Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Do you need order in your home?

Lately I have had a lot of women ask me, "What do you do for a devotion time/quiet time daily? Do you have one? Do you think it is important to have one daily? How do you find the time?" I honestly feel like a giddy school girl when someone emails me questions like this. To think that God has put me on someone's radar screen and that they feel comfortable asking me for spiritual advice or wisdom really blows me away! I feel so blessed, so honored and amazed that the emails come to my inbox daily. Thank you Lord! Thank you for using me. I am a huge testimony that God can use imperfect people. In fact, that's the kind of men and women He longs to use.

Let's go back to the question/questions I am emailed a lot. "What do you do for a devotion time/quiet time daily? Do you have one? Do you think it is important to have one daily? How do you find the time?" I think a lot of women, including myself, put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. We have a list in our mind of things we need to do in a month, a week or even just a day. We may compare ourselves to other moms (a dangerous thing to do) and try to do things like them. The problem with that is, God did not create us to be someone else! Some moms homeschool, some don't. Some moms sit down and read books to their kids every single day or they may not allow television or sugar in their children's diet. When we compare ourselves to other women, we will always feel like we have failed. At times I find myself wanting to be the best mother, wife, cook, decorator, fashion expert and bible reading machine there is. But how exhausting is that? When Josiah gets to kindergarten, there will probably be a mom that can make better cupcakes than me! Perish the thought! There may be a better "Room Mom" than me. I pray even now that God will not allow me to get caught up in things like that. It may sound silly, but many moms do. We put so much of our security in this role called "Mom" that we don't even let ourselves begin to think about failing. We do things like make schedules and post them on our refrigerator. I had one once, but I took it down. I am not saying schedules are bad but mine set me up for failure. Professional women have bad days at the office, they miss deadlines, they make a mistake, they are late for a meeting or they may even get called into the bosses office. What about us Moms? Are we not allowed the same kind of day? It's okay for your child to have a day of too much TV. It happens! It's okay if you miss a storytime, a play group or a devotion time with your kids. If you yell or do something that hurts their feelings, it's okay. Your kids will be okay! I am not saying we shouldn't work on these things, we should. But the very fact that you are home with them every single day fulfills a need in their life that no one else can fill. And if we put so much pressure on ourselves as Mom's, you can bet it will spill over into our spiritual life. We do the same thing in our relationship sometimes with the Lord. If we can't read our Bibles daily, if we can't have a prayer time, then we get down on ourselves OR we just choose to not do it because we don't want to feel guilty.

Do I have a daily quite time? I try with every ounce of my being to do so. I do not do it out of guilt or obligation. I do it because I know how much I need that time with my Lord. But here's the deal. My time with Him has changed over the last six months because I realized the pressure I was putting on myself. We have grown up hearing about a "quiet time". We have this idea in our minds that we have to pray for this amount of time or read for this amount of time. That is a dangerous mindset because it's overwhelming, it's a big expectation to put on ourselves. God is not mad when we don't do this. But then there is the opposite side to that. Attending church, having a weekly bible study or home group, is not your personal time with the Lord. How can you possibly win others to the Lord without reading His word? How can you fall in love with him more and more without studying His promises? How can you fight battles without memorizing and meditating on his scriptures? How can you be the best Wife and Mother He has called you to be without eating the bread He gives through the Bible? You can't! You can't soak up everything from others! A bible study with your friends cannot take the place of personal time with him! Church should only help us, it's not there to be our everything spiritually. As women our mindset has to change when it comes to being Godly women. The way we have tried to do it, doesn't work. Something new has to happen.

A few nights ago I watched Beth Moore on the James Robinson show preach a powerful messaged. She didn't speak, the woman preached! As I listened to her, I was in complete and total shock of how much that woman knew the Word of God. She didn't get there over night. It's like I said in yesterday's post, the Proverbs 31 woman had a lifetime to leave the legacy she did. She did not live that life in one day, it was her whole life! Beth Moore has had years of studying His Word, it did not happen overnight. Sunday morning I listened to Joyce Meyer. Another woman that is FILLED with God's Word. Saturday I listened to Lucy Swindoll, Patsy Clairmont, Sheila Walsh, Nicole Johnson, Thelma Wells (my favorite) and many more speak about the things God has done in their life. All of these women spoke of God's Word like it TRULY meant something to them. As Godly women, isn't that what we should strive for? Isn't that what we should work hard at knowing? God's Word?! It's better than any novel, any devotion, any book! It gives us life! And I need it! Oh how I need it!

