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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Preparing the spirit

There has been an awful lot of talk around here this week about preparation. Our son is testing this weekend for his "Decided Black Belt." It's been a three year journey, that in some ways begins today. The word of the week has been "preparation," and it's proven to be God's way of nudging each of us around here, forcing us to ask....

"How are YOU preparing?"

I know how God works with me. He takes my daily life events and takes the opportunity to teach ME through lessons that I THINK are for others, while all along were meant for me.
Hence, preparation.

I would be an absolute FOOL to try and earn a black belt without extensive preparation, both physically and mentally. Forms, sparring, one steps, three steps, and board breaking... Why would I ever think that I can be spiritually prepared without the proper training?

This week, as Hayden was getting ready for this TEST, he broke down the components of what would be required of him. He fell short in one area, due only to a "lack of preparation."
I was frustrated, and that is when it happened.
It was in this that I could hear God clearly convicting me, and I began to examine my spiritual preparedness.
"Are you as "prepared" as you need to be Lori?"

Life is a series of tests, circumstances and challenges. These situations leave us with 2 options.
Wait for the test to come and deal with it THEN, or constantly work to prepare the spirit, knowing that not IF, but rather WHEN the trials come (James 1:2), I will not find myself unable to know where to go. Rather, I will be able to stand firm in the midst of the test, unwavering in faith.


I've gone into 'races' before without the proper preparations and quite frankly, I've ended up "flat on my face." Finding oneself in that position is much like failing a test, it leaves you humbled and vowing NEVER to allow yourself to be in that position again.

And then it happens...AGAIN~
But, gracious as God is, He finds a way to "slip" those reminders in, if we are looking.

Preparation is WORK, it's DISCIPLINE and sometimes there are other things that we would much rather be "doing," than "preparing." When everyone else is distracted, going about their own business, or even trying to convince you that preparation isn't necessary.....
It's sometimes not easy or fun....
but necessary.

Take Joseph for example, while everyone else was enjoying the feast of the plentiful harvests, 7 years worth, he was preparing for the famine that would eventually come.
I'm certain that he took some ribbing from those around him.
I can hear them now,
"Come on Joe, is all that STOCKPILING necessary...come on, let it go. Let's just live for the moment."

"As predicted, for seven years the land produced bumper crops. During those years, Joseph gathered all the crops grown in Egypt and stored the grain from the surrounding fields in the cities.....
Then the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph predicted. The famine also struck the surrounding countries, but throughout Egypt there was plenty of food.
Genesis 41:47-49, 54

He listened, he prepared and as a result when the TEST came (as it will for us), he was ready to meet it head on. We are challenged to do the same. No, not stockpile up canned goods, but prepare ourselves for what may come our way. Spending time with God helps me to see that HE alone will guide me through the storms of life, if I'm willing to put in the time to PREPARE.

My eight year old has been teaching himself, and us some fundamental lessons this week on being prepared, especially me. I don't know about you, I LOVE when God provides me with these life lessons. I'm just glad I was looking this time!

There really is no time like today to begin preparing. It could happen at a moment's notice, and while we never know what may happen, we can seek to develop wisdom and hopefully find ourselves "ready," knowing where to go when the test comes....

In case you're wondering....HIS TEST was today....
and he was prepared....
Am I? I'm taking a lesson away with me.

In Him,

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Blogger Mrs. Darling said...

Great thought Lori. Our children can teach us many truths about ourselves if we will just tune in!

March 29, 2008 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I love the story of Joseph and how God used the circumstances in his life to prepare him for his destiny.

I am new to the Internet Cafe's blogging team.

I look forward to reading more of what God shows you.


March 29, 2008 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Great post my friend.

March 30, 2008 at 12:23 AM  
Anonymous Kellye said...

What a truthful post. In my opinion, God gives us the same test in many ways until we learn our lesson. What a wonderful and patient Father we all have in Him.

I am so thankful to have found CWO....thanks for the encouragement.

March 30, 2008 at 12:53 AM  
Blogger windycindy said...

I always tell myself what doesn't kill me only makes me stronger! Cindi

March 30, 2008 at 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how, with God, all things work together for good! Even when we fail he weaves it into the tapestry of our lives!

Congratulation's to your son and to you(!) for the fruits of the training and preparation.

My children a 13 and 15 and hold second degree black belts in one form of martial arts and a first degree in another. They belong to a wonderful Christian martial arts school. I hope you son continues his love for this training. It has made a huge difference in my children's lives! My son is completing a year long Instructor training. In June he will be an instructor and registered with the Government. My kids have learned so much from the Christian example of the owners and teachers.

March 30, 2008 at 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings my Friend!

I had to tell you that the story of Joseph has been a lifeline for me on more than one occasion. I have an awesome book on his life that spoke volumes to me - really unfolded the details of his life/walk with God.

"Preparation is WORK, it's DISCIPLINE and sometimes there are other things that we would much rather be "doing," than "preparing."

All I can say about that is "preach it!" I love Sunday devotions!

(BTW-that book is called "God Meant it for Good" by R.T. Kendall)

March 30, 2008 at 7:09 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Dearest Lori,

First off a great big congratulation's to your son Hayden. WAY TO GO!!!

I know you must of been beaming with pride.

Oh, I'm so blessed God used this to teach you and all of us such great TRUTH.

"There really is no time like today to begin preparing..."


Thanks Lori for sharing this with us.


March 30, 2008 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Jenileigh said...

This was great!!! I need to prepare for a few things coming myself. Why am I such a procrastinator!

March 31, 2008 at 2:00 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

Truly awesome~girl...I have been gone all weekend....just remembered this morning that I had something due....had NOT read yours...but I posted something (with minor changes) that I had on my own previously)---and we go together like peas and carrots!
I loved yours! AND YOU!

March 31, 2008 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Gina@Chats With An "Old Lady" said...

Good reminders, Lori!
Love you!

April 1, 2008 at 11:05 AM  

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