Adoration Bible Journal

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A little over a year ago, I received a journaling Bible as a gift. I already had one that I was working through, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with a second. I put it on the shelf for a while, contemplated giving it as a gift, but then I randomly had an idea….

What if I read and journaled through this Bible specifically with the purpose of learning who the Lord was and worshiping Him for those things?

I decided it seemed like a good endeavor and this extra became my “Adoration Bible”. My daughters actually know which one I’m asking for if they are fetching it for me by that name. (I find that kinda sweet.)

So I set out on this journey over a year ago adoring the Lord as He has revealed Himself in the Scriptures using this little black journaling Bible. I had no idea at the time what a great impact it would have on my heart and spiritual life.

Fast forward a year later, and I can’t imagine life without this practice. It gives my heart a solid anchor to cling to moment by moment.

3 things Adoration Bible journaling does for the believer

 1. It stirs up enjoyment and delight in God.

The Westminster catechism says that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I tend to be a “what do I need to do” kinda girl when I read the Bible, which is not a bad thing. In many ways, we should read the Scriptures with a submissive heart that says, “not my will, but Yours be done” and realizing that the Scripture is where the Lord has revealed His law and will to us. It’s an important piece, Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” What we do (our obedience) is important, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. To enjoy God, how do we do that? Well we have to meditate on who He is and let those truths permeate our hearts, then they will flow from our lips and thoughts. Nothing quite sustains our hearts on the darker days like meditating on who God is and praising Him for it.  We should be praising the Lord often in our hearts and with our mouths, or our little typing fingers… however it is we are communicating, we should be communicating how wonderful the Lord is because that should be flowing from our hearts. But those things will not be the meditations of our hearts if we aren’t intentionally seeking them out.

Now one quick thing about obedience, I dare say that the two things, obedience and adoration (loving and enjoying God) go hand in hand. You really can’t have one without the other. You may find people who are filled up with obedience ideas and that is their heart focus. They talk about how they live this way and that and they have the Scripture to back it up, but they have no love and delight in God Himself. That’s a huge red flag! Often times that means they love those laws because of the way their obedience is self-exalting above those who don’t obey. And then on the other side of this cliff, there are those who get extremely excited to talk about the things of the Lord, they lift hands high, dance, jump, leap, and shout about how great and wonderful God is, but do not seek to know and obey His commandments. That is not true love for God, because again remember that Jesus said if we love Him we will keep His commandments. True love for Him seeks to say, “what are the commandments, and oh Lord help me to keep them!, with all my heart I want to!”  We definitely need both sides of the coin. We should love and delight in the Lord, and if that love and delight is genuine then it will be lived out in our obedience to the Lord.

2. It helps us to guard our hearts against lies about who God is or isn’t.

For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. -Romans 10:2

This Scripture often jumps off the page to me when I read it. In the context Paul is talking about the Jews, how they worship God by trying to keep the law in order to be made right before the Lord. They are zealous for the Scripture and the Law without the knowledge of Jesus Christ and how He is our righteousness and fulfillment of the law.

In a similar but different way I see this same problem of zealousness without knowledge in our own culture. Modern America has a different problem than the Jews. Here we have so many brands of Christianity, some of those sadly are nothing close to the Bible and what it says. They alter their lives, they live with zeal, but sadly it is zeal without knowledge. I find myself often puzzled by certain “christian” bloggers who will say God is like this, Jesus is like that, the Lord approves of this action or that one, and they have absolutely no Biblical basis for the claims they are making. Not a Scripture one is mentioned. Just making up a god of their own ideas and liking, an idol to put it more accurately, and they are calling it, “Jesus”. This is so dangerous. And it is everywhere. Too often because of the popularity of these types of unscriptural claims there are even Christians who will believe these and begin sharing them with their brothers and sisters.  People tend to like their ears tickled. The feel good messages with “Jesus” stamped on it tend to make rounds quite quickly. Oh how easily we can be deceived when we are not guarding our hearts and holding fast to what the Lord has revealed in the Scripture. That is another reason adoration Bible journaling is such a valuable practice. It not only stirs up our hearts to love and enjoy God by seeing clearly who He is, but it also teaches us what is true about Him so that when deceptions come we will be able to fight against the schemes and lies of the evil one and those who are under his influence.

