Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Finding Lovely

Sometimes we don't have to look back too far to remember the Lord's awesome deeds (Psalm 65:5). Join me on Tuesday, August 22nd when I share what the Lord did just a few weeks ago when I returned to Nashville to "have fun" with these "lovely" ladies.

The following is a re-post from Mothers With a Mission , September 23, 2016. 

Looking for Lovely weekend Nashville, TN July 23, 2016
Looking for Lovely photo credit Laura Derenski

“Discontentment shows up when we focus on what we can’t have rather than what we do have.” says Emily P. Freeman. Recently I found myself smack dab in the middle of that quote! 

In July I had the privilege of going to Nashville for a weekend for Annie Downs’ Looking for Lovely weekend. God was ever so present as I worked out the details of the weekend, right down to a house full of women (strangers) to stay with. The drive to Nashville was great – the scenery gorgeous, traffic was light, and my phone playing our “Looking for Lovely” playlist. I could not wait to get there!

Over 100 women, mostly strangers, descended upon Nashville to “Look for Lovely.” Festivities began immediately with a delicious BBQ dinner, followed by Meredith Andrews leading worship and Annie sharing her journey of moving to Nashville to become a writer. Lovely was everywhere!

That night as I brushed my teeth, I tearfully asked the Lord to show me the “lovely” where I live because I just did not see it. A lady’s face flashed before my mind and before I knew it I was grateful and ashamed all at the same time as many women came to mind. You see for over two years I have tried to make friends unsuccessfully. Hear that? I was trying.

While I was busy, frustrated, and exhausted
 trying to make friends
 God was surrounding me with “a great cloud of witnesses.”

I had been so busy whining and telling the Lord what I wanted and how I wanted it I missed what He did! I apologized to several women for “overlooking” them and repented to God for being discontent.

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us,…Eph 3:20

Several years ago God used a story told by Beth Moore to show me my tendency to miss what He is doing because I am so focused on what I want. In Breaking Free she shares how her son-in-law puts her grandson to bed every night and says something like “I’m proud to be your dad, I think you have what it takes to be a great man and I love you” and every night the toddler looks up and says, “I want juice.”

Once again, the Lord showed me how I am not so different from that toddler. He has told me, “Mari I’m proud to be your dad, I think you have what it takes to be a great woman and I love you” and I look up at Him and say, “I want (fill in the blank).”

I cannot hear the Lord’s quiet response
when I am whining so loudly!

Has your child ever whined about something and you stood there in disbelief because you saw that your child already had what they were whining about and so much more? God sees it too, but I do not think He stands there in disbelief, but with compassion, wanting to show us all that He has provided.

Are you whining to God about something? Are you discontent in some area of your life? Talk to Him about it and ask Him to show you the truth in your situation. Be still and listen for His unexpected answer.

Father, we thank you that as your daughters we can be content in all things. Because, we are your children we can trust that we still have growing up to do. Help us to see our blessings in the midst of our busy schedules, messy houses and childish desires. Thank you for gently showing us the areas where we are still immature and where you long to bring growth and freedom. Amen.

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