Mar 7, 2014

Are you interested?

Today's Reading: Matthew 15: 21-39
Find the reading plan here. 

This week's memory verse has rocked my world. In a good way. In a convicting way.

"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4


I have really been praying and asking the Lord to show me how to better "look to the interest of others".

It's funny how when you ask God something, especially something you KNOW He wants you to do, He opens your eyes pretty quickly. Agree?

My focus has been on my husband and looking more to his interests.

This is harder than I thought. Much, much harder.

My eyes have been opened and I am praying fervently for the Lord to make this "looking to the interest of others" a way of life.

At the beginning of this year, the Lord was leading me to step back and start listening more. Listen to what others were saying. Less talking, more listening. So, I did.

The difference this has made in my relationships is indescribable. When we listen, we learn. It's a natural way of being taught. Just listen. Listen to what people say. Really, really listen. There's much to absorb. Much to learn.

I think this goes hand in beautiful hand with "looking to the interest of others".

For example, my children  just want me to listen to them. Really listen to them. Not the nodding of my head, or the "mmhmmm, that's good darling" response as I scroll through my phone reading text messages or emails. {yes, guilty and guilty}

When I fully engage in listening to them, I then have a follow-up response that goes with whatever they are telling me. This creates engagement between us. True, in the present tense, engagement.

As I focused this week on my husband and looking to his interests, I realized a few things.

First, that I had convinced myself that doing certain things around the house would interest him. Like, vacuuming the floor, or dusting our furniture. I had convinced myself that I was doing this for HIM. That he would love this and be so proud.

Wrong.

He could really care less. How do I know? I asked him.

So, really, I was just looking to my own interests of wanting a tidy floor and dust-free furniture. Yep.

All he wants is clean underwear and ironed pants. That's it.

Both of those have been at the bottom of the totem pole.

Don't get me wrong, he has clean underwear. He just sometimes has to ask for it. This is normal, right??

However, I will now start looking to do those things first, since the desire of my heart is to look to his interests more.

I also realized that he just likes small talk after a long day at work. Anything deep or heavy, and I've lost him. So, I try to keep it simple. Less talking, more listening....to him.


I'm asking God to help me take this one day at a time.

If you see pictures of me camping and canoeing {is canoeing a word? spell check says it isn't} the Okefenokee Swamp with him....you know I have taken this too far. Way too far. 

Promise me you will rescue me and my muddy, smelly, lost- my- mind- camouflaged-self,  if you witness this ungodly behavior. Please. Thank you.

Our Fun Friday Challenge:

Look to the interests of someone today. Pray and ask the Lord to help you to do this. Trust me, it is harder than you think. It's a selfie kind of world. Looking to others interests is not natural. At all. It takes the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us to make this happen. Truly.

A verse that I  recite every single day is this: "Create in me a pure heart, Oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

The Psalmist, who happens to be my boyfriend David {giggle giggle}, is asking God to "create" a pure heart.

The definition of "create" is:

- to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.

See what I mean? It's not natural to have a pure heart or look to the interest of others. We must ask the Lord to help us. We must turn to His Word to show us. To teach us.

Looking to the interest of others will change our lives. And the lives of others.

Thank you, Father, for teaching us your ways. We accept.


looking past my  interests,


jill


hiking with my love.
{Lord, let this be the ruggedest endeavor I have to endure to" look to his interests"}
please.