3. It gives a solid place to fix our hearts, hope, and joy no matter what happens in our lives.

Awhile back I wrote a post on rejoicing in the Lord. This has been instrumental in enabling me to do that in the throws of motherhood. Children are a blessing, but there are also many challenges that come with serving, teaching, and training these sweet children day in and day out. When the house-work piles up, the kids act up, and I feel utterly exhausted, I still have a steady place to fix my heart. Although my situations change moment by moment, there is no shadow of turning with the Lord. He remains the same beautiful and magnificent Lord.

 

It took me a little while to get a method, but now here is what I do:

  • I choose a book of the Bible to go straight through. (Usually it’s something we are going through at church or in family devotions) In between books or for a change of pace, I will go through a Psalm.

I think it’s important even while focusing on adoration to go straight through books of the Bible, also it’s just as important to pick books you wouldn’t necessarily think of such as Deuteronomy, and remembering that God is the same today as He was then, but now the covenant has been fulfilled through Jesus Christ. You can look for the promises of the Savior to come, but also pay close attention to the holiness and righteousness of God. The reason I believe it is important to do this is to keep us from picking and choosing certain attributes to focus on to the neglect others. God has many attributes, and we should seek to worship Him for all of them, not just the ones that make us feel warm fuzzies. All of His attributes are good.  Also this method keeps us understanding the Scripture in context. It is important that we know what God is really saying about Himself, and not just an idea we get from a sentence or two pulled out of context.

  • I pray that the Lord would reveal Himself to me and cause my heart to delight more in Him.
  • I read through the passage a bit; analyze what it is saying in general, and specifically what it is saying about God. Then  I go back through a second time with a highlighter (colored pencils tend to make the best in my opinion because they do not bleed through). I highlight the sentences that tell me something about the character of God.
  • I then read those over and over, meditate on many different aspects of those truths and begin praising the Lord for those things. At this point I also start journaling prayers and praises of who He is in the journaling space.
  • Throughout the day or next few days I try to keep focusing on these things. Often times I will find a place to keep my adoration Bible opened to that page so that I can come back to it and bring my mind back to those truths in the chaos of kids and homeschooling and house cleaning. This is why the journaling and highlighting is so helpful. I can simply take a quick glance at the page and remember what I learned.

An Example of Adoration Bible Journaling with Psalm 16

Psalm 16 is one of my favorites. I recently went through it in my adoration Bible and although I’ve had it memorized for over a year and have meditated on it many times, this brought new things to light for me that I had not seen before. Here is a look at the page.

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Now I don’t do this every single day, although it would be a fabulous thing to do every day! …..but many days I just read and pray through my Bible reading plan using the Bible app on my phone, and I try to work this in whenever I can. I always find the 10 to 30 minutes I spend on it to be time very well spent. It’s the perfect pick-me-up when it’s been a crazy day- when my hubby gets home, I often ask if I can have 30 minutes of quiet in the bedroom before we all move into dinner. Adoration Bible Journaling is one the best actives to fill that time with for me. Another time I love to do it is when my children are playing outside in the evenings after dinner. If everyone is playing nicely then I can sneak this in and it’s so refreshing. I share this tid-bit to say that even busy moms can do it! And it doesn’t have to be this all or nothing thing. Just do a few verses at a time.

I hope this concept of Adoration Bible Journaling is helpful!

Blessings to you as you grow in knowing and adoring the one true living God!

Rejoice Always

Rejoice Always -abidingwoman.com

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:4-7 NASB

Rejoice in the Lord

“Rejoice in the Lord always”, this is one of those commands in Scripture that can often leave us feeling a bit conflicted. We all have times that we definitely do not feel like rejoicing, and yet we are called to rejoice always. How do you rejoice when the baby kept you up all night, you wake hazily to a sink full of dishes and energetic children bursting at the seems ready to start the day? How do you rejoice when your best friend betrays you? How do you rejoice when someone you love deeply dies? How do you rejoice when you’ve been pouring your heart and soul into homemaking and homeschooling ,and then someone criticizes your efforts and says they aren’t good enough or points out all your failures? How do you rejoice when you are sick or in pain? How do you rejoice when your child is suffering?

