Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A battle zone

Sometimes my house feels like a 'battle zone' to me- as though I am 'fighting' against the chaos and clutter that 4 kids, a husband and myself create on a daily basis. From laundry to dirty dishes to toys strewn all over the place. Not to mention the papers and piles that seem to come out of nowhere- every single day. All this 'stuff' can easily consume me and get the best of my enery and moods at times. Please tell me that I am not the only one that this happens to. I am trying to figure out how to 'streamline' and find a way to get 'on top of things' rather than just swim and fight my way through this daily stuff.
Beyond the physical battle zone though, I have come to recognize more and more that my spiritual life and mental life have battle zones all their own. In the past few days, I have been in a place of doubt and fear and just wanted to share that I know it's real. I know others of you are in the middle of your own battle zones- especially those who have claimed Christ as Savior and seek to do what He is calling you to in this lifetime. It's not always easy to face battles that we can't see. I just have a sense in my heart that some of you could use the same reassurance and words of comfort that I came across in my morning devotional today.
I have been emotional high and low the past week- for many reasons- including remembering Teagan and looking back on the 'ease of life' I took for granted when she was alive and my family was yet 'untouched' by the reality of evil, grief and pain in that this world sometimes subjects us to.
I have totally accepted her death, and trust that God has always been and still is 'in control' of all that comes our way. Still, that doesn't make me and my family immune to further pain and suffering and so as I find myself in a different battle zone, I am seeking God and His comfort. I found it as I flipped open one of my devotionals- Into His Presence by Charles Stanley today. It's laid out by date...and after I read the devotional for March 25th, I flipped the pages and came to rest on May 21st and these are the words I read...and needed for today. I hope someone else finds this to speak the words your heart is longing to hear.
"Marching into Battle"
Key verse: 2 Chronicles 20:17 "You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you."

The massive enemy army was coming. We can only imagine how news traveled in Jehoshaphat;s day- by messenger on foot or by rider on horseback. One day life was normal, fillled with regular activity. The next day Judah awoke to news of enemy invasion.
Reports of threat spread quickly, igniting feelings of panic. Even King Jehoshaphat became fearful, but he also recognized that no enemy was stronger than the Lord God.
He immediately proclaimed a fast, and then called the people together to pray. The Lord's Spirit filled the temple area where the people were praying and spoke through the prophet Jahaziel: "Listen, all of you Judah...Thus says the Lord to you, 'Do not be afraid or dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's...position yourselves...and see the salvation of the Lord who is with you' ". (2Chron. 20:15-17)
God instructed Jehoshaphat to place the choir in front of the people as they marched into battle. What an act of faith by Jehoshaphat!
Can you do what Judah did- march into battle singing? They heard the word of the Lord and understood the victory was theirs. All they were called to do was to watch, pray and praise. When we praise Him, God works in miraculous ways!
The prayer for the devotional is: "Lord, as I march into the battles of this day, I praise You! The victory is mine".

Today, no matter what battle(s) you face, I invite you to claim the victory that we have through Christ Jesus. And to praise Him even as you march through that battle. I thank God for examples of people who claimed His victory...they help me to claim it too.
Thank you God, for giving those of us who believe, all we need to face our battles. I praise you for who you are and what you continue to do in my life. You are worthy of all our praise!

26 comments:

Carrie said...

Thanks Jody. I really needed that.

E said...

Jody,
That is the verse I've been clinging to of late! Thanks for the reassurance that it IS the message for the moment!
You are loved!

Jodie said...

Thanks, Jody!

So interesting that you have been battling doubt and fear. Those are the exact same two spirits that we have been battling in our home. And this week, it's been more intense than it has in over a decade. I have been beyond exhausted! Sometimes it's kept us up at night, etc. How refreshing to read the words I haven't read in some time - that I can stand firm and trust in the Lord to fight the battle! I KNOW He's already won the victory, but I've said several times this week how tiring the fight can be with the evil one.

As we pray for protection from doubt and fear for our family, we'll pray the same for you!

