God Speaks TO Me THROUGH Me
I actually wrote this devotion a year and a half ago (June 2007), but as I read it again today, I realize how relevant it is to my life…again! It’s one thing I love about being a writer: God so often uses Me to speak to Me.
Here is a copy of the devotion:
By Sandy Cooper
She Speaks Graduate
“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”
I Thessalonians 4:11&12 (NIV)
“Mom, will you please tell me a story? “my eight-year-old daughter asked me recently. It had been one of those insanely packed days, full of errands, chores and activities…and it wasn’t over yet. My mind strained to keep everything in order for the remaining events we had planned for the evening. I was coordinating our homeless outreach followed by plans to attend my husband’s softball game. I needed to make sure I had kids fed, pottied, properly clothed, and in the right places at the right times. I had to remember to bring supplies, snacks, drinks and driving directions to our various destinations. I had no brain reserve left for creative stories.
“I’m sorry, honey. I can’t tell you a story right now. I just have too much on my mind.”
“That’s okay,” she said. “I’ll tell you a story. Once upon a time,” she began, “there was a very busy mom.”
Uh oh. This ought to be interesting…
“She woke up every day and she was tired. She made a big pot of coffee and went into her room to pray. She prayed and prayed and prayed…but nothing happened. She did the laundry and went to Target and to the grocery store where she spent lots of money. She made dinner and cleaned the house. She went to help the homeless children. At the end of the day, she was still tired so she went to bed. The end.”
Wow. I’m like a twisted version of the Proverbs 31 woman, but much less effective.
I managed to fake a smile and kiss my precious daughter on the head as I blinked back tears.
That night I couldn’t sleep (a very rare thing for me…being as “tired” as I am, and all). So at 1:00 am I got up and began journaling. For two hours, I poured out my anxious thoughts to God as I sifted through my schedule to identify where and when things had gone wrong. I listed every activity in which I am currently involved as well as every household responsibility that was taking up my time. The process was very revealing. I discovered that it wasn’t one nasty “culprit” whom I could quickly rebuke and cast out of my life, but a series of little culprits:
o Mismanaged time—like checking and responding to e-mails over ten times a day.
That night God helped me identify a few key areas I could immediately cut in order to be less busy. He helped me draw up and prioritize a master list of projects to tackle, as well as new chores to delegate to my children. But mostly that night, He reminded me (for what seems like the millionth time) that my children would only be little for a season. And in comparison to the pages of other tasks and responsibilities I had just written in my journal, my commitment to be a Godly wife and mother stood far above them all.
And then He reminded me (for the hundred millionth time) that He doesn’t view me as some kind of “ministry production machine.” Nor does He value me because of what I can accomplish in a day. He cherishes me because I am His daughter. Period. When I remember this, I’m much less inclined to add new things to my plate. Instead, I rest in the peace of knowing who I am in Christ and what He has purposed for me to do and be…not “busy” but “blessed.”
Dear Lord, remind me as often as You must, how much You love me and value me as Your daughter. I offer today to You. Help me lead a quiet life. Remove anything from my schedule that is not in Your perfect will for me or does not bring You glory. Add anything to my schedule that I may have overlooked or forgotten altogether. Help me to keep my priorities in perfect order. Let my life reflect Your abundant grace and mercy, and thereby, win the respect of outsiders. And allow those whom You’ve placed in my realm of influence to be drawn closer to You because of Your Spirit shining through me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
The Mom You’re Meant to Be by Cheri Fuller
How to Be a God Chaser and a Kid Chaser by Tommy Tenney and Thetus Tenney
Write down five things you can do today to simplify your life (drop an activity, organize a closet, delegate a chore) and then do them.
Why do you think as women we struggle so much with our identity, putting more emphasis on what we accomplish rather than who we are?
If time were not an issue, what kinds of things would you want to do?
Psalm 139: 23 &24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (NIV)
Ephesians 1:4-6 “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (NIV)
I just about fell out of my chair this morning when I opened up the Proverbs 31 blog today and saw your post!!
