Sunday, June 24, 2007

If My Brain Exploded Right Now, This is What the Contents Would Look Like

I feel like I need to write, because my brain has been full of thoughts recently. I'm not really sure where to start, because there are a lot of thoughts. Sometimes I think that if someone really saw into my brain, they would be scared. It's crazy in there! I wrestle with so much in my mind. I try to make sense of things, which is probably bad half the time because God didn't make everything on this Earth to make sense to us humans. Here's what I've been thinking a lot about (hang in there, it's VERY long):

Being a Wise Woman
I go to a discipleship class every week with women in my church. We started off doing a book written by a woman at Living Hope, but we are not going to follow the book so strictly now because our leader felt like God had laid some specific topics on her heart that she needed to address in the group. The book was all about being a Wise Woman of the Lord. I have been thinking a lot about this because I have a very strong desire to be a wise woman.

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1

This verse is the key verse for the book, which you can actually find here. I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a wise woman. I am at a very exciting point in my life right now, I think. I'm single. A lot of people hear the word "single" and think "looking for a boyfriend", but it simply means that I am not married. How exciting! You don't get to be single for very long in your life, if you really think about it. Once you're married, that's it -- God can no longer use you to minister to others as a single woman. Being single is also exciting because it means that it is a time of your life that God can work on you. You don't get married and suddenly become a perfect wife, mother, woman, whatever. It gets more difficult. (Of course I am not speaking from experience, but I have talked to enough married women to know this is the truth!) A lot of women have told me that when you're married, all your bad habits come out. The real you is revealed, and if you're like me, it's not pretty. I wouldn't want anyone to have to see that, let alone live with that!

And on a different note, your relationship with God certainly doesn't become perfect. When you're married, you have this other person who takes a lot of time and energy. You have to focus a lot on keeping that relationship alive and healthy! And becoming a mom... sheesh! Thinking about that wears me out! You won't always have lots of wonderful time that you can use to spend with God. Which is the most important relationship of all. If you are used to putting God on the back burner now, when you get married and start having kids, putting God on the back burner will be what happens. It will be automatic. If God doesn't get first place now with your time, He won't get first place later. Simple as that.

So... I'm single. As I said. I also said that I want to become a wise woman. How does that happen? Well I have all this free time.

I don't have a boyfriend. I don't have someone to call me and talk for hours with every day. I don't have an obligation to spend a lot of time with someone.

I don't have a job (but I need one. That's another story.).

I am taking summer school - one class per session - and I'm done by 11:20 every day.

There's no better time to start!

God obviously wants to show me something right now. He wants to teach me to manage my time wisely, just like a wise woman would! And so that's where I'll start. By spending time with Him. I already read the Bible regularly, but do you want to know what I really struggle with? Prayer. For some people, that comes really naturally. But for me, it's very difficult. I already told you that my brain is crazy. Praying makes things even crazier. I'm afraid though, that it's mostly due to the fact that I've let Satan have a stronghold in my life with regards to my thoughts. I daydream to the extreme. I have no focus with my thoughts. And Satan loves to use that weakness of mine! It's similar to having a small rip in a piece of clothing. You get that rip in there, and with a couple little tugs here and there (that happen without you noticing), you end up with a huge hole and a completely ruined article of clothing. I don't want to be ruined! (Of course you can repair the hole by sewing it, which is kind of like what God does.)

I read something yesterday that made me think a lot.

You can tell how popular a church is by who come on Sunday morning.
You can tell how popular the pastor or evangelist is by who comes on Sunday night.
But you can tell how popular Jesus is by who comes to the prayer meeting.

If you love Jesus, you will cry out to him. And my cries seem to have a great starting point, but then my mind drifts off.

However, Jesus came to destroy Satan's cunning schemes:
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. (1 John 3:8b)

So no longer, Satan, will you have a hold on me! God is so much more powerful than that. He is bigger than my distractions. He is bigger than my daydreams. He is bigger than all my problems!

So I will grow closer to God this summer by spending time in the Word and by praying. Seems simple, but you wouldn't believe how easy it is to fill up your time every day! This is a slight tangent, but that is something else I have been thinking a lot about: wasting time. I waste huge amounts of time every day, especially on the internet. Yuck. How pointless! It kind of goes along with my life's theme - me. I am the star of the show. And so naturally, I have to continually check to see who has sent me an email. Who has sent me a message. Who has written on my wall. It's all about me! Another one of my goals this summer is to manage my time better. I want to stop wasting so much time!

