Wednesday, October 14, 2009

YES to GOD study: CH. 2: Flitting To and Fro


YES to GOD Tuesday
on Wednesday this week.
Due to life getting in the way I am posting today. Alivia and I have been both sick since the weekend. I'm better, she's still running a fever and it was confirmed this morning she has asthma.

For anyone who has no clue what I'm talking about, we just started reading through the newest book by Lysa TerKeurst.
Lord willing, we gather here every Tuesday and discuss one chapter.
Click here to read the study FAQ's.
It's never too late to join in and even invite your friends. your thoughts or leave them in the comments and I'll post mine later.
Oh, and if you haven't seen Lysa's new look on her blog, click on her name above and go visit her.
It's beautiful!
See you soon.
Anything in blue is a quote from the book.

Last night I was at work reading this chapter and the tears would not stop. I know God is working on my heart and is changing so much at one time, but when you relate to something in print it tends to trigger emotions you didn't even realize you were holding in and boy did I let them out last night!

Last summer when I attended the She Speaks conference I remember listening to this speaker talk about having a "platform". I sat in my chair questioning why I was even at the conference. I had no platform. I'm not a published author. I'm not a speaker. So why was I at this conference? I remember how down I felt until he said this..."Your platform can be your blog."

Who was I to be working with a Christian ministry? Especially a ministry that taught women to love their husbands, nurture their children, and follow after God every day? None of this seemed truly possible for me. I was a hollow woman, not a holy woman. I had said yes to Jesus being my Savior, but didn't have a clue how He could be the answer to my emptiness.

Who am I to be used by God through a blog?
This morning it hit me after reading this chapter that if we don't allow God to be the One to fill us up in every area of our lives then we are on a chase of a quick fix.
I am learning to be content right where God has me and He is opening doors on His timing.

When Lysa shared how she looked for others or things to fill her empty cup I really understood her thinking. The only thing that filled my cup was regret. I now know the difference between being filled with Jesus Christ and the world. The world always has you searching and leaves you feeling so empty. Many women have found themselves on a journey hopping from bed to bed thinking, this guy is the one who will make me feel loved.
They leave that relationship with the same emptiness they entered into it with plus much more loss.

The reality is no person, possession, profession, or position ever fills the cup of a wounded, empty heart-----not my heart, not your heart. It's an emptiness only God can fill.
Anything we use as a substitute for God is an idol, a false God.

Oh, to be able to go back in time and apply what I know now.

I loved how Lysa took us through different areas she struggled to fill with things of the world and the before and after of letting God do the job He is the only One qualified to do.
Lysa tells us that every single thing the world offers is temporary. These fixes can never fill our void long-term.

I think that is one of the many things I love about this author is she is just so real. Real as can be and we can relate to someone who has "been there, done that". She shared with us on page 32 about her battle with the "If I Only Had" temptation.

I could be really happy and fulfilled if only I had...
a skinnier body. (YES!)
a husband.
a husband who was more tender and romantic.
more money. (YES!)
a more successful career....

What is your "If only I had" list?

This past Spring all of our kitchen appliances went haywire. We had already planned on getting a new fridge, but then I needed a new stove (could've waited) and we really had to get a new dishwasher (could've washed by hand).
With my all new black appliances I couldn't have a white microwave.

I was fulfilled with all of my new appliances.
For about a week and then I moved my focus from the kitchen to the living room.

"I would be so happy if I could get a new couch".
Yes, I know Gene is out of a job and has another surgery coming up, but look how worn my couch is Lord!
And our mattress is so old. Gene's back would be much more comfortable with a new bed.
Like a top of the line pillow top mattress.
And my bathroom needs to be remodeled.
The backyard needs to be landscaped.
The front yard needs to be landscaped.
I want to paint.
I need a new house.

Oh, I have no idea why the Almighty One hasn't struck me down with lightning!
Probably because He wants to keep me on earth at arms' length instead of having me follow Him around up above.

I don't know what your "if only I had" statements are, but I do know that none of them will bring fulfillment.
Becoming more than a good Bible study girl means realizing that, apart from a thriving relationship with God, even if you got everything on your list, there would still be a hollow gap in your soul.

What are you talking about Lysa T???
I told myself I'd be a happy girl if we could replace our leaking fridge.
But then our dishwasher broke so whowouldn't be happy with not having to do dishes by hand?
And I was happy.
Until the stove needed to be replaced. I mean, it only had one working burner!
My new stove hadn't even been used yet before I had Gene convinced that we needed a new microwave.
In black.
To match all of my other unfulfilling appliances.

Just a never ending chase ladies.

Lysa then walked us through how she now responds to people, possessions and positions that in the past she tried to get to do the job of fulfilling that only God can do.
Instead of saying "If only I had" she now speaks God's Word into her life.
Whatever your gap is, God is the perfect fit for your emptiness.

This is no quick fix ladies, it's a daily giving Christ control of what we think might fill us up.
Make us happy.
Yesterday on Facebook, author Mark Batterson's status read,
"your ultimate destiny will be determined by your daily disciplines."

So thankful we have a God that cares more about us than our happiness.

I must continue to pursue truth that keeps me grounded and God's love that keeps me filled.
my desperate hollowness is replaced by a desire for holiness.

