Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Loving HIM

I just recently started a new morning devotional. It's The Woman's Devotional Guide to the Bible by Jean E. Syswerda and I love it. I hate to admit it, but I know very little about the Bible. I was in church just about every Sunday my entire adolescent life. I attended GA's, camps, and Wednesday night worship. I even tagged along to my mom's Bible studies and aerobics classes. I should know more. Of course I know many of the stories but that's all they have been to me, stories. Until now. I feel like a little kid, all wide-eyed as I turn the pages. The way the devotional is set up, you read several different verses/chapters every Monday, and then spend the rest of the week really digging into them. I have the hardest time not reading ahead. I can't put it down once I get going!! I am loving every delicious word of it.

That being said. I am in such a place right now with the Lord. He's been so absent from my life the past few years. Well, He's been there but I've not wanted to let Him in. I've been too busy and too wrapped up in what I had going on. After growing up with Him being a daily part of my life for 18 years, it only took a short while without Him for me to feel EMPTY. Spiritually empty. It's not easy diving back into a relationship with Him. I am an all or nothing kind of person. I have a really hard time doing things half way. So, I feel very convicted when I am only half-way trying to restore this relationship. But it's also very hard with 2 kids. NOT AN EXCUSE AT ALL. But quiet times aren't really so quiet. There's Mickey Mouse in the backgroud, someone always asking for juice or "Momma, what are you doing?", and a sweet baby girl that really does enjoy her mama's undivided attention. That being said, the above devotional is really helping me get back to a daily (perferably morning because it really does start my day so great) one-on-one time with the Lord.

I am so desperate to hear Him and to be used. That was my prayer this morning. USE ME LORD. Use every single inch of me to further glorify your name. I don't want to miss my calling so open my ears, my eyes, my soul so that I am so ready to do what it is you put me on this earth to do. I want to raise 2 kids that truly think you are "IT" and that live to love and worship you. Lord, please use this girl so that I may be a woman after your own heart. I so love you Jesus and I am so glad that after only a little while you said "ENOUGH" and yanked me right back to you.

I am loving this song by Rush of Fools...

I've been here before..and here I am again
Standing at the door, praying you'll let me back in

To label me a prodigal would be only scratching the surface of who I've been known to be

Turn me around, pick me up
Undo what I've become
Bring me back to the place of forgiveness and grace
I need You, need Your help
I can't do this myself
You're the only One who can undo what I've become

I focused on the score but I could never win
Trying to ignore a life of hiding my sin

To label me a hypocrite would beonly scratching the surface of who I've been know to be

Make every step lead me back to the sovereign way that You...

Turn me around, pick me up
Undo what I've become
Bring me back to the place of forgiveness and grace
I need You, need Your help
I can't do this myself
You're the only One who can undo what I've become


Amanda said...

Steph, I love you. And I am going to check out that devotional. It sounds great!

The Silva's said...

That song is amazing!! I think I too may pick up that devotional! You have inspired me to make the time and cut out the excuses!!! So your prayer was answered God used you today!

Sarah said...

It always brightens my heart when someone comes back to a close relationship with our Lord...I am filled with happiness for you. I hope this devotional helps you be consistent, because, Lord knows we all struggle with that aspect of our relationship with him. I'd love to hear about the devotional in more detail sometime.

kris said...

my heart is happy for you steph... and i am glad you are heading in the direction/path that He wants you to be on - Life is not about where you are now or where you want to be, but the journey itself, and if rediscovering yourself in the process is what it takes, keep in mind that He is certainly the BEST cruise director/travel agent you could hope for

Melissa said...

Oh my goodness it is not an understatement when I say I know how you are feeling. I had gone through many years of searching for the truth even after being a "good Christian girl" growing up in private school and the church all my life. It still amazes me that I don't know the stories in the Bible like I "ought to." I felt like I was being re-introduced to Jesus two years ago.

What you are going through right now is definitely a calling. This is definitely a time in your life to immerse yourself with elders who can be your spiritual parents. I never knew how important this was until recently. By them sheeparding you, you will be able to shepard to others. My aunt and my grandmother are my major parents and they reflected back to me what my spiritual gifts are. When you know yours, then you know how God wants to use you.

As I am typing this, the part of that song comes to mind that says, "To label me a hypocrite would be only scratching the surface of who I've been." I feel unfit to even be saying these words to you, because I still have so far to go in my walk with the Lord. I am so excited to hear that He is calling to you though. You have such an amazing soul that it doesn't surprise me one bit. This is so expected. And yes during this time we will feel like hypocrites. It is almost scary to say that we want to be more serious about being a follower of Christ, because then it seems like people are watching just waiting to label you a hypocrite. My response to that is that it has nothing to do with being some Bible-beating perfect person. It has everything to do with being honest about how in need we are of a savior. We definitely go through different seasons during this time, but the realness of it all is so precious.

I get what you are saying when you know the Lord is right there with open arms, yet there is something holding us back. With me it is my need to have everything my way. It is so hard to let go of my need for control, but working on this only increases my faith. I would love to talk more with you in person. Or I will listen instead. Sorry for the extremely long response, but I love talking about this because I feel like I am still in the honeymoon phase of my own relationship with Christ.

I am going to have to check into that devotional that you are talking about. Daily time in the word helps so much, but without something structured I start to fall off! My church does a daily devotional online, which I love called the journey. Anyone can do it though.
Ok, talk to you soon. Love you so much!

Amy said...

Ahhh..Steph you have melted my heart. The lord has and will always open his arms for you. I'm so proud of you !! Lots of Love !!