Obedience.


It’s what most parents expect from their children.

How often do we, as adults, think of our own obedience?

Sure we obey the local laws, don’t run traffic lights (or at least hope to get through the yellow before it changes to red), or steal from our neighbors.  How often though do we hear God and obey him?

 

Right now I’m struggling a bit with this. 

Sometimes God asks us to do something that we really rather not do.  At our last church we had a large successful VBS (Vacation Bible School).  My part was being what you might call an artistic director for the transformation of a huge space into something “magical,” like a fiesta, or the Serengeti, or a western town with horses and cows and more.   It was fun.  It was hard work.  It took lots and lots of hours.  And when the decision was made that VBS was not to be any longer, that the children’s ministry would take a different direction for outreach to families, I cheered.  My passion was gone.  I was burned out.

 

Today, we live in another town, serving an amazing church. 

This church still believes in VBS for outreach to families.  My husband leads the charge in their children’s ministry.  After being at the church for a few months, I sought God; I wanted to know where he wanted me to serve.  I got the oddest answer.  No, it wasn’t being a small group leader, or greeter, or office volunteer.  He told me to serve my husband.  I’ve been doing a few tasks to help my husband at the church which I am really not too fond of doing.  But, they really help him.  One of those tasks is helping with the décor for VBS.  I’m doing it out of sheer obedience to God.

Good things will come of it because I am obedient.  It’s going to take a lot of time.  I have time.  I’m going to work with new people.  I’ll make friends.  Kids will get excited when they see the church transformed into a fun environment.   Even more.  Kids will invite their friends and they and their friends may choose to follow Jesus.  Good stuff.

Because I choose to be obedient.

 

Have you ever thought about the larger ramifications of personal obedience?

 

I’ve been following a couple of bloggers for the last few years.

Maggie who writes Gussy Sews and The Nester who writes Nesting Place both left the comforts of home to travel to Tanzania for Compassion International.  They both have taken this trip, not because they like to get on big jet planes and travel to foreign countries;  no, neither of them even care to fly anywhere.  They both went because a big God asked them to be obedient.  And so today, and the next several days, they are writing about their experiences in Tanzania.  Blessing me.  Blessing Tanzanians.  Blessing God.

 

Obedience is a good thing.  Maybe not fun.  Maybe stretching.  All good.

 

Obedience. 

Have you said yes?  Or no?

 

I encourage you to read Maggie’s & The Nester’s words about their experience in Tanzania.   God is at work, you’ll see.

Oh.  To obey.  It’s being Extraordinary!

 

Thank you for stopping by today.
I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.

Joyfully!

Diane

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Comments

  1. Cindy Jonczak says:

    I have recently been made aware, by God ; ), of how I am more inclined, inspired, able, to be obedient in the big things and less willing in the small, what I deem inconsequential, things. God has pointed out several little areas of my life and habit and asked me if I would sacrifice them if He asked me. I have been most convicted that I have had to convince myself that I would.
    I have, however, easily convinced myself that these little areas of life and habit are unimportant. But God is reminding me that everything is important, every part of me, every minute of my day. And so, I am in a time of challenge to see if I can truly say, “Yes, God, I will give that or this up for You.”
    But I’m excited about the potential for growth in my spiritual life.

    • “But God is reminding me that everything is important, every part of me, every minute of my day.”
      Yes!! God wants ALL of us. And yet we struggle to give the one who created us and knows us best…all.
      Why is that so hard? Speaking from my personal experience, it’s about trust. Can you hear God speaking, “Cindy, do you trust me for….?
      Love the freedom that comes when we say, “Yes, I trust you Lord!”
      I’m excited for you too as you step forward boldly relinquishing yourself and trusting a loving God!!!
      {hugs}

  2. [email protected] says:

    Ohhhh!!!!!! I am so glad I clicked over from Life in Grace. You are “my kind of people”! Can’t wait to take some time and read more of your posts. Hope you have an “extraordinary” day!

    • Hi Susan! Thank you sooo much for stopping by and for your warm reply! You blessed me more than you can imagine. I’m brand new to blogging – One week!! {hugs}

  3. Congratulations on your new blog! It looks great and I’m happy to see you blogging! Keep up the good work.

    In regards to “obedience”, I have mixed feelings. My father was in the military and we children were asked to follow blindly and without question. Being free-spirits this dogma did not go over well. There were often times where obedience came in conflict with our endless questions. Eventually we wised up enough to keep our mouths shut and to go through the motions, but even though we did what we were told there was always a seed of doubt and a rebellious heart. I think much of the early conflict could have easily been resolved with an answer to the simplest question: “Why?”

    Nowadays, I am still asking the question, “Why?”

    My best friend was called to service to do Bible translations in Southeast Asia. She was summoned to a task and followed it. I sometimes envy how clear her course has been. For me the course has never been clear, but when I look back I can’t see any other course but the one that has taken place. So yes.. I do believe in obedience – stay true to yourself. I can’t pretend to understand the will of god, but I have faith in the mystery of life and that maybe my calling was to ask, “Why?”

