Sunday, February 9, 2014

"becoming Mary"

This past Friday, I unleashed my anger on my dear husband.  Anger that had been building for quite some time.  Anger that seemed to consume my every thought, action, and word.  Though I was able to apologize to him for unleashing on him, I left that afternoon for a Ladies Retreat with a dear friend of mine.

As we were driving to the retreat, the feelings of anger, resentment, frustration, pride, well basically all the things that are NOT GOD honoring flooded my thoughts.  When we arrived at the lodge that we were staying in, I was warmly greeted by some amazing women.

That evening the bible study was based on spiritual journaling, and for once I was in the moment and knew what the leader was talking about.  As I was journaling, I kept thinking about my words and actions from that morning.  Well, of course I should have known that I was being primed just right to hear HIS word yesterday during the last part of our bible study.

HIS Daily Teachings today is consuming my mind, so much that I couldn't even read my current book, instead I was thinking back to what was said during our last bible study, and this morning I know that HE is wanting me to share what "Becoming Mary" looks like for me.

Today's teaching is based on the story of two sister's Mary and Martha.  JESUS is traveling through a village and comes to the home of the two sisters.  Mary immediately sat at HIS feet, and was consumed by what HE was saying to her.  She was captivated by HIS teachings, and didn't move from HIS feet the entire time.  Martha on the other hand was running around like a mad-woman getting EVERYTHING ready and complaining that Mary wasn't helping.  JESUS lets Martha know that instead of getting "worked up" over Mary NOT helping, she must realize that Mary has chosen to better thing to be doing, and NOTHING she or anyone else could say could tell her differently.

"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

On the first read through of this scripture that words that jump out at me were: "listened to what he was saying" So often I fail to listen to what HE is telling me to do, and it is during those time that I make the biggest mistakes and the most mistakes in my walk with HIM.  HE is wanting me to know that I must listen to HIM, obey HIM, and it is then that things will work out for my own good.

"Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more." Mark 4:24

"You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God." Leviticus 18:4

On the second read through the words that jumped out at me were:  "worked up."  This is my biggest problem.  I get so worked up over the fact that my family isn't seeking HIM at the same pace as me.  I get so "worked up" over whether or not they are being GOD honoring in their speech and their actions.  I get so "worked up" over whether or not my husband is leading his family in a god-honoring way.   I even got "worked up" yesterday just by thinking about how often I get "worked up!"

It was on the third read through that I finally understood what HE was telling me.  The words that jumped out at me were once again, "worked up."  Only this time, even though I heard HIM say it during the second time, it took three times to really "hear" what HE was telling me. HE was saying to me,  "don't worry about other people "Becoming Mary, I've got this!"   As I sat there journaling HE began telling me what I needed to be doing.  HE was telling me to keep my eyes focused on HIM.   That I am NOT to allow myself to be consumed by worldly things.  HE told me that I must do all things with a good heart, so that in EVERYTHING that I think, say, and do, it will ALL bring praise, honor, and glory to HIM.  HE wanted me to know that I must get my mind set on HIM, and stop worrying about when everyone else is going to catch up.  I must choose to trust that HIS timing is perfect.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

When I heard this story about Martha, and Mary I couldn't help but see that the answer that I had been praying for was staring me in the face.  HE was telling me that I needed to be more diligent about "becoming Mary," and not complaining and whining about how unfair things are in my life like "Martha."

Many thoughts rolled through my mind during this retreat, and as I look back today through the resources that I was given, I came across this little gem.  Truly as my HEAVENLY FATHER knows me best, HE has once again answered my prayer for "respect."

R ~ Accept Responsibility for what you feel, without blaming others. ~ This for me means that I can't just say "well you make me feel this way," rather I must understand that it is my choice to get "worked up," over what someone else has said or done.  I must be consumed with "becoming Mary."

E ~ Listen with an Eenergized heart. ~ How often my children or my husband will be speaking to me, and I find that I am only "half" listening to them.  I wonder how often I do that with GOD?!?  That very thought makes me cringe, as I know that I need HIM every single moment of my journey.  I need HIM to teach, lead, and guide me through every thought and action that I make.

S ~ Be Sensitive to differences in communication styles.  ~ This is a tough one for me, as I struggle with the fact that NOT everyone is blessed with the gift of talking like me..... for those of you who know me in real life, know that I love to talk to people.  I have been blessed with being able to communicate well, however, in knowing that I am blessed I sense that HE is telling me that I must not get ahead of HIM in my thinking, but rather stop and wait, for HIS instructions.  I must choose to be Sensitive to whom ever I am speaking to, as I too once was lost, and was saved by "HIS AMAZING GRACE."

P ~ Ponder on what you hear and feel before you speak.  ~ This is a HUGE struggle for me, as how often my mouth is running before my brain has even had time to process, and by the time it catches up to my mouth, oh wow have I made a mess of things..... YIKES!  HE is wanting me to know that I must choose my words carefully!

E ~ Examine your own assumptions and perceptions.  ~ This is a trap that I fall into as even though it has been revealed to me what my spiritual gifts are, "mercy, discernment, and wisdom," I tend to forget that I am not at the same level as GOD.  I am NOT HIM, and I don't know everything.  I must seek HIS guidance, in what to think, say, and do in EVERY situation.

C ~ Keep Confidentiality ~ Gossiping is a HUGE struggle for me, as it is EVERYWHERE!!!  HE is wanting me to know that I must choose to shut down ALL thoughts that are gossiping!  I must not engage in conversations that are gossiping.  However, in my humanness, and well stupidity, I fall into this trap more times than I would care to admit.  HE is wanting me to know that I must get my mind set on things that are noble, right, and lovely, just as HE is.  I must let go of my incessant need to be liked by others, and get my mind focused on "Becoming Mary," all consumed by HIM.

T ~ Trust ambiguity because we are not here to debate who is right or wrong ~ This is another HUGE struggle for me, as well because after all doesn't everyone want to be right?  HE is wanting me to know that my life is not about a debate. I must learn to avoid the debates that flood my life, and keep my mind set on doing what is good, pleasing, and honoring to HIM.

HE is wanting me to know that in order to do ALL things that are good, pleasing and honoring to HIM, I must be consumed by HIM, and seeking HIM daily to teach, lead, and guide me into "becoming Mary." HE is wanting me to know that when I allow myself to become consumed, and captivated by HIM EVERYTHING else in my life will fall into place, because it is then that HIS ENDLESS JOY will flood my heart, soul, and mind, and my "true treasure" will be found.

This morning HE reminded me of a song that speaks so beautifully to my heart, about my feelings for HIM, and my need for HIM to teach, lead, and guide me through EVERY single step of my journey towards wholeness.  It reminds me of my time spent on the retreat this weekend, and of the time of relaxation, rejuvenation, and reflection that I was able to spend with the one WHO knows and loves me best!

"The More I Seek YOU" Kari Jobe ~ 

The more I seek you, 
The more I find you 
The more I find you, the more I love you

I wanna sit at your feet
Drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath, feel your heart beat
This love is so deep, it's more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it's overwhelming 

This morning as I sit at HIS feet, and listen to HIS teachings, am I filled with hope, HIS hope that HE who holds my tomorrow has told me that I need NOT to worry about anything as HE has it all worked out for my own good.  I am thankful to know once again that I need only to seek HIM, and be consumed by HIM, so that my journey will be about "becoming Mary."

I pray today that you will know that HE is speaking to you.  I pray that you will open your heart, soul, and mind to HIS teachings as they truly are what's best for your life.  I pray that you will be comforted in knowing that even though you don't know what your future holds, you know WHO holds your future.  I pray for HIS guidance for your life as you continue on through your journey in "becoming Mary."


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