Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Keeping In Touch With God

There is no doubt that when choosing to homeschool your children there will be great sacrifice {and great gain too} on your part. For the most part I do not feel that any sacrifice I have made in choosing to homeschool has felt like sacrifice at all! This way of life has brought me much joy and fulfilment. However, there is one area that I have felt the sacrifice and that is the daily practice of keeping in touch with God.

Let me explain. BH (before homeschooling) I would attend my weekly moms Bible Study. We would meet together, study the Word together, discuss, learn and fellowship together. Oh the spiritual growth! I cannot begin to tell you!

Our Bible Study fell on a Wednesday - mid-week - the perfect time to once again be filled and nourished by the Word and fellowship so that I could continue on through the week applying God's Word until Sunday, when I would once again receive more lovely fellowship and nurturing. Of course I was reading the Word daily too as I eagerly worked through our study homework, gleaning all I could. On Friday I would meet with my Prayer Partner we would pray for our families, for our friends, for people that needed intercession. Oh these were SUCH blessed times. I felt so close to the LORD, and I was, because I was spending so much time with Him.

When we brought our darling children home to educate them, I tried to continue in my well established routines but found that it simply was not practical. I could do both things well. Sadly I had to step away so that I could fully attend to this precious assignment that God had given me. For the most part He has brought people along-side me and we have been mutually encouraging. But that changed when we moved to England. My support base was gone and I had no-one help buoy me up other than God. Which is how it should be right?

Well I have to say it has been a struggle the past 2 years! Really, it has. I have found myself in dark, lonely places, wondering why I couldn't feel God, His presence, wondering why on earth He had deserted me {which of course He had not!}

We have moved 3 times in 2 years - that's different towns BTW. So we would just be settling into our church family and then move again. Now that we have finally settled for {hopefully} years to come, we are slowly putting down roots in our church - but the fact remains that I cannot just leave my children to attend a Bible study.

This has become something that I have really had to learn how to do -stand on my own two feet with the support of God only. At the end of the day, growth in our spiritual lives, in fact drawing close and walking closely to Him can only happen if we are going to put in the effort. I cannot accept the Lord, then sit there expecting to grow spiritually, grow closer to Him if I am not going to pick up my Bible or spend time in prayer! I had neglected the Word and neglected my prayer life in favour of being very busy with my task at home. But in doing so I was growing cold and desperate and scarily, I was no long a living example of walking in the Spirit to my children.

When we have no further to fall, the only place to fall is at God's feet. When I am nothing, He takes over and becomes my everything.

I have felt the Lord speaking to me, gently rebuking me for my laziness? My apathy? My .... attitude? Yes, all of it! I have been clinging to and praying Matthew 7: 7-8, 'Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.' I have been asking for, seeking and knocking for the Holy Spirit to set me on fire and I am promised that if I continue to be faithful in DOING what I can do - reading the Word, Praying, Praising - I will receive, find and the door will opened. What hope!

I shared in my post, '6 Ways To Walk Mindfully With Jesus During Your Day' on some practical and physical things that are helping me through this time. I wanted to share with you some of the free study aids that I am using during my quiet times and throughout my day.

For a long time I thought I would cope by just opening my Bible and reading and that it would be enough. But the truth is it's not enough for me. I need to be purposefully seeking God. Purposefully growing in one area, then another. Purposefully seeking His Will in my life as a woman, a wife, a mother. Purposefully seeking to know Him more. For me - I need a study guide to help me, cause me to ask questions, to think, to apply. So here we go... I have found these sites so helpful.

Free Bible Studies For Woman - by Melanie Newton. Oh my! These studies are BRILLIANT! Choose which one most applies to your current situation or and area that you want to learn more about, print, pop into a binder and start digging into the Word! I have just finished 'To Be Found Faithful' a study of 2nd Timothy. How good it is to be immersed again in the Word - for myself, not just when the girls and I do our Bible time in the morning, but for me! My next one - which I am printing out right now - is Everyday Women, Ever Faithful God. These wonderful studies give the historical background and insight into what what happening at the time, gets you digging deeper for the meaning by answering questions around the scripture and thinking on application. This type of study works so well for me.

Proverbs 31 Ministries - Here you can find online Bible Studies, daily devotions - which you can have delivered right into your 'in box', an online radio program that you can listen to, great blogs, the list goes on. I encourage you to visit this wonderful site and be encouraged!

Lifestream Ministries - Oh I love this site. This Wayne Jacobsen's website, the person who helped with the re-writes of 'The Shack'. He has some great free books to download, one of which I have read, 'So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore' which was just so amazing to read. This is written for people who are disillusioned with church life and in NO WAY tells the reader that church is not needed, it simply explores why you are disillusioned and what it means to live authentically for Christ - and yes, that could still be within a church institution. It has been written in story form, it's writing style similar to that of 'The Shack'. Very interesting and inspiring. {PS. We still attend church ;o)} There are podcasts available from Lifestream and a host of other things - have a look.

Focus On The Family - Oh this one is near and dear to my heart! Sometimes I need a little lift, a little listen to other men and woman of Faith. I want to hear that familiar music and be inspired to greater living in Christ Jesus. When I feel like I need to hear, I will pop over to there media centre and play one of their media options. Perhaps if I have extra time I will read and article or explore their parenting section which is just packed with more resources than you could comfortable use in raising children. This is a gem of a ministry!

Be encouraged dear sister in Christ. Even if you feel far from God and wondering how to get back to a place of walking in the Spirit, there is a way back. An image springs to mind. A woman - you/me - lost at sea, sitting in one of those pop-up rescue boats. The waves are tossing you about and you wonder if you will get back to land. Attached to your life-boat is a rope stretching to a place you cannot see. What you do not see is that Jesus is holding the other-side of that rope. Yes, you have allowed your boat to drift away from the Master, but He has NOT let go! He is waiting for you to call out, to mobilise and He will start pulling you in! What hope!

'Remember God has said, "Never will I leave you, Never will I forsake you" - Hebrews 13:5

Blessings in Christ...


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  1. Shirley,

    I'd like to recommend the "Good Morning Girls" website to you. You did not mention it in your post and I think it may be a perfect thing for you to try.


    They do online studies together with other women around the globe. The summer study is almost over, but that means that new ones will be starting soon! That would give you time to check out their site and see what you think; I think you'll love it. :) I have not used it myself, as I do have access to Bible study here, but I have watched some of the videos that they post for their studies and they are very good. It may be just the thing you need to fill in the gap until you find and are able to attend an "in real life" study.

    I am going to check out the Melanie Newton books. Those look interesting to me! :) Thanks for sharing.

    1. I have heard of 'Good Morning Girls', although I have not yet tried it out. I love Courtney's website and find her posts so encouraging! I'm sure that GMG would be a great stop-gap until this season changes ;o)

  2. Thanks for sharing your heart and the links, my well has run dry and i need some refreshment!

    San xx

    1. A comforting thing to know San, is that allot of Christians go through the desert. It's making sure that we don't stay out there and try to find that Oasis. Praying for you my friend.

  3. Thanks for linking up with Transformed Tuesdays at moretobe.com. Love how your post shares the ways God is working through your life!

    1. Thank you Lisa. I love your site, thank you for providing a platform to share :o)

  4. Thanks for linking up with Transformed Tuesdays! Your story truly describes the transformation process!


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