My recent afternoons have been a time of rest and renewing, as I have pulled out a book that was an encouragement to me in the past. As this school year has resumed and with a new baby soon to be welcomed into our family, I have felt the need to review Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell.
Additionally, I have been assessing activities, routines and general out-of-the-home involvement in an attempt to simplify and eliminate "stressors". There are MANY good things one can be involved with, however there are seasons we should factor in to that involvement. Don't get me wrong - I am not saying if you have a heavy/burdensome season that you should 'shut down'. On the contrary, the Lord gives us instruction regarding this:
- "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
- "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
- "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!" Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
- "Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." Proverbs 12:25
- "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17
The Lord is good to give us verses such as these as a reminder that we are not meant to be alone, but to be in fellowship with Him and other believers. In doing so, we guard against believing lies of the Master Deceiver ~ which are much easier to believe if we are in the midst of a trial or heavy season of life.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed by a season, I was reminded that I am not powerless because Christ is in me and He is NOT powerless! "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6 Also, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9 Additionally, I was encouraged by a well known verse Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."
I am most definitely weak, due to remaining flesh. Flesh that is at battle with the spirit. But to be reminded recently that His strength is made perfect in my weakness and that when I take every thought captive, that I am also applying Scripture to those situations and overcoming what my flesh would attempt to do.
Teri's book reminded me to assess what robs me of the meekness and quiet spirit I desire through a page of question prompts in her book (not an exhaustive list but one to provoke thought) for me to assess. In assessing many of the 'meek and quiet spirit robbers' it is noted that they usually fall into one of the following three categories: FEAR, DISORGANIZATION and ANGER.
Oh how, I have succumbed to all of these in the past (still needing to gird up and will never on this earth overcome them). They have truly taken me backwards instead of pressing on toward the goal of the upward call. I have found that I can easily allow fear to invade my peace due to taking my eyes off of Christ. Fear about what "others" may think or fear of "failure" or fear of "being weak". There are so many Scriptures that speak on fear...healthy fear (fear of the Lord) and the crippling effect of fear if we focus on the fears of this world.
Regarding disorganization, I can relate to when I may lack in diligence to stay on top of my daily responsibilities and how that has a domino affect into other areas of my life. Due to my personality of desiring to do everything thoroughly and completely, sometimes it can actually hinder me from doing something at all. If I fail to plan, I feel like I am constantly playing 'catch-up'. Although I am generally organized, I am also sinful and not immune to falling short in this area, too.
Anger...oh anger...how Scripture speaks on this topic. Each of the following verses are convicting and challenging (in a good way) to me. I can never out love or out forgive the Lord and how much He loved me and how much He has forgiven me...to remember that when I feel tempted to become angry.
- Numbers 14:18 "The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression..."
- Proverbs 14:29 "Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly."
- Proverbs 15:1 "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."
- Ephesians 6:4 "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
- Colossians 3:8 "But now you must put them away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth."
- James 1:19 "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires."
These are just some of the reminders that this book review has provided me...I hope each of you will be encouraged by His word where-ever you may be in this season of life. I am far from an authority on any of these topics, but only desire to share what I am learning and being challenged by as a means to encourage fellow sisters in Christ.
By His Grace ~ Jarnette