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Dishes, Diapers & Diligence

16 Sep

She wouldn’t settle and it’s not usually like her to fuss more than once at night.

I sleepily pushed the button to illuminate my cellphone and it read 3:09 AM.

I tried nursing her, but still she whimpered. We rocked and nursed and rocked and nursed and finally she drifted off. Putting her back into her crib, I wondered how long she would last as she normally sleeps snuggled between Daniel and I from midnight on, but I wanted to see if having her own space would help her to rest better.

5:15. I stumbled into her nursery, scooped her up and brought her into our bed. The air was chilly, and I thought maybe the warmth was what she needed.

Still she cried. Knowing that Daddy would need to get up and going in just an hour or so, I took her down to the living room to rock her in the recliner and give him some peace and quiet for his last few minutes of sleep.

Though my eyes were burning and my mind was filled with thoughts of the busy day ahead (Sunday, the day of rest, is our busiest day, it seems!), I gave her a few teething tablets and we rocked some more. I knew being awake most of the night was going to make for a very long day, but my sweet girl needed me and there was no place else I’d rather be than cradling her in my arms and bringing her comfort as she struggled to sleep.

Being a wife and a mama has been such an enormous and ongoing lesson of selflessness and of learning to put the needs of another before my own. Most days, I do it without thinking about it, but others find me struggling to be diligent.

Kitchen sinkChanging diapers and doing dishes.

Mopping floors and planning meals.

Laundry and laughing with Lovey Lou.

Changing more diapers and doing more dishes.

I only get one chance at this and am I so convicted and challenged to do it right.

To give it my all.

I want to “train up (my) child in the way (s)he should go.” {Proverbs 22:6} I want to “look…well to the ways of my household.” {Proverbs 31:27} I want to be a “crown” to my husband. {Proverbs 12:4}

To do these things, I must be diligent.

As I read, Proverbs chapter 12, it screamed diligence over and over again. Verse after verse challenged my heart in this area.

The dishes aren’t going to do themselves.

Laundry needs to be washed, folded and put away.

Meals must be planned if we are going to eat well and spend wisely.

The little girl tugging on my skirt tail is only going to be little once. I only get one opportunity to teach her, to hold her, to love her, to point her to Jesus.

No one else can spend time with the Lord for me.

“He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread…” v. 11

If I’m going to look back twenty years from now and be satisfied with how I did in my role as wife and mama, I must till my land.

Tilling takes work. It takes time and energy. It takes diligence. It takes doing what needs to be done even when my flesh wants to sit down and do nothing!

“A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man’s hands shall be rendered unto him.” v. 14

I’ll only get out what I put in, and I can only put in what is needful if I’m where I need to be with Jesus. Without putting him first, dishes are a drudgery, I grow impatient with sweet Londyn girl, and frustrated by the ever-growing pile of laundry.

Verse five is so simple, yet SO profound.

“The thoughts of the righteous are right..!”

When I am seeking His righteousness, my thoughts are right.

When I’m thinking right thoughts, I am thankful for dirty dishes because I know they mean our bellies are full. When my thoughts are what the should be, I am grateful for laundry as it means we have clothes on our backs. Most importantly, when my thoughts are right, I am praising the Lord for the privilege of being the one to teach and train my daughter rather than seeing the constant attention she needs as a burden.

Being diligent has a lot to do with having a schedule and sticking to it, but it has even more to do with making sure my heart is pursuing my Potter so that He can make this worthless lump of clay into something useable.

“The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.” v. 27

It is all too easy to be slothful when I’m focused on self, but it’s almost impossible when I realize how precious “the substance” I’ve been given is.

He has so graciously given me a husband to love, a baby to raise, a home to keep, a ministry to serve in.

All of those things are so very precious to me and all of those things deserve my diligence.

Lord, help me to remember that, “In the way of righteousness is life: and in the pathway thereof there is no death.” v. 28 Righteousness comes from You, alone, for my righteousness is filthy rags. I need your righteousness to think right thoughts which will lead to right actions and the ability to be diligent in the tasks before me. Whether it be rocking a fussy baby at three in the morning or doing a sink full  of dishes, I need You! Oh, how I need You!

 

Where I am…

2 May

be where you are.

Contentment.

I thought I’d learned that lesson already. I was sure that was the point for the years the Lord allowed me to remain single.

Yes, teaching me contentment, that was the reasoning, right?

Well if that was the case surely I’d be an expert on the subject by now.

But I am finding that the opposite is true.

I am finding that contentment is a lesson not learned in a single season, but rather through lifelong teaching.

And as He continues teaching me, I am challenged to be here.

Not where I think I should be.

When single, I thought I should be married.

Now married, I am grateful (so grateful!) for a longing fulfilled, for life with my wonderful hubby, but today I face a different kind of discontentment.

One that comes with living so far from everything I’ve ever known.

I struggle with new longings.

Though I thought I learned contentment years ago,  it’s quite clear I’ve not yet mastered it.

