anyone else who may be at McDonald’s on Tuesday mornings. I will be there at 6:30, or shortly after, because I have to be at work at 7:30. If you would like to spend a 1/2 hour on a study or devotional or a cup of coffee and a friend, that can start at 6:45. Let me know if you’d like to start your Tuesdays this way. I think it could be a fun treat – at least for the summer and maybe into the school year.

Hugs and Blessings,
Elizabeth

Leave a comment »

Faith & Works & Other Stuff

1 Corinthians 3:5-9
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Please forgive me for skipping you last week. I don’t know if I shared, but this year I would like to work on being a more responsible person. The purpose of the blog was so we could connect and discuss in real way about our lives and growing in Christ. We can’t do that if we’re not consistent. Of course, sometimes life interrupts us. So that will be my excuse – my life got in my way.

Does your life ever get in your way?

Please tell me yes so I can feel we are of one accord. :)

One of my first posts was about comparison. I have a sickness friends. I often compare myself to others that I have no business comparing myself to. Sometimes I compare myself and am envious. Sometimes, shamefully, I compare myself and think like a Pharisee, “Thank you God that I’m not like them.” (Yes, it’s ugly, but true.)

Today I was not feeling particularly inspired, but I was feeling convicted to share with you in some fashion. I went to biblegateway.com and looked up the topic “responsibility” – since I shirked it last week. LOL 25 different scriptures showed up. I quickly prayed for a prompting or prodding and this is where I was led. Actually, it brought up 1 Corinthians 3 in its entirety, but this part jumped out.

It spoke to me. Who am I? I am nothing but a servant with job from God and for God. I’ve got a job to do.

Most mornings, when I get up, I feel the word job is a dirty word. I want to do what I want to do. I’m really not that different from my kiddos. But in today’s passage from Corinthians, there was faith and then there was work. The faith in Jesus led them to do work for him. Because of Apollos and Paul, others were led to the Lord.

This Sunday we will celebrate the resurection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

But is that all we are celebrating?

I hope not!

It’s not just that Christ defied the grave. It’s that he gives us new life out of his sacrificed one. We are freed from eternal damnation. We are freed from ourselves and the limitations this world places upon us. We are freed to be his servant and do his bidding. Being a servant is not full of constraints as the world would have us believe. No my sweet sisters. We are privileged to be able to do our King’s bidding. He calls us his own. He has given us a home with him. We no longer have to struggle to see where our place is in this world – it is with Him! Praise God!

Can I get a BIG AMEN? AMEN! (I think I can hear you)

That’s right sisters – you are, “Free at last, free at last, Thank God Almighty, Free at last.”

So when you feel like a slave instead of a servant while getting Easter dinner together for the family this weekend, remember it is really for Him that we celebrate – not the food, the bunny or Aunt Bessie’s famous chocolate sheet cake. Although if I had an Aunt Bessie that made I chocolate sheet cake, I’d praise Him for that too. :)

Thank you God for sending your son for me. And help me to realize the works you have for me to do. Amen

Now, for a few announcements. There will be a Women’s Bible Study starting this Tuesday, April 2nd, from 6-7:30pm. The book is Angie Smith’s What Women Fear. I will have books for you that night.

Also, there is a Girl’s Night IN April 19th starting at 5:30! Yes, we will be staying in the church. Not all night – just till we’ve had enough food, fun and of each other. LOL It will be a carry in so bring some good snacky food if you are able. There will be 3 tables, maybe more, of Pinterest projects. I promise you will not be disappointed! Please let Amy or I know if you plan to be there so we can plan to have enough project material for you. There will be a small fee for the projects, but we will let you know what that is at a later date.

Blessings & Hugs,
Elizabeth
PS – Thank you again for listening to my ramblings.

Leave a comment »

Sacrifices & Letters

Hebrews 8:10

This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
 
We’ve been watching The Bible on the History channel.  We’ve been recording it on Sunday night and watching it while we eat dinner on Monday.  I like it.  It’s brought about a lot of discussion in our house.  It’s exciting to me because I know the boys are paying attention to what is going on and they are thinking. Quite a feat for three brothers sitting on the same couch for 1 and 1/2 hours.  The best part, so far, was when Aaron said, “There is a lot of sacrificing going on.  I see a theme.”  It gave us opportunity to talk the Old Testament pointing to Jesus.  And I got to throw in the literary term “foreshadowing”.  That also tickled my heart.
 
Then this morning, while I was getting ready for work, I saw a news story about George H. Bush and  letters.  A book was recently published with many of the letters he has written in his life to his wife, children, grandchildren and friends.  The story was about how he has written so many touching letters to those that matter in his life.  The letters started with love letters he wrote to Barbara during WWII to the present including letters he wrote to Bill Clinton.  Those that were shared were quite touching and heartfelt.  They are a large part of the legacy he will someday leave behind. 
 
For whatever reason, I tied these two experiences together in my mind. Letters aren’t written very much any more.  It seems like it is a sacrifice in our society to sit down and write a letter. Ashamedly, I belong to that group.  We are all about emails, blogs and texting, but putting pen to paper is an effort.  I often think about dropping a note to this person or that, but it rarely comes to fruition.  And even though I’m not very good at it, I love, love, love getting letters in the mail. 
 
