This morning I woke wishing - can we push rewind button back to the weekend? My first thoughts were how hard today was going to be. All the hard work I had to do, all the hard work I really didn’t want to do because probably more likely than not, no reward would come of it. I’ve failed so many times and in so many areas before - why would this week be any different?
My condemning thoughts continued something like this --- OH, how I don’t want to get on the scale this morning. I don’t want to see that same number or even a higher weight. Why should I work out today? It’s just too hard and the progress is too slow. Journal of Intentional Living. Living Joy. I have to make these succeed. I have so many expectations to live up to now - since this is the path I am on. Proverbs 31 – She Speaks conference is this week. There will be 700 obviously smarter, more intelligent writers and better speakers than me, the barely passing English student. How will I stand out amongst this group of amazing women? Will publishers like my journal idea? God, surely you do not want to use me? God you cannot want me, to use me, to bless me, ordinary Mary. Clearly, you’ve made a mistake.
All of these negative thoughts before my feet hit the floor. The devil gets to me first thing and this is how my morning mind reel has played for the last 33 years.
I smell my coffee, time to get up and spend time with God! You see how much I need Him! I bring my Journal of Intentional Living, Bible, coffee, and my heart. God, I’m so thankful for this time with you I cry out. I need you! I begin reading a letter from God in the Journal. “Daughter, give me all that you are and all you are not. I love you, Mary and I am for you.” My heart begins to smile. I am not alone, after all. I am loved! I don’t have to succeed on my own. God is with me and His spirit is living in me.
Using the journal I turn to the prayer section. Mondays, I pray for my boyfriend. Help him today God get the answers from the doctor. My mind is slowly being renewed and getting off of myself.
I turn to my Quiet time section, Psalm 62:8 “Trust in Him at all Times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” I open my Jesus Calling devotional and Bible. “Rest in my Presence”. This truth, this time, in His presence pour so much joy and strength into my heart. “Don’t hide from my presence when you’re tired.” God, I’m tired of striving on my own, I’m here and need you. I love you and want to draw closer to you. Direct my steps today, Father. Give me the energy and strength to walk in victory.
At the bottom of the Quiet time page is a place to write how you will live intentionally with God today. I quickly write - I will encourage everyone I have a conversation with or encounter today. Small words of encouragement can often brighten others day so much. The last part of this page is what are you grateful for today? An attitude of gratitude can do so much for your day. I’m grateful for time spent with my family, celebrating engagements, seeing best friends and having a great trip to Charlotte this past weekend. I’m grateful for Greg’s hard work on the website and his unending encouragement. God I have so many good things going on in my life! What was I worried about when I first woke up?
The time I spend with God truly changes me from the inside out. His grace, His love change my heart as I spend more time with Him. I’m often reminded of His sweet faithfulness. I’m not alone - my weight, Living Joy, my upcoming conference - God already has it taken care of. AND He wants to bless me!
I read Isaiah 30:18 this morning. “Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.”
He wants to be gracious and compassionate to me? But He can’t as long as I have a condemning and negative attitude. He is looking for someone who is expecting His goodness, someone who is full of faith and trust, someone who is eagerly anticipating His gracious gifts. He wants to be good to me, ordinary Mary, to you, ordinary you, so be expecting an outpouring of His goodness!
This time I have spent in His presence has changed my heart and my preparation for the day. Time to go to the gym, I will walk in victory and get excited to step on that scale!