Tag Archive | God’s Word

Known

I apologize in advance if this post seems a little poorly put together. Rest assured- it’s real. Me…in real-time. Sometimes getting these thoughts out helps me bring things back into perspective. Not mine…but, GOD’s. If you look at many of the Psalms they kinda flow the same way. Nope. I am not David- but, I MAN do I relate to him. Anyways…

I woke up this morning trying to get a grip on my “feelings”. I put that word in quotes because, while God gave us feelings….they often lie. They can be a little abstract, overwhelming, stubborn, and unruly and they certainly don’t think.

Stupid feelings.

How is it that I can be surrounded and feel alone? I suspect that I am not the only one, but it seems to be a perpetual thing here. (Especially when I dwell on it. Hmm. Maybe there’s something to that.) I think God has been using those same lonely feelings to move me toward lonely people and minister to them and I am thankful for that opportunity. THAT is a positive thing. However, I am keenly aware that Satan would love to keep me in a lonely place and make me ineffective for Christ. It’s a constant battle between truth and feeling.

Last night I was at a school function. This will be our family’s third year at this school and my second year working part-time there. It’s a super small school – so how is it that even some of the teachers don’t know that I work there? Why don’t the parents know who I am? I spend many hours in that building each week and feel invisible. It’s the same thing at church. As a matter of fact, on one particular evening someone needed help in the nursery. The woman I was speaking with introduced herself and proceeded to give me a tour of the nursery and give me a rundown of the procedures. She thought I was a new member. She was completely oblivious to the fact that I had not only taught her son for a few years in a children’s class at that church – but, worked in the nursery for three years and have been attending for eight years. Invisible. I could go on, but I would not allow my kids to wallow in mud like that so I will refrain and move on.

The truth is – I want to be known. Not like KNOWN with lights and a stage, because that is SO not my comfort zone. Not even a “look at me” known with recognition or props. (Hmm…a certain Francesca Battistelli song is coming to mind.)  Just…known. My name. The real one. Not “hey, girl!” or Joanna or Joan, but Joanne. That’s Jo..anne. Yep, just like that. I want someone to know that I have 2 kids and have lived here for 15 years. (My neighbor around the corner saw me out for a walk and asked when I moved in. Seriously.) I want people to see me and look in my eyes and acknowledge that I breathe in the same spaces they do sometimes. A little more than a smile and a nod would be nice.  Uggh…guilty and convicted… I have to be better at doing that as well.

The truth is – people don’t look up often enough. Myself included. And I am not just talking about “looking up” as in making eye contact with others but, “looking UP”…like, UP…UP. We get so wrapped up in the temporal things; the things we see, taste, touch, hear and smell.  This loneliness thing STINKS- I can smell that! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in Me, myself and I.

The truth is –  if I let those “feelings” govern me instead of God’s truth, my sinful self will end up in pretty bad shape. This morning when I Googled “What does the Bible say about feelings?”, the word FOOL was prevalent among the scriptural results. There was even one scripture in Proverbs that made me wonder if I should delete this post…”A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in til afterward.” (Proverbs 29:11). Yikes. I guess it technically IS “afterward” because I waited til morning, right?

The truth is- I am known…

Known by God (Galatians 4:9, 1 Corinthians 3:8)

And HE knows me well…

Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Oh, Lord….Help me to remember whose I am. And to focus on all You are and not how short I fall. When I FEEL lonely help me to lift my eyes and see others and look higher to see You. Lord, I take comfort in knowing that YOU know me and loved me so much that You sent Your son to die for me. I am known by name and You see my heart and not my outward appearance. I am known by You, LORD, and need to let YOUR light so shine before men so that they may know You, too.  

So there…take that, Stupid Feelings.

 

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Flat Water

In May, I found a new hobby: Kayaking! My hubby hadn’t been since our oldest was born and I had never tried it. Since we are surrounded by water, it seemed like a good idea. We now have a whole family of kayaks and this has become an activity that we can do together. It has been a real blessing!

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Our daughter’s favorite part is seeing the cranes and turtles along the way. I have always liked being on or near the water so I feel like I have found “home”. My husband is eager for the day when we all become comfortable and confident enough to set out onto “bigger water” so he can catch some fish. And our son…well, he is getting a bit bored waiting for adventure outside of the little marsh we have been practicing in. But, he is also a little cautious and apprehensive to go out into unknown territory.

