Wake.Up.Call

Welcome, dear one!

This challenge for myself has been brewing in my soul&mind for a long time.  The Lord has steadily kept whispering to me, “get up early & spend time with me.”  I see it jump off the pages of the Bible; I see it first in lessons I’m reading.  And yet, I wrestle with it; oh, I wrestle!

I am a mother of four sons, 7 and under.  When they were little babies, I felt like my days were such a blur of urgent chores, that I couldn’t possibly keep my sanity without quiet time with the Lord.  I considered getting up early, but felt the Lord whisper to me, “rest in me, dear one.”  And I embraced that gift!!  Nap time was the absolute perfect time for me to have quiet time to read, write, pray & grow.  I needed that time, & the Lord was so faithful to shape me & make me through it!

But now? My baby is beginning to give up his morning nap time, which gives me freedom!  But, at the loss of that one time during the day when my house was still.  Afternoon nap for him happens after elementary school pick up, and although I do sometimes try to have quiet time for myself then, I like to be spending time with my boys.  Let’s be honest, some days I NEED those few quiet minutes by 3pm to re-energize for the chores of the evening because I get worn out & grumpy! haha!

Enter, the whispers of the Lord.  So, at the beginning of this school year, I started trying to get up at 6am to read scripture.  I’m nearly on track to finish reading the ‘Bible in a year’ plan at the end of year 3!  But even though I haven’t done it perfectly, it has been so meaningful to me & the Lord has been gracious to bless me through studying his Word.  It may seem like this is a victory in the ‘early quiet time’ department, but for me it hasn’t been.  I’ve hit the snooze button far to frequently, and if you ask my dear husband, he will tell you how frequently!  I haven’t actually managed to craft that space in those morning hours where I rise & sit with the Lord, un-rushed.  Enter: my 31 Days writing challenge.

I am planning to rise at 5:30am, get myself out of bed, and spend some time with the Lord.  I want to write about how this impacts my mind&heart&body, because it feels like giving up rest I value.  But I have confidence that the Lord will help me wake & rise, because I will struggle to do it on my own.  I am excited to see how the Lord will use it in my life, and I pray it becomes a habit.  I trust that the upside-down kingdom of God will show up; just as I feel I’m giving up something I ‘need’, the Lord will show me how He will meet my need.  When it feels that I’m pouring out, becoming empty, the Lord always, always fills me.  Whether it is in His service, or in faithfulness, what I see as ‘giving up’ the Lord returns to me in fullness.  His mystery! His Grace.

So join me?  You won’t have to wake at 5:30am, but you can come along on this journey of where He takes me during our time together.  I’m so curious to see what He has planned, because it is always better than my plans.

Wake.Up.Call begins tomorrow!

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  1. I’m.awake!
  2. Why.is.it.important?
  3. Awake,alive,alert,enthusiastic!
  4. I’m.up!I’m.up!
  5. Empty.to.full.
  6. Deliver.me.
  7. It.takes.time
  8. He.wakens.me
  9. The.want.to
  10. She.Reads.Truth
  11. My.one.life
  12. Deliver.me(II)
  13. Help.me.do.it
  14. Steps.of.faithfulness
  15. Waking.up.is.hard
  16. The.right.size.cup

Blessings,

gabrielle prose

 

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the.irony

I find it ironic that even as I challenge myself to continue to walk in faithfulness, rising early in the morning to spend time with God, I fail. I recognize, and am even amazed, at the significance of the activity. And yet? I still fail to do it.

I try again to fit it in during my normal day, and again, I feel frustrated at the lack of available moments for my brain to function. I am tempted to feel embarrassed, frustrated with myself, like I’m failing. I want to get it right, because I feel as though I can see it in my sights but not hit the bullseye.

I just took a 30 minute break from writing for a poopy diaper change/laundry putting away/garbage collection trip upstairs. This work isn’t an interruption. It’s part of what I’m called to do daily; it’s my act of sacrificial love for my family. It’s not a distraction; it’s a crucial part of my life. I cannot believe the lie that the activity of serving my family is a burden. I get to have this family; I get the privilege of taking care of them.

So the activity of morning quiet time? It’s crucial. It’s key. It’s significant. It’s important. It’s necessary. And do I always do it? Not yet.

I need to keep practicing. I believe God will use it. I believe my failure doesn’t change that. Even though I am tempted to wallow in my failure, because I know I’ve missed an opportunity I will never have again, I cannot give up. I need to keep practicing.