Thanks for the encouragement.

Blessings in Christ...

Brooke said...

Beautiful verse...

I'm afraid that I can't help with your spiritual battles, but with the physical world, here is a website that has helped me, and hundreds of thousands of other women.

http://www.flylady.net

It's about decluttering your house and keeping it company ready at all times - with only 15 minutes per day.

No, I'm not a paid advertiser. Her encouragement is free and absolutely amazing. I have been a member of her group for I think about 3 years now. Check it out.. :)

~Brooke

Jill said...

First of all, no, you are not the only one who feels like they tread water with the laundry, dishes, etc. I try to remind myself on a daily basis that one day I will miss the mess and clutter of a busy home.

Secondly, Amen to that devotional! I am aware on a daily basis that the battle rages. I often picture a zipper floating in the air and if we could just unzip it and see into the spiritual realm we would be amazed at all we could see. I will be praying for you in regards to the doubt and fear. It's a long story but I battled that for many, many years and have been completely delivered of it. Remember the promises His Word gives you and claim them daily.

So there....no more lurking for me, I finally left a comment on the blog I have loved!

Jane-Jane said...

I'm amazed at how we are all battling at the same time, however we feel like we are in the battle field alone. That no one else knows...

Thank you for your encouragement!

I praise God that I can stand still, knowing that He has gone before me and He knows what tomorrow holds. That HIS plan for my life has been much better than I would have ever dreamed up...so I will rest in His arms today and always.

Cyndi said...

I, too, feel the battle-zone "fire"! I have a husband and 3kids (so 4 kids really) and almost daily I find myself "fighting" to gain ground. My [one word] for the year is SIMPLIFY and I am failing miserably at bringing this into my life.

Thanks for the lift, Jody - I do need to remember He can help me achieve all things!

Short Stop said...

Hi, Jody!

I found your blog through Jennifer Ranville's. I am so glad that I came over here because I was encourged and inspired and touched by just the few posts that I read. I will be back regularly!

Thank you for sharing this today. And, no...you are definitely not the only one this happens to!

Rays Family said...

On many level I feel the same Jody. It's amazing, many of us have never met or talked one on one but we share so many of the same fears and struggles. I'm with you today on all fronts - I'll say a prayer for you and please do the same for me. We know that tomorrow or the next day will be better.

Anne
Anne

Tabitha said...

Reading your words was like a refreshing breath of air...I feel just the same and often feel that I am sinking further under - with all the tasks I have to do and looking after the children (I only have 2!!). Thank you so much for your words and the reassurance that I am not alone in feeling the way I do.

Ana said...

I have been reading your blog for a very long time, however this is my first time posting. You have brought me so much hope and inspiration into my life. There have been many times that I am feeling sorry for myself and asking why me and than I remember how much I need to remember the good things in my life. To live in the present and to let go of the bad things in our past that can drive us crazy!

You are truly an amazing woman and I have many times told my friends about your story and they way you handle yourself. Thank you for bringing a smile and a positive note into my life when I needed it.

...And yes, I too go through the crazy "war zone" and the feeling like I can barely get through it everyday. The worst part is that its only my 3 yr old/hubby and dog in the house right. I can't imagine what it will be like in 6 more weeks when the new baby is born.

Diane said...

I can SO relate to your post! Have you read Simplify your Time by Marcia Ramsland? She has some great organizational tips.

MichelleJ said...

Those are beautiful words - thank you. I have been reading your blog for awhile, loving it - the inspiration, the reality, your faith. I am in the process of decluttering ~ everything! It's a little at a time - I have 3 girls making art and writing notes, playing school - nevermind the junkmail, and dirt! Sent you an e-mail however here's what I keep reminding myself: One day I will not trip over shoes, no one will be placing piles of school papers on my dining room table, and I will regret complaining about it. So either I deal with it or set it in a pile to deal with later ( I try so hard not to, but sometimes you just can't help it!)

Robin said...

