Thursday, February 27, 2014

In the Desert

But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.  John 4:14

After reading this passage with the kids, Isaiah said, "Mom, I want some of that water!"

I admittedly have been in a bit of a drought these last two months, three months, maybe more. A spiritual drought, that is...

Focusing on: kids, temper tantrums, a gassy baby, being the perfect mom, losing these last 20 pounds, Facebook, babysitting other children, homeschooling, my failure as a teacher, how to be the perfect wife, physical therapy, packing for a long trip, failures, being patient, looking for a new haircut, the perfect make-up, organizing/ simplifying our house, teaching Moriah to read & Zeke to talk, reading others' blogs & how to do everything like them! Ahhh....I would say drought is a nice word for it. How about completely insane?

Then, I got this e-mail from a dear friend:

Dear Heather,
Here are the verses I told you about in my text that God has impressed upon my heart to share with you and pray over you. I don’t know what your translation of choice is, but interestingly I was drawn to these verses in the NLT. Sometimes using a translation that may not be as familiar to me helps to give me new insight and perspective. I hope these bless you and encourage you as much as they blessed me when the Lord brought them to my mind for you!

But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit. –Jeremiah 17:7,8 NLT

(This is what I see the Lord doing in and for and through you, Heather!)

The LORD will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keeping you healthy, too. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. –Isaiah 58:11 NLT

For I will give you abundant water to quench your thirst and to moisten your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit and my blessing on your children. –Isaiah 44:3 NLT

(Isn’t this encouraging?! I know how much you pray for and desire the blessings of God on your children!)

The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths bringing honor to his name. –Psalm 23:1-3 NLT

BONUS  FEATURE:  One of my favorite quotes of all-time is something I read by Ruth Bell Graham years ago, and here is a portion of it:

I found a good part of my time taken up simply in keeping the family fed and the house run. The result? Spiritual drought. For me, spiritual dryness usually follows an extremely busy period. Air must be still for dew to fall, and I was anything but still.
The LORD bless you and keep you, Heather, and grant you times of refreshing in His presence as you come aside to a quiet place and rest a while!!!

 Wow! This was so eye-opening for me! I knew I had been dry spiritually, but I was rationalizing it by saying it was just my life right now.  "I don't have time for focused prayer,  Journalling, Bible reading." All of the things that help focus the day and bring me closer to Jesus. I have been tring to simplify things in our home, in our school day, clean out clutter, but I didn't realize how cluttered I had been in my thought life & the things I had been trying to change.

I am not sure yet where this time of refreshing will take me, but I am super excited about it! For now, I just admit that I have been in a drought & I long to be like the tree in Psalm 1, "which yields its fruit in season, whose leaves do not wither,  whatever he does prospers!" I surrender & admit that He is the answer...for me, my kids, our family, homeschooling, losing weight, raising Jesus followers, even the perfect haircut, because ultimately, I have to just be thankful for the hair He's given me. I will never have the perfect haircut until I reach satisfaction in how He made me!

Today, with His help, I am taking the first step out of the wilderness...surrendering to Jesus, letting go of the grip I have had on life.

Thank you, Lord, for showing me how dry I've been!

"Jesus is enough! No pluses or minuses. ..Just Jesus!" -Linda Boyette

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