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Monday, October 10, 2011

Delight yourself.

I rarely get to sit and enjoy a church service these days. I knew it was coming, honestly. Once Emeline could walk, and talk, and had a will. Once she moved past the sit-still-in-my-lap-and-eat-snacks-all-service phase. I knew I had finally hit that stage where enjoying a message uninterrupted, or, even, with her remotely quiet and content in my lap wasn't happening. At all. 

And since we're part of a smaller start-up church, a "nursery" doesn't exist quite yet. Considering we're basically the only couple with a child under the age of 2, the need for a nursery isn't that dire, either, to be honest. If we had one? She'd probably fight going in there anyway. That's a whole 'nother post for another day. Because girlfriend has started separation anxiety like it's nobodies business. And it hurts my heart to hear her scream bloody murder, I'd end up going and getting her anyway (because I'm a wimp). And now I'm just blabbing on about details that have nothing to do with the post.

Anyway. My sister runs the Children's Ministry at our church for ages 2 and up. She had the "toddler" group this week and asked me if I wanted her to take Emeline down with her so I could stay and enjoy the sermon. [Sidenote: It's been months since I've sat and listened to a sermon. Since Declan helps run the projector screen & song show stuff--it makes it more hard. I usually end up staying for worship and then whisking Eme home for a nap early, hence, missing the message.]

If you know anything about my sister, Susan & Emeline's relationship, you'd know it's a good one. No, a great one. If she's comfortable with anyone outside of Declan and I, it's definitely her. So, she took her down to the toddler class and Eme went happily. Therefore, I? Got to sit. In peace. And listen to the message. 

It was heaven.

I didn't realize how much I took that for granted prior to having a child.

And the message? Was such a good one.

Our pastor gave us all a piece of paper, and asked us to write this down:

Write down (3) Hopes/Dreams/Promises that have been fulfilled in your life. 

Write down (3) Hopes/Dreams/Promises that have yet to be fulfilled in your life.

Immediately, without hardly thinking I scratched down some things. Having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Being able to resign my job and stay at home with my daughter. Losing the weight and achieving a healthy life I didn't feel I could have. 

My dreams not yet fulfilled? Well I'll keep those to myself for now. 

The rest of the message he went on to tell us about the hard week he had, and how multiple times through the week he kept catching himself just dwelling in circumstances, in little details of the things going wrong. He said he finally just snapped out of it and was reminded of God's faithfulness overall. Of all the times that God's blessed his family with their needs being met, big or small--and he was humbled at the fact that God truly does have our best interest at heart.

One of my favorite quotes from the message was when he said (as I wrote it down super-fast, as not to miss anything), "If I don't remain in a place of Faith with God, I get anxious. My circumstances can make me weak and forget the promises of God." 

I don't know if any of you can identify with that, but I know I can. 

Totally.

I get wrapped up in things all the time. Overwhelming things, the health of my family, job situations, stresses of life, relationships troubles, and lots more. My heart gets anxious. I lose my focus. I forget that I don't have to be the one remaining strong all the time, that I don't have all the answers. Nor do I need to. That I need to be reminded of all the times he's been so faithful to me and my family, and provided for our needs.

At the end of the sermon, he asked us to go back and look at the promises we'd filled out in the beginning. The ones that were fulfilled? Those are just good reminders of God's faithfulness in our lives. For me? My example was that I never, ever thought there'd be a way for me to stay home with my daughter. I cried way-too-many tears over that situation, agonizing over it. Yet, somehow I was able to resign my job and be home permanently, when originally it seemed hopeless.

Then, he had us look over the promises not yet fulfilled. Whatever they may be, and they were certainly different for everyone in the room I'm sure.  Then he had us all flip the paper over and reflect on this verse that was printed there:

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun." Psalm 37:4-6

It was exactly what I needed to hear, and just maybe it'll speak to you, too.

***

Happy Monday...

18 comments:

  1. Sometimes you just need a reminder and this is EXACTLY what I needed today. Thank you Katie!

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  2. My big anxiety is my boys' health, particularly L. I needed to read this today. Awesome post.

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  3. Love this. And that verse has been my go-to verse for YEARS. It's always what I need to read when I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. Glad you got to finally sit and enjoy the sermon. I know I took that for granted before N as well. :)

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  4. I have to admit, I am very guilty of this! And the baby doesn't like or stay in nursery so we always end up leaving which has led t us not going anymore & we moved so we are church shpping but it's no excuse!! You gave me that motivation I needed to go search harder, thanks!!

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  5. First of all, I totally understand--J leads worship at least twice a month, so it's pretty rare that I get to do much of the service too. We do have nursery, but they don't go in until more than halfway through the service. My MIL has been bugging me to start volunteering to do nursery, and I probably *should*, but there's seriously only like one Sunday a month that J and I get to sit together and hear the sermon, and GIRL, that is sacred time.

    Second, I think that's such a cool exercise. Sometimes, I'll be praying and praying for something, but I don't ever reflect to think about when and how that was fulfilled (or wasn't). I totally need to get better about reflecting back.

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  6. Oh Katie....loved this post..You know me..it totally hit home. This is what I needed today, Thank You!

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  7. I love this! Especially the list your pastor had you make.

    We (well mostly my husband) do the powerpoint stuff at our church too. Although we have 2 others that we rotate with.

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  8. My biggest dream is to be a SAHM, but it looks hopeless. So your story is an encouragement to me. Thank you! Glad you got to enjoy the message! :)

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  9. I alwasy love my thr sermons and love it even more when the sermon feels like its speaking directly to me. Great post.

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  10. Excellent message. I'm so glad you got to hear it.

    Our oldest can sit through mass, our middle son goes to "church school" during mass and K does go to nursery and yes, it's so nice to be able to really hear the sermon.

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  11. This was refreshing. I never considered myself an anxious person, when we had Kirsten, that changed.

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  12. Oh, and I'm SO happy for you that you got to SIT and ENJOY something. That is a hard experience to come by these days!

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  13. I'm so thankful that my church has an AMAZING nursery and children's ministry program, staffed with wonderful people. It gives me the chance to pay attention to what God wants me to hear, and allows for baby girl to get to play and have time with other kiddos.

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  14. Earlier today I was sitting on the side of the freeway with steam coming out of the hood of my car, and my tired, hungry 14 month old crying in the backseat. The radiator that we've been trying to have just "get by" and filling it with coolant every so often, is now officially busted. When we got home we had a notice from our mortgage company asking us to call them immediately because, well, things aren't going so great there either. My husband and I just looked at each other and knew we had to trust God. I opened my computer after dinner and the first thing I read was your blog. Thank you for allowing God to speak through you today to me and Brad.

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  15. I LOVE that verse. This post was exactly what I needed to hear today. We came back from our honeymoon on Sunday....and even after having th emost magical week of our lives, I didn't feel content. I immediately started talking about wanting a new home, a BIGGER home...and more space for our daughter. I was frantic. My husband reminded me that God has a plan for us, and so far it's been pretty darn good. He is so right, and so are you. Anxiety is the devil speaking louder than God, and I pray I am able to remind myself of that! xo

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  16. Very cool. Now I'm trying to think of three things for each...

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