Back to the wise woman thing. I am blessed with a lot of time right now, and I want God to use that to shape me into the woman He wants me to be. I want to be prepared for several things:

1. Marriage
This is not guaranteed, but the majority of women on this Earth get married. So just in case it's God's plan for me to fall into that majority group, I want to be prepared! I talked a little bit about this earlier, but I know that you don't just become this amazing person when you are married. I want to learn to be submissive to my husband. I know this might be hard to learn how to do right now, but I can learn to put others first for a start. As I said, I live in the World of Me, so putting others first doesn't come naturally. Philippians 2:3 says to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Ouch. I need to work on that! People who are not used to considering others better than themselves have problems with authority. And who is in authority in a marriage? The man! (See 1 Corinthians 11:3.) Here I am, single, with no prospects in sight. Perfect time to practice this whole humility and selflessness thing! I can start with the way I treat my roommates, my sisters, my parents. There are lots of opporunitites!

I have heard a lot of people say to focus on "becoming the person your ideal husband would want to marry." Well, yes. I think that it is important to examine yourself before you date. And that's very much what I want to do. But it shouldn't be your only motive. Changing and desiring a close relationship with God should come from wanting to glorify your Creator! We're not just here to get married, y'all (it sure seems to be trendy right now at A&M, though)! We're here for our Savior. I think there's a reason it's called History (Get it? His story?? Haha.). It's all about Him! So let's let that be our motive in becoming wise women. Or men, if you are a guy. :)

2. Motherhood
It hit me the other day that I might one day be a mom. I was looking around at all the young mothers at my church, and I pretty much freaked out. Until I remembered that I'm not pregnant, I was thinking, "I'm not ready for this!!!!!!" I don't think anyone really is ready for parenthood. But we can prepare a little better before we are even married! Children are told to honor your father and mother (Deuteronomy 5:16) and obey [their] parents in the Lord, for this is right (Ephesians 6:1). A parent has a huge responsibility to raise their child so they fear God.
Proverbs 22:6 says to train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Ephesians 6:4 tells fathers not to exasperate their children, but to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Um, wow. I can already tell this is going to be hard. I'm pretty sure God doesn't want mothers to exasperate their children either!
Parents also pass their sins down to their children. Children will act like their parents do. If their parents cuss, they will cuss. If their parents have a selfish attitude, their children will think this world is all about them, too. I don't want to pass my sinful habits down to my children. I want them to see me putting Christ first. Before my husband. Before them. I want them to see that honoring God is the most important thing they can do with their lives! So by starting now, I want to get off on the right track, for my children's sake. All of this, of course, is if it's God's will for me to have little kiddos!

3. Ministry
I want you all to know that I don't think this is something that will come in the far future. No, I don't automatically get a ministry when I get married. I have one now! God has something planned right now for me. God wants me to use my life to minister to others right now. He can use me in my brokenness. He can use me in my strength. He can use me all the time! And that is the reason I want God to help me become a wise woman now. I will grow and change and be strengthened and broken for His glory, for ministry. It's His plan. All I'm doing is offering myself as a living sacrifice. He wants my life! Of course, when I get married He may change the way that He wants to use me. That is very probable. In fact, I really hope to go into ministry with my husband. Not sure what that will look like, though. I have talked to some people about this, but most people don't know that that is what I truly want to do with my life: ministry. Notice that "I" and "want" are in italics. Those are my plans. It could be God's plan for me to have a normal career. He may want me to be a teacher for the rest of my life. If so, great! If not, great! It's God's plan either way, and it's what's best. And I want to be prepared for whatever I'm supposed to do. Whether it's sharing my life and spending hours and hours of time with college students (my ideal job) or teaching math to a bunch of pubescent children, I am excited. God is good!

Look at that -- the three M's! Haha, that was just a coincidence.

I am very excited with what God will do with me this summer. The surface is only just beginning to get scratched. I can't wait to be changed by Him, molded by Him, shaped by Him. I desire to be a wise woman of the Lord. Thankfully, God says that if we desire wisdom, we should ask Him, and He'll give it to us! (See James 1:5.)


Carolyn just walked into my room a little while ago and started sharing a bunch of stuff with me. She told me that she had been convicted of a bunch of stuff this summer. I asked her to list it, and she looked at me and said, "Seriously? Are you sure? There's a lot..." She proceeded to list all the things she had been convicted of so far, and it was weird because

they were

the exact


I had been

convicted of.

The same list.

She was nervous about sharing her list with me because she thought she had a lot of struggles. It just goes to show that honestly and fellowship go hand-in-hand, and it's something that God desires in the Church! We were meant to share our struggles with one another. A lot of the time we keep things inside, thinking that no one else has those same difficulties.

Not true.

Because I had the same ones.

And Carolyn's list was long:

I have been thinking a lot about the tongue recently. It's compared to a ship's rudder in the Bible (James 3:4,5). Matthew 12:34 says that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Um, what?! Seriously? Because I say some pretty mean stuff. I am critical and condemning. That makes me feel sick -- that's a reflection of what my heart looks like! I am harsh and quick to answer so many times. God is convicting me in terms of what I say to others. Tiffany and I were struck by 1 Peter 3:8&9 in The Message the other week:
Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that's your job, to bless. You'll be a blessing and also get a blessing.

