I’m a huge fan of Pete Wilson. This summer I finished his book “Plan B” and plan to reread it again, but Pete is not just an author (or a character in a Taylor Swift video). He is also a pastor of Cross Point Church. And as we launch into Women of Faith weekend here in Florida, I have to share this video with you, because it will be in my mind and on my heart all weekend.
Monthly Archives: October 2010
This week I spent a lot of time reflecting about where and why God has us in our lives.
My first reflection came through my great-aunt (via marriage). At 93 years old, one of her comments was, “I’m not sure why God still has me here on earth.” She did not mean it in a disparaging way. She was just looking at her day to day life, living in her assisted living facility and wondering if she was still having an impact for God on this earth.
My second reflection came as I was helping my mother-in-law (along with other family members) begin to prepare for her move from a house that she has lived in for the last 40+ years. We went through boxes of memories, some that she chose to keep and move with her and others she chose to let go of usually with the light-hearted words, “I just can’t keep everything.”
My third reflection was spending time with a friend and former co-worker I had not seen more than 10 years. We worked together about the time my girls were born, but many years had passed and we were reflecting on where God had taken us in life and what direction He might take each of us in the future and how do we know.
Each of these stories ties together for me because in their own way, at different stages of life, they illustrate the desire we all have to find out where God wants us to be. Recently I have noticed how much feelings play into this assessment. If we are happy and fulfilled in life, we rarely question if we are living in God’s will. Yet if we are unhappy, lonely or emotionally unfilled (or missing old friends, faces and places) then we must not be in God’s will. And yet, what I have found, especially over the last year, is that if I will let Him, God can use some the most challenging emotional times in my life to shape me into what He wants me to be.
After my last blog post on how emotionally challenging the transition from being a career mom to being a stay at home mom has been for me, a few friends were worried and asked if I had considered going back to work. I imagine someday that I will go back to work, but I don’t think that the answer to my emotional ups and downs is to run away from them or to find something that will consistently fulfill me. For me the challenge of figuring out what God wants me to do with my life is to make sure I have my feelings in proper perspective. The big question I have been asking myself is: “Are my feelings and life experiences drawing me closer to Him?”
Throughout the last year I’ve come to realize how easily things in my life can fill the place of God in my heart. This has happened to me throughout my life, and rarely do I realize it until after it happens. Often when I grow close to friends or become especially fulfilled in my job or with volunteer work, I realize that my primary fulfillment and satisfaction in life tends to comes from people or work and not my relationship with God. I also realize how easy it then becomes to let those relationships and work/service distract me from God’s will for my life.
So my response to my 93 year old great-aunt: God still has you on this earth for a purpose. To make a difference in the lives of those around you. Everyday God puts people in our lives that He wants us to impact for His Kingdom. Our job is to take life one day at a time, to spend everyday drawing closer to Him, to keep watch for the doors He is opening for us and to walk through them one at a time, trusting and knowing that He is total control of our big picture.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:10-13
This last week or so has been tougher for me emotionally than I’ve had for a while. Someone once told my mother-in-law that the second year is harder than the first, after the loss of your spouse. And I’m starting to think that my second year as a stay at home mom might be harder than the first as well. But I am charging ahead, day by day into this new phase of my life and I know things will get better.
This week we started our new Ladies Wednesday Morning Bible Study, Battlefield of the Mind, by Joyce Meyer and I was warned, early and often, that when you start to deal with the strongholds in your life, that Satan will attack you even harder, and after this week, boy do I believe it!
I’m flipping through the first few chapters and reflecting on the things I have underlined:
The devil is a liar. Jesus called him …the father of lies and of all that is false (John 8:44). He lies to you and me. He tells us things about ourselves, about other people and about circumstances that are just not true. He does not, however, tell us the entire lie all at one time.
He begins by bombarding our mind with a cleverly devised pattern of little nagging thoughts, suspicions, doubts, fears, wonderings, reasonings and theories. He moves slowly and cautiously (after all, well-laid plans take time). Remember, he has a strategy for his warfare. He has studied us for a long time.
He knows what we like and what we don’t like. He knows our insecurities, our weaknesses and fears. He knows what bothers us most. He is willing to invest any amount of time it takes to defeat us. One of the devil’s strong points is patience.
What has amazed me about the first several chapters of this book is how Satan uses the experiences of our lives to build strongholds.
Meyer defines a stronghold as, “an area in which we are held in bondage (in prison) due to a certain way of thinking.”
Meyer talks about specific events throughout our lives that may have built up a stronghold. It may have been events in our early childhood or teen years that affect us still today. It may have been a need for affection or acceptance by a parent or a desire to feel unconditional love that we never fully experienced as a child. I’m sure for me, Satan built some great stronghold foundations during my middle school years.
Satan has worked for years to build strongholds that affect our actions today.
Chapter 1 closes with this sentence. “Satan knows well that if he can control our thoughts, he can control our actions.”
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5
I’ll keep you guys posted on how this study goes and what I am learning…as for now. Keep praying.
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
|“We may not always finish what we start but God always finishes what He starts. “|
We humans are great starters but often bad finishers. We leave unfinished symphonies, unfinished buildings, unfinished books, unfinished projects. We may not always finish what we start but God always finishes what He starts.
God doesn’t create a bird and give him half a wing. He created an unfinished flower or an unfinished star. He puts the finishing touches on everything He does and then He says, “It is good.”
The Bible says, when Jesus Christ starts working in your life, He will complete what He started, in spite of the hang-ups, faults, bad decisions, sins, and circumstances that we face. One day when we get to heaven we’re going to become just like Jesus because we will see Him as He is. And that’s the goal.
In the meantime, if we want to enjoy the people in our lives, we need to be patient with their progress. We must allow for their growth and development. Paul could say, “I’m not the man I used to be, thank God. But also, thank God, I’m not the man I’m going to be. I’m growing and changing.”
If you want to enjoy your marriage, you’ve got to learn to enjoy your husband or your wife right now while allowing for growth and development. Otherwise, by the time they meet your conditions, you will have still another condition for them to meet.
Parents, if you’re going to learn to enjoy your kids, you’ve got to learn to enjoy them in the process while they’re growing, because there is no such thing as a perfect kid.
And there’s no such thing as a perfect adult. If you demand perfection of the people in your life in order to enjoy them, you’re going to be miserable for the rest of your life. Nobody’s perfect.
To read Rick Warren’s Daily Blog you can go to: http://purposedriven.com/index.html and click on “Devotional”