Oh my, I could have written that post....I have 3 little ones 4 and under, plus my Husband and myself.
My house is always in a state of chaos.
And my spiritual life, well, even wit the best of intentions, goes overlooked more often than not.

you are NOT alone....off to fold the 3 baskets of laundry, and finish dinner.

Anonymous said...

Jody,

That whole story of Jehoshaphat has always been my absolute FAVORITE passage of Scripture. In fact just this week I kept praying..."Lord, I do not know what to do but my eyes are upon you," regarding a difficult situation I was facing. Thanks for sharing your heart and for reminding me of such wonderful truth.

Blessings,

Abbie VDP

Anjanette said...

I have read your blogs several times and just love your inspiring words and genuine nature. Thanks for such a wonderful blog!

Oh, you are definitely not alone in this fight. I feel my mood shift as I look around my house, taking each messy pile, not yet folded basket of laundry, dirty corner and disorganized stack of papers personally - as though I am failing. The whole while I am certain everone else has it together. Then, in rushes the guilt. I place too much of my worth in these tasks and have been praying that God will help me find my worth solely in him. I understand the discouragement and know that you are not alone. We are all marching with you in this battle!

Cathy said...

totally needed that tonight. thanks. :)

Anonymous said...

Exactly what I needed to read today......Thank you for taking the time to share. God Bless You!

jewell said...

I too needed to read that today. I have been battling those same two things.
I also can relate to the clutter in the house. Oprah had such a good show yesterday and part II is today about hoarding. I am not as bad as the people on the show but the guy from one of those organizational shows (can't remember the name of it) had some very good points about clutter and getting rid of things.

Lisa said...

I had a major victory today. I was getting ready to meet a friend for lunch when a thought was impressed upon my heart, "start a three day fast tomorrow." What? "start a three day fast tomorrow" repeated over and over. Why? For what?

At lunch, my friend informed me that she is on her way this afternoon to a Walk to Emmaus, which is a a three day retreat. I got goosebumps and began to cry because I now understood why the Holy Spirit was prompting me to fast...it is for her.

I have never done a three day fast before and Satan keeps telling me I am going to fail.

But I am not going to fail. Because I am starting my battle tomorrow and the Lord is with me.

Thank you for this verse today.

Debbie said...

Jodi,

It's interesting that you have the sense to know what we need. Thank you for your encouraging words

Anonymous said...

You're not the only one. I needed your words right at this moment. Thank you for being faithful and thank you for sharing! God bless you and yours.

tami said...

Clutter and housekeeping: When things get bad here I take out all the garbage and recycling and put on clean sheets. And then I go forward from that point, then if I need to go and try again the next day atleast the bed is clean and fresh. It' a little thing but knowing that if you get nothing else done that day, that bed is waiting for you. Lean on the Lord and a good nights' sleep to refresh you.

Annie said...

You are sooooo not alone in the battle against the house (as I put it). Just today I felt like the dishes, toys, laundry, etc. had won the battle and they did. But they have not won the war for tomorrow still lies ahead! ;) In all seriousness, though, I really needed to read this post today. Thank you for sharing. The verse you shared speaks volumes to my heart. I am in two battles right now. One for my health and one for my sons health. (Too complicated to go into details, but if you want to know more please visit my blog, lovejoelr.blogspot.com I always appreciate visitors...especially ones who pray :} ) It is a good reminder to let God fight the battles for me. Thank you for being the vessel to remind me.

jackie janse van rensburg said...

loved the commenter that talked about the battle against the house. i think my house is winning... i stumbled across http://www.takechargesolutions.org/ this week. this girl even has a 'get more organised in 12 weeks' e-course, besides the tons of tips and inspirations. and already i can feel the space opening up in my house, after reading and incorporating her ideas.

Anonymous said...

i must remind myself that by cooking, cleaning, working, etc.- i am sustaining the lives of my family.
i also try to be 'in the moment', if
you will, when doing these chores, and i try to do them with love in my heart for my family, and it makes things so much easier!
hugs, jodi
your friend rose