Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What do I still lack?

About a week and half ago I attended a women's conference put on by the beautiful women's ministry team of Blue Valley Baptist Church in Overland Park, Kansas called MORE Abundantly. I wanted to go because my dear friends whom I met through blogging, Lysa TerKeurst and her assistant, Holly Good would be there for the weekend. Lysa was booked as the speaker and for months I had waited for this weekend to get here.

The Saturday before the conference I finally found my way to the church website to check out the conference details and about cried when I figured out that the ticket was out of my price range. Trust me when I say hearing Lysa speak is worth paying any dollar amount, but due to Gene being on disability and so forth our funds are limited. After talking with Kelley, who was going with me and deciding we both couldn't do this, I sadly emailed Holly and just briefly told her I wasn't going to be able to attend after all, but perhaps we could still get together for a lunch or dinner.

How many of us know that when God wants us to be somewhere He will work out the details? I received an email on Monday morning saying that my ticket would be paid for if I could still go. The prideful girl in me began to type back through tear filled eyes her response of thanks and refusal of the ticket. That is when the girl inside me who desperately begs Jesus to invade her life, pushed prideful girl out of her way and deleted the message before it was sent. Instead, I sent a response of how blessed I felt and I accepted the gift. I took what I had put aside for my ticket and Kelley was able to attend also. God wanted us there and there would be no blocking His blessings on this day.

Not only did He give us a great conference and time of meeting other lovers of Jesus, He gave us time after the conference with Lysa and Holly. Their flight was delayed until the next morning and so we went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and a movie where there was unlimited popcorn.

Great time of fellowship, laughter and memory making.Kelley, Lelia, Lysa and Holly

I have read and hosted blog studies on a few of Lysa's books and I love reading her blog, so I am familiar with parts of her testimony. But I am telling you, just like I told her over lunch, reading about what God has done in her life versus hearing it is just two different things. My eye makeup didn't stand a chance that weekend as every session Lysa shared, the tears would come. Not so much by what she was saying, but how God was using her to speak directly to my heart. He got my attention that weekend.

Like I told my husband and Mom after the conference ended Saturday afternoon, "I have attended a lot of women's conferences, but never have I felt one to be so personal". I love when God does stuff like that. Just wraps those scarred hands around your heart, refusing to let go no matter how hard or emotional it gets until His love for you cannot be denied.

All week leading up to the conference I had prayed not only for Lysa, Holly and Kelley, but also for myself. That God would open my ears and heart to receive what He had for me. I knew He had something for me and the excitement of not knowing exactly what made me feel like a little kid on their birthday. You know there is something underneath that wrapping paper, you just don't know what the gift is. And so with much expectation of my King I arrived in KC Friday evening.

I'm going to come back this week and share bits and parts of the conference with you, but this is the part I want to share today. Lysa first told us the story in Matthew 19: 16-30 about the rich young man. She really focused on the last part of verse 20 where the man asked Jesus a question.

"What do I still lack?"

One thing Lysa challenged us to do is to ask God,

"What is the one thing that I am lacking

that keeps me from having

an incredible relationship with You?".

That following Monday morning about 4 in the morning, I had gotten up out of a hard sleep to use the bathroom and before I was even out of bed I asked God that question. I remember thinking later that morning when I was more alert, how cool that was to know that in my sleep, I was thinking of that part of the conference.

Well, it is something I've been praying about and asking God since the weekend of January 15th and I finally got my answer this week. In the ice on my driveway of all places. I know, weird. But God made it so clear to me.

Nebraska is not on God's list right now of "States to Bless" because we have been in snow, ice and temps that even an Eskimo would be ticked about. We have been in this weather for a really long time now. Well usually when it snows either Gene or Aaron scoop our driveway, but with Gene's back surgeries and Aaron's back injury and my refusal to do such a task, I let it slide this winter. And that is exactly what I've been doing since the snow storms; sliding up and down our driveway that is covered with ice. My sweet Dad did bring his snowblower over and removed the snow, but underneath the snow was lots of ice. So much, that when I get out of the car I feel as if I'm on an ice skating rink as the sidewalk too is covered.

