Daily Archives: February 7, 2012

She Speaks My Heart

PART TWO OF TWO

Throughout the book “Kisses From Katie”… Katie shares how God prepared her throughout life for what she is doing today.  When I read her words, it speaks to my heart.  I see a similar path I followed, in preparation of my future and how it led me to where I am.

As a parent though, you can understand why one might be concerned… your child, who has everything going for her from a worldly standpoint – willingly changes their course of life, not just a little bit – but in an unimaginable way – just to obey God, while in the process disobeying you.

If she doesn’t believe in a works based salvation… then why on earth would someone do that in this day in age?  Give up modern conveniences, parental approval, and “worldly successes” for… what?  To “follow God’s call”?  Does that sound like a little TOO MUCH God to you?

Well when God calls you to something – you know.  It’s not that you don’t question … why?  or how?… or “are you sure?”  But deep down in your soul – you KNOW the answer He desires for you and anything else just isn’t going to work.

I tell you, it was very humbling to read some of Katie’s journal entries – her struggles, and still – her victory in Christ, and her rejoicing… and yet, in some small way – I could relate.  I don’t live in Uganda, and I have nothing of the circumstances she has… but yet, often times I’m asked,

How do you do it?”… or

Why do you do this…?”

This could be having 8 children in 10 years, being open to life in a world that says two is almost too many (hey I agree, traveling would have been a lot easier!)… home schooling… you name it.  Even about being healthy, people think I must have some super-powers to be able to workout late at night, or not eat myself silly during stressful times…

Honestly?

It’s nothing of me.  I’m NOT special.  I don’t have super powers… and I truly don’t think of me as “doing” any thing as anything other than obedience to His call for us.  Sure, we could have chosen other things – but that wasn’t our calling… and not each call can be the same.  God uses ordinary people – He always has.  That is all I am.  Just like you.

In the book, Katie talks about all of the ordinary people God used – Moses, Jonah, David, Mary, Paul… and then she shared this:

“Sometimes, the everyday routine of my life feels so normal to me.  At other times the idea of raising all these children seems like quite a daunting task.  I realize that since I have chosen an unusual path it is easier for outsiders to look at my life and come to the conclusion that it is something extraordinary.  That I am courageous.  That I am strong.  That I am special.  But I am just a plain girl from Tennessee.  Broken in many ways, sinful and inadequate.  Common and simple with nothing special about me.  Nothing special except I choose to say “yes”.  “Yes” to the things God asks of me and “yes” to the people He places in front of me.  You can too.  I am just an ordinary person.  An ordinary person serving an extraordinary God.”

AMEN.  That about sums it up for me.
So, when you’re feeling like you can’t say NO to that temptation of food… or you’d rather say NO to exercising.  Remind yourself that you’re saying YES to God, and His plan for your health.  It’s okay to say no to things… it means we’re saying yes to something else.  Self-denial is unconventional for sure… but sometimes it’s really worth it.

“For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.”  -Romans 11:29

For what it’s worth, Katie has a blog that tells what she’s up to.  Check it out if you feel led! 🙂

Faith Like Children

PART ONE OF TWO.

My daughter is reading Kisses from Katie, a book about a young woman whose call from God, turned her life in a completely different direction than her parents had planned.  This single, 18 year-old girl left the what most would consider a perfect life in America – to follow Jesus Christ and obey His call for her life…  At now 22 years of age, this single young woman has adopted 11 children, and lives in Uganda.  Undeniably a call from God.

If you haven’t read this, here’s your warning – it’s amazingly powerful and beyond touching.  Faith in action – it’s a beautiful love story.  I have only gotten to read a few tidbits that my daughter brings to me, but each one deeply touches my heart because of her obedience and the message of Christ’s love.

This week, my husband was just getting on the kids about “playing with trash” outside to create a “home” in the garage and on our patio – using various boxes, cartons and packages we had thrown away.  The main issue was them blowing away, but obviously … that they were previously IN the trash.

Then today, I read a journal entry from Katie, where she shared about her children doing something very similar and it spoke right to my heart… and I thought how easily we forget what it’s like to be a child… this is their world, their fun and play.  What a blessing they find such wonderfulness in the simple things.  Yes, even in the things we toss away, and consider trash…  Faith like a child?  There is a reason God makes things so simple, even a child can get it.  Yet, as adults – we continue to complicate things…

Katie’s Journal –

“My goofy, trash-loving children are constant reminders of God.  They look at things that I see as used, broken, and dirty and they see treasure.  Can you imagine?  God looks at everyone broken, old, dirty, probably not a whole lot more exciting than an old toilet paper roll, and sees treasure.  Something He loves dearly, something He would die for.  Wow.

Thank you God for my trash-loving treasure-seeking children.  Thank you for so much laughter in the midst of a difficult week.  Thank You that when I feel old and used-up and broken and no more exciting than a cardboard box, You whisper that You love and value me, and that in Your eyes, I am shiny and new.” 

Beautiful words…  and so true.  Shouldn’t we see our “wrecked” bodies as God does?  Valued, loved and treasured?  IF we’re good enough to die for, shouldn’t we treat our bodies as such?

“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.”  Mark 10:15-16

 

 

 

Bearing Fruit – Self Control

fruit-garden-4

If I didn’t mention before, we are studying the character trait of self-control in school.  (I’m learning a lot!)  Self-control is important in many facets of our lives, and it can be easy to focus on one area and then overlook another.  I stumbled upon this devotional from 2008, written by Rick Warren.  I thought it had some great encouragement that also applied to our journey of being healthy for Him.  The success that’s important, isn’t of the worldly form, but rather … in obedience to God.  Let us bear much fruit to bring Him glory!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Successful people have one obvious trait in common: personal discipline. They are willing to do things that average people are unwilling to do.

It’s my observation that successful people express their self-discipline in six ways:

· Successful people master their moods. They live by their commitments, not their emotions. They do the right thing, even when they don’t feel like it. “A person without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls” (Proverbs 25:28 NLT).

· Successful people watch their words. They put their minds in gear before opening their mouths: “Those who control their tongue will have a long life . . .” (Proverbs 13:3 NLT).

· Successful people restrain their reactions. How much can you take before you lose your cool? “People with good sense restrain their anger; they earn esteem by overlooking wrongs” (Proverbs 19:11 NLT).

· Successful people stick to their schedule. If you don’t determine how you will spend your time, you can be sure that others will decide for you! “So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days” (Ephesians 5:15-16 NLT).

· Successful people manage their money. They learn to live on less than what they make, and they invest the difference. The value of a budget is that it tells your money where you want it to go rather than wondering where it went: “The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get” (Proverbs 21:20 NLT).

· Successful people maintain their health. That way they can accomplish more and enjoy their achievements: “Control your body and live in holiness . . .” (1 Thessalonians 4:4 NLT).”

~*~*~*~*~

Most of you know the Scripture with the fruits of the Spirit.  If not, it’s part of our key Scriptures today… but also, take note of the last part of what God’s Word says.  It’s a key point that is often overlooked.  If we’re living by the Spirit, we will realize our human limitations, short comings, and inadequacies, and we will not set our goals on what other people are doing.  Envy does destroy.  Compare up.  Let your competition be with yourself to become a better you for HIM.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passion and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” – Galatians 5:22-26

%d bloggers like this: