I've been getting Elisabeth Eliott's daily devotions for several years now, and even though they just repeat the same ones over and over each year, I am still blessed and convicted and ministered to by them. Last week there was one that really hit home, and I wanted to post it here. First I thought I'd check my previous posts to make sure it wasn't a repeat. I had a hunch that I had posted it before, and sure enough, I had. However, since it encouraged and motivated me yet again, perhaps it will minister to others (again) also. So, click here to get encouragement on How To Do The Job You Don't Really Want To Do!
Friday, June 22
I don't read a large number of blogs regularly, but one of the ones I do frequently visit is Kendra at Preschoolers and Peace. She has lots of great ideas and tips, but yesterday's post was particularly good, especially since it seems God has been walking her through many of the same lessons He is teaching me. She makes some excellent points and has some good advice, and sometimes it's just nice to know you're not alone in your struggles.
We had coffee last night, we chatted, we laughed, we hashed over some of the same things we hash over every time we get together, we praised God, we commiserated, we shared joys and struggles...we fellowshipped. As I was leaving, what you said the previous time we parted ran through my mind, "I'm not sure we ever solve anything," and I ruminated on that thought as I drove home. On the surface it would seem that way, but as I ran the evening back through my mind I realized more than a few things were solved (at least on my part).
I believe God made us to need each other and to fellowship with one another, and since I don't have a church home yet, that has been sorely lacking in my life. You filled that need for me last night.
Also, you uniquely understand a couple of my deepest struggles and trials, and it's so rare and refreshing to talk to someone whom I know "gets it."
You encouraged me last night with what you called small but are very significant success stories. We do serve a faithful God, and it's a joy to praise Him alongside you knowing He is answering not only your prayers but mine too.
I know you have many ways to spend your time and that time is precious to you. I feel honored that you gave me a couple hours of it last night. Thanks for your time, your prayers, and your friendship!
Thanks for letting me know you read my blogs regularly and that you enjoy them...knowing that made it fun for me to do this post thanking you publicly (notice I didn't use your name!) instead of the usual email!
Saturday, June 16
Another valuable teaching from my "friend," Elisabeth Elliot:
We say that we are willing to follow Jesus. Peter said he would go with Him to prison and to death, not expecting that either would likely be required. Let us settle it once and for all--to follow Him will mean death. Not crucifixion in the literal sense, probably, but the coming to the end of ourselves, our expectations, our dreams. He must bring us to that end in order to bring us to the beginning of the Christ-life. "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live," was Paul's testimony (Gal 2:20 AV).
But does this mean none of my hopes will be fulfilled? Is it all wilderness and sorrow? The people of Israel must have asked this while en route to Canaan. Must we follow so far? And when they were desperate for water, God led them to Marah where the water was bitter. Terrible disappointment. But then--the miracle of the tree that made it sweet!
How far shall we go with Him who calls us to fellowship with Himself? Shall we stop dead in our tracks if the water is bitter? Shall we turn tail and run if we glimpse a cross? "Whoever cares for his own safety is lost" (Mt 16:25 NEB). Think of missing the miracle of the water. Think of missing the resurrection.
Savior Christ, I want to go the whole way. Keep me from faltering today. Show the tree that transforms bitter water, and help me to live in its shade.
Thursday, June 14
For a while now my hubby has been blessing me by giving me the night off one night a week to go out and have some time alone or with friends or whatever. I often go to a local coffee shop with a hotspot and catch up on email and my blogs and Bible reading or just sit and pray, and sometimes I will meet a friend for coffee. For some reason or another, I got out of the habit of going and hubby decided I needed to start doing it again...we both agree that it helps me A LOT! Just a couple hours a week of time to think without interruptions keeps me much more balanced and less grumpy too. So I started taking one night a week again, only this time a friend invited me to come learn to paint with her and some other moms in our homeschool group. Since we haven't settled on a church home yet, we haven't made many friends at our new location, so I decided it would be nice to have some fellowship, though I really have no interest in painting. It took weeks to complete, but here's my first piece:
It turned out much better than I anticipated, and I'm pretty pleased with the results. I may do another piece too, but I've gone back to just having some time alone. I really enjoyed the time with other women, but it doesn't give me the time alone that really helps me the most. So the last three weeks I've been able to get caught up on my blogs, my email, and other miscellaneous things that I have neglected for months. My painting friend said to me increduously, "You just sit there at the coffee shop all by yourself!?" Yep, and I love it! Thanks, Eddie.
Wednesday, June 13
Yes, my house isn't incredibly clean (though it is picked up pretty well), and I didn't get Abby's therapy done completely each week, and Ryan didn't get all the school done I had planned for him, but we had lots of fun and have enjoyed each other so much. Lord willing, I will continue to line my priorities up with what really matters.
Tuesday, June 12
We took our lawn mower in for a tune-up right after we laid the sod, and we still don't have it back. They said they had a back log of 700 mowers! So a kindly neighbor loaned us his and Friday, Eddie cut the grass for the first time. It looks so good. You can still see the seams, but since it's not a creeping grass it will take a while for those to completely disappear.
We spread barkdust on the borders and around the trees and flower beds, and I am very pleased with how it looks. It's not often that I envision something and it turns out the way I had hoped, but our yard actually looks better than I had envisioned. It's not perfect (the grass isn't perfectly level), but I love our yard now. I am planning the flowers, shrubs and trees we will put in next year, but for the summer most of the hard work is done.
We didn't quite finish spreading the bark dust in the front sideyard, but it's nice to have the bulk of the work done. Maybe I can finish up the front side yard for my hubby this week as a Father's Day surprise...