So this is what I do. Right now I have COMMITTED to reading one chapter a day of a particular book. I also read Proverbs every day too. I try to do it in the morning but sometimes one of the kids wakes up before me. I try to do it during nap time but sometimes I have something else I am doing. I really try to make that time sacred but it doesn't always happen that way. I may have to read in the bathroom while using the restroom or taking a bath. I may have to do it when everyone is asleep. But I do it! When I make it a part of my day, it changes me. Today I started reading the book of Genesis with my best friend and with a lady who reads my blog. We don't see each other when we read, we don't do a bible study to go along with it. We call each other or email each other to communicate that we have read. It's nice to have accountability. As I read, I pray for these women and I pray that God will give us revelation as we read His word. It's powerful! It's amazing the things God teaches me. Also, it helps my flesh come under submission. I would much rather walk in the spirit than walk in the flesh. How about you?

Think about this. If you had a problem or a need that you needed to share with someone, would you want to share it with a woman that his been in God's Word or a woman that has been buried in a Nicolas Sparks book? Seriously. What is coming out of our mouths? What do our words say about who we are as women? As stay at home moms or wives, we have a responsibility and unless you are being fed by the Word of God, you can't expect your home, your children, your marriage, your relationships or even your self esteem to be in order. We have to get our priorities straight and everything else will line up. Everything else will have order! It will not happen overnight, it can't. In the first chapter of Genesis, everything took time. God didn't create EVERYTHING in one day. Each day was something new. He took time to plan it out. The same goes for our life. Each day is something new. It can't happen all at once, not even God works that way. While I would love to have the wisdom that Beth and Joyce, I realize it will take time to get there. But why not start now? Why not try to be all that God wants me to be now? Why not start today? When I get too busy, when my Bible needs dusting, may I start over!

One more thing. (I know this is long! Aren't all of my posts?!) Thelma Wells, one of the speakers at Women of Faith, talked about a woman and her cell phone. It was comical but so true. If we leave our cell phone at home, we turn around and drive back to get it. If we can't find it, we freak out! So we wear it on our hips, keep it in our purse and we never go ANYWHERE without it. Thelma said, "What if we treated our Bibles like we treat our cell phones? What if we wore it on our hips, carried it in our purses or drove home to get it when it was forgotten? We would never find dust on our cell phones! And we probably read more text messages in the cell phone than we do in our Bibles!"

That got me thinking and I just want to encourage all of you to get out that Word and read it as MUCH as you can! It's worth it! You need it! You will be amazed at how one chapter a day can change your life. I started with Genesis, chapter one today. There is a lot of meat in Genesis. We like to talk to our grandparents about our heritage and where we came from, well Genesis does kind of the same. So If you want to go back with me and read about the beginning, join in! I just started today! His Word will change you, His Word will bring victory, His Word will bring life! Do this and watch how things come together. Make this a priority and everything else will fall into place. This is the only thing that will bring order to your life.

10 comments:

Christy said...

I REALLY needed this today. Being in the word is one area I fail in during a busy week.. BUSY (BEING UNDER SATANS YOKE). No excuse! Proverbs 31 is my favorite b/c its so challenging to me as a lady... wife... mom... I love the points you have been bringing out. Something that is so true is what you said about those who are in the word, those we go to during a time of need.... I can so relate to this. I know when I need a prayer warrior I go to someone who won't just say they will pray but one who will! I just had this conversation with someone the other day about how at times I feel I have different 'groups' of friends.. those who are my prayer warriors, who I can talk to abou the Lord, those who encourage and uplift me, but then those that there is no spiritual depth to.. I need to be a light to them and oh how I pray I can be used! This was such a great word today Amanda! And so challenging!!!

Christy said...

