The Soul Matters {POP31 - Chp. 10}

Today is our final chapter on Pursuit of Proverbs 31 and it is one of the most important issues dealt with in Amy's book.

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As I was driving in my car one day, I was singing the words of a familiar worship song by Jeff Deyo, "Bless the Lord".

"And I will worship you; I will bless your name forever.I will worship you. Bless the Lord O my soul, bless the Lord."

The words came out, but they didn't feel real. At that moment, they felt like lip service and nothing more. I had allowed my connection with the Lord to be fleeting rather than purposeful.

So the words didn't carry the same weight they should have, and I knew it. I couldn't fully believe what I was singing--of my soul blessing the Lord--because my soul hadn't even been fully tuned into Him.

It was more like God was in the background of my life and I just went about my days. Sometimes throwing a "thank you, Lord" out or a "God, I really need this" His way.

But I wasn't stopping, going over to Him, and simply sitting at His feet. I wasn't taking in any of His teachings, His wisdom, correction, direction. Nothing. I simply acknowledged His existence.

Even the demons do that.

If I can't set aside time for Him, He's not my Lord. A lord is someone who has control over others. I wasn't giving Him any control.

Passion was lost.

If we can't stop for soul nurture, we're going to die soul-starved. Beyond that, God cannot be in the background of our lives and still be called our God. Oh, He's still God of the universe; but we aren't letting Him be God of our universe. We're just letting Him in on the ride, but we're the ones piloting.

Our lives might be full, but they won't be fulfilling. We'll constantly be reaching for something that doesn't satisfy, and when that fails we'll move on to the next thing.

Meanwhile, God is behind us jumping up and down, trying to get our attention. (Could you picture that?! ;) )

OK, so maybe he's whispering. But the noise--busyness, distractions, stuff--it's so loud, we can't even hear Him.

If we aren't putting God in front of everything we do, it's pointless. He truly must be lord of our lives if we're going to call Him Lord.

What is something that hinders you from giving God full control?

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Ministry is Who We Are

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We're on Chapter 9 of Pursuit of Proverbs 31.

Right under the chapter title, Amy writes "We don't go into ministry; it's who we are."

Doesn't that explain a lot for you right now? Trying to press down the desire to do God's work is like trying to cut off a part of yourself (or your whole self). That's how God designed us. We were created with the desire to serve others, and further created uniquely to meet the different needs in the body of Christ and beyond.

Enter disclaimer here --> A ministry should never take the place or override your calling of being a wife and/or mother. Rather, it should work in conjunction with your responsibilities. Being a mother in and of itself is mission work.

Some may not have the desire to do more than minister inside the home. Others have a desire so deep, it will burn through them if they don't release it.

I'm the latter. My desire to write went deep, and when I became a mother I buried it with the belief that I can't mother and have an "outside" hobby. When I learned of blogging and read people like Ann Voskamp, and Emily Freeman, they encouraged me to write. It's a part of who I am; of who God made me to be. Suppressing it made it really hard for me to express my thoughts and in turn understand myself.

Writing is how I'm wired.

You may have a different gift. Maybe it's hospitality, or music. God wants you to use that for His glory. I fully believe that. I cannot imagine Him gifting us and not using those gifts.

There's also another side of serving.

In her book, Amy mentions meeting people right where they are and ministering to them. Who is right in front of you who may need encouragement or a meal? Who lives across the country that could use an encouraging note, you know, snail mail style? Does someone need a ride somewhere?

These may seem small or even inconvenient, but they are still the epitome of service to God. They take us out of our way and require sacrifice. If God has given you the ability to do what someone is asking, I really believe we should take that opportunity. He will NOT leave you wanting when you give. He will always provide for you. Another disclaimer --> Neglecting your family is not OK. We must discern when our family needs us first and not be leaving them in need while we help others. Use discernment and wisdom in all decisions--and pray.

For example, say a friend needs you to drive them across town and back but you can't use the gas because you need it for the rest of the week. {Insert light bulb here}--Opportunity! This is an opportunity to bless someone in need AND to trust God with your needs.{Amy uses a similar example in her book.}

Ministry is (or should be) a large part of who we are. In addition, it is important for our children to watch us minister to others (and not just on our computers). ;)

They learn by our example. Involve them as much as you can. Take (or make) opportunities for them to minister to others. Even young children can be a blessing to others--starting with their own siblings or other family members.

Really? The needs are endless. Don't let that discourage you, but let it awaken you to the fact that your helps is needed and does matter.

Where are you passionate about ministering?

Resources to Help You Manage Your Home

Today's post is an extension of our series from Pursuit of Proverbs 31. We started this off in April using videos. Amy had some wonderful, unexpected circumstances happen in the middle of our series and has thus been unavailable. In addition, many of you know I lost my father in law at the end of April, so I was absent for a couple of weeks as well.

Amy is still super busy, so with her permission, I am going to finish up the series so we don't need to stretch it out any further. Life happens, right? You just gotta roll with it.

So, chapter 8 in Pursuit of Proverbs 31 talks about using your resources or being resourceful. Much of what Amy touches on is saving money and simplifying. So today I'm going to share some of my favorite resources with you to help you accomplish these things. Sometimes we just need a little direction to get us started. Resources are a great tool for that -- as long as you actually utilize them.

Free Downloads from Money Saving Mom: <---Click link

  • Income Earning Ideas
  • Freezer Cooking Planners
  • Meal/Menu Planners
  • Household Management Forms
  • Plus more!

Crystal's site itself a wealth of resources! Plus, don't forget her book: The Money Saving Mom's Budget

Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider

One Bite at a Time by Tsh Oxenreider

Simplify by Joshua Becker

31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae

List Plan It - literally hundreds of lists to put your world in order

Investing in your home is worth it in order to manage it well.

What are your favorite resources for keeping your home in order?

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Managing the Home {POP31 Chap. 7}

I love how Amy subtitled this chapter: "I'm a homemaker but my name ain't Susie". Back when I had one child, I almost felt like Susie "Homemaker". Seriously. I thought I had it all together. Our second child put reality into perspective for me; not merely because I had two children, but my second child was born with major food allergies and asthma. It put me on a road I never expected. And although he has been healed of most of those ailments (and is now 6 years old), I now have a total of five children. Susie left a loong time ago.

In recent months I have come to learn something about myself. Maybe this is true of you as well, but you just haven't realized it yet.

I like to keep things simple. I have always been like that, but it's become more intentional in recent months and I have further justification for choosing this lifestyle.

I do not want to waste my life constantly reorganizing my "stuff" to make it more manageable.

I would rather spend my time creating with my children, reading to them, writing, and helping others. So I have learned to simplify everything; from toys to clothes, books and furniture, decor and nick knacks. Everything. I keep the best of everything and let the rest go. It really helps me breathe and makes managing my home easier and allows me for more time with my family, and to be quite honest, for blogging, too.

Amy leaves you with some wonderful ideas on how to help manage your home.

What is something you can work on this week to help better manage your home?

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