Sunday, March 14, 2010

Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl

Flashback to this past August, 2009. I was traveling six hours with my hubby and kids to visit my family and take my mom to a Beth Moore simulcast. Right before we left, my preordered and much anticipated book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl arrived in the mail. Woohoo!!! The van packed with my sweet little ones and their DVDs and a loving hubby to do all the driving and we set off. I opened my book before we got out of the driveway and settled in for the drive. For almost 6 hours I spent some girl time with my bloggy friend, Lysa TerKeurst, and reminisced about the 80s. Like, is there any other decade?! I read and reread and underlined - okay, underlining was kind of hard in a moving van, but I marked all of the words that were so me. Needless to say, there was a lot of marking going on. I even read sections aloud to my patient hubby who loves me so much that he let me read on this long trip. Did I mention that he willingly took on full kid duty all of Friday night and Saturday morning while I was at the simulcast? Anyway, I got a great hunk - much better than Rick Springfield and Tom Selleck combined!
I had read What Happens When Women Say Yes to God earlier in the year and had written on an index card a prayer that Lysa shared in that book. She shared it again in this new book: "God, I want to see You. God, I want to hear You. God, I want to know You. So that I can follow hard after You everyday." This prayer is now my daily prayer. I actually repeat it a few times a day. I realized as I read this book that my actions and my words may appear to be set on God. I do a lot of children's and MOPS ministry work every week but my one on one, just me and God relationship was not at all where it should be, especially if I am a ministry leader. Using Colossians 3:1-2, Lysa reminded me that my heart and my mind should be set on God. His truth should should totally change me. I should not be the same if I am getting my heart and mind daily set in God's Word and His Will for me.
Despite all my efforts and good intentions with children's ministry and MOPS, I was never filling totally satisfied. I was trying to find my signifigance through these good and Godly things, but I was unfullfilled. I felt like a fake and not effective in these ministries. I could say all the right words and even be sincere, however, deep down in my inner most parts, I knew that I was, as Lysa said, a hollow woman, not a holy one. Jesus was the only thing that could satisfy and fullfill me, but I was not there with Him. My time with Jesus was crowded out by all the many demands of motherhood, children's ministry, MOPS, just daily living. I put getting ready for Sunday morning children's programming and MOPS meetings ahead of my daily time with God and even my family. To make matters worse, Sundays were so crazy busy that I didn't get out of the children's department to go to worship. I was depleted and not finding any source of refreshment from God. I made some really not great decisions and my unhappiness and frustration with myself only increased. So I buried myself in more ministry and good deeds for others to find my fullfillment and satisfaction with life, with myself. Now armed with my daily prayer of seeking God, anticipating hearing from Him and expecting to know His Will for me has challenged me to intentionally make my time with God a priority and a special time of the morning. I am not perfect at keeping my daily appointment with Him. Kids waking often in the night make it hard to get up at 5am. But I really miss and long for that time of quiet conversation with God when I don't sit with Him in the mornings.
Lysa is the kind of friend I would want to take shopping with me. She would not be afraid to tell me that those much coveted tapered leg Zena jeans don't look good on me. I know this because she is the kind of friend who challenged me and told me with all honesty that despite all the wonderful ministry things I did, Bible studies and conferences I attended, how godly my husband was, etc. that I needed to make some personal changes with my relationship with God. I need an undivided heart. Psalm 86:11 "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth;give me an undivided heart , that I may fear your name."On the return trip home, I was reading the chapter, "Unlikely Lessons From a Pineapple" when a God thing happened. For several weeks, verses regarding waiting kept cropping up in daily devotionals from Proverbs 31 Ministries and other places. Beth Moore shared at the simulcast about waiting on God from Psalms 37. Then I read about David and Goliath in Chapter 6. David was sent back to the fields after being annointed king to wait on God's timing. Here again in the midst of this book, I was hit again with the notion that I need to wait on God. Allow Him to prepare me where I was with the things I needed to do what He had in store for me. I was in tears on I-65. I so wanted to hear and know more about God's Will for me. I longed to climb up in His lap and have Him reassure me that I was loved and He had it all in control. I didn't have to worry and try to arrange everything all on my own.
Fast Forward to March, 2010. I have read this book twice now. I laughed and cried through this book. Each reading uncovered another challenge and discrepancy in my relationship with God. Yet, I was encouraged to keep going and seeking Him because He was waiting for me and wanting me to come closer. The decisions and my attitude is not always the best still, but I am filling myself and arming myself with God's Word. I am letting it rearrange me, change me and it feels great. Psalm 119:30-32, "I have chosen the way of the truth: I have set my heart on Your laws. I hold fast to Your statutes, O Lord; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free."
I posted some entries in October and Novemeber about the first three chapters as I participated in an online study. Life happens and prevented further postings but I continued with writing my thoughts and prayers in my journal. I am so excited to lead two groups in a study with Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl beginning this week! This book has blessed me and continues to bless me and I pray that the women who read this book are as challenged to be more than just a good Bible study girl.

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