Tuesday, February 1, 2011

 A roundabout way

I may have misspoken when I said I didn't make any New Year's resolutions this year.

I have made some "goals". They are small and personal, and I never really thought of them as resolutions... but goals you make at the beginning of the year? - Yeah, same thing different word usage.

One of my goals is to consume the same amount (or more) of water as I do of coffee each day. See? Silly - but important to me.

Another one of my hopes/goals/desires for 2011 was greatly encouraged by our church. Towards the end of 2010 our pastors began talking about reading through the entire Bible together as a church in 2011. They offered one year Bibles to the congregation. I have always struggled with discipline and consistency, so having the accountability of a whole church family behind me was helpful in my hopes to do this.

Dave and I have read through the Bible together as a couple each year for the past 3 years. It has been good and offered alot of conversation as we have together investigated what God was saying to us each day.

But.... we did this at night, when we were very ready for sleep. Most of the time Dave did the reading. I did the listening... only sometimes I did the sleeping. *blush* - Yes, I would often fall asleep. There is something about his voice reading the Bible to me that is so soothing. And it was during that newborn, sleep deprived, nursing 4 times per night, stage of life (watch me justify, justify, justify, explain...).

This year I am reading through the Bible in a year on my own. I am amazed (and slightly sheepish) at how much I am getting out of it this go-round. Instead of focusing on guilt for what I didn't get out of it in the past couple of years, I am choosing to relish what I am gleaning this year (big step for me to look forward expectantly instead of behind me wracked in guilt!).

I've been getting up at 5:30 am for about a week and a half now. It's NOT easy. I thought I was doing good to get up at 6:30 for the past few months. It was my time of quiet and my time of worship and my time of coffee and my time with my Father.

And then the kids started getting up at 6:30.

So I moved my awake time back to 6:15.

And then the kids started getting up at 6:15.

I almost cried.

I love these boys, but I need some quiet in my day.

I was getting none.

So, it was with a rather begrudging spirit at first, that I finally began getting up at 5:30. And I'm just gonna say right here right now, if they start getting up at 5:30 I am installing locks on the outside of their bedroom doors.

It's not easy to get out of bed that early. Not easy at all. But I can honestly say that I love it now. It is very valuable time for me.

When my heart is in the right place and I enter my early morning quiet time with an expectant heart, I always come away with life changing wisdom!

This morning I read in Exodus 13 and 14. Probably a passage I have read over and over. But this morning I saw something that spoke to me in a way it never had before. It just jumped right off of the page.

I read this,

 "When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the promised land. God said, "If the people are faced with battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness, toward the Red Sea."

And later in chapter 14 God says, "I have planned this to display my glory..."

So much in these few words. They are loaded with good.

How many times are we confused by what God is doing?

Expecting, waiting, for him to lead us down the "main road".

We think the "roundabout way" is a mistake.

"Um, God? The shortest route is over there. Oops! You must not have seen it!"

Surely he has forgotten about us.

We wait for him to get us "back on track".

And struggle with discontent in the wilderness.

We wait.

And wait.

"Okay God, ready when you are. Main road is right over there. Let's go."

And the whole time that we are striving towards that main road,

feeling like everything is disorderly,

and waiting for God to "do his thing",

He is compassionately leading us on his divinely appointed "roundabout way".

There is order to his plan. We just can't see it.

Because, see, he knows.

He knows that we get distracted very easily.

He knows that we could deny ourselves his wonderful promises by going back to our old ways.

And so he takes us on the journey that is best for us and that will display his glory.

Not the journey that is shortest...or easiest.

Man did I ever need to be reminded of that.

How much his ways are not our ways.

What a small picture we see.

How good He is...and well, how God He is.


Lindsay said...

I LOVE this - thank you.

Truth, goodness and HIM written all over it!

Thank you for being you !

Anne Elizabeth said...

Wow! Crying too much to type. I feel like you read my mind when writing this. Definitely needed to be reminded of this!

Hayley said...

He plans to display His glory.

Glory is displayed through your beautiful family, Wendi.

Love you guys.

Becky said...

Thank-you, dear friend, for these words. I, too, am on this journey this year and gaining insight into our God. I appreciate your willingness to share your personal experiences. Love you!

Amy@My Front Porch said...

I, too, have been getting up at 5:30 -- exercising and showering since I'm having my quiet time at night -- and I would agree it's hard, but it's AMAZING what that extra time with no little people hanging on my legs are crying has done for my emotional sanity throughout the day! Hope your boys go back to sleeping a little later though :)

Katarina said...

Love it! Thank you, so much truth here.

BaronessBlack said...

Bless you! Bless you! Bless you!

I really needed to read that this evening!

And I am totally IN AWE of you getting up at 5:30!

Cecilia G said...

Hi Wendi,
I have been reading your blog for quite some time now and I love it. Your boys and family are absolutly adorable - especially Kai, he totally makes me melt :)
I am blown away by your faith and strength and God has been teaching me so much through you. Especially in this post. I just pray that God would use me for His glory as much as He uses you.
I have gone through so much already in my 18 years and the only thing that remains over and over again in God's love and faithfullness.

What I really wanted to say is that I hope its okay that I posted part of this entry to my facebook Notes, I thought it was so encouraging. I added your blog address at the end.
Take care and God bless!
Cecilia G, Kokkola, Finland

Rachel @ Unexpected Blessings said...

Thanks for the reminder. This is something I need to keep in mind constently. Love you.

Rebecca said...

wow...i don't think i ever noticed that before. thank you for sharing that...i so needed it!

Nikki said...

Wow, my heart totally needs to hear this today....I am really struggling with a lot of ways in which it seems like God is taking me on REALLY roundabout paths. Argh. It's hard to even say that.

Good for you on the Bible reading!! I've had a hard time with consistency in Bible reading for the last few years, so in January I started a read-the-Bible-in-90-days program. I'm already about 8 days behind...but it is really cool to read big enough chunks that I haven't forgotten what happened in Judges by the time I'm in 2 Kings. :-) Big chunks of Scripture, but totally worth the time!