Monday, October 17, 2011

Piles and Piles

It's official.  Laundry has become my nemesis.  No matter how often I do it, there's always more to do.  I sort, I wash, I dry, I fold, and I put away.

I always start out with such great intentions on "laundry day".  But sometimes, when I'm trying to get multiple loads done in one day, I forget that there are clothes in the dryer, or worse, the washer.  I get busy with the other parts of my day, or distracted by the children and their needs, or the icon on my phone letting me know I have a new email.  So I waste time and energy re-starting the dryer or rewashing the clothes in the washer.  

It's much more productive when I take it one load at a time and make sure I finish the process in one try.  I feel a sense of accomplishment when I'm able to do that instead of the frustration of remembering that I still have to deal with that load of whites that's been sitting in the washer or dryer for 2 days.

How I deal with my laundry is often how we deal with the sin and struggles in our lives.  We see it piling up around us, and we realize that once we get through one issue, there's always more to deal with.  So we think that we'll have a "laundry day" when it comes to dealing with our sin patterns or attitudes.

And we have such great intention about that don't we?  We're going to sort through all of those things in our lives and we're going to deal with them all at once so we can be done with them and moving on to bigger, better, and sinless things.  So we pray, and let God know about the plan, and we get to work.

But we take on too much when we try to deal with everything all at once.  Sure, we may be able to focus and quickly get through one or two areas, and we feel great about what we've accomplished.  But then the busy-ness of life begins to creep in.   

You get an email from a coworker that makes you feel under-appreciated.  Your children decide that listening to you is the last thing they need to do, and you feel yourself getting frustrated at their willful behavior.  Your husband forgets to tell you about that business meeting or appointment that means that you have to reschedule your day.

You forget what it was that you were working on, and those old patterns, etc make their way back into your life because you've tried to move through them too quickly.  And you've tried to do it all on your own.  Sure you let God know about your plans, but did you really ask for His help in dealing with them?  And now you've got that sin that's been left sitting in the washer, in mid-process.  What started out as beginning to be cleaned and renewed is now a wet, smelly, crumpled mess that you have to put through the washer all over again.

It's better, then, to sort through those things in your life that you need to work on, and then ask God to help you take them one at a time.  Focus on that one area, attitude, behavior, etc., and don't stop working on it until you're heart has been washed clean of it and it has been put away out of your heart.  Then praise God for the victory He's given you, and start on the next load.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Tall Order

Proverbs 31:10-12 "An excellent wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels.  The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life."

Wow.  A tall order indeed.  What's the first step in even beginning to accomplish something like this?  I think it's summed up in one large and weighty word, submission.

Some of you just rolled your eyes, some of you just muttered, "Oh, she's one of those."  I get it, I used to do the same thing.  I thought that being submissive was something that didn't apply to me and my marriage.  It was something that was dated and we as women had moved past that and into equality with our spouses in the authoritative role.

I was wrong.  I was wrong because that's not what God's Word says about being a wife.  Galatians 5:22-24 says, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands."

1 Peter 3:1-2 says, "Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct."

Titus 2: 3-5 says, "Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanders or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not  be reviled."

Starting to see a pattern?  Submission is not optional, not if you believe that God's Word is truth.  Are you struggling in this area of your marriage?  Do you wonder how to live this out?  You are not alone.  Pray that God would give you a desire to be submissive to your husband as an act of obedience to Him.  See what He can do in your life and in your marriage when you choose to obey in this area.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Working Heartily

Colossians 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  You are serving the Lord Christ."

I recently became the worship ministry coordinator and women's ministry coordinator at my church.  This is a 12 hour a week job, at least on paper.  I rarely put in less than 20-25 hours with everything that needs to get done.

And while I now have a job that takes me outside of the home, I did not give up being a full-time, homeschooling mama of my two children.  So, I take the kids with me to the office and we do our best to get everything done with as few distractions to them or others as possible.  It doesn't always happen, but it's where God has us right now, and I'm okay with that.

That's because I love my job(s)!!  I love being a mom, I love being their teacher, and I love what I get to do in service of the Lord week in and week out.  

When I first started working at the church, I posted on my facebook account that a job in ministry is less of an employment opportunity as it is a way of life.  It's so true, and although it has its challenges, I am so blessed to be doing what I'm doing.  I don't think that words can describe the fullness and joy that my life brings me now with all that I am doing.

Okay, so my job is at a church or in my home and so it can be pretty easy to see how my work is for the Lord, but God's Word says that's how everyone should work.  Paul doesn't give this command to the pastors of the churches, but as rules for the Christian households.  So no matter what job you have, no matter if you feel it's important or worthy, no matter if it pays you well or not, do it well, because you are doing it for the Lord.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wonderfully Woman

Mommy. Wife.  Teacher.  Homemaker.  Worship Coordinator.  Women's Coordinator.  Amy.  Woman?

As women we tend to wear a lot of hats and have many roles.  If you're like me, it's easy to find yourself losing your identity in those roles.  If I strip away all of those titles, what's left?

What remains is that I am a woman, and God created me that way.  If I'm not spending time with the Lord each day being reminded of that, then I find myself getting lost in the things I need to do for each of those roles.  I end up looking at my tasks, checking off what I can, and moving onto the next thing.

And we like to make our many jobs look good don't we ladies?  We also want our many jobs to make us look good.  We begin looking for our value and our worth in what we are doing, instead of in the word of God.  We brag about our children's accomplishments; we work hard to have our houses cleaned, not to fight with our husbands (at least not in public), and misplace the work we are doing for the Lord for a relationship with Him.

Proverbs 31: 30 says, "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

God doesn't desire for us to do any old good thing, He desires us to be doing His good things.  We can't do that if we're so busy with everything we feel we have to do that we can't hear what God is calling us to do.  A relationship with the Lord includes a healthy fear of Him and who He is in our lives.  It includes spending time with Him and listening to what He is calling you to do, even if it means giving up some of our titles and the praise and esteem that goes with them.

Trust who you are as a woman of God.  Let Him fill you up until you overflow, and watch Him change every part of your life for the better. so that you are not just a woman, but a godly woman; not just a wife, but a godly wife; not just a mother, but a godly mother, etc.  I think you get the idea.

Psalm 139:14 "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Domestic Mondays

After a few months of a break from this whole blogging thing, I've decided to give it another shot, but with a new mindset.  I want to share more of what God is teaching me each and everyday by what's going on in my life those days.
Mondays are supposed to be my "day off".  I work as the Worship Coordinator and Women's Ministry Coordinator at my church, so much of my week is spent in preparation for our Tuesday Night Bible Study and our Worship Service on Sunday mornings.
Therefore, Mondays are to be my Sabbath in a sense, and it is, at least from the church office.  However, when you are a full-time homeschooling Mama, there's no such thing as a day off.  Instead, of being my "day off", Mondays are my day to be at home.
It's the day I clean the house, do the laundry, and make sure I know what we're doing for school for the week.  

It's the day I spend making apple pie filling with all of the apples we picked last weekend at the orchard or letting the kids get out the craft and art supplies and go nuts with the colored pipe cleaners and squiggly eye stickers.

It's the day we alternate between going to see my Mother-in-Love or having friends over for dinner.

So for the kids and I, it is our Sabbath, our day of rest, from the busyness that is our lives outside of our four walls and focus on what's inside. 

Proverbs 31: 27  "She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness."