What meant the most to you from this chapter or what offered you the greatest challenge or inspired you deeply?
To me, the best part was when she says to “dream of being a woman after God’s heart!” and then makes you imagine where you will be next year. That really hit home. It’s easy to think spending time with God every day could be overwhelming - at least for me since I’ve never done it regularly - but then to imagine how blessed my life could be in a year... And especially in TEN!!
Roots are unseen--How is your underground life, the time you spend abiding in God's word and prayer out of sight, alone, in secret?
It’s not always good. I hate to admit it but it’s usually in times of need or worry, sometimes in despair. However, for the past few months, I’ve been praying with my daughter every night before she goes to bed. It used to be a simple bedtime prayer ritual that has turned into a time when I thank God for the day, no matter good or bad. And even though she’s not aware of what is happening (she just turned two), she hears me and sees me. I want this to be something she learns by watching me and her daddy - to spend time with God.
What is the first word of Psalm 1, a psalm that spends three verses describing a woman (or man) who is flourishing, thriving, and blooming?
How does the person of Psalm 1 approach the Word of God according to verse 2?
She delights in the law of the Lord.
And what does she do with what she finds in God's Word?
Meditates on it DAY and NIGHT.
Note the results listed in verse 3 that come from time spent in God's Word:
She is like a tree planted by the streams of water - she bears good fruit. She does not wither in times of distress.
Roots for taking in-- Are you more like the breathless, frazzled, fretting, and worrying women in that scenario--or are you more like Karen, recognizing the need to slip away for a few minutes alone with the Lord when tensions mount?Oh I am a worrier by nature - but I am getting
Look at Isaiah 58:11. Here God describes the blessings that will be poured out upon those who seek after God in the right ways. List them here:
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and strengthen your frame (give you what you need even if it things look bad and give you strength). You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
How can you remember to sink your roots down deeper to take in the "waters [that] do not fail" when life heats up?
Keep spending time in the Word EVERY SINGLE DAY, actually multiple times a day. Each time a negative thought comes to mind. STOP and PRAY! Stay close to God - keep my heart on fire for Him. Don’t let the evil one get the best of me, even if it’s the easier way.
Roots for storage--Do you have a reservoir of verses hidden in your heart during trials?
Some. Philippians 4:6-8. Psalm 51:10-12. Jeremiah 29:11.
Look at Jeremiah 17:5-8. Verse 8 describes those who hope in and trust in the Lord. Jot down a few of their characteristics.
Strong even when times are tough - even desolate. They will not wither in the face of adversity.
Then contrast the person who trusts in man versus the person who puts his hope and trust in the Lord.
They can’t see the good in anything and they will always dwell in the place furthest from the Lord.
Roots are for support--Is yours a life marked by the repeated need to be constantly staked up, tied up, propped up, and straightened up, until the next wind comes along and you topple once again? If so, what will you do today to strengthen your root system in the Lord so you can profit from the power a network of strong roots provide?
More times than I’d like to admit, I fail miserably at remaining strong. However, I definitely feel the Lord has been shaping me for the past few years to help me develop a quiet strength for my family. Of course, at times, I still get weak and have overwhelming feelings. But in all my life, I’ve never relied on God’s grace than I do now. I know He cares for me and my family and that I can get through all things when I rely specifically on Him. It’s as if He is aware when I get too comfortable. And then things may happen to knock me down and make me feel discouraged but when I feel most alone and forgotten is when He undoubtedly shows up. BIG time. I am going to keep doing my best to stay diligent to stay focused on the Lord, daily and spend time with Him so that I never seem too far.
When do you think you could be the most consistent in having a quiet time?
When Ava is still asleep - either in the morning or at nap time.
Where do you think you could enjoy the peace and quiet you need for your quiet time?
Oh... in the comfort of my home.
What aids or tools can make your quiet time most meaningful?
Maybe keep a journal and some other scriptures displayed throughout the house. I have them at work so that when I get really discouraged, I can look down below my computer screen and see Phil 4:6-8.
Jot down today's date and then describe the woman you desire to be spiritually in one year.
Today is 03.02.11. In one year, I want to be a woman who is consistently spending time with the Lord every day. I aspire to set a Godly example for my daughter who will be much more cognizant of what my relationship with the Lord is. I hope to continue building upon my inner strength - which is only possible through complete trust in God - so I am strong, like an oak tree!
Next describe the woman you desire to be in ten years from now.
WOW - ten years from now... Sure seems like a long way off. Amazingly, it will fly by I’m sure. I would like to be a woman who is known for her strength in the Lord. I pray for my husband to feel a confidence knowing his wife is a source of strength because of that relationship with God. I imagine our family is engaged in our community and they have cheerful hearts who love to serve because they understand that is what the Lord is calling upon them to do.
A Heartfelt Prayer--Lord, just for today, help me to draw near to You by...
Giving me peace and rest - knowing you are in total control. Even though these past few weeks have seemed like a yucky mess, I trust you know what is best for me. “...that you have plans to prosper me and not to hurt me..” and that you know my future and what is in store if I remain obedient to your Word. Thank you Lord for the abundant blessings in my life - even though I may take them for granted some days. Let me be reminded of your miracles every day and not to forget how you specifically cared for my life from the moment I was born. And even though I fall short, thank you for forgiving me and giving me a new day, every time I awake. You are an awesome God.
Now, relate in 100 words or less one instance when you were aware that you actively chose time in God's word as a priority over something or someone else this week.
Well, if right now counts, then that’s all I can think of - that sounds horrible, doesn’t it? I spent time with the Lord to read before the study and before bed but after the day was finished. However, this is the time where we sit in front of the television and catch up on taped Idol. And instead of rushing downstairs after putting Ava to bed, I am here. Making sure that I complete this post before I take in my silly “me” time - wow, even the sound of it now is getting embarrassing if I haven’t given God some of “our” time. WOW. This is powerful stuff. Thanks God for opening my mind and heart today!
Head over to Blessed Mama and Life With the Edwards to link up and read more.