First of all, we decided to avail ourselves to the in-room Jacuzzi the hotel offered last night. As we got ready to drain the tub and turn off the Jacuzzi, guess what? No off button. As it turns out, the maintenance man, the hotel night manager nor the district manager knew how to turn it off, either, so I slept next to the loudest B-flat of the Jacuzzi motor all night long. UUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!! Driving in the car now, it occurs to me what too much of a good thing feels like—not so good.
So with my mind and spirit cleared of that frustration, I’ll get to my response on this week’s lesson.
Questions for week 3’s lesson:
1. It was stated in the Lesson that God has made you "once, twice, three times a lady." Where are you in this progression? Obviously we have all been physically born, but are you ‘twice a lady’? Have you been born again spiritually
2. Are you three times a lady? Has God given you a stirring deep within your Spirit to be a ‘deliverer’? Do you have a desire or are you already meeting a need in the life of the church, a particular ministry (such as jail ministry, food ministry, etc.) or perhaps individuals who share common issues?
3. Do you ever get tired of waiting for that opportunity to do something worthwhile for God? Do you ever feel God is using someone else instead of you?
4. What do you consider ‘worthwhile ministry’? Are you like me and sometimes find yourself mistakenly thinking it has to be Big to be Important?
5. Have you ever taken a spiritual gifts test? If yes, what are yours? If no, here’s a good one from Ephesians 4 Ministry (www.churchgrowth.org/cgi-cg/gifts.cgi?intro=1). Will you take it and come back with a response?
Always the rebel, of course I couldn’t just answer the questions like someone normal. Reading the lesson for this week has me hesitant to post because my own experience with God-given purpose, heart stirrings, and worthwhile ministries have been the subject of my posts for the last year of blogging. I feel like a rambling nag with her mouth wide open saying the same things, but falling on deaf ears as she’s repeated herself to the point of nausea. I’m sure this post will reflect my fatigue from lack of sleep and the speed at which my mind is jumping from place to place. Then again, maybe this is my opportunity to put it all together, and you never know who’ll be blessed by your words on a given day.
Thanks to the steady rainfall, we had some great family movie time together. Akeelah and the Bee was the kids’ choice on last night; I will say that it is an excellent movie, totally inspiring in its message, though (lightly) sprinkled with profanity, which I assume was to emphasize the socioeconomic plight of the movie’s little heroine. As we enjoyed, I couldn’t help but reflect on several recurring themes for me, and the particular passion that led me to create A Blessed Heritage Educational Resources:
1) The low (if any) expectations that exist for the economically disadvantaged
2) The fruit of the cycle of poverty—ignorance, low self-esteem, and low or no self-confidence
3) The relationships that we nurture and the impact of trying to fit in with people who are uncomfortable with our success
4) How many of our children who grow up to think little of themselves, both as a result of institutionalized racism and self-destructive behaviors resulting from 1), 2) and/or 3)
So after the movie, I had the chance to pour out my heart to God while on the treadmill over these heart stirring meditations, over my own homeschooling preparations, which have strangely consumed much more of my thoughts over this summer break than is normal, and over my ‘3 times a lady’ ministry. You’ll pardon the lack of eloquence, but I wanted to write it just as I thought it then, and as I’m thinking it now. It went (and goes) something like this:
Father, you are so great. You possess the cattle on a thousand hills. The earth is Yours and the fullness thereof. But we often forget who you are. We complain and whine and become so quickly consumed with the cares and concerns of this temporary life, sounding so much like the very ones we try to convince of their need for You. We repent of that and need Your forgiveness again.
I pray that we not take lightly this mighty work to which we are called. Each morning we have a wonderful opportunity. When most kids endure a school system which speaks no life and little truth to them, no destiny over them, and which moreover, socializes them toward mediocrity, we have the time to pour into our children who they are and whose they are. We have before us a rich garden to tend–each flower unique, but all beautiful and all worthy of displaying before the rest of God’s creation. Let our children never think less of themselves than what they are, but instead be fed a constant diet of their special-ness in You. Let them receive even in the most secret places of their hearts an understanding of Your plan for them so that something convicts them quickly when they would go astray from it.
Give us a fresh mind for what we’re doing. Each day, let us look at our lesson plans not as a mesh of books, boxes, and checked-off progress reports, but as another chance to shape a life that will perform mighty works for the cause of Christ. Let us work feverishly and tirelessly with a renewed mindset about our true purpose. Our children need academic wisdom, for an anointing without intellect is lacking at best, and useless at its worst. They will need to be heard, to be placed in positions of influence so that they might lead others toward things that are of You. Let us never get weary in well doing.
We pray resources for the people of God that we might increase the work we’re doing for the Kingdom. Let us not be content to be impoverished in any way. Poverty is not synonymous with humility, and there is nothing noble or of good report about living beneath Your will for our lives. Remind us daily of what we’re doing and why—not from the view of a curriculum publisher or how-to-homeschool article, but really, why. We thank You in advance, Lord. Amen.