SO PROUD OF YOU!!!
Guess what I woke up to study on today?? 🙂
“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15, 16).
Loved the devotion! And congratulations!
Such a great reminder to Christian wives and moms. I think we daily need to submit our to-do lists to the Lord…and let Him re-write them!
I love how the Lord used your daughter! Beautiful! (my 1st published devo was about how the Lord used my daughter to speak to me, too!)
Enjoy your special day today! May He be glorified!
LOVE your devo. So, very good. I’m sure you are speaking to people all over the globe girl. Now, I have to get off the computer and make hot chocolate with my little one. Smiles…
Thanks for being such a faithful commenter on my blog. I look forward to seeing what you have to say everyday~
Oh my goodness! I wake up to the Proverbs 31 devo everyday and there it was – YOUR devotional!
Excellent! And really something I needed to hear, girl!
Email for Fitness Friday thing:
Very convicting…I often do not make good use of my time, and I wonder how my kids would describe me.
Thanks for this excellent reminder, and congrats on Proverbs 31! Way to go!
I didn’t read my email devotion today, but I went to your blog and there it was..how timely! That is me you wrote about. I feel like such a failure sometimes. I often tell my husband how “he should parent”..because “they aren’t little long”…and its just a slap in my face..I’ve got work to do myself! My heart is heavy..its been heavy all weekend..I need major quiet time and want to get away from here for it..but its not an option. I pray I will use my time wisely (your comment about checking email 10 times a day hit home) and get my butt up early to be w/ God..and my treadmill!
So glad to have “met” you!
Congrats on being published by P31! What a great honor. I found you by your message on Lysa’s sight, but had wanted to find you after reading it. It was awesome!
Congrats again! May you continue to reach women though your writing and God’s love.
Wowwzers! So good! Thank you so much for the reminder!
Just signed up for P31!
Hey Sandy; how cool to have this published on Proverbs 31! And I saw Lysa’s comment so you know she’s reading. I didn’t realize you went to She Speaks. I’ll email you later.
It’s so easy to get caught up in activities that are good. But I do believe that when we submit to God’s will and leading we do our best because He’s the one empowering us. Such a wonderful reminder to be a Mary in a Martha world.
This is a great post Sandy. A big hug to you!
Your post totally spoke to my heart today. Just the other day, my son was telling his friend: “My mommy never spends time with me.” I suddenly thought, “Hey, we’re together all the time.” God showed me this morning through your post that even though I’m spending time around him, I’m not spending time with his heart. Thank you for this wonderful post.
I really enjoyed your devotion and was totally convicted on some things. Thank you for speaking from your heart.
Sandy, that was awesome. And very convicting after I spent more time with the computer today than I did with my kids. Ouch.
Wanted to visit here yesterday, but never made it over…oh no…does that mean I’m too busy :o)
Anyway, just wanted to let you know your devotional was the talk of a small group of women at my Bible study this morning. I was sitting with “young mom’s” this morning and one gal asked me if I had read the P31 devotional yesterday and then she shared with me how your words had spoken to her heart.
You may never know the number of hearts you encouraged yesterday with your authenticity. I have a girlfriend who’s children used to write her messages while she was on the phone just to find time to ‘talk’ to their mom. She described their house as more of an airline strip where she flew in and out every day, but never really ‘landed’ and spent time with her family.
Thanks for sharing your heart. You are a blessing,
Congrats on the P31 published devotion.. which is wonderful, of course, and right on with where I’m at in raising girls! It’s so hard to balance chores and quality time with kids, but my 2 year old loves doing dishes with me, so today I found myself encouraging her to help me with the clean ones and then sending her off to her own kitchen where we each did the dirty ones on our own… maybe a lesson there, eh?
I didn’t know you were a She Speaks Graduate. Me, too! 2007 and 2008 When did you attend?
And yes, sign me up for the Fitness Friday thing, too! My six weeks postpartum is this week and then back to the grind… my hubby and I are considering the Nashville marathon this spring. firstname.lastname@example.org