Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Not Forgotten

Dear Friends,

The following is a devotion that I received from our "Keeper's of the Home" Leader, who has been teaching about being a Titus 2 Woman. I hope you are blessed by reading it along with the personal notes she has shared. Although there is much to read, it is sure to be an encouragement.

You Will Not Be Forgotten
By Glynnis Whitwer

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:
With the Lord a day is like a thousand years,
and a thousand years are like a day.”
2 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

Devotion:
When my third child was born, my oldest was three. And they were all active boys!

My husband and I were outnumbered and my life was completely up-ended. For the next three years I couldn’t even go shopping at Target by myself with the kids. While one raced down the aisle, the toddler climbed out of the cart. Meanwhile, the baby, who disliked being confined from the moment of his birth, screamed! I was a mess! I felt like climbing over the cart and racing down the aisle screaming myself.

In those difficult three years I kept trying to regain my old life. An organizer and leader by nature, I’d volunteer to oversee something at church and then make my kids and me miserable trying to get it done. My heart is heavy when I remember the times I dragged my three little boys to one event or another, only to leave angry and in tears because they couldn’t sit still.

Instead of accepting my life as it was, I plowed ahead, wanting to serve God and feeling certain He was pleased with my sacrifices. The problem was that my innocent children made the real sacrifice by enduring my non-stop lifestyle. I wish with all my heart that someone had taken me out to coffee and helped me get some perspective. I was too blind to see.

What I know now is that sometimes God calls us to a new mission field that on the surface looks like we’ve been called out of the “game.” But nothing could be further from the truth! Those three years I was afraid to stop pursuing my goals in case an opportunity might pass me by. Instead I missed the opportunity to minister more deeply to my children passed me by.

Note from Lori:
I've shared with you all that I too as a young wife and mother struggled with this. I thought that by being a home keeper, wife and mother that I was somehow not serving, or out of the "game" so to speak. I have shared with you all how one day during a quiet time I was having with the Lord in His Word....that I felt this huge compelling heart pull to serve on the mission field. I wanted to go so badly and serve the Lord whole heartedly....making sure that my life counted and wanting to lay it down for the Lord. I prayed and cried out to the Lord asking him to please send me and our family out on the mission field....to please use us and allow us to go and do whatever the Lord would have us to....anywhere you want us to go, Lord! Was my cry to him.

Then a still, small, quiet voice spoke to my heart "will you serve me on THIS mission field?" I immediately stopped. "THIS mission field, Lord?!" That still, small voice repeated "yes my daughter, THIS mission field."

God gave me the perspective that day that formed and shaped the following years of seeing my role as wife, mother, and keeper of our home as a GREAT and high calling. He helped me to see how very important and vital a role I was playing in the kingdom of God to serve him upon the mission field he had already placed me upon. The Lord really began a heart work in me, as he helped me to gain his perspective and to become more grateful for the blessing of serving him in my home.


It is a GREAT and mighty thing to be be a help meet to our husbands, to affirm them, honor them, respect them, love them and to work hard to have a marriage that endures a life time!


It is a GREAT and mighty thing to raise arrows for the Lord. Our children will be arrows in the hand of the Lord....reaching far and wide to be his hands and feet to those he calls them to serve. We have a wonderful opportunity to minister, disciple, mentor and invest in the lives of our children....loving them, training them, teaching them, investing in them and in their lives.


Don't let the opportunities the Lord has given you with your husband and children pass you by. Oh that we would redeem the time, and make the most of every opportunity to do good....serving the Lord, right where he's placed us!


Also, sometimes our younger children will say things like "I can't wait till...." They are anxiously awaiting some future blessing or event, and their anticipation and urgency to hurry things up and get to that day....often can cause them to loose the joy of ....THIS day and THIS moment. We always encourage them that while it is fun to look forward to something, we can't allow that to cause us to miss out on all the wonderful things that are right now, right here. None of us knows how long we'll have. We may not even have tomorrow! Let us make the most of ...today. Of THIS moment and THIS day! Rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord.