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by! It means a lot! And thank you for your encouragement to get my blog off the ground.

      Tim and I have talked many times about the difficulty of having an autocratic father. He too, asked his father “Why?” and was not given an answer, or simply told, “Do as I say.”

      Obedience has not come easily or without cost to me. But, at this stage of my life I recognize that God really does love me and that when I choose to be malleable and follow him, whatever he asks me to do is for my good (and his glory). And though I wish it weren’t so, there are times when I get off track. 🙁

      Keep asking “Why?” Andrew.

  4. I am so happy that I dropped by today to read your thought on being obedient to God. I too know the feeling of being burned out and wondering if I can continue on with an assignment. My husband and I are Inner City Missionaries and we have had some great experiences; but there are times when it just seems so hard that I want to quit. However, I know that I am doing what the Lord wants so I will be obedient and try harder to fulfill this calling. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt thoughts on obedience today.

    • LeAnn, I’m so happy that you dropped by too.
      My heart goes out to you. The inner city is a huge spiritual battleground. After reading your comment, I asked my husband to join me and we went to prayer on your behalf.
      1 Thessalonians 5:24 came to mind, “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” I know I’m taking this a little of out of context, but the work which God has called you to is *his* work, we are privileged to be his instruments. As we work hard, we often begin to do it in our own strength, and take on all the responsibility as well. Let me encourage you to lean hard on him and trust him more. In the past I’d forget this and unwittingly attempted to do it all in my own strength. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Philippians 4:7. I love that verse…it’s a wonderful reminder of a loving God’s care for each of us. I believe he will honor your obedience, hold you up, and give you all the grace and strength you need.
      I look forward to hearing from you again and learning what God is doing in you and your ministry.
      {hugs}

  5. Not to diverge too far from the blog topic, but I was curious if you could offer any pointers on any good container plants that would do well in a shady spot. We have a courtyard at the store and I would love to add flowers to it and really make it a peaceful and beautiful place to relax and create. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Thanks for asking Andrew. Shade gardening for me is about texture and variations of greens in the foliage. Having scouted just a few garden centers in the area I don’t see too much in annuals (for shade), though I surely may have overlooked something as I was singularly focused on my jaunts. As a gardener yourself, I would encourage you to select perennial plants that do well in the shade in your home garden that approximates the degree of shade you have in the courtyard. I would choose some Ferns for their texture and height. Hostas are always good because they come in an amazing array of greens with white and yellow variegation, and have beautiful smooth broad leaves. I love ground covers like Sweet Woodruff for their light lacy look. Something trailing plants like Creeping Jenny look sweet spilling over the sides of the pots. Don’t forget moss…moss gardens are stunning by themselves, or adding moss around some of your plants when they aren’t crowded together.. Flowers are so dependent on sun, even those that can be grown in the shade, they still like some sun. Impatiens are considered to be common. Yet, I am using them myself this year. In the deep shade I like white, or the palest pinks which seem to glow.

      The beauty of containers and a courtyard is the opportunity to change things out. I have grown Asiatic lilies in the shade…though they stretch a bit in the shade. Don’t hesitate to pick up some and tuck a few amongst the other containers for a classy look for as long as they last. You may have some other favorites that you could do the same with. That way you it can always look fresh and inviting. The addition of a gazing ball can add a bit of brightness, too. Right now fairy gardens are really popular. A little bit of whimsy nestled in a container, or create one that is a star in the courtyard. You might even want to have one of these in the store for summer…and sell some of the little pieces that make fairy gardens fun. I think you just stimulated an up coming post. If you’d like me to help with the courtyard planning/planting…let me know…it would be fun.

      I hope this was helpful.

      • Here are some more shade perennials I love…Astilbe, Liriope, Heuchera – some are shade tolerant, and the ground covers…Lamium, Ajuga, Lamiastrum – which can be invasive in the garden, but great in containers.

      • Thanks for all the help! The gray day is not so inspiring for going out in the garden or even the courtyard, but I’m going to continue my online research and hopefully pick a few things that I think will be nice additions to the store’s courtyard. At home I grow a lot of toad lilies in containers and they seem to like the shade. I love the idea of adding ferns… and it’ll be a fun challenge to figure out how to add color to the courtyard with things other than flowers. Have you seen the movie, Frida? It’s based on the painter and in the movie, they show a glimpse of her courtyard… brightly colored and full of animals and bright light! I’d love to do something similar, but I’ll have to figure out how to incorporate the color in a non-permanent way that won’t make my landlord lose his mind. 🙂

        • Just like YOU told me when it came to my blog. Start planting! 😀 Though today is cool and dreary.
          I love the idea of toad lilies, too. For strong color, Tuberous Begonias can really give you a pop of color also. I’ll stop by soon.

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