There are many circumstances in life that we will not at all feel like rejoicing in, but the the Scripture does not say rejoice in your circumstances; instead it calls us to rejoice “in the Lord” and “always” because the Lord is always something to be rejoicing in! The goodness, majesty, and love of the Lord are constant and never-ending. There are good moments in life, but they end. There are moments when we encounter majesty in creation, music, art, or photography, but those moments end as well. There are moments when our marriage, motherhood, and friendships are flourishing and filled with love, but even those things are not constant either. Sin and death taint this world we are living in, but we can rejoice in Jesus Christ, the one who conquered sin and death and all the effects that flow from them. Perhaps in those deepest moments of longing and pain, that is where we can rejoice in Him the most; when the parts of life that bring us joy are stripped away and we find that He is the sweetest, purest, never-ending source of joy.

Rejoice Always -abidingwoman.com

A Gentle Spirit

Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. (vs 5) In the ESV it says “reasonableness”. I think the two words in both translations can give us a good idea of what is meant here. I have little girls, 5 of them, and I’m a girl so maybe I’ve seen this in myself a time or two…. (ahem); it is really evident when emotions are ruling the day. When you see it in yourself or another, it is absolutely undeniable…. the person is anything but gentle or reasonable. They tend to be fretful, harsh, negative, whiny, overly sensitive. But the woman whose heart is rejoicing in Christ is not looking to her circumstances for peace and joy. She has a certain calmness of spirit about her. She is not panicked or complaining, she isn’t up late fretting over what may have happened or what might happen in the future. She’s resting in Christ and knowing that no matter what life sends her way Jesus will be hers to cherish and enjoy from now until eternity, and that is more than enough. She takes great comfort in knowing that her trials and challenges are only for her good and His glory, they were given by the sovereign hands of a loving Father. And this heart posture is so clear to all who come in contact with her: the ones who see her inside the four walls of her home and the ones who only know her in passing. There is a sweet confidence that is evident in her…. not a confidence that she has in herself, but a confidence that she has in the Lord who is in her and who is greater than the trials and evil in the world.

Be Anxious for Nothing

Be anxious for nothing. (vs 6a) Be anxious for nothing, is that a tall order or what?! How many of you worry about things? This is a battle I personally have to fight. I can allow myself to become worried about my children, or about what others think of me, or about my health, or about how I’m going to be able to “do everything I need to do”.  And that is not okay. I have to repent of those things and focus my heart back on the Lord and what is true. Our anxiousness is truly a sin that we must repent of! I know it may at times seem like something we can’t help, but that is a lie. We can take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ, we have the Holy Spirit in is and we have the Word of God that says we can walk in victory. This anxiousness is actually a bigger problem than we might even see on the surface, it says something…. it says, “I don’t trust you God! I don’t trust your wisdom, I don’t trust your sovereignty, and I don’t trust your power.” This is why it is so important for us to repent of. I have many times found myself saying, “Lord, please forgive me for not trusting in Your power and plan in this situation”, and I’m so thankful that the we Jesus is our advocate with the Father when we do sin, He is so gracious to forgive us and restore us. And He will also give us victory! He will strengthen our faith when we ask Him too. Truly anxiousness is a lack of faith. We may believe that His wisdom, sovereignty, and power are trustworthy with our lips and minds; but our actions and responses say more about what we believe than our ability to affirm a truth.

Compared with our actual thoughts our credal statements are of little consequence. -A.W. Tozer

Rejoice Always -abidingwoman.com

Prayer

So what can we do when we are feeling anxious, scared, or worried? In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (vs 6b)  “In everything” tells us that God cares about all parts of our lives, big and small! There is no request that is unimportant to Him and there is nothing that is impossible for Him! He really wants for us to bring our burdens and cares to Him! This is such a comfort and joy in and of itself, that our Lord as majestic and powerful as He is would care for us on such individual levels.

