Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Bible in a Year

I recently saw a posting about reading the bible in a year and decided to do it myself. I know I've read a lot of it and possibly the whole thing but since I wasn't positive I thought it would be an accomplishment I'd really like to do. I was a bit behind on starting it and have been following the daily readings on One Year Bible Online. This morning I woke up to snow and an email saying our women's bible study for Tuesday mornings had been canceled. So I decided it was a nice opportunity to catch up on the readings so that I would be on the same schedule as the daily emailed list of what to read (starting from Jan 1st). Mind you I didn't start this until 3 days ago so I had a LOT of reading to do this morning! I did make it though and am all caught up! Whoo hoo! :)

At first I just thought it would be a fun thing to accomplish and also give me direction on what to read daily because I had just finished reading James and wasn't sure where to go next. But as I read through Genesis this morning I found a very odd comfort in reading the stories of God's faithfulness in all areas of early life but especially in the stories of barrenness.

I felt a strange connection to these women (Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel) who all suffered from the grief of being infertile for very long periods of time, as well as deal with seemingly everyone around them having children. It was also refreshing to see God work in these stories and that they were all blessed with children in God's perfect timing and not their own. I have to admit that Rachel is my favorite and makes me feel not so crazy in her bursts of yelling out to her husband, "Give me children, or I shall die!" (Gen. 30:1) I also love that her husband (who adores her) has to remind her that he's not withholding children from her.

I've known about all these barren women (and the others that are to come) but have never read the stories straight through from beginning to end and see them all tie together. It's pretty amazing how God works it all out perfectly according to His plan no matter how many mistakes they make or how often they try to take things into their own hands. God is there guiding them along the entire way. And not just about babies but about every area of life. It was really encouraging and nicely surprising for me to read today. It was the perfect pick me up I needed this morning! Just shows again how much God works out everything perfectly according to plan!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

$3 Worth of God

I was looking over my past posts and noticed this post I wrote back in April that I never published. I think I had planned on writing more and somehow never got around to it. Then life happened and here we are almost a year later.

It's short and probably not technically finished but it made me chuckle at how true everything I wrote here has become for me over the past year. The continued struggle of infertility has made my relationship with God deeper and more necessary than I could have ever imagined. Making the choice to wait on His timing and His leading on this difficult path has grown me closer to Him and allowed me to learn things about Him and myself I would have never known otherwise. And I am so thankful for that.

I have realized that I haven't bought only $3 worth of God, but that I am truly in this relationship for the long haul with my whole body, mind, and soul. It's so refreshing to see this blessing of such a constant and close relationship and also the understanding that has come as a direct result of the anguish and suffering of my not having children at this moment in time.

So....here's the original post:

I'm going through this book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver with some awesome women. The book is seriously so inspiring and I have learned so much from it. I read this excerpt yesterday and it really stood out to me:

"Are we willing to let God explode our comfort zone and expand our capacity for him?
Or do we want a God we can manage?
Unfortunately, a lot of the time that is exactly what we want - enough of God to make us happy, but not enough to make us change. We'd never say it, but our attitude is just what Wilbur Rees had in mind when he wrote:
I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please, not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please."

This really made me think. This is what we do a lot of the time. We try to fit God into OUR schedules and OUR lives as though He didn't create us and ordain every moment of our lives. We want some "God goodness" in our lives, but don't want to necessarily change anything about our lives or wake up earlier to spend a little extra time with Him. We'd like to have the heavenly rub off on us like a magic potion, but not put in the effort to cultivate a deeper relationship.

It made me realize I want so much to make sure I'm not doing that and only allowing a small portion of God to fill my life. We can't buy God, or little parts of him. He bought us. He paid the price. It's an all or nothing sort of situation. We either except all that comes with Him or we don't. It's that simple, and that complicated all in one. I want to be an "all" type person and make my God proud that I am living for all of Him. That I am choosing enough of Him to "explode my soul" and have a "transformation."

Friday, January 6, 2012


I strive hard to listen to God's will for my life and know it's something I'll get to practice for the rest of my life but it's something I really do try to practice on a daily basis. The devotional I'm reading lately called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young is an amazing help in this area. It's so true the more I listen to and act on God, the more I feel his peace and presence. Which can sometimes feel like my lifeline on a hard day.

There have been some major decisions in our life that we have prayed about and felt God's leading very clearly. Those decisions even as hard as they have seemed at the time, such as getting married, deciding where to go for medical school, residency, buying our house, have all had clear answers for us from God that there really was no room not to listen.

But sometimes listening to God in the small things is almost harder than the large things. When you feel He's calling you: to share your experiences with someone else, go help out a friend, show up somewhere you don't feel like, stop to pray and take the time to spend sitting in silence with Him instead of rushing around, saying no in situations you find it hard to, saying yes in situations you find it hard to. Sometimes the hardest time to hear God is when it feels like the decision we make won't be monumental and therefore wont matter to Him or to anyone else. It can be tempting to think: if it's not some life altering major decision, maybe it doesn't really matter what I do.

But it does. Whether He has an amazing plan through the action of faith in my decision to choose what He has for my life, or whether it's simply to grow my character and practice the art of choosing God's will over my own. After all, practice makes perfect and we never know the choices we will be faced with later than may be easier to hear God in when we have made it a habit to listen to and choose God's will in our lives.

I also know that when I do listen to God and choose His will over mine it feels like coming upon a cool refreshing beautiful resort in the middle of a dry barren land I've been traveling through for days. The amazing severity of his peace and presence I get to experience through the choice to trust him is breath taking in the moment and so refreshing.