Until Tuesday….

This past Tuesday, we went out after hubby got home from work. We always go in the evenings and the water has always been choppy at our entry and then calmer as we enter the marsh. Tuesday, something was different.

FLAT WATER. It was like glass.

It was absolutely beautiful and calm and PERFECT! My hubby and six-year-old daughter put their boats in first and paddled out. This time, not into the marsh…but, into bigger water. My son was a little apprehensive to head into the “unknown”, but once we were off shore his sense of adventure kicked in and he was invigorated. “Mom, look at that! Do you see that dock? Can we paddle there?” And then my favorite…”Mom, is that the end of the world?!” HA! Mercy! While he knows that the earth is round, this made for some great discussion about the early explorers and the horizon line. Of all the times we have been kayaking this summer, this night was my absolute favorite.

A few weeks ago we got a life vest for our dog, Cooper. We decided that we need to start taking him with us more often because we have not done a good job making him feel like part of our pack. The first time, he jumped out of the boat thinking that he could just walk across to me…then he sank and had to swim. His eyes were huge as he hit the water! This was Cooper’s second trip out in the kayak and he is still uncertain. As I paddled up behind my hubby, Cooper was growling and barking at a tree limb that was poking through the surface of the glassy river. He is not quite sure what to make of all this just yet.

Mid way through our exciting adventure onto flat water, our daughter got a little tired. My hubby threw her a line and she tied on so he could pull her for a while and give her rest. Cooper, then, transferred into my boat. In an instant, my peaceful flat water paddle became very interesting. My kayak is a sit-on-top, which means that there are no sides. When Cooper sat down he wasn’t sure of his boundaries and occasionally his foot would slip off or he’d dip his tail into the water. He couldn’t just trust…sit…rest. I found myself getting a bit frustrated. It was perfectly calm water! Why couldn’t he just lay down and chill?!

Cooper was trying to see my husband so he’d lean to the left…and all of a sudden my boat would make a sharp turn left. He saw something in the water so he would lean right…and my boat would track hard right. As he leaned, I fought against him. Even though it was perfectly calm, glassy, flat water…I had to paddle twice as hard that night to counter Cooper’s every move.

This morning in my study time the Lord pressed on me hard. I am not trusting right now. He is still in control and I am leaning. In my morning study, there was a story of a backseat driver that the author labeled as a “panicky passenger”. I am studying in the Women of Faith study “Giving God Your All”. This morning took me to the chapter called “Putting it in God’s Hands”.

Panicky passengers “… are the ones who ride with a white-knuckle grip on their armrests. It doesn’t take much to evoke little gasps of fear from them-changing traffic lights, the sight of brake lights ahead, low-flying birds.” The author goes on to suggest that we often try to take God’s place in the driver’s seat or she says “maybe you’re more like the panicky passenger, not quite trusting the driver to get you safely to your destination.”

This is the scripture that the Lord brought to me this morning through that study:

 How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.  Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Isaiah 30:19-21

 I have been enjoying some pretty flat water lately. This summer has been a blessing in so many ways. But, this week I have allowed anxiety to flair up and -like Cooper- I am not trusting…sitting…resting. I cannot see under the surface. There are changes coming in the near future and with change comes some uncertainty. Instead of becoming excited and invigorated by this new “big water” experience, I find myself behaving like Cooper. Leaning…looking…frantic.  It’s flat water and I feel like I am paddling twice as hard just to counter my own movement.

If I would just BE STILL.

Yesterday, I found myself crumbled into a pile on the shower floor crying out to the Lord. I could hardly breathe and I felt as if I might drown in those tears. But, I know that the Lord heard me. Now I just have to listen for that voice, “This is the way, walk in it.”

Pray for me in the coming days. Our kids are starting a new school and while they are fine…I am anxious. Do I need to go back to work? Or am I supposed to be still and trust the Lord to provide? I wish I knew what was just under that glassy surface. In the meantime, I need peace and to believe Isaiah 26:3.

You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.

Adjust the Sails

I have been tired and stressed for a while now. I keep casting my anxieties and then picking them back up. So when my girlfriend reminded me that a weekend was long overdue, I jumped at the opportunity to escape the storms.

Perusing the nautically inspired wares while wandering a small bay side town- I found it.

A towel. Yup…a towel.

I looked at it and then walked away.

