Baby is sleeping so well and the bed wraps its comfortable warm around me as I stretch into the extra, newly available space. The Spirit encourages, and it is now or never, so I rise clumsily to begin the day.
He is first. I am trying to make Him first. Exercising my discipline muscles a little bit more each day. The spirit is willing and though the flesh is weak the weakness leaves me as I begin to pray.
Before opening my Bible I pray that I would not only listen, but that I would hear. He answers immediately.
" a gossip separates close friends..."
I am a little jarred by this sudden moment of hearing Him. Unsettled even. This is not at all what I wanted to hear about. I wanted to hear direction and encouragement for this new school year, I was listening for financial discernment and wisdom, for how to be a better wife or mother.... but His Spirit speaks, and then waits.
Yes, I heard You Lord.
It seems I must begin my day with confession. Logical defenses are put to death quickly and I choose not to fight Him, I know He disciplines and corrects those He loves.
I confess of yesterday, of words not beneficial, words that did not edify anyone. I confess of being judgmental, of being self-righteous, and yes, I squeeze it out, a gossip.
It hurts. I acknowledge this sin against Him, and ask Him if as far as the east is from the west is quite far enough to remove this sin, please take it further?
My mouth. A restless evil. A deadly poison. Overflow from a deceitful and desperately wicked heart. I am ashamed. I want to hide my face, as though He doesn't see.
He speaks again. He reminds that it is faithful and just that when I confess He forgives and purifies me from all unrighteousness. Pure. White. Clean. Done. Forgiven. Clean slate. Move on! He praises me(more than this sinful heart can bear-but don't I do the same with my Child?) for fearing Him and respecting Him enough to acknowledge the sin and hand it over to Him in truth and repentance. He reminds me that He does not treat me as my sins deserve, and that He is a compassionate and loving Father. And that I proved I do trust in Him, and I will not be put to shame.
He will not put me to shame. And if He is for me, who can be against me?
I breath out self-condemnation and inhale His love and His words. As confirmation, and I guess just in case I had ignored His unspoken words before reading, there it is, in black and white, in verse 28 of the Proverb for today "... a gossip separates close friends." I smile in the freedom of forgiveness and truth of verse 6 "Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for."
He is so loving and faithful, alive and active!
And He confides in those who fear Him. I am overwhelmed by the compliment as He allows me to recognize Him speaking this day, to me, this girl-made-woman through Grace.
He rewinds, reminds, teaches.
Had I not been asking, asking, asking for spiritual eyes? He had been letting me see. See the lack, see the need, see the wrong He wants to right. Had I not been asking, asking, asking to be a part of His work? His work, not mine. How many times must He tell me? The feelings of helplessness are accurate, these things are not mine to control, to change.
So I had opened my mouth in complaint to others. He means me to open it in prayer in to Him. I opened my mouth in judgement. He means me to open it in petition.
Salt and fresh water flow from the same spring. This should not be so.
He asks me if complaining about anything or anyone is ever beneficial. I think a long time. I give reasons, explain feelings, situations.
I am silent.
How do I still this poisonous tongue? Stop the complaining? He tells me the antidote. He shows it to me in His word, in writing, I want to ignore it. I don't even want to read a holy experience today because I know what I will read of.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Today I will practice thankfulness as if He was coming to bring me home with Him this evening. For how can I know if tomorrow will ever come? And I want to be found with praise and thankfulness on my lips!
Today I am thanking God for things I am tempted to complain about...
#1 Little Girl who knows she can come to me after she's had an accident, and that I'll wash her clean, cuddle afterwards, and tell her it will be okay
#2 Washing machine to do the extra laundry
#3 Nursing Baby who interrupts everything, even quiet time
#4 Run on sentences and conversations
#6 Little Girl's nature "treasures". Lots of them.
#7 Not enough time to finish writing a thankfulness list because I am needed...
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."