I knew last spring that I wanted to do a Peacemakers Bible Study in the fall.
Because conflict is so real, and conflict is so REALLY hard to deal with well. I was asking God, "How can I BE ME...fired up about things that fire me up, passionate about truth and transparency and NOT have conflict wreck me emotionally?" The book Peacemaker by Ken Sandee is phenomenal, and his ministry had a Bible Study for women. Perfect.
Procrastinating as I do, I did not get the DVD's in my hands until mere days before Bible Study was to begin, and as I watched them I knew I could not show them. The topic--so important--needed to draw people in.
I fell asleep during the second session.
And so my well-planned out fall, with a weekly DVD Bible Study format, radically changed. God was saying to me, "My precious, precious baby girl...you have so much work to do on handling conflict in your life; pressing play is not enough to really grow you the way I need to."
Those who have served in ministry for a while have learned a constant: Where you are teaching, Satan loves to attack. So, when the icy winds began to blow into my marriage and my home the first week of Bible Study, I was not surprised.
It has been really, really good study. Tuesday Night ladies are a really, really great group.
But as the responsibilities of preparing and teaching for an hour and a half each week were added unexpectedly, I fell into a slump in many other areas--homeschool, laundry, dusting, and dishes.
The Bible swallows me and my attention whole. I am riveted by it, and excited about applying it to life. I love to see women growing:
One stepping out in service with boldness that is completely fresh and new; another riveted by a message God is piercing into her heart and head, begging for a way to get out; someone else with a brand new marriage that is 4 kids and a decade and a half old; and yet one more precious woman dealing with loss and tragedy, excited about how God has used them to teach her kids about faith.
Really, folding socks just pales in comparison...
But my family IS ACTUALLY the most important place of ministry I have, and if I want to shift the icy winds in a new direction, intentionally building my home routine is essential. God showed me undeniably that He loves my family, and reminded me how small minded I can be in what I allow to cool my affections. As always, when the ice is beginning to melt, I know (yet again) He is calling me to re-focus on taking care of the peace in my home.
Five batches of soup and ten other meals prepped and in the freezer for later, loads and loads of laundry folded and put away, pave the way for conversations with my hubby.
When the chills of life separate us, I miss him. He doesn't necessarily say it, but I know he misses me, too. We laugh at me...while making an incredibly important point at the Peacemakers Bible Study, I stop dead in my tracks, "I did that very thing to my husband tonight," I tell my friends. "That means I have to go home and apologize and I don't want to."
But God IS FAITHFUL, and by the time I got home I really did want to apologize.
I don't want the ugly me to go on unchecked. I am grateful for conviction.
A few days later I look forward to chores at home and the hope of getting things done.
I tell hubby that I find my heart longing for simplicity, and he is in total agreement. Together we work on priorities, fearing that the holiday season will bury us alive if we don't purpose for it not to; and I am praying God moves my hands and my feet to follow my longing. Because a peaceful life requires Bible Study, friends and a commitment to my home...not necessarily in that order.