In case you're not familiar with this book, it's a daily devotional by Sarah Young, and each day is written from the perspective of Jesus speaking directly to you. She uses scriptures to develop this "conversation" and it is such a great way to start the day. It has helped me to be more intentional in abiding with Christ throughout the week.
Anyway, today I have been pretty much bombarded with reminders to be patient and be present. Which is particularly timely because last night at Bible study, I told the girls I needed prayer for patience, and Amy prayed over me that I would also remember to enjoy each day and not focus too much on what I'm hoping for the near (or more distant) future.
So I wasn't surprised when I read today's Jesus Calling... (See below the image for the text typed out more clearly and with personal emphasis.)
"I am with you and for you. When you decide on a course of action that is in line with My will, nothing in heaven or on earth can stop you. You may encounter obstacles as you move toward your goal, but don't be discouraged -- never give up! With My help, you can overcome any obstacle. Do not expect an easy path as you journey hand in hand with Me, but do remember that I, your very-present Helper, am omnipotent.
Much, much stress results from your wanting to make things happen before their times have come. One of the main ways I assert My sovereignty is in the timing of events. If you want to stay close to Me and do things My way, ask Me to show you the path forward moment by moment. Instead of dashing headlong toward your goal, let Me set the pace. Slow down, and enjoy the journey in My presence."
As if that wasn't enough of a message from the Lord, I walked into work today and flipped my little daily calendar to January 9th and read:
"Let's live for today, trust for tomorrow, and put all our hope in God."May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. --Romans 15:13 NIV
I mean...okay, God. Message received!
I'm really excited for this year, because I feel like it is going to bring some big things for Joe and me. But I am also feeling myself get caught up in where we want to be rather than patiently seeking God and enjoying where we are right now.
If this sounds vague, let me give a little more detail. We are seriously looking into a way to get out of our current home (which we own and are upside-down on) and into something bigger, with a primary goal of being able to start a family in a place with at least two bedrooms. So the notion that having a baby could become a reality in the next year or so is EXTREMELY exciting for me. But I needed today's reminders that my life doesn't have to be on hold until that happens. Being a mom is something I have always wanted, but it's not ALL I want and it's not all that matters. I need to continue to focus on the fact that I have an amazing husband and some amazing friends and there are a lot of really cool things that I can do or learn or accomplish which will be much easier to achieve before kids come along. And God's timing is perfect, even if it feels slow to me at times.
I am SO thankful that Joe and I have had three years (and counting) to be a family of two. We've needed that time to grow closer together and get through some tough stuff that would've been way harder if we had had kids already. And I'm finally learning to be a more organized and tidy person, which will make motherhood at least a teensy bit less chaotic than if we'd had a kid two years ago when I was sloppy and frantic and had no clue how to keep a clean house. (I'm still learning, but I'm getting there.)
It's easy, looking back, to see how blessed we've been to have time to ourselves. What's hard is feeling like I'm ready -- in my heart -- to be a mom soon, yet not dropping every other interest or activity to pursue a baby with total tunnel vision that would keep me from seeing what else God has in store for me RIGHT NOW. Because I want what He wants for me. I really do! I just need to pray for Him to show me what that is and give me the patience and excitement to pursue His will in HIS time. I feel like "Lord, set the pace!" is going to be a much-repeated prayer this year.
So, yeah. This is what God is teaching me today and probably throughout 2013. In fact, maybe I should do the trendy new thing where people choose a word or phrase to define their year. Why not?
Here we go: my phrase for the year is...
Be patient; be present.