He has much more teaching to do and through His teaching I’m beginning to realize something.

He’s not teaching so that we learn to be content with the circumstance, but rather with the Christ who is ever present in each one.

The temporal will never satisfy the Christian. We will forever be longing for more, groaning for a filling only the heavenly can provide, for something only the Savior can give us.

He wants me to be content with Him which will in turn give the grace needed to be here or anywhere for that matter.

As I waited through my single years, He was there, and He remains as I navigate these first few months of marriage and pregnancy many miles from Maryland.

It is in Him where I will find the ability to truly be content no matter where life and ministry may take us.

And it is because of Him that I can be here

where He knows I should be.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

1 Timothy 6:6

Rain.

27 Jun

She plants the seed in late spring when it comes often.

But as the scorching summer sun appears, my Granny watches the forecast each day with great anticipation.

She needs it that the seed she spent much time and effort planting may grow.

And as the gray clouds release the heavy drops upon the parched soil, she thanks the Lord for it’s refreshing and the growth it will allow.

The tiny plants soak in the much-needed moisture, and she smiles in gratefulness.

Rain will cause her beans to grow, and she’ll can jar upon jar for the enjoyment of her family,

but when weeks pass without the precious precipitation, the lush green color dries to a brownish hue.

Rain is crucial to her garden’s success, and I’ve been thinking about the need for spiritual rain upon my parched soul if I desire to “grow up into Him in all things.” (Eph. 4:15)

“My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:”

Deuteronomy 32:2

Our Lord longs to send the refreshing our hearts thirst for. He longs to use His Word to saturate our scorched souls.

As showers upon soil, as early morning dew upon dry and dusty ground, time in Scripture provides the rain we so desperately need to grow to a place of glorifying our Savior.

But there are so many times, in my life personally, that my sin keeps me from my Bible, stops the clouds from releasing the rain and thus stops the growth I so desire.

“When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:

 Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.”

1 Kings 8:35-36

Over and over again, we find the children of Israel’s sin keeping rain from falling and were challenged to confess them and seek changed hearts in order to receive it once again.

Oh, how I need Him to “teach (me) the good way wherein (I) should walk” that I might grow to be a flourishing and productive Christian.

Oh, how I need the Rain.

Oh, how I need the One who so lovingly sends it.

“For he saith…Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.”

Job 37:6

When I am weary, He’s promised to send it’s refreshing.

When I am yearning for the restoration it brings, He’s promised to pour water upon my thirsty soul.

But I must seek Him for it and spend the time in Scripture necessary to receive it.

“Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.”

Psalm 68:9

May we refuse to live dusty and dry. May we run to Jesus for the rain.

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Last week, I blogged about my summer theme and a hope to begin blogging more consistently, and yet here I am, seven days later! This week will be a little less busy so I am aiming to post frequently! 🙂 Thanks for reading, friends!

Milk.

21 Jun

I’ve never cared for it.

At breakfast, you’ll find me with a bowl full of dry cereal.

Though my classmates spent their lunch money on little cartons of it, I was content with my juice box.

And while others can’t imagine eating freshly baked cookies straight from the oven without a tall glass of the thick white liquid, I always pair mine with water.

But tonight, I am consumed with my need to drink more of it this summer.

More of the milk of the Word, that is.

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby..”

1 Peter 2:2

More that I might grow thereby.

I’ve always wondered if I’d be taller had I made milk a part of my daily diet, and tonight, I wonder how different I’d be if I made the milk of the precious pages of Scripture a greater part of my day-to-day living.

When we read of the Word being referred to as “milk,” it’s referring to the less difficult Christian truths. 

Oftentimes I miss the simple wisdom nestled within It’s pages.

Truths like,

“As for God, His way is perfect.” Psalm 18:30

or

“We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

or even,

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105

Truths that remind us of His perfectness, of His love and of the light available for us to walk in if we’ll only spend some time in Scripture each day.

The word “desire” literally means to long for, to pursue with love.

How I need to long for and pursue the life enriching nutrients of “the milk of the Word.” 

If I’m going to “grow up into Him” I must drink much this summer!

The wonderful thing about this “milk” is that there is a never-ending supply! Enough for all who would desire it, to drink to their heart’s content!

May we seek to drink that we may grow!

May this be a summer of…

19 Jun

growing.

A summer when I devote much time and energy to

“…grow(ing) up into him in all things…”

Ephesians 4:15

For the last several years, I have tried to use my summers as times of developing, learning and preparation for the season I stand on the edge of today. I’ve been thinking a lot about the fact that this will be my final summer of doing so before I assume the role of wife to my wonderful husband to be.

And I can’t seem to get away from my need to make this summer a summer of “growing.”

I believe we could all benefit from a little growth that we may glorify our Savior in a greater way regardless of age or season in life.

Won’t you join me as I dive deep into Scripture in an attempt to grow in my knowledge and understanding of our God this summer?