Lately, while my tall, hairy son sits beside me in the car, (only in the driver's seat now), I am reminded how many times I've heard from others older and wiser than me how fast time flies. It takes experiencing it personally to grasp the truth of that. My son, a sophomore. My oldest daughter, a junior higher. My baby girl in double digits...I'm blown away, and it makes me teary-eyed, yet excited for what lies ahead.
I'm now recalling when my devo ministry began...with only six of my precious ministry teammates in drama, growing now to many I don't even know personally. Then Selah the blog was started to expand it further still. Since then, my readers walked with me through screaming toddler tantrums, revelations of being a better wife and homemaker, taking care of aging family members, numerous deaths in the family, tales of schooling my kids at home, major ministry decisions and the fleshing out of my spiritual life, growing from legalism to faith-filled freedom. From my perspective, the spiritual years have flown by too.
At the beginning of the summer, I made the commitment to take time off from writing devotionals--for my ministry edevo recipients--as well as for this blog and my lovinthearts.com website. I've used that extra time, even though there was little extra, to pray, to evaluate what I need to be doing ministry-wise, etc. My prayer team has been praying alongside me as well. I've consulted others and taken time to hear from the Lord before I made my decision.
I've decided to discontinue all 3 of these ministries, which of course puts a permanent pause on Selah. Though some have advised me that it's not wise to let go of any email distribution list or blog that is growing numerically, the Lord's work has shifted for me at this season of life. I don't want to continue something just because it gives me a larger audience, especially if I can't make it as excellent as it needs to be. The Holy Spirit has been leading me more toward article-writing and speaking. So I'm going to obey, write articles for websites and magazines and speak when it doesn't collide with the family schedule.
When I was a kids' worship leader, I used to lead the younger kids in a cool little song called No, Slow, Grow and Go (Troy & Genie Nilsson)
in an effort to teach them about some of the ways God answers our prayers. Right now, I believe the Lord has me in a slow and grow season. These words keep repeating in my head: "Don't worry about numbers. Just write when you can write and speak when you can speak, and I'll do the rest." Over and over and over I've heard this echo, even in messages I've heard. So that's what I'm gonna do. After all, I pray to "walk by faith, not by sight."
Just as God has been changing and growing me, I'm sure He is doing the same in your life. The Lord will guide you into His Truth through whatever person, whatever means, whatever venue He sees that you need. If you have interest in reading what the Lord lays on my heart, please consider subscribing to my web blog: LauraLeeShaw.com
. I post on there 2-4 times a week, depending on time. I also post short messages once or twice a day on my Twitter page, as well as my professional Facebook page.
Also, if you need a speaker for your moms', women's or ministry team group, please don't hesitate to contact me. All of that info is at LauraLeeShaw.com.
And because I can't help meddlin' a little, allow me to ask you one question. Do you need to evaluate where God has you in life--in family, in ministry, in recreation? Has something He originally called you to become something you need to ask, "Lord, no, slow, grow or go? What do you want me to do?" If so, don't hesitate to wait on Him to lead you right where you need to be. Let's agree together not to go even a half step ahead of him or lag even a tiny bit behind Him. Let's shoot for walking all the way in the Spirit.
Love you all, and I hope to hear from you anytime, whether by email, blog, Facebook or Twitter. Thank you so much for supporting me and praying me through all these years. It has been a sanctifying journey, and one I hope you'll continue with me at LauraLeeShaw.com.
I’ve got some “break”ing news for you, but first lemme give you a teeny tiny bit of background:
When my son was thirteen, we gave him a cell phone, mainly for our convenience, but he wasn’t hurting over it for sure. He was very responsible with it for the most part, and he managed to keep the unlimited texting and phone calls in balance with other life responsibilities. Something happened around a year later, however, as he grew used to the freedom. He went through some changes, more friends got texting privileges (not to mention Facebook accounts), the ministry and social calendar picked up, basketball season started, the homework got heavier, and the “unlimited” became an issue for him. Maybe this is the case with your sons and daughters. If so, read on...
Brian and I took his texting minutes back to a limited number a month, a number which we felt was reasonable. We began to take his cell phone at night and keep it in our rooms. We also began to monitor the texts to some degree, all with his knowledge. At first, it was difficult to scale back, and he kicked and screamed some. But now, he knows he has a certain number, and it has helped him to realize that life changes, our schedule changes, and when it does, we have to be willing to adjust. It’s turned out to be a beautiful life lesson. That’s God. He allows us to make corrections, even if we get a step or two ahead of Him. Love that merciful heart of His.
Those lessons have not only been for our son, they’ve been there lately for Brian and me as well. WE’ve stepped into a new season of parenting...one of taxying, hosting parties and Bible Studies, heavier discipleship necessary with life and relationship issues, larger circles of friends as our kids become older and more social, less time together as a couple at night since the kids go to bed later...all the while personally continuing to grow as a son and daughter of the Most High, who loves us far too much to let us get ahead of Him.
Because of this heavier season of life, and after a great deal of prayer, my Father has led me to take a break from my devotional writing on Selah. It may be just the summer, it may be longer...it will be until the Lord gives me permission and clear vision of His calling for ministry. He is continuing to lead me to write Christian living articles and speak as I have the extra time, so I will pour what little time and resources I have left from being a wife and mama into improving and sharing in those areas. If you have the desire to keep up with what the Lord is doing and teaching us in our lives, you can follow my LauraLeeShaw.com blog...I will also post on Facebook and Twitter once or twice a day, or more if time allows. My writer and speaker page on Facebook is here.
The Lord has allowed me the blessing of some publishing opportunities this month. One is in Dallas Christian Family. If you are local, you can pick one up for free in a whole lotta places, or you can go online and read it here (pg. 8): Dallas Christian Family May Issue.
