Monday, February 24, 2014

The Choices We Make

Choices - we each make thousands of them a day...some are big, some are small, some easy, others hard, but each one is important. The other day I found myself thinking about my last post. I shared about my call to action, a new ministry and a bit about Wendy Blight's new book. As I was thinking, life around me was happening...it was day 2 of the blizzard, all 5 of my kids were a bit on edge and my two and a half year old has decided to give up napping. (So the kids may or may not have been following my lead!! :)

In about a ten minute stretch I think I broke up 2 fights, corrected one act of disobedience and heard my baby ask "Why?" at least 10 times. As the volume in our house increased and the chaos seemed to grow, I thought of the subtitle of Wendy's book - "Making Faith Filled Choices in the Midst of a Messy Life." Friend, I was in the midst of a messy day, but I'm sorry to admit I couldn't claim the first phrase of the title quite so confidently.

In the midst of the mess I was reacting, responding and making choices - some were faith filled, but others were faith-less. It was then I had the thought - "The choices we make determine the legacy we leave!" And in that moment my mind shifted from what my children were doing wrong to the mistakes I myself was making. And friend as I reflected, I saw how each one of my mistakes could be traced back to a choice I had made.

The following choices didn't all lead up to my frustration, but take a minute with me and think about the choices we face throughout the day -

Do I choose to spend time on Facebook or do I choose to read a book to the little faces in my house?

Do I connect with friends from far away or do I spend time building a relationship with the ones I love?
(With these two I'm not saying drop FB or forget long distance friends, but perhaps like me you need to be reminded to keep first things first.)

Do I devote myself to ministry or do I make my home my first place to minister?

Do I tune out my son as he talks about the latest thing he's going to invent or do I listen to him and let him know I care?

Do I spend an extra hour in my warm bed or do I discipline myself and get up to spend quiet time with Jesus?

Do I react out of anger and let my emotions get the best of me or do I act in love and let God work His best through me?

Do I spend time with my husband and invest in our marriage or do I do what I want and live with the pain that's created?

Do I consume myself with the urgent or do I choose to focus on what and who's important?

Do I choose to hear the lies that speak loudly or will I listen to the Voice of Truth that whispers to my heart?

I could go on, but I'm guessing you get the idea!

Friend, as I thought about this I was reminded that Wendy's new book is about so much more than what I shared in my last post. My words were true...her study played a part in God leading me to step out in ministry, which is good and important, but I also want you to know it applies to everyday life. And honestly isn't that the part that is always messy?!?

Take this picture for example, I wish it was staged, but it's not. It's a real-life look at my house. I'd instructed one daughter to start folding clothes, then went into a different room to help my oldest and came back to find this -


My little Mr. Mischievous, who's smile is always sweet, but actions can be otherwise, decided to have some fun and big sis decided to join in. Now, I could have lost it and in the past I have, BUT GOD had me pause and led me to make a choice that was faith-filled and one I pray will leave a legacy that impacts others and pleases God. I chose to see it as two young people having fun and doing childish things and after we enjoyed the moment I chose to teach them a lesson - our actions have consequences and had them clean it up instead of choosing what would be easier (and faster) and just do it myself.

This may not seem like much, but friend as we make faith-filled choices over and over a difference is made. Others see this, learn from it and experience God's love. And one choice at a time you and I are leaving a legacy.

All these words about choices make me think of a song that was sung at our wedding - "As For Me and My House". Thirteen years ago my husband and I made a choice and commitment to serve the Lord. I thought I knew what that meant, but now 5 kids later I've learned a lot and I know God still has more to teach me!! Friend, if we want to make choices that will matter we must first choose to serve the Lord!!

When we make this choice, God will provide us with the desire, ability and strength to do it!! And He will give us countless opportunities to prove it!! If like me, you realize there are still times you make choices that are faith-less, but yet have the desire to change join me in a making a choice God will bless. Look into getting Wendy's new book "Living So That" - I pray it will help us each make faith-filled choices that will lead to a Godly legacy!!

To learn more about "Living So That" visit Wendy's website by clicking HERE. To get a taste of her book sign up for her FREE 5 Day Devotional by clicking HERE. To pre-order a copy click HERE.

Friend, what are your thoughts about the choices we make? How are you better able to make faith filled choices in the midst of a messy life?

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, 
so that they may see your good works 
and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." 
Matthew 5:16 (ESV Emphasis Added)

5 comments:

  1. Jill, As I read your post, I found myselft thinking back about 32 yrs. ago when my Brian and Laura were toddlers. How MANY times I made bad choices about correcting them or putting other things in place of what they needed or wanted me to do. I am so ashamed of the times that I should have sat down and just enjoyed the mess and not be consumed with what I needed to do. As I am sure many people have told you to slow down and enjoy, I am one to reinforce those actions with all my heart and soul. You can never get those days back. I admire you so much for "toughing it out with 5 small ones"--that is a job like none other!!! I taught school for 31 yrs.. Now, I thank God that He is giving me a golden opportunity to "help" raise our grandson, Will. The precious Lord gave him to us to keep while his mom works, and NOW I am still and enjoy my time with him. God has given me so much with grandchildren, and the best thing is that I know that I know He has forgiven me for not being the best mom I could have been. I loved that picture of your 2 little ones. Just be still, know that God is God, and that He has given you this season of your life to enjoy with discipline and love and education of HIs love for your little ones. I did find myself answereing yes to the warm bed and not discipling myself to get up to spend time with Him.
    Even in this....
    Mema Jeanne,NC

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    1. Jeanne, thank you so much for your encouraging words - they have blessed me. I too use to teach school - middle school math and sometimes I tell my husband 100 junior kids were easier and made less noise than our 5!! Parenting is not always easy, but I know I'm doing what God wants and He will bless our efforts. But I also know there are times I need words like yours to keep everything in perspective!! I also know He is using you in powerful ways with your grandchildren!! Blessings to you my friend!!

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  2. Jill, what amazing examples you gave us to bring alive what it really means to make faith-filled choices!! Thank you so much!! And thank you for sharing about Living So That. You are a precious friend, and I love that God is using what you have learned to bring about real change in your heart and home. You are choosing differently SO THAT you may bring glory to God in your every day messy life!! LOVE IT.

    me

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Wendy! So grateful God is helping me choose differently and what an added blessing that He's worked through you to help. Praying He will use your book in mighty ways!! Blessings!

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  3. I wish we could have hindsight every day. My perspective changes when we're past the crisis!

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