Anyway, earlier this week after I dropped the kids off at school, I pulled into the driveway and noticed there were two black objects lying on the passenger side of the drive. Wondering what it was, I went around the car to get a closer view.

Lo and behold, it was a pair of Aaron's socks. I guessed that the night before when he got out of the car he must have dropped them. Knowing when he got in the car this morning he had to have seen them, I was a little irritated as to why he would just leave them. I soon discovered that the reason being, they have become one with the ice. I tried to pull them up, but unless I used a shovel or something sharp to chip away the ice, those socks were not moving. So, since there is no way right now of getting them out, Aaron has decided to wait until the ice thaws.

So there in my driveway for all who walk up to my house to see are two very large Nike socks stiff as a board incased in ice. Right next to the leaves we never got raked in the fall. And with this weather I just may have socks in the driveway until June. Very nice.

But this is what God showed me here.

Through some dirty, frozen basketball socks embedded in the ice on my driveway, God showed me what my heart looks like from His seat on the throne.

I've been asking Him to change me, begging actually and yet He sees that I keep parts of my heart in ice. Parts that He would have to chip away at to get to. Parts of my life I think I can handle on my own.

Lysa talked about how she too had tried keeping parts of her life away from God. Giving Him permission to invade all other areas, but not her family. He could have her ministry, her home, but stay back from my family.

And what did God do with those limitations?

He expanded her territory through an unthinkable adoption of her two boys from Liberia that she heard sing in a choir. He took the one area of her heart incased in ice and slowly melted it until He had her complete surrender and she allowed herself to be called Mom by five instead of three.

God is good. God is great. But He doesn't just want my lips to ask Him what I lack from having an incredible relationship with Him, He wants my heart to melt into the relationship He wants to enjoy with me.

So as I examine my heart I see things such as attitude, control and fear on the frozen side and the desire to love, surrender and have unshakable faith on the warm side of my heart. It's time to let Jesus melt the ice away and get into those areas of my life that I have not given Him permission to have full access to.

In church this past weekend,the pastor spoke of how we have a call to greatness. He quoted Mother Teresa as saying,

"Let Jesus use you without consulting you,

and you will be holy because you belong to Him".

Hmmm...I am lacking surrender and God let me know it this week.

For some reason, God doesn't want to be consulted by some woman in Nebraska that thinks she knows what's best.

Instead, He wants access to her heart and life.

24/7 kind of access.

I want to pass on Lysa's challenge of asking God,

"What is the one thing I am lacking

that keeps me from having

an incredible relationship with You?"

And don't put any limitations to where He can show you His answer.

Could just be in a pair of frozen socks.

Please pray for Lysa as she is choosing peace over panic from unexpected events happening in her life. Please click here to let her know she is in your prayers.


Lelia Chealey said...

If you are from Portland, Oregon, I see you are on the blog right now as I type...will you please email me at

Would love to ask you a quick question.

Jennifer said...

Hi Lelia. WOW this was a powerful post! So true. How often we give God part of us and hold back other parts claiming that we are in control.

Lysa is coming to Tampa next month and I get to see her! I can't wait!!!

Glad you are back in blog world! You were missed.



Danielle said...

Oh, girl. I could have written this post. Man! God is showing me that there are places in my heart that have become as cold as ice... and one of those places is in my marriage. I love my husband, but there is something in me that causes me to shield a big portion of my heart. That is not how God wants me to be, nor my husband, nor myself. I don't know when it started or why, but we are working on it. Doing dinner dishes tonight, God pricked my heart and brought tears to my eyes with the way I miss loving on my husband like I used to.

I will be praying for you, girl!

Anonymous said...

Oh Lelia,
I just love this post! I think it's wonderful how your trip to Kansas City came about. It's amazing what can happen when we are in God's hands. God knew all along that Lysa's flight would be delayed ~ he wanted you and Kelley to spend some quality, fun time with her and Holly. I love that you guys got the opportunity to do just that. What movie did you see?