Blessings,

gabrielle prose

The.right.size.cup

It’s weird, but as I waited for my coffee this morning, I suddenly decided to get a tea cup instead of my normal coffee cup. Debates have swirled in my head over the choices of what cup, and I’ll let you in on my inner dialogue.

– Tea cup: basically half a cup of coffee. Must be consumed quickly, or looses heat. Sometimes feels gone too quickly, or like having too little. Too much trouble to make a second half cup of coffee.

– Coffee cup: standard. Usually cannot finish before becomes cold. Often will only finish half. Seems most comfortable, yet wasteful.

– Yeti cup: too much coffee. Stays hot for a long time. I can always keep drinking it, which leads me to have too much over time. It’s a continual drinking process until it’s gone or I cut myself off.

So you see, I’ve struggled to land on what is best. I choose daily what I feel is most appropriate in the moment, and this morning, it hit me. My cup has been too big. I need a little coffee to help wake me up; it does a magic work in my brain to help the sleep sluff off & the thoughts begin to become consistent. But too much coffee first thing can throw me off, shifting my normal 1-2 cups of coffee into the 2-3 cups a day range. It’s good to know what is too much for me, and 3 cups qualifies.

My life is similar these days; I try to take on too many tasks at once, multitasking my household activities & becoming frustrated as none of them end up accomplished. I look too far ahead to what I need to do, and sometimes, I need to just remember what to do today. I’m a planner at heart, and I need the vision of what’s coming & what’s now, but I have to pour the right size cup of coffee. Or it all starts working against my anxious desire for control.

Lord, you know me so well. You show me how to bite off what I can chew, to get the right size cup. You give wisdom on choosing; you make me capable in the tasks. You set the work for me to do; I can trust you to teach me how to do it. Lord help me do it.

“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life & peace.”

Romans 8:6

Blessings,

gabrielle prose

Wake.Up.Call

Waking.up.is.hard

”They say that waking up is hard to do… I know that it’s true…”

yup. Today feels hard. I struggled to wake up my brain, even as my body obediently moved from the bed. My eyelids have been the most contrary, continually requesting permission to close.

Lord, today feels hard. Grant me peace that even as I struggle, that you will still be near.

Blessings,

gabrielle prose

Wake.Up.Call

Steps.of.faithfulness

This is it; the great challenge of my life. The great challenge to all of us maybe? The question: what will you do? Will you take the steps of faithfulness? Or not?

I find myself on this Tuesday morning with a Young Life Club ‘hangover’ from all the adrenaline that rushed through my veins in prepperation for & during Club. I find myself asking questions about how & what to do with my time & energy in this new day, and my mind rolls back to moving forward in faithfulness! Continue to take the steps, don’t stop doing the good work that He has prepared for me to do. No matter how I am feeling: tired, discouraged, anxious, uncertain, worried, frustrated, or even confident. Any of these emotions jockey for position in my mind&heart as I seek to move through them & take the steps of faithfulness. I cannot become distracted by how I feel, wallowing in my own emotional quick sand. I take the steps.

This challenge has continued to teach me about the steps. The simple step of rising early & reading the Word of God. Seems so simple, so small, even insignificant. But it.is.not. It changes everything. I’m so grateful for the Lord’s timing of this personal challenge that was ushered in by the #write31days challenge. He has used it to prepare me for ministry to my community, but evenmoreso in ministry to my family&myself. He has given me new work to do, & I am honored that He chose me to do it. Ah how funny it seems when hindsight gives such clarity on why His timing is so perfect! I can laugh at my misperception of how ‘hard’ it would be to do what God has asked of me; not because it isn’t, but because He is good.

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; he cares for those who take refuge in him.”

Nahum 1:7

May you move forward in steps of faithfulness today, and may the Lord show you how He will be your stronghold.

Blessings,

gabrielle prose

Wake.Up.Call

Help.me.do.it

It is getting easier. I expected it would, so I am thankful for the ability to rise without so much inner war raging. They say it takes 30 days to make a habit, and I’m hoping these Days cement the importance for me. I feel like I can do so much with the time, but in reality, the Lord can do so much with this time. He is the true power, the energy that flows through any good work.

