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
In case you haven't noticed, I love to hike. I love to get outdoors in the wee hours and move. That's fun for me. That's the easy part.
What is not as fun for me is going to the gym...doing my reps and sets of squats, push ups, crunches, planks, curls etc.
If I don't keep my core strong, I ache all over, my back hurts and I am all out of whack.....so, typically after my time hiking up a mountain, I head down and I go to the gym, I do the work.
Guess what, That's kinda like life and ministry. Fellowship with others as Christ has called us to do can be the fun part, but it's the time in the Word that keeps our core strong, without that time and the strengthening of our spiritual muscles, we become weak, we limp and we walk hesitantly.
So whether in body or spirit, keep your core strong today and work out those muscles, the muscles that no one sees, the muscles that can change your life and your walk AND the lives of those around you.
Happy Workout! I love you in the Lord!
Some days I am surprised at which words in the Bible jump out at me. I shouldn't be, but there I was with these two verses from my reading lingering with me throughout the day. Why? I didn't know.....But God!
My day started off pretty well. I went in to work for a couple hours, had a coffee date with a friend and spent some sweet time on my devotions and some beautiful readings from the book of Genesis. And of all that I read, these are the verses that tugged at my heart.
“Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel (who is Jacob) rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.” ~ Genesis 48:1-2
What I didn't know, is that by the time evening came, I too would be ill, fighting off my allergies and having difficulty breathing, along with extreme fatigue and weariness of body.
Yet, even with illness creeping at my door, I had things to do. I was scheduled to lead worship that evening at a Celebrate Recovery program. I did my sound check with my voice nearing a whisper and quite gravely by the end of my rehearsal time. But God....
When the gathering began and the worship music started, we all leaped in together and I got to see God do a miracle. As I began to simply pour my heart out to Him, I felt my voice become stronger than ever, my spirit rose, my fatigue vanished, my breathing improved and my weariness ceased. I got to see Him take it all away. The Worship of the one true God, took my pain away.
Then the Lord reminded me WHY He had me ponder those verses all day. It wasn't just for me. It was for all of us in that place who needed to be reminded to Worship it out. Yes, I was tired when I started, but just as Jacob, upon hearing the good news rallied up his strength, I too, would rally up my strength to worship the one who is worthy and watch my spirit rise to speak His name.
And that is what worship does. It revives! When we are tired, we worship. When we are hurt, we worship. When we grow weary, we worship. When we feel sick of life struggles, we worship.
May we be quick in our struggles to sit up, rally all our strength and speak Worship as we fix our eyes an the author and perfecter of our faith.
I love you in the Lord, Mia
One day, a women shared with me all the reasons why she just couldn't find time to open her Bible and be in the Word...to which I responded..."That's because it's not important to you." Not sure if that's the response she she was looking for, but that's what came out.
Now I admit, I am not always the most tactful person and my filtering skills are at a minimum, but sometimes the truth hurts and sometimes we are caught off guard because we are not expecting people to actually be truthful with us.
As rough as my words may have seemed at the time, I do not regret them. You see, because of the ministry and music I do, I tend to enter people's lives for a moment and then fly out (literally) just as quick as I came in. I don't have time to sugar coat my responses. Because I am an outsider in the women's lives that I enter, women tend to feel safe in sharing things that may be more difficult if they had to face me the next day or the next week in church.
It's a huge responsibility that I don't take lightly, and therfore, I want to make sure that the words I share and the time I give matters, even if it stings.
Now, back to the original statement..."Because it's not important to you." I believe that we will make time in our day to do things that are important to us....for me, it's hiking and getting to the gym. For others it may be making dinner (for others... I don't find joy in cooking), reading that chapter in their new favorite book, shopping for a new outfit, scrolling though Facebook, writing a blog, posting a cute selfie...you get it, right?
We make time for things that matter to us. We get up early or we stay up late to make it happen, but when it comes to opening the Bible, suddenly our muscles atrophy, we can't move, we can't find our bible, the phone rings, our spiritual muscles get cramped and before we know it, night has come and we think it's to late and hope that tomorrow will be different.
Yes, days happen, but when the struggle is never faced head on and confronted, we may have to face the fact that maybe, it's just not that important. With that realization our prayers can turn to the Lord to say. "God I have failed and I need you to put the desire in my heart and elevate your Word as a priority in my life."
But, we can't do that until we are honest and simply admit it, repent and lean on a God whose mercies are new every morning.
Whatever it is in your life....time in the Word, eating healthy, fellowship with believers, serving others...whatever it is, as a friend once told me "Mia, your excuses are like elbows, everyones got two of them!" Yes, it stung, but it was true......present it before the Lord and ask him to help you to keep what is important eternally, important daily.
And now as evening rolls in as I write this blog, I am off to open my Bible!
I love you in the Lord, Mia
My favorite thing about the New Year is looking back. Looking back on all the 525,600 minutes, all those those moments that have happened, all that God has done and all that He has brought me through and all that He has accomplished. It's the beauty of hindsight. New Years's Eve gives me that chance each year.
This past year has been a journey through the Word of God. Reading through the Bible in a year, Digging deep into the character and faithfulness of God has been nothing short of life changing. I didn't want it to end, but then my husband said, "You know, you can read it again." I know, I know, he is a genius! That's why I married him on this day 21 years ago Dec. 31, 1993.
Well, in the last month of my daily readings, through prayer and meditation on His word, I knew God had something new in store for me. I prayed each day with anticipation of what it was. And true to His character, He revealed it to me.
To me, there is something overwhelming about God and His revelations to us... and that is our response. Now that it has been revealed, will I be obedient to what God has been equipping me to do over and throughout this past year?
The answer is simple. Yes.
Sometimes God asks us to do things are comfortable and right in our zone. Then there are those times when we are pushed way out of our comfort zone and into a place of complete and undeniable dependence on God to see us through and for courage to even dare to step out.
That is the place I am in. It's scary for me, but I know that for me not to move forward in His plan would mean complete disobedience on my part and that's just NOT where I want to be. The funny thing is, my place of discomfort may be your place of leisure and what seems like a simple instruction to me, may be the hardest step of faith you will ever take.
Whatever our marching orders, whatever our call, the beauty and intimacy we share in saying yes to God surpasses the heartache of running from His will, even when the run away may seem easier, especially when we can run and so easily forget what He asked us to do in the first place. God does not forget His plan for us. God is faithful.
So here I go, ready to jump into 2015 following His call and looking forward to the next 525,600 minutes, those moments that will lead me to, Dec. 31, 2015 (Lord willing) when I get to look back again.
"In daylights, in sunsets, In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?" RENT~Jonathan D. Larson
So the answer for me in How do I measure a year in the Life? It really would be in Love, the true love and the glory of God weaved in and throughout each day, the love of a Father who sent His son so that we could have eternal life with Him. May these seconds, these moments all point to Him,....all of it, even the sweet moments sippin' on a cup of coffee. May it all bring Him glory!
Happy New Year Friends!
May you hear His call, see His plan and follow with all your heart.
Christ was born for this!
And remember WE Are NOT Alone!
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.