And we can’t miss this, as we present our prayers and supplications to Him, there is a key component within our requests which is thanksgiving! We should be giving thanks to Him for the things He has already done, for the current trial which is shaping us to be more like Him, and for the wonderful work that we know and expect that He may do in response to our calling upon Him.

A prayerless soul is a Christless soul. Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint… It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honor of a Christian. -C. H. Spurgeon

Prayer is so important. Prayer changes everything! We know that God is sovereign, but we can’t be so fixated on God’s sovereignty that we neglect His command for us to bring all things to Him in prayer! Does He know the outcome? Yes. Does He know our need before it ever leaves our lips in prayer to Him? Yes. Did the Holy Spirit through Paul say ‘in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God’? why yes, He did. God does not contradict Himself! If He said pray, then we better pray, don’t you think? I sometimes think about how Jesus knowing full well that He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead for His glory wept. He was right in the moment, mourning with those who mourned. He is with us in our moments of need as a comforter and friend. Does He have a plan? Absolutely. But is He a present help in time of need? Absolutely. Prayer is so key to overcoming anxiety and to rejoicing always. There is a hymn that I absolutely love, “Dear Refuge of my Weary Soul” ,if you have never heard it, then I highly encourage giving it a listen, especially if you are walking through a difficult trial. In this song Anne Steele writes such a beautiful truth in response to the Lord’s sovereignty and pouring out our hearts before Him:

“Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face,
And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace,
Be deaf when I complain?
No still the ear of sovereign grace,
Attends the mourner’s prayer
Oh may I ever find access,
To breathe my sorrows there.”

He attends the mourner’s prayer, that is so sweet to me! This just draws my heart to pray all the more.

Rejoice Always - abidingwoman.com

The Peace of God

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.(vs 7) We have an inner peace and tranquility that is based on unwavering confidence that God is able and willing to do what is best for His children. This peace will surpass understanding, it will transcend what our human minds can comprehend. This peace will guard our hearts and minds from fear and anxiety! We have Christ and He is our peace, what more could anyone ask for or need than this great treasure that we have in Him! I find for myself that if I will take my eyes off of myself and my little world around me and lift them up to Jesus, offer praises of adoration to Him, look in the Scripture to see who His Word says He is and then pray to Him and praise Him for it, and think on it all through the day (even just one verse or attribute!) it brings a peace surpasses human logic. We will still walk through difficult times filled with tears and prayers of supplication, but we will have this peace that keeps our hearts steady even in the valleys, trenches, and steep paths of life.

He that hath Christ, being a pauper, hath all things; and he that hath not Christ, possessing a thousand worlds, possesses nothing for real happiness and joy. -C.H. Spurgeon

Hope you have a great week ladies!

In Christ,

S

 

Enjoy this post? Pin the photo below to remember and share with friends. Thanks!

Rejoicing in the midst of trials or even just in the daily trenches of motherhood can be hard. Come have your heart encouraged to rejoice always in the Lord.

for your further pursuit

  • This book, “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment” is excellent and is free at Chapel Library. , also in that link is a booklet with a collection of writings from men such as Jonathan Edwards, RC Ryle, AW Pink, and others on the topic of contentment. At Chapel Library you can get a copy sent in the mail or get an ebook copy right away… both are free! Such a cool ministry in general so definitely check them out if you haven’t ever before.
  • This book by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth (affiliate link)
  • This sermon by Albert Martin: “Make Me to Hear Joy and Gladness: That My Broken Bones May Rejoice” 

Time with God // Part Three

time with God

So excited to be back and diving into part three, the final post in the series “Time with God”. I said this in my first post: “God seeks worshipers who worship in Spirit and in Truth.” But perhaps that doesn’t resonate with you, Maybe you are thinking to yourself, what does that even mean?