I was sitting in church yesterday, and as I listened to the sermon, I kept thinking about my striving for Young Life Club. I am team leader for a brand new club as a brand new volunteer, and learning the ropes is challenging. I am also a perfectionist, and want to do it all well. The offering we give the kids should be excellent, and I have been spending heaps of mental time&energy sorting through what needs to be done&how! I have also struggled with feeling inadequate, unprepared, and frustrated by it. But the Lord calmed me as our pastor spoke.  I felt the Lord whisper to me, “I’m helping you do it.”

wow. For that moment, I knew I had been relying on my own strength to do the work I am capable of doing. I know the Lord has given me all I need to accomplish the task, and He is stretching me to do it. But- I forget that He doesn’t ask me to do it without His strength. I forget to lean on Him & ask for what I need. Even as simple as,

“Lord, today I need to sort out this skit, make a list for supplies, shop, write up our club sets, and set all the cogs in motion. Lord, can you help me? Help me to remember everything, give me wisdom to choose quickly & easily the best options, help me not feel stress in anticipation. Help me Lord to be capable of this work with a joyful heart. Help me Lord, help me do it.”

One of my favorite verses in Psalms was in my reading this morning. Psalm 119 is full of such richness for different seasons; it is a cry out of pain&sorrow&despair. It is a cry to remind the author of the truth because it bring comfort & peace in the midst of all the suffering.

“You are good, and you do what is good; Teach me your statutes.”

Psalm 119:68

So as I approach the work of today, I’m going to be mentally stopping to ask for help. I’m going to ask the Lord to do it, to help me. I’m going to ask Him to accomplish what He wants, and make it what I want. I’m going to be comforted in spirit because I know He can do it all, even when I worry I cannot.

May this bless your Monday as it is blessing mine!

and here is a tune to play on repeat as you ask the Lord for help doing what you know you can handle, but will handle with His help in a different frame of mind.

King of my Heart – Bethel

blessings,

gabrielle prose

Wake.Up.Call

Deliver.me(II)

Deliver me Lord, from my temptation to be offended. Free my mind from the snare of being treated with inequity. Help me Lord, to run to you when my feelings get hurt, so that my tongue may not speak what is not helpful. Forgive me for heaping the burden on others when I give them my gut reactions. Help me Lord be in control of my feelings; deliver me from their bondage. May I be able to feel in the moment, yet cling to you in the secret place. Keep me Lord from causing strife, & allow me the wisdom to bring unity. Deliver me from bondage to my feelings. Amen!

blessings,

gabrielle prose

Wake.Up.Call

My.one.life

What am I doing with my one life? How am I spending it; in pursuit of self? Or in service to God. Not that I seek salvation by works, no. But rather that I see the fruit of the Spirit as the evidence of the Lord. How am I spending this one life I’ve been given?

It seems an easy mental decision. In order to serve my Lord with my life, I must be daily involved. Study in the Bible so that I may know Him better…I desperately need my daily bread! Service to my family as I put their needs above my own…a sacrificial love! Sacrifice for my community…a giving away of my time&resources to my neighbors & friends & high school kids so that I may be a vessel of the Lord’s power in their lives!

What an honor; what a privilege! That I can spend my one life, redeemed by my savior, in a sacrificial way. Out if my love, I can pour myself out. I can make my life a living sacrifice. But why it is so hard?

Why do I rally behind my intentions with a cheer, and yet I fail to carry them out? I am so grateful to be able to live this one life intentionally. And yet, I stumble upon the easiest, the richest, the cornerstone of what I want to build my life upon… spending time with my Savior.

It makes complete sense, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy.

Blessings,

gabrielle prose

Wake.Up.Call

She.Reads.Truth

Y’all. I had the happiest mail day yesterday because I got a copy of the She Reads Truth Bible!!

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I’ve been watching it come out this year, and although I’ve seen other women gushing about it on social media, I thought it was just because it is a beautiful Bible. And y’all, IT IS. It is a gorgeous Bible, but it’s more. Great design has got nothing on the extra content tucked inside.

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As I did my ‘read through the Bible in a year’ plan on my phone, I always missed the feel of the Bible in my hands. It is infrequent that I have used a non-digital form of the Bible in recent years, because I have loved the avalibility of having it on my phone. I cannot forget my Bible anymore! But there is something powerful about opening up God’s Word in my hands, & using a digital copy of the Bible on my phone isn’t the same for me.

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I have been using the She Reads Truth App to do my devotions & Bible readings for about 5 years now, not long after they got started. I have been amazed to watch the Lord bring women from all over the world together to study the Bible in unison. It is truly an amazing thing to see the body of Christ unite in a powerful way: through reading & study of God’s Word.

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So so what else makes this Bible special? It has book introductions that give background & context. It shows timeslines or maps for each book & includes mini-studies on each book with Biblical cross references. It promotes a greater understanding; it is very much a study Bible! There are devotionals tucked in each book also, that drew me in with story telling & make me want to read through. It is full of beautifully added & curated content to help you know God’s Word in a fuller way.

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I think that is the crucial difference; I want to read these little additions. I don’t want to skip them to get my reading done. As I read the end of Micah today, I was a little sad that I hadn’t used this Bible all along, so I could have an infinitely better grasp of what I’m reading about. Did it distract me? No, it draws me in. This is the beauty of this particular Bible; it truly draws you in to the reading of God’s Holy Word. And there is nothing better.

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I received a reader copy in exchange for my honest review. Thanks B&H Bloggers! Thanks LifeWay Bloggers!

You can get your copy at Lifeway Christian Store

blessings,

gabrielle prose

Wake.Up.Call

The.want.to

My baby woke me up as he slept restlessly, and I mindlessly got out of bed and started walking to his room. I realized on the journey that I shouldn’t go in, because he had only just cried out. I needed to make sure I didn’t wake him if he was still asleep! So I waited in the dark as my mind caught up with my body & heard nothing.

I return to bed, my half-asleep body & my brain whose engine had just been started. I laid there waiting for more sleep, when my husband is jumping up out of bed & I hear crying. I encourage him to lay back down, and he does, as I get up & run to the sound. Again, my brain not processing even who is calling out. I assume it’s the baby who woke me not long ago, but it’s my 4 year old, who had a bad dream. His 7 year old big brother is already there, sitting tenderly on the side of the bed, offering his comforting words & presence. I grab up the scared son & hold him close as he tells me of the bad-guy-lego dream. The years taper off & sleep returns for him. I tuck him in & kiss his forehead, wiping away a last tear. My heart.

I lay my confused body back down & wait for the comfort of sleep. The renewal that sleep brings is miraculous. The body, energized for the new day’s tasks. The mind, refreshed with new emotional energy to spend. I drift off, only to be woke a third time by my baby boy, who I go tuck back in to make sure he is ok afterso much restlessness.

So when the alarm rings to spend my quiet time with Jesus & write my words on the page, I turn it off. I don’t want to. I quickly excuse myself for having been up late volunteering for Young Life Club & for being up with my sons in the night.

I’ll work in some time today, I think.

I dont. I could have, probably. But I didn’t.

I have to want to. I cannot be consistent if I’m making myself out of alterior motives. It has to be my ‘want to’.

My ‘want to’ spend time with Jesus, to have those still moments with Him. To not put it off till later & choose more rest. I have to want to!

Lord, forgive me for not wanting you with my whole heart & for putting rest ahead of you. Forgive me for spending a whole day on my tasks instead of wanting to spend some time with you; I tried too feebly to find another opportunity. Forgive my heart that chases after other things & not after you. Help this heart, today as you got me up&moved me out of my comfort when I didn’t want to. Help.me.want.to.Lord. Amen.

blessings,

gabrielle prose

Wake.Up.Call

He.wakens.me

“The Sovereign Lord has given me a well instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.

He awakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.”

Isaiah 50:4

Really? My initial reaction when reading this verse is to be drawn to the second portion as I sit here before the sun rises. He has been awakening me, morning by morning, and I want to listen for his lessons. I want these ears to be instructed. But do I have a well instructed tongue? Do I know the word that sustains the weary? Lord, please give me confidence that you will put the words in my mouth & you will give me the word to sustain the weary!

Most of my quiet time is carrying out the act of obedience rather than directed study. Reading the Bible in a year plan has made it move so quickly that I am not lingering on the text, savoring it, but rather consuming it as a meal. The taste  of the whole rather than the part doesn’t seem like I’m gleaning specific instruction for the day but rather being sustained & fed by the meal. I don’t take away the flavor of one part, but the fullness from having eaten.

It can be difficult to remember what I read when the majority is lament from psalm or genealogy from the Old Testament. But that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable to read, no! It means I trust it’s value as the Word of God & treat it as worthy of my time & energy. The Lord will teach me something new about Himself through the obedience of reading just as he will through the meditation on one verse.

I’m giving a Young Life talk tonight telling kids that God exists & God made them. It makes me feel excited, unprepared, honored, & nervous! I pray to be able to deliver the message clearly; I pray that I can be the vessel for the Lord’s word to move in a kid’s heart. The Lord can use any vessel he chooses, and he alone can use words from a mouth to move a heart towards Himself. He can do it!! I can be faithful in the delivery; I can carry the message in obedience!

pray for us tonight? That the Lord would stir in students’ hearts that they are made in His image. That He not only exists, but He is real. That He made them special, & He loves them. Amen!

blessings,

gabrielle prose

Wake.Up.Call