What’s your cause?

Looking at images of starving children, trafficked women, natural disaster stricken towns and cities, orphaned babies, broken families and all other situations urgently needing attention can be completely and totally overwhelming. Our emotions can be so engaged it’s hard to even think clearly beyond just trying to help someone, anyone,  in that moment.

I can’t watch a World Vision commercial without crying, or sit through a Compassion International presentation without my heart being pulled at. I can sit there in guilt, thinking people are wondering why we aren’t offering to sponsor a child. They don’t know that we already do sponsor a child. My heart aches within me, “well maybe we could sponsor just one more…”

My heart sometimes is pulled in so many directions I am confused and ask the Lord what on earth I’m supposed to do about so much disaster and destruction.

There was one day I had listened to a program about women and children caught in sex trafficking and I couldn’t even function. I just sat and cried until my husband got home. I proposed that night that we move to the Sudan.

Is it really God’s will for us to be running in circles trying to fight for every cause?

Through many different ways, God has been speaking to me that it is not his will for me to support every project or fight for every cause.

A lot of these causes are amazing, and you perhaps are called to one that I am not.

There were four things the Lord showed me for this season of my life.

1. There are things I am called to now.

2. There are things I am NOT called to.

3. There are things that I am called to now, but won’t be later.

4. There are things that I am NOT called to now, but will be later.

With those points in mind, I can sort out whether a cause is for me to get involved with or not. If it fits what the Lord has called me to now, than if he confirms it, I will jump in. If it’s not what I am called to, than it’s a distraction. If I’m called to it later, I can release my guilt and know that when the timing is right, I’ll be involved.

The Lord gives us each individual gifts, talents and passions. Don’t feel guilty because you aren’t called to the same thing as your friend. At the same time, don’t disengage from helping people because you don’t “feel called”. Everyone is called to make a difference in somebody’s life!

1 Corinthians 12:4-5 says

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord.

Further down in verse 7 he says

A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

Be released to walk in the calling the Lord has placed on YOUR life, and be faithful to fight for the cause that the Lord has burned on your heart. If it is to free the oppressed, then break their chains! If it is to love the orphan, then love with your whole heart. If it is to minister to the needy, than give all you can. If it is to speak life, then exhort in the Lord!

 

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A Matter of Principle

While getting ready to do our devotions last night, my husband jokingly accused me of being legalistic. We were talking about listening to music while reading your bible, and I told him I was adamantly against it.

I’m definitely more a person of rules and guidelines. I’d be the one to argue that a game is more fun with rules, a life is more successful with principles and society safer with law.

Before you get offended because you listen to music while reading your bible, hear me out. When we discussed it, I divulged that I already have  a hard enough time hearing the Lord speak and focusing on reading the Word, to add music as a distraction. As a matter of principle, I read my bible without music so that the Lord can speak clearly to me through what I am reading.

Andrew wasn’t serious in saying I was legalistic, but I knew he had a point. We started talking about the “rules” we live by, and the individual guidelines we each hold.

As we analyzed them we determined that they were simply principles, not legalism.

I believe that the world today is lacking men and women who will stand up and say that they will be people of principle.

If you want to build a strong foundation for your life, you need to decide what principles you hold on to.

For example, to build a strong foundation for our marriage we have some principles that we hold very close to our hearts. Some people wouldn’t agree  with them, but they are guidelines that we hold to strengthen our foundation. One principle that we have is that my husband would not go for coffee or drive alone with another woman, and I wouldn’t do that with another man. This strengthens the trust in our marriage knowing the following things;

a. We avoid situations that look bad. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

b. We are purposefully flee situations that could possibly be tempting. (2 Timothy 2:22)

c. We are reiterating to each other that all other relationships are second to the building up of our marriage. Some marriage vows say “forsaking all others”. (Genesis 2:24)

A statement that I turn over in my mind endlessly is this “if you are guided by principle, you won’t be swayed by circumstance.”

When you have solid principles in place, you have a solid foundation. You need a solid foundation to withstand the storms of life.

When a circumstance comes along that you are unsure about, you won’t need to live in a state of self-doubt because you will examine your principles and see how this situation lines up.

For me personally, by guarding my bible reading time as a “music free zone”, I am proving to the Lord that hearing his voice is paramount in my life.

It’s a principle for me. Maybe not for you. Perhaps you need music to focus. But it’s a safeguard in my life that I will not compromise.

 

Do you have principles that you hold on to that are very personal to your individual self?

 

Thoughts from a weaning mother

Since our California trip there has been a lot of craziness for us. Most of it surrounds Caleb and I know that the enemy has tried to
steal, kill and destroy the words that I received at the conference. I wrote about romance one and how our heart is a garden. In this context, my heart is a garden to receive from the Lord, but the “worries and cares of this life” has been really trying to choke it out.

My emotions have been all over the place thanks to a severe lack of sleep since returning home. My son was eager to nurse when I first arrived home, but then his ear infection caused him to lose interest. Ever since then we have been done with breastfeeding.
These moments I’ve had with my boy have been so treasured, mostly because this has been the only time I’ve been able to hold him without him squirming from my arms. Now that he’s almost walking, he is practicing charging around the house pushing various objects, with little time for food, let alone hugs and kisses!

I’ve always heard that a parent is trying to wean the child, but for me it was opposite. I’ve had to wean myself instantly from those quiet moments. A phase of Caleb’s childhood is now complete. May holds his first birthday. This year has really flown.

I guess I share this to echo the words of my last post “Be Present”. I’m enjoying each stage. They are flying way to quickly. Now I am enjoying watching him drink from his sippy cup (he refuses a bottle) and being very independant. His personality is quickly developing. He likes his cup to lay on it’s side when he’s not dirnking it, and he saves his favourite pieces of food in the cup holder for last. He is extremely paticular, and oozing with joy.

I thank God for the “little baby” moments I’ve had with Caleb, and I ask for wisdom to handle the next stage of toddlerhood ahead!