Not long ago, my friend Michele Fordice left a comment after a blog post about prayer.
Michele is right in the thick of raising and teaching and training two young leaders while she consistently pours herself into supporting and encouraging and helping with her husband’s ministry and vision.
And all the other stuff that happens in real life.
So when Michele makes her list it’s a long one. Full days, never enough done, and without the immediate satisfaction of lots of crossed off tasks.
You know about that?
And Michele has figured something out along the way— something we all need to stop and ponder. I’ve asked her to tell her story so we can grasp this truth along with her.
And maybe, for once, we won’t have to get learn the hard way…
From my heart,
MOMMY TO DO LIST: by michele fordice
This year I am attempting to read the Bible through chronologically. Having had to take LONG detour through Job, I am still on Gen. 15. Technically, I am still in week 1 of the year. Ha! So…I will finish just maybe in about three years!
Genesis 12 v 1-2 starts out with Abraham’s glorious calling and a promise from God. I can’t help but romanticize it a bit.
God clearly spoke to Abraham. Haven’t you at times just longed for an encounter with the living God to speak so clear and boldly?
God said, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”
In response, “I (the Lord) will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
God’s call on Abraham’s life was clear and so was God’s blessing.
Are you waiting to hear your “calling”? Doesn’t this picture seem a bit romantic to you?
I remember back in the day… I know, I sound a bit old. Jay and I were dating long distance; I was finishing school in southern California but when he’d visit we’d frequent Disneyland. My favorite part was visiting Tarzan’s tree house. Hand in hand, we’d stroll through Tarzan’s tree house. I’d dream about our life on the mission field together, sharing the Good News of Jesus, having babies and living a long happy life in the Amazon Jungle.
I know, dreamy. Right? Maybe it was my innocent youth coming out, or the dreaminess of Disneyland and the princess stories of love and living happily ever after.
Or maybe he designed me with an innate purpose and calling.
I can tell you that I did marry my love. We do have two adorable boys. And we are on mission.
Our surroundings aren’t so junglesk though. When I look around, I am thankful for two healthy births, a home that is filled with laughter and electricity, and a life that is filled with adventure.
The adventure begins every morning. Every morning that I decided to die to self or live for my self.
I can tell you that I have chosen both.
I have chosen the way of Jesus.
AND, I have chosen my own way.
When I am irritated by the fact that I can’t eat a simple meal without getting up four times to refill water, get someone a napkin, a fork, a second helping….
When I am frustrated in the morning because I can’t take 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to be in the Word…
When I want to fly off the handle because my eldest son won’t stop asking me the same question over…and over… oh, and one more time because he didn’t like my original answer…
When I leave an event expecting to be filled, blessed instead of BEING a blessing for others…
When I can’t seem to muster up the ability to find it in my heart to forgive a family member that has wronged me… (for the ONE time I am actually not guilty)
When I am so frustrated at the Lord for yet another rainy day…
When I can’t seem to give up on a shattered dream…expecting that I was somehow owed something more from my childhood…
These are the times when I can look back and say, “Yep. Clearly I haven’t chosen to die to myself today.”
Abraham, a man of faith. A man who clearly heard from the Lord. Had a calling, a purpose and a blessing. He too, got distracted. He took his family to Egypt because of famine in the land…the Land of Promise. Walked away from God’s plan. Lied to Pharaoh about his who his gorgeous bride was….
And he too, the Lord showed mercy too.
Later in Genesis 15, God said to Abraham, “Don’t be afraid. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
God would use Abraham’s family as a light and a witness of God’s ways for generations and generations…leading to the birth of Jesus.
In my own little way, I pray that I can be a light and a witness of God’s ways to my husband, my children, my friends and family.
The other day my husband happened to come across my to-do list while I was away at coffee with a friend. He text me a message with a picture of my to do list. He lovingly mocked me and said, “hey, you forgot one thing!”
“Thanks, Babe! I haven’t quit conquered this one today!”
The truth: it will probably never get crossed off.
And that is the woman I hope to continue to be. Always focused, purposeful with my day. Yet at any moment, dying to my self…my agenda…my to do list.
PS. If you want a good read and a truly beautiful example of a Godly woman choosing Jesus first read, Gladys Aylward with Christine Hunter, The Little Woman. I can hardly put it down right now…and when I do, it’s to pause because I am in awe of her deep faith in who God is and her bold desire to make HIS name known throughout the villages of war torn China.
When have you had to make a choice to die to your own dreams, desires or plans to say “YES!” to Jesus? Your story just might give someone else the courage to say yes to Jesus too!
What scripture has the Lord given you to encourage you to die to your self? What would you share with your sister who wants in on this journey?
These have been powerful pieces of scripture that I have meditated on. Asking the Lord to help me really understand what it means to die and for him to live in me!
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Phil 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Phil 3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain the resurrection from the dead.