Friday, June 28, 2013
I sit on the floor of a bookstore and I am overwhelmed as I pour over titles and covers and table of contents and skim chapters and pages of so many books I lose count. Thousands of souls lay bare in front of me. Bare and exposed and powerless to withdrawal their words, authors stare at me from back covers.
To imagine my own book on these shelves one day is terrifying. I picture my words here...available for any stranger to read...to love or to hate.
I feel vulnerable.
This writing is an exposing of one's most inner thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and fears. It is an uncovering, a confessing, a revealing.
My heart beats fast and I am afraid. Afraid to succeed. Afraid to fail.
A familiar voice tells me I will never be good enough and I can never work hard enough.
And then I remember our reflection verse this week in our current Online Bible Study. I remember Martha and Mary and I remember the one thing.
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42.
As I dig a little deeper I discover what my heart already knows. There are many matters that cause us to be anxious and distracted from the one thing we were created for. There is only one thing from which all other things are birthed that is required of us. It is the better choice and it is good, beneficial, and worthy.
It is to sit at the very feet of Jesus. To surrender. To exalt Him above everything else in our lives, no matter how pressing or important or necessary. When Jesus calls, we must accept His invitation.
As I consider my current project in light of this scripture my thoughts change. This writing is an exposing and all those other things, too, but it is more.
It is worship and it is sacrifice. It is intimate and it is personal but it is not mine.
As I sit at the master's feet, as I chose the one thing that is required and good, then will His purpose pour out of me and then will His glory be revealed in my story and through my words, whether they ever find their way to those bookshelves or not.
As you surrender those things that are causing you anxiety, whether it is work or ministry or tribulation, and find your place in His presence, you will have chosen well.
As you lay down those distractions and cease striving and doing and working to prove yourself or make sure everything is just right, and instead sit at the feet of Jesus, you shall hear His word as Mary did.
Verse 39 says, "And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word."
As Mary settled near Jesus, she heard his word. She positioned herself close enough to understand every word He said and she heard Him.
I want to do everything I can for God. I want to lead Bible studies and write books and teach and encourage others and fulfill my purpose. I want to understand and know and hear Jesus. But it must all start by sitting at His feet. We must find a place near Him and dwell there. His presence is our starting point. It is the place from which everything else we do must begin.
Can you lay down those distractions and surrender your anxieties today? Can you cease for a moment and spend time at the feet of Jesus? I'm praying you can. I'm praying I can. Let us sit together and listen for His words.
Father, your word says as we draw near to you, you draw near to us. We choose to draw near to you today. We long for your presence and desire to hear you speak to us. Help us to lay down whatever might be keeping us from you. Give us courage to trust and strength to obey. Have your way in our lives. Be glorified in all we say and do. We choose the one thing, the better thing. We choose you. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Linking with Melissa Taylor and a community of women for the last week of our current online Bible study, Stressed-Less Living, by Tracie Miles. Click here to find your way there.
Our next study, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa Terkeurst, starts July 28th. Want more info? Click here.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Won't you join me in counting my blessings today? Today I am thankful for:
- The strength to hold my tears in when my littlest left for church camp this morning! And even more thankful for his thumbs up as the bus pulled away :)
- Divine connections and friendships through OBS and Proverbs 31 Ministries
- The opportunity to attend She Speaks again next month (I'm a 2011 alumni)! Woohoo!! (Don't know what She Speaks is? Click here!)
- My hubby's confirmed vacation for next month and friends who are generous with their lakehouse :)
- Fresh veggies from the garden
- The privilege of being a stay-at-home mama/writer/Bible study leader :)
- Books! I love books.
- Plug-in air fresheners.
- Cute hats on days I don't have time to brush my hair. Like today.
- Pretty dresses for only $14.99.
- Scrapbook paper and glue sticks.
- Cards in the mail.
- Second chances.
- Pumpkins growing by my front porch.
- Jesus. So thankful for Jesus.
- Transformation and change.
- Time in His presence.
- The Word of God, powerful and true.
Some of the things on my list are silly and light-hearted this week (because I like to have fun) but there is nothing silly about what God has done for me (and you). Jesus died so that we could have life and a restored relationship with our Father. We have access to the very throne room of heaven. We have the Word of God as a life manual and guide. We have power and authority in the name of Jesus to live a life filled with peace and joy. In Chapter 11 of Stressed-Less Living, Tracie Miles says, "What if we realigned our lives according to God's Word? What if we began to consider the Bible our only lifeline? What if we gave it the importance it actually deserved? Would our lives be different?"
Would MY life be different? Would YOURS?
Tracie challenges us to push the "Reset Button" in our lives and shares six simple steps to help get us started:
- Realign your life (according to the Word)
- Recognize your need
- Adjust your focus
- Be filled with the Spirit
- Be faithful to your prayer life
- Believe God is who He says He is
Maybe you can't push the reset button on your spiritual life because you've never pushed the "start" button. Maybe you've never accepted Jesus as your personal Savior. I have good news, friend. Today can be the day of your salvation! Stop whatever you're doing and pray this prayer from Tracie on pg 218:
"Heavenly Father, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe that you are the one true God. I believe the Holy Bible is infallible and that every word is true. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that he died on the cross so that I may have forgiveness for my sins and eternal life in heaven. I know that without you in my heart, Lord, my life is meaningless and without purpose.
I believe in my heart that Jesus was raised from the dead and sits at your right hand. Please forgive me for every sin I have ever committed in thought or deed. Please come into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior today. I need you to be my Father, and I want you to be my best friend, fostering an intimate relationship with me.
I give you my life and ask you to take full control from this moment on. I am excited about the new life I will have in you. I pray all this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."
If you prayed this prayer today, welcome to the family of God!!
(If you would like support and encouragement in your new relationship with Jesus Christ, please visit http://www.proverbs31.org/do-you-know-jesus/accept-jesus/)
Posted by Shelly at 3:25 PM