Oxford American dictionaries list the following among the synonyms for challenge – test, tax, strain, stretch, stimulate, inspire, and excite. When I made the decision to participate in the challenge that Sheryl was setting for herself I had no idea what the next 21 days would hold. That was probably a good thing.
Beginning July 2nd I set out to pray for/about the following three things each day:
1. The words that come from my mouth
2. Our impending move, Matt’s new job, and the sale of our house
3. A new church home in Nashville
I have consistently been praying about the words of my mouth and the attitudes of my heart (because that is the root of all I say and do). Specifically, I’ve been praying the words of Psalms 141:3 and Proverbs 31:26.
Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed (and hope those around me have noticed) a shift toward kinder, gentler words. One particular focus of my prayers was that I would not be irritated with Little for interrupting what I was doing and demanding attention when I was focused on something else. I feel that God has really been softening my heart toward the gift that is my baby girl. When she seeks attention now, I try to stop what I’m doing (if that is feasible) and play or snuggle. As her Momma, I represent security and love to her, two things that she needs that only I can provide. Not that I’ve perfected this or conquered these issues, but I can see the work of God in the area of my motivations and speech. I continue to pray that I will speak words of wisdom, words of edification, words of love to those I interact with, especially Matt and Little.
The prayers about our move and selling the house really stirred things up around here. I’ve spoken about the saga surrounding our non-move in previous posts, so I won’t rehash all of that here; I will mention how God continues to deal with me in this area.
When we moved here two years ago we really felt we were being called to this place for a specific Kingdom purpose. As the Nashville situation unfolded I convinced myself that the lessons we’ve learned regarding what the church should be, how we are to be recognized as Christ followers, and what it means to be “in the world, but not of it” were the lessons we were brought here to learn.
Over the weeks of prayer about our move I was convicted that there is more here that God has prepared in advance for us to do. I felt led to repent of the way I had tried to “take over” God’s plan and decide what it was we were supposed to learn or do here. Now I look forward to seeing how God’s purposes unfold in and around my family.
Through these three weeks my patience has been tested, my emotions have been taxed, my mental capacity has been strained, my faith has been stretched, my prayer life has been stimulated, my hope has been inspired, and I’ve become excited about what the future holds.
Thank you to those of you who have read my posts and prayed for us as I went through this challenge (and the moving situation). And I especially thank our friends (some of whom I know read here although they rarely comment) who have come alongside us in prayer and conversation as we’ve worked through this time of testing.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ~Romans 12:2 (ESV)