Friday, February 25, 2011

Direct My Paths

"As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him . . ."

1 Choronicles 28:9

New American Standard Bible

When I was in college, I had all kinds of plans. I was going to get married and have kids. I was going to teach 7th grade English and write a book someday. I always thought I'd be the president of my kids' school's PTA and I was for sure going to teach Sunday School and be active in a Bible study of my own as well. My kids would be involved in all kinds of activities and I'd love to drive them around and have Starbucks with the other moms in my neighborhood. I'd keep a perfect house and probably drive a minivan and get up every morning at the crack of dawn to have my alone time with God and work out--all before my kids got up.

After eleven years, I can say that I still want to do all of those things, but I have figured out that I have to pick and choose what I fill my life with. I have spent my fair share of time agonizing over whether to stay at home full-time with my kids or work outside of the home. I have struggled to find my place in ministry at our church and wondered if I should volunteer at all. I carefully consider each and every activity my kids do and try to find a good balance in our week with family time verses all the other stuff of life.

In the end, it comes down to one thing . . . knowing God and allowing Him to direct my paths. When I feel that strong desire to be back in the classroom, I seek God's counsel through prayer and through His Word (which is where God promises to always meet us). When I am asked to lead a Bible study, I have a little chat with God about whether I am in the position to help fill others up with God's Word or if I need a little filling up myself. When my daughter wants to do dance, gymnastics, swimming, tee ball, and Girl Scouts I think about what God wants for our family and make my decisions based on that.

I believe that God calls us to vocations, roles, and activities in unique ways and in His unique timing. The path that God places before me may not be the path that He sets before anyone else. As women and mothers, we are pulled in so many directions, whether we are pulling ourselves with our own wants or whether we are serving our families and their desires and needs. In order to sort out the craziness of life, we first need to look to God and listen to where He is calling us at that moment, in that place. Knowing God's voice can make all the difference.

Dear God . . . You know me so well and sometimes I make decisions without you because I think I can do it on my own. Please forgive me and help me to always seek You first and allow you to direct my paths.

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