True Worship in the Spirit

I think some people have it in their heads that worship is similar to yoga… silence required!  Good thing that isn’t the truth otherwise moms like me wouldn’t have the opportunity to worship hardly at all. Other people may believe that worship is something we do on Sunday mornings, singing songs with other believers, and while that is one Biblically ascribed way to worship, there is so much more to worship!

The Holy Spirit through Paul gives us a great definition of worship here:

 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. -Romans 12:1-2

So we see that true spiritual worship is a life offered up as a holy and living sacrifice to the Lord. Now here’s the bad news: you can’t do this on your own…. But here’s the good news: God has done it for you if you are in Christ Jesus and He is your source to be able to live this out moment by moment.

This type of true worship has everything to do with what my blog title is about, “Abiding Woman”. I chose this as the title because that is my deepest desire! To be a woman who is continually abiding in Jesus: relying and trusting fully on His works of righteousness and not my own and drawing from Him as my source in order that I will bear fruit for Him.

 

The Knitty Gritty: The Practical

Drawing from the Source:

Children and chaos do not keep us from drawing from the source, our own flesh does. Until this becomes a way of life, you will need to purpose to die to your flesh and to seek Him right where you are (this is the disciplining yourself for life and godliness that I was talking about in part two). It’s not always easy, it takes focus and patience, especially with little ones underfoot. It is easy in the silence of a morning or evening when all the house is asleep, and while that’s very nice and relaxing, it isn’t our reality for most f the time. We have to learn to draw from Him as our source in our real, kinda loud, sometimes mundane, moments in every day life.

Here are some ways I do this:

*Have a plan: A Reading Plan. I have a Scripture reading plan. I hope to go into more detail on this at some point, but basically my plan is suppose to be a year long plan, however I do what I can when I can. My goal is to read and understand and respond, not “knock it out” so I can check it off my list. Each day on my plan I’m scheduled to read 2 chapters in the Old Testament, 1 Psalm or Proverb, and 2 chapters in the New Testament. This morning I was only able to get through the Old Testament portion before kids woke up and started stirring and asking for breakfast. So I’ll finish the rest this evening, or I’ll pick back up tomorrow where I left off. Sometimes I even work on this as my kids are playing together in the same room as I am in. I figure if I can check my facebook, look at pinterest, or even write a blog post while they play underfoot, then I can certainly read God’s Word! I also think this is a great thing for them to actually see us mamas doing throughout the day, we are an example to them… all our “time with God” should not be done before they wake. They need to see us seeking the Lord, not just hear us talk about it. This is also a great opportunity to look up from God’s Word and say, “guess what I just read….” and share a little of it with those sweet little ones in excitement, you have no idea the impact this will have on them!

*A Bible Listening Plan, I am currently going through a chronological plan that I keep on my fridge and check off as I go. I use the Bible.is app for this. When I’m doing dishes or chores around the house I push play. The kids listen along sometimes and other times they play and know to keep their voice levels low so that I can listen. The great part is, they are listening too.

*Sermons and podcasts are a mom’s best friend! These are great for in the car or for listening to while kids are napping and you have to get chores done. Stick your phone in your pocket and put some headphones on if you think the noise may wake the baby. It is such an encouragement to my heart to hear Biblical teaching and preaching throughout my day. If you’re not sure what to listen to, try some of these sites (my favorites):

I’ll Be Honest  (this group is always posting good stuff)

Revive our Hearts (just for women)

Desiring God sermons

Ask Pastor John (I love these for quick listens)

Look at the Book (I adore these!)

Grace to You

Sermon Audio -There is an app for this also! (look up Paul Washer, Richard Own Roberts, Anthony Mathenia, Tim Conway, Charles Leiter, just to get you started)

here’s a screen shot of my current “Abide” apps. (there are certainly others, these are just the ones I use)

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*Scripture memory and meditation: I have recently been using the phone app Remember Me for Scripture memory. In the past I have also just used index cards. I still do this from time to time since having something as a physical reminder in my pocket is very helpful. If I find I am really struggling with something, I write the Scripture on the card and meditate and pray through it when my mind is tempted to think in ways that are not according to God’s truth. This is one way that I work to renew my mind. Let’s say I’m struggling with bitterness towards someone, I write a Scripture where I’m commanded to forgive and place it on the card in my pocket. If thoughts of unforgiveness or hurt rise up, I pull it out and start praying over the situation and praying for the Lord to change my heart and give me grace to forgive.

