Training

Scene playing at my daughter’s house tonight:  Worn out child #2 in room, tired but fighting the rest she so desperately needs. It’s been a long day, full of laughter, good food, a movie, and game time with Momma and Grammie.  Now it’s past her bedtime, and even after the normal bedtime ritual of a story and song with cuddles, she is overstimulated and cranky.  Momma has taken to the sofa, silent to the little girl’s pleas for her to hear and come placate her.  Wise Momma waits patiently, ever aware of angelface’s cries, but in the work of training this child, allows her to shout out in angst, shed tears, and vent her frustrations.

I hear the wisdom of my Heavenly Father roll off her tongue, as she reassures her.  “I love you.  It’s time to rest.  Lie down and go to sleep.”  Then, she is quiet, and she waits for daughter to wear herself out with groaning.  The cries grow louder and more insistent, and she resists the urge to run to her and coddle her.  Patiently she endures the wailing, knowing this time of training, hard as it is, will make the next one a little easier.  The goal is to teach this child to discipline herself.  One day, she will be equipped with the coping skills she needs to remind herself of the things she knows.  Mom loves me, it’s been a long day, it’s time to rest…and she will fall asleep without the fight.

And as my own Father waits patiently for my cries to subside, his words echo in my mind, I love you.  Trust Me.  Rest; And I am reassured that He is not absent, or deaf to my cries.  He is just quiet while He patiently waits for me to quit fighting and obey.

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Drawing from the well – on Scripture memory

As a young girl, I heard testimonies about the benefits of hiding God’s Word in our heart, I like to think that when I need to hear a word from the Lord, I will hear him even if a Bible is not handy, because I have committed His words to memory.  A phrase I heard this morning in the Divine Office podcast reverberates in my mind, and I find it fitting right in with my thoughts on Scripture memory.

Rejoicing, you will draw water from the wells of the Savior.

Psalm 46 is the next passage of Scripture that I am putting to memory.  I memorized this portion of Scripture when I was in a little private Christian school in the fourth or fifth grade.  Every morning, before academics, we would have prayer, siing a song or two, and we would read or recite a portion of Scripture that was chosen for us for the month.  Each day, we were required to memorize one or more verses from the selected passage, and by the end of the month, the passage was committed to memory.  I still have pieces of this one stuck in the far corners of my time worn mind.

Phrases from this chapter have come to me numerous times when I have prayed for God’s help.  Rejoicing, I draw water from the wells of my Savior, I drink them in, and they refresh me.  Like buckets of water, again, He pours out His promises on the parched, dry places of my heart and mind, washing away the doubts and fears that cloud my thinking. And I am clean and refreshed, still before Him, ready for service.

Kalua Pork and Coconut Rice

When my kids were all still at home, and before freezer cooking really caught on, I had three tricks for keeping up with meal prep, the first was double or triple batching, or what I called Cook once, eat twice (or 3x).  When cooking dinner, I’d double or triple the recipe for the evening, and put it in the freezer for one of those days that I didn’t have time, or energy to make a meal from scratch.  This is also handy for cookie dough…Mix once, bake often 🙂

My second trick was “Planned-overs”.  Sundays I would make a large pot roast or roasted chicken (or turkey if I hit a great sale); what wasn’t eaten that night was cut up and placed in the freezer for a recipe or two later in the week.  Beef could be used for stir fry, pot pie, soup or stew, or hash.  Chicken/turkey could be used for chicken salad, pot pie or stir fry as well.  If I had leftover side dishes (veggies, potatoes, rice), that were not enough to use for a whole meal, I didn’t throw them out…I saved them in an ice cream bucket or ziplock in the freezer.  When it accumulated to enough, I made soup.  Waste not, want not, we made it through some very lean years with this approach.

My third trick was YO-YO night, short for “you’re on your own”, otherwise known as “clean out the fridge night”.  Kids could eat whatever they wanted out of the fridge, as long as they fixed it themselves.  We had seasons of YO-YO’ing it…one kid fixing breakfast, another having a sandwich, or cleaning out the leftovers from the night before…it worked well for us, I actually miss those days.

Now that the kids have all left home, I still find myself in this mindset.  Today I made Kahlua Pork with coconut rice.  I’ll have enough pork left over for at least a couple more meals, and the coconut rice might just be gone by tomorrow…YUMMMM!  Here are the recipes:

Coconut Rice:  No different than regular rice, except you substitute coconut milk for half the water called for.  It’s delish!

Kalua Pork:  Pork loin roast, washed, patted dry, pierced all over, and rubbed with 1 TBSP liquid smoke flavor and 1 TBSP sea salt.  Cook on low in slow cooker for 15 hours, turning once midway.  When done, remove meat from crock pot, and shred, adding liquid back in as needed.  Serve over coconut rice, with pineapple on the side.

In Quietness and Trust

For thus said the Lord God,
the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

A message from the Lord, right on time, as usual for Him.

