I've been doing most of the writing assignments and written responses in my little spiral bound devotion journal rather than on-line. (Cause its a secret for now, right?) However, I want to remember the lesson from today's devotions. Occasionally I do go back and reread my blog. I rarely go back and reread my devotion journal. Sad, but true. So, that said, here is the scripture and the question and answers from today's devotions:
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy --think about such things.1. Please list several “achievements” from your life – these are things you have worked hard to accomplish, over time, and have (whether known to you at the time or not) received God’s help in accomplishing them. Some examples might include finishing your degree after having kids, training an assistance animal, starting a Bible study in your neighborhood, raising a child, finishing your first quilt, etc. If you have difficulty in coming up with 3 of them, ask your husband, a sister, a good friend and God for direction on which 3 you should pick from your life and list them here:
--being a foster mom
--being an adoptive mom
2. Prayerfully consider each of the above achievements. Circle the one you sense God was most involved in for you.
--being an adoptive mom
3. Fully remember the details surrounding all the aspects of this achievement. Prayerfully make some notes about what was most important during this time. Think in terms of how you thought about challenges you faced, how you overcame them, what your thought patterns were like, etc.
(While I could write a book on the process we went through for our international adoption I limited my 'thoughts of note' to the following:)
--God's selection of Toa of Boy that I can now answer his question of "who picked me out?"
--waiting on the process
--> faith in God's sovereignty
--> image of the Israelites following the pillar
--God's sovereignty even in out illness that allowed Sweetling to be reassured of her part and importance in the family
4. What do you sense God wants you to know about yourself, based upon this achievement?
--God will lead me in walking by faith if I seek him in my circumstances.
5. What do you sense God wants you to know about Him, based upon this achievement?
--see above ;)
6. What do you sense now that you didn’t know when you were in the midst of the achievement?
-- It isn't that God wasn't as involved with me in other parts of life or in other acheivements, it's that I wasn't as involved with God.
Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.I had that verse on a golden key chain that someone I worked with gave to me. I subsequently lost the key chain, along with the keys that were on it of course, but I remembered that verse. I haven't always applied it in my life as much as I would like, but I want to begin applying it now. K-Love this morning was talking about picking a "word" for yourself for 2010, presumeably a key word that would bring to mind a certain scripture verse. I think my words will be "draw near". Yes, I know that's two words, but you know how much I like to break the rules of any assignment.
7. In terms of achievement, how are you viewing your progress in doing [name of book]? Go back to the “Understand This First” section at the beginning of the book and evaluate how you are doing in each of those areas. Do you need to make any adjustments? If you are in a small group, how is your group doing?
The "Understand This First" section included a fairly extensive self-evaluation and reflection section. At the end of that section the book asked me to go back over my responses and pick two key aspects that I felt led to really focus on over the course of the study. My two areas of focus were to be:
--a spirit of power, love, and self-control
To be bluntly honest, I had completely forgotten about the exercise of picking two key areas of focus. However, I feel that, once again, God is orchestrating the details of my life to bring me what I need. At church we are beginning a season of focus on prayer and fasting. Also, today was the first day of a reinstituted women's Bible study in which we will be reading and discussing the book Crazy Love. And now I'm being drawn back to the "draw near" verse.