Today I opened a new devotional that a sweet new friend gave to me. It's called "At the Feet of Jesus-Daily Devotions to Nurture a Mary Heart" by Joanna Weaver.
Even more precious for me is that the woman who gave it to me exemplifies someone with a Mary heart who truly does sit at the feet of Jesus, Joanna Weaver herself.
As I opened the book I couldn't wait to see what I would read on the July 21st date. I was preparing myself to be blown away.
Funny thing is, I was, but not in the way that I thought. I was blown away in the simplicity of the stillness that this days devotional writing brought, and how it basically stopped me in my tracks.
The devotion pulled from a book called "The Indwelling Life of Christ" where Major Ian Thomas talked about our lives being lived for Christ. At the end of this Joanna points the reader to Acts 4:13
"Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."
Joanna then asks the simple, yet powerful question "What would you like people to note about your life?"
There it was...BOOM. It hit me like a ton of bricks. The way it spoke to me, it wasn't asking about all the believers who come to my concerts, the women I speak to at retreats, the readers of my blogs, my children, my husband and all those who think so highly of me. For me, it was asking what do I want the people of this world, those who are lost, hurting, without Christ, living in the dark to take note about my life. What do I want THEM to see.
It made me reflect and ask myself, what does the world see through me. It reminded me that the world IS taking note whether I like it or not. It caused me to pause, it caused me to pray. It caused me to think about my response.
So, as a reminder to me, to keep me accountable, I want to share it with you. This is what I wrote down...
"That I trust God...no matter what...good, bad, joy, uncertain times. That I simply believe what He says."
More eloquently translated, I want the world to somehow take note that in times of trouble and pain, I kept my head up when most people would have hunched over in despair, because there was something greater than me, greater than my circumstances that kept my head up even when I didn't have the strength to lift it.
I want the world to know that in times of joy, that I lived for something beyond my own ambitions and the things that brought me true joy may not have been the things that most people would have strived to live for. I hope they would see that there was a quiet and boisterous joy that overflowed in my life, a joy that knew how to rejoice with others, a joy that knew how to rejoice in pain even if the world thought I was crazy.
I hope they would take note of these things and then ask themselves "Why?" and I pray that they would see clearly through their seeking that it was and is Jesus, simply, powerfully and inexplicably Jesus. Jesus, Jesus.
My friend, this day, I ask you the same question that Joanna asked me through her book "What would you like people to note about YOUR life?"
I love you in the Lord, Mia
If you have read my writings in the past or followed my adventures for any length of time, you may have noticed that I love to hike, I love to push my limits. Pretty much, every time time that I get out on the trail, God has a word for me. Today, was no exception. I hit the trailhead early this morning to beat the 100+ degree heat and powered up the first incline.
I planned my trip. I would go up the mountain down and follow the long trail around the mountain before heading back. Immediately, I heard God say, "No, you are not to go on the long trail today." For me, hearing His voice takes form in those words that jump into my mind, invade my Spirit and move my heart and gut. It is a voice that He has trained me well to hear, to know and to discern that it is Him and knowing this voice has taught me to obey.
Upon hearing my new directive, I said ok, I will just go up the mountain and down to my prayer spot before I make the decent back down to my car. Again, I heard Him say, "No, you may only go to the top, sit there and then head right back down" To this, I simply said ok, makes no sense to me, but I will do what you say, you must have your reasons.
In my life, I have found a few different reasons why God gives me specific directions. A few of them being:
1. For my good and wellbeing (Jeremiah 29:11)
2. Gives me opportunities to obey (Deuteronomy 5:27; Psalm 119:34;
3. Trains me to recognize and know His voice, so the next time He speaks for my safety and well being, I will know His voice and not hesitate to obey. (John 10:4; John 10:27)
To give you a little background info, that I neglected to take into account at the time, my hike today was only the 3rd hike in the past 2 weeks. Typically, I am on the trail at least 5 times a week. I had taken time off from exercise because I was battling illness and my body was simply worn and fatigued. During those times, I do not like to push it, so I rest.
While I was feeling great today, ready to take on the world, what I didn't know is that about half way in, my body would remind me that I am not where I was two weeks ago. I became very tired, very quickly and by the time I nearly reached the top my lungs were crying for rest. Had I pushed myself to go on, I would have been much worse for the wear.
Those words that God gave me as I began the accent and made my plans, were not only words for me to obey, and discern His voice, but they were for my well being. God knew I would tucker out. God knew that on my own, I probably would have kept going and been out several miles without the ability to turn back. Would I have survived?... sure, but the joy of knowing and being reminded that God has my back in the littlest of things, strengthened my faith to know that He has my back in the difficult things as well, those times when I feel like my world is caving in.
He knows the plans He has for me and they are good. And it's not just me...It's for you too, you who are called according to His purposes!! He knows the plans He has for YOU, and friend, they are oh, so good!
Press in to listen. Press in to obey. Press in to learn the sound of His voice in your life. Be quick to listen friends and don't delay. Each moment we delay our obedience, the closer we are to stepping the other way, finding an excuse or simply forgetting what He said in the first place.. Let's keep our footing sure, stand firm in the promises of God, trust Him for our good and share the truth of the Gospel with those who so desperately need it and need to see us living it.
Let us be faithful to listen to the small stuff, SO THAT we may be fit to be faithful when the BIG directives come. (Luke 16:10)
I love you in the Lord, Mia
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.