I don’t remember now what prompted the memory of the phrase “in quietness and in trust”, but it was there, and I was compelled to find the reference.  I ended up reading all of Isaiah chapter 30.

Not five minutes later, I received a text with information that accelerated my pulse, and threatened my peace of mind.  And doesn’t the devil know just where to hit?  I had to take a deep breath, and talk myself down by reminding myself that my strength is found in quietness and trust, and my salvation is found in returning to the Lord, and resting in Him.  Scripture is full of these encouraging exhortations.  Consider:

 Exodus 14:13,14  And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord…The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still.

2 Chronicles 20:17  ~ You will not need to fight in this battle; take your position, stand still, and see the victory of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Fear not, and be not dismayed;

Psalm 46:10 ~ Be still, and know that I am God.  I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 37:7a ~ Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;  fret not yourself…

I am encouraged by this little word study this morning, and will try to remember it through my day as often as little arrows of doubt and discouragement are fired my way, and I also will be re-memorizing Psalm 46.  I’ve memorized it before as a child in the King James Version of the Bible, so it is still familiar.  I will be working through it in the RSVCE and putting it to memory again as an adult.  Who wants to join me?

Supplication/satisfaction

CAST your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you.

Commit
Adore/Affirm
Supplication/Satisfaction
Trust

We’re halfway through my prayer journal, and actually have come to the thickest portion of the contents.  I just wrote about this section here.  As this section is the busiest part of my journal, it is always evolving, and has taken on a significant change just since I wrote about it.

Because sometimes I feel like I get bogged down in the “gimme prayers” and I tend to forget God’s faithfulness to me in answered prayer, I felt I needed a way to track it better.  Now, after I pray through my pocketful of daily prayers, I turn to my page of “Supplications”.  These prayers include, but are not limited to specific requests for myself, my spiritual walk, areas I am working on, etc. as well as names of people I’ve committed myself to pray for, with dates.  On the back of this page, on the same line as the request is written on the front, I record answered prayers with the date answered.  I call this “satisfaction”.  Whether His answer is yes or no, or not yet, I know that He has heard me, and answered me.  When this page is full, and I need to add intentions, I transfer all prayers that I am still waiting on an answer for to the new page, and continue from there.  This serves a dual purpose, it keeps me mindful of things that I promised to keep in prayer, and it keeps me mindful of answered prayer that I can add to my “attitude of gratitude” page.  I plan to make a page or two for this section with one of my favorite poems, “Wait”, as well as Bible verses reminding me to keep persisting in prayer.

Homesick

“I close my eyes and I see your face, if home’s where the heart is, then I’m out of place…I’ve never been more homesick than now.”

Marking time.  No real accomplishment but the recording of tally marks on the walls of our minds for the time spent.

Homesick is the perfect word for it.

To Remember is to Pray

Several years ago, I was part of an active and spiritually rewarding Bible study with a sweet group of ladies.  The leader of this Bible study was a gifted teacher, and excellent example of a godly woman.  She had some beautiful insights and many of the things I learned in that study have stuck with me, and become Ebenezers of sorts.

One such lesson was from our study in Romans chapter 1:

Romans 1:First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers…

This passage reminds me of a couple other passages, because of the use of the words all, always, without ceasing, etc.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always, 17 pray constantly, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Philippians 1:I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel thus about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

First of all, this passage from Philippians is a beautiful prayer to adopt and pray for your own fellow brothers and sisters.  What a rich blessing these sentiments of deep faith, hope and love hold for the one(s) being prayed over.  I will be copying this one down in my prayer journal to pray on a regular basis.

Second, and the reason for the title of my post today, is this question that was asked in our Bible Study.  How could Paul truthfully say that in all his remembrances, and always in every prayer, he was praying this for those he loved?  Was it an exaggeration?  I don’t believe it was, as you can see, he swore to it by God as His witness… but if not, how could he make such a bold statement?  The answer is simple, and is tied to Paul’s instruction to the Thessalonians:  to pray without ceasing.  We can (and we should) train our minds to turn thoughts into prayers.  So that every remembrance becomes a prayer, and to remember is to pray.

 

Common Sense – Justice

common sense 6

From Common Sense by Mother Theodore Guerin (1798-1856)

This piece of advice reminds me of one of my life verses.

Micah 6:8 ~ He has showed you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,[a]
and to walk humbly with your God?

Another translation reads “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God”, which is the way I memorized it and sang it for years.  Today, I read the context around this verse, and got a better picture of what this verse is really saying.  Starting with verse 6, there is an introspective question, musing, and finally, in verse 8, the answer:

“With what shall I come before the Lord,
    and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my first-born for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has showed you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Psalm 51:15-17 echoes this verse…

O Lord, open thou my lips,
    and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
16 For thou hast no delight in sacrifice;
    were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God[e] is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Which also echoes 1 Samuel 15:22

And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.