The Macs

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the priority of my day {be intentional}

My theme for this year has been "be intentional". I knew that one of the areas I really wanted to be intentional in was my daily time with the Lord. If you listened to Nancy Leigh DeMoss' session, you might remember her saying.
I want my time with my Lord to be the priority of my day. And that is where my struggle lies. There is no substitute to getting into the Word alone, yet I often let other things take priority of my day. I have tried scheduling time during my day to spend in the Word, but it was never consistent. My schedule during the week was different every day. Some days I wouldn't be home during that time. And more often than not, I would get interrupted or distracted even if I was home. The phone would ring, someone would stop by, my house suddenly needed cleaning, and pretty soon nap time was over. I would get to the end of my day and realize that I hadn't made time for God. I might try to squeeze it in before bed, but I was so tired by that point that it was more to "check it off the list" than to actually listen and respond to God.

I am not a morning person. I can sleep in like a champ...of course that was much easier before the kiddos arrived. Occasionally I would try to have my quiet time in the morning if it worked out, but it was never a consistent thing. As I studied Isaiah in BSF this year, something clicked for me during one of the lessons. We read Isaiah 50:4,

"He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught."

Our lecturer challenged us with this question:
Does the Sovereign Lord wake you morning by morning?
Wow. My answer was obviously no. She pointed out that even Jesus started His day this way. He knew He needed to. If Jesus needed to start His day with the Lord, how much more do I need to start my day this way? My strength for the day needs to come from my Sovereign Lord. He is in charge of my day. He knows what is going to happen in the hours ahead. So, of course I would want to start my day by going to Him. She challenged us to spend a little time with the Lord every morning even if it was just fifteen minutes...first thing.

That is when I started setting my alarm every morning before Levi got up. Man that was hard. Especially on the mornings when little Levi decided to sleep in and I could have been sleeping right along with him. And yes, I failed. I failed again and again. I finally feel like this alone time in the morning with the Lord is becoming a consistent part of my day. And I LOVE this time in the mornings. It is the first thing I do. Before turning on my computer, before checking e-mail, before checking on my favorite blogs, before starting a load of laundry, and before I do anything else. I spend time reading the Word and in prayer...for my own heart, for Joel and his day, for Levi and our day ahead, for the sweet little boy growing inside me, and for the many things the Lord brings to my mind. I try to put my agenda at His feet and seek what His agenda for my day might look like. By the time Levi wakes up...which obviously is not exactly the same every day...I feel like my heart is ready for the day. This time in the morning has totally changed how I approach each day.

Now, I am a total perfectionist and rule follower. I get frustrated when someone challenges me to do something a certain way and I fail. I just want to give up all together. Don't do that! I'm not telling you your time with the Lord has to look a certain way. This time with the Lord will probably look very different for each one of us. But like Nancy Leigh DeMoss said, I am challenging you to schedule this time early in your day. And if you can...try starting your day off alone with the Lord, when your heart is quiet. I think you will be amazed by how it changes your day.

I am so excited for the 38 of you who are joining me in this challenge. How awesome to be encouraging each other to grow closer to the Lord. I am going to be praying for your hearts and for mine...that by the end of these 30 days the Lord will have done a changing work in each one of our lives.

Are you ready? Before tomorrow morning arrives makes sure you:

1. Have a plan...
What will your time alone with the Lord look like? Be prepared.

2. Have a time...
When will you spend time with the Lord? Schedule it and set that alarm!

3. Have a place...
Where will you meet with the Lord? Find a quiet place where you will be alone and the least distracted.

4. Grab a friend...
Encourage someone to join you in this challenge and keep each other accountable!

Nancy Leigh DeMoss said, "What you need for this season and the next is His presence, His wisdom, His guidance." May we find His presence, His wisdom, and His guidance for this season and the next as we seek Him over the next 30 days.


Blogger Pamela said...

Beautiful challenge. You will never be sorry you started your day with God -- even on the ho hum, I've read that before days. There's always more joy in my heard when Christ is first.


May 31, 2011 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Luciene Pires said...

Count me in! I'm one day behind...but very excited with your wonderful challenge!

Luciene from Brazil!

May 31, 2011 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Miss Harriet. said...

I am spending tonight really praying that the Lord will direct me in these this month with Him. I am praying for specific passages and areas in my life. Thank you for encouraging me already!

May 31, 2011 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger Selena said...

Please add me as #39 on your roster... I am up for this exciting challenge! Can't wait to see what the month of June holds as I work extra hard to become closer to our God. Thank you for your love and encouragement although we've never met... you are such a shining light for Him. :)

May 31, 2011 at 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in too! I've read your blog for awhile now, and I am totally excited by this challenge. It is perfectly timed for me as June is always a busy month as my school year winds down. I'm excited to spend June building a routine of spending time with the Lord first thing!

May 31, 2011 at 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Heather S said...

I love your challenge - I'd take you up on it, but I challenged myself to this quite some time ago. I still have the occasional day that it doesn't happen, or doesn't look the way I want it to look, but I can say I consistently (not perfectly) get up and begin my day with the Lord. I begin my mornings with a walk to worship music enjoying His creation and offering up thanks to Him. Then I shower and sit in my fave chair and read His word and soak it in. I pray and lift up my requests. Then I close by writing in my thankful journal. I was challenged bu a Bible study last year to spend as much time preparing my heart with the Lord as I did preparing my face for the world. I figured I could handle at least 15 minutes a day - and what do you know? The best days are really the ones I give Him MORE! :) You may regret a lot of decisions you make in this life, but you will never regret this one. Blessings to you!

May 31, 2011 at 5:21 PM  
Blogger A said...

I'm in, too :) Excited for this challenge!

May 31, 2011 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Mory said...

Add me too....

May 31, 2011 at 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

Definitely in, Jess! Thanks for the challenge!

May 31, 2011 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I'm in!! I've been feeling...I don't know, "lost" lately. We recently moved and I'm just not in that "sweet spot" anymore, and I so long to be.

I'm really looking forward to the fellowship, via computer and prayers, and I'm so anxious to rest in His arms again. Tomorrow morning, 6am (EST), I'll be joining the rest of you sweet ladies on this blessed journey :) Thanks for the challenge!!

May 31, 2011 at 6:20 PM  
Anonymous swimac said...

Count me in. I'm ready~

May 31, 2011 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger karen said...

I am so excited. Thanks for your inspiration, your nudge... and I just had to share. I hope you don't mind :)

May 31, 2011 at 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know you but have followed your blog for some time now... don't even recall how I found it now! Just wanted to make the written commitment here... count one more in... I need the challenge, encouragement, and am hoping to grow closer to God over this next month. Thanks for the challenge to do this - and, on a side note, your blog is organized so nicely - love it. (:

May 31, 2011 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger Erin Branscom said...

I just found your blog and became a follower! :) Love it! Erin

May 31, 2011 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

I'm in for the challenge. I have really been needing something structured like this. And I'm JUST like you.....I WANT to spend my time with the Lord in the morning, but I am constantly amazed at how many things I find to do instead. Then I just get frustrated at myself. Plus the best days are those when I'm in the Word and in prayer before I start the day with my daughter. My perspective all day long is different. Thank you for the extra boost for what I've already been wanting to do.


May 31, 2011 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger Kelly Ford said...

I mentioned in my previous comment *which was my 1st ever on your blog even though i read daily :-)* that I'm reading "Crazy Love". In chapter 4, Francis Chan defines (or rather gives SEVERAL definitions of) a lukewarm Christian. Several struck a cord with me as I read them but one specifically. "Lukewarm Christians are not bothered by their sin"... they do not long to be rescued from their sin, but only from the penalty of their sin.

I know this is SO true for me. My sin is not "huge" by human standards. Its some pride here, anger there, inability to control my tongue from time to time, etc.

But tonight I hit a low. An embarrassing low. My 2 year old has been trying me SO much lately with disobeying and being whiney, etc. Well, tonight I lost it completely. Keep in mind that i'm 39 weeks preggo and completely hormonal. This is NO excuse for what i'm sharing, just a part of what helped me get to this "low".

I yelled, literally screamed, for my sweet baby girl to stop crying. I popped her on the bottom for it (because that always helps) and plopped her in bed and walked away while she bawled her head off. I was scared to touch her again for fear that I'd shake her or something. (my husband was at baseball tryouts for the h.s. he teaches/coaches at). My flesh wants to justify that I am tired, pregnant, hormonal and being left alone so often so its understandable.

But the fact is, it is not any of those things that caused me to be so hurtful to my daughter. It is the sin that is within me that I seem to think is "no big deal". SIN in my life affects more than just me. More than just my relationship with the Lord. It affects my daughter.

And that breaks my heart.

So, tonight, i realized just how desperate I am for Jesus to change me. I very much regret the events that took place tonight, but at the same time, i'm so grateful that the Lord is using it to break me.

I need to be broken.

Thank you for this challenge. I cant wait to be changed by His Word and to hear how the others joining the challenge will be changed, as well!

May 31, 2011 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Count me in. I need this.

May 31, 2011 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Thank you for this wonderful encouragement, it is always fun to have others to walk alongside:)

I posted a link to your challenge in my blog to encourage more people to take the challenge and be intentional in meeting with God each and every day in a meaningful way! Thank you :)

May 31, 2011 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This is such a great challenge, and one that I desperately need. I have pushed my relationship with God to the back burner, and I can tell it is affecting me. I plan to join you in the next 30 days with a daily devotion time. I am praying that it will continue for many many days after! :) Thanks!

