Sing: Trust and Obey with Carlene Davis
Pray: Come Holy Spirit, fill me with Your fire so that I can be more like You; help me, I trust You. Father, open my eyes so that I may see You clearly, open my ears so that I may hear You soundly, open my mind so that I may understand You plainly, open my heart so that I may love you more, open my hands so that I may give generously and receive humbly, in Jesus‘ name, Amen.
Read: 1 Chronicles 2:1-5:22
His daughter-in-law Tamar also bore him Perez and Zerah. Judah had five sons in all. 1 Chronicles 2:4
Lord, why am I here? Why am I doing the things that I‘m doing, filling my time with the things that I fill it with? Are they things that are honoring You? Do they make You smile? Daddy I‘m so… unsure right now. I know that doubt is cancer for the soul so I‘m really working hard not to doubt that You‘re leading my actions at the moment, but I‘m unsure of my motives. What are my motives? Are they selfish, are they filled with fame and fortune or are the people who don‘t know you my motive? Is it because I love you that I do the things that I do or is it simply because I love attention and this makes me feel like I‘m getting attention.
I keep asking You who You want me to be and yet I know that You want me to be me. So who am I then? What does that look like?
I am your daughter and I love You. So passionately I can barely contain it… which is why I have to write. I have learned to be a good listener, but in turn it means that I don‘t get much opportunity to talk and that‘s where my writing comes in. It‘s my chance to sing my praises and thoughts about You without someone interrupting me! (Other than myself and my own short attention span.)
I am your wife and I love You passionately. I am here to support You, to love You, to help You (not that you need my help, but I know that you enjoy my desire to help). Lord I love being intimate with You and sharing my deepest thoughts, fears and desires with You alone. You are the only one who knows me better than I know myself. I want your love to pour into me and come to live within me like a child comes to life in its mother‘s womb. I want the fruit of Your Spirit to fill me and burst forth in my life. I want Your love. I want You.
I am your servant and I love you passionately. I am here to serve You and Your purposes. I desire to follow You and Your will for my life. Yet I am learning more and more that Your desire for my life is simple, for me to live it. To be myself and who You made me to be. To live out my dreams and passions and talents that You placed within me.
Daddy, how can I do that???
Sometimes I feel so lost, I feel like I‘m on the wrong path, like I‘m going the wrong way. Sometimes I feel like my head is telling me to turn back and my heart is telling me to go on and keep going. Which one I listen to is a moment by moment decision.
Lord, please keep teaching me how to be more like You.
“By being more like yourself! I made you who you are, embrace it, love it and then live it!“
Daddy! THANK YOU! Thank You for giving me permission to simply live. I have spent so much time laboring over what the “right“ thing is to do or not do in every situation when really I need to just let go of the idea that I can be perfect and work harder at just being the imperfect beautiful woman that You created me to be. I may say something that people might not like. And that‘s OK. I may do something that someone might not agree with or that might not “mesh“ with the standards of my religion. And that‘s OK. Because life isn‘t about being perfect, it‘s about loving You and being the person You created me to be. You created me to be Your lover, Your partner, Your friend, Your confidante, Your Buddy and Your pal. And I love that about myself. I love the jokes that we share the stories that we have together both the happy and the sad ones. We have such a history together and I love that about us. It‘s what I love the most about me; I love that You are a part of me and my life, that You make me who I am. I am Yours! And that‘s all that really matters. Thank You for helping me straighten that out Daddy.
Sometimes knowing who we are is a tricky thing. Some say that that was part of the Enemy‘s original deception of Adam and Eve, he confused them into thinking they could be like God by eating the fruit He told them not to eat. He messed with their minds to make them think that they should be something other than what God made them to be; that they could live by themselves, that they could “be like God“ without God being in their lives. And while we were created to be like God and have been called to “imitate Christ“, we are not God. We were created for fellowship with God and through that relationship with Him we find ourselves becoming more like Him day by day. It‘s not a magic pill that we swallow and suddenly find ourselves omnipotent and more powerful; it‘s simply a relationship, a friendship, an intimacy with God Almighty the maker of heaven and earth. We were not created to be alone. In Genesis 2 after God has separated the light from the darkness and it was good and made the dry land and it was good God creates man and says “it is NOT good that man should be alone“. We were created for the specific purpose of relationship, with God and with each other. Our identity is rooted, not in who we are, but in WHOSE we are. God created us for HIS good purposes and for His glory. And when we lose sight of the truth that we belong to Him, we were bought with a price out of slavery to sin, then we lose sight of ourselves. Which creates within us a turmoil like none other, a tornado of doubt and fear. Ahhhhh, but we belong to the One who calms the storms of life with an outstretched hand and the words “Be still!“. We may be sitting in a boat in the middle of a sea of doubt surrounded by white-capped waves of fear BUT GOD IS WITH US. So we shall not be afraid and we shall not doubt, we shall only trust and obey. Because there‘s no other way to happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.
So what does that look like for those of us who have been called to serve God and become more like Him day by day through relationship with Him?