I came back to it and took a picture…and walked away.

I finally purchased it so I could take it home with me as a constant reminder.

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A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”

Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other,

“Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Mark 4:37-41

No, I can’t control the wind. But, He can. When the storms come, I need to be quicker and more diligent about adjusting my sails while praying for God’s will.

Amen.

I feel like I should end this post here.

But, in my travels there were some other reminders of God’s presence that I want to share.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Psalm 97:1-2

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Psalm 97:1-2

Psalm 51: reflections in the spin cycle

Another snow day; the third one this week. I have been sick for two weeks and have so much catching up to do. When it snows and rains like this, it’s best to save the septic field and refrain from doing too much laundry at home. After being down and out- the laundry has piled up higher than the mounds of plowed and drifted snow. Time for the laundromat.wpid-20150306_104041.jpg

The kids brought books to read while we waited. I assured them that it would be a reasonably short visit because we could do the drying at home. I was completely taken off guard when they reacted the way they did. The books and coats went into a chair by the window…they flipped over two of the three laundry baskets…and each took a seat.

Front row for the big show.

He practically had his face pressed up on the glass the whole time and only moved away long enough to float to one of the other machines. When the spin cycle began, they were whipped into a frenzy! To them, it looked like the clothes in the machine had just disappeared as the centrifugal force pressed them firmly against the inner walls  of the 62 lb. capacity beast.  A young couple sitting nearby began to laugh…who knew that laundry could be such a wondrous and magical experience.

They had never seen a front load washing machine before.

Two hillbillies in the big city.

Laundry. They were mesmerized, entertained, and positively pleased as punch.

I miss those times. Two years ago I could look at a tree in a storm as the leaves turned up to welcome the rain…and see God. There was wonder in my coffee, the clouds in the sky…God was evident everywhere. Even in all of the chaos of life, I was the one pressed up against the glass watching in amazement and awe as the spinning melted into the walls and God was at the center. There are seasons. God is always present…always working…always active. Sometimes we sit at the feet of Jesus and learn…and watch. Other times we are Martha, diligently working on the things He has given us to do.

This Martha season has been complicated and blessed. There are tasks that He has placed in my path…people…needs. I have been listening, and started out following His lead quietly. It was awesome! I could see how God was weaving people and situations together- all in one load. But, then the spinning started. I’ve gotten caught in the spin cycle. I don’t want to say “yes”–I don’t want to say “no”. I am spinning with my back pressed against the wall and everything is being squeezed out of me. It’s too fast. I am tired. And I am too loud about it. I have been too loud about my feelings and frustrations. I have been too loud about some of the excitement in my world…good news and bad. I have quickly become overwhelmed and now I have found out that I am overwhelming people around me. I need balance…AGAIN. So now I am feeling a bit alone in the spin cycle and the anxiety is creeping in. Feelings. The reality may not be overwhelming, but when the feelings are added in- Satan get’s the upper hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

It’s time to very intentionally focus on God, not the things that make me anxious. [AGAIN] Not how I fail [STILL].

Psalm 51 is near and dear to me and I have found myself meditating on it a lot this week.

Just be quiet. That may be a good start. Oh, Lord. Please hit the reset button. My spirit is downcast within me.

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
    you who are God my Savior,
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
    in burnt offerings offered whole;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

When everything has been squeezed out of me, there is a big void that only God can fill. I eagerly await that joy and willing spirit; His sustenance.

I have no idea what’s next. I feel like I haven’t had much to write here lately and am wondering if this season has passed, too. (The spammers have written more on my site than I have in the past year!)But, I will be still and wait. Maybe the spin cycle will stop- then, I can exit the spin and sit with my face pressed to the glass. When the spin starts again I want this perspective. I want this vantage point. I want to see all of the chaos melt away with God in the center – clearly. But, that’s what I want. I wonder what God’s plans are?

I have to focus on God’s plans. Not mine.

I must have FULL faith, because God is faithFUL. ALL THE TIME.

Not just another “$500 Story”

I know that I have likely mentioned the Priscilla Shirer study One in a Million on more than one occasion. It was one that I did with a close friend at a time when I was walking through a wilderness in life. But, it’s in those wilderness places…in sometimes painful isolation…where we can hear God the clearest if we stop screaming long enough. I am thankful for that time and all of the many things God taught me while I was there.

