Wednesday, September 7, 2011
These words struck me today as I was reading Sally Clarkson's book "The Mission of Motherhood." I hope you find her words as inspiring as I did. . .
"Over and over again in the Gospels, we read that the disciples were "with" Jesus. Our Lord developed the hearts of his followers by spending time with them - instructing them, advising them, modeling right behavior. He spoke with them one-on-one and in small groups. He included them in his ministry and in his daily life. But what he almost never did with his disciples was to sign them up for activities and programs.
We are on the go for God. We are busy doing many activities and going to this meeting and that seminar. Yet all of the going in the world will not make us or our children spiritually deep or alive. It is only by coming to the living God and developing intimacy with him that we will really draw near in our hearts to Christ.
Jesus didn't meet with his disciplies once a week for Bible study and then say, "I'll see you next week!" He gave his disciples his whole life. He lived with them, slept with them, traveled with them, and lived out a life of godly maturity before their eyes. Having the personality of the God who created the universe living with them every moment for three years gave them an understanding of his ways that nothing else could do. They observed him in the private times of friendship and eating and sharing and being exhausted and buying and preparing food as well as in public ministry - teaching, healing, worshiping, confronting, encouraging. There was perfect integrity between the words he spoke and the life he lived. Thus his disciplies could learn what righteousness looked like in all situations."
(taken from The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson)
What implications this has for us as mothers! We have the beautiful opportunity every day to live out the Gospel and be the hands and feet of Christ. He was the perfect example of how we should interact with our children. He carefully and purposefully guided them in truth. He shared and illuminated the ways of God in such a way that they could understand and grow in the knowledge and wisdom of the Holy One. We are to do the same.
These little ones come to us ready to be molded and taught. They learn not only by the words we say, but the way we live our very lives. How we respond in traffic, the tone of voice we use at the end of the grocery shopping trip, the joy or sorrow we display, it is all seen and heard by little souls who will reflect this behavior.
I pray that in my teaching, in my exhaustion, in my worship, in every waking hour my children will be able to see a small reflection of the righteousness of Christ.
Monday, September 5, 2011
One of my favorite passages of Scripture comes from I Kings 19:11-13.
We find Elijah completely exhausted, running for his life, and wanting to die. He had just walked for forty days and nights across barren land and was hiding in a cave. Then the Lord speaks, "What are you doing here Elijah?" What was he doing there? Was he just needing a little peace and quiet? Did he really want life to end? Was he tired of listening to wicked queens and idol worshiping prophets? Was it all just too much? Do I go cave dwelling too?
The Father says, "I want to show you something, go stand over there, on the edge of the mountain, for the LORD is about to pass by." (taken from v. 11)
Then a powerful wind shatters the rocks, a mighty earthquake ravages the earth, and a raging fire storms the land. But the Lord was not in these. No, the Creator came in a "gentle whisper." The very presence of God was revealed in quiet breath floating across the air.
He has revealed Himself in this way all along, or do we forget the breath of life that gave Adam his beginning. The very name of Yahweh - YHWH- the sound of a whisper. Noah's rainbow covenant stretched across the winds' breathy home. The pillar of cloud moved by the windy breath of God to lead His people out of bondage to the Promised Land. This intangible mystery - the breath of God - the Almighty is here and He speaks (to us).
So often I am too busy watching the whirlwind, the earthquake, the fire to stop. . . to listen. . .to wait. . . for the whisper.
God comes in the quiet.
He comes when we stop the busyness and dwell in the solitude. He wants to be alone. . .with me. He wants to tell me so many things, but rarely do I slow my wheels, turn off this ever running engine and listen. Even if I do pause, sometimes I'm afraid. Afraid of what He might say, because I know it will demand obedience or refusal on my part. Sometimes I want to dwell in my cave a little longer and soothe my own hurts, seek my own self. . . but He is the answer to all of those hurts, He is the balm that soothes the soul.
What now? Wait. . .
Wait some more. . .
When the time is right, when the soul is calm, when the whilrwinds are over He will speak. . .
I have heard His voice before and I am always taken by surprise at the peace, authority, and love it breathes over me. He is speaking, if only I will hear. . . His words. . . the Word.
"We like to listen to personal testimonies, but we do not desire that God Himself should speak to us. Why are we so terrified lest God speak to us? Because we know that if God does speak, either the thing must be done or we must tell God we will not obey Him. . . Lord cause Thy glorious voice to be heard in this place and in my soul." - Oswald Chambers
Thankful today for . . .
210. Children feeling better after long sickness
211. Alone time with my girl
212. The opportunity to honor others
213. Singing Christmas songs in September - happy expectation!
214. The scent of fall trying to creep in
215. Gray cat and spotted dog snuggled up for an evening nap
216. Freckles and dimples
217. A leftover, "Hold me" from my baby boy, still tired from being sick
218. Cat now licking dog - friendship kisses :)