May 31, 2011 at 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

me too

Liz M

May 31, 2011 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Me too!! I'm in, i'm in!! I've been really needing this. I so relate to what you said at the beginning of this post. I've struggled with a consistent quiet time for years. Often going long stretches without it at all. This challenge will do me good! I'm going to post about it on my blog and see if I can get anyone to join me!

May 31, 2011 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

count me in! definitely an area i struggle in too.

May 31, 2011 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Kelli Kegley said...

I'm not sure how I came across your blog, but now I know why! I have been struggling with feeling like my time with God and His word has just been something to check off a list and that is NOT what I want!! Your challenge is just what I needed, so count me in!!!

May 31, 2011 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Cora Bouch said...

Hi Jess. I have been away from my computer for a few days (trying to catch-up on house work),but I just read your challenge and I would like to do it as well. I have been feeling the Lord's tugging on my heart for a long time about this, but I keep pushing it away. Just like you said..making excuses..I have 3 little kids...I homeschool...the house is a mess..I'm tired...BUT the truth is that is all the more reason I should make the Lord my priority! I have 3 little children who are looking to see who this God is I say I love and serve and yet my attitude/moods do not reflect Christ very much these days. I feel so depleated. I am not filling my soul. I am feeding my flesh.
Thank you for sharing this challenge with all of us.


May 31, 2011 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Caroline H said...

I have been moving across country and behind on your posts, but count me in as well:)

May 31, 2011 at 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

I love this and I'll be doing it with you. My kids may be watching videos while I do it but it's a good way to start the day.

May 31, 2011 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger L. Shipp said...

I'm in! :)

June 1, 2011 at 12:37 AM  
Blogger Kristi REDISKE said...

I am taking the challenge, I needed this so much! The Lord has been so good and faithful to me, I need to be faithful to Him and spend time with Him, and I know He needs to be the start of my day.

June 1, 2011 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I started this morning. Thanks for the great challenge!

June 1, 2011 at 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add me to your 38! =) I have been reading your blog for what seems like forever, yet I do not comment often. Sorry! You are such an encouragement to me. I am a teacher and have 3 young children (2-boy, 4-girl, 6-girl). I feel like we have a lot in commone, and I love your heart!
Excited about what God is going to do in our lives!
Kristin Amato

June 1, 2011 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Kelly Gibbs said...

I'm in as well! Thank you for doing this, after just having a baby I have been struggling to make time in my day to spend quiet time with Jesus! This will really help me. I'm starting today and hope to keep up! Thanks again!


June 1, 2011 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Day 1 in the books! I'm reading through Daniel right now...what a cool guy! Thanks for this!

June 1, 2011 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger sarah @ life {sweet} life said...

This is EXACTLY where I am right now. Wow, I need this and am so thankful that the Lord prompted you to lead this challenge! I will definitely be participating. Thanks for the encouragement to do something I know I've needed to do for far too long.

June 1, 2011 at 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 1, 2011 at 12:56 PM  
Blogger Mommy to Many said...

This might just be what I need to keep me motivated. So I am joining in today!

As you said, there is always something that will keep me from having my devotion time with the Lord. By the time the kids are down for a nap (IF they nap at the same time) it is my time to either relax or get things done in the house.

I need time with God. This year has been especially a struggle more so in my marriage then anything else. I have lost that special time I once had with the Lord and I crave it but have not done anything about it.

June 1, 2011 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger mindibz said...

I definitely need this. Add me to the group, too!

June 1, 2011 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I'm in too, Jess. God bless you for being obedient and sharing your heart. It's beautiful. You are a daily encouragement to me. I'm sorry I don't post more often to tell you that. Thanks for the kick in the pants that I needed.
God's richest blessings to you and your precious family,
Lisa from California

June 1, 2011 at 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Denise said...

You can add another to your list! I got sidetracked and forgot to RSVP to you. I am doing this for 2 challenges. A girl in my small group is doing the She's My Sister Bike Tour 2011 and they are doing devotions each day and challenging us to join them as well. Perfect for me 2 accountability groups.

I really miss BSF for that reason. I was involved in it in different capacities for 11 years.
Thinking I will start with my word study of disciple! I need it.
Thank you for sharing your life with us.
Richest blessings,

June 1, 2011 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Jess - This is such an encouragement to me! Count me in!

June 1, 2011 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Kristina said...

I'm in, and so excited about this challenge! I definitely need it. I so often allow most everything to take priority over this, and I don't even have children yet! I started today (although in the afternoon). I plan to do it in the mornings, though.

June 1, 2011 at 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you don't mind, this is a little off topic but thought you might enjoy this article:

June 1, 2011 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger Josi said...

I love your challenge. I can soo realate to not making time for the Lord. I'm in. And I sent my sister to your site, and she's doing the daily devotions as well... So add two to your list.
And thank you!

June 1, 2011 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Josi said...

p.s. I hope it's okay with you.. I also included a link to you, as I briefly outlined my joining your challenge in my blog.

June 1, 2011 at 10:27 PM  

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