In this study, Priscilla told of “The $500 Story”. When she was a child and her father (Tony Evans) was in seminary, times were tight. They were making due, but her mother cried out in tears one night because they were in need. 500 dollars. That’s all they needed to make ends meet. So, they went to the Lord in prayer. The next day, Priscilla’s father went to school and opened his on-campus mailbox….only to find a money order for $500. During this portion of the study, Priscilla said that her parents remember that story still today “as a sign of God’s hand on their lives during a wilderness experience.” She writes, “The story serves as a reminder of God’s faithfulness…and encourages them to rely on God in the good times and the rough, resting in the knowledge that God is always in control.” (from One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer)

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I have been a big advocate of writing down prayers and encourage people to make it a practice. Whether it’s a simple list that you pray over, or a specific prayer written like a letter to God himself- here is such a wonderful aspect of this practice that brings blessing upon blessing. Priscilla encourages us in this portion of the study to remember some “$500 Stories” that we can hang onto in the dry seasons. Keeping prayers in my journal makes those stories stand out. When God answers prayer, I go back in my journal and make note of how and what He did. Sometimes He answers in an unexpected way- but, He answers.

This week, I wanted to share one of those stories with you.

Last April, I had a routine medical test done. Nothing fancy, no special need or circumstance- just a test. Through a series of blunders (that I will gladly spare you from) I received a letter from our insurance company that they were declining to pay for that test. I was shocked. But, even more so- I didn’t know what to do. I started making phone calls and called upon my past experience as an insurance agent to get to the bottom of this matter. (Or at least try.) I thought the matter had been handled. However, this Monday- 4 days ago- I found out that it was not resolved. So here I am, staring down the barrel of a $2000 medical bill. And I realized something. I couldn’t remember ever praying specifically about this matter. I’d look through my prayer journals, but no…I really can’t recall a time. So instead of looking back, I decided to lean forward. I prayed.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

James 1:5-8

I needed wisdom. I relied on my own experience before and it got me nowhere. How did I not pray about this? “Ok…God…it’s yours.” I prayed and wrote it down in my journal. I prayed that God would place the right people in the way to see this situation clearly. It wasn’t just a financial perspective, there were other factors. I asked for the Lord to show them the whole picture. Furthermore, I didn’t want to ask Him to be completely off the hook for this bill. I knew that a service was rendered and that it is customary for that service to have a fee attached. I asked the Lord to somehow have that fee reduced so we could be responsible and pay for it. I prayed for the sweet lady I spoke with on the phone that day, Zineb. I prayed that she would be patient with me, and I with her. And I would reflect the character of Christ when speaking with her to resolve the matter. Then I closed my journal.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Thursday, January 15th…three days later. Shortly before 3pm, I received a call from sweet Zineb. In response to the good news coming from her lips- the only thing I could say was “Praise the LORD!”. I thanked her for her willingness and diligence. God made a way. The bill has been reduced to $350. Instead of a $500 story- God gave me a $1650 story! I went to my prayer journal and wrote an answer and date on the page that contained the initial prayer and petition. Then I opened a fresh page to give thanks. Indeed. Praise the Lord!

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

John 14:13-14

SO THAT THE FATHER MAY BE GLORIFIED IN THE SON.

I am not telling you this because I am happy that my bill was reduced. I am not telling you because God was quick to answer. I am sharing this so you will know and understand how awesome God is and how much He cares. So that He may be glorified! And this is another story…another response to prayer that I will hold in my heart for the tough days. I know God is good. ALL THE TIME. I don’t want to be like the Israelites who wandered the desert and forgot one miracle after another. God provided- Always and often. Yet, they seemed to forget so quickly.

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:3-4

No, God is not the slot machine that some preachers would make Him out to be. You cannot insert a prayer and pull the arm expecting prosperity and blessing. As for blessings: they don’t just come in the form of happy things and easy times. God blesses us infinitely through the trials and struggles we endure as we lean closer to Him. TRUST in the Lord…Take DELIGHT in the Lord. Your desire will be for Him and He will give you the desires of your heart and all to His glory.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:26-28

This year I challenge you to keep a prayer journal. It will not only encourage regular, dedicated time for thoughtful prayer –  but, will also serve as a reminder of His infinite mercy, provision, and grace and love in your life.

Quiet

Happy New Year!

These past several weeks have been a whirlwind of activity and travel for our family.

