I was made by You, I was made for You.

I picked up two books at Lifeway a while ago. I just finished one and I’m halfway through the other. The first one I read is Praying Circles Around the Lives of Your Children by Mark Batterson. Now, while I don’t have children of my own, I work with teenagers and volunteer with kids. So, I figured I need to start praying for them more strategically. I should probs thank War Room, for the desire to make my prayers more intentional. In the book, I learned to pray without ceasing, with intensity, with tenacity, by design, by desire, by discipline, with specificity, with intentionality, and with consistency. That list motivates me. I like words and those are some pretty powerful words.

I heard someone say a while back that I cannot expect lost people to act saved. What I’m realizing now, after reading these books, is that people shouldn’t expect me to act lost and should expect me to act saved. I cannot require more than I am willing to give. I am saved. I came home. I have the immovable joy. I am forgiven. I am set free. I have the peace that cannot be taken. I need to act like it. It’s a call to action, in my every waking moment. At work, volunteering at church, with friends and family, in every waking moment I should be striving to love like You, Lord. The other book I’m reading is Having a Martha Home the Mary Way. In that book, Sarah Mae says: “I am clay, and clay cannot mold itself.” That sentence sent chills down my arms and legs. Since Your love got a hold of me, I am a new creation. 

I spend 8 plus hours at work each day and 3-4 at Church on Wednesdays and Sundays. That’s not even including prep-times, trips, or events. There are 24 hours in a day and I spend 8-12 with kids on any day. In my week, consisting of 168 hours, 50 is spent working and 6 is traveling to and from work. 3 1/2 are spent at Church Wednesdays and 4 1/2 on Sundays. More than half my day is spent with those kids, so they deserve my prayers. That still leaves me with 104 hours. Even if I slept a whole 8 hours a day which I don’t usually, that is still only 56 hours. I would have 48 hours a week just for me.

That is 48 hours a week I could be doing something productive. Some weeks those hours seem to slip away. I always heard the older I get, the faster time flies and I am definitely beginning to see that. I don’t even know what happened to January, I blinked and I’m 8 days deep into February. I used to think that self-esteem depended on me and my worth. After reading these books and working with these kids, I see that confidence is found in my relationship with You. Because no one can worship You like me. No one can pray like me. No one can do what I do, how I do it. I am unique. I do not worship the same as anyone else. That is not to toot my own horn, that is a gift I was given by You, for You. My identify, my confidence, my value comes from my relationship with You. No one can satisfy my heart and make me whole except You, God.

Sarah Mae’s book is certainly cleaning my house, but more importantly it is cleaning my heart. In her book, she gave us her mission statement and told us to adapt it and make our own. I figured, since I am a new creation in You, Lord, that a mission statement was a perfect thing to have especially when I am trying to live more intentionally. Ok, so here goes:

  1. I need a safe, sanitary, healthy, peaceable environment for my family. I need a home made with gentle kindness.
  2. I want to love myself and others well. I want to love like Jesus does.
  3. I am becoming like Jesus. I am choosing life over death, goodness over evil, and light over dark.
  4. I will be a life-giver. I will raise life above the level of mere existence through service.
  5. I live out my relationship with God. I live out who God is in me.

Proverbs 14:1 says: A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hand. That is why this mission statement is so important because I am a self-sabotager. I let my emotions and feelings control me, instead of realizing that I am made by You, for You. I don’t have to live this way. I am a new creation. I am born again. That old way of thinking is dead and gone. I can change my thought process.

So, here is my prayer today. Thank you Lord, for using these books to open my eyes and change my way of thinking. Lord, thank you for putting these books in my life and allowing me to apply them to my life. Thank you for words, lists, and mission statements. I pray that I pray for those kids without ceasing, with intensity, with tenacity, by design, by desire, by discipline, with specificity, with intentionality, and with consistency. Thank you for calling me home. Thank you for making me new. Thank you for writing my name in the book. Thank you for peace, freedom, joy, and so much more. Thank you for molding me. Thank you for your love that has a hold on me. I pray you keep holding me. Thank you for making me whole. Thank you for making my worship, my prayers, my gifts unique. Thank you for giving me purpose, identity, confidence, and value. Thank you for wanting a relationship with me. I pray that I take every single word of that mission statement and apply to my life until it is an undeniable truth. I pray that mission statement becomes my reality. I pray that I remember Proverbs 14:1 and use it to build my home on your solid foundation. Lord, thank you for using these books to impact my thoughts and my heart. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Somehow I feel like I was born for this.

