Disciplines of a Spirit Led Life

 This Fall, I had the privilege of teaching a small Bible study group at my church. We worked our way through the Fruit of the Spirit, using a book by Jerry Bridges , The Fruitful Life,  as a resource. I have loved getting back in the groove of teaching and all that entails. I find myself losing track of time as I read sermons and scripture on each topic and spending hours at a time reading and making notes.  I thought this would be a good opportunity to share with you what the Lord is teaching me as I prepare to teach each week.

Each week, as we examined one fruit at a time, we looked at what scripture says about each one in relation to our relationship with God, the world and ourselves.

We know as Believers, we are called to live differently than the world. The fruit of the Spirit are what others see in us as we live our lives, day in and day out. But first, we need to understand what a life lived in step with the Spirit looks like. 

There are 3 disciplines that must be practiced consistently in order for us to walk in step with the Spirit effectively. When we are saved by faith, made right with God through his justification, the Holy Spirit indwells our Spirit. This enables us to live in a way we couldn't before. We now have everything we need to live a life pleasing to the Lord & differently than the world. That's what God did for us, now we need to train ourselves in godliness (as Paul puts it). In order to know God better and live according to his ways, we must practice living godly. 


And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kind of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18

Prayer rarely comes natural even though it should. Most often we use it as a smoke signal for when we are in trouble, at our wits end and don't know where else to turn. We yell "help!" to God. Instead, we should make prayer a daily habit. It should be conversation we start with the Lord as soon as we wake in the morning. 

 Burk Parsons had this to say about prayer,

Prayer is the daily surrender of our perceived control over lives. 


Submission is yielding to the authority of another. As much as we would like to think otherwise, submission does not come natural, rebellion does. It's a part of our sin nature that we are constantly waging war with.  Submitting to God is recognizing his lordship and sovereignty in our lives. Until our hearts are truly surrendered to Christ as Lord of our lives, there will be turmoil and strife. We will strive and struggle through adversity rather than trusting God. This is not the life God intended his people to live. in Psalms we are told tole "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)   We cannot walk in the Spirit and think we are in control of our own lives. It just doesn't work. In order for the Holy Spirit to have the ability to work in our lives, we must be surrendered to God and his will for our lives. We much have a clear understanding that God is God, we are not.


By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 1 John 5:2

And how can we practice prayer and submission and not obedience?  When our daily habits include studying & meditating on the Word, faithful prayer and submission, obedience is not a struggle, because it's our desire. Our hearts and mind are set on Christ and the Holy Spirit is working through us. Obeying his commands, doing his will creates joy and satisfaction in our soul. 

These 3 disciplines are practiced better when the habit of reading and studying your Bible is consistent. It's so important. In fact, unless we know what God's Word says about how we are to live our life, we can't submit to him or obey him well. We may try. We will want to. But his Word is alive and active. It changes us, inspires us and teaches us His ways.

A life lived in step with the Spirit is a life that reflects the character of God. In his book, The Fruitful Life, Jerry Bridges says, 

If we are not taking on the character of God, we are taking on the character of the world. 

We are always growing and changing, who are we growing to become more like?  This is why practicing these biblical disciplines are so critical. 

Peter reminds us in his 2 letter, 2 Peter 1 that God has given us everything we need to live a godly, spirit led life. It's there for us! All we have to do is grasp hold of it, practice it, live it, walk it out. This is the responsibility of ever Christian. 


Grasping the Goodness of God

 In 1999 I was in a very serious car accident. I had all six children with me and I was 10 weeks pregnant when I lost control of my suburban and rolled it, landing upside down in a wheat field. It was the most traumatic thing that I had ever endured and it wrecked me emotionally and spiritually.

I was consumed with depression, anxiety and flashbacks of the accident. I hardly left my house and I didn't drive for months. 

One evening I was at church for a gathering and a staff person asked how I was doing. I'm sure I said the typical, "I'm doing really good!" because then they responded with "God is so good!" That statement bothered me. Friends kept saying it when they heard what happened.  I remember thinking, "No way is he good! If he was, he wouldn't have let this happen to me!" 

Do we really understand what the goodness of God is? I know that in 1999, I didn't understand it. My thinking of God and his goodness was all wrong. 

Elisabeth Elliot said, "We can't really tell how crooked our thinking is until we line it up with the straight edge of scripture."

So, let's see what scripture says about goodness.

Exodus 33:19

And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

Psalm 23:6

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 68:10

..your flock found a dwelling in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.

Zechariah 9:17

For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty! Grain shall make the young men flourish, and new wine the young women.

Mark 10:18

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

Titus 3:4-5

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

This is not an exhaustive list of scriptures on goodness. I encourage you to go do your own word study on this. You will be so encouraged and blessed by it. 

When we feast upon the word of God we taste his goodness and are satisfied in Him!

According to these scriptures, Gods goodness is a gift wrapped in mercy (Exodus 33:19), that will follow us all our lives (Psalm 23:6), as we dwell in it (Psalm 68:10)and enjoy the greatness of it (Zechariah 9:17). We must recognize that only God is good but that it is in that goodness that we are saved by faith, according to his mercy.

God is the source of all goodness and is the measure of what good is! 

Romans 8:28 reminds that all God does in our life is for our good as his purpose for us is accomplished.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

This verse is often misquoted or taken out of context. But when you view this verse in light of what we just learned from the scriptures above it should be a little more clear. 

What is good according to this verse? This is where my thinking was all wrong because I associated this "good" with only blessings & favor, but there so much more to it. Mark 10:18 tells us that only God is good. The greek word used in this verse is the same as used in Romans 8:28. 

Could it be this "good" is meant to grow us in godliness? Could it be God is using "all things" to make us more like him? 

The answer is yes. 

I had to stop viewing the goodness of God only as what the world considers good and see it as it is...becoming more like him. Sometimes his goodness doesn't feel good, it's painful, miserable, unthinkable, unbelievable...but it is still his goodness and I'm learning to praise him for all of it.

That means our trials, adversity, excruciating circumstances are the goodness of God just as is the favor, prosperous, pleasant and happy times God brings to our lives.

This sheds a whole new light on my life as a godly woman and how I am to respond to circumstances in my life.  When I respond to trials as a  sharpening of my faith I find joy in the goodness of God.  His mercy is so great and I'm so thankful he doesn't leave me in my sin but by his goodness he has washed me clean so that I may worship him and give him all the glory!

I don't know if that staff member who told me how good God is realized how he upset me, but as I look back I'm thankful he said it. It showed me how wrong my thinking of God was. Over the next 18 months I fought and I struggled and then the goodness of God consumed me and I surrendered to him. I experienced his grace and mercy in ways I never had before. He broke me and then restored me and his joy is mine!

By His Spirit and through His goodness I can be a woman of mercy and wisdom, patient and forgiving who embraces her trials to grow in godliness.

Daily Rhythms for a Healthy Home


I am not real big on strict schedules, but I love a good routine. I love waking up, knowing what is happening in the day, but in a flexible way. I wasn't always like this. I loved my schedule. When I had a house full of tiny people it really did help me to survive the day better. I can't believe I had my day planned out in 15 minute intervals.  As time went on the children knew what to expect in the day, our schedule turned more into a routine...a rhythm that helped shape our home into a safe and healthy place to be.

Rhythm is consistent, intentional activity with the purpose of creating a specific outcome.

There are things I learned I needed to do for myself that helped the rhythm stay on track.

The Mom Rhythm

I needed to get up by a certain time each morning. I'm not an early riser by any means. Mornings have always been a struggle for me, so I'm not trying to get up before the sun, but with the sun is more manageable. Often, the night before I'm prepping for the next day. If I ever have the thought, "I'll just do it in the morning." I do it the night before if possible. Chances are pretty good that I won't get up early enough to do it that morning.

Every morning I have to read my Bible and pray with coffee. This has to happen before I check the news, my Facebook or email. I am a big believer in figure out how to make it happen.  I have struggle for years reading my Bible first thing in the morning because I struggle so hard with mornings. A few years ago I figured out how to make it happen. I listen to my Bible through an app. I am going through the Bible chronologically this year, and each morning I listen through the app the passages while I drink my coffee. Recently, I've started keeping my notebook near by because I always hear and see things I want to remember or go back and study more of. By the time my coffee cup is empty, my Bible reading is over. Then I spend time talking to the Lord.

I get dressed, even shoes. Now, I don't go all crazy and put on make up unless I know I am going somewhere besides Wal-Mart, but I am dressed enough that if I have to leave quickly I don't have to worry about what I'm wearing.  I have arthritis in my feet, so wearing shoes actually helps me get through the day with less pain. But I noticed that when I wear shoes and get dressed I am also more productive. It's crazy how that works.

I eat. How many times have you gone about your day and forgot to eat? I do that. I make sure in the mornings that I eat. It's helped me in 2 ways. First, I need the nourishment. I make a smoothie or I eat eggs with toast. I have energy and don't get grouchy.  Second, I take a lot of supplements. If I eat, I remember to take my supplements. If I don't eat, I don't take my supplements.

These four things are what I need to do for myself so that I can make sure the rest of the home functions well.

The Home Rhythm

I manage my home. What chores need to happen today? What laundry needs to be done. Do we need groceries?  This is the rhythm I really depend on. When I miss a beat here, I feel like things are falling apart. 

The things mentioned above are assigned days to help us remember to do them. 

Right  now, Thursday is my grocery day. That changes when it needs to depending on our schedule. 

Everyone has a laundry day so that no ones laundry piles up. It has to be washed, dried and put away all in the same day.

I only have 3 kids left at home and they are older, so the house doesn't get destroyed like when they were all younger. So, keeping the house tidy is so much easier now. But everyday, we do a little and that helps keep things manageable. One day we clean floors, another day bathrooms, another day bedrooms.

The School Rhythm

Since we homeschool, that is always happening everyday in one way or another. Bible, Language Arts and Math happen every day. Mondays and Wednesday's we focus on History, Tuesday & Thursday we work on Science and Friday is our co-op day. Monday through Thursday, we have certain subjects we do before lunch and subjects we do after lunch. My goal for the day is to be finished by 2:00. It doesn't always  happen and sometimes we are done before lunch., Those are the really good days. 

We are much more relaxed now than I used to be. When I had more kids in school, our routine was much more tight and planned out. I had more kids I needed to teach, so keep that in mind.  

Our daily tasks may change but the rhythm doesn't. It is meant to be relaxed, organized and productive.  Doing these things on a regular basis has helped all of us to create healthy habits that in turn create a healthy home. 


Praying Psalm 16

I love praying scripture. I believe God loves hearing his words prayed back to him. 

Last week I shared on my Instagram and Facebook page prayers I was praying from Psalm 16.  I wanted to share them here, especially since it's been a while since I've posted here. Ok...more than a while. Let's go for 3 years. Lots of life has happened that I may post about one of these days. In the mean time....

For a week, I took a couple of verses everyday and wrote them out, then prayed them. I did this in a journal, but if you  have a Bible study notebook I also have this free download you can use.

Psalm 16:1-2

"Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge,  I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

Psalm 16:3-4

"As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips."

Psalm 16:5-6

"The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance."

Psalm 16:7-8

 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Psalm 16:9-10

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.

Psalm 16:11

 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy;  at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

What a rich passage of scripture to help bring me into a better understanding of what kind of woman I want to be. I am so thankful for Gods Word and how it never returns void.