Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In the quiet of the night...

I have been struggling with insomnia. From all I have read this is normal considering the surgery I had and the recovery in front of me. Still, insomnia when you are exhausted and tired is not very fun.

I am thankful, though, that the Lord had already brought me through a season of sleeplessness, though caused by a chronically ill child, the lessons I learned during that time of "night watches" are helping me now.

Throughout the Psalms, David speaks of praying through the night watches (Psalm 63:6; 119:148). David certainly had many reasons to be awake throughout the night, but it was an encouragement to me that he chose to use those sleepless nights to turn his heart to the Lord and His promises.

So, while I try to wait patiently, waiting for balance to return and for my life to be "normal" again, I am thankful for the opportunity to walk with my Savior in the night watches. Remembering to pray, seeking His Word, counting even the sleeplessness as blessing.

What do you do in the night watches?

Friday, September 10, 2010

A time to sit...

Solomon speaks of there being different seasons in our lives in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:
     For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
     a time to be born, and a time to die;
     a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 
     a time to kill, and a time to heal;
     a time to break down, and a time to build up;
     a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
     a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
     a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
     a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
     a time to seek, and a time to lose;
     a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
     a time to tear, and a time to sew;
     a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
     a time to love, and a time to hate;
     a time for war, and a time for peace.

Recently, it has been my appointed season to sit, to rest, to limit my "normal" activity. This is not my strong-suit, I like to be doing! When I am in the midst of doing life I will sometimes dream of sitting and resting, but I hardly ever take the time to (unless a good Jane Austen movie is involved). I love being a keeper-at-home, a mommy, a homeschooler, a friend. I love ministering to the Body of Christ when there is a need, and reaching out to my neighbors seeking opportunities for the Gospel. I love baking really yummy, no-one-would-be-the-wiser gluten-free food. The one thing that all those things have in common is NOT sitting! 

I have been pondering what I could do during this season of sitting... one friend suggested I write encouraging notes to other women... another suggested I learn a new stitch in knitting (and I did!)... I have started learning to crochet... I am working very hard to answer my children with gentleness and kindness on my lips (and in my heart)... I have picked out some good books to read, some just for me, others to share. 

I have been trying to "watch" my day, see how things flow, see if there are areas where I could improve, change, tweak... one area is certainly in the menu planning department, so I am hoping that in the next month or so, I can come up with some sort of menu plan that will help me meet the needs of our little home as I get back to "normal" in the coming months. I also have more time than ever before to sit and observe the interactions of my children, taking note of some areas where we can more diligently be imparting the truth of God's Word into their lives. Would I have noticed these things, seen these holes or even considered slowing down to "watch" had I not been forced?

Of all things, I am most thankful that I have a God who knows me better than I know myself. He knows how easily I get distracted by busyiness and doing, and He knows what it takes to get my attention. He knew that at this perfect moment in time I needed to spend some time sitting... at His feet, with His Word, trusting in His time.

For everything there is a season... a time to sit...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Preparing our hearts...

Tomorrow is Sunday and in just minutes I will be heading to bed. But just now, as I was signing off Facebook and email (and laughing at my husband who is geekily working on some website design and is murmuring to himself what needs to happen next), I thought about tomorrow.

Sunday. As I child I dreaded the day, for before I knew the Lord I was thinking only of the end of my own pleasure, only thinking about the fact that Monday was right around the corner. As a young adult, still before my conversion, I dreaded Sundays a little less, I had come to like Mondays but I still was spending Sundays simply in indulging in whatever it was I wanted to do, thinking nothing of anyone else, though regularly annoyed at Chik-fil-A being closed!

Now... oh, how precious the Lord's Day has become to me. I yearn for it to return as soon as it has ended. I enjoy the teaching ministry at our church (Believers Fellowship, www.bfsatx.com) and the fellowship of the saints! I am blessed to have a sweet husband who really strives to make it a day of meaningful rest for our family. I have no more favorite a day of the week than my dear, precious Sunday.

Sundays are perfectly sweet to me and we are striving to pass along that vision to our children. Saturday nights we have been sharing with them the importance of preparing... preparing physically, by going to bed a little early, by gathering Bibles, shoes and clothes... preparing for open hearts by talking through areas of temptation they will face to be distracted from taking in God's Word... praying together, and sharing our love with the Savior with our children.

So, good night... time to prepare for the Lord's Day!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sitting still...

Why is it that something so simple is so exceedingly difficult to do? Ironically, three weeks ago I would have been begging for the opportunity to sit and take a break... but now, as I look down the road paving the upcoming 7 weeks, all I can see is me sitting on a couch.

I am fighting against frustration, being so limited in my activity is making me a little crazy but I have to choose to remember that this is the time that God has ordained for me during this season. So, the question is less about whether I will enjoy the sitting and more about whether I will be submissive to the Lord and His good will for me. And in the submitting, will I do so with a grumbling spirit or with one filled with joy?

My heart is completely desiring to seek after the Lord's will for my life. I am thankful for God's Word in James 1:2-4, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." These verses gave me such comfort as I suffered from physical pain for many, many months. Even still, they shall be a comfort, as I am now faced with a new trial, one of stillness.

I see my day swirl around me, the kids doing school with Dad, and the laundry being folded by a friend from church, and me being so tired by lunch I have to lay down for two hours before I can even eat. I have to believe, I do believe, that God already knew this day, designed this trial, orchestrated my life for this very moment. This trial, on the outside, from a human point-of-view, is not pleasant. However, Isaiah 55:9 reminds me, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." So, I choose to remember that while, to me, the sitting is aggravating, to the Lord it is His perfect instrument in conforming me into the image of His Son.

What choice, in light of Scripture, do I really have? I will strive for obedience, seeking to please and give glory to God, without complaint or grumbling. I will let you know how this "experiment" goes... me, learning to sit still... joyfully!