There is something very personal about getting a letter.  As much as I like to talk, the written word inspires and drives me.  It’s like a little present wrapped up just for me. :)  And those that touch my heart, I go back and reread.  I would say letters from family and friends are some of my most cherished possessions.   There are a some from my husband that I like to break out and reread.  It is a physical reminder of what I already know.  I have letters from my dad, grandma and Aunt Dorothy I take out when I’m missing them.  They are no longer with me, but in those words they penned, it feels as though they are sitting right beside me.  My mama writes me beautiful cards that I enjoy rereading for comfort and a pick me up.  And I’ve had sweet notes from some of you as well.  I keep them all as a reminder of who I am to each of these people. 
 
And then there is The Bible.  This is the ultimate written word sometimes referred to as God’s Love Letter.  Look in the New Testament at all the letters Paul wrote to the Corinthians, Thessalonians, Philippians, Colossians and so on.  He wrote to them to let them know of his love for them and God’s love for them.  He wrote them because he was inspired by God.  He wrote them for us as well.
 
In the Old Testament, God had the prophets write things down to be passed on to generations that would come behind them.  The written word must be very important to Him.  It is how he’s chosen to communicate with us in a tangible way.  I know He communicates through prayer and the Holy Spirit, but it’s through the Bible that we are able to ingest His Word and share it with others. We can get our fill, so to speak, in a very physical way.  When we read the words, he truly enters our minds and writes on our hearts. 
 
Thank you God for inspiring the written word.  Thank you for giving me something tangible to hold on to.  Thank you for giving my mind and body the spiritual nourishment they so cry out for.  Thank you.
 
Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth
 
PS  Go drop a note to someone and make their day! :) It can even be hand delivered.  I’m sure they won’t mind. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Leave a comment »

Discipline is Not a Four Letter Word

Proverbs15:32

Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding
Discipline.  The thought makes me shudder.  When I think of discipline, I think of a confined space and me stuck in it.  The word almost makes me hyperventilate.  It makes me feel restricted and bound up and I break out in a rash.
Are you getting the picture?  My mind tells me discipline is just plain yucky like boys think girls are until about 5th grade.
Do any of you have this same affliction?  There are varying degrees of it.  Not all cases are as severe as mine.

This aversion has caused me to do some thinking lately.  Actually,  I do that a lot.  I think about what I need to do to get the results I day-dream about for mine and my family’s life, but then that’s about as far as I go.  To make the changes that I know need done, well, that would take work.  Lots of work.  I’d probably have to give up some shows in the evening which means I wouldn’t be able to plop on the couch after dinner. If I’ve been at work all day, don’t I deserve to do nothing in the evening?  Why can’t the dishes and laundry take care of themselves?   I’d also have to plan ahead, like more than 30 minutes ahead. This too would mean giving up some of my guilty pleasures.  What can I say?  My flesh is sinful and likes to indulge in laziness.

I should tell you I’m a great starter, but a lousy finisher.  For years I’ve been searching for the answer.  I’ve had help and support from friends and family.  I have prayed for an instantaneous change to rid me of my weaknesses.  Boy have I prayed.  I have not yet been rescued .  I have continued on in my lack of ……what is the word I’m looking for……..ummmm OH!!!! I know!  It’s discipline.  It’s that thing I try to instill in my children.  I try to instill it in them, but it seems to evade me.  My mama tried to instill it in me.  I’m sure she still shakes her head in wonder some days.

Why is that?

Hmmmmm.  I’ll ponder some more.  Because I do that well.

Proverbs is a good place to ponder.  The verse I chose today is for me and hopefully for you too.  With discipline comes understanding.

My sisters, there are many things I need understanding about.

I have had discipline in my life, a few times.  And if you know me, stop laughing, it’s cruel.

This is what I’ve noticed when I have discipline – my life runs much more smoothly.  When there is discipline in my housekeeping efforts, I do not experience CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome…….Thank you FlyLady.)  When I have discipline in my meal planning, I don’t drive thru fast food places to get meals because I know I’m covered.  And the two times in my life I was disciplined in my eating and exercising habits, I was an overall happier gal.  When I am disciplined in my Bible study and prayer life, I have an abundance of peace and develop an insatiable hunger to know Him more.  When all of this is out of whack, I truly do despise myself.  I have an unsettled spirit.

Discipline is not the confining box I imagine it to be.  Discipline is really meant to free us and protect us.  It frees us from getting mired in ourselves and our want to do list.  It does not mean that we have a rigid schedule where there is no room for anything or anyone else.  It does mean that we are better prepared for when unexpected things happen.

I have a friend with which I have a pact regarding the state of my house and hers.  We have the understanding.  Should either one of us die, we will not grieve until we have cleaned the others house because we don’t want people coming over and seeing the state in which we live.  Yes, this is a true story.  Now really my sisters, should this be a worry of mine or hers.  The answer is no, it should not.  But, it is.

So today, in the spirit of discipline and understanding, I’ve got my boys doing a few things at home after school.  It will help me to jump-start the process.

Last weekend I did a big grocery shopping and I’ve very much enjoyed not  panicking about what we will eat for meals.

I can do it and you can to……if you need to.

Converse with me sweet sisters!  Please leave comments and share your stories.  It’s fun to have conversation.

Blessings & Hugs,  Elizabeth

4 Comments »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.