Rebecca Duvall

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Work

WorkHave you noticed that God puts things on our heart long before He reveals it to us? I really struggle with this because I have a strong desire (need) to know exactly what is expected of me so I can figure out precisely how I will get done what needs to be done. I like to have a plan, an organized detailed plan.

Thankfully, God is always giving me opportunities to be patient and trust His timing and His plan. Of course I always have dozens of questions for Him as to how He plans for this and when. I also have many, many, many suggestions how He can get things accomplished in ways that I feel would be best. These are the times God is usually quiet, waiting for me to be silent so He can speak through His gentle loving gracious merciful whisper.

In the spring of 2002 my husband and I decided it would be best for me to stay home with the kids and be a Stay-At-Home-Mom. I was thrilled at the idea, mainly because I was bored out of my mind with ‘work’ and needed a change. About 13 years later, while in the midst of Chaplain training, God gave me the desire to ‘work’ again.

What would I possibly do? Go back to Accounting? Work as a Chaplain? Open a business? How would I have time for my family, friends and the church? What? How? When? Why? These are just a few of the questions I asked God while trying to figure it all out myself. So exhausting! The thought of creating a resume after, now 14 yeas of not ‘working’, overwhelmed me. I convinced myself no one would every want to hire me, so why bother.

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.~ Psalm 94:19

Then, the funniest thing happened. A position for an Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper became available at the church I attended. I mentioned I MIGHT apply and the next thing I knew, the job was being offered to me. Why is this so funny? Well, I was currently on Session, an Elder, over Admin and Finances and the CFO. I kind of had an idea about the job that needed to be filled. Of course I would have to step down from Session before being allowed on staff, but easily done.

I was excited to be the bookkeeper but terrified to be responsible for the weekly bulletin. Could I handle representing the ‘church’? What if I messed up? Could I handle having a set schedule every week? I made my own schedule for so long. What if I got bored? My days of sleeping in and getting up whenever would be over. Wait, who was I kidding, I was a mom of three, I almost never slept in or made my own schedule. Suddenly the thought of having a set schedule and a place to go and be organized and detailed sounded glorious.

I know I mess up or forget things all the time, but thankfully I work with an amazing staff and the best volunteers on the planet! I get to see and talk with my church family every day of the week, work with numbers and keep things organized. I’ve now been working for 14 months with no worry of EVER being bored. I never know what the day will bring except God’s goodness! I don’t believe there’s a better job out there for me!

I think I’ve adjusted well to ‘working’. I enjoy what I do and LOVE the people I work with. My family is having a slightly more difficult time adjusting.  When they call to tell me about their day, which is great, I gently remind them I’m at work and will talk with them more when I get off. Well, I’ve been told, in a nice way, how my ‘job’ is sometimes inconvenient for them. I love seeing how God is working on them as He is working on me.

Ask and it will be given to you;

Seek and you will find;

Knock and the door will be opened to you.

If you are in the season of the unknown, maybe with a strong desire for change, ask God your questions about it. He would like to be invited in and can certainly handle your concerns. Don’t stop seeking God’s answers because they are usually better than you could imagine.

My Prayer for us today ~ Thank you Father God for the tender, loving patience you have with us. Lord, I pray for Your wisdom, courage and strength to continually seek Your plan for us. I pray we trust You are at work in all things as we patiently wait upon you, Amen.

Patience

pomegranateThe Fruit of the Spirit this week is Patience. I’ve chosen a pomegranate because it’s a fruit that takes time and effort to eat. You cannot simply grab it and take a bite. You must work at it. First open it, and then get through the maze of its inner pieces to get to the scrumptious juicy morsels inside. This my friend takes patience.

Patience is being able to stay calm and not get annoyed under any circumstance. A patient person can also bear provocation, misfortune or pain without complaining, losing their temper or becoming irritated. A patient person is quiet, works with steady perseverance and is even-tempered.

Patience is the one thing I often hear we should not pray for, because God will answer by giving us a situation in which patience is needed. I don’t know about you, but I think patience is the most difficult Fruit of the Spirit to master. When have you seen someone demonstrate patience? How did it affect your mood or behavior?

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:9-14

As it says in Colossians, we as believers in Christ Jesus, have the ability to call upon His power, which will strengthen us, equipping us with the patience needed within our circumstances. When we lose our temper or become irritated, it’s because we have taken our focus off our heavenly Father and looked to our own selfish desires or needs. You see, only God, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit can enable us to demonstrate true patience in all situations.

