I read three things this afternoon during my Sabbath Rest and those three things READ ME:
1) Gary Thomas' "Sacred Parenting" - Sacrifice: How Raising Children Teaches Us to Sacrifice - pgs. 178-188
~ "While we find it easy to "open up" a spiritual gift, it's not so easy to lay one down on God's behalf."
~ "Christianity was birthed in sacrifice and calls us to many acts of sacrifice."..."On the back of Christ's sacrifice"
~ "How do kids get nurtured with the active love, available counsel, and prayerful presence they so desperately need? On the backs of their mothers' sacrifices, that's how."
~ "Sometimes responsibility, loyalty, and maturity call us to willingly lay down our dreams for the sake of those we love - and in the hope that hose who come after us can accomplish even more than we could."
~ "However 'important' we may think we are, we should expect that God can do even more important things through our children. It is our duty to give them our full attention and our best effort, hoping that they can build on this to become influential Christians themselves..." (not becoming so busy with their "own ministries")
~ Matthew 14
A Post To Come to explain how reading this chapter read me...
2) John Eldredge's "Walking with God" - 'Learning How to Listen', 'Whole and Holy', 'Making Room for Joy' - pgs. 25 - 41
~ Since being introduced to "God Guides", I have entered the adventure of *Listening to God*. Not as immediately, regularly, or well as I would like, but a desire fulfilled more in the last year than ever before...and I call that Spiritual Growth. To read Eldredge's explanation of how he "Learned to Listen" resonates with me. I am encouraged to know I am not alone in Learning to be a Listener and that he's teaching others too!
~ Whole and Holy - Holiness is a calling I am so conscious to strive for and again I sometimes feel alone is my intensity of that striving. Wholeness/healing is also a drumbeat in my heart (connected to "Post To Come" above). And Eldredge articulates it in a way that I say, "YES!" "You can't find the holiness you want without deep wholeness. And you can't find the wholeness you want without deep holiness." Holiness of Christ --> Healing --> Wholeness --> Holiness
~ Eldredge heard from God on "Making Room for Joy" and this brought tears to my eyes - again, I am not alone in my struggle to experience the Christian Joy... that Joy that is just supposed to overflow from me because I Know Christ!?!?
3) Ann Voskamp's website "A Holy Experience"
One post on how she feels like she's "just not getting it all right". Again, brought tears to my eyes...this is a woman I do not know personally, but I have been ministered to deeply through her website writings. I admire her walk with God, being a decade or so down the road from me. I want to learn from her, because what she writes about resonates with what I want to grow in. And then to read that she feels inadequate "just like me." I am not alone - in my striving for holiness and God's sweet reminders to rely humbly on Him! In Ann Voskamp's own words, "Praise not Perfection; Grace not Grindstone." And what perfect timing as I am flailing in getting life back to "normal" after three weeks of upheaval due to my mother-in-law's illness and death, return home from a funeral, and decide on, buy, wrap, and mail Christmas presents! And then to read her next post...and cry more...this too is my heart's cry for a radical Christmas.
40 Days of Surrender - Day 61 - Surrender "Getting it all right" NOW - For a list of the "Daily Lesson" titles in the 40 Days of Surrender in one place, Click Here.
Abide in Love ~ Abound in Thanksgiving ~ Work in Joy...
Live Fully ~ Suffer Rightly ~ Trust Deeply ~ Bless Truly!
LISTEN & LEARN:
"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths,
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."
~ Psalms 25:4,5