Daily Devotions - Where's My Focus? 04/23/2012
"But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge-do not give me over to death." Psalm 141:8
If you need an idea for a Mother's Day gift, may I suggest the devotional "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young? Once again this devotional has fallen right into line with what I'm struggling with. Last week was a full week of running (figuratively speaking of course...I've yet to start a solid exercise plan) here and there and spending quite a bit of time doing church related activities.
I loved taking focused time during Natalie & Jadon's naps to prepare for a Vacation Bible School Meeting and also a fundraiser for the Youth Group. It felt wonderful to go to a meeting and feel like I'd actually given it more than 5 minutes right before hand. I did it the "Denise" way which including typing up a one-pager with fun fonts as a reminder to those involved, and could give a huge sigh of relief that I was actually proud of what I'd done. I didn't do it for man's applause, because I'm pretty positive no one else but me cares I used Pink Broccoli font which matches the rest of the VBS theme. I did it to feel like I gave God my best. My detailed, obsessive, time-consuming best.
As excited as I was about those two meetings, by the end of the week they were overshadowed with the growing list of things I did or needed to do that had fallen short of my "perfect" expectations. I became extremely short tempered with the kids; with my bright and shining moment being a huge fit right before we left for church because Natalie wouldn't sit still so I could put in a pony tail...nice, huh?! It all left me questioning if I should be a stay-at-home mom; if my heart could ever be at rest in the crazy chaos of 24/7 with two little ones.
So what do I read this morning? "I never lead you to do something without equipping you for the task. That is why it's so important to seek my will in everything you do...In order to know My Will, you must spend time with Me-enjoying My Presence." *Ding*Ding*Ding* News flash* Denise Bowker can't do it; but God through me can! The more time I spend with Him, seeking His will, the more equipped I will feel. God knows my personality quirks better than I do and He still called me to be a stay-at-home mom.
"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalm 16:11
Daily Devotions - Switching Focus 04/01/2012
“You yearn for a simplified lifestyle, so your communication with Me can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all.” Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.
Is there anyone else who loves the start of a new month? I love the feeling of newness. The list of areas in my life that need improvement grow with each day of the month. But when the first day rolls around, whew, clean slate. This is the month I’m going to stick to my goals and fix all that broken stuff.
Well, I say that to myself every month and pretty much every month I once again fall short of my expectations. I yearn for a quick fix to make life easier or a pill that turns me into Super Woman so I can get it all done. But God is not calling me to “get it all done.” God knows I’m not going to “fix it all”
As I read my devotions this morning, I cried at the words of Sarah Young in her book, “Jesus Calling:” “Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with me.” The desire to control and fix everything, is one of my biggest struggles.
God has blessed me with two amazing children, and you all know how unpredictable and uncontrollable life can be with two children under three. I get frustrated and impatient when their natural demands interfere with my to-do list. Why am I so obsessed with that stinkin’ to-do list?! Lord, forgive me!
Of course, I don’t believe it’s the to-do list that’s the issue. It’s my attitude. It’s my heart. There are always going to be things that need done around the house and for the church; and God wants us to be good stewards of what He’s given us. But more importantly, He wants us to “pray continually” 1 Thessalonians 5:17. He wants us to “acknowledge him in all our ways, and He will make our paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6
Personally, I’ve written those two scripture references on note cards and placed them in the two places I frequent the most: the formula cabinet and on the bathroom mirror. I need these constant visual reminders to keep my focus on Him and not my lists. How are you going to switch your focus this month?