These are just a few ideas….  there are certainly other ways to be soaking in God’s Word throughout our days.

Responding in Prayer, Song, Word, and Deed:

Now this isn’t just a one way thing… we also are responding to what we are hearing  from the Lord through His living and active word. We respond in prayer, songs, words, and deeds all throughout our day. Pray about the things you learned or read or just listened to on a sermon. Confess sin if the Lord showed you an area of your life that needs repentance. Thank Him for thing things He has done and the things He is showing you. Rejoice in who He is and just worship Him! Sing songs of praise and hymns as you go about your daily work around the home. Praise the Lord out loud to your children and husband and friends. Speak of Him often to everyone that you can. If you are constantly taking in His Word, then you very easily begin to speak His Word to others. And respond with obedience right where you are. Did you read about patience or seeking unity, do that! Did you read about forgiving others, do that. Did you read about evangelism, do it! Think of tangible ways to respond to His commands. Do you need to sit down and write a letter to a friend to share God’s truth with her, do you need to pick up the phone and repent to someone for something you did, do you need to go repent to your children for anger or impatience, do you need to go open God’s Word and teach your children? What did God say to do? Do it! Jesus says if we love Him we will keep His commandments. That is a way that we worship! We worship in response to His words.

The Presence of God: He is with us!

The Lord is not far off, He is with you even when you may feel distracted from that truth, it is still a reality. Furthermore, He longs for us to worship Him in these ways. He deeply loves us who are in Christ Jesus, He has made us His own, and He cleansed us so that we no-longer would live in separation from Him. He delights in us delighting in Him! Take time today to purpose to do this throughout your day.

Maybe you couldn’t wake up early and seek Him in the silence, that is okay, seek Him now! If you were able to get up early to spend time alone with Him, let it continue, we can’t just be products of our environments, we must seek Him when it’s easy and when it’s hard. 

There is a quote that I read in a study called “Behold Your God” that has affected my perception of God’s presence and what my response is to it:

“You can have as much of God as you want; in fact you already do!” 

It is very true!

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you!

Time With God // Part Two

time with God

I’m so excited to journey on in this series! Walking in light of the presence of God is of utmost importance!  If you haven’t read the first post yet, hop over and read it, then come back here to dive in deeper.

 Time with God in the Trenches of Mommyhood

So what does time with God for the busy and often tired mom of young children look like? Should we make it our goal to set aside a specific time to study the Scriptures and pray, be it in the morning or during the naptimes of our children, or in the evening when everyone is asleep YES ,ABSOLUTELY! We should definitely pursue making this happen! I hope that no one heard me say that it was unnecessary for you to have, pursue, and desire those alone times with the Lord in my first post. In fact, I did a challenge here on this blog just a year ago in June called the Triple G Challenge that is all about pursuing waking and getting with God first thing in the morning because it is good to start your day with Him and to continue to walk with Him for the rest of the day.

If anyone got that they were not to pursue this type of time with the Lord out of the first post then you very much misunderstood me, and absolutely must stick around because what I was sharing there is almost the complete opposite of that.

The first post aimed to address this tendency for moms to set these goals of waking before the children and spending time with the Lord (much like the Triple G challenge), but when plans fall through because the life of a mom is unpredictable and let’s face it sometimes sleepless, instead of walking out the rest of their day with their Savior at their side, they walk it out in condemnation. But here’s the truth sweet sisters:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. -Romans 8:1

Jesus isn’t looking down from heaven saying, “I know her baby woke her up twice last night, and that her toddler woke at 7, but she should’ve set aside some alone time with me sitting in her easy chair sipping her coffee with her Bible wide open.” That’s ludicrous on so many levels, and we know it! But sadly, sometimes moms put this type of condemnation on themselves. The reality of the situation according to God looks much different, the reality He gives us is this:

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. -Hebrews 4:14-16

The Gospel Changes the Way We View Our Time with the Lord

How is it that we can be with God in His presence when we fail in so many ways? We fail to live up to not just our own human standards of a schedule or a time to wake up ,but we fail His perfect holy standards, big time, more than we will ever know. The reason this invitation is open to us is because of what Jesus has done and is doing. It’s not because of something you accomplish or bring about on your own. Don’t be deceived, if you think waking up early every day to read and study the Bible and pray is going to earn you the right to be in the presence of God, you are dead wrong! Can He meet you in that time, will He meet you in that time, Yes, but it isn’t because of you, it’s because of Him! The only thing that gives us the right to come boldly to His throne of grace is the great high priest, Jesus who was tempted in every way, He knows our struggles all too well, and yet He was perfect and blameless! He came to this earth with one purpose, to fulfill the Father’s will by redeeming a people for Himself and bringing them near to Him. What had to be done for that to happen? This perfect man who was also fully God had to die and bear the wrath that was meant for our sins, and then He overcame sin and death, rose from the grave! He now sits on the the throne praying for us! Do you think He did and does all that so we could only meet with Him in a silent house before our children wake? Absolutely not!!!! He did that so we could abide in Him moment by moment, forever!

But, but, but, but….

Some will say, But what about disciplining yourself for life and godliness (1 Timothy 4:7)? And I submit, what I’m saying to do here takes much greater discipline than sitting in a silent house and sipping coffee and reading your Bible. I love what Paul Washer says:

“You are struggling to DO … you need to struggle to BE.”

I am talking about something much more authentic than setting a schedule and having your “quiet time” and giving yourself a little Pharisaical pat on the back.

No, I am talking about abiding in Him moment by moment! Abiding when the kids are screaming, abiding when the dishes and laundry are over flowing, abiding when you are teaching phonics to a young child, abiding when you have morning sickness for weeks on end, abiding at play dates, abiding at the zoo, abiding when the stomach bug strikes your home, abiding in the late night nursing hours, abiding… always and continually abiding.

God is near, He is here. He is in the silence and the chaos. Will you abide in Him right now…… or do you think He’s still waiting for you back at that easy chair?

Sister, I hope this set you free in some way and encouraged you to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness….. in order to BE not to DO!

Tomorrow’s post is going to get much more practical. What does it look like to enjoy the Lord and abide in Him in our moments of chaos and homemaking and not-so-silent houses? I hope you will join me again tomorrow.

Be blessed.

Read part 3 of this series here.

Mothers Your Work is Eternal Work

eternal work

Dear Mothers,

You have one of the most difficult and most wonderful jobs given.
It’s not insignificant work, in fact it is eternal work.
What you do each day inside the four walls of your house will affect so much!
You are influencing your children’s hearts moment by moment.
You have a chance to point them to Christ in the middle of messes, play, discipline, and cuddles.
30 years from now, your laundry and dishes piles will be much smaller, and your children will be much bigger. And today you can train them in the way they should go.
300 hundred years from now you and your children will be consumed with one thing and one thing only, and it’s a much bigger deal than laundry and dishes.
In 300 years we will all be thinking about the glory of Christ…. some around His throne in beauty and fullness of joy, and others with great regret in agony and turmoil.
But today you can focus your heart on Him, and point your children’s hearts to Him.

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Don’t be deceived to think what you do today will not affect them then, it will.
Point them to Christ! He is the one thing our hearts need most, and He is the one thing your child needs most!

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And Mamas, this is not adding to your to-do list…. this is the thing you must do while you do the to-do list. And if you can’t do this and that at the same time, then that other thing is the thing that must go because remember this is eternal work.

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Amidst your seemingly mundane work of kissing booboos, teaching phonics, potty training, nursing, remember what your real work is.
Pray for your children continually to know and love Christ, live your life in a way that points to the redeeming power of the Lord, and proclaim the Gospel to your children as often as you can, rejoice in the Lord before their very eyes. This is your real work that God has given you and there is an eternal reward.