Second Peter 3:8 says,
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (NIV). Although this verse is speaking about the Lord’s return, I believe it can be applied to any time of “waiting.” God doesn’t see time as we do. Three years seems like an eternity, when it’s really just a breath in time. The first part of verse 9 offers hope to those who think opportunities are passing them by and God has forgotten them: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.”

I wish someone had told me that God would not forget me, that I was right where He wanted me, and that I should relax and see the opportunities He had placed in front of me. (my emphasis) Even though my days felt like years, they really were just a blink. At least, that’s what I know now …

From Lori:


As wives and mothers we are right where the Lord wants us to be. We are on the mission field he has placed us upon. My hearts cry is that we would see the wonderful opportunities we have in our marriages, with our children, and in our homes to serve the Lord...to be HIS hands and His feet to our families. We have been given a great and mighty blessing! I know for me, it helped me to see the importance of what God had called me to do and it helped me to desire to serve my husband and children differently...to be much more...purposeful... as I came to realize what an important role we play as wives and mothers in God's kingdom.


This new realizaton and understanding the Lord was giving me as I spent time with him...helped me so much in my heart attitude and in my behavior towards my home and family. I would iron and see an opportunity to pray for Mark as I ironed his shirts. I would pray for his job, I would pray for him as the leader of our home, I would pray and thank the Lord for him and for all he does to bless our family. I thought about how wonderful it was that I could help him, by making sure that his shirts were ironed. I thought about how it would bless him to have more than one shirt, ironed to choose from in his closet. I took delight in making sure our home was pleasant when he walked in from work. I took more delight in greeting him and in thanking him for working and laying down his life for our family. The Lord helped me to thank Mark so much more...for each kind thing he did for our family.


The Lord was helping me to grow and learn HOW to be grateful...and how to express it. I began to be much more grateful for my role as a stay at home wife and mother. I began to take seriously my need to invest in our children and to really deepen my relationship with them as I came alongside them and taught and trained them each day. I began to take seriously my role as Keeper of our home. I became more committed to learning how to cook, clean, and do things that would make our home an inviting, warm place for our family and for others that might come to visit.


The Lord helped me sooo much to gain HIS perspective, about what my role of serving was to be in my marriage, family and home. He began to help me to not grow weary in well doing. Sometimes the dirty diapers and spilled orange juice seem endless...but as the Lord began to change my heart attitude about serving in my home...I didn't get as frustrated or upset about these things. I began to see each thing as an opportunity to die to "it" whatever that happened to be in that moment. To die to my flesh and to serve wholeheartedly as unto the Lord. I have failed MANY times! But as I have continued to draw close to Jesus, he has been sooo very faithful to come alongside me and equip me and strengthen me. I have been so very blessed that the Lord has continued to help me to stay focused upon my first and foremost calling...to minister to my husband and children. And he's helped me to see how sweet the fruit is of this effort! I am so grateful to have had these past 27 years with my honny. I am so grateful for the grace the Lord has given us, to have these years together!


I am so grateful for the relationships we have with our children. We are soooo enjoying our time with them! We were told to dread the teen years....but we have found them to be awesome and such a blast! While there have been opportunties for our family to serve others throughout the years in a variety of ways....God has really helped me to continue to see the need to make sure we're putting first things....first. And for all of us to see the joy of serving wherever the Lord has placed us!

Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your faithfulness. No matter what my circumstances look like to me, I know You have not forgotten me. Help me to see Your hand in every moment of my day, and to look for ways to serve You and those around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Do You Know Him?

Application Steps:
Identify an area of your life that seems to be put on hold. Instead of rebelling against, ask God what He wants you to learn from it.


Reflections:

What are some of the lies women believe when it looks like God has put their dreams on hold?



If you are in a “holding pattern,” list three reasons to be thankful in the midst of your current situation.


Then, list three ways you can grow spiritually in that same situation.



Power Verses:
Psalm 40:1, “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.” (NIV)

Luke 12:6, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.” (NIV)

Genesis 9:16, “Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." (NIV)

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Thanks for wonderful insight.