Ten years ago I wrote and taught my first Bible study on Ephesians (Immeasurably More!). For the past 10 years, I’ve been writing and teaching my studies. It has been a blessed adventure with the Lord! I’ve been challenged and changed more than anyone in my classes. The truth of God’s Word will do that to you!
So, it’s strange and a little sad that I’m not gearing up this month, praying and getting ready to teach a Women’s Bible study on Matthew… or Ezekiel… or Ephesians… or Psalms… or 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. I’m eager to teach from all of those books again!
But my daughter Emily has just moved back to NC State for her senior year in college. And I need this year for what I’m calling “reverse nesting”! I get some strange looks when I use that term – I don’t think it’s hit the mainstream conversation yet. Here’s what I mean: When my babies were about to be born, I did a little “nesting” getting ready for their arrival. And now, that my baby bird is about to fly away from home, I feel the need to get ready for her departure.
I need time to pray for her and to pray for myself. I need time to be still with the Lord and trust Him for the coming new season in all of our lives. It’s exciting and sweet and special and sentimental. I want to embrace this coming year and experience whatever it holds. I want to be available to help out if I’m needed. I don’t expect to be needed a lot though, because Emily has grown into a very godly, responsible, capable, efficient young lady. I’m so proud of her and know that she will trust the Lord and do what He leads her to do. She will have a full schedule as she finishes her Early Elementary Education Major. She’ll be in a 1st grade classroom all day/once a week/ every week, she has 2 full days of college courses, and she’ll be leading a girls’ Bible study as well as attending other small groups and gatherings. And Emily loves people, so when she’s not in class or studying, I know she’ll be enjoying her friends! Like I said, I don’t expect her to need me a whole lot!
Do you wonder if I’m going to sit and home and pray all day?!? I will have some days where that’s what I do, but the Lord has brought this different year into my life for a variety of reasons.
I’m writing a new study on the book of Job. I need concentrated periods of time to dig into that very deep, intriguing, thought-provoking book.
I have several other projects that need time and attention. I’ll tell you about a few of them – because that will give me some accountability to get them done!
I want to make a scrapbook of the highlights of Emily’s 20 years.
I want to make my Bible studies available on Amazon, and make them available to other women’s Bible study groups.
I hope to create a Christmas devotional journal. (That’s not all that’s on my list, but that’s enough for now.)
I might not be teaching in public this year, but I’m definitely going to be in service to the Lord in private. Behind the scenes. I think it’s going to be a very full year! If you think of me, please pray for me! I struggle with the sins of selfishness, pride, and fear. I need discipline as well as flexibility. I need the direction and insight of the Lord. I want to do whatever I do by the power of the Holy Spirit and not by my own strength. And I need courage to walk forward by faith into all of this newness and change and special times.
The following four verses capture and direct my heart. They are foundational verses for my life and ministry, which by the way, I hope are not two separate categories, but one in the same.
Psalm 27:4 One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.