Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Quick Trip Home

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to fly home to St. Louis, for 36 hours, literally. My mom, Grandma and I attended a women's conference of Elizabeth George, who by the way, is A-MA-ZING!! The theme was "Remarkable" and she taught on Remarkable Truth, Remarkable Victory and Remarkable Trust. Her main verse for the weekend was Philippians 4:8, which says, "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is anything excellent, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things." What a powerful verse! How many times do I find myself loathing in self pity, rather than truly meditating on the words of Christ? Paul, in this verse, is building a "curb" for our thoughts. What we should be doing when a thought comes to mind, is evaluating it, by asking ourselves, "Is it truthful? Is it worthy of my time? Is it honoring to Christ? Is it a lie?" If it does not fit into the descriptions written in Phil. 4:8, then we don't need to be thinking it!! We need to be thinking the truth about God. We need to be thinking about the truths spoken in the Word of God. And we need to be thinking the truth about who we are as sons and daughters in Christ!

Remarkable Victory - winning over worry. How many of us dwell on the mistakes of our past? How many hours do you think you've spent thinking about past mistakes, past hurts, past situations we wish we could change? I know I've spent probably hundreds of hours over my lifetime, thinking about different scenarios in the past that I have wished I could go back and change! It's not only dishonoring to God when we think on the past and question, "...if only I had...", but when we look on the past, things also get distorted and our minds often make the situation worse or different than it really was, I mean, we are going off of a memory that we created in our own minds. How often do you think Satan distorts memories of our past, to make them out to be worse than they actually were, so you will feel more guilt and shame? Isn't that his prerogative? We must discipline ourselves to not focus on the past, but focus on the here and now, and what God has done in our lives through life experiences. Focus on who we are in Christ NOW!

Remarkable Trust - I can trust God with 1) My #1 problem of each day, whether it's work or family related, or a sin struggle that I have not confessed, or ANYTHING, I can trust the Lord with it! 2) I can trust the Lord with the good things in my life. 3) I can trust the Lord with the bad things in my life. 4) I can trust the Lord with the big things in my life, 4) And I can trust the Lord with the smallest thing sin my life!!

The time spent at this conference was such a blessing to my heart. A lot of these things I truly needed to hear, even though I would not have admitted it at the time! Since my biggest struggle is finding and experiencing joy in my life, and the lack of joy outpouring itself through anger, the Lord really awoke my heart to the truth in Philippians 4:8. I have found that I think so negatively, about pointless matters, people who's actions I have no control over and truly negative thoughts about past choices, rather than find joy in everyday living. This weekend, I experienced joy, true joy from the Lord, for the first time in a long time. Don't get me wrong, I have experienced the happiness of pregnancy, as well as the emotional roller coaster of it, but I truly found joy in such the little things this weekend.

I found myself crying tears of joy on the plane ride home, because Caleb was kicking me. I was overwhelmed at the fact that this little life is growing inside me, and that he is "fearfully & wonderfully made" by our Heavenly Father. I praised the Lord as I was reading a book by Elizabeth George, "A Mom After God's Own Heart", and realizing what a privilege I have of being Caleb's mommy, already, even in the womb. He is life, he is breathing and kicking, and doing somersaults, he is REAL! I found joy in spending quality time with my mom, GREAT quality time. I found joy in hearing the story of one of the singers at the conference who is currently pregnant as a surrogate mother for one of her friends who is not able to carry a child full-term. I found joy in the smallest blessings of being able to enjoy spending time with my sweet Grandma, who, while she is getting up there in age, has such a spunk and such a joy filled spirit, all because of the work that Christ has done and continues to do in her heart. I experienced joy through spending time at dinner with my dad. I was filled with joy and laughter as he greeted me with a, "Hey momma!" How precious those words were to my heart to hear, coming from him!!! I am experiencing joy as I write this blog post, because I know that the God of the universe, knows MY name, knows the number of hairs on my head, knows when I sit and when I rise, knows every thought, knows every desire, knows every hurt, and still chooses to love me, unconditionally as HIS PRECIOUS BABY GIRL!!!! What a precious gift I have been given! Thank you Lord, for your love and devotion to me, I do choose to praise you because I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made, by your hands, just as I am!!

Mom & I

Be Blessed and Encouraged!


Self Family said...

Sounds like the conference was amazing!! So glad you got good quality time with your mom and grandma. Do you want to memorize Phil 4:8 with me?? thought it would be good to add to the other verses we've discussed about holding our thoughts captive. love you friend!!

Katie said...

Jill, I'm so excited for you that the Lord met you where you're at in this need. There is SUCH joy in the smallest of details throughout your day, and I'm thrilled that you're really beginning to experience those.

I found myself crying in the shower or at the most random times being pregnant with Julia, simply out of complete overwhelming joy at the life within me. Allow yourself in those times to stop what you're doing and really allow yourself to feel him wiggling in there and to feel the joy of that blessing wash over you. Such a miracle!

JulieL said...

Wish I could have been there! I'm glad it went so well.

I know what you mean about Caleb kicking you and being overwhelmed by a myriad of emotions. Both of my pregnancies had me totally at the feet of the Lord, thankful and overwhelmed with the gift of motherhood. You will make mistakes, you will regret things, but no one, NO ONE will love that child more than you. And, it is a pure gift to be able to share with that child, looking him straight in the eye, and to tell him - you will LOVE him deeply. You will love him when he makes his own mistakes, you will forgive the things he has done to you that he regrets, that you love him in a way no one will. It is a gift. A gift many children never get from their mothers, yet you, you were picked by the Lord to be the mother of this child to come. It was not random, it was not planned by you, it was not first your hope. It was from the Lord. This gift, overwhelms me and helps me through every challenge motherhood has thrown my way. Family is from the Lord, and it is our greatest gift to care of them and grow in life together.