Christmas programs at church and school…illness…Christmas…a drive to and from Florida to see family…hubby’s birthday…removal of a dead Christmas tree and our first Upward basketball games of the season upon our return…laundry…laundry…more laundry. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why I scheduled TWO appointments for myself today. TWO! There is no food in the pantry or fridge and it is not likely that I will be getting to the grocery store today either. I see Chinese food in our future.

Welcome to a new year. But, wait…a word from God.

Quiet.

11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. (NIV)

11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.(KJV)

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

This is the scripture that God has been pressing on me for the past month. “QUIET”. But, how can I be quiet at a time when I feel that he is pushing me out the door…out of these four walls…and into serving others? I don’t get it.

The same day that God gave me that rhema, I received my Christmas gift in the mail. This year for Christmas, I got myself the Websters 1828 Dictionary.

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How timely! I opened the seal and looked up that word “quiet” and what I found illuminated this scripture for me and helped me understand how being quiet is really an active word.

QUI’ET, adjective [Latin quietus.]

1. Still; being in a state of rest; not moving. Judges 16:2.

2. Still; free from alarm or disturbance; unmolested; as a quiet life.

In his days the land was quiet ten years. 2 Chronicles 14:1.

3. Peaceable; not turbulent; not giving offense; not exciting controversy, disorder or trouble; mild; meek; contented.

The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. 1 Peter 3:4.

1 Thessalonians 4:11.

4. Calm; not agitated by wind; as a quiet sea or atmosphere.

5. Smooth; unruffled.

6. Undisturbed; unmolested; as the quiet possession or enjoyment of an estate.

7. Not crying; not restless; as a quiet child.

QUI’ET, noun [Latin quies.]

1. Rest; repose; stillness; the state of a thing not in motion.

2. Tranquility; freedom from disturbance or alarm; civil or political repose. Our country enjoys quiet

3. Peace; security. Judges 18:7.

QUI’ET, verb transitive

1. To stop motion; to still; to reduce to a state of rest; as, to quiet corporeal motion.

2. To calm; to appease; to pacify; to lull; to tranquilize; as, to quiet the soul when agitated; to quiet the passions; to quiet the clamors of a nation; toquiet the disorders of a city or town.

3. To allay; to suppress; as, to quiet pain or grief.

Wow.

A state of rest…as in resting in the Lord. To quiet disorders, pain or grief. Not crying or restless. Calm, not agitated. Peaceable, not exciting controversy. Meek and mild.

So it’s not just about shutting my mouth and minding my own business. It’s shutting my mouth, listening to God, seeking to follow His lead. “Minding my own business” is for me to tend to the business HE gives me…not in closing myself off and keeping to myself. In pulling me out of my comfy walls, God wants me to minister to others…pull up along side of them quietly and not be in the forefront.

Yesterday, after church, God expanded on this in the form of a slew of scripture. I was writing it all down in my prayer journal and could hardly keep up!

Do not do before men (Matthew 6:1-4), but use the gifts I have been given by God to serve others faithfully so that the praise and glory go to God (1 Peter 4:10). I must be humble and to DAILY cast my anxieties …especially the ones about getting outside of my little safe comfort zone…on the Lord because He cares for me (James 4:10, 1 Peter 5:6-7). I need to continually pray- and ask you all to pray for me- that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given to me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel (Ephesians 6:19) and that no unwholesome talk will leave my lips…only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29). I must remember to commit my plans to the Lord daily. And anything I do or say must be for God, with strength given by God, giving thanks TO God though Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:17). I need to be ready and willing and He will make me able. For if I am willing, the gift is acceptable according to what God has given me…not according to what I lack (2 Corinthians 8:12).

Quiet. Listening. Doing. Not overtly – but covertly. Out of the overflow of the Holy Spirit in me…Good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over (Luke 6).

It’s not to say that I haven’t been following God’s lead prior to today, but I have been resisting leaving my comfortable four walls.

“It’s OK. I’ve got this. Just be quiet and keep your nose down. Work diligently with what I have given you and on the things I have given you to do. Quiet. Shhhhh. Apply my healing balm to others around you…pacify their souls. Be faithful with a few things and I will charge you with many things and you will share in My happiness…lacking nothing.” That’s the rhema -the Word- that God has given me for this new year.

So…Now what?I guess only God knows. I just have to be quiet enough to hear.