Friday, May 6, 2011

Goodbye Martha

I think I may be related to that Martha girl in the Bible. I find myself acting like her a lot. I am a chronic “To-Do” list girl. Pretty much every day I have one with 8+ items on it.

This morning as I got up early to prepare to babysit a friends baby, my flesh wanted to start cleaning & “doing”. It was a strange sensation. Not the fact that I wanted to clean, just the fact that I recognized the temptation, the pull on my flesh. As I grabbed some coffee I said out loud “Nope. I’ve been doing that too often & I know where that leads. I always reap what I sow during the day.” I grabbed my Bible & put on some worship music & started talking to Jesus.

Now Im not saying people must have set aside time with the Lord in the morning. I’m just saying that I must. I have to get my head straight. My priorities have to change & if thats gonna happen I have to start my day by submitting all my thoughts of what a productive day would look like to the only One who can make me productive.

The word says in Psalm 127, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Are you trying to “build” your house on your own? Are you trying to be a Godly spouse, a great mother or father, a “good” worker on your own? I find that I do often. Even when I have good days, without inviting the Lord in on it, its all for nothing. How many hats are you wearing and attempting to keep from toppling all in your own strength? I know I wear far too many. Today I’m taking a bunch off.

If we are going to be like Jesus & grow & produce fruit, we have to keep His heart & His desires as ours. Jesus says in John 14 “Anyone who loves me will obey my commandments.” In Matthew 22 Jesus tells us His greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord with all your heart, mind & soul, & love your neighbor as yourself.”

Based on this, my to-do list has high priorities and low. The high ones include worshiping often, making sure my husband feels loved & welcomed as he returns from his trip, making sure my kids are really aware how much I love them just for who they are, not because they “do” anything that makes me love them more, & talking to Jesus often throughout my day. I wrote them down. These are my top priorities that fall in line with Gods commandment to love Him & love people.

My low priorities are all the ones I used to keep high like working my business, doing the laundry, working out, cleaning the bathrooms, running errands. I need to be ok if these don’t get done & NOT ok if the high priorities don’t.

May today be the day you & I say “No” to the things that don’t further Gods kingdom in order to say “Yes” to the things that do. May the things on our “to-do” list not make us FEEL more productive or successful, but may they be things that instead transform our life and the lives of those around us. May you & I not labor in vain one more day, wasting our lives on things that won’t satisfy & fade away, but instead realize whats truly important, loving God & loving people.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fruit by Bekah....Not

Yesterday sucked.  I knew even walking through the day it sucked because of me, my choices, my poor perspective, my attitude, but even still I continued to let it suck.  Ever do that?  I did it for 3 days straight.  This morning I decided I was sick of the days being miserable.  I am sick of yelling at my kids, feeling full of anxiety and overwhelmed when I can’t “control” things.  
I turned to Jesus & asked for help.  Real help, not a good little “Jesus fix” to get me through the day.  Something has to change.  I don’t want to be the way I am & I don’t want to have 2 good days only to go back to my old ways after that.  I want to see fruit.  Do you ever get sick of seasons you feel like you’re not seeing any fruit in your life?  I do.  I’m in one now.  I want out.  I want to grow & experience change in the areas that continue to press down and discourage me.  I want to walk in in the truth that sets me free.  Truly free.
As I took time to ask Jesus for help, I realized I want to see fruit for free, based on my ability to produce it.  Ha! Like I could ever produce anything on my own.  And yet knowing this to be true, my foolish flesh goes back time & time again thinking I can.
I try to change my attitude on my own.  Oh don’t get me wrong, I’ll throw up a few “Help me Jesus” prayers here & there but theres no real meditating on His truth that sets me free.  Theres no real conversations going on to discuss the matters.  Unless you count my one sided conversation in which I talk, Jesus listens, & then Im off to the next thing on the to-do list because who has time to wait for Him to respond?
Something has to change & its me.  Its my priorities.  I know the key is all in knowing Jesus more.  I started wrestling in my mind about this.  Sometimes my flesh gets in the way & I feel like I already know Jesus.  How can I know Him better?  I don’t know what TO DO.  As if everything should be a quick simple formula fix & if I follow A, B, & C, I will then immediately know Jesus better & my problems will be fixed. 
It is simple, but its not a quick fix.  The Lord showed me John 15:4-5,8
“Abide in me & I in you.  As the branch CANNOT BEAR FRUIT OF ITSELF unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me.  I am the vine & you are the branches, he who abides in me & I in him, he bears much fruit for apart from me you can do NOTHING.  8 By this is My Father glorified that you bear much fruit & so prove to be my disciples.
This is the truth that is setting me free this morning.  Abiding in Him is the key.  Taking the time to let Him be my teacher & not allowing life to get in the way of knowing Jesus.  I get one life to live, & this day I am in now I won’t get back.  Today I choose to fix my thoughts on Jesus, remembering I am a NEW creation, the old is past, the new has come.  I choose to draw my strength from Him & be the woman He created me to be.  Why don’t you join me?