Sharp-tongued sarcasm? I am pretty good at that. And yet the Bible says that it's my job to bless others. I am supposed to build up with my words, not tear down! (See Ephesians 4:29.)

This is a biggie for me. I have awful motives most of the time. Sometimes I will post things on my blog because I want people to read it. How sad is that? Pride is a huge problem of mine. I will put things on my Facebook profile so others will read it and think, "Wow, she read that book? I admire that!" and so on. Pathetic. Yet we all seem to do it. Reading my Bible in public places is becoming difficult, because I have gotten attention because of it. And of course that feels good. Yes, I am a Christian! Look how holy I am! Now I know why Jesus told people to pray in the secret and give money in secret (read Matthew 6)! I think motives go hand-in-hand with pride and selfishness. God will search our hearts and reveal our motives:

All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. (Proverbs 16:2)

Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. (1 Corinthians 4:5)

My movies really suck most of the time. I pray that God would search my heart and reveal motives that are not pure!

Ohhh dear. I am awful at managing time.

Completely awful.

I will spend hours doing pointless things (email, facebook, doing who knows what) instead of managing my time wisely. I know I touched on this a little bit in my last section. I went to the college service at Grace today with Carolyn, and the whole sermon was called "working hard or hardly working?" (Read Proverbs 6.) Ouch. That hits home. I need to prioritize what I do! God should be #1. It shows when He's not. And He's not most of the time. I end up with a list of stuff I haven't done and about 8 hours of wasted time at the end of every day. That sucks.

Basically, my prayer life needs to explode. I definitely have some communication issues with God!

This is really embarassing. Although I am hard worker if I have a job, the money I get from that hard work seems to go down the drain. I buy pointless and expensive things. What the heck is going to happen when I get married? I want my husband to be able to trust me with our money. I want to spend it wisely. I want to save. So basically, a lot of things need to change. Sometimes I feel like I have no self control when I go shopping (maybe the way to solve this is not go shopping? Haha). It's really bad sometimes. I'm not in debt, and I hope I never have to be. Thankfully, that scares me to death. The thought of credit cards make my throat close up. I have used them before, but I pay them off the moment I can. I know it might be unavoidable, but I don't want to use them if I can help it.

Bible Memorization
Psalm 119:11 says, I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
We honor God when we memorize His Word! Jewish boys used to memorize the entire Old Testament by the time they were 14 or something like that. Can you believe that? We memorize the Bible to keep ourselves from sinning. Sounds good, right? When I was little, I went to something called AWANAs. It stood for Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed, which comes from 2 Timothy 2:15. We memorized Scripture ever week. Actually, a lot of the Bible verses I know I memorized in AWANAs. We are to meditate on the Law day and night (Psalm 1)! I have gotten really bad at that.

I am great at using I can remember the jist of most verses. I can kind of recite a lot verses. But I can't for the life of me remember the address! If you gave me my Bible (since I have things highlighted and I know where on the page they are), I would be able to find some verses. Apart from that, it's awful. And I know that God wants me to learn what the Bible says. It's good! It's useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). Who doesn't want that?!

Before you all freak out, I don't mean this in the literal sense. Have you ever heard the song "Wedding Dress" by Derek Webb? If you haven't, you can listen to it here. Even if you have heard it, this video is pretty cool once it gets going.

I have been thinking a lot about how I prostitute myself to the world. I trust the world and not my God. I constantly run from Him. A line in that song says I am a whore I do confess; I put You on just like a wedding dress. It would be pretty ridiculous if we saw a whore get married. What would we be thinking? It'll never last. She'll go back to her old ways. Are you serious? A whore? Commitment? That's like me. I am in this relationship with the Creator of the Universe and yet I still turn from Him. I am crazy. I think there's a good reason that Israel was compared to a prostitute in the book of Hosea (go read it, it's one of my favorites in the Bible!). We choose other lovers instead of the One who can love perfectly and unconditionally! Yet He still considers us our husband instead of our master (Hosea 2:16). Our God is good.

Guess what? I think that's all. I think I have completed my thoughts for tonight. If you made it this far, then congratulations. You just read a novel. Check it off your summer reading list.

But seriously, I can't believe this post was this long.

I am exhausted now. My brain is still thinking, but a lot of those cooped up thoughts are out! Yay!

As my blog title says, "God has spoken, and the rest is commentary."
Well I hope that I provided some truth from God, with a lot of my own commentary.

My life is abundant and full of joy. Ask me about my God sometime. I would love to share the wealth with you. :)