"I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence." Exodus 33:19
Renee Swope was sharing with the women gathered at She Speaks 2010 about the different seasons of ministry for women who are wives and/or moms: The No Season. The Slow Season. The Go Season. She thought, after the Lord blessed her family through adoption with a beautiful baby girl, that she'd be in a "No Season" for ministry. Much to her surprise, the Lord had her in a "Slow Season".
Me, Aster, Renee
Honoring God in our families and homes begins with serving our husbands and children. As Beth Moore shared Saturday morning (via a special video message for She Speaks): "Never neglect your family for ministry. God esteems the office of husbandry. Be careful not to go in ministry beyond where your husband is blessing. No amount of success in ministry makes up for failure with your family."
God confirms the season of ministry in our lives through our husbands, whether it is No, Slow or Go. When Jim's decision came that I was to go to She Speaks 2010...and my family was coming with me...I was humbly thankful. Joshua's tenth birthday was the Saturday of the conference, and I did not want to be apart from him when he turned to the big double digits! What a treasure for my family to travel with me in love and support as I attended the conference.
I was particularly excited because I knew Cheri Keaggy was leading worship for the conference. Cheri's song "Little Boy On My Knees" was Joshua's baby dedication song in 2000. I still sing that song to him sometimes at bedtime. I was THRILLED that my family, especially Joshua, would be able to meet Cheri in person. On Joshua's tenth birthday weekend! Wow! God is so good.
Renee Swope encouraged the women, "Pray for your family that, as you walk in obedience to the Lord in ministry, He would bless your family in ways that they could not otherwise be blessed if you were not walking in obedience in ministry." As we walk in obedience, God does bless us in unimaginable ways. When Renee said that, my jaw dropped and tears trickled down my cheeks. God had done that for me and my family....He had blessed us in ways that weekend that we would not have been blessed if we were not walking in obedience.
I had the opportunity to chat with Cheri for a few minutes, introduce her to my family, tell her that her song "Little Boy On His Knees" was Joshua's baby dedication song and that we were celebrating his tenth birthday that weekend. Cheri said to me, "Did you know that I wrote another song for my son when he turned ten that starts out, 'Here I am again, now my son is ten. I am still praying for you, my boy.' I am going to sing it Saturday."
Joshua, Gabrielle, Me, Cheri
Imagine my jaw dropping!! I did not know she had written a song for her song when he turned ten. And she was going to sing it on Saturday....Joshua's tenth birthday!!!! Now, really...only God could orchestrate that decade-sized blessing for this mamma's heart!!! Only God.
On Saturday, July 31st, as Joshua turned ten, I sat just a few feet away from Cheri Keaggy as she sang her song "You'll Always Be My Son". Here I am again...now my son is ten.....I am still praying for you, my boy. God's love was shining in my heart so intimately in those moments. He knows the cries of my heart for our children. Those all around me may have been completely unaware of God's sweet embrace on this mamma as Cheri sang so beautifully. Yet for me, it was a miraculous moment. A sweet blessing orchestrated by God because God was honored, my husband's leading was honored and obedience ushered the way. To love is to obey. "This is love for God: to obey His commands." 1 John 5:3 And when we obey, He lavishes His love on us in beautiful, serendipitous ways. "See, I am setting before you today a blessing...blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today." Deut. 11:26-27
Only God could orchestrate me being at the conference on that weekend, when Cheri Keaggy was leading worship, with my family with me at the conference for the first time, as Joshua turned ten, and as Cheri Keaggy sang her song about her son turning ten...on Joshua's tenth birthday. "Little Boy On His Knees" serenaded Joshua at his baby dedication. "You'll Always Be My Son" ushered Joshua into a new decade of life. From dedicating Joshua to the Lord when he was a baby to now fervently and unceasingly praying for him as a young boy turned ten, Cheri's sweet voice and poignant lyrics have bridged this mommy's heart to the next season of life for Joshua. "O Lord, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of this Your servant and to the prayer of Your servants who delight in revering Your name." Nehemiah 1:11
Thank you, God, for blessings that can only come from Your gracious hand. Thank you for meeting us in such personal ways. Thank you for the blessings of obedience. Only You deserve the glory. We are humbled.
"...let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe."