The Lord helped me so much this morning. Both Larry and I were operating on three hours of sleep. I decided to unpack when I got home so by the time I unpacked my suitcase it left me with three hours. I didn't even keep hitting the snooze, I just got up on time, took a bath instead of a shower (I do that when I'm especially tired and don't want to stand up!) and then got in my robe and headed for the patio to drink my tea and center myself spiritually where I needed to be. Especially on a morning like this where I was beginning with little rest and could have gone topsy turvy, I knew I needed to prepare myself. After I did that for about 15-20 minutes I got ready and headed to church. The Lord helped me so much all day and I have had this happen so many times where I give a lot out of my spirit (not to mention physically) to help others and God gives the increased strength. I find when I am in this position sometimes he moves even more powerfully because I have even extra cause to lean on Him so much.
My ladies class was sparse today, but I believe it was powerful. Usually my class is really well attended, but sometimes people let stuff get the best of them and they are lazy. Sometimes it irritates me that no matter how much sleep I get or how poorly I feel (or some of my other ultra committed people in there feel) we get up and we are there on time. I hate excuses but as much as I hate excuses and sometimes tend to dwell on them, I know I need to STOP THAT when it happens. I need to keep my eyes on those who are faithful in these instances, and most of all keep my eyes on God's Word and His power. I realize in any given class there is somebody in there at a crossroads making a life altering decision and what I say is life or death to them. I can't afford to have my mind on the people who didn't show up and had some lame excuse. I have to absolutely give my all for those who ARE there.
So tonight I'm once again out on the patio. After lunch with friends, I came home and slept for two hours despite the kids knocking on my door a few times. Before we laid down I told Larry, "it's probably no use, but let's try". We went to sleep. Were awakened twice but just managed to mumble an answer and keep sleeping. Jordan let me know TODAY about something he has due for school tomorrow and needed stuff from the store. This is just standard operating procedure for him and it gets a little tiring. Yesterday I found $25 unexpectedly in an old purse which almost NEVER happens because I rarely if ever carry cash. I had so many things I wanted to use it for. Within less than 24 hours of finding it, it's gone. Dustin came in today and gave me a list of "must have's" - "necessities" - that he did not have the money for. Poof, it's gone. Then he told me he needed a ride to school tomorrow at what is not a normal time/schedule for us because of graduation rehearsal. That's not really an issue - I realize how important it is - I just loathe hearing about it when it's only a few hours away and I have to completely rearrange my schedule to accomodate him. These are the kinds of things that make me seriously want a valium prescription. But instead I just keep focusing on God's Word. ("This too shall pass" - God's Word to me today...) This was what I woke up to, but...the joy of the Lord is my strength. If I think about those type of things for too long I just get tense, so instead I'll just swing on the patio or sit in the jacuzzi , put on a Hillsong CD and forget I ever come home to hear any of these "surprises." When this happens with my children as it so often does, I am reminded that I need to praise and thank God when I come to him. It must really frost his flakes when we come to him and all we do is just tell him everything we need but don't say anything else. This is what I feel like when I come in the door from a ministry trip away and instead of even a "hi Mom" it's "uh, Mom, just to let you know, I need markers for school tomorrow." Many of us treat God that way and even worse and all I can think of is, how in the heck does he put up with us for two seconds flat? Makes you realize just a glimpse of the height, the depth, the awesome scope of the love and mercy of God. If I can only have just a drop of that kind of love and mercy...to give to others...
So, here I sit on the patio. I got up from my twice interrupted nap (no, it doesn't end after your kids pass the baby stage) and came to the patio for a little debriefing with God today before I go in and set everything straight in the world of my family tonight, do a once over on the house, line up everything for tomorrow, etc. I have an excruciatingly busy week ahead of me this week...the kind of week where I don't even want to look at my initiative list because sometimes it sort of strikes fear in me when I do. But I know, I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM THAT GIVES ME STRENGTH.
For some reason God keeps taking me to Matthew 6. Relentlessly. It's even what He gav me to preach on at the women's retreat this past weekend. When I sit down to spend time with God just on a personal level, not a sermon preparation time, every book I open besides the bible even leads me back to Matthew 6. So I just keep meditating upon it and taking various things from it that He wants me to know. Today I was once again reading a passage in Come Away My Beloved and this was the attention getter today: "Do not question and do not doubt. Each day holds some small joy that shall escape you if you are preoccupied with tomorrow. Nothing daunts your Father. Nothing can restore the past and nothing can bind the future, but today you may live in the full blessing of the Father's smile."
I can't think of anything greater than living in the full blessing of the Father's smile. My initiative list is really obsolete if I am not living in the full blessing of His smile. More than anything, that's what I want to do.