Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Having a Mary Spirit--Week One

Outside my office yesterday

I am participating in a wonderful study with several people. The study was originated by Susanne at Truly Captivating. She is a dedicated woman that plants churches with her husband. This is their calling and she decided to do this study. We are using the book, "Having a Mary Spirit" Allowing God to Change Us From the Inside Out by Joanna Weaver. We know the story of Mary and Martha and their focus. I was interested in going into this study and I'm so glad I have.

This week as one of the study questions we were asked to read Philippians 3:12-14. I have read this passage many times, but after reading in the study about others struggling to know God in a deeper way, these verses really jumped out to me. Paul said in verse 13, "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." NIV.

I think of how Paul had been through so much tribulation and he decided to 'strain' towards what is ahead. He realized that he couldn't focus on the past and the pain. It takes a lot of energy to dwell in the past, living in the things that have hurt us, words that have hurt us and sometimes people that have hurt us to our core. Paul made the decision to strain and focus on what is ahead. God gives us hope and He gives us a purpose to live our lives. When we have dedicated ourselves to Him we, no not we, but Trish, I need to focus on the future and what He would have me to do.

I am praying that He will show me the path He wants me to follow. I cannot, in my own power, accomplish what He wants me to do. I admit that I have dedicated a lot of energy on "what is behind", this I want to let fall away. I pray for the wisdom to see where He wants me to go and what He wants to show me.

This is a deep rich study that I am thoroughly enjoying. The author introduces the information in a way that is thought provoking and has helped me to look at certain areas of my life that I feel the Lord wants to deal with.

This afternoon several of my co-workers and I will go to the funeral home for the viewing of one of my employee's father. He unexpectedly passed away last week and this has brought us all closer. Vanessa was the daughter that had taken care of her daddy for the past couple of years, but he was doing good living on his own now and this was a shock for her. I thank the Lord that I have such wonderful people around me that have rallied for a loved one and helped her to try and get ready to entertain out of town relatives and prepare for all that comes with a loss.

May the Lord bless you today and may we all 'strain toward what is ahead." God is good and He gives us so much.


Susanne said...

Praying for you, Sweet Sister as you learn to relenquish control and Let God BE GOD in your life. The only way to accomplish the work He has given us is in HIS STRENGTH... not ours!
Thanks for joinin in... looking forward to what next week brings.

Pat said...

Those were very beautiful thoughts expressed so well, Trish!

God is good, and we have so much to be thanful for.

Betsy said...

Wow, these are wonderful thoughts here. I have two close family members who have "hurt me to the core" and it is true about it taking a lot of energy to live in the past and think about that. Some good scripture I need to think about today....

I love the picture of the flowers. That color combination is gorgeous!

nanatrish said...

Susanne-thank you for having the study and I look forward to the rest of it. You made me feel good calling me Sweet Sister. I do feel like a part of your family.

Pat--We do have so much to be thankful for. I am guilty of not realizing all the blessings He has given me. I want to be more aware of His goodness in my life. You are so kind.

Betsy--Thanks for your comments. You always are so sweet. Doesn't it seem like when people we care about say hurtful things it is like they have ripped out our heart? Especially people that we think should know better. We need to be uplifting each other, not chipping away at each other. Sometimes our family is the worst. Instead of being proud of us for what we are trying to do, it's like they want to evaluate all our faults and flaws. We all have them but if we have the love of Christ in us we should let Him shine through and encourage others. No matter what the circumstances.

Dee Dee said...

Trish...thank you for this beautiful devotional... I know you will enjoy this study...we all have things in the past that are hurtful...we need to let go and let God...Blessings for the day my sweet friend...Dee Dee

drama mama said...

I am trying harder to be a "Mary" and to "choose the good part", as it says in Luke:

40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

I tend to be "careful and troubled" about the daily hustle and bustle and neglect those things that can bring me closer to Christ. I will work harder.

amyanne said...

Hi Nana,

I'm Joanna Weaver's assistant. I also do publicity work for other authors. I wonder...would you be interested in doing book reviews/blogging about other books by Joanna and other Christian authors, both fiction and non-fiction?

Let me know. amy@litfusegroup.com

Sandy said...

Nice post Nana and sorry to hear about your friend's loss.

Esther said...

Hi Nanatrish - I enjoyed reading your reflections on "straining forward" as St. Paul says. Thanks for sharing them! Being a Mary is a wonderful goal, especially in a "Martha world!" May God bless your journey.

ValleyGirl said...

I think leaving the past in the past is a tough thing for all of us. To remember and learn from it, but not let it diffuse our enthusiasm for the present and future.

Sorry it's taken so long to come around and visit!

Technonana said...

So much to say Sweet One... Our Father is an understanding Father and constant friend.. who loves us through sooo many things.. I will be praying for your co-worker! And I know that we will learn many things through this study.

drama mama said...

Hey Trish! It WAS a hot day for pictures. We tried to do them early in the morning, but it ended up being about 10 when we got out there. On our way home, we drove by a sign that showed the temp at 105 at 11:30. NUTS!

Maggie May said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely study. Plenty to think about there!

A Woman Who is: said...

Thanks for sharing about this study and your insights! I am drinking from your well tonight. Finding the refreshment I need, and the determination to keep looking forward.

Be blessed in all that you need to do this week for your friend.

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

What an interesting and enriching study you are involved in. It truly is a lifelong process, isn't it, to be what our Lord would have us be, and think, and do. Paul's words are always ever so wise, and true. How fortunate you are to work in such a caring environment, that when one of your co-workers suffers a loss, the others pull together to help above and beyond the call. Everyone's support will mean so much to her, now and in the dark days ahead as she mourns her father.