To say that War Room impacted the three of us that saw the movie last week would be an understatement. One of us went home and started making a prayer wall, like immediately. As for me and my person, we took to dramatically screaming the entire speech every time something happens now. You know, the one where Priscilla Shirer runs around her house praying and telling the devil to get out of her house. She was flawless! She had me crying the whole speech. Now, anytime something happens, we start praying immediately. There is a bug in the house? Devil get up out my house. Job interview fail? Devil get up out my career search. My car will be ready this week, but it’s going to cost more than the original estimate? Devil get up out my car. K-Love app needed to buffer and crash instead of letting me listen to the music? Devil get up out my phone. Literally. Everything.

That speech got us all riled up and ready to face anything. From the little stuff to the life changers. Today, when I got bad news I started to get upset, but a friend was on her way to take me to the rec center with her. I headed straight for the track, put on my prayer playlist, and started praying. First, I was confused and I’ll admit, I was just plain mad. But, I remembered War Room and how I needed to stop fighting battles I couldn’t win and start fighting the right battles. I changed my entire perspective and refocused my prayer.

Karen Ehman from Proverbs 31 Ministries said: “Determine today to stop hiding out in old destructive habits. Instead, come out into the light of His glorious grace and learn a new method of coping. Race to Him instead of running back to your old ways. His Word is alive and active. It can help us break horrible habits and form new, Jesus-pleasing ones as we reply with a resounding ‘No’ to returning to the dangerous familiar.” Today, I almost ran back to old habits, but I chose to run to You in prayer. Today, I chose to come into Your light, instead of hiding out in the darkness. I want to run to You, Lord.

So, here is my prayer today. Thank you for changing my perspective. Thank you for refocusing my prayers. Thank you for guiding me. Thank you for the reminder today. Thank you for making me a warrior. I pray that you continue to change my heart. I pray that you keep working on me. I pray that I keep falling to my knees in need of you. I pray that I keep seeking you. I pray that I keep calling your name, Lord. I pray that I trust you and trust your plan. I pray that I put my faith in you. I pray that I leave my worries at your feet. I pray that I keep my eyes on you, instead of the storm. I pray that I run to you. I pray that I leave old coping methods behind and head straight for the cross instead. Thank you for opening your arms for me today and everyday. Thank you for letting me run towards your light. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Your love has captured me.

I watched this interview of Priscilla Shirer for the movie War Room. (Which, btdubbs was like sooo good. Like I cried all the way through and I felt like I was in church with the way people were saying Amen and clapping along. I will be getting it on DVD the day it comes out and I will be sitting down with a pen and pad to take notes!) In the interview, she was asked if she would ever act again after War Room. Her response floored me. She said: “If there was a project that came along that gave me an opportunity to still ride in line with the purpose that I know has been set before me for my life, I would be open to it.” Wow. Now can I please apply that to my graduation job search please? It brought me back to my youth group days, jamming out to this song:

So, that is my prayer today. Lord, I pray that you will show me the path. I pray that you will send a project along. I pray that you will open a door. I pray that you will guide me. I pray that you will lead me. I pray that I go in line with the purpose you set for my life. I pray that I am open to the opportunity when it arises. I pray that give it all to you. I pray that everything I do, I do it for you. I pray that every step I take, I take in you. I pray that I honor you. I pray that I live for you. I pray that every move I make, I make in you. You are my way, Jesus. Lord, I pray that follow you. I pray that I shift my focus to you. I pray that I put you first. Thank you for your love. Thank you for showing me your grace and mercy and love. Thank you for everything you’ve given me. Lord, you amaze me. You astound me. You literally take my breathe away with how incredible your timing is. Thank you for having a plan for my life. Thank you for this journey. Thank you for the ups and downs and all you’re teaching me. I pray that I move where you want me. I pray that I go where you need me. I pray that I learn all that you need me to. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.