Here is the scene. Brown chair and ottoman in the sunroom. A laptop computer. A bag of fall Reese's miniature candies in cute fall colored foil . A 3-page single spaced paper due soon. Real soon. That's my world this evening. In the background I hear Elise jamming out to some music. I stop and dance with her on the way to the printer. Grab my papers. Dance with her across the living room and back to my chair I go. I have been at this for 5 semesters now.
Filling my toolbox.
"The Lord is my strength and song,..."
A couple of years ago at a Beth Moore Living Proof Live in Little Rock, AR, Beth's message on "What it takes to fulfill our ministry" confirmed so much of what God was doing in my life.
|Beth Moore, Little Rock, 2011|
Beth posed the question:
What would it take to be excellent
at what God has called me to do?
Don't you just love when God does that? It's like He is talking to you solely. Her second point is what hit home for me: ACQUIRE the Appropriate Tools. I had talked to Warren already about my thoughts to go back to school. It wasn't just to have a degree, add stress to my life, or make money. It was to have the "tools" necessary to go and do and be wherever God led. If He wanted to take us to the deepest parts of India or the bush of Africa, I had "tools" that He could use. If He wanted to send us as church planters one day, I had a "tool" He could use to reach families. If He wanted to place me in a school to love children and their families (which I absolutely love and have for so many years!) , I was able. I had the "tools." And trust me, this "tool" has been costly and a sacrifice to obtain with a full time job and family. The bags under my eyes don't lie. But I will be honest, even now, in the thick of 18 hours of school work and working full time, I never cease to be amazed at how God brings me through day to day and week after week. Alive. Well. Succeeding. Blessing me with opportunities to talk about Jesus.
"My hope is in Thee."
He is always adding "tools" to my toolbox. Just this past week I picked up passport papers for my family. We have no plans. No open doors. A great interest. But if He does open a door to an overseas mission trip opportunity, I want to be ready.
"And He said to them,
"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."
I want to "live" in front of my children the message we surrendered to the Lord as a family almost 15 years ago. Whenever and whatever God. We are our yours.
"Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments."
So, I continue packing my toolbox with Bible Studies that challenge me daily to share Christ. They press me to pray without ceasing and know the great I Am. I will learn to love Hebrew and Greek words and how to keep idols out of my life. I will pass up really cute hair when necessary, in order to sit before His throne in that brown chair every morning.
"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching,
for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
that the man of God may be adequate,
equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16-17
I want my toolbox packed with whatever tool He leads me to, so His ways can be made known. Until that day.
"I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the course,
I have kept the faith;"
2 Timothy 4:7
*By the way, I left 4 of the candies in the bag. I didn't want Warren to think I ate the whole bag :)