Last day of week 17!
How do I feel?
Finally got to share with our Nor Cal friends this weekend. I’ve been waiting so long!! It did make me pretty sad though. Why do so many of my close friends friends live so far away!??!?
Unfortunately the weekend was interrupted by another bout of food poisoning? Stomach virus? I’m definitely more susceptible to these things in pregnancy. This was BY FAR the most unpleasant instance, but PTL I’m feeling almost back to normal today! And what better way to celebrate than with Kenny’s Ping Pong Club fundraiser at Dog Haus tonight!? Haha. Yeah… we’ll see how that goes.
Other than that, I also had possibly the strongest craving yet today. As I was driving I felt this almost irresistible urge to swing by Jack in the Box for some chicken tenders. I kept arguing with myself that I couldn’t put such nastiness in my body, but at the same time I knew that if there so happened to be a Jack in the Box on my route I would not be able to resist pulling over. Thankfully, no Jack in the Box was encountered, but since people frequently ask about cravings, I would have to say that’s been the worst one so far. (Luckily my McDonald’s obsession is dying down, but I’m still on my Snickers, lemonade, and macaron fixation… which could really just be a pre-pregnancy remnant tbh!)
Brb. Drooling on the screen…
Lastly, I think I felt the baby kick/poke/jab me for the first time today as I was getting out of the car after the insane Jack in the Box craving!! It felt like a tiny jab in my lower left abdomen. I paused. 2 more jabs. Now I can’t say if it was truly the baby for certain, but I was oh so ecstatic!!!! Can’t wait for our little one to be here!!! :)
What is God saying?
Loving that BSF is back in the swing of things. It’s been an exciting year thus far!
I think one of the main things God has been speaking both this week and last is the idea of returning to my first love. The message to the church of Ephesus was especially pertinent. They loved theology and knowledge, but they had lost their first love, the relational aspect of Christianity, the person of Jesus. And without that love, that relationship, their faith was worth nothing.
“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”
As group members shared last week, I could feel the Lord convicting my heart as I slowly realized I’ve been turning into a checklist Christian! I have pretty much NEVER been disciplined enough for a long enough time to be one before haha. But recently by God’s grace He’s been helping me sustain a more disciplined spiritual life and it’s great that my walk now has more consistency to it, but now there really is that temptation to just check off boxes and not go any further with the Lord and just think “yeah, Jesus and me, we’re good today!” without ever really fully checking in with Him.
And no the answer is not to give up the discipline!! I still remember a speaker saying that a long time ago that if she didn’t feel like reading the Bible/praying/worshipping, she just wouldn’t… but oh how I disagree with that now! Why? Because I know myself and my tendency is to operate in the flesh, and therefore I almost always don’t “feel” like doing these things at first.
So is the answer then to try harder?? No. The answer is not to strive in the flesh when we were begun by the Spirit! But after realizing the struggle, this seems to be my default. “Well, I just need to force myself to connect with Jesus more, schedule it into the day’s routine!” Relationships cannot be manufactured. Yes, I can put myself in places where my heart will be stirred up for Jesus, but no the answer is not to brute force it in hopes that the passion and heart will be there.
So what is the solution then?
“Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.”
The answer prescribed to the church of Ephesus was to remember and repent. Remember the love they/I had at first. Remember His goodness to me. Remember how He’s loved me over the years and the sweet times of genuine fellowship we have shared. And repent. Confess my weakness to Him and ask Him to help me. Ask Him to give me grace to fall in love with Him more.
What’s scary to also think about is that we can forsake Jesus as our first love by loving other aspects of Christianity more. Like the Ephesians, we can forsake Him by loving doctrine and theology more. We can forsake Him by loving worship and the pursuit of music more. We can forsake Him by loving the practice of His gifts, like prophesy and tongues more. We can forsake Him by loving our ministries and serving more. We can forsake Him by loving how He makes us feel more.
Do we love our gifts? Or do we love Him? Do we focus our time and energy on our gifts? Or is our time and energy focused on Him? Do we strive and serve out of the flesh and serve for the sake of serving? Or do we serve whole-heartedly and joyfully because it gives us the opportunity to better know Him?
Purify my love, Lord Jesus! Purify my serving! Purify my spiritual disciplines! Give me grace to know and love You more. Help my love to never grow stale. And thank You for Your grace: that a smoldering wick You will not snuff out, a bruised reed You will not break. Take the little I have to offer and multiply it, make it MORE. I want to know You more, love You more. Help me return to my first love and treasure You, realizing that You are EVERYTHING. I repent. Help me!!!