Your explanation of how you feel you have kept parts of your heart on ice - not letting Him in entirely on every level is soo true. We try so hard to give everything, but there's a part that we hold back. I'm quilty of that. I want that intimate relationship with Him and I know in order to do that I need to give him everything. Open up my heart and sole and let him guide me at all times. A friend's daughter once said the perfect thing would be to "sprinkle your day with prayer". I love that little saying. Makes me think of ways I can do just that.

Patricia Ellis

Anonymous said...

ok - little typo with "sole" SOUL. - that's what happens when I type so quickly and don't proofread before hitting the button...

Tammy said...

Such a great post! I am going to give alot a thought to that question.

love and hugs~Tammy

Mari said...

Oh girl! How I needed this. God is really busy speakiong to me. He's not saying what I want to hear but what I need to hear. I just blogged about that. He's so good! Thanks for sharing this.

Donna said...

Thank you so very much for sharing your heart with all of us! It's really cool when we get what God is trying to show us. Thank you for challenging us to check ourselves. May we give our hearts completely and totally to God and not hold anything back.

Blessings to you and your family!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

What a blessing for you and Kelley to be able to attend the conference. It's obvious that God blessed you in a very personal way. I am thankful for his willing to get personal with us, amidst the crowds of many. I'll be attending a conference this weekend with Jennifer Rothschild, and I'll be asking God to reveal my "lack" while there. In fact, I'll ask him tonight.

I also wanted to thank you for your thoughtful words written regarding yours and Gene's decision to exit facebook. What truth you penned there. We must be vigilant in the protection of our thoughts; the enemy looks for any avenue to make entrance.

Anyway, just wanted to say "hi" and "love you." Blessings sister.


Anonymous said...

Love the way you can form your thoughts into words. I love your blog. Just wondering if you have come across any books or info you can send me. I asked this several months ago. I just want to get closer to GOD and have a deeper relationship.
Nancy in NC

Paula (SweetPea) said...

This is what struck me the most:

He took the one area of her heart incased in ice and slowly melted it UNTIL HE HAD HER COMPLETE SURRENDER and she allowed herself to be called Mom by five instead of three.

Laura said...

I am blessed by this story, Lelia. I know what an incredible speaker and writer Lysa I know what a special lady she is on a different level. I'm so glad you had this time. God really spoke to you! Sister, your heart looks beautiful from here.

Loving you,

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Oh my friend...this post has ME in tears!! I LOVE it when God shows off like this!! How amazing. Praising God for all He is doing in your life right now! The best is yet to come!! :) MUCH LOVE.

Danielle said...

I don’t normally do this, but my daughter, Bethany(age 10) just wrote something that I posted on my blog. I’m asking that you take a look at it and leave a comment to give her some encouragement. She was very nervous, but took a big leap because I asked her to. Please help me boost her confidence in sharing what God is speaking to her heart. Thanks!!!!!

Obedience… a ten year olds perspective.

Melanie said...

I will be thinking about the quote by Mother Teresa.
Please pray for me that I discover what is lacking, too.

Kelly L said...

Great post - I am amazed on how God just loves to show up and show off - His undying love for us... with gifts and blessings.

Love to you.

valerie said...

I'm so glad it worked out for you and Kelley to go to the conference & to hang out with the gals afterwards.
I'll be sure to keep Lysa in my prayers.
I've never attended one of her conferences, but if she's ever in my area I'd love to.
Love to you and your family,

Pamela (His maidservant) said...

That is a thought provoking statement Lysa gave you gals. How many time have we read over those words and not captured that thought? You are a gifted writer and encourager Lelia. Melt away for Him!!!

Blessings! Pamela

cindy said...

Your words speak volumns.

I am certain there is more than one thing that keeps me from having an incredible relationship with God.

I have learned through life that you have to be very careful on what you asked for.

Connie said...

As've blessed me and challenged me...thank you for being obedient. Now to ask myself that question...what is the one thing I am lacking???

Love you...Connie