Keeping God First
This past year I . wanted to have a small group of women to disciple either in the small community where I live or with a few Christian women. I recently read a book by Anne Ortlund after hearing her speak on Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Lee DeMoss. The book is Disciplines of the Heart and it reflected the same spirit of warmth and love for the Lord expressed when she spoke. Anne is an older woman, I think in her 80s who has so much to offer us who are younger and still raising our children or coming into the empty-nest years. She never homeschooled her children, yet, she has so much wisdom to offer those who do.
Each year, Anne Ortlund would take a few women and disciple them. Then the next year, those women would do the same for another group of women, starting their own group. I really like this idea and have been praying for such an opportunity. As I still have my family surrounding me, as most of my children still live at home, there is so much to occupy my day in overseeing the homeschooling, cleaning, laundry, ironing, you name it, the list is endless!! My group of women, for the time being, perhaps are those who visit my blog, at least until the Lord opens up another opportunity.
You, my reader, are very important to me. You are especially created the way that God designed you. If you will allow Him, He will transform you, starting on the inside and working to the outside. The outside ought to reflect who you are on the inside, a woman with a unique personality, yet with Christ living through you. I decided that I wanted to become a Titus 2 woman so that some day I could be an example to others. I soon found out that I would always fall short of that desire even if I lived to be 90!! I can become this woman, so long as the Holy Spirit abides in me and I in Him. I hope to stir the same desire in you.
"The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." (Titus 2:3-5)
"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5)
When I started homeschooling, I had just quit my job. I worked the night-shift so that I could be home all day with my children. I learned quickly that if I did not have pencils, papers, books, and such organized, I could waist a lot of time searching for some insignificant item that became extremely important to the point of raising my stress level. If our home was filled with clutter, and the meals were not on the table in a somewhat timely manner, we were soon catapulted into chaos!! I don't do well if life isn't relatively organized. I quickly become flustered and confused!!
"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."
In ordering my day, of greatest importance is my Quiet Time. You will find solutions for the other priorities in your life such as clutter, cleaning, laundry, meals, and your family once you have put the Lord first. Everything goes better when God is in control of your day. There have been different seasons in my life during the past years of being a momma. There have been seasons where it is impossible to actually start my day off with a Quiet Time as a baby or toddler would wake up at 5am!! You may find evenings the best, or when your children take naps. If your children are older, you might find just after breakfast works best. Whatever your day looks like, just be certain to keep your appointment with the Lord and be faithful each day to Him.
I find it so important to find time with the Lord each day. There are enough days when the circumstances are enough to make me faint unless I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13 &14). Have you ever noticed that everything is much worse without having spent time that day with the Lord; or conversely, so much better because you did spend time with Jesus?!
"A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength" (Psalm 24:5)
"If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small." (Psalm 24:10)
Nothing must keep you from God's Word. If your children are little and you are up all night (or almost) and then the baby wakes at 5am....when you begin your day with your children; read the Bible to them if you cannot do it alone because they are already up and needing care. There were days when I had to do this. Maybe your schedule works better than mine did....but if this idea works for you, know that you will be demonstrating how to live your life in Christ. You will demonstrate Who is important in your life!! Jesus!!
Here is a poem by Anne Ortlund (Copyright 1972):
From here to there, and then from there to here
The people of this planet circling roam,
And I, as well, --but, oh, one truth is clear:
I live in God, and God Himself is Home.
From hither and from thither comes the call,
Perhaps to places near, perhaps abroad,
But anywhere I am, and through it all
My heart's at home --for Home is Sovereign God.
To hurry here, and then to scurry there
May be the thing that duty asks of me;
But oh! my heart is tranquil anywhere,
When God Himself is my Tranquility.
Yes, in my heart of heart Shekinah dwells--
The Glorious One, the Highest and the Best;
And deep within, I hear cathedral bells
That call me to devotion and to rest.
Do you just know God? Or do we really know God?
"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death."