Thursday, January 12, 2012

A long time coming....

When I started this blog, I fully intended to make weekly postings. Logging in today, my last (and only) post was on November 18th..hmm. The problem is, I feel that in order to make a "public declaration" of sorts, it should be public worthy. I mean, who really wants to hear about the fact that my kids can't keep their food down this week and I'm feeling light-years away from the "real world"? Cause friends, THAT's been my week! Top five words in my vocab this week: vomit, diarrhea, sick, sorry, "work from home". Sound exciting????

Not so much.

Now, however grotesque and menial my week may seem, God has been speaking to me VERY clearly. Wouldn't you know it, on the least glamorous week, God would decide to move mountains inside me, to use me, to teach me and to give me the time to share it with you. Isn't it great; we have a God like THAT! 

It started with a vengeance Friday night, 11:30pm..."Mommy, I miss you...I don't feel so goo... "[insert adorable blonde haired daughter vomiting Ramon noodles through her hair, bedding, floor and Hello Kitty PJ's---yummm!!]. Now, my husband simply does not handle these situations, (does any male?)
so I open my closet, take out my "Super Mommy Cape", grab a towel, Lysol, hold my breath, and climb the stairs to rescue my princess. I no more than get her laundry in the wash, bath complete, and PJ's on, when my husband bursts into our 1 bathroom: "GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!" Now, I don't usually respond well to such rudeness, but in this particular instance...I immediately picked Alyssa up and ran to the living room to give him his time of worship with the porcelain goddess---lovely.

This process of sharing the bathroom continued into the AM hours, there timing not always so convenient for the Super Mom/Cleaning Lady. By 1AM, it was clear I wasn't going to sleep for at least an hour, when I could switch the last load of laundry--provided it was still the last load by 2AM. What is  a girl to do when the house is quiet with sickly sleepers, she must stay up, and be quiet? The thing I don't do enough of: I made myself a mug of homemade hot cocoa (thanks to a sweet neighbor's gift), grabbed my Bible and my Study Book, and decided to spend some time with my Father. I opened with prayer, "Lord, please help Dave and Alyssa to feel better, please protect Bentley and I from sickness, please Give me the strength to endure what they need of me and keep me healthy long enough to take care of them." "Oh, and God, please keep me awake long enough to switch the's really gonna stink by morning if I fall asleep!" "Oh yea, and please bless your Word to my body, show me your will and guide me to the words I need to hear, Amen".

Day 1: "Settling Down". Hmmm...that's probably NOT a coincidence. Beth Moore starts by asking us to read about David's time after King Saul died, but before he was crowned King. 2 Samual 2: 1-7:

1 In the course of time, David inquired of the LORD. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked.
   The LORD said, “Go up.”
   David asked, “Where shall I go?”
   “To Hebron,” the LORD answered.
 2 So David went up there with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 3 David also took the men who were with him, each with his family, and they settled in Hebron and its towns. 4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah.
   When David was told that it was the men from Jabesh Gilead who had buried Saul, 5 he sent messengers to them to say to them, “The LORD bless you for showing this kindness to Saul your master by burying him. 6 May the LORD now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this. 7 Now then, be strong and brave, for Saul your master is dead, and the people of Judah have anointed me king over them.” 

Right away, I'm taken back by how many questions David asked God about one small decision in his life.  "Should I go to the town of Judah?"..that's pretty specific to me. But after God says yes, David wants more details, he wants to do EXACTLY what God wants of him, so he asks, "To Hebron?". David wanted to be sure he did God's will. I couldn't help but ask myself how often I ask God for specific answers, or ask any follow up questions?! I grew up being taught to work hard for what I wanted or needed, to pay bills, take care of myself and be strong. As a Mom, my husband has a demanding job and I don't have the advantage of having my parents around the corner, so I am forced to be strong and take care of my own. Unfortunately, David helped me realize that I do the same thing to God. I am so used to taking care of myself and being strong, that I don't lean on Him enough. I don't bring things to Him, or ask Him specific questions--as if they aren't important enough to bother Him with. Think about how many tiny decisions make up a day. "Should I go to the store today or tomorrow?" "Should I go to work or stay home with a sick child?" "Should I leave for vacation Sunday or Monday?". These are pretty simple questions, that I usually resolve on my own. But not David. He took them to God, repeadedly. 