“Those who think that a woman detained at home by her little family is doing nothing, think the reverse of what is true. Scarcely can the godly mother quit her home for a place of worship; but dream not that she is lost to the work of the church; far from it, she is doing the best possible service for her Lord. Mothers, the godly training of your offspring is your first and most pressing duty. Christian women, by teaching the children the Holy Scriptures, are as much fulfilling their part for the Lord, as Moses in judging Israel, or Solomon in building the temple. “Seek first His kingdom, set your minds on the things above, fix your eyes on Jesus.” While a truly God besought mother and wife may be one of the most unnoticed overlooked posts in the eyes of the world, there will be a day when its eternal significance will be brought to light and no sacrifice will seem too great, nor any negligence seem so small.”  -C.H. Spurgeon

Celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus

celebrating the resurrection of Jesus

Happy Resurrection Day, sweet readers!

Of all the holidays on the calendar, Resurrection Sunday is the one most worth celebrating. There is nothing more significant in all of time than the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God! So it is right that we celebrate! It is right that we worship!

Because He is alive, because He is risen, everything has changed!

Because He is alive, we can be made alive!

We were dead in our trespasses and sins

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.  (Eph. 2:1-3)

But God made us alive together with Christ

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:4-7)

Because of these amazing truths Resurrection Sunday never gets old. The Gospel never gets old. The Gospel is like oxygen for the Christian soul. When you are born and take your first breath, it’s oxygen that brings you life, it never gets old, we never stop breathing, and the more we cherish life, the deeper we sigh to breathe in. The Gospel is this way, it only gets more precious and more amazing as we grow closer to the one who saved us.

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I hope you had an amazing day celebrating our risen King!

Rejoice! He is risen!!!!

 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ (Luke 24:6-7)

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We Will Never Get This Back

we will never get this back

Sometimes it hits me out of nowhere, I’ll be admiring the simplicity and trust that a child displays in these younger years, and then I will remember with a great sense of urgency that these days are limited and we will never get them back.

These sweet girls that I cuddle and discipline, teach and read to, play and pray with will only be this little for a little while.

Oh how I pray that I use this time well!

I fail, yes. There is grace, yes. and Praise God for that because I am a girl in need of Him constantly! But as I abide in Him I am reminded through His Word and through the Holy Spirit what my duty to these girls is right now.

I have a job to do! Something only I can do because I am the one who is with them almost ALL of the time. That is a great privilege and a great responsibility!

I believe we can take this seriously and delight in it at the same time!

I want to be a living example for them to see moment by moment, a woman who is not a slave to sin, but instead is a slave to Christ.

I want them to see someone who seeks to glorify God and who enjoys God throughout her days.

I want them to see a woman who loves and respects their daddy.

I want them to see my love for them and my contentment in these years of training and teaching.

What is amazing about all of this is that I don’t have to muster up these thoughts out of nowhere. Nope… God has already placed them in my heart.

Psalm 37:4 says

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

This verse has been so true for me in this area!

I have shared before how I struggled with my contentment, I struggled with my selfishness in my role as wife and mom, but as I spent more time seeking God just for the sake of getting God (not to fix my life!), that is when He took out my heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh. He has placed new desires within me!

So I encourage you to seek God’s face! Enjoy Him! Worship Him! Repent of sin and rejoice in His grace!

Then He will give you the desire to be present, to be joyous, to be kind, to teach your children about Jesus through words and deeds.

When we have our minds on Christ, we will be made aware of the gift that this time is.

What a blessing to mother these young children, to nurse babies, to kiss booboos, to read the same stories over and over, to teach catechisms, to teach Scripture, to pray for and with these precious littles. It is so beautiful and such a joy to be a part of this! And we must do it now, today, because we won’t ever get today back.

But we can’t do any of this if we are not abiding in Him, a part from Him we can do nothing.

We must seek Him first!

My prayer for myself and you all my sweet readers is that we will do these things and bring glory to our Father in Heaven through the power of the Spirit that lives within us and through the grace of Christ Jesus.

Be blessed.