Monday, July 26, 2010

forever changed

I've been waking up with Jeremy for a while now and it really has changed the entire course of my day.  He leaves the house by 6am every morning so it gives me a chance to sit alone, read my bible, journal and pray.  I never thought I would crave God's word like I have lately but I do in fact, crave this time with Him and His word.  

It was during this "morning time" a few months ago that I began to pray for a move in our home.  More than anything, I prayed for a spiritual "move" in my husband.  Well, wouldn't you know it began with me!  As I began to seek God more and more in His word and through the help of Sally Clarkson's book The Mission Of Motherhood, the more God began to "move" in my life.  

Without even realizing it, I was influencing my family.  As I prayed for my husband and children, I began to notice MAJOR change.  My words are not powerful enough to explain what has been taking place but trust me when I say that my marriage has never been where it is at today. More and more I am beginning to see that this plan for us to grow our family was a step towards obedience and when you walk in obedience you cannot help but to be blessed by the Almighty!

Yesterday I found some journal entries from last December.  This morning I read the entries and smiled. I write about feeling the tug at my heart to have another baby but how I struggled with letting go of marathon running.  It had become such a part of who I was that the thought of not having it as my identity terrified me.  In my journal entries, I write about the feelings.  I admit that I knew God was calling me to have another baby but how scared I was.  Also at the time, Jeremy was not on board.  I wasn't worried too much about that because I knew that I knew that I knew God had put this desire in me and that when I finally quit fighting it in my mind, He would do the work in Jeremy.  And He did.  Aside from running, I was scared about entering the baby stage again.  We didn't have any baby items and I was nervous about losing sleep again.  I was afraid of gaining weight.  Not only that but at this point I was also frustrated with my own parenting skills.  Why on earth Lord, do you want me to have another baby?  

Now, in my 25th week of pregnancy, I cannot imagine anything different.  I know now that the Lord was asking me to obey and trust Him.  He wanted me to give up my plans, my rights, my BODY and my fears and obey Him.  Family didn't agree with us having another, some were even angry to find out we were pregnant again (not sure why) and even now we have family who discuss our choices behind our backs.  Anytime they get the chance, they ask my husband "So when you going to put a stop to this and go have surgery?"  You see, even those in your family or close knit friendships will be used by the enemy to tell you what you are doing is wrong.  Satan uses those closest to us to try and thwart God's plan.  Your obedience will often look like carelessness to others.    

I love what Sally says in The Ministry of Motherhood (another great read and not to be confused with The Mission of Motherhood).  

"Jesus' work in a person's life has always begun with a call to leave behind the goals, purposes and distractions of this world and to say yes to a whole new life, a new way of thinking. "Follow me" is what he told the disciples as he recruited them.  And they did, abandoning their fishing nets, their tax collector's money bags, their permanent homes, their everyday duties and pleasures.  And they never went back.  Sure, they still did a little fishing from time to time! But once they made the choice to follow Jesus, their lives were forever changed.  They never returned to "normal."  -Sally Clarkson

Without a shadow of a doubt I can tell you that I WOULD NOT BE AT THIS PLACE if I were still pursuing a passion (marathon running) outside of my home like I have been the last two years.  Do I miss it?  Yes.  Will I run again? Yes.  Will it be at the level it was?  I don't feel I can reconcile that when my family is growing and needs me as much as they do.  I don't feel I can put that much passion into something without neglecting my family.  Even though I ran at night or ran when it did not interfere with family time and I was homeschooling, running had my heart.  My family did not.  Giving up my time, my passion and even my figure was me trusting Jesus and following Him.  Radical?  Maybe so but I want to be a disciple.  A radical disciple!

Because of this precious baby Jude, I feel that we are experiencing some of the greatest blessings we have ever experienced since we married almost 9 years ago (August 3rd, 2001).  The fruit of our intimacy has been a powerful thing!  Jeremy and Amanda have been obedient and out of it, blessings have flowed.  They have flowed immeasurably more than we ever could have imagined.  But that shouldn't surprise us!  That's what HE does!  Ephesians 3:20 says it best.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,"

As I look back at my journal entries last December, I am amazed at how God gently gets us to where we need to be if we are willing.  He allows us to go through the process of working through our doubts and fears and then we have the chance to jump or stay.  If we stay, nothing changes.  If we jump, RADICAL blessings flow.  I know because it has happened to me!  It's happened in my marriage and it's happened in my children.  Instead of being tired and burnt out, I am excited about being a wife and mother.  I don't wonder what my purpose is, I do it!  

This morning I hopped over to Sally's blog and she had a new entry with a video blog attached.  It blessed me as I listened to her speak about "the family" and about prayer changing everything.  She closes with a prayer that left me in tears.  Tears of joy!  God is doing a work in "the family" and I pray my family will be one He uses to stir the hearts around us.

Thank you Lord for a new Monday and a fresh word from you!

Luke 14:27-31 (New Living Translation)

27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’

31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him?

(P.S.  The family devotion time has been amazing and the kids get excited for family devotion time!  Jeremy has been an AMAZING leader!  And I hear him constantly referring to scriptures we have discussed when he is in the midst of parenting one of the kids.  Love it!!!)



Jennifer said...

That is awesome Amanda. Love you!!!

Paula said...

I am so happy.....I need that stir.

Wendy said...

Just have to tell you, I rarely read anyone's blog that has this long of a post. :) BUT, yours, I always do.
Love your heart, friend.

Amanda said...

Well, all of my are long. That's just me! :)I will always write blovels!