It’s obviously been very busy in my world as this blog has been shoved to the back of the pile. And even when I’ve thought that I should blog or I want to, I haven’t been able to get my thoughts out. Just too much going on right now. However, we’re way overdue. So let’s get at it and see what happens.
In the midst of teaching my class on missions for the Bible school, I’ve also been doing a lot of research. Yet this time, as I read about missions, it’s with the dual purpose of also trying to find things that will aid us in our own journey. And honestly, as much as I love reading about church, church culture, church methodology, how to do missions, how we should do missions, how not to do missions, I also get really burned out on man’s opinions. I’ve noticed I get really uptight after reading so many articles for and/or against things that we do our Christian world. I get irritated that people can’t just look at the Word first but would rather debate their own thoughts, theories, and opinions. It makes me feel kind of ill. Yet I keep reading, because I want to help people avoid pit falls. I want to teach others to be successful at what God has called them to. But more and more I’m realizing that every method, perfect theology, or right on opinion is nothing if it’s not grounded in the Word and the Holy Spirit. And truly, I could waste all my precious moments of preparation time by reading all this stuff, when really, the best preparation I could is just spend time with Him.
So as busy as we’ve been, and as loud as life with three kids is, I’m just finding that I NEED quiet time. I need to find five minutes of just quiet. Quietly reflecting on Him, quietly getting my emotions balanced, quietly getting my perspective focused on Him, and just being quiet enough to hear Him.
And just a silly example that I’m sure most moms can relate to . . . I hurriedly got up this morning to help get Ryde ready for school. Mark took him to the school while I finished dressing Ezra in his Wolverine costume (He basically wears a costume wherever we go now; the joy of 3 year olds.) and getting Edie changed and ready. Then we hopped in the car to take Mark to work. We got back home, and I popped in a dvd that the boys had checked out from the library and laid Edie down for a nap while I showered. Meanwhile, my sister came over to watch the kids as I had to run to the doctor. While I’m waiting in the doctor’s office, I get a text from my sister that says “that dvd you put in for Ez is full of cussing.” Then she fills me in on what he has just watched for 30 minutes . . . totally not great. Total mom fail. And what makes it a fail is that when I hopped in the shower I had wondered if I should let him watch something that I had not watched with him previously. But I threw that thought out due to lack of time. Live and learn. And I didn’t beat myself up over it as Ezzy didn’t have any clue what the words meant. So no harm (hopefully) done. But I thought about it all day as I thought it’s those moments that I’m really blowing right now because I’m in too big of a hurry. I’m too busy to listen to that quiet voice that is urging me to use wisdom. And when we’ve hit that point, I think we’ve crossed the line of being far too busy.
Yet I also think that when we’re not paying attention to the still small voice we’re blowing it in all kinds of areas of life. We’re getting into a lifestyle that we’re not meant to be in. And that’s been me all week. By this past Saturday, I was so uptight, so stressed, so working on legal issues, immigration issues, meeting notes, class notes, laundry, etc. that I was like a continually spewing volcano of stress and frustration. I was not a fun person to be near; in fact, Mark took the boys all Saturday afternoon and they even had to go “help” him with his cleaning job. That’s how in need of quiet and peace I was. And it was all due to my own pressures, my own frustrations, and my lacking to get into His presence to listen, to recharge, and to be sensitive enough to His Spirit to know when I need to just calm down and stop.
So I’m learning some important lessons as we’re under pressure right now. And I know God is telling me to look to Him and to trust Him. He’s telling me to take my nose out of the research and immigration paperwork and set my heart on Him. He has got all of this. All of it! My job is to listen and to be led. His job is to lead and to instruct me. He is faithful; will I trust in His faithfulness, His leading, and His teaching me? And it brings me back to my point above. As I read about failure on the mission field, or statistics regarding how the American church has done it wrong, or man’s studies and theory on how to do it all correctly, I just wonder how much time has been and is spent before the Lord, pondering these questions, asking for His wisdom, and seeking His solutions. Maybe a lot? Or maybe a little? I’m pretty sure though that the ones who are “doing church/missions well” are the ones who are making time in His presence and in His Word first priority in their lives. I’m quite positive that God is able to download excellent ways to do ministry into those who are seeking Him first. And I’m determining that this business of seeking Him first has to become the first thing in my life. As hard as it is to get up in the morning, as hard as it is to find quiet, and as much as my schedule seems overwhelming, I need to put first things first . . . even before my decaf cup of Dazbog French Roast. 🙂