That‘s just it! I can‘t tell you what it looks like, because it‘s different for everybody. God made us unique individuals, like snowflakes we are all different. If God had wanted us all to be the same then He would have made us all identical. But He didn‘t do that now did He? And yet here we sit thinking that we can all serve Him in the same way. As if that‘s what He wants. I‘ve been thinking a lot lately about mothering and the process that it takes. I was reading a blog yesterday written by a fellow writer where her calling as a mother was battling for priority over her calling as a writer. (Boy can I feel her pain!!!) She was posing the question about dreams and how heavily should we pursue them? What if a “God-sized“ dream is really small and not big? What if being a writer is her dream and not God‘s dream for her? What if God‘s dream for her is to mother her children only and not write at all until they‘re older? (Boy have I asked myself those questions!!!) And while I can‘t give her the answer for her and her family, simply because God has called us each to different things; I can tell her what God has shown me (through my writing coincidentally). Let me play it out for you below:
I wrote down the prayer above in desperation because the Enemy had been plaguing me all day about taking my Sabbath day off from housework to spend time with God. He was mad because I was doing precisely what God had called me to do, so he started casting seeds of doubt into my mind about my own calling as a writer. “What is the point in being a writer if ‘no one‘ is going to read what you write“, and “Why go to Bible Study when no one is listening to what you have to say or wants to hear what you think?“ He had me hooked! Heh, heh, heh, but luckily those little doubt sprouts can‘t stand up to the heat of the True Light of the world. So I held them up to Him and asked Him to deal with them, which He promptly did. He led me to www.incourage.me (a website I highly recommend to any woman) where I read the blog about dreams. As I read I could feel my spirit rising up within me in defense of her own calling as a writer and a mother. At this point God reminded me that He and I had dealt with this very same issue before, when I wrote “Mommy Guilt“ and His Spirit led me to recall that lesson to mind by re-reading that post. Well, the work He started in me through reading someone else‘s blog about Mommy Guilt He finished by having me read my own blog about Mommy Guilt. But He put the icing on the cake when He then reminded me of a day, not that long ago, where I was laying on my bathroom floor sobbing… because of the Mommy Guilt vs. “working for God“ battle that was raging in my mind creating an identity crisis in me once again. As I laid there I gave God everything, my name, my dreams, my hopes and aspirations, my duties as a mother and a wife, everything that I think makes me me; I laid it down at the cross and asked Him to take it all. And when I felt that He had taken all of me, I asked Him to show me how He sees me. What His dreams for me look like. Immediately (how gracious of Him to be so giving, He certainly doesn‘t always answer so quickly), I saw myself with my sisters in Christ at our Parks & Prayers meeting. Then He showed me standing on a stage teaching a large room full of women about Him. Then He showed me sitting at my computer typing, writing these blogs and books and whatever else God dreams up for me to do on here. All of these things I had dreamed of doing myself, so I was grateful to Him for giving those things back to me to continue dreaming them… except where were my children? Where was my husband? So I asked Him “Lord, where is my family? Where do they fit into the dreams?“ And again He showed me a picture. This time I was at a Mom‘s in Prayer meeting at the school where I “drag“ my four-year-old along with me and sit her in the corner of the room with her little princess bag filled with activities and snacks. But He didn‘t show me from my own perspective, He showed me from hers. From her seat in the corner she sits and watches her Mommy who loves her desperately pray with other ladies who love the Lord. And she listens to us pray for her, and her brother, for their friends, for the school and the teachers, for our community and the nation. She sees that and she hears that every week! Every week! The vision was so overwhelming that I‘m glad I wasn‘t standing, because if I had been, I would have fallen to my knees.
No, my house might not be white glove inspection clean. No, my family does not get a scratch made meal every single night. No, I don‘t spend every waking second of my day entertaining my daughter and going over numbers and letters with her. But instead, I have a spiritual house that is spick and span because it‘s been cleaned by the hand of God and the blood of Jesus. I have made spiritual food, not just for my family, but for the multitudes of people who may find this blog someday, if God so chooses to use it in that way. And while I may not be teaching my daughter things that most mothers spend their children‘s pre-school days teaching them, I am teaching her something that will last her for her whole life long. I‘m teaching her the power of a Mission-Minded Mom. I‘m showing her how to live WITH God, how to live FOR Him in everything that I do and everything that I say. I walk the walk and talk the talk. No, I‘m not perfect, but because of God‘s healing grace, I don‘t have to be! Hallelujah!
What I do have to be is a lover to the lover of my soul. What I have to be is connected with Him, 24/7! What I have to be is a great mom who loves her kids, not by cooking and cleaning for them, but spending time loving on them instead. If Jesus comes over to my house to visit tomorrow do you think He‘s going to look at me and say “Tamar, you really should pick up more around here, this place is a mess!“ Or would He say “Tamar, come over here and let‘s chat for a bit, I‘ve missed you!“
I am Tamar, daughter, wife and servant of God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And because I belong to Him, no one else‘s definition of who I am, or what I spend my time doing should matter to me. Period. Yes, others can have input, like my husband for instance! But, Jesus is the one I‘m living to please, so as long as I keep getting the thumbs up from Him, I‘m going to continue down this path that He is making straight for me because I‘m leaning on Him and not my own (or anyone else‘s) understanding of what a “Good Mom“ looks like.
Free to Be Me by Franchesca Battastelli (This is one of my FAVORITE songs, not only does it just make me happy, but it reminds me that God doesn‘t expect me to be perfect.)