And in His incredible wisdom and timing, He chose to allow my “Out of Order” article to be published in Just Between Us magazine for the summer edition (on shelves this month). Gotta love the Lord for leading me to do what He wants me to do through publishing this article at this time.
Another remarkable choice of timing is that my mother’s tribute story, "Lessons Learned from Glory,” will be published in a book that is scheduled to be released in late May or early June...May was my mama’s birthday, and it is also the month of Mother’s Day. What a loving time and way for the Lord to give me this news in a month that is difficult for me. He is a gracious Father. I’ll post that info on my blog when it comes out. If you wish to subscribe to my blog, you can do so here.
So, yea, “break”ing news...I’ve prayed about this for a few months, and like my son with the texting, I kicked and screamed some. But I learned when He asked me to step down from kids’ ministry leadership, that, when I obey, His fruit of peace follows. When I trust him with my time and priorities, His fruit of love and self-control are expressed in and through me. He’s also taught me that He’d rather me do a few things extremely well than to try to do a bunch of things halfway and stressed in the process.
And He’ll continue to love on me and teach me as I break away from anything that hinders me from having an undivided heart. :) Selah.
How about you, my friend? Is it time to reevaluate your time, your talents, your resources, your relationships? Ask Him...He will answer and give you all that you need to obey. “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus...than to trust and obey.”
Picture it with me. You’re laying in bed, or driving in the car…cooking or cleaning, exercising, whatever you do when you stew…and you can’t stop thinking about that circumstance, conflict or decision.
You think about it in hundreds of different ways. What if I did this? No, that wouldn’t be good, because then “that” would happen. Okay, so what if I asked her to talk to so-and-so…but then I’m involving someone else, and she might think bad of me. But if I do this, something will fall through at home or work. I know, I’ll tell him one thing in hopes that it might lead to the other thing.
And we just. keep. going. Plotting, stirring, stewing…on and on…coaxing with God one minute, then working to solve the equations ourselves the next minute. Maybe it’s because we’re weary of waiting, maybe it’s a habit, maybe we believe that God helps those who help themselves, and He gave us marbles, so we best use them or lose them.
Whatever the case, the Lord was ready and waiting for my attention this morning so that He could deliver a message to me from His Word. I immediately wrote it on a sticky note and slapped it on my forehead. ;0
Yea, um. That’s pretty clear with the three “nos” in there. I learned several things in the moments my heart was open:
“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.” Proverbs 21:30
- *We can’t outwit God. Yes, it’s fine for us to think through a situation, but it’s not fine for us to take matters into our own hands. He sees the whole thing. He sees ahead. He knows what needs doing. We can whole-heartedly, undoubtedly, unmistakably rely on Him to guide our decisions as we trust Him with the faith He’s given us. He’ll continue to teach us about surrendered, Spirit-filled living, and we’ll think differently as a result.
- *We can’t always depend on others to counsel us. Often the second place we turn after stewing is to friends or family. While the Lord will sometimes use those relationships to guide us, sometimes He doesn’t, especially when we don’t consult Him first. Another reason to wait and rely upon Him. As we do so, He will lead us to phone a friend, or even better, He’ll lead them to phone us. (love it when that happens). ;)
- *How do we know when our thoughts or the counsel of others is in line with the Lord’s? When it falls in line with His Truth. If we are manipulating a person or situation to get our way, it’s not from Him (1 Cor. 13:5). If we are losing sleep or being driven to drink/eat, etc, or having physical symptoms of any kind from worry, it’s not from Him. (Luke 12:25). If what another person tells us leads us to think ourselves better than another or more entitled and deserving than ever before, it’s not from Him. (Philip. 2:3)
- *Even if we do it the “easy” way, the wrong way, the self-serving way, etc, His plan will still come to fruition. Because He loves us, and because of His grace, He will make His plan, the best plan, succeed in the end. We may have consequences from our folly, but He will still forgive us. We may have to wait longer for the good fruit that comes from fully believing, obeying and depending on Him, but He won’t let the opportunity pass without teaching us something spectacular (if we are open and listening).
Who'da thunk this passage had so much to teach us? That's His Word. That's our God. He's the kind of Father who loves us enough to instruct us for our own best. He is tall, He is tender, and He is trustworthy...in every slice of life, even the sticky ones.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests & challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open & shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature & well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4, The Msg.
Are You Taxed Out?
Definiton: Tax, n. A burdensome or excessive demand; a strain.
Is this you, my friend? If you were to write a tax letter to the Lord instead of the IRS, would it be similar to this?
April 15th, 2010
I’m tired. I’m drained. I’m burdened. All the things I don’t want to be as a Christian.
I am, though.
What an awkward day for me to realize this, but…I’m overtaxed.
Could you…wait, I know You can…
…Would You please give me a tax break? Just long enough for me to come up for air? I don’t mean to beg, but please?
I do love You, Lord. I do. I have only good intentions, but I’m weary, Lord.
Hangin’ by a hair,
I know You already know this, but the thought of no new taxes would really bring peace of mind to me right now.
April 15th, 2010
Yes. My tax breaks are always available for you. Listen to what I’ve written.*
“The Word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.”
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.”
“Do you not know?
The LORD is the everlasting God…He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
So…yea. This was written for you, my precious child. For this tax day, and every other moment too.
Holding you tight,
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” **
*Deuteronomy 30:14, 31:8, Matthew 11:28-29, Isaiah 40:28-31
** John 16:33
"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens. Selah"
I'm serving at the Internet Cafe today. I hope you'll come by and chat with me:
Thanks for your continued encouragement!
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