If I could walk into my life when I was in my early 20's this is what I would say...
"Lea, don't go out tonight. You will end up with a man that will never love you, take care of you or even care about you. That empty feeling you have is something nobody or no thing can satisfy. You have a desperate hollowness that can only be filled by the God you asked into your life in 2nd grade.
Pursue Him instead of a man and see the difference."

My daily lack of discipline led me down a path of never feeling satisfied. Until I really met Jesus.

In my last post I said I had something to share, but then my girl and I got sick, so I'll be back this weekend to share it.
God is just way too good!

Last week we took a poll to see if you wanted to read 1 chapter a week or a section each week and the vote that won was to continue discussing 1 chapter a week.
If reading 1 chapter a week drives you nuts, then just come back and give your thoughts. Reading 1 a week really gives me time to "chew on it" as my dear friend Donna once told me to do. I learn more when I let things sink into my heart. Funny how that works.
Next week, Tuesday October 20th have read
chapter 3: When I Feel Like I Don't Measure Up.
Hmmm...think I'll start reading it now.

~Many Blessings~


Crystie said...

Well I finally got my book in the mail today and can't put it down. Chapter 1 just blew me away. I knew it was going to be profound based on the post from last week and the comments that were made. It is definately something I need to re-read before I move on to Chapter 2...proabably a few times. Thank You for hosting this study...can't wait to dig deeper! I hope you and your family gets better soon!

Laura said...

Sweet friend, I hope you feel better soon! We had all that yucky stuff a couple of weeks ago and I am still not 100%

I'm enjoying following your book study through Paula's posts. Sounds like a good one!

JottinMama said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day to invite me over to talk about Lysa's book! I'm so glad you did!

I'll be back!

Feel better and have a great week!

-Kate :)

Anonymous said...

Greetings everyone! Hope you and Alivia feel better soon, Lelia.

Now on the Chapter 2. Years ago, I had the problems of wanting others or things to "fill me up." For the past few years I've been focusing on my relationship with God so I am much more secure in who I am as a Christian, wife, mother and friend.

Part of my journey was working at a church for over 5 years. I ended up leaving that job because of people behaving badly and suffering in my faith. (I did not attend church where I worked.) So I haven't worked since 2008 and after this time of healing, I am once again looking for employment. I won't work at a church again and am grateful that I do not define myself by whatever job I find in the future.

I thank God for His love and healing of my bitterness and I also thank my husband for his love and support during this time of our lives. (Hey! 27 years of marriage and hub is almost perfect! Ha!)

See you next week!

Cindy in PA

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Hope you two feel better soon.

Isn't that Laura just the sweetest thing. I guess my posts are so long winded she almost feels like she's reading the book. hehe

Just a wonderful book.

I love Lysa's new blog look too. So fitting.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Don't ask me why but your comment of "follow Him around up above" made me chuckle. I invisioned you (or any of us) following Him around on the back of His heels. Wouldn't we though? Aahhmmmm

I followed Lysa's lead and posted about my own "if only" list and also replaced each one with scripture. A little vulnerable and putting myself out there but I did it anyway.

I so know what you mean about purchases. It seems I get such a high out of purchases. Maybe because I don't spend excessively or all the time. I just got a new purse (from Walmart...RED, barn red!) and I walk around just loving it. Or when I got a new phone, I want to continually make calls or texts. I think it's about the change or the new thing. Because even hanging a picture (that I already had) on a wall that I pass often, I find myself looking at it and still enjoying it three weeks later. So, it's a chase for me but maybe just a chase for the new even if it's not a new purchase per say.

I've noticed this temporary fulfilling feeling ever since beloved left two years ago. I think it's my heart longing to be filled, filling that hole beloved left. I know I should fill it all with God but it's like God has His place and now I need to fill beloved's spot with either beloved or stuff/change/new/excitement.

Reading that last quote makes me think I should have used the title: Hollow to Holy but I used Hollow to Whole...showing that He is the one to fill our hollow and make us whole.

I bet that quote from Mark Batterson is from one of his books. We did both in church (topics of the sermons): Lion and Goose books.

Love ya,

vicki said...

Hi, am really enjoying the book but it's hard not to go reading without stopping!! My thoughs on the not being fullfilled makes me think about eating. How we eat and eat till we can't even breathe but there we are just a few hours later hungry again.

Tammy said...

I need to be reading this book! We've walked down that same road and now we are daughters of the King!

But don't you hate it when the "if only I had" lifts it's ugly head. Step on it! :o)

Love and Hugs~Tammy

Lea said...

Hey Lelia,

Trying to fill up a God shaped hole with stuff just doesn't work does it!
Not with new appliances, new laminate floors, longer hair, or even ten less pounds on the scale.

I enjoyed chpts 1 and 2 alot. I realized tho that people pleasing in a sense has been an idol to me. Didn't really realize it til tonight.

Thanks for hosting another good book! I appreciate you very much!
Holykisses xoxo

Jennifer said...

I have to admit that I haven't picked up my book yet! My life seemed to kick into overdrive and is finally settling down. I love reading your posts and am making it my mission today to pick it up!

Hope you girls are feeling better!


Samantha said...

Amazing post, so honest!
So many "if only i had's" in my life, when I stop to think about it.

There's a certain sincerity in your writing that I don't see in other blogs. You and your spirit are doing wonderful things, Lelia. Not a doubt about it.

Thanks for the brain and spirit jump start this morning!