OK so I haven’t blogged in forever and have been wanting to but with little Annabelle it just gets so tough. I know excuses excuses. Life as a stay at home mom can be very interesting or not. One one hand you have a little one to entertain you all day long and then on the other hand they don’t talk so the need for adult interaction gets intense. Adam has been working on the house a lot lately and so I have been home a lot by myself with Annabelle. Don’t get me wrong, we (me and Annabelle) are very grateful for the Adam’s hard work ethic and desire to make the house nice for us but at the same time we miss him and his conversation greatly. He is at the house tonight and so I figured since Annabelle is in bed it would be a great time to sit and blog about what the Lord has been doing in my life lately and at least it would kind of be like talking right?!?
As a side note, I enjoy being a mom. Yes, there are very very tough days but I enjoy watching Annabelle learn new things every day and wonder why God has given me such a wonderful gift of a daughter. Thinking about the new baby brings all kinds of emotions. I get excited thinking about my body making another human being that will alway be a part of me that I will love like I love sweet Annabelle; I get annoyed when I get sick that pregnancy brings about such good and such bad things, and I get scared thinking about the responsibility of two little ones that are 15 months apart. All in all though, I truly feel beyond blessed that the Lord has decided to give us another little one inside my belly and I pray every day that I can be the mom to them that they need for me to be.
So, I have had the opportunity to go to a women’s bible study in Marysville. The study is called “More of Jesus” and it is taught by Anne Graham Lotz. I have only been the past two weeks but they have just blown me away so I want to write a little about what touched me the most about these weeks of study. I always feel like I get grasp the most out of a lesson when I write some things out about it so here goes...
The first week I went was called “More of His Courage in My Convictions.” I had a feeling it was going to be about having the courage to stand on your personal convictions such as issues of how we dress or drinking ect. but it wasn’t really about that. It was about standing on the conviction that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, rose again, and that He is coming back one day, in essence that He was who He said He was. My first thought was, “of course I stand up for this.”
She started with the courage to stand out and read John 15:17-25. I think scripture is powerful and so I am going to post it here.
John 15:17-25 (New International Version) 17This is my command: Love each other. 18"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.'[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. 23He who hates me hates my Father as well. 24If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.'[b]
Wow, I was convicted already. She starts by talking about the first verse and how it says we are to love one another and how the church has gotten so judgmental of each other looking at what everyone else is doing and feeling just a little bit better about oneself. Ouch. She went on to talk about how we are going to be persecuted and the point of loving one another is so that we can be there for one another when we have to face the hostile world. I started thinking to myself at this point. How do I love other christians? Do I look down on them if they do not have the exact personal convictions as I do? Then the love chapter of the bible came to my mind:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
The end of this chapter basically says that without love we are nothing. I seriously needed to evaluate how I love the church, not the church as in the building or even the people I go to church with but the body of believers as a whole. I realized that a lot of times I am not patient with people and that I think if I don’t have “that” problem like “those” people I must be ok. I don’t want to be like that! I could probably go through each point of these verses and say how I love the wrong way but the point is that I want to love people like the bible says not like I love them now.
The next big point Anne hit on was that the world will hate us if we belong to Jesus. She said that 165,000 people were put to death in 2000 for their faith in Jesus which is 300 people a day (and it is probably more now but even if it is not that is a lot of people!!) So, while I did my menial tasks today people were dying for their faith! Wow, what a thought. Then she said that in today’s time we try to blend in like spiritual chameleons. I cannot think of a better way to say that. It is like we want to be christians but we still want to look like the world too. She said, “If your children were to look at you household and the lost neighbors household what would be difference.” This was so convicting to me. I mean Adam has pretty strict rules (this sounds harsh but if you know u you know what I mean) about what we watch on TV but how much is our TV on and how much does it quench the Holy Spirit in my life personally. I would say it is the biggest quencher of the Holy Spirit in my life and not because it is bad but because it takes my attention off what is important and gives me a way to zone out on life.
Oh there is so much to say and such little time. Anne’s next section is about the courage to speak; she gives John 15:26-27. She goes on to say that we need to be courageous in our relationship with Jesus. We must share Him when we are scared, if we wait until we feel courageous than we might never ever do it. This is so true in my life. When do I ever feel courageous to share Jesus, I am always scared but it is always worth it! She goes on to talk about how we don’t have to have all the verses down or the words to say, all we have to do is talk about what Jesus has done in our life and we can even tell them that we can give them some scripture later if we need to. The Holy Spirit lives inside of us just for situations like this! Anne said, “The same Holy Spirit that lived inside of the disciples lives inside us!!!” Wow! How simple but how profound and true! They had such courage because they let the Holy Spirit take control of their life and so many times I do not live by the Holy Spirit like I am need to. I started thinking, “What would my life really be like if I did?”
I loved the next part of the video because it was so practical. She started talking about her grandkids; her face lighted up and then she said, “Was that hard for me to talk about my grandkids.” I’m sure everyone thought, “no, it didn’t seem like it at all to me.” She went on to say that it wasn’t and because she loved them and wanted everyone to know about them and what they meant to her. She said, “We have made telling others about Jesus so complicated. What is in our hearts come out of our mouths. We are denying ourselves the privilege of sharing Jesus with someone.” Let me tell you, this is exactly want I needed to hear. Being a stay at home mom, there is little interaction like i said before with “outsiders” except at the grocery store etc but what kind of an excuse is that? I live in a place where MOST people not some people or a few people but MOST I believe do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. What am I waiting on? If I love Jesus I should be compelled to speak of Him to whomever whenever.
This was the conclusion of this week’s study and I was so fired up. I had lots of thing I needed Jesus’ to change in me. Most people probably know that we are about to move and I pray that with this move the Lord will give me the courage to stand out and speak up for Him to our neighborhood. I know I can only do this depending on Him and His strength and living moment by moment listening to the Holy Spirit in my life.