God has been graciously and gently leading me in this process of focus and self discipline. I recently realized that any time I have a problem my first instinct is to look outward to fix it or at the very least to make the problem look fixed on the outside. My initial ideas on how to deal with whatever I'm going through are talking with friends, reading a book about it, seeing a counselor, listening to a sermon, etc. I'm convinced that looking outward for answers isn't the way to go about it.
That's not the way God works...
"For the Lord sees not as man sees: Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."1 Samuel 16:7
He sees the motives of the heart and the brokenness that's there. Looking to Him is the only way to solve the issues of the human heart.
This year I'll be looking inward when I see the symptoms of a heart issue. I'll also be going to God's word to solve it and praying for a heart change or whatever the issue may require. My symptoms range from being argumentative, easily irritated or short, indulging in sweets or just not living with purpose. The heart issues are insecurity, selfishness, lust and laziness. All of which the Heavenly Father conquered once and for all when He sent His son to die on the cross for sin. I no longer have to be a slave to those things. (Colossians 2:13-14)
Redemption and newness of life are always available. Each moment of every day. I need to be reminded of that every day.
Thank God His love never fails and His mercies are new every morning.(Lamentations 3:22-23) Forgiveness is as easy as sincerely asking for it.(1 John 1:8-9) My hope is to be so caught up in who He is and what He's doing that I don't necessarily have to focus on these things. Instead they are carried away as I remain in Him.
To keep my goals and vision for the family clear in my mind and before me at all times I put together a little Acronym. The 2013 acronym is H.O.M.E. It stands for Honor, Openness, Management, and Earnest.
I have specific goals within each area of H.O.M.E and some important reminder scriptures to go along with each goal. I'll share a few. Honoring my Lord by spending daily time with Him. Openness to making this home a haven for all of the members in it, not only myself. Managing and purposefully training and teaching my children in the ways of the Lord by spending time with them, and not spending time hiding from them.:) Earnestly and diligently studying the scriptures. These are just a few of the things I know I am to be doing DAILY.
One of the phrases I plan on branding to my brain, is "stay home." If I'm tempted to do or say things that God has not led me to or anything that would hurt the vision and purpose of God in our home, I plan on saying/thinking the phrase "stay home" to remind me to live with His purpose in mind.
I also got a great idea from Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy Experience, to post some ideas, words, symbols, anything that inspires me when I'm feeling in over my head. I'll post those in a place where they are easily accessed and be pointed directly to the Lord when I'm at my weakest.
Yes, it will still require me to look up and read, but I'm so tired of feeling like a failure when I mess up and I know these reminders will call me back to redemption's work.
I listened to Lysa Terkeurst and Sheila Walsh talking about negative inside chatter last night and what to do about it. Sheila Walsh said one of the things that will be up on my list.
"The son of God used the word of God to combat the enemy of God."
She was referring to Jesus' temptation in the wilderness and how His response to the enemy was consistently, "It is written..." It should be my response as well.
May I not so quickly forget the power of the living word of God! I don't post it around my home to seem "more holier than thou." I post it around my home because I desperately need it in my face at my weakest moments to pick me up and at my strongest moments to remind me of where the Lord has carried me from. Sometimes, even the scriptures God has written on my heart are difficult to call to mind with so many distractions swirling around me. I will not be caught ill equipped any longer.
I'm not looking for 2013 to be a flawless year. I'm not going to strive for any sort of perfection, but I will strive to grow. I'm determined and Christ's Spirit within me is determined. I know I will fail. I know I will fall short on many days and in many different ways, but I will not be kept from knowing my Lord more. I won't be kept from sharing His redemptive work through what He's done and is doing in my life any longer. I'm tired of the unhealthy cycles I've seen in my life and I believe God when he says that he will complete the work he began in us. Phil. 1:6
He will not fail because He cannot fail. If it looks like He has, I will look harder and I will wait for my Shepherd's voice to speak.
One thing I know to be true is that I am undone. In Him I am free and redeemed, but principles are still skewed from walking for 19 years with myself as my god. I need the continual renewing of my mind in order to abide in Him, remembering His power is made perfect in every weakness of mine. It helps me to make sense of who I am. It keeps me-H.O.M.E.