I lack patience with my family more often than I should. I lose my temper when they don’t treat me the way I think they should and then I fail greatly at being quiet. I can even get irritated when they don’t take my advice and do what I think they should. Imagine that! When have you lost your patience? Without a doubt, I always seem to lose mine when I don’t take that second to call upon Jesus in the difficult times.

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank You for Your patience with us. You shower us with love, grace and mercy every day, offering guidance. I pray we would call upon the power of Jesus and the help of the Holy Spirit, so we too may serve with patience in all areas of our lives, Amen.

Teachers

27 teachersI’m thankful for those who teach. I’m thankful for those who teach children in preschool all the way up to college. They dedicate their lives to helping others better themselves. They are encouragers and motivators. When we struggle with understanding, they remind us we can do it. They are creative and inspiring. When the typical way of learning doesn’t work for us, they come up with new exciting ways to teach.

As things change, they continue to improve their teaching skills to better teach others. They seek to continue their education so their students are being taught the latest and greatest. Teachers can have an amazing impact on our lives, if we let them pour out their knowledge without resistance.

I’m thankful for the patience of a teacher and how they go above and beyond to help us understand what they are teaching. They give of their time, talents and money to better those put in their care as a student.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;” ~ Romans 12:6-7

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for those you enable with the ability to pass on wisdom and knowledge. I pray we would always treat them with respect and show our gratitude for the ways they are teaching us, Amen.

 

 

Well Dah!

Trust Gods timing clockHappy New Year everyone! It feels like I haven’t written in forever! It’s good to be back. I hope you each had a wonderful time with family and friends celebrating the beginning of a new year. Even though I’m exhausted in January from a month of celebrating, I am filled with the excitement that comes with the beginning of a new year.

I’m excited as I look back at the year and think of all the amazing things that have happened. The fun, the annoying and the ooops. I’m filled with anticipation as I wonder what this year has in store for me. Many people make New Years resolutions because it’s a good time to make changes and tackle new projects or goals. I have a hard time making resolutions because I’m so overwhelmed at all the possibilities this new year could bring, I can’t figure out where to start.

Don’t make plans and then ask God to bless them. Wait for God to direct you so you know it’s already blessed by God’.

This is a continuing theme I’ve heard since the end of last year. The first few times I heard it, I thought, “well dah!” That’s probably why it became a continuing theme for me. I was hearing it, but not getting it.

I’m often so anxious to get started on new things that I don’t take time to wait and hear from God about it first. I usually lay it all out in front of God and then ask Him to bless it or make it obvious I shouldn’t be doing it. In reality, I’m expecting God to do all the work. Make it all run smoothly or take it away and give me something else to do.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember God already has a plan for me. He’s not sitting around waiting for me to give Him a list of my interests or opportunities so He can bless them. No, when He wants me to change direction, He will let me know.

How might God let you know when He wants you to change direction? There are many different ways. He could tell you, or show you, through people, circumstances, a book, sermon or song. He could even fill you with the desire to do something that you’ve never had before. (That’s how I came to write In His Way)

Over the summer, I found myself getting excited that my three-year term as an Elder at the church I attended was coming to an end. I was pondering all the many things I could do when my term ended. How would I choose which one to do?

As I continued to ponder the many choices I had over the next few months, I began to feel uneasy and sad about ending my term. I didn’t understand why, because I was excited to finish and move on to something else.  I was tired of using this gift and wanted to use a different gift. (I get bored easily)  Finally, I decided to pray about it. Why hadn’t I prayed about it already? To be honest, deep down I didn’t want to hear what God had to say about it. I was ready to move on and that was that.

Almost immediately after I started talking to God about what I should do when my term as Elder ended, I felt God telling me He wasn’t ready for me to move on and I was to stay. This wasn’t what I wanted to hear. My reply to God was “so what am I suppose to do, notify the church that I was staying on, even though my term was over?” How boastful would that be! I told God I couldn’t do that, it didn’t feel right. I needed Him to work it out, and then I would know for sure it was what He wanted me to do. (This is when God was saying “well dah!”) A few months later, God did work out all the details and I am continuing on as an Elder.

I was attempting to get ahead of God. I was trying to figure out, all by myself, what I was supposed to be doing. I was wasting time and energy worrying about what I was going to do, when all I needed to do was wait for God. I look back now and know He would have revealed it to me when it was time, but I get so impatient and overthink things. I need to stop trying to control and plan and know everything and TRUST God has it ALL under control.

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the patience, love and grace we receive from You daily. Lord, I pray we stay focused on how we are serving You now, trusting You will direct us if, and when, we are to change direction, Amen.

proverbs 3

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