Beth Moore provides a method she uses to ensure she is seeking God's will in these types of specific questions: 
1. I acknowledge my specific need for direction.
2. I continue to pray daily and study His word.
3. I ask Him to help me recognize His answer.
4. I ask for a confirmation if I have any doubt.

Back to David for a moment: The fact that David went to Hebron, was not a coincidence, many important people had made history there. God told David to "settle" in Hebron. Nice word isin't it? Settle. It makes me slump back in my recliner, pick up my feet and let out a big sigh of relief...the chaos is over, we can "settle" into our new home, our new job, our old routines. Settling into a routine, that was what I wanted more than anything at 2am with a vomiting family.

Let me back up for a short moment, because this flu has not been the only "hiccup" in my routine lately. Prior to the flu robbing our house of health, our routine was already a little out of whack. During Christmas Break, I chose to work from home to spend more time with the kids--a choice I do not regret, but time away from the office non-the-less. During this time, my cousin and absolute BFF was hospitalized with complications to her Crohn's disease. She lives in a different state, leaving me to feel physically handicapped to care for and support her the way I long to. She was released and scheduled for testing the following week. However, before we could find any answers for her,  my husband and I grieved a loss at his grandfathers funeral--another week out of routine. Wednesday, we seemed to back into the swing of life with school and church. Thursday I spent my first day in the office; a little bit of normal, until Friday night when this illness took over! There were many other out of the norm things intertwined throughout. I tell you all this not to whine about my struggles, but to show you just how distant God had taken me from our normal routine of family life, school and ministry.

I am writing this from my home laptop, on Thursday: day 6 of the flu in our house. Needless to say, I'm questioning what a "normal" week looks like! Last night, on my trip to buy more Gatorade, applesauce and bananas, I broke down asking God, "Am I needed so much at home, that I can't work in ministry? I know you called me to this, was it only for 1 year?" I was instantly reassured that, "This too shall pass"...the flu will not last forever! (praise God for that!!)

So, what is God trying to teach me through all these "distractions"? What a great time to utilize the new method my friend Beth Moore taught me! I have asked Him, I have spent time with Him and in His word, I've been brought to scripture and great friends and can't help but recognize one thing: I've spent more time with God this week, than in many weeks prior. Is it possible that because I keep my life so busy, HE slowed me down? He allowed this flu in my house, a death in the family, a dear friend to get sick...because HE wants more time with me?! I have been home so much that I've gotten into a routine of sorts of opening His word each morning, tending to my sick family and friends, and working from home. Wait...did I just say the R word? Routine. Yes, HE has given me a NEW ROUTINE...simply coming before HIM each day to see, specifically, what HE wants me to do that day. Today, it is to take care of my sick little man and write about what He has taught me this week to all of you. Tomorrow, who knows. But I'm certain that He will share it with me during our morning chat! You see, when you START with HIM, all else follows just as it should. My family is taken care of, my friends know I love them dearly, and He gives me ample time to work in ministry from home. Should I always work from home? Work fewer hours? I don't know, but I promise you, I am daily asking my Father what He wants for me in this ministry and at home. It seems He is showing me how to make my family a part of this ministry and not apart from it. What a blessing: to have all that I hold dear so close to me at the same time. We are a blessed people.

Thanks for listening, I pray that in some way God uses these words to bless you today and draw you closer to HIM..our only true routine.


A Stone Gatherer said...

Amen sista! I always felt much the same way about making decisions without him each day!! I love what he showed you! When you put him first all else seems to fall in place! Hoping the flu has flown the coop!!!

Naomi Joy said...

This is getting bookmarked for sure. Needed to read this so bad...I know we talked about it earlier this week but reading it all (and more) again was hugely encouraging and challenging. How did I get the best cousin in the world?!?!?!?! <3

Mari said...

Wow! Wow again! I just love what you shared here (not the flu, but what you learned).
I love how God shows us things when we least expect it, how He can make good come from what appears bad, how He takes care of us and yes - blesses us in the tough times!

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