I REALLY needed this today. Being in the word is one area I fail in during a busy week.. BUSY (BEING UNDER SATANS YOKE). No excuse! Proverbs 31 is my favorite b/c its so challenging to me as a lady... wife... mom... I love the points you have been bringing out. Something that is so true is what you said about those who are in the word, those we go to during a time of need.... I can so relate to this. I know when I need a prayer warrior I go to someone who won't just say they will pray but one who will! I just had this conversation with someone the other day about how at times I feel I have different 'groups' of friends.. those who are my prayer warriors, who I can talk to abou the Lord, those who encourage and uplift me, but then those that there is no spiritual depth to.. I need to be a light to them and oh how I pray I can be used! This was such a great word today Amanda! And so challenging!!!

Wendy said...

Great post Amanda! I had to laugh because if you read my post yesterday you know about my schedule thing and setting myself up for failure. It isn't on my refrigerator today. :)

Are you starting in Genesis and reading all the way through?

Paula said...

GReat Amanda. I'm glad you wrote this because I was wondering myself what you do. I read two chapers a day. (Sometimes more if time is allowed or I can focus well) I read one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. I'm in the tail end of Numbers and just started Luke. I like to read more of the New Testament. What I really liked is it is a journey. I really need to work on the compare thing. I'm so bad about that.

Kelly Ann said...

Thank you for this post! I have to admit that my Bible is a little dusty this week.

Love you!
Kelly Ann

Dee said...

AMEN!!! I am sadly one of those who tries (and fails, I might add) from time to time, to schedule my quiet time in. But I have found (and I think I am learning) that I need it daily, but if I don't meet God at 1pm, He will still be there at 8:30pm when my kids go to bed. AND He understands that I am a mommy, wife, homemaker and has allowed me to be those things, in addition to a Child of the King. AND - though I strive to daily find time with Him, I have also learned (ahem... am learning, that is) that when I don't meet with Him - my days are NO WHERE NEAR as smooth as what they are when I find time to meet with my Best Friend and Heavenly Father.

I applaud you for having accountability partners for scripture reading. I think that is an awesome idea... as soon as I find me some friends here (LOL) I may consider that very thing!!

Thanks again for your encouragement!!!

Karen said...

I am reminded of the story of the woman at the well with Jesus (John 4). She told Jesus that their fathers worshipped in this mountain. In Jesus' answer to her I believe He was saying it is not important WHERE but HOW. So, it isn't about where we find our quiet place and when we find our quiet place. It is simply that we HAVE a quiet time and place to commune with Jesus. To meditate on His Word. I do not believe we should beat ourselves up with guilt when things happen (and things WILL happen) and we are unable to spend time in prayer. He desires to spend time with us. His Word is what breaks the yoke of bondage we are in. His Word tells us to speak to the mountain and it shall be removed. His Word empowers us and sustains us. Why is it that the very thing that helps us most in life is the hardest thing for us to make time for? God and His Word.

Father, help us all today to make that commitment to spend time with you. Not just talk to You but LISTEN TO YOU.

Good word today. I love you.
Mom

Anonymous said...

Once again you have spoken God words into my life. I really needed to hear this, and yes I did check back a few times again.

Sherri G

His Grace Reaches Me said...

I really used this in my life today! Yesterday was VERY exhausting, my child did not want to do ANYTHING mommy said! It was just a very busy day on top of everything else. I did not have time to read the word until 11;45 pm! I only read one verse Psalm 119:133. But it made me feel so much better! Anyway, it happens to all of us. Thank you for this post!

Julie

Life full of blessings said...

Thanks Amanda....for this very honest and straightforward post.
We do NEED God's WORD in our lives to fulfill the God given blessing of being a wife and mother. I know when I am trying on my own...it is obvious to me in my whole mindset and attitude...then my Gracious Heavenly Daddy, gently calls me back and welcomes me "home" :)
God's WORD must be on the tip of our tongues....it must flow from the very depths of our soul....in everything we do and say..and think.
I recently was reading through the O.T. and really enjoyed Genesis. It is FULL of God's amazing power and work.
Again, thanks for what you wrote...
A sister in Christ,
Liz