Wednesday, August 6, 2008

His Spirit is upon me...

If you haven't entered my give-a-way-check out my preveious blog entry!!

I am taking a different approach to our Bible study of Lysa Terkeurst book "WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN WALK IN FAITH" by reflecting on my weekend as it goes with the two chapters we read for this week.....

This past weekend was to be a very busy weekend. I was scheduled to attend a simulcast of Beth Moore's conference and then leave on Sunday after church for a spiritual retreat for faith community nurses. It didn't work out as planned.
On the Friday of Beth's conference, the five other women from my church who were going started to back out. Everyone was so busy. I was in the shower getting ready for the event feeling guilty for going in the first see, it was my husbands birthday and though he said he didn't care about me being gone, I was feeling bad not celebrating it with him. I was praying in that shower and I said "God, if I get one more call I'm taking it means you want me to stay home with my husband". Twenty minutes later the call came. My heart was just sick to be missing Beth Moore but I had such peace all the same. I share the evening with my birthday boy.
The retreat I was scheduled to go to was a multi-denominational conference for Faith Community Nurse (parish nurse) coordinators. I didn't pack for this retreat in St. Louis until after church Sunday. I'm not usually a procrastinator. I wasn't wanting to go but the conference was funded for me as a coordinator of this type of program so I needed to go. I drove down listening to some old tapes from the P31 tape ministry (they ended that a couple of years ago...what a shame as it has been such a blessing to me). I spent the drive time in prayer, preparing my heart to hear and my eyes to see God. My heart and attitude started to change in not wanting to be there.
God more than rewarded me at this conference, considering the loss I felt missing Beth's. Though I missed my husband and family so much, God was everywhere. Over and over He gave me confirmation in the career changes my husband and I are making. My spirit was again stirred to confront my passions and to live within them as that is where He will use me the most. I didn't walk out of a session without having my heart stirred or my dreams confirmed.
The keynote speaker would read at the beginning of each of her sessions from a little book called "Simply Surrender" a book containing the written thoughts of a French Carmelite nun, Therese of Lisieux (1873-1879). I'm afraid I am not very familiar with the catholic church history and their saints as I am with their religious practice but there was something about this young girl that amazed me as I listened to her reflective thoughts written so long ago.
This young girl desired to be a saint but knew in her own merit she could not measure up to this. But she also had enough faith to know that God would not inspire a wish that could not be pursued. At her very young age she realized it was in trusting in Him and Him alone that what God laid on her heart could be reality in her life. It did became reality for her, however, not until after her life ended at the age of 24. The catholic church later made her a saint after finding her writings which reflected her spiritual heart, her spiritual maturity and deep but child-like love for God. Does not the bible reference this type of love as honoring to God?
Do we dare seek to be saint in this age? Isn't that only associated with history? I had to ask myself why do I not see my spirituality in that way, to desire to be a saint. Will I fall short? Oh you bet! On my own merit, I have already fallen off the "to be considered" list. But on God's merit, He has the power to take me above and beyond my own simple visions for my life. He stirred my heart this weekend and as with this young nun, I can only live through His power and by His grace. I must walk this path of radical obedience if I want to fulfill the dream and passion He has laid on my heart.
New doors of opportunity are opening for me to live in this passion God has given me. At the conference I was able to sit, pray, and reflect on my ministry goals and the realization came to me that these were my life goals. From the life of Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of nursing, (we walk through her life at this retreat) I have been inspired towards these goals:
1. To be like Christ (does this not require us to reach for that saint status?)
2. To fulfill my sense of calling from God
3. To integrate the study of theology more into my spiritual disciplines.
4. To be open to others to connect by showing a genuine interest in others, to listen
5. To model spiritual discipline
6. To surround myself with spiritual people and to collaborate with them in ministry
7. To be more familiar with other faith traditions
8. To empower others towards a life with Christ
9. To communicate God's message
10. To advocate for others spiritually
Too many goals? Maybe. But if I am going to thrive to reach to be more than I can even imagine, even aspire to be a saint, I think these goals might help me get there! It's believing and embracing God's plan for my life as Lysa talked about in Chapter 8&9 of this book. This summer has been amazing as I look at how God is moving in my life as I walk in faith. ..seeking to hear and see Him in all things...choosing to honor Him with today and tomorrow.
In Him~Pamela (MrsJoeB)

Don't forget my "give-a-way"!! It's posted below!!


Mari said...

Hey Pamela! I too missed Beth but it was for work. I am so glad God was able to "make it up to you". His plan is always best. I love the way you were able to relate your weekend with what Lysa wrote.

Great goals by the way. And I say if God gave them to you, then they are just the right number and depth :)

Safe travels home!

Luanne said...

So happy your weekend turned out so well. Hope your husband had a happy time with you.

I am familiar with the book you were refering to about St Theresa. I have it on CD. I can't seem to read a book but I get in a lot of listening driving in the car. I'm anxiously awaiting my cd's I ordered from She Speaks.

Great post and that is a wonderful list of goal to aspire to.


Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Glad everything worked out for you! Godthing! ;) I so enjoyed reading your post here. I felt like I gleaned with you!
My favorite words of yours were:
I loved reading about the nun, and you really inspired me tonight.
Thanks so much!
I started the bible study late but have since caught up. It really has been a great study.

Yolanda said...

I'm going to send this to my Girlfriend. She has two more years until her nursing school is finished up, but to encourage her to continue in what God has placed as a dream and desire in her. He has birthed it....continue to step into that.

Love ya,

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Thank you Pamela so much for blessing me with your visit! It meant alot to me that you signed my guestbook!
Your picture is beautiful!
I really did enjoy reading your blog... I look forward to reading more... -- I really learned alot!
If you have any questions if you do put a guestbook on your page, just email me, but once you go to SLIDE it's pretty easy. I think I made mine too small though.. I wish I would have done the medium one. Once you get the code, you can copy and paste it right into where you do a new POST. I tried on my sidebar and it's too big for that.
Have a beautiful day!
Walkin in faith,

Anonymous said...

Dear Pamela,

Thank you for your post. I am so glad that you became acquainted with St. Therese of Lisieux. If you'd like to know more about her, please see my Web site at "Simply Surrender" was not written by her; it's a paraphrase, by someone else who was interpreting her thought. I recommend her memoir, "Story of a Soul," and the letters, poems, plays, and prayers she wrote. She wrote "God alone, content with my weak efforts, will raise me to Himself and make me a saint, clothing me in His infinite merits." with all good wishes, Maureen

Amy said...

That was beautiful, Pamela.

I love the story about the young nun and her writings about being a saint.
Just yesterday, my son and I were watching the 80's movie "Agnes of God," and it talked about that topic of saints......God has pointed out the saints to me twice now in two days (through the movie and you)...I think I better take a deeper look into that topic.
I am not Catholic either, so I am not familiar with very much of the theology behind Catholicism either.

What an amazing attitude of faith that young woman possessed....I would love to read more about her.

I'm glad that God was so present with you through this conference. It is so overwhelming and wonderful when you hear His voice speaking words of confirmation to your soul.:)

God Bless,

Lelia Chealey said...

Wow Pam! I loved your heart of obedience to God in choosing to stay home with you husband. If he has ever heard her teach he knows the sacrifice you made. And if he doesn't, God does. I'm sure you'd pick our man over BM anyday, but you know what I mean. When our hearts want something and God closes the door. Awesome Pamela!!

Loved all you shared about that young girl too and her writings.